This week's gathering at The Tobacco Hut wasn't as wild and raucous as last week's - of course without Tom L and Adrian making wild and unfounded accusations of racism toward me like last week the discourse was more subdued. In attendance were Joe K, Bobby, Paul O, Lou, and myself.
It was good to see Joe again as it's been awhile since we've connected. I was gone on vacation for a couple weeks, then Lou closed the store while he was on vacation and last week Joe was MIA as he was suffering from swimmer's ear. He ended up going to an ENT doctor and undergoing some treatments that sounded less than pleasant but he's on the mend now. I don't know why he didn't just pour vodka in his ear like his son James did several years ago when he swam across a retention pond that probably measured well above safe levels for fecal material.
This makes two weeks in a row for Mike G's son-in-law Bobby and it's nice that someone's finally classing up the joint! Bobby has an interesting background, from living abroad in various exotic locales to his boat racing and his Puerto Rican heritage. In fact, he told a good self-depracating joke about his own ethnicity: Why aren't there any Puerto Ricans on Star Trek? Because they're not going to work in the future, either. It's probably better coming from Bobby himself than me since I'm not Puerto Rican. Me telling the joke just makes me sound racist. Damn, maybe Tom and Adrian were right!
Lou was complaining about the slowdown in his computer's speed lately and Joe and I were giving him some advice on what to do about it. Well, actually Joe was giving him practical advice and I was just advising him to get a Mac instead. Joe was estimating that Lou's computer was 4-5 years old and rather than installing Windows 7 on it to speed it up, the recommendation was to just buy a new computer. Rebuilt computers can be had for such an inexpensive price that at that age (the computer's age, not Lou's), it really makes sense to just replace it. Bobby agreed, having had good success with rebuilt devices.
By the way, thank you Joe for passing along the glowing recommendation from your friend who hasn't had any problems with their computer because (drumroll please)...it's a Mac.
It was also good to see Paul O as it's been several weeks since we've both been at the Hut at the same time. Paul's dry wit is always appreciated. He's built up quite a repertoire of jokes and one-liners about death - perfect for his line of work in funeral pre-planning.
Later in the afternoon, the talk turned to politics and included such topics as the influence of lobbyists, "Obamacare", and unions. It wasn't too divisive and I think everyone agreed that voter apathy is one of the biggest problems. I was proudly wearing my NPR shirt but was a little disappointed that Joe hadn't worn his "Pipe Down You Silly Liberal" t-shirt but he said he had to visit a customer about a computer before he came to the Hut, and didn't want to potentially upset a revenue source.
Saturday saw me smoking a bowl of G.L. Pease's Westminster tobacco in my Ser Jacopo sandblasted Canadian. Unfortunately, I had packed it a little too tight and had some trouble getting it going at first, but it soon loosened up and turned into a wonderful smoke. The sharp aroma from the Latakia was most enjoyable. Thank you in advance, Lou, for cleaning up my Corona Old Boy lighter as it's getting pretty gunked up with carbon and having difficulty lighting.
A reminder if I didn't include anyone in my change of address alert: I've switched from Verizon to Bright House as my provider so have changed e-mail addresses. My new e-mail addy is firstname.lastname@example.org
I couldn't resist the allure of what the Bright House salesman when he came to my door. Well, let me correct that. I couldn't resist the allure of what he was selling. He actually looked a little like Mike G. In any case, we're now getting almost a hundred more HD channels for $25 less per month and the first month is free. Bright House is working hard to win back customers that they've lost over the last few years to Verizon and I'm obviously not loyal to any particular company. Except to you, Lou! In contrast to Paul who called himself a "cigar whore."
Everyone's favorite knife guy, Scott R, is on schedule to return to Tampa Bay in late October, so hopefully we'll see him in a month or so.
Speaking of missing regulars...where have some of you guys been? I'm thinking of Ed B and Darryl G. And Paul V - yes, you Paul, I'm talking to you! Box Ed, where have you been? Even Peter has turned irregular on us. Hey Vic, put your nuts down and make another trip up from Bradenton man! And I've all but given up on Barry. And there used to be this landscape guy who came in who always regaled us with his dating prowess. Steve was his name, I think. And Preacher Jim, how are you going to "save" me if you don't come in? Of course, I was gone for two weeks myself recently, so if you think it's hypocritical of me to call you guys out, come in and tell me! Seriously, would love to see some packed houses in the weeks to come!
'Til next time...