I spent my last moments before the Apocalypse enjoying a bowl of Tinder Box Reserve 1928 in a Peterson Kinsale at The Tobacco Hut with friends. Joe K, Jim C, Peter G, Steve B, Ed B, Lou, and I had a wide-ranging discussion while puffing away and watching the Lightning beat the Bruins to tie the series at 2-2.
I had actually asked Lou to polish up the stem of the Peterson last week and he did a great job on it so I lit it up anxiously on Saturday, eager to enjoy one of the best values in pipes. It had been a while since I'd smoked this particular Peterson and the Vulcanite stem had become rather oxidized. Oxidation occurs when the sulfur in the rubber stem rises to the surface, discoloring it and giving it an unpleasant, sour taste.
There are many prescribed methods to removing oxidation from Vulcanite stems, some involving bleach and other chemicals, but probably the easiest is with a buffing wheel and then applying a thin coat of Carnuba wax, which is what Lou did last week to the pipe. Unfortunately, there was apparently a lot of oxidation on the stem, because even though the stem was restored to its shiny black state, a few minutes of it in my mouth and it quickly reacted to the saliva and turned nasty.
I left the pipe with Lou for him to work on throughout the week, and hopefully he'll be able to remove the remaining oxidation and get the pipe back to its spiffy, like-new state.
It's this oxidation issue that has driven my recent pipe purchases. I now stick with almost exclusively Lucite stems which are, essentially, plastic, and don't suffer from oxidation problems.
A quick rundown of what's happening with Saturday's attendees: Steve B and Jim C had a good conversation about Steve's new burgeoning business ventures; Peter is steeped in training for his new job, eager to be cut loose amongst the Tarpon Springs restaurants; Joe wore his highly offensive "Pipe Down Now, Silly Liberal" shirt; and congratulations to Major Ed B!
Adrian had promised to show up on Saturday so we could resume our chess games, but I guess his new philosophy is "Quit While You're Ahead" as he was a no-show. I suppose he wanted to be reigning King of Chess when the world ended.
Speaking of which, since I'm writing this on Sunday, May 22nd, it's apparent that, in fact, Harold Camping and his band of idiots at Family Radio were quite wrong about the end of the world occurring on May 21st at 6 PM. It would have been more amusing if there weren't so many people who actually believed it and jettisoned all their belongings and money and now - with families to provide for - have nothing. I doubt seriously that Mr. Camping, et al, will support his followers now that some of them are destitute.
Preacher Jim C and I differ on a lot of things, but we were both in agreement that Saturday, May 21st would pass like any other.
Don't forget the Father's Day Celebration at the Hut on June 18th, from 1-4 PM. Show up for the food, beverages, prizes, and fun. I think Lou's going to rent a Karaoke machine too. Okay, I just made that up, but there will still be prizes, good food and beverages. See you there!