On Boot-Licking, Name-Dropping And Success

Tom Presenting Brian Autographed Haint PosterIn a recent cigar review, a reader left a comment oozing scorn that accused me of licking the boots of cigar industry insiders and dropping names. You could just feel the pulsing, jealous ire of said reader, as he commanded me to never again review anything but average cigars that are always available, inexpensively priced and widely smoked. If he couldn’t find it or afford it, I shouldn’t smoke it and write about it.

Wow. All I can say is… Awesome! I’ve gotten the blogging world’s equivalent of hate mail! As you probably are well aware, it’s very easy to write things that people don’t care about and don’t read. It’s slightly more difficult to write things that people will read and find pretty good. But to bring somebody to a twitching, teeth-gnashing rage without discussing obvious things like politics and religion (and sometimes the Great Pumpkin), well that just takes skill! To celebrate, I’m going to light up the rarest, most expensive cigar that a person with a famous name handed to me for free. (I’m having trouble coming up with which cigar that’d be, as I don’t actually mingle all that much with people are well known. I guess that RTDA Stradivarius might do the trick. Mmmm… 34 dollar cigar I didn’t pay for…)

Seriously though, I make a point of finding cigars that are either new, or new to me and reviewing them. And when I can get my hands on a pre-release cigar, even better. One of the great things about the cigar industry is that it’s growing. In fact, I’ve heard that the cigar industry is now at around 80% of its size during the boom of 1990′s. New things are coming out all the time, and from completely new cigar manufacturers. Isn’t it useful to be able to read about these cigars before you buy them? I know I search for cigar reviews all the time before pulling the trigger on a “deal” I come across to make sure it’s actually a deal. Also, how are you going to find out about new cigars out there if nobody ever reviews anything new or unusual? Just because you can’t find a cigar right now, doesn’t mean it won’t be in every store in a month or two! And just because a cigar is out of your price range doesn’t mean it’s out of everyone’s price range. (You aren’t everyone, no matter how big your waist size gets!)

As to the name dropping aspect of the tirade, I find that even more surprising. The thing I like the most about the cigar industry (well, after the cigars, that is), is that it’s full of unpretentious, friendly, down-to-earth people, that are very accessible. I mean, how the hell else would I have met so many of them? The heads of cigar companies come to herfs and cigar promotions to meet their customers and talk about their cigars. They mingle, they shake hands, they walk, they talk, they breath… Oh my god, I think they’re people just like you and me! And they’re not behind bullet-proof glass, or surrounded by secret service! If you’re reading this, and you haven’t met a cigar “celebrity” (if that word even applies), I recommend checking out the event calendar at your local brick and mortar. (Or check out this list on Cigar Cylopedia.) They will be there, will you?

So in summary, I’ve met at least a dozen famous cigar people, including such names as Kinky Friedman, Jose Oliva, Lito Gomez, Carlos Torano and Tim Ozgener, by going to cigar events. (I’ve never yet had a cigar celeb travel anywhere just to meet me.) I have a bunch of cigars that I didn’t have to pay for, but will spend hours of my own time to smoke and document for your reference for no reimbursement whatsoever. Please leave your hate mail in the comments below.

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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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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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Jury Duty: Pauly Shore Not Included

Happy Shootin’ DudeIf my wife was less organized, there might have been a warrant out for my arrest today. On Monday I was sitting in the office doing the things I do for money and my phone rang. It was my wife with some bad news. “Hey, you have jury duty, remember? You need to call this number after 5:00 PM for instructions,” she said and gave me the number. This seriously couldn’t come at the worst time. I’m juggling two jobs, two blogs and trying to beat a business paperwork deadline at the same time. And I think I might be coming down with a cold. And that’s really gonna make my next cigar review difficult.

Crap. Not only do I not have time to watch a bitter couple slug it out in divorce proceedings or listen to a irresponsible booze hound trying to weasel out of a DUI, I don’t have time to do anything about it. So I was told at the juror check in desk. If I had been on top of things, I could have written in for a deferment.

So I spent the morning weighing my options. I’m not 70 or older and I didn’t bring a wig and a walker with me. Looking around, I don’t see any walkers or people wearing gray wigs, so that’s out. I’m not pregnant, and as much fun as that’d be to fake, I’m not committed enough to shave the goatee to pull it off. No kids either, though don’t people make up kids all the time for tax purposes? I wonder how they do that. (That might come in handy now and then again at tax time. Fake kids: the gift that keeps on giving.) OK, short of pleading with the judge, should I get selected as a juror, I’m stuck here in the jury pool stable, crossing my fingers, and waiting on the roll of some mysterious computerized dice.

At that point, the question became, can I get the entire room to participate in a highly coreographed song and dance routine? Looking around I figured my odds were fifty-fifty. I might make it as far as croud surfing while singing the chorus of Cuban Pete before an angry group of potential jurors give me the beating they’ve wanted to give Pauly Shore for well over a decade. The “chick-chicky boom” would be the sounds of peoples sensible shoes digging into my ribs at high velocity. The odds were better than even that I’d deserve it for that.

So that pretty much left me blogging on my crackberry, feeling irritable and drinking coffee. Speaking of irritability and coffee, I have one big beef with this jury duty thing. I had to pay for coffee while I was there. We’re not talking about fifty cents here, we’re talking Starbucks rates. A buck fifty for a cup of dark water? Gas station quality at best, and none of the froo-froo additives? C’mon! The least you can do is provide us with some caffeine so we can stay awake for all this nonsense. Newsflash, some of us don’t function well at 8 AM without some joe. (For me it’s a lot like being in a different time zone.)

If your going to deprive us of our ability to earn our living for the day, you can at least set up a coffee pot in that huge room I like to call the “juror stable”. Am I really asking too much? Don’t you just hate it when you help someone out and are forced to pay expenses that arise from the effort? “Thanks for showing up! Coffee? Yes, we have some I can sell you!” It’s kind of like asking your friends to come over to help you move, and then when everybody’s worn out and hungry from moving your crap all day, you sell them pizza and beer. With a steep mark-up.

And while we’re discussing things that irritate Brian, here’s another pet peeve. We were informed that we’re not allowed to make or receive phone calls in the juror stable. That means that the ringers should be turned off. And if that weren’t completely obvious, they told us that they should be. No excuses. Of course within 30 seconds of the announcement several phones rang back-to-back at full volume. Within ten minutes the lady behind me answered the phone to say “I can’t talk right now” and proceeded have a short conversation anyway. People, if you really can’t talk, press the damn button that sends the call to voicemail. Don’t answer it, because that means you can talk. It’s not a crime to let a call go to voicemail! You’re paying for it, use it. People will understand! This sort of brainlessness isn’t limited to the action-packed world of jury selection, I’ve seen (well, heard) the same brilliance in meetings and in movie theaters. Is it too late to implement an IQ test as part of the requirements of getting a cellphone?

And for the love of God, when a phone rings, do something about it. Either answer it or send it to voicemail. Please, please do something to make that obnoxious noise go away. Don’t just sit there staring at the phone, trying to puzzling out where it’s coming from (“Hmm… Is the 541 area code Tuscaloosa? That reminds me I should call Bob…”) while the ringer blares Barbie Girl. Worse still, do not dance to that ringtone you foolishly paid four bucks to download. We don’t want to hear it, we don’t want to see you jam, make it go away, or we’ll make the phone go away. I won’t tell you where, but I can promise you’ll spend a lot more time standing in the future.

Let me tell you, the end of the day could not come soon enough. The good news is that by 3 PM, my civic duty had been fulfilled, and I walked out of the court house a free man, with a slight case of caffeine withdrawal, a headache and cigar in my teeth. But I was happy. I paid good money for this unexpected afternoon of freedom. It cost me eight hours of pay. But I was off the grid, and I was going to make the most of it.

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And The Winner Of The CAO America Potomac Is…

The CAO AmericaOK, OK, I’ve kept everybody waiting long enough. Though the contest officially ended this past Sunday, in the hustle to catch up with all the obligations I put on hold for last week’s roadtrip, the contest was put on the back burner for a couple of days. (I actually drew the winners yesterday, I just didn’t get around to posting the results until today!)

This time around it really paid off to enter! Because I was out of town, I didn’t have as much time to promote the contest as I did with the previous. As a result we had around 20 fewer entries for the CAO America cigars than we did for the Serie V! (Or maybe the Oliva buzz was bigger. Or maybe people are getting tired of my random thoughts, who can tell?) According to my quick-and-dirty calculations, you had whopping 2% chance to walk away with one of these pre-release beauties, while you only had a 1.4% for the Oliva Serie V.

Enough of the statistical geekery, it’s time to announce the lucky guys that gain from my goofing around! And the first winner is…

Comment #16: Joe Drinker!

Cool! That saves me having to find an excuse to send him a cigar. (I have been thinking about it. And I know he’s been hoping I’d offer. The cigar-tension has been thick between us. Wow, OK, this is starting to sound weird! It must be time to stop writing parenthetically.) Given his background in graphic design, this aesthetically pleasing stick might just be the perfect cigar to send his way. (Whaddaya think about my “post-whoring contests” now? LOL!)

And now, the second winner is…

Comment #9: Mike Philippovic (mphilipp)!

Mike just happens to be a Brother of the Leaf (BOTL) that made his way over to my blog from the Cigar Live forum. And as luck would have it, somebody I also ran into briefly at the pre-RTDA herf at Slainte Irish Pub in downtown Houston! (A brief aside: If you live in the area or happen to be traveling through, you should meet up with these Houston guys, they’re herfin’ machines!)

I’ll be emailing the lucky winners soon to get shipping details, and with any luck these cigars will be on the road tomorrow. (If you’re one of the winners, and you haven’t seen an email from me yet, check your spam filter! Or you can always use the form on the About page to send me your details, just be sure to use the same email address you used to enter so I can be sure it’s you!)

Of course to maximize the enjoyment of the cigar, you can always wander over to the Stogie Review, where I have been promoted to a regular reviewing fixture, to check out my thoughts on the America, while smoking your own! C’mon, you know you wanna.

I’m happy to say that I got to smoke another of these with a friend of mine on the roadtrip, and I found it to be even tastier than it was when I reviewed it. I could have been the experience of being on the road or the extra weeks of age. Whatever the cause, it was a damn fine smoke, with a lot of surprisingly caramel flavor where previously I had tasted paper. With any luck, the lucky winners will enjoy theirs as much as we enjoyed ours!

And to everyone else, sorry, I’m all out! Of CAO Americas, that is… ;) Keep checking back, I just might do this again! In the meantime, you can try your luck again over at Cigar Jack’s blog. You still have a week to enter his Arganese cigar giveaway!

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And I’m Back: A Quick Note

Brian and Monkey Poo HarrisAbout 3500 miles, a few cigars and a lot of microbrew samplers later, I’m back from the roadtrip. I had hoped to in some way document the adventure on a more “live” basis, but at best our internet access was unreliable, and often complete non-existent. (Who knew my Crackberry’s data service provider didn’t cover the vast open stretches of Wyoming?)

Also, a quick word of thanks to Emon of Emonome and Nicole of Pinch My Salt for the road-trip t-shirts. As you can see in the picture, we put ‘em to good use! In fact, we even did some wash along the way and wore ‘em again a bit later in the trip!

This post will have to be short, I have a lot of catching up to do. Have no fear, the trip not only recharged the batteries, it also provided a great deal of blog worthy material and pictures. The first will probably be our review of the five microbreweries we visited in five different states. But for now, it’s time to finish unpacking, washing and returning email…

Herfs Galore Before Hitting The Road

I’ve made promises to some people to get up some pictures of the recent Blue Havana II herf, but I just haven’t had the time. The road trip approaches, and I’m scrambling to get ready for that and keep up with all my obligations (blog-ligations?). But good news! Jim has already uploaded his gallery of herf pictures, so I’m sorta off the hook. (At some point I will definitely upload the pictures to my online photo galleries, I’m just not sure when.)

The Blue Havana II August Herf
Blue Havana himself, DiscDog, CgarDan and Shelby07 at the Blue Havana II herf

By all accounts the herf was a success and a great deal of fun. Relying heavily on Jim’s pictures, I think we had a total attendance of 15 or 16 people, with ten of them participating in the box pass. His innovative live “Twice Around the Block Pass” was like Christmas in August for the attendees. I don’t think anybody walked away without a treat. (And if you did, it was your own fault, you had two shots at the box!) If you’d like to see how it went down, you can find the complete list of puts and takes, as well as the original box contents on this thread at CigarLive.

Though it was billed as a Camacho “cigar tasting”, last night I joined DiscDog (Every board known to man and a few besides), NNexus (CigarLive) and Justin (Is he on the board yet?) again for what was basically another herf at Highland Cigar Company. A little foolishly, I didn’t bother to bring a supply of cigars along, assuming that there’d be a sample cigar or two at a cigar tasting. I was wrong, at this event, you only get a taste of what you buy. (Of course there was a buy-3-get-a-cigar-of-lesser-value-free deal.) Which, if you think about it, is a bad idea. How on earth would somebody new to Camacho know what to buy? The Triple Maduro is still pretty new, do you really want to buy three to find out if you like it? Unless you’re selling dog rockets and you know it, you only stand to benefit by giving out a freebie or two.

Compare this to the Oliva Serie V event I blogged about a while back. There was a lot of buzz about this cigar, but a lot of words of caution also regarding it’s potency also. Allowing people to try it before they buy it, has resulted in them selling their entire stock out at each event. Heck, I wasn’t planning on buying any, but I walked out of there with all the double robustos they had left! And I know a few people who were initially intimidated by the cigar left the event with a handful and a big smile on their face.

The badness of the no-sample plan is magnified by offending a true connoisseur and cigar board veteran like DiscDog. His opinion of a cigar may affect as much as thousands of dollars in sales. Rumored to have the most splendiferous cigar collection in the state of Georgia (I should know, I’m actively spreading the rumor), he not only didn’t buy a Camacho that night, he didn’t even smoke one of his own. Instead he broke out one of the finest, most exotic cigars any of us had seen in a very long time: A Partagas Culebra, constructed of three, full-sided churchill cigars intertwined.

For a cigar that looks a lot like you’re burning Dilbert’s tie when smoked, it had fantastic construction, easily sporting a two inch ash that even held on even through the bends of the cigar. (Keep an eye on NNexus’ signature on CigarLive, you might get to see what I’m talking about.) I had a puff or two off one of the curly beasts and it had a great smooth flavor with an subtle edge-of-the-tongue spice and a sweetness that built up as the cigar smoked. (Actually, I can’t verify the sweetness, the Camacho Select I was smoking made it impossible for me to tell in the second sample.)

You never saw a happier group of herfers. Did I say “happier”? I meant higher. Those guys were buzzing something fierce by the time the rounded the first bend. Man, I really wish I hadn’t forgotten my camera.

OK, I’m off. The next post you read is likely to be from the road, somewhere between here and Portland, Oregon.

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Giveaways Galore! The Pre-Release CAO America And More!

The CAO AmericaMan, where does the time go. I can’t believe it’s already been another week. Frequent visitors to my blog will have noticed it’s been unusually quiet this week, will probably be a little concerned about my health. Have no fear, I’m as healthy as an ox, in roughly the same shape, and probably nearly as rational. I’ve just been making my noise and mess on some other blogs. That and working two jobs. I know, I know, the world’s smallest violin is playing just for me.

Here’s what I’ve been up to. Earlier this week, I reviewed the Joya De Nicaragua Celebracion Consul for my buddy Stinkie on CigarBeat. I don’t wanna spoil it for you, but a nearly impervious draw kinda spoiled it for me. And then on the Stogie Review, I continued my video boycott with a text and photo-heavy review of the pre-release CAO America Potomac. Judging by the overwhelmingly positive response to the review, it’s definitely one you want to check out. But be sure to come back here, because you’re gonna want in what’s coming up a bit later in this post. And of course, these reviews will be added to my cigar review index to make sure they’re always easy to track down.

If you’re in the Atlanta area (or anywhere in the south with the desire for a cigar and a road trip), you should join me and a bunch of the guys from the area and the CigarLive forum for the herf at Blue Havana II in Alpharetta, GA. (It looks like his site might be down at the moment, but it’s there! [UPDATE: Link updated!]) It’s happening this Saturday starting at 6:00pm and going until Jim gets tired of all of us and kicks us out of his shop! For more information, check out the official thread on CigarLive. I’ll be there, and if you’re really nice (we’re talking serious brown-nosing, here) I might let you have one of my Gran Habano Corojo #5′s. Trust me, it’s worth that dirty feeling you’ll have inside. ;)

To get things humming again on this blog, I’m starting up another giveaway contest! The last one was so much fun (and generated so much traffic, I won’t kid ya), that I’ve decided to do it again. But this time, I’m giving away two (2, count ‘em, 2) pre-release CAO America Potomacs!

Why do I keep mentioning “pre-release”, you ask? The reason is that it’s been pointed out to me by one of my CAO friends that these won’t be available for around 2 months! That doesn’t mean they’re still rollin’ ‘em like mad (though they might be), it means that the supply is sitting in a warehouse getting some age, which is generally a good thing.

The CAO America Potomac Giveaway rules:

  1. You are allowed two entries to this giveaway. Please note you must be 18 or older to enter. (Sorry, I don’t make the laws, I just try to follow them!)
  2. Your first entry is commenting on this post. Please include the text in your comment “I am 18 or older.”
  3. You may enter a second time by posting a link to this contest on your blog that pingback/trackbacks to this post.
  4. The winner will be drawn on September 2nd, 2007. (Or shortly after. Or whenever entries slow down enough that making everyone wait becomes a pointless exercise. Totally my discretion here.)

Oh but wait, I’m not finished yet. Well, I am, but Stinkie over at CigarBeat isn’t! He’s got two (again, count ‘em, 2) giveaways running on his cigar blog and forum. So this week, you’ve got an excellent chance to really cash in on the generosity of the Brothers of the Leaf (BOTL for short).

Stinkie’s Giveaways

[UPDATE: And now Cigar Jack is in the action, and he's giving away not one, not two, but six (6!) Arganese cigars to some undisclosed number of lucky commenters! Head over now, and enter, the odds are great!]

Best of luck!

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Tagged: The Things You Can’t Prove Are Lies

Antoni Gaudi’s Sun MosaicOK, I’m back from the 10th circle of hell. Yeah, you read that right, the 10th circle. You’re quite right, there were only nine circles. Until Saddam Hussein started demanding a corner office in the 9th circle. God he’s such a pain. So the devil gave him his old office and built a whole new circle for himself. And he needed some I.T. help. Of course, the devil likes to work with people who both know they are for sale and know what their price tag is. Naturally, that means he hires consultants.

One recommendation. If you’re on your way to hades, by either handbasket or the regular route, don’t forget your MP3 player and your shades. The eternal shrieks of the damned get sort of grating after a while, like an alarm clock left running by a vacationing neighbor, and the hell fire can get kind of bright. Especially if you’re hung over.

Ah yes, I’ve been tagged. I hope this isn’t the payment the red-horned guy was promising me for my work. You can’t ever count on him paying his invoices as agreed.

The Rules
1.) Post the rules first.
2.) If you are tagged you have to tell your faithful blogging public 8 random facts about yourself in a post on your blog. It can be habits, an idea, facts, or just um… stuff.
3.) At the end of your post, choose eight other bloggers you’d like to know something about and tag them.
4.) Leave a comment telling them you’ve tagged them and that they will need to read your post on your blog.
5.) Bend the rules as convenient. (My special addition!)

The Things You Can’t Prove Are Lies

I. I’ve been published at least twice under different pseudonyms. But before you think back on the articles you’ve recently in major publications, it’s only fair I tell you that once was for an underground high school newspaper and the other was for a slightly more high brow (i.e. pretentious) college literature magazine. I still have both.

II. I started seriously enjoying writing in a high school English class. Fed up with all the essay writing, in irritation I wrote a very antagonistic paper as one of my assignments. The plan was to make reading the assignment as much of a pain as it was to write it. As many of my plans do, it backfired; the teacher loved it and started treating me as though I were literary elite. Being the obnoxious bastard I am, I found that the prospect of writing angry for good grades a win-win proposition. I was brimming with pointless teen angst. I aced the class and was put in the advanced class the following year.

In college, to keep it interesting, I made a point of writing my papers in support of whatever view point I thought my professor disagreed with the most or in favor or anything patently absurd. Somehow my textual nettles continued to be well received. And I got pretty good at supporting the unsupportable. (I should have been lawyer!) I was very Swiftian. (Not to be confused with “Swift Boat“.) Of course, I didn’t know it at the time, I was just being sadistic.

III. My crowning achievement in art of the chafing word was contributing three pieces of poetry/prose to the college literary magazine under an ridiculous pseudonym. The incredibly obnoxious ditties made it in and I had the pleasure of hearing one of the editors angrily discussing their inappropriateness. Ah, good times. :)

IV. I’ve been in a small (four seater!) plane when all the electronics went out. In the clouds. I participated in an emergency line of site landing that involved a tight spiral down through a small hole in low cloud cover. Once down, the problem was diagnosed (pilot error), and we got back on and flew the rest of the way to our destination. Same plane, maybe an hour later. Several people still claim to have the “Oh Shit” email I sent them from my Crackberry while I was in the air. Sadly, I don’t.

V. I started smoking cigars with a friend on the Oregon coast in the middle of the night. We’d leave campus after in the evening after classes and arrive well into the night. On the way we’d stop at the “Mecca of Convenience” and pick up some firewood for a bonfire and whatever cigars they had at the counter. They were horrible in the way you would expect a convenience store cigars to be, but an essential part of the evening. (A better cigar probably wouldn’t have burned worth a damn on those gusty nights.) As was the “flaming manhood”, but that’s a story for another day.

VI. I’ve worn a kilt on numerous occasions, but I’m not going to prove it. That will disappoint at least one occasional reader of this blog, as he wants to submit it for Photoshoping on Fark. But I can tell you that I looked dead-sexy. Especially back when I had long hair. Don’t worry, you would agree. (Even if it required adjustments in your blood-alcohol levels.)

VII. I’d much rather be rich than famous. If I suddenly disappear, you’ll know I got my wish. Either that, or I was crushed under a collapsing stack of cigar humidors.

VIII. I won my wife over with my dance moves. Quit laughing, it’s true. She’ll vouch for it. A friend of mine (and at the time, co-worker) from Nigeria and I were really kicking some ass on the floor of a Malaysian dance club when we were approached by my now wife and her friend. The dancing continued well into the early hours of the morning. And again a few weeks later. The rest is very colorful history.

Honestly, I think nearly everybody I know in the blog world has been tagged already. (I was sooo gonna tag Laurie Kendrick, but somebody got to her first.) And the cigar bloggers I know would probably put their lit Arturo Fuentes out on my arm if I tagged them. In keeping with my new rule to bend the rules for my convenience, I’ll let people tag themselves. Wanna be tagged? Leave a comment, and I’ll update this post to make the tagging official. (Brilliant or lazy, you make the call! ;) )

People who have brought this tagging on themselves

  1. Space Chronicles Tiffany

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Wanna Read This Blog? I Need To See Some ID

Well it’s official. This is an adult blog. If you wanna keep reading, you gotta prove to me your at least 17. Or you have a parent looking over your shoulder. (If you’re under 17, you probably do, you just don’t realize it.) For now, I’ll assume your ID is in the mail.

Brian's Random Thoughts, Rated R

I figured there was a good chance that I’d get at least a PG-13. But I didn’t get the rating because of the frequent discussion of cigars and other tobacco products, as I would have expected. I got the naughty rating because of the use of the following words:

  • “hell” – 4 times.
  • “asshole” – 2 times.
  • “pissed” – 1 time. (Which shouldn’t count because I meant “drunk”, damn it!)

(Of course, now my ratings will be even worse. Damn it! Shit!) So apparently, it’s not a very sophisticated rating system, it’s pretty much a website crawler with a dictionary of naughty words. (I could make one. :idea: And I might just if I have the time. Hell yeah.)

But you know you wanna try it out on your blog anyway. You’ll be pissed if you don’t! You can find the blog rater here. And you know, if your blog is coming in a little low on the naughtiness scale, you don’t have to be an asshole about it. It’s pretty easy thing to rectify. (Hell yeah, damn it! ;) ) Enjoy!

(And apologies about this Tourettes post. I swear future posts won’t have so much damn swearing in them. I just want to see if I can get to NC-17.)

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