Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Gentlemen, you may smoke."

I was turned on to cigars as a young man. I really don't recall what it was that originally attracted me to them. Various members of my family had smoked cigarettes, but I never was enticed. In fact, I have had asthma all my life. Even though I do not recall what the trigger was for my fascination with cigars, I have always enjoyed the ritual and relaxation of cigar smoking.

Cigar smoking is an art form. Of course, anyone who has even the slightest bit of knowledge about cigars knows of Cigar Aficionado (and it is a great place to acquire knowledge about cigars); but, my favorite place to go bone up on new manufacturers and blends is at Bryan Glynn's Mr. Glynn always does a fantastic job of reviewing everything in the cigar world. Also, Mr. Glynn is easily accessible and quick to respond to any questions that you throw at him. He has an impeccable pallet. I have smoked a lot of the same cigars that Mr. Glynn has reviewed, and I can never come close to pulling out the tasting notes that he can. I have never cared that much about being able to note all the subtle nuances in cigar flavors (or, for that matter, wine and other things of like kind). I am kind of like the eldest Padron, in that, he never goes into much detail when describing a great cigar, simply stating that a cigar is either a "good cigar" or a "bad cigar." The Padron's make one of the best cigars out there, if not, arguably, THE best.

Along with the Padron series, I like: Rocky Patel, Fuente (who makes the Opus X), Padilla (mostly the higher end brands), God of Fire, and the My Father blends, just to name a few. The most recent Cigar of the Year, from Cigar Aficionado, is one that I really want to try: the Cohiba Behike BHK 52. It looks absolutely beautiful and seems to meet the tasting notes that I really enjoy in a more mild cigar, as I tend to regularly go for the more peppery, full-bodied sticks. However, in part due to the trade embargo with Cuba and in part due to winning Cigar of the Year for 2010, the Cohiba Behike BHK 52 is not only illegal in America but extremely pricey. Google it.

While we are talking price, of course, everyone wants to know which cigar is the most expensive cigar in the world. Well, that kind of depends. Gurkha His Majesty Reserve Churchill is listed upwards of $12,000 for a box of 20. As to exclusivity, there are various places that sell vintage cigars dating back almost 100 years. So, it depends on how you define expense. If you are looking for a place to find a deal, is a great place to go and bid on a full range of cigars and cigar accessories. The Leon Jimenes 300 is a great, inexpensive smoke. It was supposed to be one of the higher priced cigars when it was first released not so long ago, but, for various reasons has fallen to quite affordable prices.

For a true gentleman, there is nothing quite like the relaxing side effects of a smooth bourbon whiskey and nice cigar. Cheers!

For more on the Cohibe Behike BHK 52:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Restore America Now: Ron Paul 2012

Let's face it, Ron Paul should have received the Republican nomination last election cycle. However, this might be the better time for him to run. . . .

Some things come along in life that are so suitable for a problem or innovative in their approach that is takes everyone a little time to understand that such is the fact of the matter. Such was the case with Ron Paul in 2008. America needs a President perfectly suited for our times that can attack them with - what might seem to us now - as confusing innovation. To be sure, we cannot afford (figuratively and literally) to place another "American Idol" candidate in the White House to maintain the current, steady downward spiral in which we are heading. To repeat the same mistakes whilst expecting different results is insane. We have had time to let the message of Ron Paul digest and we have suffered enough from the mistakes of the uninformed vote. We should be wiser now; and, we should act differently this election cycle. It seems a likely outcome, this go-round.

America is waking up to the danger of re-electing Barack Obama or someone of his ilk (Republican or Democrat), because they are starting to feel it where it hurts: their pocketbooks. I really do not feel it necessary to argue the particulars (though I am capable of doing so); but, Barack Obama, with a lot less unavoidable global struggle than past administrations (both Republican or Democrat), has done (and is continuing to do) a dreadful job as President -- even his starry-eyed cheerleaders are having to admit it. The polls do not lie: Daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Ron Paul is the man we need right now in the Oval Office. He is appealing to both parties and he carries a message that is both practical and necessary for times such as these.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Who Gives a F*ck About an Oxford Comma? Me.

Oxford University's Style Guide just decided to drop the Oxford comma, or serial comma. If you don't know what I'm talking about it is the comma that often has come before the final "and" in a sentence (among other examples). Most lazy business folk abstain for using it -- probably out of efficiency (wankers). While working for a well known auto parts manufacturer in the General Counsel's Office, here in Va., I have often encountered such non-usage. Given my legal education, and constant use of the serial comma, I often found it irritating when some over-priced executive would write up a report, which I had to double-check for its legality, leaving out the serial comma. Many times I found myself editing the serial comma into various places where the slack-jawed business school graduate would omit it.

Listen, it is not that hard to add the Oxford comma into the sequence of sentence endings. Moreover, and most importantly, it is a fool-proof way of being absolutely clear. Granted, it is not that hard - at lest for those who have a legal education - to recognize the separation without the Oxford comma (and, therefore, clear meaning of the ending sequence) at the final point of the sentence. This, however, is not the point. The fact is, the serial comma is very helpful and, in fact, much more clear than without it; especially for the common man. It should stay in the Oxford Style Guide; and, regardless, those (which are many) who are like me will continue to use it, as it rightfully deserves to be used.

Who gives a f*ck about the Oxford comma? Well, Vampire Weekend (of course) . . . and so do I.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ill Communication

Sorry for the inability to post much for what has been quite some time. I am busy finishing up my Juris Doctorate. I graduate May 14, 2011 and start bar exam review the following Monday, so things will likely continue to be as slow moving forward.

Now, for the purpose of this post, I could not resist. I am a lover a many different music genres. I keep my radio tuned to National Public Radio for the majority of the time. But, being an American male, within the last century I have been exposed and have enjoyed many different styles of music. One area of tension (for me) is with rap/hip hop. Granted it is not as "classy" as the cognoscenti of the Italian opera scene; but, when done right, it does have its place in the gentleman's repertoire.

One of the most recent justifiable boastings of the rap/hip hop culture is the release of the Beastie Boys' new album "Hot Sauce Committee Part 2" ( The Beastie Boys have been - and continue to be - one of rap/hip hop's most prized possessions. To be sure, it is an acquired taste. Like anything worth wanting, the Beastie Boys - and their music - deserves special appreciation. And what better way to prove it than with the recent cast compiled for their new "music video" celebrating their new release. I use quotations to imply that it is not just that. That is, the Beastie Boys' new "music video" is rather a short feature film with an all-star cast seldom rivaled by many Oscar nominated flicks. Enjoy the humor, respect the talent.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


“We're in a lot of trouble!

So, a rich little man with white hair died. What has that got to do with the price of rice, right? And why is that woe to us? Because you people, and sixty-two million other Americans, are listening to me right now. Because less than three percent of you people read books! Because less than fifteen percent of you read newspapers! Because the only truth you know is what you get over this tube. Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn't come out of this tube! This tube is the Gospel, the ultimate revelation. This tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers... This tube is the most awesome force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls in to the hands of the wrong people, and that's why woe is us that a rich little man with white hair died. And when the twelfth largest company in the world controls the most awesome propaganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what trash will be peddled for truth on this network?

So, you listen to me. Listen to me: Television is not the truth! Television is a amusement park! Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats, storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, side-show freaks, lion tamers, and football players. We're in the boredom-killing business! So if you want the truth... Go to God! Go to your gurus! Go to yourselves! Because that's the only place you're ever going to find any real truth.

But, man, you're never going to get any truth from us. We'll tell you anything you want to hear; we lie like hell. We'll tell you that Kojak always gets the killer, or that nobody ever gets cancer at Archie Bunker's house, and no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don't worry, just look at your watch; at the end of the hour he's going to win. We'll tell you any trash you want to hear. We deal in illusions, man! None of it is true! But you people sit there, day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds... We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality, and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you! You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you eventhink like the tube! This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God's name, you people are the real thing! WE are the illusion! So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off! Turn them off right in the middle of the sentence I'm speaking to you now! TURN THEM OFF!”

-Howard Beale

Network, 1976

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Finally . . . some CALM

It looks like, at long last, the Congress has finally done something worth mention. With all the hubbub about healthcare, the economy, and a vast number of other causes that need attention, the Congress has finally passed the CALM Act, and so shines a good deed in a weary world. There is nothing more irritating than watching a Seinfeld episode at a reasonable volume only to be rudely interrupted by an obscenely loud commercial about toilet tissue paper.

All of us in the know, indeed, know that for all the work that is done in this nation's capital, little is done in the way of practical importance. Sure, there is some work to be done on the healthcare issues, tax issues, and, well, the list goes on ad infinitum. Through the darkness comes this welcome relief. This past December our present President, Mr. Obama, did something worth mention. He signed into law the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act. Here is a link to the FCC's webpage on the subject and how to deal with the problem until the regulations take effect:

The White House said that the bill would require the Federal Communications Commission to prescribe a limitation to the volume of commercials transmitted by television broadcast stations, cable operators, and other multichannel video programming distributors. From what I have come to understand, this means that the commercial volumes cannot in anywise be louder than the program one is currently viewing. That is, all volume, across the board, has to be at one level. So if you, like me, happen to drift off to sleep on the couch with History playing, you will not, at least by the mere volume, of the electric abdominal cruncher, be blasted awake. Who said that the government could not accomplish anything? I, for one, have to take issue with that sentiment in light of the current progress with CALM. What was once a dream has become a reality.