Thur. Nov. 9, 2023 – still not quite right…

Cool to start, warming later, and some chance of rain. It didn’t rain on my yesterday, but there were dark clouds in various places at various times. I think today might be even more threatening.

I did do my pickups, after emptying my pickup. Got some building materials. Got some household stuff. Got some stuff for the BOL. Picked up the kid and did her stuff in the late afternoon.

Started listening to the audiobook for “Live and let Die” by Ian Fleming… It’s an interesting timecapsule. 1 ounce gold coins from pirate treasure were only $20 each. Bond rides an express train from NYC to Florida. The word “negress” is used more than once… The whole modern EMS and hospital system doesn’t exist. Q smokes a pipe, Bond smokes 3 packs of Chesterfields a day and drinks Old Grandad. I’m 2/3 of the way through the story and I’ll probably finish it while driving around today.

I’ve got some driving to do to pickup a few more things.

One thing that I’ve been noticing and thinking about is “where did all the pipe smokers go, and WHY?” Every old story has most of the men smoking pipes. I just finished listening to Ann of Green Gables, and there is mention of it. Ian Fleming mentions it in what, 1959?. The book of bohemian poetry I was reading mentions it constantly. My uncle smoked in the 70s. Many of the dads involved in scouting when I was a kid smoke pipes. You used to see signs prohibiting “pipe and cigar smoking” while allowing cigarette smoking. Almost every old advert featured a man outdoors smoking a pipe, all the entertainers did, and frequently had pipe models named after them. Pipe racks and humidor jars were common in homes.

As I learn more about pipe smoking, estate pipe buying, selling, and refurbishing, I’m struck by the number of brands and manufacturers. There were hundreds in the US alone. Where did the smokers go, and why? When and why did smoking a pipe go away while cigarette smoking flourished? I was the wrong age during the transition, so I didn’t particularly notice, but maybe some of you did and can comment.

I’ll add that there are still enough pipe smokers that my HEB has pipe tobacco and cleaners in the locked tobacco merchandise area with the rest of the smoking stuff. There are dozens of youtube channels dedicated to the pipe despite not being able to monetize them, and the youtube demographic for pipe hobbyists is definitely “younger men”. From the content and comments they clearly think it’s part of lost manhood and better days. So as an observer of culture, and being suspicious by nature, I ask “what changed?”

I’ll offer this observation- pipe smoking is relaxing and contemplative. You do it too fast, hard, or carelessly and you burn your mouth and tongue. Cigarette smoking is NOT relaxing, had a lot more nicotine, and is chemically habit forming. Cigars have a more ‘celebratory’ feel, have always been the symbol of success, and ‘fat cats’ or wealth, while pipe smoking has been the realm of the common man. The corn cob pipe is ubiquitous in US folklore and history. There was a huge cultural shift, and most people didn’t notice.

From a prepper standpoint, smoking tobacco is easiest to prep for with pipe smoking. The tobacco can remain sealed without ill effect (and with some benefit from aging) for years, maybe even longer. Pipes are simple and can be made from almost anything. Treated well, they also last for years, and can be refurbished. Pipe tobacco is much cheaper, in general, than cigars or cigarettes judged by amount of smoking time per dollar too.

Whether you approve or disapprove of smoking in general and or in particular, people have been doing it for a long time, and will likely continue. As a trade good it grew the wealth of nations and changed the course of history. Liquor, tobacco, sugar, coffee, and spice. Those were the things people wanted, were willing to risk everything for, and they are currently astonishingly cheap compared to any other time in history.

Think about it for a bit, then put that in your pipe and smoke it…

Consider your stacks of ‘trade goods’ and luxuries… and then decide if you need or want to add something, and stack it high.


NB- of course Robert smoked a pipe, but I left him off the list because he didn’t stop.

50 Comments and discussion on "Thur. Nov. 9, 2023 – still not quite right…"

  1. Al Larson says:

    I smoked pipes since I was 19, and quit when I had open heart surgery 4 months ago.  I suppose there will be people wondering what those things are at my estate sale.  (I should live 15 or 20 years more since I got the CABG before  the widow maker heart attack.)

  2. Brad says:

    My dad smoked a pipe. The tobacco must somehow be perfumed? Anyway, it smells very different from cigarette or cigar smoke. Fond memories whenever I catch a whiff.

    Which, now that Nick mentions it, is very rare nowadays.

  3. Greg Norton says:

    Anytime I see someone smoking a pipe in public, I think of Church of the SubGenius.

    To most in my generation, coming of age when every mall had a “smoke shop”, the pipe was an accessory of authority figures long past their sell-by date.

  4. ITGuy1998 says:

    My grandfather smoked a pipe. The smell is definitely a strong memory trigger, as I get a flashback to standing in his living room as a young boy, with the smell of his pipe filling the air.

  5. ITGuy1998 says:

    To most in my generation, coming of age when every mall had a “smoke shop”

    Oh my, now that you said that, I can remember the local mall back home had one. I can see the image of the entrance in my mind right now…

  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    @greg, yes, the old ham radio guy who still smoked a pipe, wore suspenders and a beard was a stereotype.  The video world had the same guy- the greybeard…   but WHY did it change?  How did something so pervasive become so rare?   And, it looks like that didn’t happen outside the US to the same extent…

    @brad, there are two types of pipe tobacco, aromatic, and non-aromatic.   The non-aromatic are purely tobacco blends, no matter how good or bad they smell, there is only tobacco and a thin coating to help with moisture control.   Aromatics have additional flavoring agents added to the blend, sprayed on usually.   The best selling blends in the world and what you are most likely to recognize from the past are aromatics.   Capt. Black, Prince Albert, Velvet…


  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    @al larson, there will be people fighting over the pipes, old tobacco, and assorted accessories if trends continue…   or someone like me who secretly thrills to have scored them cheap!


  8. ITGuy1998 says:

    I wonder if the decline is a result of the anti-smoking push? Didn’t that really get going in the 80’s? Collateral damage, so to speak?

  9. MrAtoz says:

    I hear Obola “smokes” a “pipe” now and then. Had to to there.

  10. Greg Norton says:

    I hear Obola “smokes” a “pipe” now and then. Had to to there.

    I remember a running meme on Letterman for a few weeks in the 80s involved the label “pipe smoker”, following a “Dave’s Video Collection” segment featuring a clip from an early-80s “how to” VHS on how to smoke a pipe properly and “greet fellow brothers of the briar”.

    I believe the line was, “You can always identify a fellow pipe smoker…”

    This was back when Letterman and Carson were responsible for 50% of NBC’s revenue, directly or indirectly, and even the smallest comment on someting, positive or negative, had serious social impact.

    Maybe Letterman ended pipe smoking. That gag lingered for a while. Before he got on the meds and involved with the mistress, Dave despised affectations and authority figures.

    BTW, on the subject of “Big Mike”, is (s)he on the speaking tour this week? I have a specific reason I ask the gathered braintrust.

  11. Nick Flandrey says:

    I wonder if the decline is a result of the anti-smoking push?  

    – maybe collateral damage as all tobacco use declined, but cigarettes continued to be popular for decades.

    It may have just gone underground.  I was surprised that two of my non-prepping hobby group outed themselves as pipe smokers to me after I bought a pipe at our annual swap o rama…   It’s not a big group, to have 2 of 30 or so core members, now three, as pipe smokers.   Of course that could be self selection, as  my hobby also focuses on older things.


  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    As predicted.

    “Window Is Closing” To Defeat Hamas As World Opinion Turns: Former Israel PM

    “It’s clear we are heading towards friction with the Americans about the offensive. America cannot dictate to Israel what to do. But we cannot ignore them,” Barak said.

     – wonder how much of that “world opinion” is influenced by Saudi and Soros money?


  13. SteveF says:

    You can always identify a fellow pipe smoker…


  14. Roger Ritter says:

    It may just be the convenience factor. To smoke a cigarette, you just pull it out and light it. A pipe involves the pipe, pouch of tobacco, cleaning/tamping tool, and time to manipulate all of those. It’s a more contemplative and intricate process. Maybe folks just didn’t have the time so cigarettes replaced the pipe like fast food places replaced sit-down restaurants.

  15. Greg Norton says:

    You can always identify a fellow pipe smoker…


    The actors in the video were obviously gay so the implication of the source material was a ‘gaydar’ type mechanism at work, which added to the hilarity of the bit.

  16. nick flandrey says:

    As a data point, I went thru this week’s “circulars”, the ads from local stores that come in the mailbox.   They are greatly reduced in size from pre-wuflu… when they were two full newspaper sized sheets, ie. two sheets, 8 ‘pages’, with an additional strip that folded back on the page to give even more print space.   They have been getting smaller, but this week Kroger is a single 8 ½ x 11 sheet.  Even the mexican markets are down to a single half sheet (2 ‘pages’).  One is printed as if it had the additional folded back strip, but it’s not physically there.

    IDK if they decided that print ads don’t work, or if they just don’t have that many items on sale, or if there is some other reason, but the size of the circulars has been steadily shrinking, and suddenly the rate accelerated.   

    I think it’s a lack of sale items, and a desire to not scare customers off with printed high prices.


  17. Lynn says:

    Sixth they refused to give me: the girlfriend’s address, any employment data on Gregg, his wallet or drivers license, and any financial data.  I only had her last name because she and Peyton’s mother were both realtors in California.  Any details about the truck or its location. They completely ignored any questions about his guns; I only got blank stares.

    Bob, I get a bad feeling that you do not want to know what your son was doing in life.   He was obviously very unhappy about something.  Best to just move on.  

    Actually, I am surprised that you got notified.  Usually these situations are kept very quiet and nobody knows anything.

  18. Lynn says:

    To most in my generation, coming of age when every mall had a “smoke shop”, the pipe was an accessory of authority figures long past their sell-by date.

    I’ve got three Vape Shops within three miles of my house.  I hate that stuff, it smells nasty.  Every since my first heart attack, all cigarettes, cigars, and vaping smell very off to me.

  19. nick flandrey says:

    I’ve got far more than 3 vape shops just within walking distance.  Considering the amount of nicotine you get, the sketchy origin of the chemicals you are vaping, and the addictive nature of the juice, a conspiracy theorist might wonder why it was ever allowed to be legal, since tobacco is the ultimate super bad…    after all, tobacco is SO BAD that OSHA won’t release exposure limits for the workplace…  and they have allowable exposures for some truly terrifying things.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest it’s the money to be made, and the kids they’ll get hooked for a lifetime of use…


  20. Lynn says:

    Pearls Before Swine:  Rat Is A Sensitivity Reader

    No wonder why so many authors are moving to the self publishing of their works.  

    And, everything Rat is involved with is a scam so this must be a scam somehow.

  21. drwilliams says:

    “The high interest rates which are crippling green energy and EV supply chains are largely due to energy price inflation, which is a direct consequence of green obsessed regulatory hostility towards fossil fuel. Green energy policies are directly driving the demise of the green energy industry.”

  22. Craig in TX says:

    My wife likes having an Alexa device and echo dots around the house.  The Alexa device is nice for video chats with the grandkids.  The echo dots are small enough to sit unobtrusively on nightstands and the bathroom counter.  They are handy for checking the temperature and for playing music.

    Today one went wild.  I asked for the weather (to decide if I would wear short pants or jeans).  It started farting.  It asked if I wanted random farts or I could request certain farts.  It even offered to play “Mr Fartman”.  I fell for it and that is a reggae song that I stopped after a few seconds.

    I particularly would like to know if Ray Thompson knows anything about what is happening.  I consider him a fart expert and he may also know if this is the beginning of “the revolt of the machines”.

  23. drwilliams says:

    In later years The Day of the Farts was used to mark the end of The Crazy Years and the beginning of The Burning Earth. 

  24. SteveF says:

    know if this is the beginning of “the revolt of the machines

    The world will end not with a bang but with a pfffffft.

  25. Nick Flandrey says:

    Do machine farts smell like hot oil?   I for one welcome our robotic overlords…


  26. drwilliams says:

    Perry Rhodan Episode 527943 Our Masters from Uranus

  27. drwilliams says:

    If you ever get into a conversation with an astronomer who wants to brag up how smart their community is, stop him and ask “now let me get this straight, is was you guys that named Uranus?”

  28. Nick Flandrey says:

    They are NPCs just waiting fir the next thing to  be downloaded to their skulls.


  29. Gavin says:

    the decline is a result of the anti-smoking push? 

    Any possible correlation with the rise of vaping? I also smoked a pipe in my younger years, but realized I was far too impatient to use a pipe properly. Went back to cigarettes. Much later, I tried vaping, as much from the fiddling with a gadget factor as from any desire to switch from tobacco. I note that there is a sub-community of vapers who do custom mods on their vaping device, with reams of advice and opinions about the best chassis, heater, battery etc. as well as the ‘flavor’ crowd who concentrate on variations of vape liquid, both with and without nicotine (or THC if you’re so inclined).

    NB I no longer smoke anything, I finally decided I didn’t like the increasing aftertaste, or the cost, or the health impact, or the vastly increased tax burden. But tobacco taxes is a whole other issue.

  30. brad says:

    wonder how much of that “world opinion” is influenced by Saudi and Soros money?

    I don’t think that’s even necessary. It is sufficient to live a sheltered life, as almost everyone in the West does. Your average journalist, or politician, or generic civilian has absolutely no concept of what war is like.

    The Palestinian civilians are “refugees”, which is a concept they are at least familiar with. The Israelis are the ones currently using weapons. It all fits into a familiar, comfortable formula: weapon wielders are the bad guys, refugees are the good guys. That’s the way public sentiment is trending. Israel needs to achieve their main objectives soon. Another week, two at most, and they will be forced to some sort of a ceasefire.

    Gaza isn’t very big, only a few miles long. Any civilians who wanted to get out, have gone south. Anyone who is left in the northern part is either a combatant, or supporting the combatants. Legitimate targets, all of them.

    Stepping back: none of this is going to help with the big picture. The problem was created in 1947, along with Israel. Displace the people living on the land, and they will resent you. The surrounding Arab countries refused to absorb the displaced people, because doing so would remove pressure on Israel and signal acceptance. The situation has built up pressure over nearly 80 years, and it is only going to get worse.

  31. Nick Flandrey says:

    Well the rain came.   In buckets and sheets.   Northwest and far east sides getting it at the same time, while the middle was fine.

    I got caught in it so bad I couldn’t tell building from sky.

    It’s better now at home, but man o man, I didn’t like driving on narrow streets with a deep ditch on the side.


  32. Nick Flandrey says:

    At least the pictures from Gaza should finally put an end to the lying by calling it a “camp”.


  33. Greg Norton says:

    The dumbest generation in a century. “I need something to be incensed about!”

    The girls want to do something important so they don’t start considering the possibility that they are wasting the parents’ money on that BA in History.

    The guys just want to get laid.

    Nothing changes.

  34. Nick Flandrey says:

    Gun horror in Madrid as former head of Spain’s People’s Party, 78, is ambushed and shot in the face by two hitmen on motorbike 


    Alejo Vidal-Quadras was shot in the Salamanca area of central Madrid at 1:30pm and taken to hospital. Vidal-Quadras, 78, was the head of the centre-right People’s Party in Catalonia.

    – ah, DM, it’s not a “gun horror” it’s an attempted assassination, FFS.   

    I believe I might have mentioned that assassination seemed to be back on the table.   maybe a new Jackal will arise…


  35. Nick Flandrey says:

    Trolls say my face tattoos are ‘dumb’ and the reason I’m single – but I love my unique look

    • A woman has hit back trolls who say her face tattoos are the reason she’s single 

    – nah, it’s your personality.  The tattoos are just a symptom and a visible warning…


  36. MrAtoz says:

    Well, well. MrsAtoz just got a gig for next week in Trinidad and Tobago. We leave out of Miami next Wednesday. We’ll spend the night with a friend in Fort Lauderdale the day before. Friend will drive us to Miami.

    Once again, I fly over the ocean. I pray there are no water landings with circling sharks. MrsAtoz has a good friend who got us the gig. Said friend works all around the Carribean in education. Goobermint cash, sweet, sweet, cash.

    I’ll be “Captain Dunsel” on this trip, so I only travel with a travel backpack.

  37. Lynn says:

    “I’m Going to Say It”

    “CNN is allied with Hamas, and had foreknowledge of the October 7 attacks, making CNN a terrorist organization. I can excuse what Hamas did as an act of unrestricted warfare. However, CNN is not fighting a war unless they want to claim Hamas as their allies.”

    I don’t know what to say.  This is a whole new level of crazy.

    I suspect that people will find out who they were and slowly cancel them.

  38. Lynn says:

    “‘Beat that f**kin’ Jew!’ UCLA students batter Netanyahu piñata”

    “Pro-Hamas University of California Los Angeles students concealed their faces Wednesday to batter a blue piñata bearing an image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

    I wonder when California is going to secede from the Union ?

  39. Nick Flandrey says:

    CNN  sold out to Saddam in order to stay in Baghdad during Gulf War I.    They’ve had no credibility since.


  40. Ken Mitchell says:

    I wonder when California is going to secede from the Union ?

    Soon, I hope, because Cacafornia’s secession would make the Democraps a far-left splinter party.  Without CA’s electoral votes, the Dims could never win an election again. And in 20-30 years, we can reclaim it as two or three new territories, and split it up. 

  41. Mark W says:

    – nah, it’s your personality.  The tattoos are just a symptom and a visible warning…


    It’s toktik name is the misery fairy. Says it all. Waves it’s wand and brings misery to all.

    I didn’t want to assume its gender.

  42. Robert "Bob" Sprowl says:

    Doing OK.  Left Reno early this morning; I didn’t want to deal with that woman now and say something stupid.

    Took care of my business at he Solano County court house by12:15 and made two stops in Vallejo and was on the road to Visalia around 1:40.  In Modesto for the night.  

  43. Greg Norton says:

    I wonder when California is going to secede from the Union ?

    Too late. The cancer has spread to Texas.

    Every single proposition at the state and county level passed where I live.

    In four years, an income tax will be on the ballot.

  44. Greg Norton says:

    – nah, it’s your personality.  The tattoos are just a symptom and a visible warning…

    I was in Wisconsin this week. The Wine Moms have moved on to neck tattoos there.

    I’ll write up some of the wacked out things I saw/heard when I get a chance.

    Belly of the beast.

  45. Lynn says:

    I was in Wisconsin this week. The Wine Moms have moved on to neck tattoos there.

    I’ll write up some of the wacked out things I saw/heard when I get a chance.

    Belly of the beast.

    So, you are saying that Wisconsin is no longer a battleground state ?

  46. Nick Flandrey says:

    Wisconsin is controlled by the mob, with a large jewish contingent, and a shiteload of fraud.   Dunno how I’d call it…


  47. Lynn says:

    “Chamberlain blocks smart garage door opener from working with smart homes”

    “Chamberlain packed its app with ads while disabling third-party access.”

    “Chamberlain Group—the owner of most of the garage door opener brands like LiftMaster, Chamberlain, Merlin, and Grifco—would like its customers to stop doing smart home things with its “myQ” smart garage door openers. The company recently issued a statement decrying “unauthorized usage” of its smart garage door openers. That’s “unauthorized usage” by the people who bought the garage door opener, by the way. Basically, Chamberlain’s customers want to trigger the garage door and see its status through third-party smart home apps, and Chamberlain doesn’t want that.”

    Well, that sucks. I am sticking with Genie.

  48. Lynn says:

    “Hansen’s latest overheated global warming claims are based on poor science”

    “James Hansen’s latest paper “Global warming in the pipeline” (Hansen et al. (2023)) has already been heavily criticized in a lengthy comment by Michael Mann, author of the original IPCC ‘hockey stick’. However Mann does not deal with Hansen’s surprisingly high (4.8°C) new estimate of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS)[1]. This ECS estimate is 60% above Hansen’s longstanding[2] previous estimate of 3°C. It is Hansen’s new, very high ECS estimate drives, in conjunction with various questionable subsidiary assumptions, his paper’s dire predictions of high global warming and its more extreme concluding policy recommendations, such as ‘solar radiation management’ geoengineering.”

    “Hansen’s new 4.8°C ECS estimate is well above the best estimate of 3°C reached in the IPCC’s latest scientific assessment report (AR6), lies outside the AR6 likely (66%) range of 2.5–4°C and is almost at the top of the AR6 90% uncertainty range of 2–5°C.[3]

    Junk Science.

  49. brad says:

    “Chamberlain blocks smart garage door opener from working with smart homes”

    Just had an adventure with our opener. The door wasn’t closing all the way, so I had a look. It had one of those interfaces: Tiny display and three buttons that you press, to program a zillion different menus. To get to various options, you press the button a certain number of times, or hold them for certain numbers of seconds. Gack.

    I need to go back and have another look – I saw a WiFi symbol in one of the menus. If one could do this via a web-page it would be easier. Of course, entering network settings with those buttons will be really exciting…

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