What Have I Been Smoking?
I’ve smoked some notable cigars lately, many of which are available on the site. Use code “Rambling” to save 15% on the site btw!
- Patina Cigars 5th Anniversary - This cigar is stunning. The blend really delivered some classic Connecticut Broadleaf qualities, but with a ton of elegance and nuance. A great, true Limited edition.
- Crowned Heads Mil Dias Marranitos LE 2023 - The 2022 Marranitos was one of my favorite cigars last year. This 2023 delivers all of the flavors I loved in that cigar, but with a bit more intensity and fullness.
- Lampert Family Reserve 2022 - Another LE making the list. The 2022 Family Reserve from Lampert is a deliciously elegant, creamy cigar that seems to have refined the 2021 Family Reserve blend a bit.
- Valacari The Messenger - I just posted the review for this cigar, so you can read my complete thoughts here. However, I will say that this was out of this world good for the first half, and remained solid till the end.
- Casa 1910 Calvary Edition As De Oro - The Calvary Edition line from Casa 1910 was the first to stray from all Mexican tobacco blends. As much as I enjoy the Mexican puros they offer, this As De Oro is really exceptional, and something I think every smoker would enjoy. Tons of rich, elegant, complex smoke in this one.
- Principle Cigars Frothy Monkey Signature - This little 5 x 40 is a serious flavor bomb at a mind blowing price point ($6 MSRP). This was blend specifically to pair with coffee, but the cigar seriously stands on its own. Citrus, wood, earth, pepper, and cocoa coat the palate and leave you wanting more each puff.
I have smoked some other things, but these were the current standouts that first came to mind and that’s good enough for me.
What’s on the Bench?
We have been busy on the farm, as it goes every year with spring arriving. We completely redid our raised garden beds, expanding our garden by about 35%. Previously we had 4 beds that were repurposed stackable wooden crate pieces and we had 1 large pine bed. For our new ones, we originally wanted to go with cedar beds because of the rot resistance. However, I came across some hard to beat prices on rough cut White Oak boards. I ended up getting 8’ long, 8”-10” wide, rough sawn 4/4 White Oak boards for $6 a piece.. That price is hard to beat, and White Oak has good resistance, so that is the route we took.
As far as my work goes, I haven’t had a ton of time to work in the shop. However, I am making progress on the first Artist Series Guitar build. I got the body back and am working on finishing up the neck. I’ve mostly got the neck sanded and cleaned up, and have been working on the frets. They’re installed and currently halfway leveled. I am hoping to finish the leveling and get them dressed and cleaned up by next week. Then I will be onto final preparation before finishing.
Oooo, I also got a fancy dancy brand made from MojoManufacturing on Etsy. Definitely check him out! They’re made in Ohio and he had the thing shipped the next day! I toyed around with it a bit and got branded my mallet, two necks, and the back of the first Artist Series Guitar. It definitely took some getting used to, and with my little butane torch, it took awhile to get hot. That being said, this brand came out beautifully and is exactly what I was after!
New to the site are the Patina Cigars 5th Anniversary, as well as some core line sampler packs (that I am sending a free Maduro with). I also have a couple boxes left of the Mil Dias Marranitos 2023 Limited Edition. Finally, I created a couple samplers that I personally think are killer offerings at a great price. First is the Bang For Your Buck sampler that is made up of 7 cigars for only $41 that punch way above their price point. Next is a Limited Edition sampler that contains four awesome and unique LEs from this year for only $50. I mentioned the Patina sampler packs above, they are called 4+1 Packs and are $47.48 for 5 cigars. Lastly, I put together a 5 cigar sampler for $48 that highlights the awesome limited offerings Crowned Heads has put out recently. It is the Crowned Heads Limited Edition sampler.
As I mentioned, we redid the garden beds. My wife already got some things planted like, strawberries, carrots, beets, spinach, and lettuce (I may be missing something). She also just picked up the rest of our plants yesterday. For vegetables we are going to be doing the usual suspects: two different tomatoes, some bell peppers, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, eggplant, sweet potatoes, some different herbs, and the other things I mentioned above. I think we still have some green bean seeds around that we need to get planted. As for fruits, I already mentioned strawberries, but we also got some cantaloupe and a couple blueberry bushes. We found out our daughter LOVES blueberries, so they were a must.
Around the property we do have some blackberry and raspberry bushes that popup. We really need to be a bit more proactive in collecting some berries. I usually forget about them because they’re at the back end of the one pasture and we don’t get back there often. There are a few blackberry bushes near the house, but they’re in a popular chicken hangout and the chickens get all the low hanging fruits. We also have a peach tree and a couple apple trees. They are all young and were planted only a couple years ago. The peach tree yielded a bunch of cute little peaches the first year, but last year it seemed like one windy day knocked off all the fruit bearing blossoms and we didn’t get anything. The apple trees will never bear fruit, as we are covered up with cedar trees on our property, and we didn’t know about cedar-apple rust before selecting our types of apple trees.
Moving on from garden talk - I’ve given up watching the Celtics. I decided going into game 5 against Philly that I wouldn’t be watching anymore of this series, and if the Celtics get through, I may not watch much of the next series. I just don’t know that I can watch the poor execution again and again from this team. All year I have been sour about their lack of drive and them phoning it in. Now here we are down 3-2 going back into Philly in a series that very realistically should’ve been a sweep. The Celtics should have won both games 1 and 4. I just don’t have the energy to get aggravated at what I see happening on the floor, so I will probably just stick with periodically checking the box scores.
Now, if you look back at the last Rambling Session you will see that I said that I wasn’t high on the Celtics getting to the conference finals. I thought Embiid would just be too dominant for the lackadaisical Celtics to handle. Turns out, Embiid was out in game 1 and the Celtics beat themselves (yes, Harden had an amazing game, but the Celtics just beat themselves), and in the 4 games Embiid has played, he really hasn’t been anything more than average Embiid. Then game 4, he was a nonfactor in the fourth quarter thanks to Horford just dominating him defensively. Now, the Celtics lost that game in the beginning, but they clawed their way back to being up 5 with 2 minutes left in the game and they should’ve closed it out. All season long closing out close games has been an issue for the Celtics, and this series has shown that they continue to struggle with execution in clutch time.
At this point, I don’t care if the Sixers get through. I just hope that if/when they do, they finish the job. I was never a Harden fan, but this year made me a fan of his. The way he settled into this role with this Sixers team this year and still was impactful all season. I mean, I had him as an All Star. Then to come into this series and show up big in this series in the games they won just shows that he is relevant, he is great, and I want him to break that narrative of not being able to deliver in the postseason. I also am kind of hoping for a Nuggets - Sixers final… and I think an Embiid - Jokic, Murray - Harden clash would be epic.
Well, I think that’s all I really have on my mind right now. Thanks for reading, and please comment below if you have anything to say!