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Stogie Commentary: Seasons Change and So Do I

14 Dec 2009

The seasons bring on many changes. For me, those changes admittedly alter my otherwise consistent cigar smoking routines.

It's cold outsideThis time of year, for example, I generally find myself smoking fewer cigars. There just seems to be less time. The days are shorter. The holidays keep me busy with travel. And there are always an awful lot of gatherings and other functions to attend, many of which aren’t cigar-friendly.

When I do find the time to smoke, the cold weather makes it less enjoyable. It’s a big production to put on a pot of coffee, set up the space-heater, and bundle up with hats, gloves, and heavy coats. Well, maybe it’s not a big production. But you have to agree that summer smoking is a lot easier, which requires little more than a cutter, shorts, an adult beverage, and matches.

Speaking of matches, that’s another change that comes along with winter: I find myself less patient outside, forgoing my regular old wooden matches for a butane torch. I guess I’d rather just get things going quickly and spend less time enjoying the sights, sounds, and aromas of slowly toasting the foot.

As my colleague wrote almost three years ago, “to brave inclement weather shows true dedication to the wonderful hobby that is cigars.” Agreed. But these days I’d rather not be out there too long. So the weather also determines the size of cigars I smoke, making it less likely I’ll fire up a Churchill and more likely I’ll select a short stick from my humidor.

In addition to these changes, winter also makes me even more pissed off about the prevalence of government-imposed smoking bans in private places. While I hate such regulations year-round, I do most of my smoking on my patio and—until the temperatures start to drop—don’t mind being outside.

Now, though, I’d rather be indoors. And this year will be worse than last because Virginia, where I reside, recently criminalized smoking in restaurants and bars. So I’m cut off from many of my previous cold-weather sanctuaries (and those sanctuaries are cut off from my business).

But the show must go on. It will go on. I have the honor and privilege of reviewing cigars for this website. And, like many of you, I have the resolve to laugh in the face of Jack Frost…at least as long as I have a steady supply of warm coffee.

In a few months, football season will be ending and spring training—along with warmer temperatures and a return to cigar normalcy—will be here. For me, those changes can’t come soon enough.

Patrick A

photo credit: Flickr

5 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: Seasons Change and So Do I”

  1. Chris V Monday, December 14, 2009 at 1:14 am #

    We are studying a case on Starbucks right now. And it got me thinking, if Starbucks sees itself not only as a coffee shop, but also as a "3rd place besides home and work to hang and socialize" while emphasizing the atmosphere as a major selling point. Would a similar take on smoking work? Of course to keep up with bills you'd have to invite ALL smokers… but what's to stop someone from opening a "store" in a busy downtown area that gets cold and advertising not as a shop, but a place to SMOKE INSIDE. Yes you sell cigars and cigarettes and those that buy can smoke inside for free, OR you can buy a membership. Offer not only a place to smoke, but also places to watch TV, relax, heck, you could even have a conference room for businesses that wish to bring smoking back into business practices! Sort of like a "men's club" that just happens to let women in and was made for the purposes of smoking. Also, since you sell tobaccos products, and your membership is TO SMOKE inside, pretty much all profits will come from tobacco and therefore get around the current bans.

    Thoughts? Or is my entrepreneurship master just REALLY getting to me?!

  2. dmjones Monday, December 14, 2009 at 4:53 am #

    This has been tried in a fashion at the Nashville International Airport. Graycliff has set up two "cigar lounges." Before entering you have the choice of purchasing a Graycliff cigar or some other smoking device (I think they sold cigarettes, but I guess I wasn't paying that close attention). When you go inside, there are tables, chairs, sofas, and a big screen TV. I paid my $20 for a Double Espresso (probably about $5 too much) and smoked my cigar while waiting for my flight. Most of the people who came in, though, did not buy cigars and seemed to be either airlines or airport employees looking for a place to smoke a cigarette. I was surprised they didn't make them pay something for that privilege.

    As far as smoking outdoors in the winter…Patrick, I feel your pain. I am in a small town in East TN and there is no place that I know of in town to smoke indoors. I smoke on my front deck and if it's cold…well, I just have to suck it up or not go out. I do find myself choosing shorter smokes, too, and smoking fewer days a week: during the summer about 6 days a week, during winter about 4. The best is when I have the time to go down to Burns in Chattanooga. There I can smoke inside, have a drink, and kick back. Unfortunately, there just aren't many cigar store in this area

  3. furious Monday, December 14, 2009 at 9:05 am #

    I think most of us brothers of the leaf are in the same boat. Unless one is independently wealthy and has a smoking lounge in-house, chances are you are lighting up al fresco or banished to the garage like I am.

    I don't mind my garage, though. Sure it's greasy, full of assorted junque, etc., but I have a large kerosene heater, stereo, and a magazine rack loaded with my favorites to keep me occupied. I sit myself down in my replica JFK rocking chair and smoke away–cursing the antismoking nazis with every puff.

  4. cigar palace Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    Since I’m in a very hot place winter I’d the roght time to light out side. Its very nice and its in the range of 25 – 20C I smoke lots and more cigars than summer time.

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