Friday, April 18, 2014

God cares

All of us have experienced things in our lives; a terminal illness either ours or a family member, a job layoff or termination, a financial setback, a family crisis, a sudden death of a friend or loved one, a trial or turmoil that seems unbearable. we wonder if we will ever come out of these times, and we question why this is happening.  The point is; if God brings us to it, He will get us through it. It's hard for us to believe this statement sometimes, but it is the truth. God will not put anything on us that we cannot stand. We question sometimes why we have to go through these trials and tribulations, and we wonder how a loving God can cause these things to happen to us.  The truth is that it's not God that causes the problems. The things that happen to us are from circumstances, not God. However, God uses these trials given to us to test our strength and faith in Him. The more we depend on God, the more our faith grows. When we face trials and troubles, God tells us to cast all our burdens on Him because He care for us. When we are afraid, God doesn't give us a spirit of fear but of power, love , and a sound mind.When we feel alone and abandoned, God promises never to leave us or forsake us.  So, in the big scheme of things, God promises to take care of things if we just put our total faith and trust in Him. God cares for us, and His love is unconditional. His will is best. He is in control. Never underestimate His power, love , and grace. One thing we need to remember, God has a plan for each of our lives, and He has a purpose in each of our lives. Through every circumstance, He will carry us through.  Through every calamity, He will solve the problem. When troubles come, He brings us through each one. The bottom line is, don't tell God how big your storm is; tell the storm how big your God is.Our God is an awesome God!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A day in the life of a cigar lounge

I have been smoking cigars for about 6 years now.  I find cigar smoking to be relaxing.  For the most part, I smoke at home with my husband, but I also enjoy getting out to local cigar lounges for the comfort and camaraderie.

My favored local brick and mortar tobacco shop/cigar lounge is Karma Tobacco in Merrillville, Indiana.  It is owned by Dhiren Shah and managed by Dhiren, his parents and his lovely wife Arpita.  A typical day in the life of this particular cigar lounge goes something like this…

Not long after Dhiren opens the doors at 10 a.m., the morning regulars trickle in.  Most are retired or semi-retired men who enjoy getting out of the house in the morning to smoke, socialize and sometimes watch the soap operas.  Lunchtime brings in the working crowd.  Some dash in to buy a cigar for later, some choose to spend their lunch hour watching the news and relaxing with a cigar.

Evening brings in the largest crowd of the day and is my favorite time to visit the shop.  These guys are loyal regulars who come to play dominoes, smoke and give each other a hard time.  Over the years, I have made dozens of lifelong friends, some I even consider family.  They are my brothers from another mother.

What I have found is that smoking cigars seems to dissolve many of the social and cultural barriers we encounter on a daily basis.  The customers in this shop are lawyers, accountants, firemen, policemen, retirees, small business owners, steel mill workers and entrepreneurs.  Some are wealthy, some are not; some have impressive educations, and some do not.  They are a diverse group that has one thing in common that has brought them together and keeps them together: the love of the leaf.  If you have found yourself in a routine of staying home and smoking alone, I encourage to drop into your local tobacco shop.  I guarantee you won’t be sorry and you might just make a friend or two.

Life is too short to stay at home, eat boring food, smoke bad cigars or drink light beer.  Get out of your easy chair and try something new…you won’t be disappointed. 
Melissa Osika

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Of a Curmudgeon

Curmudgeon.(n) (Merriam Webster), a person (especially an old man) who is easily annoyed or angered and who complains.
     As I have gotten older, several close friends , wife and daughter have referred  to me as a curmudgeon or grumpy ol’man. I don’t necessarily agree with them, but there are a few things that really burns my butt, besides a flame that high.

Here are just a few of them.
Undisciplined Youth
Young Mens Attire
Bad Neighbors
Unworthy Pet Owners
Fast Food Employees expecting $15.00 an hour wages
 Peoples Statements and Questions
Snobby Cigar Smokers

Undisciplined Youth: This one falls on the parents. I have witnessed this first hand as a law enforcement officer and a patron of Wal-Mart, grocery stores and restaurants. Young children running a muck. Telling the parent, adult or caregiver where to go. Screaming and throwing temper tantrums when they don’t get their way or item they want. Oh, I can’t stand it, I better sit down. People, start young and early with the rights and wrongs, acceptable and unacceptable. Teach respect, first and foremost. Yes Ma’am and No Ma’am, Yes Sir and No Sir. I get so dang tired of hearing “Yeah” or “ Uh huh”. Don’t be afraid to pop that bottom. It is acceptable in most states to spank or hit the fleshy part of the buttocks as discipline. And for God’s sake when you say “No”, doggone it, mean it/stand by it.

Young Mens Attire: This another one that falls on the parents. Do you know what and how your children are dressing? The answer is probably not! Remember their appearance is a reflection of and on you!
Fella’s, basic rule #1, you only need one pair of pants at a time. Not 3 or 4 over each other.
Basic rule #2, If you get the right size to fit in the first place, they won’t sag or fall off. Here’s an idea, get yourself a belt or suspenders. Don’t have any? I have a few of both to spare.

Bad Neighbors:
Clean up your yard and house. It is that simple. Mow and weed eat/trim the edges abit, see doesn’t that look so much better and if you do it every other week I won’t piss and moan every time I see you outside. Again this is a reflection of and on you.
Noise, turn it down abit. Slamming doors and yelling at each other at 2 a.m. is annoying as hell. If you and a family member want to fight, let me know. I’ll sell tickets and popcorn and we will both make some money. Just remember that we can hear you outside of your house, even when we are inside of ours. And turn down the car’s music making equipment before you hit our street.

Unworthy Pet Owners:
You are probably the Bad Neighbors as well. C’mon people take care of your animals. If they aren’t house pets, then at least give them proper shelter, food and clean water and clean up the poop. I have a great idea. Let’s put you on a chain and let you live in the same conditions they have to endure. Poop everywhere, dirty water, stale or little food and no companionship. I give you 24 hours or less, you will be begging, calling out for someone to get you off the chain…Sound familiar? And for crying out loud don’t let your animals run the neighborhood. I have a dog and she poops enough in the yard, I don’t need yours adding to it. And I am tired of bringing then back to you when they run off, just for you to let them loose when I leave. Don’t be mad when they come to me when I call their names and they run away faster when you call them.

Fast Food Employees expecting $15.00 an hour: 
Oh My God! Really? How about this, go look at your shift video. Look real close. You and your BFF gossiping, while food orders either back up or get mixed up. Put your phones away and wash your hands. Think about this, Mr. or Miss I Want $15.00 an Hour, your company gives you the raise to $15.00 an hour. Happy now? Don’t get to comfy, the company just filed for bankruptcy, because the consumers couldn’t pay the  higher prices to cover your new hourly wages. I don’t know what idiot started this, but they need an old fashion swift kick in the pants. I get it, you want better wages, Well lets try doing your jobs better and show you deserve more. Just a thought Morons.   

Peoples Statements and Questions
For this section apply a southern accent.
Michael, my car isn’t running right. Do ya know what’s wrong with it? Or Don’t cha know?
Remember the old man that lived down yonder? Well he died. I wonder what killed him? Do you think he was right with the Lord or don’t cha know?
Michael, my can opener, paper shredder, Table lamp, Tv (you pick), they wont work or come on. What’s wrong wit’dem?
My response to the first one, I’m not there and haven’t driven it , so I don’t know whats wrong.
Second one, I don’t know who you are talking about. This leads to a whole new conversation.
Third one, First response is, Is it plugged in? That usually fixes that one.

Snobby Cigar Smokers:
This is one of my biggest flames to my shorts. It just burns me up.
During a Memorial Day Herf in 07 at my residence, a 50ish gentleman showed up. He was from our cigar chat group. After about 30 minutes of casual chatting and socializing, out of the blue this individual says “I’m getting hints of burnt 7 year old Madagascar Vanilla”. All 25 of us stopped and looked like what the hell did he just say and where did that come from? He left shortly there after, quietly. Just because you have more zeros in your bank account than most, have cars that you can’t spell the names of, can afford mass quanities of Cuban cigars, don’t be a snot to the rest of us. Enjoying the cigar  and good company is all any cigar smoker can ask for.
Just my opinions and Adventures in the Cigar World
Your Curmudgeon at Large
Michael Summerskill

An Emilio La Musa Melete

Ok, so sometimes it takes me awhile to get around to writing about some cigars. Sue me I have a life. I wrote a review of a cigar once that had been out for four years and some guy wrote, “You need to keep up, that was written about long ago.” Well I’m glad it was but I am just now getting to it and since I own the site I write about what I want. By the way, to that guy, may the bird of paradise build its nest in your close minded thought pattern.
Today I finally get the chance to sit and write about a cigar I truly have enjoyed over and over, the Emilio La Musa Melete. Gary is a man I much admire for his determination and never giving up on a dream and I am thrilled at how well Emilio is doing. Not bad for someone 497.5 years old. Sorry Gary, couldn’t resist.
The simple yet ornate band surrounds a cigar that is rolled with perfect construction with few veins and a slight oily sheen. The color is a nice cocoa, even and rich in appearance.
After clipping the cap with my Xikar, the cold draw gives hints of earth and cocoa, with a very slight tingle of pepper. The aroma along the cigar reeks of rich tobacco and a slight hint of earth.
Once torched up, the first few draws greeted me with a combination of mild spices, pepper and a hint of white, with touches of roast coffee bean soon appearing. About a half inch in, the smoke took on a nice slight creamy effect that seduces the palate and temps for more.
And inch in, and the cigar comes alive with a succulent citrus, almost tangerine, flavor shortly being joined by hints of wood, almost a sweet wood, in the mix. The smoke is ample and slightly creamy, coating the palate and giving the senses rise of anticipation.
Moving from the first to second third, the roasted coffee returns with a slight background of cocoa, the kind you used to get in a dark brown can years ago, making for a delicious combination of flavors now showing their true complex nature.
Throughout the second third, the flavors shifted in arrangement as you would want from a fine cigar, making the smoking of the Melete extremely enjoyable.
As I sit here enjoying this cigar, I look back at some of Emilio’s other great blends that I have enjoyed. The AF1 which in its self is a grand slam smoke and the AF2 that takes your taste buds on a joy ride of smoky exuberance.
At this point of the smoke I am moving in to the final third with retains all the flavors as before, but with the citrus moving into the back ground and leather now beginning to show. The creaminess of the smoke is ever present as is the roasted coffee and slight cocoa, and towards the last the mix of spice picks up.
The final puffs reveal a pleasant hit of leather and spice that blend perfectly with the base flavors of the cigar.
Yes I know this cigar has been out for a little while, but if as yet you have not tried it you are missing out on a wonderfully pleasing smoke. Do yourself a favor and pick some up, see what to taste. You never know, may be another you want to add to your humidor.


Smoke and Peace,