Monday, May 17, 2010

The camaraderie of the pipe

It's been a few days since our SEM. For the uninitiated, that's a Special Emergency Meeting. Before you get excited, no, there wasn't an actual emergency. If there had been, it would have been an Emergency Meeting, like we had back when the tobacco tax scare hit. No, this was a Special Emergency Meeting, which basically means we needed an excuse to get together and smoke. Yes, I realize it was less than 24 hours after our regular pipe club meeting, but there really was a reason this time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Travels of a Czech tool

Consider the Czech tool, the three-part device from Heaven. Its tamper, so necessary to keep a bowl burning. It's poker, helping us stir our ash and granting the flame access to lower leaf. It's scoop, helping us remove dottle from the heel and scrape down the walls. So many uses, and each prong of the tool necessary to the enjoyment of the hobby.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Give and Take and Give Again.

I have never really been much of the religious type. I don't believe in spirits that walk the Earth. I don't believe in aliens that visit the Earth. I believe that, here on Earth, there is the most powerful, caring, and sometimes devastating force. What I believe in is the individual. Personal convictions have given us what we have and put us where we are today. There are those who raise their hands and volunteer themselves to fight in wars, spread the word of God, or simply donate their time or assets. These people are what I put my faith in. Personal conviction is a power that few understand, and that many put themselves so entirely into that they'd stop at very little to see it realized. On Earth, that personal conviction can be found in abundance. It is a truth, though, that some mans' convictions inflict negative scores on my beliefs, yet my own doctrine drives me to look for the positive. Every human has a role in his world, and I put faith in that. Semblance of society is tainted with those who have struggled to realize this; the men who murder, steal, and rape. These are the men who try my own, and many others, adherence to personal beliefs. This is where the beliefs of many align. These men will be put to justice, either in this life or the next.

I don't make it difficult for myself to recognize good, regardless of what I may see broadcast on the news or written in the papers. I see generosity and the derivatives of generosity abounding in the community that we've established around our love of tobacco. We understand how to slow down and inventory our thoughts. We understand how to give with the faith that the recipient will pay it forward. We are the most generous people, and all we ask in return is a good conversation. This generosity is not to make any personal gain. I think it's more a showing of how a man can give what he has and still have something to show for it.

As I sat to have an evening smoke in a pipe that was gifted to me all I could think about is how I'd pay this forward, and it gave me my idea for my very first piper's blog.