For some time now I have been unable to post videos on Facecrack. That sucks, but this site shows the value of owning your own website.
Bite me, FaceCrack.
For some time now I have been unable to post videos on Facecrack. That sucks, but this site shows the value of owning your own website.
Bite me, FaceCrack.
As a cigar smoker myself, I know that there are only a few cigar accessories that I really need. All the rest are just a result of whether or not I want to spend my money on accessories, or on good cigars.
I always opt out for the cigars, because cigar accessories only get taken out for a few seconds and then get put away until the next time you need them. A good cigar can give me an hour of pure cigar smoking pleasure.
This first real accessory that you need is a cutter. You can’t bite the end off of a good cigar, no matter how cool you think it looks. It will mess up the wrapper, the binder, and the filler. And besides, what are you going to do with the cap in your mouth? You aren’t going to chew it up and swallow. It just doesn’t look that good to be spitting out a hunk of a good cigar.
There are lots of cutters out there from singel blades, to double blades, to cigar scissors, to wedge cutters. For my everyday use I have a single blade guillitine cutter. It is simple and easy to deal with. When I go to my favorite tobacconist, I use his wedge cutter. The wedge cutter is just so freaking cool. I just haven’t gotten around to justifying the purchase of one as of yet. Remember what I said, I invest my money in good cigars not in cigar accessories.
Sitting on the deck enjoying a good cigar at the end of a good day is a tiny slice of heaven.
Today I bottled one of the partigyle brews I made with a friend a couple of weeks ago. It was the second running, as I want the first running, a Dopple Bock, to sit in the secondary for another week. I am not sure what to name this brew, as this was the first partgyle brew I have ever performed.
Regardless, sitting on the deck with this cigar is very relaxing. It is saving me from destroying my kitchen as I have managed to ruin two loaves of bread yet once again. I do not understand what it is with me and bread. Bread is supposed to be this simple recipe that anyone can make. I can’t make bread. It is either tasteless, gummy, over baked, under baked,or just gross. I follow the recipe. I talk to my friends who are chefs, and bakers. I write down what they tell me, and I still can’t make a loaf of bread to save my soul.
I don’t get it.
But I do get this cigar. It is a Punch Gran Puro. And is it good? Oh yes. It is fantastic. So I will sit here and finish it, ruminating on the remains of this day.
I have said it way too many times in the past, but I do love coffee. Coffee is a passion in my life. And I really do not like bad coffee. Bad coffee exists in many aspects. Weak coffee, burnt coffee, coffee served in dirty cups, coffee brewed in dirty equipment, using stale coffee, grinding stale beans, etc.
I buy my coffee currently in a grocery store, but I know that the beans that they sell bulk are most likely stale. I tend to buy the plastic containers. Why? Because even though the containers are months away from being ground, at least they tried to slow the process of the coffee going stale by sucking air out of the package. And that minimally helps. Minimally. What would improve the process even more would be if I learned how to roast my own beans. You see, green coffee beans will last for a long time in the green state. It is when you roast them that the process of them becoming stale begins. So if I could just roast what I want to use over the next couple of days, I could have fresh roasted coffee on a constant basis.
And I like that idea, because I love coffee. Remember? Anyway, there are a number of methods you can use to roast your own coffee beans. You can put them in the oven, you can use a frying pan, you can use an air popcorn maker, or you can go out and buy a drum roaster. Me, I am going to start with the oven method, and then decide how I want to improve from there.
Because I really love good, fresh coffee.
I do love a good cigar. That being said, a good cigar has to be stored properly to keep its flavor and ability to be smoked properly.
There really isn’t anything much better than a good cigar, and the time to smoke it. Given the time and the right cigar, I could enjoy one pretty much anywhere. But it has to be a good cigar, and a good cigar is one who has been stored under the right conditions
Cigars are a blend of specific tobaccos that have been stored at 70 degrees, at 70% humidity. This means that for each particular cigar, they will have had to have been held at those levels of temperature and humidity from the time of production to the time of enjoyment. That sounds a lot easier than it really is. Once a cigar has been rolled, it is at the mercy of whatever human handles it. And that is as ominous as it sounds. Cigars go from roller to storage, to shipping, to storage yet once again until they are purchases. And it is the retail storage that is the most dicey.
Not all retailers store their cigars as well as they should. Not all retailers have the facilities to store the cigars that you intend to purchase. That being said, you as the cigar purchaser can hedge your bet. And that is where a humidor comes into play. Cigars that lose their humidity lose the flavor they were meant to have. They will burn to hot, and too fast. The outside wrappers might very well separate from the filler.
Humidors are constructed to keep the temperature steady, along with the humidity. This is taken care of by either an internal electric powered humidifier, or by a sponge-like device where once soaked in distilled water the water evaporates in the humidor keeping your cigars at an optimum level of humidity and temperature.
I know I keep harping on those two variables, but they will make or break your cigar storage and your cigar enjoyment. Humidity at 70%, and temperature at 70 degrees. Keep them stable and your stable of good cigars will be there waiting for you to have the time to enjoy them properly.
And the difference between me and you, I won’t argue right or wrong.
Remember that concept: Keyword Analysis because that is going to tell you whether or not you are going to make money. And that is why we are here, now isn’t it? I thought so, so let’s get to work.
You have to figure out what you want to write about, because as you are setting up blogs you have to post content to those blogs. So wrap your head around that reality first. I write about making beer, and wine, candles, composting, cigars,and worm farming. It is a heck of a lot easier to write about something you know about than trying to learn about a subject while you are writing. Because you want to be able to whip content onto your blogs quickly, so that you can start getting traffic.
But baby steps. Once you have a handful of subjects you want to write about go to google and enter in “Keyword Analysis” in search and hit enter. Google Adwords Keyword Tool is where you want to go. Click on that and when the page loads type on of your writing interests in where it says “enter one keyword or phrase” You will then have to type in the captcha word and hit “get keyword ideas”. A list of keywords will come up. We now have to filter them to get an idea of what is worth our time and what isn’t. On the right you will see a box that has “Broad” in it. Drop the window down and set that cell to “exact”. Right above that is a cell that says choose columns to display. Drop that window down and click on “Show estimated CPC”. Drop the window down again and click “hide advertiser competition”, and “hide local search volume”. Finally click on “global monthly search volume” which will bring the most popular searches to the top.
Here is where it gets interesting. Don’t pay any attention to any keyword that has less than 10,000 visits per month. Unless their CPC is above $5 they just aren’t worth the energy unless you want to use one just to experiment. Take a look at some of the monthly clicks and put them to the test of what they could POTENTIALLY mean to you in income. To do this multiply the CPC by the monthly searches, and then finally by .005. This will tell you what this keyword could pay you if you were on top of the google seaches for that keyword. That equation looks like this: cpc x monthly search volume x .005 = $$$.
That is enough for today. Let me know when you have that completed and we will go on to setting up your blogs.
The lattter part of last year was all wahhhhh my shoulder hurts. Waaaahhhhh I might need surgery. Waaaahhhh it is going to hurt. Lets try physical therapy. Waaahhhh physical therapy hurts. Waaaahhhh it makes me tired, and takes up too much of my time. Waaaahhhh I don’t want surgery. Lets try a cortisone shot. Waaaahhhh it is going to hurt. Waaaaahhhh I know that it is going to hurt and I am still going to have to have surgery and that is going to hurt. Waaaa…….hey. It didn’t hurt. It feels good. Almost like new. Cool.
Then….Waaaahhhh my foot hurts. Waaaahhh I can’t walk on it. Waaaahhhh I don’t know what is going on. Waaaahhh the pain has moved to the bottom of my foot. Waaahhh I still can’t walk. Waaahhh when is this going to end? Waaahhhh now my leg hurts. Waaaahhhh no one is taking my pain seriously other than me. Wahh…….I would cry but I can’t breathe.
Hello Dr? I can’t walk from the parking lot to my store without sitting down for 10 minutes. Yes I know that I am overweight, but I have never had this happen before. And then there is this pain that I have been having since this morning in the upper lobe of my right lung. Do you think that I could be seen today? Immediately? Ok. See you as soon as I can.
What do you mean I am going to the hospital? Just what does “Extensive Pulmonary Embulisms” mean? Two? More than two? Just walk in? i don’t have to wait? Cool.
I spent the next 2 and 1/2 days in Harrisburg Hospital being taken care of by the nicest, most professional staff that I could have hoped for. Even when I got up in the middle of the first night and decided that I wanted to brush my teeth and freaked my nurse out because that caused my heart monitor to go ballistic. Sheila was very nice about me scaring the bejeesus out of her.
Now I am home, injecting myself with an anticoagulant twice a day. Rather, MLW is injecting me. She is being a trouper in that aspect. Hopefully we won’t have to do that anymore after this coming Monday when I find out what my coumadin levels are.
I did learn a couple of important things in the hospital. Your blood pressure can get above 200 without your head popping off. Mine got up to 210 over 102 one night. That got a few folks excited. And I also learned that you can find “Lost” fans everywhere. One of my PA’s and I talked about the upcoming season the first night I was there and couldn’t sleep. I have nothing but good things to say about Harrisburg Hospital and their staff. I certainly hope that I don’t have to go back, but if I do I know that I will be in very capable hands.
I have been whining for the past couple of months about my health. My shoulder had been hurting me since before the summer, and I was doing physical therapy for it. That ended when I got a cortisone shot in it just before Christmas. Then the week after Christmas I got this weird on the top of my left foot that turned into cellulitis.
That turned into a whining session on my part of the highest order. Partly because it really hurt, and partly because….well…I can be a whiner when I am in pain. Went to the Dr. about that one, thinking that I had been to the Dr. in the past couple of months more that I had been in the last freaking year. The pain with the foot traveled from the top to the bottom and kept me out of work for the week between Christmas and New Years. Looking back on this, I think that this is where I started with the blood clots.
Yes, blood clots. I was at a friends house helping him brew his first couple of batches of beer when I noticed I was really out of breath. Just talking was making me gasp, and I was sitting down more than I usually do. Went to work the next day and just walking from the parking lot into the store I had to sit down and catch my breath before putting my coat away. That wasn’t a good thing.
I called my Dr., and after listening to my whining again I was sent for a Cat Scan. Imagine my embarrassment when I found out that they really didn’t want to scan my cats, that it was the name of a procedure. Hopefully the cats will forgive me at some time.
Anyway, after the scan I talked to my Dr. who told me to go home and pack a bag because I was going to the hospital. So that is what I did, and that is also where it gets weird. Because I went home, tossed some clothes in the washer, made a sandwich, grabbed a bottle of water and relaxed. After transferring my clothes from the washer to the dryer I was walking by my cell phone and saw that I had a couple of calls on it. Picked the phone up, and it rang. It was my Dr. wanting to know where I was. And not in a friendly voice. She yelled at me. Asked me what I was doing. Told her I was doing what she told me, I was getting some things together for the hospital. She didn’t think that that was funny. So I went to the hospital.
It seems that both of my lungs had “extensive pulmonary embollisms”. Basically, a whole bunch of blood clots. If she hadn’t have told me to go home and pack a bag, I would have been at the hospital a lot earlier. It really wasn’t my fault. Just a small mis-understanding. And that is my story.
I will talk about the hospital stay tomorrow. Right now, I am bushed.
Thank you guys very much for being so concerned. It touches my cold, black heart to know that there are so many folks out there who care. MLW is also very appreciative of the words of support. You guys certainly do rock.
Life around our household has been interesting to say the least. I managed to conract an infection in my foot making it impossible to put on a shoe and be mobile. And seeing as
my job requires me to be a ble to walk around the store so that I know what is going on, not being able to walk was a hinderance so I spent the week between Christmas and New Years with my foot elevated. sounds a lot more fun than it actually was. Believe me. Because being home at that time meant that I was home with MLW and The Princess. That never ends well. Too much time together and we start to get on one anothers nerves. Really bad. And I am the one who starts it because I am not as nice as MLW is.
That being said, I also spent some time learning how to make soy candles, something that I had done years ago but had gotten away from. Actually, I didn’t make soy candles we made parrafin candles and had a great time with it, but this time around I am planning on making some soy candles. I also made another batch of my famed Out Cider hard cider for some friends. Said friends keep hounding me as to when this batch of cider is going to be ready for consumption, and if they keep it up it will never be ready for them. I unfortunately have not brewed the latest batch of Imperial Red Ale because, hello! Have you noticed how freaking cold it has been outside? I am not a cold loving kind of guy. And even though I do enjoy brewing some good beer, standing outside in the cold during the process is not my cup of tea. Sorry. I am not a cold lover.
This week we have the Pennsylvania Farm Show in town. This event happens every year in January as an excuse for all of us who have gained 50 lbs over the holidays to pack on just a couple more. something to make feel that much worse about ourselves before we get into the rest of the winter. The best part of the Farm Show is the food. Potato donuts, french fries, baked potatoes with real melted butter on top. Deep fried vegetables fried cheese, fried mushrooms, fried everything. They have really good milk shakes, and honey ice cream, and warm apple dumplings with ice cream, and oh my god pretty much anything else you might want to eat. Really good fried tilapia, pulled pork sandwiches, beef BBQ, meatball sandwiches, blooming onions, onion rings. I am salivating just thinking about all of that really good fried food that is waiting to clog up my arteries somemore. If you have never been to the Farm Show and are going to be around the Harrisburg area this week you have got to stop by and check it out.
And don’t forget to look at that animals, cause there are about a billion 4-H kids around who have been raising all of the cows, and horses, and chickens, and such who like to show their animals offf. We can’t forget about the kids. It wouldn’t be right if we did. But once you have gotten that out of the way you can head for the food court. I will see you there.