And why?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two Fathoms or Safe Water or.....

“And it was comfort in those succeeding days to sit up and contemplate the majestic panorama of mountains and valleys spread out below us and eat ham and hard boiled eggs while our spiritual natures revelled alternately in rainbows, thunderstorms, and peerless sunsets. Nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs. Ham and eggs, and after these a pipe--an old, rank, delicious pipe--ham and eggs and scenery, a "down grade," a flying coach, a fragrant pipe and a contented heart--these make happiness. It is what all the ages have struggled for”. –Mark Twain

Without a doubt one of my favorite pipe smokers would have to be Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain. I don’t’ exactly recall how old I was the day my father brought home to me my first real book, but I know that I was quite young. That book was “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”. Now I of course had other books before that time but I would hardly consider them to be books of substance and certainly not ones that I would forever carry their very essence with me. But this book would instill within me a never ceasing sense of my connection and disconnection to the world around me. It played man at his highest and lowest moments and left me yearning for a distant life in Hannibal Missouri along that great river. These feelings came rushing over me this summer as I stood at the banks of that mighty river for the first time in my life, behind me stood a grand plantation with ghostly oaks towering overhead and the fields around it bursting forth with sugar cane and perique. Time almost stood still or in my mind even began to reverse. It would be safe to say that I definitely have a romantic fondness for the nostalgic, to look back at the people and places long gone and to find my own place in this tapestry of time. Reading Mark Twain takes me there. Now to the endorsement I set out to bring to you. If you too have a love for the life and writings of Mark Twain then let me suggest, “PBS Mark Twain; A Film by Ken Burns”. I found it to be extraordinary. And you can stream it in all its three hours of glory on Netflix.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

To the One I Love

This past weekend my wife and I celebrated our twelfth anniversary. It is astounding how fast time flies when it is spent with your best friend. As an anniversary gift my wife gave me my first meerschaum pipe. The pipe is a huge glorious CAO from the Bekler collection. Now in all honesty I must admit that I have no idea of how to care for or for that matter even smoke a meerschaum so it’s off to the web to give myself a quick crash course in proper meerschaum etiquette. My wife originally set out to find a churchwarden knowing that I have been wanting one for quite some time but when none were to be found, she decided upon a meerschaum. John, the owner of the pipe shop, suggested a nice conservative lattice work billiard but the wife’s thoughts on the matter were “If going for your first meerschaum you might as well go wild and find the most eccentric one available”. And that my friend is how I came into the proud possession of a large carved meerschaum pipe in the shape of a bearded head wearing a nightcap……. Hmm nightcap, that gives me an idea!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

When Middle Earth and the "Final Frontier" colide, calamity is sure to ensue!

As the title says, “When Middle Earth and the final frontier collide, calamity is sure to ensue”. Well as with most pipe smokers I have a natural love for the wonderful works of Tolkien. Now pair that with my love of the sci-fi genre and one of sci-fi’s most prestigious figures and what do you get? I’ll tell you what you get, an atrocity of epic proportions. My brother in law shared this video with me a couple of years ago and forgiveness for him is still a long way away for doing so. I used to be able to find it in a little better quality but I guess Nimoy has succeeded in destroying those copies, so with that enjoy!