Cigar Review: Aganorsa Leaf Signature Selection

Tonight we have a cigar review! It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these so I figured it was about time I get back with it. Tonight’s selection is a great one so let’s get to it!

This offering from Casa Fernandez cigars features a Rosado Corojo ’99 wrapper over Criollo ’98 binder and Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo long fillers. The size reviewed here is a standard 6″ x 52RG Toro vitola.

The first light revealed an absolutely perfect draw producing a good volume of medium/full body smoke that’s buttery and nutty supported by a bit of cocoa on the nose. Features a big blast of pepper and spice on the nose.

Getting into the first third the initial pepper blast dimishes slightly and the cocoa and sweetness take a more prominent role. Smoke is thick on the palate. There’s also a smooth leather that joins in the retrohale as well as a hint of rose petal. Everything is so smooth and well blended.

Only subtle changes in the 2nd third as the pepper continues to diminish and the smoke getting creamier. In the last third the cocoa diminishes and is replaced by a robust espresso and the pepper starts to return. Ending at 1 hour and 25 minutes for an excellent burn time for the size and bringing in a medium nicotine strength.

Flawless construction with a near razor sharp burn line and holding an ash about a third of a time. Good quality self adhesive bands that were easy to remove and did not damage the wrapper.

This was an absolutely delicious cigar. At a price point of about $10/stick this one deifnitely smokes above its price point. Smooth yet robust and with just enough transitions to keep things interesting. This is a limited edition so be sure to check it out while you have the change. Pair this one with a dark roast coffee, a smooth red wine (think a Pinot Noir or Merlot) or a nice Jamaican rum. Rating: 4.5/5.

Smoked this Monday night of the 10th of December, 2018 in memoriam of my beloved great-grandmother (who would have been 100 years old today) and in memoriam of my beloved Greyhound/lab mix Chocolate who passed away this afternoon at the age of 16. Thanks for the wonderful years of companionship.


9 Days of Reflection…

Today is a very difficult day for me. I’ve already cried more than I should and that won’t end anytime soon. It’s probably going to be that way for the entire course of the next nine days.

Why now? Well, my great-grandmother would have been 100 years old today (born December 10, 1918 in Japan). She was my rock growing up. Even when my relationship with my parents was strained at best, she was always there for me. I leaned on her hard growing up. My great-grandmother was the only one who seemed to understand me as it were and who knew I was “different” even though my parents refused to entertain the thought.

This nine days of reflection will conclude on the 19th. December 19, 2002 was no doubt the worst day of my life. At the age of 84 years and 9 days, my great-grandmother succumbed to complications from influenza secondary to kidney failure and pneumonia. For years I blamed myself for her death (and so did my parents for that matter), for I am probably the one that gave her the flu (I was sick from it the week prior to her death). In a lot of ways the guilt still sticks with me 16 years later.

I try not to reflect on the circumstances surrounding her death but at times I just can’t help it. Had I not contracted the flu would she still be alive today? Probably not but you never know. Would she have lived a few more years? Maybe, but who knows if they’d have been quality years, for she was active right up until the day she died.

Whatever the case, that day I lost my entire support structure and my home life turned to shit for awhile until my high school counselor finally begged my parents to get me tested. When I finally did get the autism diagnosis it was an “I told you so” moment and not only did I feel vindicated I think there was some vindication for my beloved great-grandmother. She very clearly saw what they did not.

For what I’ll remember most about her? Her kind heart and generous, giving spirit. I’ll remember how she almost raised me herself in the early years when my then single mother was working long hours. I’ll remember how she always stood up for me to my parents, my classmates and my teachers. I’ll remember her love for her flower garden and how meticulously she tended to it, especially her beloved peonies. I’ll remember her amazing cooking and homemade sushi (yes, I was eating sushi before it got trendy).

You can tell what kind of role she played in my life. 16 years of trying to put the pieces of my broken heart back together still hasn’t completely mended it, but taking a huge step to get her memory (in the form of a red and white peony) permanently etched into the dermis of my outer left calf was definitely a healing moment for me.

Rest In Peace, Kimiko Shiho-Holland; December 10th 1918 – December 19th 2002. Gone 16 years, but never, ever forgotten. A life well-lived and a legacy that lives on forever.

Song Lyric Sunday 12/9/18 – Jingle “Smells”

OK, this might be the most immature and disgusting Song Lyric Sunday post ever, but I feel it fits perfectly with the theme and if you’re like me and get the holiday blues you need a good laugh. This will give that to you for sure.

So our theme is “boys.” Of course, there are the cliche songs one could go for, but I’m going to get a bit creative. “Boys will be boys” is almost a mantra and a sort of platitude but let’s face it, little boys are just immature and disgusting and one of the things they are absolutely infatuated with for whatever sick reason is what makes up a major part of this song. If you are easily offended, I recommend you click off now because this is about to get disgusting and has some very coarse language.

Anyway, we’re all familiar with the classic holiday song “Jingle Bells” right? Well, this guy takes the tune in a funny yet gross direction. This version, performed by a guy from England named Paul Oldfield, is sure to make you bust a gut laughing and it’s something you would expect out of boys.

So here then is Oldfield’s (better known by his stage name “Mr. Methane”) take on “Jingle Bells” called “Jingle Smells”:

Something seems to (pong?)
The whiff it is quite strong
The cloud above my head
Has risen from the dead

I’m worried about a lump
That’s coming out my stom’ch
All’s not well this turtle said
“I better get out of bed”

Fucking hell, my ass smells
Best keep out of the way
It’s my bum you can hear it hum
From miles and miles away, ohh…

Fucking hell, my ass smells
I hope you’re standing clear
I’ve got some gas coming out my ass
It’s full of Christmas cheer

Dashing to the bog
To drop a yuletide log
Up the stairs I go
Farting all the way

I’ve got a burning ring
My buttocks starts to sting
I’ll take a chance, drop my pants
And let my sphincter sing, ohh..

(“Instrumental” – LMFAO!!!!)

Fucking hell, my ass smells
Best keep out of the way
It’s my bum I can hear it hum
From miles and miles away, ohh…

Fucking hell, my ass smells
I hope you’re standing clear
I’ve got some gas coming out my ass
It’s full of Christmas cheer

I’ve got some gas coming out my ass
I feel a little (queer?), ohh…

Fucking hell, my ass smells
Best keep out of the way
It’s my bum you can hear it hum
From miles and miles away, ohh…

Fucking hell, my ass smells
I hope you’re standing clear
I’ve got some gas coming out my ass
It’s full of Christmas cheer

Ding-a-ling, ding-dong (fucking hell)
Ding-a-ling, ding-dong (my ass smells)

Ding-a-ling, ding-dong (fucking hell)
Ding-a-ling, ding-dong (my ass smells)
Source: Transcribed by me to the best of my ability

OK, if you survived to the end, you might be interested to know Mr. Methane was actually doing the farting himself. It’s not a sound board or anything. He is a professional performing “flatulist” and can indeed fart on command. If you don’t believe me, check out his performance on Britain’s Got Talent.

Well, I hope I gave you a good laugh and see you next week!

I Might Be a Misfit, but I Swear I’m Not a Nitwit…

Of course, it’s a totally appropriate time for that blog title right? As much as the holidays can suck for me, one cannot endure this season without at least a little bit of levity, and the tale of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer as told by Burl Ives is a perennial favorite of mine, even well into adulthood because I guess I relate to it so much.

Sure, I’m that guy sitting in the lounge puffing my cigar and drinking my beverage of choice in t-shirt and short shorts/”Davy” Dukes in the spring/summer/fall or in a sweatshirt and patterned/printed leggings in the winter as opposed to all dressed up business-like. I’m also that guy that goes to the office dressed as such when on days when I’m just in the office and I don’t have to be out meeting clients on jobsites. I’m tattooed and pierced both. Instead of making small talk, I’m usually on my phone or laptop doing my own thing when out and about, unless I’m with one of my really few close friends. I might have some mannerisms you find odd, some involuntary motor tics (“stimming” as we autists call it) or some other weird interests.

If you can get past my exterior, though, you might just appreciate what I have to offer. Case in point all the other reindeer who used to laugh and call and Rudolph names. It took them awhile to wise up but eventually they did and realized that hey, maybe we aren’t so bad after all. I’m a pretty open book. I’m also damn good at what I do for a living. Though I might not necessarily look the part, I dare you to argue with the results I put out and isn’t that what matters above all? Function over form after all.

I will say it does appear as though social moors are changing, albeit slowly. Back in the day Windows PCs could only network with and share files with each other. Now you can network Windows PCs together with Macs and Linux machines and they all share many of the same file types, while at the same time each platform retains what makes it unique. In that light, I think it’s safe to create an analogy with Windows PCs being the neurotypical people of the computer world, while Macs and Linux boxes are the autists and neurodivergents. We can all get along and in general more accepting of what makes us unique, though there are still some holdouts. Though I’m too old to pursue a flying career, it makes me glad to hear that there are stories now of the FAA and other major aviation governing bodies worldwide who are accepting applicants who can show proficiency and ability to handle the stresses of the task. That’s not something I thought I’d ever see in my lifetime.

Looking back on where I am now vs. where I am when I first started this blog, I have to say starting this blog has been very good for me. Those of you who have been with me since the beginning will know I didn’t always view things this way. Many of you know how I struggled for years with self-acceptance and goodness knows I still do to this day to a certain degree. However, the friends I’ve met here who actually see past my misfit side and realize that I’m not a nitwit have helped me work to overcome that. Same is true of the few friends I have in real life now – though most still not appreciate me, I have those few who do, granted most of whom are fellow misfits, but that’s OK.

After all, what’s the matter with misfits? That’s where we fit in!!!

And A Happy Ending for My MacBook Pro…

Well turns out my MacBook Pro wasn’t dead at all.

I was able to boot it into recovery mode and wipe the hard drive in preparation to send it off for recycling but my BIL wanted to try to revive it. No problem, can’t hurt right?

After unsuccessfully attempting to install macOS, I got the idea to try converting it to a Mint machine. I still have the bootable flash drive after all.

Well guess what? IT WORKED!!!!

Breathed new life into what I thought was a dead computer. Now the sister and BIL have a working computer they can use as they need. They have a newly refurbished what I’m going to refer to as a “Mintintosh” or “MintBook Pro” – either one works right? A friend also suggested “AppleMint” – that one is also good.

Talk about the ultimate “fuck you” to Apple! I am feeling so evil yet so accomplished right now. Muhahahahaha!!!!!

Re-Creating iLife (and Other Mac Stuff) on Linux

I have to admit, one of the things that initally drew me to Macs back in the day was the iLife creative suite. Some 15 year ago Macs absolutely blew everything else out of the water for artsy/multimedia type stuff with iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand. Windows equivalents were ridiculously expensive until Windows 7 was introduced and then the gap narrowed considerably, though I still found Apple’s suite easier to use.

So now that I’ve made the move to Linux I’ve had to try to find alternatives, and boy did I ever succeed in doing just that. I found three programs that gives me pretty much the same functionality as iLife and the transition was very easy to make.

With that, here are the three equivalents I settled on.

  • iPhoto – I can’t speak for any other Linux distribution, but Mint Cinnamon edition comes with an app called Pix built right in. It’s an image viewer that also comes with GIMP built into it for easy editing.
  • GarageBand – LMMS has a very similar interface to GarageBand and the same capabilities. You can use real instrument tracks as well as a synthesized instrument library.
  • iMovie – OpenShot has an interface that is almost identical to iMovie. For Mac users, this is probably the easiest app to make the transition to Linux.

As far as some other stuff, for a music library manager I ultimately settled on Amarok.  I never used iWork much personally, but Linux Mint Cinnamon edition comes with LibreOffice preinstalled, which is what I had been using for an office suite on Mac so that’s no different at all.

On another note, I was able to pretty much completely recreate the “dark” theme from macOS Mojave by downloading and installing the Mint-Y-Yltra Dark theme as well as the Loki theme and the Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” default background (the whole cosmic thing). By implementing the themes as shown in the preferences, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two:


To totally round out the Mac-clone package, Mint comes with the trademark “Flurry” screen saver. That’s kind of the icing on the cake.

Anyway, hope this maybe helps some of you new Linux users who are coming over from Mac OS X/macOS. Of course, your results might vary depending on the distro you’re running but for Mint it was really this easy to almost completely recreate the interface I knew and loved on my Macs for a fraction of the price – this HP Pavilion 15z with quad-core AMD Ryzen 3 2300u processor, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive and a touchscreen set me back less than $750 including tax and shipping. A 13″ MacBook Pro with an equivalent Intel processor, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB storage and a non-touchscreen would have set me back $2,600 before tax and shipping. Sure, this HP only has a standard 5400 RPM SATA hard drive as opposed a SSD but that’s the only real edge the Mac would have over this machine.

Oh, and this thing actually still has the function keys (instead of that stupid Touch Bar) AND has a 10 key. Mac laptops haven’t had 10 keys since…forever. On some 2007 and earlier MacBook Pros they had an imbedded 10-key that was accessible via the number lock function but that’s completely gone now too.

Anyway, I digress. The point being is try not to fear too much, a simple Google search will show you plenty of alternatives to your beloved Mac apps. Also,  AlternativeTo is a great resource as well.

Happy app hunting!

Song Lyric Sunday 12/2/18 – Famous Last Words

How ironic that this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme is last when this is actually the first such post for me from my new HP Pavilion 15z Touch running Linux Mint 19 “Tara” sub-version Cinnamon. My old MacBook Pro finally gave up the ghost and after gettting continuously frustrated with Apple over the years I finally decided to part ways with them after 15 years as a loyal, dedicated Mac user. I guess in a way it fits the theme then, because that was my last Mac ever. After using Mint for a few days, I’m a Linux convert all the way – no more corporate BS from Microsoft or Apple.

Anyway, I digress. Last. Well, I had the perfect song come to mind straight away. It shouldn’t be too surprising which one either. I’ve done good in that I’ve been a little more diverse for SLS lately, but it’s time I come back to my old favorite band again because I haven’t in awhile. So here then is the song “Famous Last Words,” a 1989 song from the album The Seeds of Love by TFF (written by Roland Orzabal and Nicky Holland). The lyrics are in the video so I’ll not transcribe them here.

That’s it for this week. Hope you enjoyed and catch you next time!