Sunday, February 18, 2018


And yes, you should run for the hills, taking your kids and dogs with you. Forget the wife, it probably means nothing to her, and she'll object to being ten thousand miles away from a nail salon and hand baggery anyway.
If she's anything like most American women.
Of whom, largely, I disapprove.

My ex, while not being like that, and quite a bit more sensible (say, why did she break off the relationship anyway?), would none the less be unaffected, and just shake her head, saying, "poor Toad, you'll just have to do without your red cake". And I would indeed, except that isn't much of a problem.
My friend Nick, however, will be utterly heartbroken.

It made the Upper Peninsula bearable.

That, and killing ducks.


A fully-rubbed Virginia. Soft and smooth, exceptionally nice. Bready, yeasty, creamy. Very many people huff this straight, for other pipe smokers this is the go-to blending Virginia they rely on for beloved private mixtures.
Several tobacconists have this as a house Virginia offering.
As well as an important recipe component.

Probably the best bulk Virginia available.

Which it soon won't be anymore.

No longer made.

Apparently one of the key ingredients is not to be found. Mike McNeil will not make it without that. And the VaPer crowd is in an uproar, calling up brick and mortars far and wide to buy all of it.
Nick bought it by the shitload whenever he headed into the upper Peninsula to massacre ducks, then would re-appear months later smelling of bird guts, watery foulness, gunpowder, and Red Virginia fumes, happily burbling something unintelligible, before switching to Fribourg and Treyer.

It was good stuff. But I never stockpiled it. There are several other tobaccos that I will happily smoke, including Sam Gawith's flakes, and many blends from Greg Pease -- enjoying Fillmore presently, from the very last tin that was at the store -- and there are numerous tobaccos with which I need to re-acquaint myself in any case. VaPers as well as Orientals.

Martin opened a tin of McClellands No. 12 today.

Last time I smoked that was years ago.

Very. Many. Years. Ago.

Shan't mention how many, because on the off-chance a sweet young thing is reading this looking for a mature pipe-smoker with a very neat beard and a civilized way of speaking, who bathes regularly, I don't want her to think that I'm older than Jayzus and skip me.
I am not an antique!

On the other hand, if you are a male pipe smoker who found this essay while looking for Red Cake, I am very sorry. You should investigate other products. Both Best Brown Flake and Golden Glow (Sam Gawith) are very good, and Greg's pressed stuff is exceptional. You're probably already familiar with Union Square, but you should try Fillmore (flake; red Virginia and Perique), Stonehenge Flake (Virginias and smidges of Burley and Perique), and Regents Flake (Virginias and a touch of the Turk).
In fact, most of the Fog City Selection is your cup of tea.
Truly lovely tobaccos, and very easy to smoke.


Dinner, upon returning home, consisted of a rubbed-rind Belgian-style cheese, crispy dry bread, very strong tea, and a wee nip of Scotch. Brother, it is colder than a witches tit outside. I've got a sweater over a sweater. What happened to our fine spring-like weather? I hate the cold!

This frigid wind is beastly, positively Canadian.

I am a tropical hot house flower.
Coddle me with warmth.


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