Thursday, July 19, 2012

How Not to Bleed a Lighter

It is important and good housekeeping to bleed any remaining pressure out of your butane lighter before refilling it.  This removes any air and old butane from the fuel tank so you can refill it completely with fresh clean butane.  You can try to cut corners and top off the tank because you don’t want to take the time or waste the butane to bleed it dry when you still have a decent amount of fuel in it.  Most of the time this will work ok, but sometimes the residual air that has gotten into the tank will disrupt a proper flame.  It really is best to just sacrifice anything remaining in the tank and make a clean start.  At the risk of pointing out the obvious, here’s one method to avoid when bleeding the tank.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Are All Cigars Good?

No!  All cigars are not good.  This is a personal opinion.  This is also the official opinion of  We guarantee that any cigar that we sell is a good cigar.  You may disagree, which is ok, because everyone’s palate is different.  Some retailers seem to come from the opinion that there is no such thing as a bad cigar, since there is a cigar for everyone out there.  This may be what they believe, or it may be driven by their desire to find high margin products and hope that their customer accepts the way a cigar tastes and smokes “just must be how it’s supposed to smoke”.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back Off The Flame!

Chemistry class, or good old harmless experimenting in the garage or shop, taught us that some things burn more easily than others.  While we often think that flame makes things burn, it’s actually heat that makes materials catch fire, or incinerate.  So when you light your cigar it’s not happening because you hold the flame to the foot and make it burn.  Your cigar burns because you bring a heat source close enough to cause the tobacco to reach its burning point.
Tobacco burns in the neighborhood of 800 degrees Fahrenheit.  Properly stored cigars have higher moisture content than dry materials so it takes a little more time to ignite.  It is also the humidity content that causes your cigar to smolder elegantly instead of bursting into a brush fire.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The First Name in Cigar Cutters

The enjoyment of a premium cigar is a wonderfully basic pursuit.  First you need a great cigar.  Next you need a way to open the head of the cigar, so you can draw air through it.  Last you need some means of lighting the tobacco at the foot so you can enjoy the rich and flavorful smoke.  I would also argue that you need a great ashtray because I’d be happy to sell you one (the personal size Stinky ashtray is my new favorite) but, truth be told, my lawn is kept well conditioned by cigar ashes.

The business of cutting a cigar ranges from rudimentary to extremely elaborate.  You can pierce the end with a golf tee, or clip it with $1,000 gold plated and engraved cutter.  Please only bite the end off of a cigar if circumstances are incredibly dire and it is the only option that remains.  In that scenario, I would endorse using your teeth instead of advocating foregoing the cigar until a proper cutting implement presents itself.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The King and I

The Victorian era of British history spanned from 1837 through 1901.  It is generally accepted as a period of peace for the empire and is known as Pax Britannica.  This era was highlighted by Gothic Revival architecture, and social restraint per the example of Queen Victoria.  That all sounds well and good, except that Victoria banned smoking of tobacco on the royal premises.  It is presumed that the queen allowed for some exemptions for particular celebrations.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Math of 8-9-8 Cigars

Numerous cigar brands out there make a cigar that bears the name “8-9-8”.  What is 8-9-8?  It’s actually very simple.  Even though it may make you think of the numbers on your bag of lawn fertilizer, it is nowhere near that complicated.
8-9-8 is a reference to the manner in which the cigars were packaged into the box. 

Cigars & Longacre Square

Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of opera or Broadway, surely you know the name of Oscar Hammerstein.  You probably know the name as Rodgers & Hammerstein.  Oscar Hammerstein is Broadway royalty.  Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music were some of the most successful productions of the collaboration of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.  The duo racked up great commercial success and a pile of accolades to include 34 Tony awards, 15 Oscars, a Pulitzer Prize, and a pair of Grammy’s.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Let Freedom Ring!

Growing up in Illinois, the 4th of July of course meant fireworks.  As this was the time of more rational municipal fiscal control, our town always had a city fireworks display.  We watched intently as it seemed to go on forever.  The anticipation continued to build until the Grand Finale, which I think was my earliest conception of what grand finale meant.  It was great and made July 4th a highly anticipated day.

Seeing as Illinois had a ban on fireworks sales at the time, and I can’t imagine that has changed with the fun laws the Land of Lincoln likes to impose upon the populace, generally speaking the city fireworks display was all you got, aside from sparklers.  A neighbor of ours happened to do a fair amount of traveling for business.  I think the closest state at the time where he could legally purchase fireworks was Ohio.  So, each summer the last trip he took to clients in Ohio would have him purchasing a substantial assortment of fireworks.  He would use this cache to put on a display for our neighborhood.  We eagerly anticipated July 3rd as the pre-game to the fourth.