- toilet paper
- paper towels
- dog food/cat food
- laundry detergent
- dishwasher detergent
- toilet paper
- paper towels
- dog food/cat food
- laundry detergent
- dishwasher detergent
- pocket folder mat knife
- good pens
- white out tape
- matches or lighter
- pocket knife
- cell phone
- mechanical pencils. OMG.
- coffee pot or french press
Ugh. That damn Shaun T. And his freaking ripped body.
Today I did the Insanity fitness test--a baseline to see what you're able to do--something to check in with in another couple weeks to monitor my progress. Except, I'm still just doing the 30 minute "stretching/recovery" routine three times a week--to get up-to-snuff enough for me to do the Insanity routine without hurting myself. Frikking Shaun T.
I sucked pretty bad. In fact, it's pretty discouraging. I kind of feel like I'll never be fit again--and I'm not chubby at all. Compared to most I'm slender and healthy. I eat well, don't smoke, don't drink to excess, don't have a sweet tooth. I eat reasonable portions, I haven't had junk food in years, I'm careful with salt and suger--and very aware and wary of chemical additives. I enjoy cooking from scratch and understand nutrition (thank you, mom!). I'm on zero medications and hope never to need to be. I've got a pretty clean system for this day and age. But even so, I'm not in good shape for me. And I feel it.
My cardio fitness is poor and the last couple years I've had a series of mild injuries that have lingered. I'm also at a point where I feel like I'd better start working working out into my life routine--or I'll be in danger of further injuries, and poor health as I age. That was the most frustrating thing--I had to be SO careful about the form and taking care of my right wrist and shoulder--two weak points that are easy to injure. I'm also recuperating, not very well, from a neck injury---and it's still fragile, easy to restrain. It's irritating. I am so SLOW because I have to really be certain I'm braced just right--or I'll hurt those weak areas again. It's frustrating! But I didn't want to wuss out and not do the exercises.
I'm typing this up, because right now, I feel pretty shitty and disappointed by how I feel and how weak I seem to be. I kind of feel let down by my body. But I'm hoping that maybe in a month, I'll feel a little bit better? And maybe in a month after that I might feel more ok? And maybe by May I'll not only be stronger, but maybe my joint issues will be better? I really hope that I can better stabilize my joints, be stronger physically, and not feel so brittle and breakable. And I really want to work on my cardio fitness so my heart can be in better health.
Exercising sucks, though. Yuck. Looking at you, Shaun T.
Close-ups of the recent Hegemonic victory tokens release. This was a Kickstarter project that met with a multitude of setbacks, but the final product is quite nice. The coloring is a little muddy on some, and not every coin is as carefully finished as others--some have a large 'seam' of flashing 'round the edges. There are thickness issues as well--some coins are considerably thinner than others, though I realize these are relatively minor quibbles. Considering how tricky it is, period, when fabricating out of the country in situations where you can only 'check' on work via images, as opposed to getting to actually go in person...a job well done, all around.
There are 3 different reverse sides--and that's a nice touch too.
The coins I used I pulled randomly from their plastic pouch--so no particular effort to select especially good or bad looking samples. The overall quality is consistent & I can't complain. Click on the images to enlarge for better clarity.
My only gripe, a personal one, is that I was short-changed in the #2 pack. I ordered a replacement pack from Minion Games--so issue soved--but it would have been nice to have gotten the right count. HOWEVER, I'm sure there were many thousands of packs made. One missing coin is something I can live with--and that's not a bad quality control issue either. Just luck of the draw.
- my body
- specifically, my joints, ligaments, tendons, etc.
- upright paper towel dispensers
- cell phone reception
- the idea that 'wedge' heels look as good as regular heels
- the idea that heels are more comfortable than wedge heels
- self cleaning anything
- rechargeable batteries
- our two current political parties
- most ballpoint pens
- self-cleaning cat boxes
- the idea that acne clears up with age
- thinning eyebrows with age
- grey hair in me privates!
- non-slip carpet pads
more to come
- Puffs Plus tissue with aloe
- Canada Dry tonic water
- Sony Vaio 13" laptop
- Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur cigars
- NexCare Acne Absorbing Covers
- Sharpie permanent markers
- Elmer's glue
- Zebra stainless steel pens
- Pepperidge Farm oatmeal bread
- Lifeway Kefir drink
- Carr's table water crackers
- Smarties candies
- SmartWool socks
- Bean's boots
- Waxman's candles
- Caran d'Ache ballpoint pen
Back in 2012, when General Cigar Co. released the first four cigars in what was known as 'Foundry' and what later became it's own brand, Foundry Tobacco Company--there were rumors of a potential marketing gimmick--a sort of 'secret decoder ring' that was shipping with each cigar. The ring, which was styled as a small, metal 'gear' looked attractive and certainly made the cigar stand out from the crown. But what was the purpose of that gear? And would it really turn out to part of a larger whole? Or were we just being led down the garden path After a year of anticipation...the secret revealed:
Foundry Tobacco Company's humidor arrives in an attractive glossy white cardboard box, with a shimmery, slightly metallic "foundry" logo stamped on the lid. A pleasing package with a modern, contemporary look, in contrast to the Steampunk/Victorian aesthetic Foundry is known for. The box is sturdy--I feel secure that the humidor contained within is well-protected.
But I have to say, I'm surprised by how small this box is. I've seen perhaps one picture of this humidor online, I always assumed it to be larger, longer. What I have in front of me is approximately 8"x8."
The unboxing is a treat--the humidor appears to be well-cushioned: it ships in a bubble-wrap envelope, with tissue protecting the inner edges of the humidor from unecessary friction against the humidor lid. Kudos for considring shipping issues. Once the bubble-wrap and tissue are removed, I'm left with this:
The humidor is covered in a golden-brown tan leather, reminiscent of fine Connecticut wrappers. There are antiqued bronze-looking filigree corners and an over-sized locking mechanism that claims pride of place atop the humidor. Surrounding the lock, across the Connecticut leather, an embossed rusty grate lends both color and texture. An impressive unveiling. Time to pull this out of the protective glossy box.
After removing the humidor, I turn it to its side: on one end there's a leather 'suitcase' handle, secured by to aged bronze-looking tabs. Sturdy and well-secured, I have no doubt that the handle will wear well and carry the travel humidor easily. The raised handle padding is for looks more than function, but it's a an appreciated visual element. There are more decorative edge protectors on each corner of the humidor.
Turning the humidor again, I inspect both hinged ends of the box. The metal hinge is wide and strong. It should easily support the weight of the dual-lift lid. The leather is slightly pock-marked and I assume this is either intentional weathering of the leather--or just natural marks in the skin, and not a defect per se. It doesn't look like a defect, but I mention it for those who may be expecting a perfectly smooth exterior. The imperfections add to Foundry's overall all artistic conceit: antique/retro reinvention of the new.
The one MAJOR disappointment here is that ridiculous warning sticker. This absolutely should have been placed on the bottom of the box, instead of marring the leather. It is extremely difficult to remove and pulls the leather to distortion. After trying futilely for several minutes to remove it, I'm going to hit it with a hairdryer (carefully!) to see if heating the sticker will soften the adhesive and allow me to remove this offensive thing, without further pulling the leather. A stupid misstep for yet another Smoking Warning. As though every box of cigars, every carton of cigarettes, every nicotine advertisement doesn't already carry this warning--please, by all means, slap a shitty sticker on this leather box!
The bottom of the box is also covered with leather (!) where I'd have expected, say, felt. The leather wrap is a very nice touch--but wherever that sticker ends up, exercise extreme care with removal. But enough crabbing, let's open this baby up!
Yes, both sides open to lay completely flat--but I wanted some pics of the angled edge. The lighter & cutter are thrown in for size: again, this is a quite small box. I'd call it a travel humidor, but many popular long cigars will not fit within the interior dimensions. Consider that. Here, the hinge is well displayed--it's tough and will surely wear well. These wings aren't going anywhere anytime soon! The cedar-lined chest is well constructed, without any gaps. I look forward to seasoning this little guy, to see how well it maintains its humidity. Closed the lids fit snugly onto the base. I have high hopes that the additional expansion, once treated, will seal this humidor up tight. Time will tell.
Michael Giannini, General Cigar Co's creative director and the originator of the Foundry cigar line has described this little box as a sort of Victorian tool box. It's an imaginative idea--but no tools would even begin to fit in this little crate. Much of Foundry is driven more by artistic vision and playful re-invention, rather than strict adherence to function or 'real-world' alternative use. It works! Although, I wish his humidor was about 2 inches longer, end-to-end. If this were the case, it would fit all but the longest of cigars, and I believe greatly enhance its usability/usefulness. C'est la vie.
The first smoke I dropped in here, knowing it would be too large, is Foundry's Uranium cigar. This stogie's a big'un at 7x70. Woof. It fits, but only angled. Regardless of girth, any long cigar (over 6+ inches) will have trouble in this petite humidor. Pictured next are a handful of Foundry cigars that do fit: and it's just about every other offering in their line.
So let's talk Gear. Specifically, the small metal gear that shipped with every original Foundry cigar in 2012 (the Caley, Lovelace, Talbot and Wells). All along, Foundry teased us with hints that this ring wasn't just for looks, or an advertising stunt, but would fulfill an actual purpose... if only we would wait a while. Turns out, the secret was a locking mechanism found on the travel humidor. The gear is pulled off the cigar, and placed within a circular depression on the lock. Once in place, the gear spokes capture small studs within the lock. A twist of the ring engages and rotates the studs and voila! The box is now locked. Each travel humidor ships UNlocked--should you not yet have the gear, you aren't locked out of your box.
Overall, a great little travel humidor. Add a couple inches to it and it would be perfect--but for a majority of average to small sized cigars, this petite humidor will be fine. The construction is tight, the aesthetic fully in sync with the rest of Foundry's artistic vision. Use it as a keepsake box with or without the gear--or just an interesting conversation piece, a part of Foundry's unusual and innovative packaging for their fascinating cigars. I give it an 8 out of 10, points lost for the small, square size that simply can't accommodate a longer smoke. The incredibly stupid sticker I can't blame on the designers--no points lost for redundant gov't warnings.
Before I begin! I have grabbed photos from all kinds of sites. Mostly from Foundry itself--but maybe also yours--all of yours. I'm using them to clarity and explain, not trying to steal your creative thunder, BOTLs. I've also got a list of links to any and all sites that helped me put this list together at the end of the post. Some of the early images here appear to be production art, and don't quite match what has been produced for shops. I'm also in the process of adding my own pictures as I find the cigars. Enjoy!
** if anyone can point me toward all the Plutoniums, both Tis and the Europium--please do. I can't buy boxes, but I can do small packs, singles or great trades. **
Award for Most Difficult to Track Down Cigars goes to....
General Cigar Co./Foundry Tobacco Co!
Foundry's website finally updated their site with all the pertinent information, but it was woefully limited for the longest time, which left me super confused about the order/structure of their new (2013)releases.
War of Currents debuts as the umbrella conceit under which two main categories reside: Laboratories and Inventions. Both Laboratories & Inventions share the same tobacco blend, but have many different vitolas. Laboratories, the core line, has two vitolas & will remain in production. These Laboratory cigars come with a metal band fitted with a white fuse, an homage to the power grid:
Another fun feature that the two Laboratories boxes share, is that while each sports the main Foundry logo, the adjoining lines vary: DC sports a solid ray, AC sports a wavy ray:
Inventions, a limited, small-batch release, has four vitolas, and no metal bands. When the Inventions sell out, they ain't coming back. Additionally, each of the six cigar boxes have unique designs, with the small-batch Inventions sporting more unique and entertaining boxes.
Laboratories (main line) Inventions (small-batch, limited)
2 box designs: 4 box designs:
W.Orange ~ T. Edison ~DC Auburn & Menlo ~ T. Edision ~ DC
Shoreham ~ N. Tesla ~ AC Belgrade & Madison ~ N. Tesla ~ AC
And what is the War of Currents? In Foundry's artistic release, it is the intellectual battle over the transmission of electricity that took place during the 1880's between Thomas Edison's Direct Current (DC) and Nikola Tesla's competing Alternate Current (AC). Both inventors favored their version over the other--and it promoted lively competition between the two.
Foundry Cigars has picked three cigar boxes for each competing current.
1. Laboratories: W. Orange ~ 5.5x50
2. Inventions: Auburn ~ The Electric Chair 6x60 Perfecto with Tickler head
3. Inventions: Menlo ~ The Phonograph 5x60
18 cigars, 16 are small-batch, limited releases & will be retired when they sell through. Carbon & Uranium will remain in production, joining the two Laboratory cigars as part of Foundry's core line.
1. Argon ~ 5.5x50
2. Carbon ~ 5.5x60 - Core Line
3. Europium ~ 7x60
4. Gold ~ 5.5x55
*H2O ~ 5x50 (3 different blends, same vitola)
5. - H
6. - 2
7. - O
8. Helium ~ 6.75x54
9. Hydrogen ~ 6.5x56
*Plutonium ~ 5x50 (4 different blends, same vitola)
10. - yellow
11. - green
12. - white
13. - orange
*Titanium ~ (2 different vitola, same blend)
14. - 5.5x46
15. - 6x52
16. Uranium ~ 7x70 - Core Line
17. Vanadium ~ 6.125x54
18. Xenon ~ 6.25x54
Blend Origins: Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Brazilian tobaccos. Argon sports a black and copper label, and features a slide top, rough wood box. Argon is packaged in boxes of 25.
Argon is a noble gas that is found in the Earth's atmosphere.
Blend Origins: Nicaragua, Lower 48. Packaging features a frosted, translucent Plexiglas wall. The atomic radius of Carbon is 77, Carbon is packaged in boxes of 77. Perhaps this is why?
Foundry's Creative Director Michael Giannini said that he enjoys wearing diamonds: thus one more reason to put diamonds on the box.
Carbon is the 6th most abundant element in our Universe. Diamond is one of three naturally occurring Carbon allotrope, the other two being Amorphous and Graphite.
Blend Origins: Dominican Republic with undisclosed "mysterioso" fillers. Rough-cut wooden box styled after vintage steamer trunk, with an oval-shaped sticker of a merman. Why a merman? According to Michael Giannini, the Creative Director at General Cigar, Co., he apparently felt that Europium sounded like "a trip to Europe." And he imagined a merman, complete with trident, who got tired of all the swimming and was taking a vacation on a ghost ship. There you have it. Coincidentally (?), some research involving Europium has been conducted at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, located on 600 E. Mermaid Lane. Box of 20.
Europium is a rare earth element.
Blend Origins: Dominican Republic, Ecuador, US.
The cigar wrapper is 'golden' in color. Packaged in a rustic, recycled pine wood box with an image gold-miner printed directly on the wooden lid. Box of 25.
Blend origins: Costa Rica, "mysterioso" fillers.
There are 3 different cigar blends in this offering to represent the three different elements comprising the H2O compound. The box is divided into 3 sections, each one housing either the "H," "2," or "O" blend. Each section has 12 cigars, for a total of 36 in the box. Creative Director Giannini said he hopes that people try all three blends, and then debate them with one another. Sounds fun to me!
A translucent Plexiglas lid, shaped like a safety razor sits atop a recessed ledge. Printed on the Plexi is what looks to me like an old-fashioned typewriter typeguide section. The H2O logo looks like round typewriter keys. 36 cigars in total.
H2O is the most abundant compound on the Earth's surface. It can exist in liquid, solid and gaseous sates.
Blend Origins: Honduras, Nicaragua, Mysterioso
A straight-forward cigar presentation: all one vitola, regular hinged cigar box--though it is covered with burlap, which is a little sloppy--wrinkly burlap and some glue staining the wood. Oddly, it's the Helium cigar box that has the exploding zepplin, rather than the Hydrogen one. Airships can run on either helium or hydrogen--but it was the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg that exploded so horrifyingly. Oh, the humanity! When I think Helium, I don't think 'sploding airships, I think sucking on balloons... 20 cigars per box.
Michael Giannini said he knows that Hydrogen won't blow up, but that in his world "Cuz I'm a guy who likes stuff that blows up, I like to see an old airship blow up. And that's Helium to me." I like this crazy man.
Helium heads the noble gas group in the periodic table, is colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert & monatomic.
Blend Origins: Nicaragua, Ecuador, Mysterioso
I'm not sure about this, but it's possible that Foundry's hydrogen gremlin is a playful reminder of the 1972 Hydrogen Car competition at UCLA? The cigar itself widens at the foot--similar to old car.
The UCLA Hydrogen Car Project evolved from a note Frank Lynch (UCLA '72) put on a bulletin board in 1970 to the effect that students interested in developing a hydrogen fueled car to enter the Urban Vehicle Design Competition should contact him. Lynch then asked professor Albert Bush to be the faculty sponsor and the project took off. General Motors donated a 1972 Gremlin and Ford Motor Company a "Boss" 351 cubic inch engine. The students modified the engine to run on hydrogen and installed a tank to hold the hydrogen in the rear of the car. Since the exhaust of a hydrogen powered vehicle is steam, the students had no problem taking first place in the competition for lowest emissions. ~ engineer.ucla.edu
UPDATE: NOPE, totally wrong about above. According to Michael Giannini, the inspiration for this was an old Twilight Zone episode with William Shatner who "was scared to fly, and he saw a gremlin on the plane wing? That's my gremlin. And it's an H2...it's a gremlin with an H2 bomb." Additionally, he described the cigar as "a beautiful bell-shaped cigar." Nice.
The hydrogen cigar box itself has an image of a gremlin creature holding a small bomb--same graphic as that found on the cigar band. Comes packed with 20 cigars.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe. It is also the lightest element on the Periodic Table.
The pre-production art package was amazing--four cigar boxes placed together to look like a bundle of dynamite--complete with fuse and scorch marks. Such a cool idea. But it seems that what was realized was a scaled down (think cheaper and easier to make) version that lacks the flair and fun-factor. Still has the cool black rubber bicycle intertube that sort of rubber-bands the boxes together. It's a nice presentation--just disappointed to see what might have been.
"Plutonium to me was, Wiley Coyote and the Road Runner. And it's a stick of dynamite." ~ Giannini
The four boxes contain either green, yellow, orange or white-label cigars, and each color is a different, undisclosed blend. Each box contains 25 cigars, for a grand total of 100 if you buy the bundle.
Plutonium is a radioactive rare earth element and is used as an explosive in nuclear weapons, which explains the bomb box.
I'm hoping I can find some of these in B&Ms because online info & images are scarce. I'm in a pretty terrible spot for cigars, though, so I'm not hopeful about my chances of tracking the B&M offerings down.
The Titanium cigar edition is comprised of two differently-sized cigars of the same blend--in the same box. Each size will smoke differently. Giannini wanted smokers to experience how, without altering the blend, the vitola can effect the smoke. The box picutred above is Pre-Production art, so I'm not sure what the actualized box-top looks like. I'm guessing similar, as this box seems pretty conventional. Looks like a smooth wooden box with a metal or metal-effect lid--that may be recessed, similar to how the H2O set was constructed. Nice looking box. The symbol on top may be stamped? And obviously the released box is different from pre-pro: it's thin and rectangular. I have no clue why it's called "Diablo Tail?" Possible funky biblical reference? The first time Satan appears in the bible is Numbers 22:22--and Titanium's atomic # is 22--so maybe a play on that? Or some bizarre inspiration from the Diablo video game? 20 cigars per box, 10 each of two sizes.
UPDATE: so here's what the Diablo Tail means, to Michael Giannini: "In may factory, the folks there don't really like devils...so I originally had a devil design on this, so in a way to kind of get them un-superstitious, I created the Diablo Parte, the Devil's Tail."
Titanium is the 9th most abundant element in the earth's crust.
Dis a rrrrrrl big cigar. Personally not a fan of large ring cigars, but there are lots of fans of them out there, and I'm sure this'll big a fun smoke for them. Uranium is part of the core line, one of only two of the Compounds, Elements and Musings that will continue to be produced. Did I mention how big it is? 'Cause it is. 18 cigars per box.
According to Michael Giannini, he travels so much, and has to be x-rayed so many times by TSA agents, that the irradiated skeleton flipping the bird is his "salute to the world." Love it.
Uranium is a silvery-white chemical element that is slightly radioactive.
Blend Origins: Nicaragua, Brazil and Mexico, H-47 Pleno Sol
Box is shaped like a V that also corresponds to vanadiums's V element symbol. Giannini said that the "V" shape is in honor of General Cigar’s director of public relations Victoria McKee Jaworski. Great packaging. 20 cigar per box of awesomeness.
Vanadium is a It is a hard, silvery gray, ductile and malleable transition metal.
Another rough wooden box with ink printed directly onto it. Image of a flying saucer on the box top and the cigar band--inspired by the 50's Flash Gordon. A straight-forward box with lift-off lid. First box image is Pre-Production art, you can see the actualized boxes are more shallow, and element sticker is in diferent exterior location. Box of 20 cigars.
Excellent websites were referenced for this post: from sales to reviews, these sites have tremendous information, great opinions and reviews, and in some cases, sales.