Cigar Review: Wise Man Maduro

img_1471

This offering from Foundation Cigar Company features a dark Mexican San Andreas wrapper over Nicarguan binder and long fillers. The size reviewed here is a 6.2″ x 52RG box pressed Torpedo vitola.

First light reveals a slightly loose draw putting off thick plumes of medium/full bodied smoke. Core flavors of espresso and dark chocolate awaken the palate, followed by a substantial black and red pepper finish and retrohale. A tinge of earth and leather on the back of the palate.

Getting into the first third we see the same great flavor profile but it is now enhanced with notes of cream and vanilla onthe draw as well as a woody, smoky brisket undertone on the finish and retrohale. Incredibly complex and smooth all around. Everything is very well blended. The strength starts setting in early on this one.

The flavors were consistent start to finish, which was OK by me as I was absolutely digging the robust, complex flavors. Ending at 1 hour 20 minutes for a solid burn time for the size and the nicotine strength comes up to match the body at medium/full.

Flawless construction with a razor sharp burn. Ash holds on about a third at a time. High quality self-adhesive band that came off easily. Everything about this cigar screams quality.

This was a “wow” cigar for me – bold, complex flavors on both the dessert and savory side of the spectrum and everything plays well together. Well worth its price point of approximately $11/stick. Pair with a Russian Imperial Stout, a hefty red wine, a nice bourbon or peaty Scotch for best results. Rating: 4.5/5.

Advertisements

Song Lyric Sunday 12/23/18 – The 12 Pains of Christmas (Redux)

Could I let the holiday season pass without featuring this song for Song Lyric Sunday? No way. This Bob Rivers parody captures the essence of the holiday (or, as I prefer to call it, the helliday) season perfectly.

The first thing at Christmas that’s such a pain to me
Is finding a Christmas tree

The second thing at Christmas that’s such a pain to me
Rigging up the lights
And finding a Christmas tree

The third thing at Christmas that’s such a pain to me
Hangovers
Rigging up the lights
And finding a Christmas tree

The fourth thing at Christmas that’s such a pain to me
Sending Christmas cards
Hangovers
Rigging up the lights
And finding a Christmas tree

The fifth thing at Christmas that’s such a pain to me
Five months of bills
Sending Christmas cards
Hangovers
Rigging up the lights
And finding a Christmas tree

The sixth thing at Christmas that’s such a pain to me
Facing my in-laws
Five months of bills
“I hate those Christmas cards!”
Hangovers
Rigging up these lights
And finding a Christmas tree

The seventh thing at Christmas that’s such a pain to me
Salvation Army
Facing my in-laws
Five months of bills
Sending Christmas cards
“Aw geez”
“I’m trying to rig up these lights!”
And finding a Christmas tree

The eighth thing at Christmas that’s such a pain to me
“I want a transformer for Christmas”
“Charities, and what do you mean your inlaws?”
Five months of bills
“Ah, making out these cards!”
“Edith, get me a beer, huh!”
“What, we have no extension cords?!?”
And finding a Christmas tree

The ninth thing at Christmas that’s such a pain to me
Finding parking spaces
“Daddy, I want some candy!”
“Donations!”
Facing my in-laws
Five months of bills
“Writing up those Christmas cards”
Hangovers
“Now why the hell are they blinking?”
And finding a Christmas tree

The tenth thing at Christmas that’s such a pain to me
Batteries not included
No parking spaces
“Buy me something!”
“Get a job ya bum!”
Facing the inlaws
Five months of bills
“Yo ho, sending Christmas cards”
“Ah geez, look at this!”
“One light goes out, they all go out!”
And finding a Christmas tree

The eleventh thing at Christmas that’s such a pain to me
Stale TV specials
Batteries not included
No parking spaces
“I gotta go to the bathroom”
Charities
“She’s a witch, I hate her!”
Five months of bills
“Oh, I don’t even know half these people!”
“Who’s got the toilet paper?”
“Get a flashlight, I blew a fuse!”
And finding a Christmas tree

The twelfth thing at Christmas that’s such a pain to me
Singing Christmas Carols
Stale TV specials
Batteries not included
No parking
“Waaah!”
Charities
Gotta make ’em dinner
Five months of bills
“I’m not sending them this year, that’s it!”
“Shut up, you!”
“Fine, you’re so smart, you rig up the lights!”
And finding a Christmas tree
Source: Google search “The 12 Pains of Christmas Lyrics” (with several corrections made by me).

January 1st can’t get here soon enough. Just saying.

First Post from Linux Mint 19.1 “Tessa”

Talk about an early holiday gift that got me going – a nice little upgrade to Linux Mint, from 19 to 19.1 “Tessa.” Sorry Tara, I know our relationship was short lived. Hah!

Anyway, some nice features for me and one not-so-nice one was in the works. Upgrading was a cinch, going to the update manager while the computer did the rest. Awesome stuff, the easiest and fastest OS upgrade I’ve ever performed. So with that, what do I think of the new 19.1?

There are some minor annoyances but a huge gain for me. Concerning the minor annoyances, I’m disappointed screensaver support was dropped so now just going to a dimmed desktop background with a clock over it. When I’m using my computer I don’t ever let it idle long enough to go to a screensaver anyway so this isn’t really an issue. Also, I found out really quickly I don’t like the “modern” panel and vastly prefer the smaller, less obtrusive “classic” panel. No big deal, at least they still have it as an option and hopefully will keep it in future releases of Mint. I did, however, have to re-theme everything after my short experiment as your themes and settings (applets, panel buttons, etc.) are reset to default when you switch panel modes.

Concerning the benefits, for one thermoregulation seems a bit better and I think 19.1 more accurately reports and regulates the temperature of the AMD Ryzen/Zen+ processors as I’m concistently running about 2C cooler during light-to-medium tasks.

So that’s all fine and good, but the huge thing for me? Look what is now functional that was not in Mint 19:

webcam

Yep, it appears as though 19.1 added support for the new HP/Chicony FHD IR camera! For HP users who have this camera, this upgrade is worth it just for that.

With that said, since I found myself just not really using Windows at all after going to Mint, I just wound up wiping Windows altogether and claiming that additional 250GB of hard drive back. That was easy enough to do by creating a bootable USB drive to use GParted Live and deleting the Windows partition and giving that back to free space.

With that, I think for me the migration to Linux is now complete after I’ve now also kicked Microsoft out the door.

EDIT 12/23/18: I was able to get my screensaver back by installing the full version of Xscreensaver (rather than just hacks which was the Mint screensaver package prior) Instructions for how to set it up can be found on the Linux Mint Forums. Turn off the default screensaver, follow these set up instructions and you should be in business. Of course, being a Mac-to-Mint convert there’s just something so comforting about the Flurry screensaver (mentioned in a previous post) so I’m glad to have that back.

What a Weird Couple of Days…

So the past two days (the last two days of my nine days of reflection which began Monday the 10th) have been some of the weirdest in my life and I’m left totally lost, confused, maybe still a little bit angry and with a lot to think about.

So yesterday at 7 AM sharp I get called into my boss’s office along with one of the salesmen, which I thought was just weird. I then got chewed out, being told “cussing in the office is against company policy” which then ended in an official written warning. Needless to say I was rather enraged at that point, especially since everyone in that office uses coarse language. Inconsistent enforcement of the rules just screams targeting to me.

I then retire to my office, still fuming with rage and try to accomplish what I’ve got on my docket but try as I might I just couldn’t. Yesterday wound up being a total blur for most of the day as my anger just stewed. Toward the end of the day I typed up a short, sweet letter of resignation because I’d just had enough. I printed it, taped my office key to it and marched right into my boss’s office and handed it to him along with my key and company cell phone.

I was expecting it to be a case of “well, OK, bye” but it was anything but. I don’t know if it’s technically legal for your boss to refuse a resignation but that’s essentially what he did by telling me I was making a big mistake. Whatever, I thought, I can make it official the next day right? So I just went home and I was still so steaming mad I just skipped my evening ritual of a cigar, a drink and didn’t even eat dinner because nothing sounded good. I took a sleeping pill and my allergy medicine and went right to bed ,where I slept almost 12 hours straight save for my daily 5:00 alarm blaring, which I promptly silenced and ignored.

I rolled out of bed looking like hell upon my 2nd alarm (set for 6:00 AM) sounding, which is about when I leave the house every morning. I gathered up my company logo polo shirts, stuff them in my car and hit the road with the intent of just being at the office long enough to leave my shirts behind, along with my company phone and office key and bolt. Talk about symbolic – my great-grandmother died 16 years ago today. How would it have been for my career in the crane industry to die the same day? It just seemed like destiny to me.

I arrive at the office and notice my boss is in a meeting. “Perfect,” I thought to myself; I’ll slip in my office just long enough to leave my stuff behind, get what few personal belongings I still have in there and then bolt without even being noticed. Well, as you might imagine it didn’t pan out that way, for just as I was about to leave my boss gets out of his meeting and tells me good morning, to which I responded with the old Eeyore-ism “If it is a good morning, which I doubt.”

A brief exchange then ensued, with him telling me to smile (you don’t EVER tell me to smile, by the way – I’ll smile if I have a reason to and if I don’t I won’t) and he outright goes “you think too much.” Well, maybe I do, but that’s how we autists are, don’t you know? We can’t help it.

Anyway, I went on about my business as mostly normal today, still unsure of my own future with this company and even this business. If it’s less stressful for me, I was even offered to work from home on a most-time basis, coming up only to check in once or twice a week. I have to admit that’s a very attractive option, but I will have to do some soul-searching because I can’t help but think that I have a target on my back still.

Luckily I’ll have some time to ponder it. Due to having a lot of unused sick time tomorrow will be my last day of work for the year. Given statutory holidays and weekends in between that, I have damn near two weeks off coming up. It’ll give me a lot of time to think and to maybe cool down from my blinding rage. Whatever the case, I’ve got some serious soul-searching to do.

Today 16 years ago was no doubt the worst day of my life. The day I lost my great-grandmother was unquestionably such. It was nearly as bad a day today. Not quite, but close. Maybe December 19th is just cursed for some reason, kind of like the Ides of March.

Whatever the case, as always thanks for letting me vent. Now time to go light some incense, meditate, and reflect upon the life of the most influential and important person in my life.

It’s a Horrible Life

Disclaimer: The following is a rant based on my own philosophical views and is not intended to cause offense to anyone for whatever life or reproductive choices you all might have made, nor is it a reflection on how I actually live. 


So this past weekend the local Paramount Theater screened the Christmas classic film It’s a Wonderful Life. I have nightmares about being forced to watch that movie every year as a kid. It’s probably the worst movie ever made – horrendous acting, a ridiculous storyline, fictional beings (angels/god), and out-of-body experiences.

Anyway, none of that even touches my main gripe with the movie. My biggest gripe? The title itself. Life and wonderful do not belong in the same sentence together. Life is anything but wonderful – pain, suffering, disease, illness, heat, cold, hunger, thirst, pissing, shitting, finances, grief, heartbreak, jobs, war and the list goes on and fucking on. Wonderful? What a fucking joke.

Alas, none of us realize how terrible our lives really are. As South African philosopher David Benatar (PhD, Cape Town) argued in the books Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence and The Human Predicament: A Candid Guide to Life’s Biggest Questions, very few people realize how horrible their lives really are. We just live under a state of an irrational optimism bias – a Pollyanna principle as it were. Nobody is immune to it. Not even me.

So, we all know the story – George Bailey (James Stewart) infamously wishes that he had never been born to his “guardian angel” (what a bullshit notion) who then shows him an alternate reality in which he had never been born and the results of those around him, which the then (very erroneously and under duress) begs for his life back.

Nah, Mr. Bailey was right the first time – he WOULD have been better off never existing. But so would have everyone else around him. His actor would have been better off never existing, as would every last one of us. At the end of the day, the fact that we exist is a BAD thing.

As for why this is, there are a number of arguments but Dr. Benatar’s are no doubt the strongest. I already presented one of his arguments above. His other argument is much stronger and does not even take into account the relative pleasure-to-pain balance of one’s life. Rather, his argument (namely that of the asymmetry) generates that any amount of pain, however small or insignficant, invalidates any upside to existence. Whereas:

  1. The presence of pain is bad, and
  2. The presence of pleasure is good;
  3. The absence of pain is good even if there exists nobody to benefit from that good, but
  4. The absence of pleasure is not bad unless there already exists someone for which such an absence would be a deprivation.

So what does this mean? It means any amount of pain, however small or insignifant, outweighs even the greatest amount of pleasure. Put another way, “And all the love and all the love in the world won’t stop the rain from falling – waste seeping underground.”

Now, this is not to say we should all commit mass suicide. This is where Mr. Bailey might have been slightly misguided, namely in thinking that suicide was the best solution. There are many things one must take into account when thinking about suicide – the means, how it will affect those around them, etc. However, the only reason for these implications are because such a person already exists. These implications become null and void if the entity contemplating suicide had never existed. Nonetheless, I remain steadfast in my view that we all have the absolute and indisputable right to commit suicide if we see fit and that the government/state does not have any right to try to prevent someone from committing suicide. We didn’t ask to be born, therefore we have the right to reverse that action at any time, with or without reason.

So was Mr. Bailey correct in wishing he had never been born? In my view absolutely. Further, had he never been born, would those around him have been negatively impaced? In my view, no because they wouldn’t have known any different. Alas, further compounding that issue is all those others were also harmed by being brought into existence, and had they never been they’d have never suffered such unpleasantries.

So what about me. Do *I* wish I had never been born? Absolutely, without question the answer to that question is an emphatic “yes.” I 100% wish I had never been born. Further, even if some guardian angel were to appear to me and show me an alternate timeline in which I had never existed, I would not change my mind. I would still wish to never have been born at which point I imagine I would cease to exist in any form.

Do I wish to commit suicide? At the present time no, but there might come a time when I do. Now that I’ve already been forced into existence without my consent (no thanks to my biological parents), it could be argued that it would be bad to deprive myself of future pleasures, because as I already exist then the absence of pleasure would be a deprivation and thus bad. There’s also the issue of hurting what few people actually do give a shit about me, for even though would have been better never to have existed and our existences are all harms to us, they might be a benefit to some around us. Nobody, not even a crusty, bitchy antinatalist such as myself is immune to grief. That much should have been made obvious in my post a week ago today.

Anyway, I couldn’t let a showing of that movie go without some sharp critcism of not only the movie itself but also the message behind it. There ain’t nothing “wonderful” about life. Though some lives are better than others, no life is good enough to count as (non-comparatively) good. That much is obvious to anyone who steps back and looks at the evidence from an objective lens.

It’s a horrible life indeed.


Addendum: I had no idea my chosen title for this blog post is actually the title of a parody film of the aforementioned worst movie ever made. This might be worth checking out.

Comment Policy Revision 12/16/18

So my little troll quit commenting for awhile but has resumed his harassing ways. He says he’s posting a “difference of opinion.” He is not. He must be specifically searching for content to disagree with and fume (something I don’t understand – if I don’t like a blog’s content I just don’t read it; life fucking sucks badly enough as it is without having that unnecessary stress).

OK, here we go. I am now requiring all commenters to be signed in through either WordPress or a social media account to comment. This is to make tracking easier on me and there is no longer any anonymity in the comment process, nor can anyone use a fake email address, etc. anymore. This will make it easier for me to report abuse to the proper companies and, if necessary, to law enforcement.

As you have to have a valid working email address to register for either WP or any social media account, this gives me ultimate control. I hate that it’s come to this as I know not everyone uses social media, but it is what it is.

 

Song Lyric Sunday 12/16/18 – Another Race

“Girls” – something I totally *SUCK* at as evidenced by my perpetual single status. I have to admit I totally don’t get dating customs or social norms. Alas, girls are our Song Lyric Sunday topic this week so we’ll roll with it.

In what few relationships I’ve had in the past, I never really could understand my partners. We always acted like the other person was from outer space or something. I just don’t understand them.

So with that, this song kind of describes my lack of understanding of girls (at least in terms of dating). Thus I present you with “Another Race,” a 1999 song off of the album Europop by Italian pop group Eiffel 65 (written by Gabriele Ponte, Domenico Capuano, Massimo Gabutti, Gianfranco Randone):

It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.
It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.

It’s another race
It’s another race

They seem to walk on air,
And they act pretty strange.
They live around us,
But you can’t recognize them
We can’t communicate.
With their one way brain.
No matter how you try,
You just can’t understand them.

It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.
It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.

It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.
It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.

They seem to walk on air,
And they act pretty strange.
They live around us,
But you can’t recognize them
We can’t communicate.
With their one way brain.
No matter how you try,
You just can’t understand them.

It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.
It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.

It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.
It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.

And they think they got it made,
They’re right, but they’re wrong.
And they try to use our words
But it’s a lie.

It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.
It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.

It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.
It’s another race from outer space.
It’s another race away, away.
Source: http://www.metrolyrics.com/another-race-lyrics-eiffel-65.html

In a way this topic does make me a bit blue (da-ba-dee-da-ba-di – sorry, couldn’t help myself) so also fitting I chose these guys. Anyway, until next week!