Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Just My Opinion #4

What is true Patriotism? It is defined as, “The quality of being patriotic, vigorously supporting ones country.”. Nice definition but also short on the entirety of true patriotism. Now what follows is just my opinion and in our country we each have the right to such. If you do not agree with my opinion that is your right just as it is my right to disagree with yours.
To be an American Patriot is to support and believe whole heartedly in your country. You may not agree with the politics, or decisions made, but it is your country and where your citizenship is. I do not mean blindly follow, for we have the right to disagree and hold leaders accountable, but to unit under one flag for a better a stronger country. Allow me to touch on a few modern day issues.
Our president. Notice I said “Our” president. You may love him or hate him, and some have loudly stated he is not their president but make no mistake, if you’re an American citizen he IS your president. Once someone is elected, the decision has been made and he is the president of the United States. We are free to agree or disagree with him, but do not do so in a way that undermines the country you call home.
Now, you are an American citizen so let me ask this of those who hate and dislike our current president, what good do you think you do by acting in such a manner as many of you do? 
It is undeniable that there is a liberal news media active in our country and it has been discovered time and again that some stories, facts and issues have been created by them to discredit our current president for the truthful reason he is not from their party nor of their beliefs. What right does a news network have to try to take down a president or mislead a country? What happened to true news reporters? There are still a handful of real news reporters but the vast majority follow a party and talking points, this to have been shown as fact time and again. And on the discussion of the party they follow, it should be and is to the majority of this country, a sad reflection on politicians who are careless about the public they serve.
The political party that called itself the party that cares and is concerned and compassionate, has shown itself to be one of the most hate filled parties of our time. Many in the party are so far out of touch with the public the serve that they can not comprehend why the presidential vote went such as it did. And since then we have seen maneuvers and actions on their part that bring disgust to the average American. Let me remind you of one such action. When the president was giving a speech before congress and the house, he introduced the widow of an American hero, a Navy Seal. As she stood with tears falling, everyone, senators and representatives alike, stood to honor her. Except certain members of that party who so dislike the president and his politics that they neither applauded her nor stood to honor the memory of her slain husband who served our country. By not standing, they assumed they would show power and unity for their agenda but instead it set off a firestorm of anger against them for their disgusting show of disrespect, as well it should. No matter what your political beliefs or dislikes of others may be, by not standing to honor a fallen American, those beliefs or dislikes become unimportant to all and in fact turn against you due to your actions. Your party, because of your actions, has suffered the loss of respect by the majority of hard working Americans who you are out of touch with.
Now, while there was the ugly truth of racism in our country, America has come a long way to rid itself of it and become equal. And yet while there is a show of racism that occurs occasionally, our country as a whole has moved beyond the dark days of the past and for the vast majority of the country equality stands. But the problem is there are those on both side who are race baiters and refuse to let equality take its place. Hate groups such as the KKK, BLM, Antifa, etc. work to drive apart any advances made, all for their own agenda. It really makes no difference what either group claims they want, the truth is they only want their agenda and to cause turmoil.
All of these groups and any hate group should be listed as a terrorist organization, because they disrupt the public peace and cause turmoil for the soul purpose of hate. Recently a great tragedy hit our country in Las Vegas, and it did not matter your race, politics nor beliefs, all were affected. And Americans of all colors pitched in to help each other. We saw the same thing after the hurricanes hit Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. Race, politics nor beliefs mattered, everyone joined together to help, and that’s how it is supposed to be. Sort of showed the hate groups to be the fake and falsehoods they are.
Lets make this as clear as possible so no one can misunderstand. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THE COLOR OF YOUR SKIN IS, WE ARE ALL AMERICANS AND SHOULD ALL WORK TOGETHER. We all bleed the same color, all equal and are all created by God.
So enough of race hate and race baiters, be they white, black, brown, red or yellow. Americans have shown we know how to get along and work together in unity.
Back to patriotism. Being an American Patriot means standing proud at our National Anthem, showing respect for our country, our flag, and for all those that gave their life in service and those that serve today. It means when our neighbors need help, we go and help all we can. It means standing together against things that would come against us, to protect each other in good and bad. To mourn together the loss of heroes, to support our troops where ever they may be. It means that we believe in what we stand for as a country and will stand with it. It means protecting the rights of each citizen and uniting together in times of trouble. We are Americans, we celebrate together, work together, protect together, help together and stand together. This is America, we may have our problems, but her people will defend her at all cost. Hold true to this:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Cigar review: Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII

Every so often, something special comes along. After all the years in cigars its rare that i am surprised at any new release. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that there are not cigars I'm really pleased to see come out, it is just not much surprise. but this year is different. Last weekend I had a project I wanted to work on, some art that I have been meaning to get to. Took a photo in Colorado several years ago of a very old barn and I wanted to get it on paper. Having a day with out pressing matters, I gathered my supplies and set up in my office at home. I took a sheet of parchment paper and attached it to the board and set out the technical pens I love to use. I never draw with out a cigar so for today's work I picked out the new Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII. The band is beautiful, and the Mexican San Andres wrapper has a nice touch of oily sheen to it with its deep rich color. Once cut, the pre light draw gives hints of aged tobacco, nutmeg and a very nice hint of orange zest. This was unexpected and very pleasing.
lighting up, I had to smile because there is no waiting for flavor from this cigar. Right from the start it gives you a bounty of delectable flavors. Spice and peanut brittle combines with the citrus zest producing an elegant smoke. Further into the first third, the aroma is awakening the senses as the peanut brittle morphs into more of an oven parched peanut affair with a mild sweetness reminiscent dark malt. Combine this with the taste of the rich tobacco being emitted and you have a profusion of engaging flavors.
As I was thoroughly enjoying the cigar, I began my work on the project at hand. I began with a 7H pencil lead and carefully laying out the building, framework and environment. Once done, I began with a .13 technical pen, laying in the outlines of each board, post and roofing. 
As I began to start applying texture to the board surfaces of the barn, the cigar was moving well into the second third. The citrus zest was still present as is the parched nuts. The mild sweetness as before mentioned was not as pronounced but yet the taste of the dark malt has enveloped with the parched nuts giving a deep rich smokiness to the cigar. Each draw presents the flavors in an entangled web of combinations, switching placement in manifestation of placement. The citrus zest I mention is captivating due to the fact that its affect upon the savoriness of the blend. It is a perfect match, not over powering but ever present, causing the amplification of the cavalcade of tastes. exquisite to say the least.
Board after board, placing line work and shadows. Creating the appearance of age and wear. Spending time with a magnifying glass as to get each identifying mark accurate on the building. 
Moving into the final third, the flavors have elevated somewhat. More intensity each singularly and unified. A deep smokiness, rich in the essence of the tobacco coated the combination as if drawn by an engineer. An appearance of nutmeg began to show as was first gathered in the pre light which caused the the mix of zest, nuts and now dark wood to be completely pleasing in every aspect.
Finishing this cigar had me wishing for another but here again, work needed to be finished on the drawing at hand.
When this cigar hits the shelves treat yourself to some and see what you gather from it. No ones ever tastes the same things as we are each individual smokers but the great expectation is in the smoking.

Peace and Smoke,

The finished work

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Cigar review: Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2018

This past weekend I celebrated getting older, 58 to be exact, and I hate to celebrate only so I invited several of the guys over for a cookout, drinks and, of course, cigars. One of my buds came early to help set up and brought a nice bourbon with him, I was supplying cigars for the gang. Ribs, ribeye’s, sausage and chicken was on the menu and after getting the grills set up I planned on getting some of the meat ready when my buddy walked outside with a drink in hand and said, and I quote, “Sit down, I got it, its your day off.”. I was not going to argue the point. So grabbing a chair and taking a seat we chatted as he prepped the grills then went to get the different meats ready. I decided to start the party with a Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2018. The cigar is a work of art to look at and the bold band stands out against the succulent dark chocolate brown wrapper.
 The pre light aromas are woody and slightly sweet, with a tinge of spice and a hint of sweetness.Punched and lit, the initial hit of spice that I so enjoy was there bursting forward to ignite your expectations. A quarter of and inch in and the spice eases a tad as the blend marches in. This cigar does not slow down nor back up as it produces wave after wave of divine tobacco flavor. Dark earth comes in swirling in a mixture of spice, oak and roasted nuts with a faint yet visible sweetness reaching from the background. The smoke is a paint brush creating Rembrandts on the palate as each draws show variations of the flavors produced.

Some of the other friends, or clowns, I know began arriving and each bringing bottles, things for the grill and much humor. The usual pranks, jokes and idiotic good natured humor that comes from this gathering never takes long to ensue, in fact it had already begun when one ask another to retrieve something from his truck and was met with a loud surprise, I wont elaborate. Cigars were being lit and drinks being poured as items were being placed for cooking. The combination of aromas from the cigars and grills make for a marvelous day. Side note, its funny how every time a patrol car passes buy, this group all get silent and still. Oh well.

Moving into the second third the flavors the oak is now smoky and the dark earth richer. The roasted nuts are morphing into a roasted coffee bean variation with the spice enveloping the melding of flavors. The mild sweetness reaching through before was now more evident and brings thoughts of molasses candy in similarity. Its not a bold sweetness nor profound but intertwines delicately in the blend. This cigar is a dream of a smoke, each draw filling the senses and the smoke leaving a velvety feel.

This is one of those days you don’t care how much of a dent is put in your cigar supply because after all that’s one thing cigars are for, to share the good times. As the smell of the grills are flowing throughout the yard, laughter, music and smile are seen with everyone enjoying. I sit with four of these clowns as I move into the final third of this fantastic cigar. The flavors are bolder, the smoke thicker and smooth, as roasted coffee bean and smoky wood are wrapped together with the sweetness and now hints of vanilla toffee dancing far off. The spice is more bold at the last draw. Magnificent.

The Las Calaveras 2018 is an astoundingly great cigar to smoke and if you have yet to try it, by all means do so and see what you receive from it. As for me, I plan on getting more.

Peace and Smoke,