Happy New Year to all my faithful readers (both of you!) as this is my first blog of 2012. The last blog was December 31 where I lamented not being able to smoke the new pipe and tobacco that Paula gifted me for Christmas due to a cold. I have since been able to enjoy it and what a great combination of the new Stanwell and Erik Nording's Hunter Blend tobacco. It's a combination I'll return to many times, I'm sure.
Today at The Tobacco Hut found me smoking a bowlful of McClelland's Wilderness tobacco in a Cassano quarter bent pipe. Paul O even commented on the aroma, and was later overheard asking some questions about pipes and pipe smoking, so we may yet another convert on the horizon (take that, Tom L - soon you cigar smokers might be in the minority!).
The gang today consisted of the aforementioned Paul O, Joe K, Aaron C, Peter G, and Lou and myself of course. Present briefly by proxy was Bobby M, who called me and said he was going to try and make it but, alas, wasn't able to.
Happy belated birthday to Aaron - it was his b-day last Saturday. I wasn't at the Hut, and he apparently chose not to spend the day at the shop either, opting to spend it in the hospital instead. He's all better now and enjoyed his first cigar since last week with us today.
Even though Aaron is still a newbie, and will always be considered one until he supplies with the Rookie Pizza (Jim S, you're still on the hook for a pizza too you know!), he's been coming in pretty regularly on Saturdays and sharing some pretty disgusting stories with us. His chosen occupation is as a nurse and today he regaled us with tales involving some pretty revolting smells emanating from a rather large patient. He then offered to go get us that pizza, but we all declined.
Speaking of birthdays, Scott R is turning The Big 50 this coming Friday, Feb. 3rd, so we're going to celebrate next Saturday (Feb. 4th) at the Hut. Let's have a big turnout and help him jump into senior citizenship with a bang! Scott's the knife nut - hmm...maybe that should be spelled knife knut - in addition to being quite the outdoorsman, is an Internet marketing guru, and all around great guy, so I want to put on a big spread like we had for Joe's son, James, several years ago. Remember? We had dancing girls, a catered spread, celebrity appearances, and a live band. Well, okay, actually all we had was a half-opened bag of M&M's and someone turned up the radio in their car before the battery died, but it was the thought behind it all!
This will be a morning party, as Scott plans on being at the Hut around 10 o'clock next Saturday, so adjust your plans accordingly!
As I was AWOL last Saturday, I didn't hear about Joe's recent trip to Vegas and Consumer Electronics Show, but I was all ears today as he told me how much fun he had wandering the convention center floor, drinking in all the new gadgetry. Some additional fun facts about his lodgings in Vegas - beware the mini bar in the hotel room. You can open it up and look, but if you even just pick up a bottle of something or snack, you bought it. You don't have to open it, just pick it up, and it's yours. And a pot of coffee via room service in the morning? $28!
He and Val had what sounded like an incredible helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon too while they were out west. I've never made it out there, but plan on it someday. Any pictures from your trip, Joe?
Funny story about Joe (sorry, buddy, have to do it!)...he called me Thursday afternoon on my cell phone and left me a voice mail as I was in a meeting and couldn't pick up. So I called his cell - as requested - a couple hours later, around 2:30, but got his voice mail, so I left a message. Around 4:00 I tried again, and had to leave a voice mail. Finally around 7:30 that evening I tried yet again, and it went to voice mail. I decided then to try his home phone, and he picked up right away. "Joe!" I said, "I've been trying to reach you all day on your cell." "Did you leave a voice mail?" "Yes, I've left three of them now." There was a pause as Joe muttered a little to himself something along the lines of, "I don't know where my cell phone is." As he wandered around his house and property on his cordless phone, he then exclaimed, "There it is - in my car!" Pay attention, Scott, now that you're soon a senior citizen, you'll be having moments like this too!
Later in the afternoon today at the Hut found us discussing, as we sometimes do, some of the old TV favorites, including Andy Griffith. Not so much the show itself, but the actor and his earlier career. We also laughed about Tim Conway, who I saw in person last Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, and his great work on the Carol Burnett Show. I'm afraid Aaron felt a little left out as he's probably never heard of these TV greats!
Before I sign off, I do want to recommend a streaming Internet radio station, "Psychedelicized Radio". It's an incredible storehouse of musical gems, commercials, and radio station air checks from the 1960s. It's not head-banging stuff by any means, but rather the groovy, mind-expanding psychedelic tunes from that era. Well worth a listen here.
That's it for this week - hope to see everyone next Saturday around 10:00 to wish Scott a Happy 50th!