Happy New Year everyone! Many of you attended the New Year's Eve gathering at The Tobacco Hut (sorry I didn't get a blog out that weekend). We had a good crowd on the 31st: Joe K, Peter G, Adrian R, Ed B, Steve B, and Tom L. Some even brought treats to share...Steve brought wings for everyone and Tom raided his own version of the Holy Grail humidor, bringing some aged Fuente cigars to pass out.
Tom enjoyed his role of cigar dispenser so much he even migrated to behind the counter when he gave Lou his special cigar. See photo at left. I think Tom enjoyed his new position so much he's considering buying the store. Just kidding, of course! If Tom owned the shop I think it would become the area's only "adult" cigar store if you know what I mean.
Lou took his new role as customer to heart, even sitting in a chair other than the "throne." The photographic evidence doesn't lie (picture below - click to enlarge). That is the quintessential "Lou" pose, isn't it? Just sitting back, relaxing with a favorite cigar.
By the way, if you look in the background, you'll see a wall calendar. We learned that someone in our midst is actually dating Miss December. Hubba hubba.
A much-anticipated event took place New Year's Eve at the Hut...Adrian and I finally met over the chessboard! I know you're all thrilled to know the outcome. Adrian admits that though he enjoys playing the game, he's a little rusty. I did beat him in the two games we played, but his second game was better than his first so I fear that with continued play, any rustiness will get shaken off and I will be playing a formidable opponent indeed. The picture at left (click to enlarge) was taken during our second game, shortly after we had exchanged queens. Lou has graciously agreed to let me keep the chess set at the store, so if anyone stops in during the week and wants to break it out, feel free.
Today at the Hut (Jan 8) saw another nice crowd. In attendance were Joe K, Adrian R, Steve B, Ed B, Darryl G and his son Greg, and Ed F. Ed F is a new member - a pipe smoker no less! - and will hopefully make the Hut a regular Saturday haunt. Of course, we have two Eds now and I'm reminded of the Monty Python episode featuring the "Bruces". The group of Australian philosophy professors are sitting around and they're all named Bruce. One of the Bruces walks in with a new professor, Michael Baldwin, and makes the introductions. Going around the room, he says, "Michael Baldwin, this is Bruce. Michael Baldwin, this is Bruce. And Michael Baldwin, this is Bruce." One of the Bruces asks, "Is your name not Bruce then?" To which he says, "No, it's Michael." Bruce replies, in perfect deadpan, "That's going to cause a little confusion." So it might be with the Eds, but I'm sure we can figure things out.
For the first time ever, Joe was actually hoping I would have worn my NPR t-shirt. I specifically did not wear it today for fear of upsetting my ride to the cruise port next week. So did Joe actually see the light and convert, and that's why he wanted me in my NPR attire? Au contraire, he's fought back with a shirt of his own. He ordered it special from CafePress and received it just yesterday. The photo on the right shows what he bought (click to enlarge). Joe made me promise not to alter the picture in Photoshop before I posted it!
Coincidentally, note the illustration in the shirt I'm wearing. It's the exact same piece of clip art. The shirt I have on is one I designed and sell in my shop, The Erudite Outlet. I was a little offended at first that he didn't buy his shirt from my shop, but of course, I would never sell such a silly shirt as what he's wearing! I got a huge charge out of Joe's shirt and will naturally have to find a way to top it.
Today found me smoking one of my favorite pipes, one of the Sherlock Holmes pipes from Peterson. I had Lou order it for me several years ago and like all the other Petersons I own (8 total), it smokes wonderfully. I was smoking Greg Pease's Westminster, a rich English blend, heavy on the Latakia. Ed F was smoking Lou's Black Cavendish and later a bowl of Alaskan Gold. To Ed, and any other pipe smokers, I would encourage you to check out Smokers Forums. It's a fun and welcoming online community of pipe smokers of all stripes, from beginners to long-time veterans of the briar. No question is too basic and everyone is willing to help out and make suggestions and recommendations.
Lou mentioned that Mike G was in town visiting family for the holidays. I tried calling him on the number that Lou had for him, but wasn't sure if that was a cell number or home. I guess he's sticking around for another month, so hopefully he'll stop in on a Saturday in the next few weeks.
Late in the day it was just Steve, Adrian, and myself. Lou was busy tallying up the day's business and the three of us had a pretty heady discussion ranging from aliens and UFOs to psychics to the Bible. It was fascinating stuff which I think was initiated by Steve when he mentioned "chemtrails". He pointed to one out the window in the sky. All I saw was the remnants of a jet contrail and he said that no, that was a chemtrail. I had never heard of such a thing and he explained that he only learned of it recently himself.
Apparently what we all take as contrails are actually chemicals sprayed by government planes for various nefarious reasons, from military efforts to control weather, attempts to mitigate climate change, and even population control. Naturally, I spent a little time on the Internet tonight researching this phenomenon and...I'm a little skeptical that it's anything more than innocent jet contrails. Now admittedly, I've only done a cursory search on the Internet but - at least to me - the evidence tips more in favor of jet contrails than "chemtrails."
For those interested, a Wikipedia article on the subject is a good place to start. My next stop was a website called Educate Yourself. I hesitate to provide a link because I don't want to give this site any more "Google Juice" than it already has. This is the motherlode of conspiracy theories and the article on chemtrails seems to wrap them all into one. The author of the article first talks about how chemtrails are part of the New World Order's attempts at carrying out Henry Kissinger's depopulation order, and finally ties it in with satanic worship.
Now, chemtrails might indeed be government experiments in weather/climate control, and may be kept secret from us, but calling it a form of satanic genocide is stretching credulity, at least mine. The author even goes so far as to suggest that if the "orgone generators" (whatever those are) don't work to combat the chemtrails, certain "metaphysical" tactics may be used, if done in conjunction with others.
This skeptic will open his mind to the possibility that the government keeps certain things secret and often acts in its own self-interest, and I will admit that chemtrails may indeed be different than contrails, but without more proof (and research on my part), that's as far as I can go right now. But thank you, Steve, for bringing this to my attention. I always enjoy learning new things and I think the three of us had a great conversation as the day came to a close.
Until next time...cheers!