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I'm not rich and I'm never going to be. That means as a quality tobacco smoker, I have to choose what I buy carefully. Generally speaking I keep about a hundred tobaccos on hand. 10% of them aromatics, 50% of them English blends, and and the rest Virginia and American blends. Like all good pipe smokers, I love buying new tobacco. And I keep many cans of unopened tobacco that I've never tried before, so I can always turn an average day into a pretty good day. Cobs are without a doubt my favorite type of pipe for many reasons, mostly the practicality. I prefer to spend my extra money on tobacco and not pipes. I have fancy pipes too (mostly gifts) however they stay at home or I will lose them. I prefer to smoke pipes when I am alone, and sometimes around extended family. I cannot stand pretentious pipe smokers, but I do understand that most of us started out that way.
Furthermore. My reviews aren't very technical. I do not analyze tobacco, instead I give an impression. And for the person who is about to purchase tobacco, I think that is much more valuable. I try to just explained to the reader why I like a particular tobacco, in my own words. Reviews that I write are aimed at the seasoned and new non aromatic tobacco smoker. If it seems like my reviews are overwhelmingly positive and I just give everything a good review, there's a reason for that. It's because I tend to mostly review tobacco that I like.
I am a single dad who lives in the Clearfield mountains of Pennsylvania. I spend my springs planting a garden, fishing, and getting vehicles inspected. Summertime is more gardening, home improvement, canning and processing vegetables. In the fall we split quite a bit of wood, and do some hunting. In the winter we plow snow, drink tea, sit by the fire and wait for spring.
I learned the hobby of pipe smoking from my dad. When I was little I would stand on the plow while he plowed the garden. The plow always needed some extra weight on it. I fondly remember him driving the tractor with a corn cob pipe hanging out of his mouth. Like me, he was an electrician. On the way home from work he would always smoke a pipe in his truck, or in a celebratory way on completion of a project. His name was Hank, and all of the people who respected and loved him, expected him to be smoking a pipe.
I suppose I've taken the hobby much farther than my dad did. Obviously my tobacco storage is monstrous compared to what he kept. But, I think in my middle age I finally understand what my father understood about pipe smoking. Pipe smokers are fortunate. Because they discover an extra way to enjoy life that most humans never find. It's all about the taste of tobacco. And if you smoke good tobacco long enough, and you are patient. You find a hidden world of flavors. Flavors that can't be found anywhere else. And it takes a learned pallet. Ultimately pipe smoking is about discovery, and a little bit of accomplishment. Nuanced flavors and subtle characteristics become our stock in trade. And on a personal level, we pipe smokers have a way to extract a little bit more enjoyment out of life than the average Joe.
Paul Mileski: Father, Electrician, Electrical instructor, Pipe smoker, Marksman, Gardener, Back woods Gourmet, Protector of baby birds and toads