Tuesday, May 8, 2012

PSU Magazine June 2012 Issue

Here is the cover for the next issue of the Pipe Smoker Unleashed magazine.

Pipe Smoker Unleashed Magazine Cover - June 2012

There is plenty for you to enjoy in the next issue including a 4 page feature on a very talented carver name Chris Askwith.  We also have an excellent article from Steve Laug on Pipe Refurbishment, plus a very informative piece on Meerschaums from the acknowledged expert in the field, Fred Bass.

There are also plenty of advertisements from independent carvers in the this month's issue showing of the pipes of some of the most talented names in the business.  When you think about purchasing your next pipe it would be well worth looking at what these carvers have to offer as you will not be disappointed.

There is much more inside the next issue and don't forget that it is FREE.  Free to read, free to download and free to  print off and read at your leisure.

Join our fast growing readership and enjoy a great read whilst relaxing with a bowl of your favorite blend in your favorite pipe !!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pipe Smoker Unleashed POY 2012


I just wanted to show you our 2012 POY created by Sinan Altinok.  She is a beauty and if you want to order one just click on the image to go to the order page.

Pipe Smoker Unleashed POY 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pipe Smoker Unleashed Magazine

Pipe Smoker Unleashed is proud to announce our new monthly magazine.

This magazine is available free for everyone to read, download and print.

We have features on Carvers, accessories, pipes, tobacco blends, a local B&M store of the month and much more.

Load a bowl of your favorite blend, grab a glass/cup/mug of your favorite tipple, click the link below and enjoy.



Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pipe Smoker Unleashed Magazine

We are excited to announce that we will be producing a monthly magazine which will be free to view online.  

This month's magazine, our first issue, is being put together as we speak and I must say it is coming along nicely. 

The magazine will contain reviews on pipes, tobacco blends and pipe accessories. We also have regular features on independent carvers, a forum member of the month, a pipe smoking related photo of the month and also a B&M store of the month.

There will be plenty of space for advertisers to promote their in store specials etc as we will create hyperlinks in the advertisements which will take readers directly to your current promotions.  Our rates are very reasonable so it is well worth contacting us to get your business in the magazine.

The magazine can be downloaded and printed off if you wish to keep a hard copy for yourself or if you wish to provide them in your store for your customers to read.  We will be keeping the magazine free for the forseeable future to allow maximum exposure to pipe smokers worldwide and also our advertisers 

We hope you will enjoy our new magazine as much as we have enjoyed putting it together for you.

Here is a draft of the April 2012 Issue cover. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

The First Pipe of the Rest of My Life

As I sit here today, I realized two things; first, it’s quite astonishing that I can say I’ve been doing something for nearly 20 years (being only 35), and at this time last year I was about to embark on the trip of my lifetime.

I started smoking a pipe when I was about 20; I was given the gift of a Dr. Grabow and some Captain Black as part of a starter pack found in a few local B&Ms. Since this isn't a story about how or why I initially began pipe smoking, I will spare the details on the growing pains of a new piper (besides, I’m sure most, if not all of us have been there anyway).

Between a busy lifestyle and to some extent the frustrations a new piper experiences, I didn’t smoke a pipe all that often, maybe once every few weeks I would light one up, eventually I did get the hang of packing/lighting and puffing.  So my smokes became much more enjoyable.

Over the years I would go months without smoking my pipe and after several relocations, the pipe was eventually lost.

Later in my 20’s I picked it up again after I had rediscovered my grandfather’s old pipes (which have since been lost again) and around this time I had some great tutelage from a seasoned pipe smoker, a great original member of a volunteer fire company I belonged to, as well as a gentleman who was part owner of small company I was working for at the time.

This time I stuck with it little more, never really going more than a week or two without at least smoking one pipe. But again, I still wasn’t smoking a pipe daily and was and still am, unfortunately, addicted to cigs.

However, something somewhere changed…and I am not sure what or even why, but I can, without a doubt, pinpoint when.

On April 5, 2011, I found myself on a Lufthansa flight out of Philadelphia with a destination of Frankfurt, Germany, not to return back to the states until early June.

I had just been laid off from work, received a meager severance, a decent tax return and enough saved that I could afford the trip, especially since I would be spending the majority of my time at my niece's…so, I asked myself, "when would I ever have this opportunity again"? Answer...no, probably not...so I cleared the visit with my niece and promptly booked the flight!

The main purpose of the trip was to visit my oldest niece; her husband had just joined the USAF and was assigned to the Spangdalhem Airbase one year prior and she was getting homesick and was desperate to see family. I am only 11 years older than my nice and I believe that and the time I spent with my sister and my niece helped make us extremely close. So she was (I think) more excited for me to come out as I was to be going. Either way it just seemed that the stars were all aligned to make the trip.

I wish I would’ve thought about creating a blog for that trip, but alas, the thought never crossed my mind.

Anyway, the time spent out there was fantastic, taking many bus trips that were offered through the Airbase (major kudos to the Military for offering these trips and extending the offer to family members of those in the Military). Most were quick one day or weekend trips to the likes of Paris, Amsterdam, Maastricht, Strasbourg, and Normandy. Just enough to get a flavor of a new country/city and see some of the major tourist attractions.

Sandwiched in between all of this was an empty week during the second week of May. I must admit, that even though my niece and I are close, I loved seeing her little daughter and I get along great with her husband...I had been there now for almost 6 weeks, even with my traveling, I was still with her most of the week. Fortunately we weren't really at each others throats (yet), but I still had another three weeks or so left in my stay, it was time to find something that lasted more than just a weekend, before we all just get on each others nerves.

While looking for trains, planes or any other mode of transportation, I ran across this trip offered through a different base, it was a weeklong excursion to Italy. Although I have family that hail from Italy, it was never a destination I considered. It was, however, the longest trip with the most sights to see that 1. I could find for that week and 2. That I could afford (traveling single sucks, because they nail you with the single supplemental rates).

It's funny to think about it now, but back then, I was not very enthused about taking this trip at first, however the unplanned trip turned out to be the gem of my entire time out there. It was heads and shoulders the best decision and the best time I had (and Normandy was supposed to be the crown jewel, it still was, but in a different way).

Anyway, I met tons of great members of the Military that were on the trip to Italy as well. I shared the back of the bus with some very gorgeous, very single military women, but alas, this story is for later. I do want to digress in one area, I just think this is neat. One of the women in the back of the bus was traveling with her mother...turns out she (the mother) was originally from NYC, lived only blocks away from my mom's original NYC neighborhood. The daughter (roughly 5 years older than I) turns out, was born at a hospital outside of Philly that I worked at...small world eh?

Anyway, back on point. The trip to Italy is what got me into pipe smoking on daily basis. Why you ask? Well, it is important to note that I was traveling on my own. Most of the participants of this trip new this and if they saw me walking around on my own, they would kind of “adopt” me…and to use their term, it was a form of “force protection” so I would have somebody to watch my back. This particular day I hooked up with a Staff Sergeant (wish I remembered his name), and his family. The schedule for the day was tight and we made the decision we would forgo going through the Roman Colosseum, rather we would walk around, shoot some pics of it and the other sites and grab lunch while we could.

Towards the end of the day we were sitting down and relaxing, waiting for the group to return to meet the bus, but what do I see? The Staff Sergeant pulling out a blue Vector Rhodesian pipe and loading it up. I don’t recall exactly what blend other then it was an OTC blend he was able to get on base. He struck the match, followed by a lovely waif of white smoke. Oh, how I missed that smell. My craving for cigs waned, I wanted a pipe…I wanted it now.

The next day, still in Rome, we stopped by the Trevi Fountain. I found myself meandering around the area on by myself, as I am walking, what do I see, a Tobac shop with pipes. Oh, my, this has to be a sign, that is it, I am buying my pipe…Got myself a Savinelli and a couple pouches of Mac Baren’s Original Choice...it was a dent in the wallet, but a dent I was willing to take as I wasn't really buying much out there, my pictures were my souvenirs.
It took me a few tries, but it wasn’t long until I got the memory back on how to load and light my new friend. Ahh, pure bliss.

As blissful as that was, I hit the heavenly puffing the next day. See, Europe offers two things that is not found in the states, outdoor smoking most everywhere and Café’s that don’t kick you out, as a matter of fact they want you to take your time…it can take 15-20 minutes or more just to get an espresso.

I think it was the 4th day into the trip, we went to the Isle of Capri; After a morning stop in Sorrento, the majority of the day was spent on the Island. By this time the lovely females, our "chaperon" and I had formed into a clique and spent our "free time" as a group. Now Capri is mostly shopping and with Florence on the schedule for the last day, none of the ladies were readily parting with their money just yet.

So, becoming rather worn down since we've pretty much been walking for four straight days, we found the first Café, sat our rear ends down..the girls drank a few red wines, I drank a few espressos, before moving on to some superb Italian white wines…and I COULD SMOKE MY PIPE, no strange evil glances from the public, nobody calling the smoking nazis, nobody thinking, OMG, he's got a pipe, it must be pot!!!! I smoked bowl after bowl, virtually non-stop. The mixture of great company, good drinks and much needed rest, this is the pipe that said “Ninja, you need to do this all of the time”.

And so I did. I got home from my trip on June 2. It wasn’t long until I found some great on-line retailers as well as some of the great pipe smoking forums, my cellar and pipe collection grew…the rest is history.

But every time I light my pipe it will forever reengage my memory of sitting outside of an Italian Café, on the Isle of Capri on a crisp, clear, sunny day with some of the best people I’ve ever met (and fortunately still maintain some contact with). It was, in essence, the first pipe of the rest of my life.

A trip that I really wasn't excited about, had I not gone, I mostly likely wouldn't have picked up the pipe full time, and I would've missed out on a helluva good time!

The scene pictured above is the view from my seat at the cafe on the Isle of Capri!

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Is In The Air

As spring pokes it head tentatively through the blanket of winter it is a time for pipe smokers to take ourselves outdoors and shake the cobwebs from our, usually, enforced hibernation and enjoy the wonder of the world in rebirth.

All manner of flora and fauna are in a state of renewal at this time of year and we can sit and observe this fascinating process whilst enjoying our favorite blend in our favorite pipe.

We can contemplate our pipe as a thing of beauty and as natural as the world coming to life around us.  The enjoyment of a bowl of tobacco is provided completely by nature from top to bottom.  The leaf of the tobacco we smoke is from the outside of the plant, the sap that makes the vulcanized rubber for our stems comes from the trunk of the tree and the warming bowl in our hand comes from the root burl of the Erica Arborea.

Our pastime; hobby; way of life, whatever you would like to call it, is therefore as natural as nature itself.  So when you sit there in thoughtful contemplation at this time of year, enjoy your pipe and the wonder of the world around us.