Monday, January 17, 2022


Two statements stick in my head this morning: 1) "Mercury is in retrograde"; 2) "Many of my favourite people are older than their Bourbon". The first is virtually meaningless. Mercury (the planet) has no effect on your life, because astrology is horsepucky, we live in a heliocentric solar system and all planets will at some point seem like they are backtracking. None of them have any effect on your life whatsoever except the one you are on. If you choose to believe any of that astropucky, then more power to you. I am a chiropractor and have a bridge for sale.

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For faster service, a credit card number with cvc and expiration date are especially useful.]

The second phrase highlights that at a certain point many people you know will be heading into old age, and making creaky sounds when they walk. Or might be deceased.

Yesterday one of my favourite people and his dog dropped by the saltmines. Like many people older than anyone under forty years of age, he likes tobacco. And, though a pipe smoker, he admits to not being very picky.

"Any tobacco will do, I can't tell the difference anyhow."

Years ago I listened to another pipe man disquisition about the pleasant past time. "This leaf was picked during a dark phase of the moon by a virgin dancing widdershins. It performs best in a straightgrain from a burl harvested in a Bedouine graveyard, carved by a mage in a trance. Notice that dreamy warm amber hue to the lighter wood in between the dark lines?" Naturally, I am rather glad I haven't seen that pretentious dick in years, his type are quite as dreary as the people into Lord Of The Rings or the Sherlock Holmes stories who have taken up pipe smoking. The old fellow whose taste buds are on the wane is far preferable.

One of the bowls I smoked recently absolutely sang it was so nice.
Absolutely dreamy. No idea whether it was Gandalfian.
Whether or not a severely emotionally stunted neurotic fictional detective would have liked it was entirely immaterial. The tobacco mixture was sixty percent Red Virginia flake, with Bright, Burley, and Turkish to tweak the edges. I have NO idea about the grain patterns of the briar itself, because I had rusticated the outside of the bowl years ago.

No virgins danced while harvesting the briar.
Mercury may have been in retrograde.
And something was alive.

Neither Sauron, Gorthu of legend, nor Doctor Watson, the cripple from the Afghan Wars, had anything to do with the making of this pipe or the harvesting of the various tobaccos. There was no "three pipe problem". Lestrade and the horrid Baker Street Hobbits did not come into play. It tastes fine, feels good in the hand, and means another walk around the neighborhood.
If I weren't a pipe smoker I would get almost no exercise whatsoever.

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