Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday at the Hut - 4/23/11

It's been a few weeks since I last posted to the blog and I apologize to my faithful readers (both of them). It's not that I haven't been to The Tobacco Hut, just that I haven't been motivated to write about it. But today was a fun day at the Hut, with a lot of folks in attendance, and wins by the Lightning and Rays.

Scott R and Paul V arrived and settled in with some nice selections from the humidor. Scott also returned my Barbie's. Now before the laughter begins, they're actually my wife's and I had given them to Scott a couple weeks ago to sell on eBay. He did some research and felt that we'd be better off selling them at a garage sale. Scott is an eBay expert and will take your stuff, research it, photograph it, and list it on eBay for you. And, he'll handle the payment and shipping. It's a 50/50 split, and Lou has already taken advantage of Scott's services. 

I always enjoy discussing politics, current events and history with Paul, but we didn't get a chance today. Truly a shame because, while we don't often agree on the issues, he's a fun debater and extremely knowledgeable.

Scott's main line of work is as a dealer for Kaeser & Blair, a promotional products company. He's been in the biz since 1997 and I've helped him out from time to time with graphics work for the last few years. Over the past twelve months though, I've been talking to him about getting into the selling end of it myself. Well, I finally did it. I signed up as a dealer myself and got loaded up with samples and catalogs. I've built a basic website to serve as a kind of online brochure and have some pens coming with my contact information.

Please check out the website and help me spread the word. If you know of anyone that needs some custom imprinted marketing materials or trade show giveaways, please send them my way. I'll leave a few pens at the Hut when they come in so feel free to grab one when you stop in.

One last commercial interruption and we'll get back to our regularly scheduled program...Scott has been feverishly writing a blog about pocket knives. Coincidentally, it's called and can be found here. I'm not even "into" pocket knives, and I enjoy reading his stuff. Great photography accompanies the descriptions of his latest acquisitions. Scott's passion for these knives really comes through in his writing and for a relatively new blog, he's getting some good traffic. I can think of more than a few readers of this blog who would enjoy Scott's, so I encourage you to take a look.

Today found me smoking the Cassano I bought in Boston a year ago, enjoying a bowlful of Greg Pease's Chelsea Morning. It's part of his Old London series of tobacco, and consists of sweet red and bright Virginias, some Orientals, a bit of Cyprian Latakia, and a touch of Perique. I typically like an English blend that's heavy with Latakia, but this tobacco is more restrained in its use of it. No matter, the combination of the other tobaccos give it some subtle fruitiness and a hint of woodsy, smokey flavor. A very fine tobacco indeed.

Joe K was not in attendance today as it was his son James' wedding. Congratulations to James! We were all afraid that James would end up with a lonely life, traveling to Mexico on semi-annual junkets to visit a certain cigar-smoking monkey. So glad he found his bride. Congratulations again James - enjoy your day!

Vic arrived and immediately recounted a very funny tale about his recent trip from New York to Florida. He stopped in Tennessee and visited Mike G and his wife, Diane. Let's just say that the headline to this blog should read, "Mountain Man Curtseys to Queen Diane". Apparently, while Vic was there, Mike had a bunion on his foot or some other malady and, puffing up his chest, attempted to show Vic who was "King of the Castle." He threw his leg over the back of the sofa where Diane was sitting and commanded that she massage his foot. "Only when you curtsey me," she retorted at once. The real joke was when Mike couldn't get his foot off the back of the couch. Apparently he was stuck. Too bad Vic didn't have his camera at the ready, 'cause that would have made for a great picture. 

Peter came in was greeted with a "Norm"-like cheer from everyone. Congratulations to Peter for his new position in food service sales. Best of luck to you, my friend! This guy's knowledge of all things sports continues to amaze me. I can't begin to recount all the facts and figures that Peter knows but, suffice to say, it always makes for a lively an fun discussion.

Vic has a new humidor to keep cigars in and the talk turned to how best to maintain the ideal temperature and humidity. For maximum freshness and longevity, a humidor should be kept at 70º F/70% humidity. Well, after a lot of discussion, the question came down to...does moisture affect temperature? Vic and Lou said that yes, higher humidity will cool down the temperature. I maintained that the two were independent. 

We tried an experiment (two, actually). We used a digital thermometer and took a reading of the air temperature inside the shop. It was 77º. We then placed the thermometer inside one of the reach-in humidors. After a few minutes, the temperature had dropped to 76º and then 75º. That seemed to indicate that Vic and Lou were - agh, it pains me to say this - correct. We then placed the thermometer inside one of the tabletop humidors along with a crystal- and gel-filled humidifiers and closed the lid. My instinct was telling me that the temperature inside the humidor would be the same as outside, i.e. 77º. Alas, it was also 75º after a few minutes.

So, in conclusion, I was wrong. 

I put that statement in a sentence all by itself because I know Lou loves it when I'm wrong about something. I turned to the Internet when I got home and did a little research. On a USA Today website, I found this explanation that confirms that Lou and Vic were right:

Relative humidity is a percentage that reflects how close the air is to saturation, where 100% relative humidity indicates fog or rain and single-digit relative humidity indicates extremely dry air. For a given amount of water vapor in the air, relative humidity will decrease as air temperature increases and increase as air temperature decreases.

Our experiment bore this out, although in reverse. In a container with increased humidity, the temperature did, in fact, decrease. 

Fine. So I didn't get this one right. Maybe next week we can discuss string theory, quantum physics, and whether we live in an expanding infinite universe or a quilted multiverse.

Box Ed (Pouch Ed) came in for the latter half of the afternoon, enjoying his meerschaum pipe with some of Lou's Keystone tobacco. I'm not an aromatic smoker and have never tried it, but it certainly has a nice room note. It was just a couple months ago that Ed came in with a big cast on his foot. That's all healed finally but now one of his fingers is all bandaged up. Take care of yourself, man! It's not a race to see how many limbs you can bang up! 

That's all for this week. 

Don't forget to call me for all your promotional product needs!

 - Bob