Monthly Archives: December 2016

Why I’m Taking Days Off . . .



Ok, Christmas is over thank God.  And anyone who disagrees with me is addled and adored to put up with it.  But now it’s time for us to get back to normal so it’s  rush, rush, rush. Sell, sell, sell.  “Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.”  Thank you, Yul Brynner, for that accentuation to our verbal reality.  Indeed, the only true King of Broadway who was able to say it the way “et cetera” is supposed to be said. 

So what I decided to do during this “down” time between Christmas and New Year’s Day is gestate.  Yes.  Gestate, or develop over a period of time.  Indeed, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera – or in Latin gestate.  Not as brief as a fruit fly, which can be as short as 24-48 hours, and not as extended as an octopus which has been known to brood her eggs for a total of 53 months (aka 4.5 years).  I have only a few days and even that is suspect depending on the network that is circulating throughout this industry.  Though I have discovered that what I am doing is not all that unusual.  The specifics will come out.  But I have chosen not to reveal my decisions during this self-imposed period of evolution.

But know that during this time I will continue to write.  But not for immediate public consumption.  My writing is not limited to blogging or cigars because it is an addiction I openly admit to.  It is my crack, my cocaine, my omnipresent sterile needle that I slowly insert into my bulging vein as was done in the memorable slow-mo scene of ichor mixing with the bodily fluids of Vincent Vega of “Pulp Fiction.”  It is my high.  My creative juice that courses through my veins without a whit of concern of how its infusion affects my body, my brain, my psyche, or my Chicago accent.  Only I pray that the words continue to flow through my muscles, tendons and nerves to entertain, to shock, to piss off, and bring attention to whatever I feel need to be said to fulfill my honored mantra and mission statement, “WAKE UP!!!” Daniel Carver-style, though without the ignorance that accompanies his utterances.


So I am an ersatz uterine pretzel curled up in the fetal position of disturbing discovery and fascinating fear.  My invisible umbilical cord is my electronic connection to this damn computer, phone and social medium that has gripped me like billions of fish hooks that have no way to be extricated without massive bloodletting to the point that I might feel as a slave must have felt, tied to his “massa,” no disrespect intended for those who are offended so easily. Go ahead, rail now. I suppose.  CF.  

I just know that for now I may publish songs, poetry readings, plays, snippets of whatever suits my fancy to take the place of the words I love so dearly and that I cherish with my God-given soul.  Sounds, tunes, memories, some objectionable, a Burroughs’ mark of approval that I know once loosed will never ever leave my brain but will only expand my cerebral cortex, a file base larger than any computer wizard could ever imagine. Ot nothing.  So when I return, I will again begin to elucidate, make attempts at communicating my thoughts of what goes through the mind of this maturing cigar broker’s musings mired in the throes of the tyrannical tentacles of government legislation that is bent on destroying the creativity of all mankind in the name of justice.

Those of you who stick by me so I can simply communicate the views that are processed through my brain with the hopes that what I offer to you will meld into your consciousness resulting in blended ideas that will congeal into solutions, and guide us to our next period of gestation if we all don’t dissolve into conformity by allowing the acidic actions of the spittled sizzle of our freedoms morph into the hell of the Morlocks.

cigar under

I feel it.  The buzz is getting louder.  The heavy eyelids of gestation are beginning to pull me in and so I hear the siren and I go .  . . go . . . go . . . ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . .


Asylum 33. Insanely Good!


That’s all that’s left of the Asylum 33 I just smoked in the garage.  The band.  I didn’t take any pics, and I quite frankly, didn’t even think twice about the cigar because it was given to me by a fellow by the name of Brian Dvoret ( when I was visiting Jimmy and Tony at Ultimate Cigar in Villa Park, Illlinois the other day.  I traded Brian one of mine, he reciprocated with the Asylum 33.

I never gave it any more thought until I had to take Flo out and I wanted a cigar to smoke. So I went to the humidor in the basement and it was the first one I noticed.  I figured how good can it be?  So I took it and went on my way.

Shit!  What a cigar!  I had to look this one up.  So I went to Halfwheel and here’s what I found out:

  • Cigar Reviewed: Asylum 33 5 1/2 x 46
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: El Aladino
  • Wrapper: Honduras
  • Binder: Honduras
  • Filler: Honduras
  • Length: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Corona Extra
  • MSRP: $11
  • Release Date: Aug. 28, 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: n/a
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Now I don’t know what size I smoked, but it was probably a toro or close to it.  Plus there’s a lot of descriptive copy on the site about the cigar, including this third, that third, etc., etc.  A bit detailed for me, but then again I wasn’t really that interested in the dissection of the cigar – only that it satisfied me to the nth degree.

Plus, I’m no charlatan, I usually go off and try to duplicate the flavors via words ά la Andrew Zimmern.  But all I’m going to say is if you want a well-written critique on this stick, read the link.  If you want to simply enjoy the hell out of a cigar, smoke the Asylum 33.  Enough said.


Michael More . . . than.


Had a cigar with Michael Moreland, the manager of Stogies on Lake in Hanover Park, Illinois today.  You really never know what ornamental comments you’re going to get when you talk to this twenty-something professor of ocular observatory opinions.

His wit is split between the sardonic and the sarcastic because when those two intellectual elements of literary license of his are loosed, anything can happen and usually does.

We had a short smoke.  Exhilarating.  And if you ever get a chance, stop by and see where he’ll lead you.  It’s definitely an exercise in thinking on your feet.

Plus his knowledge of cigars is second to none.  Go ahead test him.  I dare ya!

♫ And So This Is Christmas ♫


“Two seven zero – ready to go!”  

“Two ninety-three – hot as can be!”

♫ Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas ♫

Over and over, like when Rel Norris was on the ship during WW II.  One more time and he would have jumped overboard.

The rattle of concussive conversations is battling each other for priority.   The group behind me is definitely winning.

“Your order is ready!”

I just chomped down a hot dog.  You’d think it’d be quiet, but it isn’t.  People are everywhere.

♫ So Have Yourself A Merry Little Chrisssssstmasssssss Nowwwwwwww ♫

No, it ain’t Judy, but what the hell, it’s festive and livens up the place with more than just chatter.  Garland?  That’s on the window and the tree at you walk into the place dragging in some slush as you pushed the revolving door to get in.


I have some root beer left.  And three cigars well-packaged in a plastic bag.  Which one will I light up? Smoked a Don Olman with Chris earlier.  Luscious and such a delight.  Today’s choices are from De Los Reyes, and Hiram & Solomon.  Chance picks.  Does it really matter? As long as they’re good, and they all are.

The stomach is a bit queasy.  Too much rushing around.

All I can hear is chaotic cheer.  Save for the guy reading the book.  A hardcover, no less.  I can’t help but wonder what the title is.  Maybe he saw my cigars and is just as curious.  My guess is not in the least.

People are fast-walking past me every minute.  Not so irritating because I’m writing.  My mind is not here.  It’s on the napkin.  And the guy reading.  And the loudest laugher (Yes, “laugher”) at the table behind me.

🎜🎜🎜 So this is Christmas and what have you done / Another year over, a new one just begun / And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun / The near and the dear ones, the old and the young 🎜🎜🎜  Lennon.  You can hear Yoko’s scratchy vocals over John’s melodic miracle.  I still miss him.

Maybe a piece of chocolate cake with that gooey icing would be just what I need to put my stomach back in order?  That’s a silly thought.

portillos-guyThe guy with the book just left his table for something. Probably ketchup.  Never enough it seems.  Relish and ketchup.  The perfect colors, but for heaven’s sake, not on the hot dog.

The season is revving up and ours is winding down.  I haven’t a smile.  Damn stomach.

Just like the time the guy saved my life when he lifted me out of the water in a hotel swimming pool to bring air into my lungs because I was drowning.

Claustrophobia.  Like the three cigars in the bag.  Too close together. Gotta separate them. Give ‘em room. Won’t be long now.  I’m headed to Harry’s.  Be specific in thought lest your ideas wander to places unknown.  That’s the beginning of boredom.  Not today.

I like spontaneous expression.  Some are uncomfortable with that trait of mine.  I’m not. It’s woven into my genetic fabric.  Just like the desire for one of the cigars.  

No more root beer, but I’ll bring the cup along.  A few sweet sips left.  I know.  

Last chance to buy the cake.  Nope.  I will pass.  If the icing sticks to the fork (and it does) it’s sticking to my gut.  Fatty.  Blah.  Nausea.


I can hear the music. 🎜🎜🎜  It’s some guy, too quiet or the surroundings are too loud.  Or I just don’t give a damn to care as I exit

The car is still kinda warm.  Harry’s place isn’t far at all.  I walk in.  Roy is there.  Always good to see him.  Harry looks thinner.  You can tell something is on his mind.  Me?  The cigar.  Off with the band.  And light it up.

Serenity at last.

– 🎜🎜🎜 –