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 Tending towards simplicity

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Psmith

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Location : Sokcho, South Korea
Registration date : 2013-04-21

PostSubject: Tending towards simplicity   Sat May 23, 2015 11:42 am

I wonder if any of you pipers out there think the same way I do. Or experience the same thing I am these days.

A number of years ago when I discovered pipe smoking I wanted to try as many kinds of tobacco as possible. Still do. So I began to collect as many different kinds of recommended ones as I could get my hands on. It wasn't long till I built up quite a sizable collection of tins. Indeed the rate I which I accumulate them is faster than the rate at which I smoke them. I now have several of them that I have to manage.

The funny thing is that this goes against a significant aspect of my character which is that I tend towards simplicity and prefer to not own many things. Clothes? A couple pairs of pants and a few shirts...that's it. I don't want for more. I bought a straight razor so that I never have to concern myself with buying razors ever again. A kindle has meant no more clutter of books in my world. When my birthday rolls around and I tell my family and friends that I don't want anything, I'm telling the truth. I find stuff, unless absolutely necessary, to be a bother.

But pipe smoking is presenting me with a conflict. Only pipe-smoking. Part of me wants to have only one pipe and one blend..for the zen-like simplicity that I naturally gravitate towards. (I can hear some of you now saying "Gawd...the horror!") But at the same time I can't stop browsing tobacco sites and wondering what joys the next tin may hold...knowing that it will clutter up my world and just present me with more decisions to make when it comes time to fill my pipe.

Are any of you guys like me?

I'm wondering what is going to win. The minimalist in me or the explorer.
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Sat May 23, 2015 12:24 pm

I know of what you speak, and it nags at me from time to time. I decided not to let it worry me, except for one concern: moving. Tobacciana isn't that much of a problem; books, furniture, and guns are. It would be cool, though, to own, say, only three pipes in which you smoked only one favorite tobacco. I get the Zen thing: make it ONE pipe. I actually know a guy like this. One pipe to this name, and I try to get him interested in other tobaccos by giving him samples, he sneers at them, and then mixes them with his g'd'd Captain Black White. I'm positive I wouldn't want to be that guy, but the idea of having only a high quality seven-day set of pipes and only a few tobaccos does resonate with me. Two pairs of pants?--not so much.
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Psmith

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Location : Sokcho, South Korea
Registration date : 2013-04-21

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Sat May 23, 2015 12:33 pm

Captain Black White...jeez.

I'm thinking more like Best Brown Flake and one Dunhill pipe. Refinement.

Concerning the pants..I do a lot of laundry Very Happy
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Sat May 23, 2015 1:09 pm

Psmith wrote:


I'm thinking more like Best Brown Flake and one Dunhill pipe.  Refinement.


That would be so cool. But I actually tried this with just one new Dunhill years ago (I had tossed all my pipes. Don't ask.) Lasted a few months, I being into cigars mostly at the time, before PAD seized possession of my soul.  Twisted Evil
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tslots

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Age : 60
Location : Idaho
Registration date : 2008-03-29

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Sat May 23, 2015 1:29 pm

Perhaps consider buying a selection of blending tobaccos:  Virginla, Burley, Oriental, Latakia, Perique.    
From this you can make yourself an infinite number of different blends as the mood strikes.
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PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Sat May 23, 2015 2:26 pm

I'm with you on that one, Psmith. I don't even have a decent suit, I prefer to buy pipes and tobaccos.

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kaitlyn3837

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Registration date : 2013-05-14

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Sat May 23, 2015 4:45 pm

Hmmmm, yes, I have some of this paradigm in my life as well. Although, I am nowhere near as minimalist as you are (although, from time to time, my sould yearns for it). I think it's especially hard for women to minimalist, but that's a topic for another time.

At any given time I have 70 pipes in my house, almost all for refurbishing. Only 6 that I call my own (4 kaywoodie regents and 2 Italian basket pipes). Of those 6, I have only smoked 3 (1 regent and the 2 baskets). But I still find myself on ebay everyday looking at pipes, scouring for beauties, and drooling over briar. I understand wanting to try all the different tobaccos too!
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Sat May 23, 2015 9:21 pm

This is a sensible POV as applied to utilitarian items like pairs of pants. Who has stood before their closet admiring their britches? But pipes? (Or other beloved items with character and unique memories attached.) I think a more open, appreciative standard applies. Unless, of course, all you require is a smoke, and then a cob or two will suffice. But my pipe collection now stands at 70+ (not counting cobs) and stretches from my college days, through various jobs, those gifted me by my wife, daughter and friends and more recent purchases. I'm sure there will be more.
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Sat May 23, 2015 11:48 pm

Hell, If I could get away having one shirt, one pair of britches, one pipe and one tobacco I'd be in hog heaven. Then reality dropped in, I need to change my britches at least 3 times a week and a shirt every day. Having only one pipe would mean it be the soggiest thing I own and one tobacco would mean Escudo morning, noon, and night. I love the stuff but, hey I need the change a pace to keep on liking it.
Variety is the spice of life and all that lot. Wink
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juanmedusa

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Age : 36
Location : Falls Church, Virginia
Registration date : 2013-07-06

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Sun May 24, 2015 12:59 am

My wife is an excessivist. I'm a minimalist in contrast but not in reality. I like stuff too.
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Psmith

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Location : Sokcho, South Korea
Registration date : 2013-04-21

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Sun May 24, 2015 2:08 am

I think whats prompted me to post about that is that over the last 3 weeks due to a way too busy schedule I have relied on one pipe and blend. The pipe is a Peterson army mount 86 and the tobacco Capstan blue. Everywhere I go they come too and when a precious break presents itself we retire to a quiet spot. The result is that I am developing a friendship with that pipe and connection with that tobacco. Thus is the conflict...with many pipes and tobacco you don't really develop that deep connection. People develop deep connections to inanimate objects like a car, motorcycle or guitar. Same with a pipe I find.
However I don't think its a wise way to go. Without people buying tons of blends and pipes our hobby might not survive. I guess back in the 40s and 50s when people commonly had one pipe and one reliable blend there was enough people smoking to make it viable.
Anyways as the days go by and my life continues to be busy and stressful the bond between me and my two companions continues to deepen.
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TMacphersonNH

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Age : 51
Location : New Hope, PA
Registration date : 2013-11-25

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Sun May 24, 2015 3:35 pm

Thoreau was thinking about his one pack of Carter Hall and his one cob when he said, "Simplify...simplify...simplify". Or maybe I'm just imagining that but you get the gist..... Very Happy
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Sun May 24, 2015 6:08 pm

tslots wrote:
Perhaps consider buying a selection of blending tobaccos:  Virginla, Burley, Oriental, Latakia, Perique.    
From this you can make yourself an infinite number of different blends as the mood strikes.

This has been the way I tend toward, and it has been (for the most part) a pretty straightforward approach for me. Browse the sites, forums, reviews, and 'match the blend' I'm curious about.

However, due to some well meaning bad influences, I have gone batschnitzel crazy actually buying a plethora of weeds from various vendors, sometimes because of cool tin art, sometimes because I have little to no access to certain types of leaf, and sometimes because I am not patient enough to wait years for my leaf to age sufficiently or lack facilities to refine said leaf into a large amount of cased and/or topped final products..

I will say though, that I am far from abandoning my blends, and they are the bulk of my smoking enjoyment.

It would be great if professional blenders were more like Betty Crocker, and shared their recipes, but alas, they tend more towards Colonel Sanders and his elusive 'secret blend of 11 herbs and spices'. I guess it's their job security that's at stake.

But, by blending your own, you can control what you put into your pipes better, there are few if any surprises, and you can save a minimum of a buck an ounce, sometimes much more....

Perhaps I should just write the book and save space on the forum page....
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RobJ

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Location : Mukilteo, Washington USA
Registration date : 2014-07-07

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Tue May 26, 2015 1:54 pm

Related story I hope - We have a small weekend place and went there on Friday after work with plans to come home Sunday evening which we did. In my haste to get on the road on Friday I screwed up big time and instead of packing my normal 3 to 4 blends and a half dozen pipes when we arrived I found all I'd actual brought with me was a tin of EGR and my old Grabow Golden Duke.

It turned out to be somewhat of a liberating experience not having any choices to make. So for a couple of days EGR was my all day smoke. It reminded me of my early piper days when all I had was 2 Grabows, the one I had with me is one of these, a pouch of SWR Special Mixture, a pack of pipe cleaners, a lighter and a tool.

I really enjoyed smoking what I had and didn't really miss what I had left at home; and once I was home I still enjoyed my Grabow packed with EGR and didn't feel the need to smoke anything else that day.

Of course now that I'm home I'm back on my personal pipe treadmill.


Last edited by RobJ on Wed May 27, 2015 10:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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Psmith

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Location : Sokcho, South Korea
Registration date : 2013-04-21

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Wed May 27, 2015 5:39 am

On that note, here is a poem written by Jerome K. Jerome from his book "Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow".


TO

THE VERY DEAR AND WELL-BELOVED

FRIEND

OF MY PROSPEROUS AND EVIL DAYS—

TO THE FRIEND
WHO, THOUGH IN THE EARLY STAGES OF OUR ACQUAINTANCESHIP
DID OFTTIMES DISAGREE WITH ME, HAS SINCE
BECOME TO BE MY VERY WARMEST COMRADE—

TO THE FRIEND
WHO, HOWEVER OFTEN I MAY PUT HIM OUT, NEVER (NOW)
UPSETS ME IN REVENGE—

TO THE FRIEND
WHO, TREATED WITH MARKED COOLNESS BY ALL THE FEMALE
MEMBERS OF MY HOUSEHOLD, AND REGARDED WITH SUSPICION
BY MY VERY DOG, NEVERTHELESS SEEMS DAY BY
DAY TO BE MORE DRAWN BY ME, AND IN RETURN
TO MORE AND MORE IMPREGNATE ME WITH
THE ODOR OF HIS FRIENDSHIP—

TO THE FRIEND
WHO NEVER TELLS ME OF MY FAULTS, NEVER WANTS TO
BORROW MONEY, AND NEVER TALKS ABOUT HIMSELF—

TO THE COMPANION
OF MY IDLE HOURS, THE SOOTHER OF MY SORROWS,
THE CONFIDANT OF MY JOYS AND HOPES—

MY OLDEST AND STRONGEST

PIPE,
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DireWolf

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Age : 44
Location : NW Oregon
Registration date : 2015-01-13

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Wed May 27, 2015 10:57 am

On one hand I agree.

On the other, eating peanut butter sammiches for every meal would get old.

Very Happy
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Wed May 27, 2015 10:41 pm

Re: RobJ's comment on piping and traveling -- I used to put in quite a bit of time selecting pipes and stuff for vacations. It got kinda ridiculous, because I'd end up bringing stuff back unsmoked and unused. Now, often as not, my vacation smoking kit consists of maybe two or three cobs, a codger blend (Prince Albert, Carter Hall or Granger) buncha cleaners, kitchen matches, and I use golf tees for tampers. Sometimes I'll get more ambitious, but usually I'm content with this self-imposed limitation. But I still like having my collection of briars at home, waiting for my return. This week I succumbed to temptation and bought a Dux Depose Bruyere from Smoking Pipes' French warehouse find😊 Maybe it will need a vacation on the Maine coast next month.
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RoyOdhner

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Age : 54
Location : Johnson County, Texas
Registration date : 2015-04-21

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:46 pm

I'm in the same boat, sorta. I've been smoking a pipe since 1979, but for most of that time I had limited options when it came to pipe tobacco or pipes. Then I discovered the internet and on-line tobacco sales. Woo Hoo! So much variety, and I took advantage of it... and ultimately had an epiphany.

I had two pipe mentors back in 1979: my uncle Danny and the Reverend Martin Prike. Danny never owned more than two cobs at any given time, and only smoked Velvet (or Granger, if he couldn't find any Velvet). The Rev. Prike had a collection of about four Dunhill pipes and favored MM965. When I first got into pipe smoking, I was all over the place. Uncle Danny told me that one day I'd come back around to a cob and some Velvet. Rev. Prike said something similar about Dunhill. 35years later, I get their points.

When it comes to pipes, my own experience has told me that the Falcon system pipe is the most practical pipe on the planet. When it comes to tobacco, I prefer Virginia or Burley blends - the more simple the better. While I love the variety I have available to me, I would not feel disappointed if the only blends left on the face of the Earth were Granger, SWR, MacB Symphony and  Plumcake, MacB ODF and BKY, MacB Navy Flake, Stokkebye LNF, OGS, Erinmore, or SG Best Brown and Grousemoore.

There is something to be said for variety being the spice of life, but there is also something to be said for simple contentment. My epiphany is that I prefer the simple contentment of basic VA and VABUR blends, and if I go looking for a new blend to try it is generally within these two genres. However, lately I've been really enjoying an occasional GH blend and I've found that I really like Ennerdale, Bosun Cut, Braken Flake #7, and Pete Hyde Park (blended by GH)... but these are still just VA/VABUR blends with a touch (or so) of Kendal sauce. Anything else just kind of leaves me saying "meh", except for SG Squadron Leader and Sam's Flake, Dunhill MM965 or Elizabethan Mixture, Presby Mix, and Pease Cumberland - and those are all pretty tame blends with only conservative doses of Latakia, Oriental, Cavendish, or Perique tobaccos added for a bit of spice.
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MartinH

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Age : 47
Location : The South
Registration date : 2011-01-04

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:40 pm

I think I tend towards the - I need less crap in my life - but that's it out necessity, not desire. We a) do not enough room in our house and b) not enough money to shell out on pipes. I think I have roughly 10ish pipes right now, of which I smoke 8 regularly. It's just enough to give me variety, and not too many that my beloved spouse will kill me for spending excessive money. Smile

(Although, I'm trying to build a collection of Longchamp pipes, because I just love those blasted things. They remind me of the reason I smoke pipes, my grandfather!)

In terms of blends, it has been an interesting journey for me. My first heavy English blend ever was sent to me by a someone on this forum (Squadron Leader) and at the time I couldn't get enough of it. I purchased every other English blend with good reviews that I could find. That said, my cubby (cellar) where I keep my limited pipe supplies couldn't keep up. Nowadays, I have simplified a little, a) out of financial necessity, and b) my tastes have changed, and c) because I'm getting lazy about this. Since I found something I like, I'm sticking to it for now. I have noticed however, that my tastes have changed several times over the years. I went from aromatic burleys, to heavy English, to (now) bulk VAs. That means that at some point down the road, I'll have to find a new blend I like and stick with for a while! Smile Currently, I lace my bulk tobaccos with my favorite Scotch, and voila I have an all day smoke.

I am also trying to balance what I can smoke all day, versus a heavy, high nicotine content smoke that will not allow me to take my pipe-walks around campus! Smile Nigh nic content really makes me nauseous, so I have to be careful. It has also been nice to find some bulk blends that I like, albeit ones I have to enhance with small amounts of booze. The taste changes depending on the Scotch I use, and the variety of VAs I buy - be it reds, light, etc. - add to small bit of variety.

Sometimes, less is more, and I think in terms of my tobacco variety, less is more for me. I know, know, it's freaking sacrilege! Smile

Laters!
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ontariopiper

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Age : 45
Location : Kitchener, Ontario CANADA
Registration date : 2015-03-10

PostSubject: Re: Tending towards simplicity   Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:50 am

Love that poem! I should print it and hang it next to my pipe rack!

I understand, too, the drive to simplify. For me it may be personal backlash against the modern, uber-connected, always online lifestyle that the Internet Age has brought upon us. Like many of us in our 40s and up, I sometimes long for the days when there was ONE phone in the house and you had to listen to the ring pattern to see if the call was for you or the next house on the party line . Very Happy

I was a gigging musician for years, but have sold off all but 2 guitars. Also have sold, passed on or thrown out a lot of "stuff" hauled from house to house over the years that never seemed to see the light of day anymore.

Guess I'd be looking for that idyllic cabin in the woods if I could ever break my wife of her granite countertops and heated floors habit! Though perhaps I could compromise with a LUXURY cabin in the woods Very Happy Very Happy
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pipetrepid

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Location : upstate new york
Registration date : 2015-06-23

PostSubject: win?   Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:22 pm

psmith, as far as which will win, i don`t know. in a world of excess, i would say you`re doing quite well! as far as accumulating tobacco, take solace in the fact that you are certainly not alone. bill
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