Cigar Review: Wise Man Maduro Lancero

img_1589

Today’s cigar review is an exercise in how a change in ring gauge can have quite a substantial change to the flavor profile of any given blend. The previously reviewed Wise Man Maduro Torpedo  features a 52 ring gauge, compared to today’s 7.5″ x 40RG box pressed Lancero edition.

The first light reveals a perfect draw putting off plumes of full bodied smoke. A big pepper and earth blast start things off with a tinge of leather in the background.

Getting into the first third we see more of the same while a heavy, smoky brisket note joins in the finish and retrohale with a bit of the espresso and dark chocolate notes joining in on the draw, but more of an undertone as compared to the Torpedo. As with the Torpedo, this blend was consistent start to finish, ending at 1 hour 10 minutes for an excellent burn time for a Lancero and the strength almost matching the body at medium/full.

Excellent construction with a near razor-sharp burn and the ash holding on about a quarter of the cigar at a time. This one featured the same elegant, quality self-adhesive band which was easy to remove without damaging the wrapper.

So where does this come in? Compared to the larger ring gauge which had more of the dark semi-sweet dessert tones, this one brought the heartier, more savory flavors to the forefront and had a little bit more power to the smoke. As for which one prefers, that’s a matter of opinion. If I had to pick one I’d say I like the Torpedo in this one slightly better, but it really just depends on what I want because they are both killer cigars. Same pairing recommendations as the larger size, though and the same rating of 4.5/5.

Now, I did get a question recently about ring gauge. I was asked why I don’t usually review big ring gauges. The answer to that is I don’t generally like big ring gauge cigars. The reason being is they tend to be very mild, airy and don’t burn very consistently. I’ve had blends that I normally like in an “average” ring size that went totally bland in a 60+ size. As such, that’s why I don’t typically buy large ring gauge cigars. Mid 50s is where I generally cap out. I’ve had a few 60s that were good but they’re few and far between.

As you notice my trend, generally I review a Robusto or Toro size (approximately 50-54 ring gauge) as my “baseline” for a blend when I’m trying it for the first time, and if it’s something I like then I’ll try like a Lancero, Corona or Churchill (38-48 ring gauge) to compare the sizes to. I usually will avoid the Gordo (60+) end of the spectrum for the reason above, though if a particular blend only comes in that vitola sure I’ll give it a whirl. Most have been underwhelming to my palate though.

Another question that’s sometimes asked by new people – how is ring gauge measured? Ring gauge is the diameter of the cigar measured in 1/64ths of an inch. So a 64 ring gauge would be 1 inch in diameter and so forth.

Advertisements

A Unique Challenge to the Anti-Abortion Position

Warning: Political content ahead.


Here we go, the annual bullshit “March for Life” thing. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING makes me madder than religious idiots thinking they have the time and place to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us. That includes on the topic of abortion. It seems the best any of the anti-abortion camp can come up with is to thump the Bible (read also: Qur’an, Torah, etc.). Well, as an atheist, obviously that doesn’t convince me in any way.

Alas, I’m sure you’ve heard the common defenses for a pro-choice political position. I’ll not go into those here because they usually fall on deaf ears. Instead, I am going to present a unique challenge to the anti-abortion position that many might not have heard about in order to get the gears turning.

The challenge is what South African philosopher Dr. David Benatar calls the “pro-death” view in his 2006 publication Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence. The pro-death argument for abortion comes from combining the common view of fetal moral status (specifically that of pre-sentient fetuses) along with his arguments in favor of antinatalism (the view that it is bad to be born). When you combine these two views, it generates the pro-death argument that would naturally suggest that it would be preferable to abort all pregnancies in the early stages of gestation.

So there we have it, a “pro-death” view of abortion, which is directly counter to the pro-life position. Now, both of these are philosophical/religious and not political views in and of themselves (I, for one, know a lot of people who are pro-life philosophically but pro-choice politically).

That said, let’s take the anti-abortion position, which is the term I prefer for the political stance. Now, let’s say we have a political lobby group that, consistent with the pro-death philosophical view of abortion, lobbies for a political anti-birth position. That is,  a policy where even those who hold a philosophical pro-life view would be forced to abort against their wishes. Let’s also say this were to become law in some states/countries.

Maybe if faced with the scenario above, those who are legally anti-abortion would see the value of the legal pro-choice position.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

My Ever-Growing Collection of Meggings

Have I gone just crazy with them? Maybe I have, but to say I’ve been having a blast rocking meggings this winter has been an understatement. They’re bold, they’re fun and they’re super comfortable, plus there are dozens of prints and styles to choose from to suit your own personal decor.

Alas, my collection has grown to the point I have had to dedicate an entire closet section to them. I currently have 7 (yes, SEVEN) pairs of meggings. Some I’ve bought myself, a couple have been bought for me as gifts. Whatever the case, I’ve been having a great time with them.

Here’s what I’ve got right now:

img_1575

Of course, I’m sure there’s more to come soon.

Now, I know, I know what you all must be thinking – what about my photoshoot? We did that last November but as you know life gets in the way for many of us, and as my photographers have lives outside of taking pictures of pretty little me, they’ve not been developed yet. As soon as they are you’ll be the first to see. I just hope they’re in time to go up sometime this winter as in a couple of months (at least here in Texas) it’ll be too hot for the meggings and I’ll be having to ditch them! Hell, this past Friday had a high of 77F/25C and I had to ditch them then and go back to my old classic look of “Davy” Dukes.

Of course, these are not counting the few plain black fleece pairs I have as well. When it gets really cold and the wind just whips, I find the printed leggings don’t have quite enough insulation. For those days, I throw on a pair of cheapy black fleece ones as a “base layer” and put my printed ones over them – that extra insulation keeps my chiseled runner’s legs warm in even the coldest of temperatures.

Dear men: be bold, be brave. Rock meggings. I love them, and I’m sure you will too!

Minor Surgery in My Future?

As much as the thought of surgery scares me, at this point it might be necessary to relieve some serious discomfort. Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious, life threatening or anything of the sort. It’s not even really dangerous to my health in any way, alas I’m sick of being in pain.

It seems like the stress from the past few months brought along many physical ailments. Random aches, pains, cramps, headaches, sleeplesslness and the like. Most of these have since resolved themselves now that I’m in a lower-stress enviornment. However, there is one problem that has yet to resolve itself and might not without a surgical procedure as it is a problem that has come and gone over the years. Warning: if you are easily offended or squeamish you should not continue reading. If you choose to continue reading and maybe you have suffered something similar and come across some fixes that seem to help, please chime in as surgery is my last resort.

I’m one of an unfortunate group of people who has suffered from chronic piles most of my life – likely hereditary in nature. Some random flareups have been part of my life for years but I’ve never been bothered by them save for some occasional slight bleeding. They’d never caused me any sort of pain whatsoever, though a couple of times the bleeding was rather profuse to the point I was worried that I might have some internal bleeding. Alas, that usually resolved itself in short order so I wasn’t worried.

Well, that all changed about October-ish when the stress really started hitting hard. Now they start getting bothersome. My last flare-up started with the typical small spots of blood so I wasn’t at all worried, but when it didn’t go away after a few days and then started getting really painful that’s when I got a little worried. I remember at the peak of it there were a couple of days I had to work standing up because the (literal) pain in my ass was so bad – it was almost like someone shoved a shard of glass up there. My only thought was at the time I had at least one that thrombosed, causing excruciating pain. I can only figure stress played a major factor in this one being far worse than any others I had experienced over the course of decades.

During the peak I tried several fixes (both allopathic per the standard course of treatment and naturopathic per suggestions of my naturopath friend) and the only thing that seemed to provide some relief was applying some of my tattoo numbing cream to the area. After a couple of weeks the pain eventually passed but I was still having problems here and there.

Which brings me to today. Whereas I’m 90%+ better now, I still have some residual pain and itching. It’s like they’ve never completely healed up from that one major incident. At the time I was worried maybe my love of spicy food finally got the better of me but when I dropped it out for awhile I haven’t seen any change, so I’m right back to loading up the heat. It doesn’t seem to affect that in any way, the occasional bout of “firerrhea” aside.

Anyway, I’m on a downtick right now but it seems like it could rare its ugly head anytime, so if anyone has any suggestions please share them. Though it seems surgery might be right for me at this time, I really don’t want to go there if I don’t have to. That just sounds painful. Alas, I don’t recall anyone ever dying from piles so it’s not a medical emergency in any way and thus I have time to weigh my options but still. I just want it to go away, because it’s a pain in the ass (literally) to deal with.

Work From Home Week 1 Debriefing

So I’ve completed my first full week of working from home (at least mostly). I was in the office Monday and then half a day today and just worked away at home the rest of the time (it’s still good to check in with the office a couple of times per week). I can already tell this is going to be so much better.

I’m so much less stressed out. It’s quieter, distraction-free and on nice days I can actually take my work outside while enjoying a nice strong cup of coffee and a cigar. No “getting ready” for work either – been loafing around in just a hoodie and meggings all week (it’s been a bit cold here, yes it even gets cold in Texas!) and just in my element. No office gossip, no landlines ringing off the hook, no nothing – just do my thing in peace.

This week was a fairly intense week so it was a really good one to gauge working from home. Yes, I’ll need some improvements to my home work environment but it will be a work in progress (hopefully the government shutdown will end soon and I can get my tax return in a timely manner to put toward that).

Honestly, I think for those of us on the autism spectrum, working from home is probably the next frontier in making our lives easier. It seems like many of us (myself included) don’t seem to do well in either an office environment or in the field. Sounds, smells, gossip, distractions, you name it. Uh, no. Maybe as “office work” moves more toward “homework” our lives will continue to improve. It’s early yet and I already feel like a weight has been lifted off of me. Honestly, though not my dream job cranes are kind of fascinating – figuring it out is almost like a puzzle in a way. I’ve always loved puzzles of all kinds after all.

Anyway, it seems as though 2019 is off to a great start – new tattoo in the works, better work environment, let’s go!

Silly Haiku…

This is kinda fun. Song lyric haikus? What can you come up with? Mine was:

Even while we sleep
We will find you acting on
Your best behaviour

Cyranny's Cove

20190108_193737

Oh oh oh oh oh…
Oh oh oh oh! Oh oh oh
oh oh… The white stuff!

Ok, this is not serious, but I just thought it was funny that this fit the three lines of a haiku. And believe me, when a snow storm hits town, you need to find something to laugh about… LOL And for the youngest, or the people who wouldn’t get the joke, here’s what this was inspired by;

View original post

Cigar Review: Punch Signature

img_1552

This cigar from the Honduras maker Punch features an Ecuadorian Sungrown Corojo wrapper over a dual Connecticut and Habano binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan long fillers.

First light reveals a perfect draw putting off a good amount of smoke. Medium/full body flavors of nuts, earth and spice. Hint of cocoa and a buttery texture.

Getting into the first third we get some more complexity while retaining the same core flavors. Pepper dies down somewhat allowing a distinct raisin and plum note to join in. A hint of caramel in the background. A tinge of smoky mesquite is also detected on the retrohale.

The 2nd third sees a slight shift with the pepper diminishing almost completely and the smoky and mesquite notes blending together into a meaty taste and aroma. No further changes were noted. Ending at 1 hour for an average burn time for the size and bringing in a medium nicotine strength.

Construction is where this one fell a bit flat. Fairly wavy burn that required a couple of touch ups along the way. Also some slight splitting of the wrapper in places. The band is quality and self adhesive and came off with no effort.

This one I’m kinda torn on. It’s a fairly price-point oriented stick (about $6 average from what I’ve found) and the flavors are really nice but the construction left something to be desired. Was it worth enduring for the flavors? For me yes, but maybe not if this isn’t a flavor profile you seem crazy about. Maybe I just got a one-off, but I’d have to try another just to see. Pairings for this would be a smooth red wine or a nice Jamaican rum for best results. Rating: 3.5/5.