Arturo Fuente Hemingway Classic

Arturo Fuente Hemingway ClassicUp for review again this week is another cigar generously provided by my friends at Cigars Direct. This week we take a look at a Arturo Fuente offering named for famous author and cigar smoker, Ernest “Papa” Hemingway. Would he be proud of his namesake? Let’s take a look.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 7 x 48 Churchill/Figurado
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 1 3/4 to 2 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: ~$7.00 (buy ‘em here)

The Pre-Smoke
One of the most visually interesting things about this cigar is its shape. Though it is a churchill in size, it has the tapered end of a figurado, making a little unusual looking. What I’ve found about the tapered (or “nipple”) end of the cigar is a little delicate. In several of these cigars I found this end a little worse for wear, slightly flattened or otherwise damaged. (Of course this could be due to a less than gentle journey through the postal system.)

Getting to the wrapper, I found it to generally be nicely smooth, with some spidery veins. Much to my delight, I also noticed that the cigar band wasn’t cemented to the cigar. Nor was it fastened around the shaft like a tourniquet on a badly injured limb. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to be able to slide the band around, or off, as you smoke the cigar. Manufacturers take note!

On one cigar I did note a couple of water spots, which were a little unfortunate in such a fine looking cigar. Otherwise, I found no other blemishes in the wrapper.

After noting a pungent earthy, compost scent to the wrapper, I clipped the end with my flamboyantly-red Xikar and tried the cold taste. I didn’t expect to get one, given the nippled end. I was surprised that I did get some draw, but not enough to get a good reading on the flavor.

The Burn
The Hemingway Classic burned nice and even and the draw was perfect. The cigar also produced a solid, darker ash of good length and had a light resting smoke. Overall, there isn’t too much to say about the burn other than this cigar burns like a champ.

The Flavor
I had vastly different experiences with these cigars in the flavor department. The first one I lit up developed an unpleasant and excessive tar buildup that basically rendered the cigar unsmokable.

The second cigar had an interesting lime and leather flavor to it. (I had a lot of time think about the flavor, so I’m pretty sure I nailed it.) End to end, with leather only becoming the dominant flavor in the final third. So while that cigar wasn’t particular complex, its main flavor was.

The final cigar was a bit more complex. It opened with nuts and a creamy chocolate that evolved into more of a toffee flavor as the cigar smoked. As this cigar burned into the second third, I got the tangy lime flavor again, but this time it seemed to be paired with coffee instead of leather. The lime flavor remained for the rest of the cigar, though occasionally a sweet chocolate flavor popped up.

And this is the reason it is highly recommended that you smoke a cigar several times before you decide whether or not you love it or loathe it. (Or are just indifferent.) I suspect that the final cigar was closest to being “normal” of the three, and the first was clearly a bum stick.

The Price
I think the price of this cigar is very reasonable, especially when you consider how much smoking time you get for your money. And when you add that it’s a figurado to the mix, it makes it even more reasonable.

The Verdict
When we take that first big tar-tube out of the equation, I’d have to say I enjoyed these cigars. It’s just a shame that I waited to smoke them until after I’ve moved on from the big tarty cigar kick I was on for a month or so, because these babies would have fit in nicely. If you’re a fan of Cameroon-wrapped cigars, you need to check this one out.

And of course, I’m appreciative of Cigars Direct for providing these cigars for me to smoke and review. And I’m flattered. If you’ve enjoyed this review, and would like to try them out, I encourage you to pick up these cigars up from them! They even have them in five packs, and they have their popular quick-smoking cousins, the Short Story too. (If you do, tell ‘em I sent you!)

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Likely
Recommend It: Yes

The Cigar In Action
Yeah, blah, blah, you say. You’re a person of action! Well you’re in luck, because I’ve got a little action for ya right here! Here for your viewing pleasure is the third Hemingway Classic being transformed into a attractive pile of ash in my ashtray. Enjoy!

My Other Reviews
As always, be sure to check out my Cigar Review Index to see what else I’ve been smoking and reviewing both on this blog and on the others to which I contribute!

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Weekend Realizations

Brian's Random Thoughts: No nutritional value, but tasty!Though I do my very best to avoid it, I found my self thinking this weekend. My wife hadn’t realized I had a free moment to myself, and my mind wandered. And these are the random things that came to mind.

Advertising is sucking the meaning out of our words. I came to this realization as I watched a ridiculous feel-good commercial for some boring product or business. The lyrics to the background music featured the phrase “just another ordinary day miracle“. I’m sorry, but weren’t “miracles” supposed to be rare, amazing occurrences that were difficult, if not impossible to explain using rational or scientific means? I’m sorry, your underdog hockey team winning a prestigious game is not a miracle. It’s just unlikely. And it’s probably the plot for fifty unimaginative sports movies.

I’m seeing this in the cigar world too. At one point, a “premium” cigar would have been a top dollar, high quality cigar, full of rare and well-aged tobacco. Now almost any cigar that’s made by hand with long filler claims the word. So what is a really great cigar to do to distinguish itself in the “premium” forest? The only thing that can be done is to stack up increasingly meaningless words. Hence the new labels “super-premium” and “ultra premium”. If I ever come out with a cigar line, I’m gonna slap “hot-fucking-damn premium cigar” on the label, and outline the words with fire. And since I can’t count on any of those words conveying the desired meaning, I’ll also have a Navy Seal fist-fighting a dragon in front of a massive explosion on the cigar band. (Anybody see the move Idiocracy? I’m totally thinking about it right now.)

If pot is a “gateway drug”, the Nintendo Wii is a gateway activity. Suckered in by the lower price tag and fake scarcity of the Wii, I finally took the plunge and bought one. Holy crap, I love it. It’s the first new game console I’ve purchased in years. And I do mean years. The last brand new console I purchased was a Super Nintendo! I feel a review coming on. But that will have to wait until I’ve given it a good workout. (Or vice versa.)

But it’s dangerous. After a weekend of playing tennis and fishing I’m reminded of when I actually did these things. For real. Outside. And I kinda want to do them again. Its scary to think that around the country there might be chubby, pasty white guys remembering what it was like to be physically active. And emerging from their basements to fish, play baseball and tennis! It been like a zombie movie, only with more mountain dew. That can’t be good for video game sales.

The tasks my wife has for me multiply to fit the my available hours. As I’ve been scaling my weekly work hours down to something that doesn’t make me want to light myself on fire and leap from a freeway overpass, my wife is ramping up the random tasks she expects me to get done. They’re multiplying like guppies unattended. (Or attended. I don’t think presence of an audience makes a difference.) It’s simply not possible to accomplish even half of them, but when I start working on one, she gets excited. She gets a look in her like she’s won an expenses-paid shopping spree. So while I’m trying to complete one task, she’ll rattle off fifteen more that I really must remember to do.

Sound irritating? It is. But the good news is that even she can’t remember all the random chores she comes up with in the heat of the moment. (It really is like blood in the water for a shark.) To maintain sanity, I try to forget them all. The ones I can’t forget are probably the ones that really need doing. Or the ones my wife keeps bringing up. So yeah, the ones that really need doing. I find a similar approach often works in the office. (Use at your own risk.)

It’s been a week since I put up a post. It’s also been a week since I started this post. I really need to get adjusted to the new schedule. This new job is so absorbing that it’s easy to work longer than normal hours. And the convenience of working from home just magnifies that. That’s the danger of working from home: Because you can work anytime, you may just start working all the time!

OK, I’ve got some cigars to smoke, and some reviews to write. And it I think I hear the footsteps of my wife coming heading this way…

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5 Vegas Serie A Archetype

5 Vegas Serie A Archetype Up for review this time around is the 5 (“cinco”) Vegas Serie A Archetype. This is yet another cigar generously provided by my friends over at Cigars Direct for me to review.

Well, I’m going to sound an awful lot like a broken record. Not in the review so much as the excuse making for taking so long to get it written up. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m involved in the world’s slowest job change. Well this week I think I hit the summit of involvement in both contracts. Having reached the peak, I’m hoping for a graceful roll down the other slope.

But enough of that. The good news is that I’ve had ample opportunity to fully evaluate the Serie A. In fact, not only did I smoke the cigars provided by Cigars Direct, I also smoked a couple of the Apostle size I happened to have knocking around in the bottom of my humidor. Which makes this possibly the best researched cigar review I’ve written to date.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 x 50 (toro)
Wrapper: Costa Rica
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 3/4 hours
Beverage: Water, Coffee
Price: ~$3 (buy now)

The Pre-Smoke
Once you slide off the considerable cedar sheath what you see is a great dark, oily wrapper. Even though there are a few spidery veins, overall, the cigar has a surprising smooth appearance.

In testing the smell of the cigar, I noticed something interesting. The cedar tube had more of the typical barnyard scent that I usually notice on the wrapper. The wrapper, on the other hand, was noticeably sweeter, oiler and earthier than the tube. I clipped each cigar with my trademark flamboyantly-red Xikar and took a cold taste. Sweet dark licorice is what I found there.

I also noticed that a few of the cigars did have a crack in the wrapper. These turned out to be more of a cosmetic issue than a burn problem.

The Burn
Overall the burn was pretty good in these cigars and the draw was the same. In all cases the burn line wandered a bit in the final third. Well, that’s in all cases but one, insane Apostle size I had in my collection. As I puffed on it on a lazy Sunday morning, I was greeted by a startlingly loud crack about a third of the way in. I thought I’d just lit up a gag cigar, because the business end of a cigar blossomed like an oil-soaked flower. Fortunately, this was just an amusing anomaly, the rest of the cigars of both sizes were more behaved.

The Serie A Exploder
Blammo!

The other thing that seemed pretty consistent was that though the draw was good, the smoke seemed to be a bit wispy. The volume of smoke seemed a bit light for the draw.

The Flavor
As you might expect from a such a dark cigar, the first third opened up with a nice combination of chocolate and coffee. What came as a bit of a surprise to me was the sweetness. At points it was like a raisiny syrup, elsewhere more like toffee. As I smoked through the considerable length of the first third I also detected some tasty peppercorn, and an interesting aromatic leather flavor.

As I moved into the next two thirds I came across that flavor that makes people think I’m crazy. That’s right, cherry. (Though since I first noticed it, I’ve been told by another smoker that he’s gets it too.) In addition to cherry (which only appeared briefly around the beginning of the second third, I also got pepper, more rich cocoa, creamy sweetness and more aromatic creamy leather flavors. The final third was more of the same, only with a slightly fuller body.

The Price
I no complaints about the price of this cigar. Tipping the scales at 6 x 50, it will keep you happily occupied for at least an hour and a half. The same can’t be said for most movies these days, and you pay nearly three times as much for a ticket!

The Verdict
I really enjoyed this cigar almost every time I lit it up. (Well, except the one that nearly exploded while I smoked it. That one, not so much.) You’re likely to run into some minor cosmetic flaws, and the wrapper may crack a bit while you smoke it, but the array of flavors and low price more than make up for it.

I’d like to thank Cigars Direct again for their generosity. If my review had peaked your interest in this cigar, consider picking it up from them. Since I’ve smoked through my entire supply, I’ll probably be placing an order sometime soon myself!

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

The Cigar In Action
Even if you can’t smoke one just this minute, you can always pretend…

What Other People Are Saying
Here’s a quick sample of what other cigar folks around the internet have to say about the Serie ‘A’.

My Other Reviews
Make sure to check out my Cigar Review Index to see what else I’ve been smoking!

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Alabama Mussels Flex, Atlanta Gets All Pruney

Happy Shootin’ DudeWhat do fresh water mussels on the coastal shore of Alabama have to do with Atlanta? The first answer that comes to mind is “who cares?” A slightly more accurate, and possibly less interesting answer is, a lot. Right now the shellfish on the gulf coast of Alabama are lazily soaking a constant flow of three billion gallons of fresh, Georgia drinking water, compliments of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a very parched, very unwilling state of Georgia. That’s three billion gallons a day.

Still doesn’t add up? Well, the story is that Georgia is going through a record dry spell. The majority of Georgia’s drinking water is held in a huge man-made reservoir named Lake Lanier. What makes things interesting is that Georgia isn’t actually in control of this lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is running the show there. And they’ve determined that the endangered Fat Threeridge and Purple Bankclimber mussels on the gulf shore need constant flow of fresh water from the state of Georgia to keep them healthy. To accomplish this, they are draining billions of gallons of water from Lake Lanier, which is already at historic lows. (Don’t ask me exactly how the water is getting all the way down there, the process involves at least three different rivers that are a bit difficult to track on Google maps. There’s an explanation of it in this article on the AJC website.)

Up until today, I was among the ranks of the populace that takes things like watering restrictions and stories about drought with a grain of salt. “Our clean water being dumped by the ton in the sea for snails during a drought? Meh, typical government idiocy,” I thought with a shrug. This isn’t the first dry year I’ve seen in my short history in the area. And since I don’t have any greenery to maintain, the watering restrictions aren’t relevant to me. Every time I turn on the faucet, I get water, no problem. But then I heard that Atlanta has about 150 days worth of water left before people turn on the tap and hear it give a dry sputter. Holy crap! I like drinking water. I tolerate bathing. I’m kind of used to both!

And then I heard something else. While Georgia has instituted a complete ban on outdoor water activities and is asking it’s residents to find ways to reduce consumption, Florida and Alabama is doing nothing. Nothing! It seems they have no official process in place to handle drought conditions. That’s right, people in the regions slurping down billions of Atlanta’s drinking water to keep a handful of Mollusks nicely moist are still out there washing their Cameros and splashing about on their Slip ‘n Slides. Memo from Georgia: Take care of your own damn shellfish!

As if that weren’t bad enough, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has recently admitted to a colossal screw-up. In the early days of the drought, they drained off too much water. Way too much water. Billions of gallons of water. Officially, a faulty gauge is being blamed for a loss of two feet of water from the lake, though the truth of the matter is that local residents repeatedly warned them, and the Corps ignored the warnings.

Unbelievable, huh? What if I told you the story isn’t finished? No way! You say. Way, sez I. Apparently the state of Georgia has taken the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to court to get them to stop pissing away our water. That’s right. This very moment countless gallons are still coursing their way toward ungrateful slimy critters in shells. And those stupid mussels too. (I kid, I kid! I couldn’t help myself! I like Florida. And Alabama… well, hey!) And you know how rebellious us Southerners can be (I guess I’m guilty by proximity), there’s even talk about seizing control of the dam on the lake from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Damn, all this writing is making me thirsty. I guess its time to stockpile bottled water.

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Who’s Herfin’ And What’s Smokin’ 10/14/07

Heed the sage words of Brian!Well, it’s a little late this week, but here for your viewing pleasure is what’s up around the internet cigar world.

Cigar Reviews

In Other News
Belmont, California’s new ban of smoking in condominiums and apartments has been big news around the cigar blogs. I can’t help but shake my head in disbelief. On the bright side, there’s no way this won’t wind up in court. I just can’t see how the use of a legal product in a private residence can survive any sort of judicial scrutiny.

Friend and hard-herfin’ cigar blogger Cigar Jack was interviewed this week by professional business and media blogger Chris Garrett on the ins and outs of smoking a cigar.

The Week In Brian
It goes without saying that this week has been busy. A quick glance at the posts calendar reveals almost no links for the entire week. If you can believe it, I’m still in the process of transitioning from one job to another. That’s right, still. (Can I drag out a job change or what.) The good news is that this coming week is the last of this long and frantically busy transition.

In spite of the busy-ness, I did have time to put up a well received review of the Graycliff Blue Label PG over at the Stogie Review on Wednesday. Additionally, I’ve been smoking a lot of 5 Vegas Series A Archetypes this week (generously provided by Cigars Direct) for an upcoming review. Keep an eye out for it, and as always, be sure to check out the my cigar review index for the latest on my reviews on this blog and others.

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Padilla Signature 1932 Torpedo And A New Friend

Padilla Signature 1932 TorpedoIt’s been a while since I’ve posted a review on my blog. Up until very recently, my multi-job juggle has kept me so busy that I’ve only had time for the weekly review I write for the Stogie Review. (And if I’m lucky, a post or two here.) Though I am still juggling, the job I’m leaving is finally winding down, allowing me an almost normal working week. And in a few short weeks life will again be as normal as can be expected. I can’t wait.

The good news doesn’t end there! Recently my blog made a new friend. The good people over at Cigars Direct have taken a shine to my cigar reviews, and have asked me if I’d be willing to review some cigars for them. And of course, I said yes, I’d love to assist them in smoking cigars and taking notes! They wasted no time and rushed me over a few Padilla Signature 1932’s to investigate. In appreciation of their promptness, I lit one up just as soon as the box was open. Let’s have a look at how it measures up.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 1/2 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Beverage: Water
Price: ~$15 (buy now)
Smoking Time: ~1 1/2 hours

The Pre-Smoke
The 1932 torpedo is an impressive looking cigar. Weighing in at a 52 ring gauge, you just know it’s going to keep you company for quite a while. Contributing to it’s significant presence is a veiny wrapper with a slight oily sheen that looks like the arm of a body builder. It comes as no surprise that this cigar is nicely packed with tobacco and consistently firm to the touch.

I noted that the cigar’s wrapper had a sweet smell to it before I clipped the cap with my flamboyantly-red Xikar. My notes on the cold taste differs from one cigar to the next, but overall the flavors resembled a dark, oily chocolate or perhaps licorice.

The Burn
Generally speaking, these cigar burn nicely. At points, the burn line achieves perfection, however, in the final third it started to stray a bit. Not enough to cause trouble, but enough in one case to require a touch-up. And in every case, the 1932 produced an attractive, long ash.

The draw on these cigars tended to be a bit tighter than I prefer. But I think I’m partially to blame for that. In the past, I’ve had trouble with torpedo-shaped cigars unraveling. Without thinking, I was cutting these cigars leaner than optimal to avoid wrapper issues. In the last one I smoked, I came to my senses and I gave it a generous cut, and was rewarded with a considerably better smoking experience. And happily, no issues with the wrapper either.

The Flavor
What makes this review an interesting case study is that I noticed different, and better flavors in the final cigar I smoked; corresponding to a better cut and a better draw. But to make things even a bit more interesting, this last cigar also had the beginnings of that rare treat, plume! That’s right, as I was inspecting the wrapper closely in the light, I noticed the sparkle of little crystals.

In the first couple of cigars, I tasted a lot leather, creamy coffee and spicy nuts throughout the duration of the smoke. As the cigars progressed into the second third, I started to taste aromatic cedar, which was reminiscent of the scent of a just-opened humidor. And in the final third, cinnamon appeared.

The cigar with a good cut and and the beginnings of plume was noticeable sweeter and smoother. While the flavors I noted in the previous cigar were present in this smoke, I also got a sweet nougat flavor in the first third, toffee in the second and a raisiny sweet flavor in the final third. It was almost like smoking desert.

The Price
Generally speaking, cigars in the $15 range are a little too spendy to be among my everyday smokes. On the other hand, you can save a buck or two a stick by picking up a box. In either case, we’re not talking Stradivarius or ESG prices here. I would have no problem paying 15 bucks to smoke that third cigar again.

The Verdict
By now, you’ve probably guessed that I really enjoyed this cigar. You’re right. (Was I that obvious?) The first couple of cigars were pretty good, but the cigar with the beginnings of plume was fantastic. And the lack of any real burn issue or other defect just solidifies my opinion. This is a cigar to keep on hand. Better yet, this is a cigar to age a while in your humidor.

Also, I’d like to say another quick thanks to Cigars Direct for generously providing me with these great cigars to review. I really appreciate it! If you’re interested in trying these cigars out, consider buying it from them. And if you do, tell ‘em I sent you!

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Absolutely

What Others Are Saying
I did a little looking around the internet to see what others have say about the Padilla Signature 1932 torpedo, but it looks like everybody’s been smoking the robusto. Well, in theory the smoking experience should be similar. Here for your viewing pleasure is what I found.

The Cigar In Action

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Who’s Herfin’ And What’s Smokin’ 10/5/07

Heed the sage words of Brian!Here again, is the latest installment of news from the internet cigar world. It’s been a very busy week, I recommend grabbing a cold one out of the fridge and lighting up something with “presidente” or a “gigante” in the name for this edition. You’ll be here for a while!

Cigar Reviews

In Other News…
And of course, Heather Waibel’s much anticipated online cigar shop Fumeé World is now open for business. Make sure you check it out. I’ve had a look around it, and I was pleased that it’s designed with the true cigar enthusiast in mind. While most online retailers generally organize cigars only by Manufacturer and then by line, Fumeé World allows you to search by wrapper leaf, by country of origin, by size and even by price. And to top it all off, the site even allows you to combine all these aspects on an advanced search page.

Oh yeah, and one other tip: Before you head over to Fumeé World, stop by The Stogie Review before you head over, they have a 15% off coupon code you can use for your purchase!

And Cigar Jack keeps the cigar giveaway insanity alive by offering you a chance to win an entire box of Olor Del Cibao Cuban Seed Churchills! Madness I say! If you want to know whether or not it’s worth entering, check out my review, or his review of the line.

The Week in Brian
Having recovered from a mild bug and an abundance of work, I contributed my normal Wednesday review to The Stogie Review. On tap this week? The new Ashton San Cristobal Guajiro. The verdict? It’s one you should try. Check out the review for more information.

I thought it was going to be another quiet week, but then all hell broke loose in at the condo’s post office. My good friend Justin from CigarLive (also onetime reviewer at the Stogie Review) bombed me with a beautiful, shiny silver Stinky Ashtray. If you don’t have one already, consider getting one, it’s essential herf gear.

And if that weren’t enough excitement, Mark Neff, the man with the plan over at Cigarmony (Viva la puck!) sent me a fantastic prize for entering a contest to name his brand new cigar lounge and all-around man-room. The winning entry? The Ash Hole. In addition to sending a fine selection of premium smokes, he made my day and sent me another puck. (I was crossing my fingers that it would be a part of the prize!)

Cigarmony Contest Winnings

Contest winnings, thanks Mark!

Speaking of the Ash Hole, at my own peril, I just checked for a the existence of a website with that name. (You never know what you might find with a name like that!) Well anyway, a bit of exploration resulted in my discovery of a brand new smoking apparatus that transforms your empty beer bottle into an ash tray! Unfortunately, from the look of it, it wouldn’t do cigar smokers much good, but if you enjoy the cigar’s smaller, more widely accepted cousin the cigarette, you might want to check it out.

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Ancient Nazis and Random Swastika Buildings

Crazy Swastika-Shaped Navy BaseYou may have heard about it by now, but it looks like Atlanta is the secret home to a former Nazi S.S. Agent. Man, just when Hollywood seems to finally be abandoning the very, very tired Nazi-as-arch-villain plot, this happens! Seriously, does anybody else throw up their hands when the secret bad guy in a movie or a TV show turn out to be a really, really old Nazi? Are we that short on plausible villains?

But I digress. 85-year old Paul Henss is said to have been a former guard at a concentration camp, and a trainer of vicious attack/guard dogs and dog handlers. Apparently when he filled out his immigration papers back in 1955, he conveniently forgot to mention his former evil employer. (He has the memory of a politician!) In the video footage I’ve seen, he denies that he had any knowledge of the massacres taking place with his assistance.

The issue being debated now is whether or not to deport Henss back to Germany. It’s a tough call. The guy has lived here for 52 years, and up until now has never been anything but a normal citizen. It’s also possible that he really didn’t do anything intentionally evil as a 19 year old guard. As Henss himself stated, the even the Pope was part of the Hitler youth. It wasn’t exactly something you could avoid back in the day. And well, he’s just old and his poor wife is devastated. The deportation process just might kill him, her or both.

On the other hand, he did lie on his immigration papers. And it’s just as likely he’s at least bending the facts a bit now when he defends what his service entailed. If he really was directly, and knowingly involved with any atrocities, he deserves no sympathy. And it’s not as though he’s being brought up on charges (at least not yet), he’s just being sent home. What do you think?

What I really want to know is how they managed to track down Henss after all these years. As a Law and Order: Criminal Intent junkie, I really want to see the detective work. Heck, I’ll even let Hollywood run with this one, last, secret Nazi story just to find out. (I promise not to throw my hands up in the hair!) Because apparently, even Frau Henss had no idea about his dubious past.

In the process of reading up on this unusual story, I came across something even crazier. And, as you know, I have a weak spot for crazy stuff. It seems that there is a swastika-shaped US Navy base in Coronado, California. Seriously! And get this, the building was built in the sixties! Yep, well after the swastika was firmly established as a symbol of evil in the western world.

Apparently because the design is only visible from the air, it wasn’t deemed to be a problem when they discovered what one hopes was just an unfortunate coincidence. (You can see what it looks like from street level in this picture-happy post.) And it probably would have continued to not be a problem, if it wasn’t for those pesky Google Earth/Maps kids. Now that the secret is out, there are plans in place to alter the buildings to remove the swastika resemblance.

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Who’s Herfin’ And What’s Smokin’ 9/28/07

Heed the sage words of Brian!A number of the other cigar blogs have been doing this for a while, and it’s time I shared the love! So here’s a new weekly segment I’m gonna call “Who’s Herfin’ and What’s Smokin’“. Here’s your quick index to what’s been happening around the internet cigar world in the past week.

And no W.H.W.S. list would be complete without a discussion of what I contributed to the cigar world in the past week. Well, the answer to that is almost nothing. I was down with a bit of a bug earlier in the week, and had to blow off my regularly scheduled Stogie Review cigar review this past week. And an abundance of work kept me from blogging much to boot.

But you’ll note, I did say “almost nothing.” In keeping with my crusade against discriminatory B.S. smoking policies mentioned last week, I fought the good fight again at a local martini/tapas/sushi bar. It seems that since the last time I enjoyed a cigar with some friends in the bar area, they’ve determined that cigars are no longer allowed in that area. But cigarettes? Hell yes. Every table around me was covered in a cloud of smoke produced by the burning of cheap, chemically-processed tobacco, and I had to go outside to enjoy my Oliva Serie V. But I’m stopping just short of adding them to the list of officially banned establishments, as they were apologetic, and did accommodate me and my offensively delicious premium smoke outside in their patio section. (And my wife loves their tapas. She begged me not to ban them.) Can you guess where I won’t be eating this winter?

And though it technically did happen before this past week, if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should read my Olor Del Cibao reviews. In my most ambitious review to date, I smoked and evaluated an entire line of cigars! And if that leaves you looking for more, feel free to peruse my Cigar Review Index. If I’ve reviewed it, you’ll find it there!

And the blog giveaway madness has spread beyond cigars! The good folks at The Beef Jerky Blog are hosting their first comfort contest ever giving away fuf chairs to two lucky winners. What is a “fuf chair”? Well, I’m not entirely sure (something on the order of a bean bag chair maybe?), but what I do know is that mentioning the contest here enters me in the contest!

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