Smoke, Lies and the Nanny State and . . .

Just wanted to put up yet another “thank you” post for being so damn generous with your comments.
I wanted to make my way around the “bloghorn” but will never do it all tonight.
I’m only human.

A few notes of interest, if you look to my side bar you will see a little jpeg of Joe Jackson (musician).
If you click it, it will open Adobe Reader on your computer (assuming you have it installed), and download his essay as a .pdf file.
I don’t comment much about smoking on the blog but I feel Jackson’s essay should be read by smokers and non-smokers alike.
I think it’s absolutely brilliant.
You may feel differently.
I’m not going to address my stance on smoking right now.
Just know that I smoke.
And I enjoy it.
And I pay exorbitant and unscrupulous taxes because of my habit (which is absolute bullshit).
To the US government, tax something else for a change, for cripes sake.
Just imagine if the government started taxing Budweiser and Happy Meals the way they tax tobacco these days.
Would people be a bit angry?
Think about it.
Click on the philosopher above to visit Jackson’s website.
There’s some great stuff to be found there.

And now for something completely different;

Last week, I woke up in the middle of the night after falling asleep early and came downstairs to the sound of ‘beep-beep-beep-beep’.
My wife was laying on the couch pointing the cordless phone at the TV and pressing the “call button” on and off.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Trying to turn this friggin’ thing down,” she said.

“You can’t do that with the phone, dear, ” I said, as I took the phone out of her hand, turned off the TV and guided her upstairs to bed.
Ah, sleepyheads can be funny sometimes.
I think she may have called China a few times though.
Check out the Jackson video below.
Classic Joe.



I turned around and there he was at the register.
It was all too brief an encounter.

“I read “The Shining” in 1977 when I was a freshman at Berklee College of Music. I’ve been a fan ever since,” I said.

{shake hands} (my hands were already shaking)

“Thank you,” he says (and eyes some cigars), “Cohiba! I just love saying that word!”

“I assume you’ll be at Fenway watching the asskicking tonight?”

“Yes, sir!” He says, smiling.

He paid for his smokes and walked to the door with nary a clue of how much I used to really love his stuff. I could almost hear myself saying, “Hey, I write, too!”

He turned and raised his hand and once again yelled, “Cohiba!”

Holy Crap, I thought, I just met Stephen King.
Truth . . .


I’ve received several emails regarding me “losing my mind” after my last post.
Everyone can rest now. I found it this morning sleeping peacefully underneath the computer stand.
I hate when that happens. :0)
Thanks, folks . . . . (Mwwwuuuuuahhhhhhhahhahahahaha!)


These aren’t really dirty little secrets just stuff you may not know about me.
I was tagged by Kim a few days ago and owed her for not getting on my ass about the poetry tag I blew off a while ago.
Please pay her a visit and tell her I’m honestly trying to do right here.
(Aside from the fact she has an awesome blog and is one hell of a great writer)
Here then, are my 8 (11) “secrets

  • Purple is my favorite color.
  • I would take a bullet for my wife and daughters any day of the week.
  • I can tell the difference between a Cuban cigar and a counterfeit.
  • Dated two women on the same night in the same place.
    (Yeah, I’m a humdinger. Just ask my wife.)
  • Eaten 12+ pickled eggs on a dare.
    (I think the actual count was @18 but that’s another story)
  • I wear a purple “MindStrong” bracelet on my right wrist for Alzheimer’s research and may wear it for the rest of my life. (obviously in memory of my mom and dad)
  • I have a dark side that no one will ever know about.
    (Unless I start writing fiction.
  • I make really amazing homefries. (once again, ask my wife)
  • I’ve never once made a disparaging comment about my wife in conversation. Ever.
  • I hate squirrels and try hard to flatten any grey furry-tailed creature brave enough to run in front of my truck. I’m still waiting for my first kill.
    (And the little bastards still owe me for about 500 bucks in birdseed)
  • I love shaving my coconut. The feeling of putting moisturizer on my skull afterwards is very close to absolute nirvana. Just ask my buddy Evyl.

That’s about it folks.
I have more secrets but I’ll hold you in suspense for now.
And yes, I drink directly from the milk carton at 3:15 A.M. after a trip to the bathroom.
Feel free to add a secret of your own in your comments.


Cabbage Ass

Something short and sweet, so to speak . . .

Someone floated an air biscuit on the train this morning, a silent sulfur scream (SSS) so deadly in intent that my eyes literally crossed.
Dude, if you’re sick, go to the hospital.
It was odd the way people picked their heads up one by one and started looking around for the gravy pants responsible for the great brown cloud.
There were only 12 or so people in the car I was riding in so it was a bit uncomfortable.
I heard one guy groan and say, “Oh, man.”
Oh, man is right.
The odor of the unholy airlock was almost indescribable.
Oh, alright, I’ll try. I’m already grossed out anyway (as you will soon be, as well).
It was somewhere between ripe, warm and hairy egg salad and way-past-the-due-date hamburger. My olfactory senses are somewhat dulled at this time of the morning but I definitely detected a hint of burnt string bean casserole.
It was right after that when people started getting up one by one in search of a fresher car to ride in. Not wanting to be seen as the person that “drew the mud”, I too got up and left the fragrant car.
It was painfully clear that this demanding piece of colon-speak wasn’t going anywhere.
I overheard a woman say to someone, “Well, I’m certainly awake now!”
She sounded almost pleased.
As soon as I stopped my eyes from watering, I found a new seat.




Now and then our path in life seems to makes perfect sense. . . for particular reasons.
The people we meet, the music we listen to, the food we eat, the books we read; occasionally it all seems to fit into the grand scheme of things.
I have always been a firm believer in destiny.
If you’ve been here before, you probably already know that.
I met someone when I started working in Boston that has singlehandedly changed my life in numerous and wonderful ways.
He’s renewed my interest in music and taught me about what it means to really have heart, an essential and sadly missing emotional component in society today.
There are days when all the world seems so superficial and out of whack.
It makes me sad.
I discovered that it sometimes takes only one special person to change that seemingly distorted viewpoint.
In the past year or two, I’ve been introduced to music that has made my heart sing; NCQ (New Cuban Quartet), Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Michel Camilo, Paquito Rivera, Bebo and Chucho Valdes, the Gonzalez brothers and on and on.
My listening has increased to a point where there just isn’t enough time in a day to listen to all I want to listen to. And it’s a beautiful thing knowing I almost lost my ability and desire to ‘listen’.
I just wanted to take time to thank this wonderful and compassionate soul for entering my life. He makes me think there’s real hope for the world.
I love him like a brother and I know he doesn’t think he’s even worthy of a post such as this.
Eliud, you are. . .
The video below is there after a brilliant suggestion from Lolly.
It’s Michel Camilo’s performance “From Within” from Calle 54.
Camilo is absolutely stunning as is Anthony Jackson on bass.
Try to keep your eyes on Camilo’s hands.  Amazing.


Sweetleaf and the Nosmo King


The following is a list of dos and don’ts when entering an age-old cigar shop to purchase a stogie. My daily exposure to the sheer stupidity sometimes astounds me.
Some customers are really fascinating people with stories and anecdotes that make the job worthwhile.
But there are others that think that what we do is some kind of sophomoric game that requires no skill or brains and that we’re there for their entertainment.
This is for those customers.

Do your homework and have a clue as to what you want. I’m not clairvoyant.
Saying things like, “I’ve never done this before, “and “I have no idea what he/she smokes,” doesn’t help your cause.
I’ll just assume you’re an idiot and sell you something I personally like.
In most cases, your stupidity has served you well.
This applies to men and women.


If you’re a guy and come in asking for a raspberry and coconut flavored cigar, we will say (after you’ve left, empty handed), “Wow. What a dickhead.”


Don’t ask for my opinion if you have no intention whatsoever of taking it. You’re wasting my time and really cheesing me off.
I may end up selling you something I can’t seem to give away because it sucks so bad.


After I’ve totaled your purchase and I’m in the middle of counting you back your change, please dear God, don’t say, “Oh, wait, I’ve got the 36 cents, if that makes it easier.”
Your window of opportunity closed 30 seconds ago, douche bag.


This applies to the ladies:
If you come in to buy cigars for your hubby or boyfriend, cover your mouth and nose and glare at me while I smoke my cigar before asking, “Why is it so smoky in here?!” ,
you may want to consider going to CVS to buy some stale, short-filler, tastes like a rolled-up NY Times, cigars.
The end result won’t be quite the same in terms of product, but you’ll be able to uncover your nose and your mouth and take in the exotic honeysuckle perfume of the 86 year old woman standing next to you buying Depends.


Never come into the store and ask, “Hey, do you guys sell cigars here?!”
That may have been funny when Roosevelt was in office but it’s getting a bit old these days. We won’t laugh but we will say to each other (while you’re still in the store)
“Wow. What a dickhead.”


More phrases and questions we hate to hear:


“How much are these bad boys?”


“Jeepers, I feel like a little kid in a candy store.”
(Yeah, the first one is one the house, kid. Inhale deeply.)


“Do you guys sell bongs?”


“Do you guys sell small pipes?”
(Does it look like a head shop, buddy? I didn’t think so.)


Sometimes I think people assume we’re just burnt out and unintelligent salespeople.
We do burn out from time to time but we’re not simpletons.
We know what we’re doing simply because we’ve done it for so long.
We can usually send you out with exactly what you want if you would just shut your cakehole long enough for us to ask a few simple questions.
But do you?
I guess that would make my job too easy. Ughh.


Should you walk in and make a point of letting me know how much more knowledgeable you are regarding cigars, I will gladly hand you the coveted “Chump of the Day” award, an imaginary trophy given to the biggest bonehead of the day.
We give one away on a daily basis, get here early and show us your stuff.


Anyone who is in the retail field can associate with the consumer mentality I’m talking about here. Sometimes you just have to scream, ya know?