The Mouth of Sauron
Diary of a Tolkien Fiend
Saturday, February 11, 2006
  My Aragorn pipe arrived today!
Today my Official Aragorn Pipe arrived via Express Mail. It came with a black felt draw-string bag with the words "Der Herr Der Ringe" on it. It also came with a box of filters, a bag of extra-long pipe cleaners, and instructions in both German & English. Beginning pipe-smokers would do well to read & follow the instructions, which give good advice for the care and maintenance of the pipe (you can ruin a perfectly good pipe if you smoke it too hot, for example). One piece of advice that isn't mentioned, is that ideally you should let a pipe rest for at least 48 hours before smoking it again. This is why pipe-smokers are often also pipe collectors; the more often you smoke, the more pipes you need.

Those of you who intend to smoke this pipe & who like me would rather do so without the use of a filter, should also be aware that the pipe comes with a filter already in place. To remove it, you have to separate the stem from the shank (never do this while the pipe is still hot). It comes free with a slight twist... but if you do this, hold both ends as close to the joint as you can or you risk breaking the long, delicate stem. This also applies when you separate the stem & shank in order to clean the pipe, which you should do after each smoke, once the pipe has fully cooled. Also, if you do smoke with a filter, you should replace it after each smoke.

This pipe is well-made and smokes like a dream. However, it is a lot bigger than I thought it would be. I'm a pretty small guy, but I'm not exactly a hobbit. Still, smoking this pipe made me feel like one. Maybe I should buy Bilbo's next!
 
Thursday, February 09, 2006
  I have chosen...
When I quit smoking, I thought I only had two choices: stop smoking altogether, or continue to chain-smoke for the rest of my life. There was no such thing as moderate tobacco use. Well, that may be true, but I have decided to give pipe-smoking one more try. See, I may be deluding myself, but I have this theory that the reason smoking pipes led me back to smoking cigarettes again all those times before is that I was so addicted to nicotine when I tried switching to the pipe that I actually started inhaling when I smoked the pipe in order to get my accustomed level of nicotine.

In any case, after quitting cold turkey and not smoking for nine days, the other day I bought some pipe tobacco and smoked a bowl. It was like coming home... So I guess I've chosen to be a pipe-smoker. I couldn't handle being a non-smoker and cigarette-smoking is definitely not for me (neither is cigar-smoking). Now I only smoke once or twice in the evening and I don't inhale, and it's ten times more enjoyable than smoking cigarettes.

I've also ordered the Official Aragorn Pipe from TolkienTown.com. I plan to eventually get the whole collection of LotR official pipes. Supposedly they are fully functional; I will post my experiences with the Aragorn pipe at a later date, in case there are any other pipe-smoking LotR fans out there who are wondering if it's a good smoke or not.
 
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
  Star Wars, nothing but Star Wars...
I've always liked Star Wars, but lately I've become obsessed with it to the point that I think I can now actually call myself a Star Wars fan. It started with Battlefront II, where I play online as Darth_Bane (Gamespy ID). Then after I quit smoking, for some reason I started becoming nostalgic for my childhood (maybe because I've smoked since I was 16) and decided to start collecting Star Wars figures (the original ones from the late 70's to mid-80's). First, I plan to get all the ones I used to have (most were stolen by a certain childhood friend, a few were lost, and the rest fell to Padraig, a puppy I adopted in the mid-eighties(R.I.P.)... he chewed them up, and my mother threw them out) and then I plan to get the ones I wanted but never was able to get. Ebay might make this dream possible...

Anyway, when Battlefront got old because you don't get to play a Jedi or a Sith often enough for my tastes, I remembered how much fun I had playing Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, and decided to buy Jedi Knight III: Jedi Academy. Unfortunately, the store I went to didn't have it in stock, so I ended up getting another game I've always wanted to try, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. I love this game! It made me want to get the original KOTOR. I still plan to get Jedi Knight III as well. So if I don't post for a while, this is why... I play KOTOR II whenever I get the chance, and I'm pretty close to constructing a lightsaber.

By the way, I recall that when I was a kid I wanted a real lightsaber and was extremely disappointed when I found out they didn't really exist. Even to this day, I still would like a real lightsaber... the ultimate negotiation tool... but until someone figures out a way to create one, I'm getting the next best thing.
 
The rider was robed all in black, and black was his lofty helm; yet this was no Ringwraith but a living man. The Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dur he was, and his name is remembered in no tale; for he himself had forgotten it, and he said: 'I am the Mouth of Sauron.' J.R.R. Tolkien

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