Sunday, July 17, 2022


Spent most of today finishing up a collection of about thirty pipes that had come in during the last week. The pipesmoker to whom they had belonged had taken very good care of them, so the bowls hardly needed any work. And he had been a gently clenching sort, so other than some oxidation the stems were is excellent shape. So I was at the buffing wheel most of the day, having soaked the stems yesterday and the day before. Some of the pipes were lovely pieces. Unique. I have no idea what kind of tobacco he had smoked.

While doing that, I enjoyed three bowls of tobacco in my own pipes. Almost zen-like state.
I'm in the zone, far out, like wow.

When I left the house an hour ago for an after dinner smoke, I could see across the street a Cantonese woman (fully dressed) in the same room as a nearly naked white guy.
Who is, I believe, significant. But needs to put some pants on.
That was not as zen-like state inducing.
I wasn't in the zone.

Briar, if not handled in a long time also oxidizes, and has a surface dullness. A touch-up with the buffer brings it back to life. His widow had left them in bubblewrap baggies, because he had loved them, and after several years finally decided to let go. Now other pipe smokers will be able to enjoy them, as they deserve to be. Some of the pipes I've cleaned up over the years have been so thoroughly abused that bringing them back is like saving the damned and there have been a few where I was tempted to call a priest so we could have an exorcism. A few of those are still being "enjoyed" by the original owners.

They often look dull and sodden. They need a rest.

Boys, your pipes are NOT supposed to be a toxic waste dump on a stalk sticking out of your face. Use pipe cleaners. Often. Rotate your smokers regularly so that they are fresh the next time you fill them. Avoid aromatics; decent tobacco does not smell like a French brothel, and surely you understand that cherry-watermelon-vanilla is not natural but unclean additions.
If you smoke English / Balkan blends, think in terms of a three or four days minimum airing after each smoke. Viginias and Virginia Periques leave less noticeable funk, but evenso, two or three days rest is good for the briar.

[This means that if you are a regular smoker you may need at least a dozen pipes. I have many more than that. So do many other pipe smokers. There's always one more that you didn't know you needed.]

Most of today's pipes glowed when I was finished.
My own pipes, of course, are spotless.
Because I'm neurotic.

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