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Thread: Smoking Quirks

  1. #1
    Moderator Brooklin Bill's Avatar
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    Smoking Quirks

    I have to do certain things when I smoke my pipe. I would gather I'm not alone in this regard. Here are some of my quirks.

    1. I have to mentally commit to at least 20 minutes .......without distraction. I talk myself out of many opportunities to grab a pipe because of this.
    2. While smoking my pipe I have to have something else going on while it's fired up; reading books or a newspaper of all things, music, fishing, hobbies or watching something.
    3. I generally don't smoke when I'm around others or talking to other people who of course are non smokers of any kind most of the time. I find it is a distraction for them, ironically not for me.
    4. I consider myself chincey (thrifty) with my tobacco but I will discard it if I've poorly packed it or struck it up too wet.
    5. More than 3-4 relights and I'm losing the enjoyment most of the time. (see # 4).
    6. Usually like something to drink along with it but that ranges anywhere from green tea to ......Scotch - but hardly ever pop drinks.
    The best teachers tell you where to look but not what to see.

  2. #2
    PSU Member coalsmoke's Avatar
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    I agree with you on all points, Bill.
    Russ

    After all of the statistics and reports are finished with, I've come to the conclusion that the only real danger of smoking a pipe is being interrupted.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator HCraven's Avatar
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    Interesting observations, Bill. I have become a little less ritualistic about smoking pipes since I quit smoking cigarettes, so that now I allow myself to be more willing and less fussy about lighting a pipe when I would formerly defer and go for a cig instead. That said, Ii still find that I like to do certain things when I smoke a pipe, such as:

    1. Have a cup of coffee, if I can help it. Otherwise some ice water, a lighter-tasting beer, or a clean tasting drink like a gin and tonic do the trick for me. Heavily carbonated sodas seem to exacerbate tongue bite, IMO, and I personally don't like full-flavored drinks like straight whiskey or heavy beers with my pipe, as the tobacco often clashes with them to my taste. I know that's not a universally held opinion, but that's mine. When I smoke without any accompanying drink, I don't enjoy it as much.

    2. Although I do browse and comment on forum posts while I smoke, sometimes it's distracting to write and I lose my cadence or puff too hard, lessening my enjoyment of a smoke. Reading works best, as does quietly listening to the radio, another near-constant companion while I smoke.

    3. I have learned to smoke under less than ideal conditions, i.e. when I don't have enough time for a full bowl, when engaged in conversation, driving, etc., but I consider that part of learning to be as much a codger as a connoiseur. I often carry a roll-up full of something relatively easy and cheap(ish) to smoke (and often smoke them even at home under "ideal" conditions, too) with a Falcon or small workhorse briar. I still try to make pipe smoking a choice rather than a habit, though. I fear the lack of control I had over cigarettes, even if it's unlikely to get that way with pipes, and I don't get anxious if I don't have the pipe bag with me at all times.

    4. Two things I don't want to live without when I smoke my pipes: softie bits and pipe nails. I've gotten spoiled by not having to bite down directly on vulcanite or (*shudder*) acrylic stems, and although the bulk of them bothers many a pipe smoker, I like the security and comfort of slack-clenching a pipe with a rubber bite guard in place. And bonus, no tooth chatter or chomped-through bits on my pipes.

    Even though I used other kinds of tampers, Czech tools, and pipe knives for a long time, the cheap, humble, ugly, yet elegantly efficient aluminum pipe nail has become a must-have accessory for me. I know, I've preached in the past about letting the weight of the tamper do the work for you, but with a nice light touch, the pipe nail is like a scalpel in the hands of a skilled surgeon when it comes to maintaining a perfect burn, and the dottle spoon is really the only thing you need for everyday clean up.
    Herb

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  4. #4
    PSU Member RP McMurphy's Avatar
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    I have to have a cup of coffee (Cold in summer and Hot in winter) when ever I smoke a pipe.
    I can't be doing anything else because not being a clencher I drool like a Saint Bernard.
    When having a conversation with someone on the phone or in person I crave a pipe and usually have one.
    It's better for me to sit on the porch and relax to have one, if I try to work and smoke I either just puff and don't even sense the taste off it or it gets sat down and goes out.
    And having to constantly relight it, it tends to get nasty tasting and dumped.
    "JUST HONEST HANDMADE SMOKING PIPES"

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    Moderator jimbo44's Avatar
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    Being of an age when one could smoke anywhere - through college lectures, meetings, at your desk at work etc. - I tend to be unconscious of what else is going on and just smoke the pipe without thought.

    Still enjoy more a "special" smoke though when the mood and the stars align.
    Work is the curse of the smoking classes

  6. #6
    PSU Member BillyPM's Avatar
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    Great thread, Bill.

    I usually have coffee or tea with my first bowl of the day, but after that there's no rhyme or reason beverage-wise. Often there will be none.

    While I occasionally get together with a buddy and share a bowl and some blather I generally enjoy smoking alone much more. In company, even good company, I don't really savor the tobacco or pay enough attention to the flavor or the burn. Alone in my nasty old basement lair I can really focus on the pipe and attain that zen-like connection between brain and bowl that make smoking so peaceful for me.

    I am sometimes guilty of dicking around with my phone while smoking, but it's always to the detriment of the experience and I'm trying to wean myself from that. I usually clench and wind up smoking too hot without being aware of it. Since that awareness is pleasurable to my best smokes are when it's just me and the pipe. Gotta learn to leave that phone upstairs.

    I used to DGT almost exclusively, but now rarely do. I have been known to pack a half or even quarter of a bowl when there are time constraints, though. I like the bottom of the bowl too much to dump a partially smoked briar so I try not to have to.

    Don't like softy bits or acrylic, so vulcanite for me. I keep my stems as black as I please, which varies wildly with my mood. Most are not green in the least but not even close to shiny. Except my truck pipe, an Everyman zulu which just looks like crap but smokes fine so far.
    Billy
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  7. #7
    PSU Member Markus1970's Avatar
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    Hello,

    I prefer sitting down for a smoke, but at times I also stand or walk during a lunch break, and then it's the weather rather than the walking, that stops me from smoking a pipe. One building of the compound I work at is a twelve store high rise, and that along with the street going in the main wind direction, leads to peculiar windy conditions throughout the year. So more often nowadays I'd rather take the quickest bus and train combination home instead of leaving time fore a smoke outside work before travelling home.

    At home I usually have both tea and tap water on the side while smoking a pipe. Tea, for me, fits with all tobaccos and brews that I smoke, but coffee needs a stronger tasting smoke to stand its ground.

    More often than not, I'm reading forums or news sites while smoking the pipe, but there is special enjoyment to be had just looking at beautiful surroundings, the garden, or the sea while on holidays, while having a pipe. I can combine the act of smoking a pipe with washing the dishes or the like, but have done so a lot less often recently than in the past. It's not just that other activities distract from the smoking, it's also that clenching a pipe takes a lot of attention away from the manual things I might be doing. So often in such a situation neither the smoke is enjoyed to the full, not the other activity done properly, which given my not overly clever hands, can be struggle even without a pipe going...

    Best wishes
    Markus

  8. #8
    Moderator Brooklin Bill's Avatar
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    Oh yes, I use rubber tippies too. Didn't think of it as a quirk though.
    The best teachers tell you where to look but not what to see.

  9. #9
    PSU Member Simon G's Avatar
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    As someone who who's got a pipe on the go most of the time, never thought about quirks.
    Like most have mentioned pipes are enjoyed most when quiet & on your own. I suppose my quirk is smoking in the bath.
    I consider it more of a luxurious extravagance though, as it doesn't happen very often. Lol. When it does though it's always with a churchwarden & a very strong blend, marvellous!

    @brooklynbill, never heard the expression 'chincey' before. I like it!
    St. Bruno simply satisfies!

  10. #10


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    Haha... yes, I like this thread!

    My quirks:

    1. I always have to smoke at least two pipes at a time. Once one pipe gets warm I transfer over to my other pre-loaded pipe and so on and so forth.

    2. I like to smoke alone! Talking is distracting and I end up losing focus on my smoking resulting in too many relights and just a poor smoke over all.

    3. I like to pair my smokes with a proper drink (I donít drink alcohol) so my drink of choice is either coffee or tea (usually the latter).

    Thatís all Iíve got at the moment. Iím sure I have many more quirks, just nothing coming to mind at the moment.

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