This weekend I picked up a Olivetti-Underwood Studio 44 Typewriter from Mike Franck at Estate Sales On The Go in Bellevue, NE. It was an impulse buy since I usually pick up vinyl, CDs & cassettes here, but he had two typewriters to choose from and this one was is the best condition for a whopping $30. I couldn’t pass it up!
I wanted a manual typewriter to create a list of songs that I record to cassette tape. Essentially making my own jackets with that old school typeface you find using a typewriter. Sure I could use a computer for this project but it wouldn’t be the same—just doesn’t have that stenciled look & feel. Right now the default typeface I’m using is called script or cursive.
The serial number is #458273 which puts this in the 1962-64 timeframe of being built in Barcelona, Spain (found this information online at typewritredatabase.com).
Everything is functional on this typewriter and it is in excellent condition. The ribbon isn’t totally dried out (I’ve already ordered a new one from eBay), it just takes a little pounding to produce decent print in either black or red with a flip of a lever. It has a hard case for storage but no other accessories such as a cleaning brush or operating manual (a digital copy of the manual is found online).
Typing on this machine immediately brought me back to high school and tech school when I first used one in typing class. I had to take a refresher typing class while in tech school at Pensacola, FL back in 1987 when I joined the Air Force since this would be the machine to use for copying Morse code.
I’m extremely happy with this purchase and look forward to putting it to good use creating cassette jackets!
It's been several years since I've posted anything on Weebly and now it's time for an update. This is an post to the "RuffLife" part of the "RuffLife & Pipes" since it's obviously not pipe related :)
I picked up this Sony Walkman Professional WM-D3 Cassette-Corder (believe it was released in 1985) from eBay earlier this week which has some issues (seller stated that it wouldn't run on batteries and didn't have a power adapter for testing). It looked great in the advert and even better now that it's in my possession. It sold with the case & strap, audio connector (mini-to-RCA), plus two stereo microphones; PC-62 & ECM-TDCM (tie clip). I had a Sony AC-D2L 3V power cord on-hand and determined that the unit works!
Did I mention that it needs additional work? Well, it plays/records to cassette but the FFWD/RWD functions are shot. Once I took it apart I noticed that there was some corrosion in the battery compartment and wiring. I soldered the connections and it plays on battery power! The main plastic gear was broken (a known problem with these units; replacement part on order) which may affect the FFWD/RWD functionality, so hopefully it will be resolved when the new gear arrives.
More to follow...
131201 - English Billiard with Morgal Ember Blast Finish - Brandon Brooks
I had been watching this pipe on TPC (tobaccopipecollectors.com) for a little while but never pulled the trigger. One evening the missus said, "...go get another pipe!". So I did. I was a little suspicious at first because she wouldn't normally say that unless I've been throwing hints that I was "looking" for another pipe. Come to find out that she wants to go to a Justin Timberlake concert in Kansas City with her sister this summer. Although seeing JT in concert would be cool, how many people can say they own an English Billiard with a Morgal Ember Blast Finish from Brandon Brooks?! Only this guy :D
This is a thin walled pipe with an amazing blast and stain finish. It's a little pipe but looks sooooo cool! The little details from the non-blasted briar ring on the shank that meets the saddle bit stem, to his stamp, to the ember stain from the shank to the bowl which transitions from dark green to amber is fantastic! I like the green swirled band/saddle bit stem and the draw hole from bowl chamber to button is perfect. As Brandon stated, this pipe is for a "sipper" because the bowl has thin walls. He also says that the proportions are slightly off from a standard billiard but are very similar to an old Dunhill that he owns. Here are the dimensions for this pipe:
Chamber (carbonized) Depth = 1"
Chamber Width = 3/4"
Bowl Height: 1-1/2"
Total Length: 5"
Hand-cut Ebonite Stem
This is a fantastic billiard from Brandon Brooks. Everything about it is perfect--it looks even better up close and smokes wonderfully! I would highly recommend you add a BB pipe to your collection--you won't regret it!!
I've fallen behind in posting my tobacco reviews so here's a 4-in-1 entry for you!
1 Feb 2014 - Mac Baren Capstan Gold Navy Cut Flake Tobacco ---This tobacco tin is comprised of light brown/yellow Virginia's that is thinly sliced into flakes. The tin note is wet hay-like sweetness which reminds me of Samuel Gawith's Golden Glow :) Is it moist out of the tin so I let it sit for about 15-minutes before packing it into the bowl of my Savinelli Oscar Dry 127. It produced light puffy smoke at first light and pretty much matches the tin note. It was not a bad smoke but not really a memorable one.
7 Feb 2014 - J.F.Germain & Sons Medium Flake ---This tin has "Red and golden tobaccos, pressed, aged and sliced for your enjoyment". Yup...the tin contained red, brown and golden Virginia's that is pressed and cut into a shag-like strands of tobacco. The tin note is fruity with a little citrus aroma and maybe a hint of raisins. The moisture level is slightly dry to moist which was ready to smoke. At first light in a Dwayne Rieks Flame Poker (@drhandcrafted on IG), produced full puffy smoke and a little sweetness came through like the tin note, but not as pronounced--a floral note on the palate. I really like the indescribable aroma in the bowl--it calls you to keep smoking it! This was an enjoyable mild smoke for me :P
7 Feb 2014 - Solani English Luxury Mixture Blend 779 Golden Label---When I saw the tin and read "English Luxury Mixture" on the label...I knew this would be a good baccy! This tin of light/dark brown tobacco is comprised of Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, and Virgina's in ribbon cut form. The tin note has a campfire aroma (love it!) as many English blends and the moisture level is dry-to-moist which I think is perfect right out of the tin. At first light in my Freddie Prieto Short Stubby Cutty (@fppipes on IG), produced light puffy smoke and after awhile I got a faint floral aftertaste which was pleasing to my palate. Overall it was a good smoke and I definitely will buy more!
8 Feb 2014 -Balkan Sasieni---This tin is in the same boat as Solani...comprised of light/medium/dark brown Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, and Virginia's in ribbon cut form. The tin note also has a little stronger campfire aroma than Solani and moisture level is the same--dry-to-moist and ready to smoke! At first light in a Paul Menard Bent Egg (@paulspipes on IG), produced nice puffs of smoke with a nice spiciness on my palate. This is another great tobacco that I really enjoyed...and did all day long! I'm definitely buying more of this baccy goodness!!
Lately I've been working on making pipe tampers, not for sale, but rather something that I do to keep busy while smoking my pipes in the garage. I've got scaps of bamboo stalks and deer antler that I got from my brother-in-law, and some spent shells from a co-worker, so with my limited tools (hack saw, dremel, grinder/sander, sandpaper, and leather dye) I'm able to create some goofy tampers. Some take longer than others, especially when carving with a bulky dremel, but it's something I enjoy doing...for the time being. I know it won't last long because I get bored easily and usually move on to something else.
I've been asked whether I plan on selling any and I usually respond with a "no" because I plan on using them as gifts. When I plan on doing that remains to be seen, but it's still quite early in the year. This is something I want to do this year...be more giving instead of always taking. I've already given a tamper, not one I made or one that is really a tamper, but something that I've used as a tamper which was a Japanese ceramic figurine.
So here's a collage of my tampers for your viewing pleasure. Hopefully I can add more and start to really share them with my fellow pipe smokers. Until then...
I first started seeing photos of Joan Canto's pipes on IG and I was blown away at the beauty and attention to details in every pipe he created. I eventually checked out his website and and photos of every pipe were crystal clear and very professional. Well, he's also a photographer in Catalonia, Spain which explains it. He calls himself an apprentice pipe maker---I think not! This pipe maker has some skills and are apparent in his photos.
One day he posted progress pics of a Zulu pipe with a Cumberland stem. Now a Zulu followed by a Dublin is a pipe shape that I've wanted to own for some time now, so I asked how much one would have to pay to own one of his pipes. After a few emails we came to an agreement which made us both happy. He understood my interest in this pipe and he remembered that I often commented on his posted photos on IG from the beginning...so he wanted me to have this pipe. A week later I received a package in the mail---it was the Zulu that I ordered! This is the first pipe he has produced in 2014, and now it is mine :)
When I pulled the pipe out of this pipe sock, I immediately noticed how light this pipe really was. This is probably the lightest pipe in my small collection :) It is sandblasted and has a smooth chamber. The sandblasted briar stops just short of the stem which leaves a smooth band that measures about 1/32" in width. Underneath the shank is his stamp on a section of the unblasted brair; Canto, a pair of glasses, and the number 14. The mortise and tenon work is nice and tight, the draw is smooth and clear, but his stem/button work is amazing!
Now that I had this pipe I had to choose a tobacco to break her in---Esoterica Penzance would be the tobacco of choice! Even though my stash of Penzance is small, rubbing out a few slices of Penzance for this occasion is more than worth it! The way the pipe feels clenched in my mouth and the smooth draw made breaking in this "tan lady", as Joan put it, a fantastic experience :) So if you haven't added a Joan Canto pipe to your collection, you're missing out for sure! Be sure to check out his work at http://www.cantopipes.com. That's talent right there!
Zulu Pipe Measurements:
Today I sampled a new tin of tobacco of Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired in my Savinelli 804KS Sitting pipe. This 3.5oz tin has a sophisticated look about it in its simplicity; dark brown label with subdued lion's head and signature scripted print. When I opened the tin I found the tobacco slices (3 neatly stacked rows which look like sticks of gum) wrapped in gold foil. A label under the tin base reads:
"A bold flake of dark-fired burleys in a well balanced unity with Flue-cured Virginias. This flake is Hot Pressed, meaning that during the pressing, heat is added by steam to the tobaccos which causes the tobacco to intensify the marrying process giving us a bolder tobacco. The robust, earthly flavour of the dark-fired burleys shines through in the taste, and you will experience a deeply satisfying smoke indeed."
Dark brown with thin streaks of light brown Burley & Virginia tobaccos are pressed and thinly sliced into flakes that smell slightly sweet and also have a slight aroma of ketchup. These flakes appear to be quite dry but are moist which is noticable when I rubbed it out. I probably should have aired out a couple of slices (I only needed about 1-1/2 slices to fill a bowl) before I packed it, but I could wait. After first light, the burning tobaccos produced light puffy smoke, but what I really noticed is the rich and creamy coating on my palate. Maybe "earthy" would be a good word for it. It just has a a little smokiness and spice that makes me think that this is an expensive tobacco blend. Is that weird? I don't know...it's rich and I like it! This is another blend that smokes great from beginning to end. I had a couple of re-lights which I expected. I may try letting a couple of slices air out for a few before I smoke another bowl, just for comparison sakes. At the end of the smoke I was left with a bowl of white ash and almost no dottle. What a great smoke this Old Dark Fired turned out to be. My last 3 tins of new tobaccos have been fantastic: J.F.Germain & Sons 1820 & Royal Jersey - Original Latakia Mixture, and now Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired. I hope the next few new tobaccos continue to be satisfying! If you haven't tried ODF, getcha some because I highly recommend it for sure!!
Yesterday I received a package of tobaccos from 4oggins (http://www.4noggins.com), and in this box was a tin of J.F.Germain & Sons 1820. Now after trying their blend called Royal Jersey - Original Latakia Mixture, I was hoping for another hit with this tin---I wasn't disappointed!!
I smoked a bowl of this tobacco in The Bent Egg and antler tamper from Paul Menard (@paulspipes on IG). "Named after the year in which the company was founded. This mixture of top grade Cyprus Latakia Oriental and flue cured tobacco will provide penty of interest for the experienced pipe smoker." 'Nuff said! This tin is comprised of Oriental/Turkish, Virginia and Latakia tobaccos. Opening this tin revealed light to dark brown ribbon-cut awesomeness! The moisture level was moist-to-dry and ready to smoke. The tin note is a campfire aroma from the Latakia with a sweetness and spicy beef jerky aromas---love it!!
At first light, it produced light puffy smoke but a creamy coating on my palate---a welcoming sweetness & saltiness. This blend is similar to Royal Jersey - Original Latakia Mixture, on the lighter side.
There is something about J.F.Germain & Sons blended tobaccos that have really got my attention---I'm 2 for 2! First Royal Jersey and now 1820---all I can say is wow!! This blend is up there on my list of tobaccos, joining Penzance, Old Dublin, Blue Mountain, and Royal Jersey. Another highly recommended tobacco...for sure!
Last week I spent my days in a Security+ class in Omaha, Nebrasa. Ted's Tobaaco Shop was just 10-minutes away so I spent one of my lunch breaks looking over their limited collection of tins. My eyes turned to this tin with a purple lable---it was a J.F.Germain & Sons blend called Royal Jersey - Original Latakia Mixture. I've been seeing several pics on IG of tobaccos from Germain's which received high praise. So I made a purchase.
This tin is comprised of Virginia & Maryland blended with Oriental leaf from Greece/Turkey and Latakia tobaccos. The tin note has your typical campfire aroma from the Latakia. The moisture level is at moist-to-dry---ready to smoke! At first light it produced nice full puffy smoke and a creamy coat on my palate that made me want to smoke it even more. It smoked fantastically from beginning to end! Smoking this blend leaves a rich aftertaste and aroma that lingers in my stache! I can't pinpoint the scent but it just had me sniffing it all day long! I just wanted to get back to the pipe and smoke another bowl after bowl after bowl! It is that good :P This blend has moved up to the top end of my list of tobaccos.
If you love Latakia, if you love a creamy coating on your tongue, if you love the feeling of wanting more baccy, then this is it! Getcha a tin...but don't buy 'em all up 'cause I need to restock this almost empty tin!!
I sampled this blend from McClelland called Blue Mountain in a JSG Short Stubby Poker with a Waist on the 19th of January. I've had this blend in my cubbard for some time now---the bronze with blue mountain labeling didn't jump out and grab my attention so that's the reason why it remained untouched...until now!
"Rich with the finest Mountain Latakia, a classic full Balkan pipe tobacco mixture, smooth and deeply fragrant. The inspiration for this elegant mixture was a 21-year old tin of the legendary #759."
This tin is comprised of brown and dark brown ribbon-cut Oriental/Turkish, Virginia and Latakia tobaccos. The tin note is your typical camfire from the Latakia--love it! The moisture level appears that it would be moist with the oily appearance, but it is somewhat dry. Ater the first light it produced nice full puffy smoke. I get a very nice salty but creamy coat on my palate with a campfire aroma. If you love Latakia, than this is a hit!! It was so good that I blasted through this tin in less than 1 week! This is a highly recommended blend and it was a wonderful smoke from beginning to end!! I definitely need to restock this fabulous baccy!