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  2. -3 years -3 months -2 weeks -3 days -16 hours -12 minutes -39 seconds... Did I win in 2023?
  3. Over three months later, and the "Countdown to the Habanos Festival" banner is still showing up front and centre when you visit Any tips on how long it'll last?
  4. Ken Gargett

    future for cuba's economy

    100% correct. on one visit, i remember being in a nightclub and they were singing songs to obama. then they were chanting his name. some had tears in their eyes. i would imagine it a similar response to say de gaulle's return to france or if churchill walked the streets of london at the end of the war. he was absolutely revered by the people who saw this as the first real nail in the cuban govt coffin. a crack in the door to freedom. and now, the clock has been wound back and the cuban govt can again peg the US as the villains. and pretty much do what they want to the people. even if they are completely in the right (and not saying that either way), the world hates a bully, loves an underdog. the US is insisting on making itself the bully and cuba the ultimate underdog. clearly i understand nothing about international relations as this seems like sheer lunacy to me. especially as it didn't work for the first 60 years of implementation.
  5. Say what you want about politics, and support which party you want...but the obvious power of Obama's initial thawing of relations with Cuba did one main political thing: it weakened the Cuban government's ability to blame the US for its problems. Yes, it also allowed US travelers to visit more freely, and spend more $, some of which went to the Cuban government, and some of which went directly into the pockets of Cuban people. Now Trump is doing the opposite--he's giving the Cuban government the gift of something to blame for their problems--us, or US. I am not trying to start a political argument thread, but I think most of us US citizens in this forum want it to be easier to visit Cuba, not harder--and I think we all want life to be better for the wonderful Cuban people we meet when we visit. How life for Cubans can be improved is a popular topic of debate, but I fail to see how tightening the US noose is a way to do that. Nice article.
  6. 1997 Cohiba Siglo V and 2008 898 Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. discovered this on an american website (a good one which always has interesting stuff). had no idea.
  8. MIKA27


    Giorgio Piola’s key cars of Niki Lauda’s awesome F1 career Legendary technical illustrator Giorgio Piola drew all of the key cars of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda, who has passed away aged 70. Here are his best illustrations of some fantastic machinery, as driven by the legend himself. March 721 A development of the first car Niki Lauda drove in Formula 1, the March 721 retained the lozenge-shaped front end and the madcap "tea-tray" wing, but didn't live up to the success of the preceding 711 chassis. After two races, the 'X' specification of car was rolled out with a transverse gearbox, but the package proved unsuccessful - instead, the 721G was ushered out of the factory after round five. Lauda scored no points for March, instead defecting to BRM at the end of 1972. BRM P160C A third-year development of the P160, the BRM chassis was somewhat long in the tooth by the time Lauda joined - partnering Clay Regazzoni at the team. Powered by BRM's in-house V12 engine, the car proved to be unreliable - Lauda only completed five of the fifteen races in 1973, scoring just two points during the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder. Regardless, Lauda proved himself as a driver to watch and, when Regazzoni returned to Ferrari for 1974, gave the Austrian such a glowing review that he was signed as well. Ferrari 312B3 The car that brought Lauda his first victory, the 312B3 was an evolution of the already-successful 312B family of Ferrari F1 cars. The chassis design was more contemporary than its forebears, falling in line more with the Lotus 72 and McLaren M23 of the time. After celebrated designer Mauro Forghieri was moved upstairs by parent company FIAT, Ferrari hit a lean patch until reinstalling Forghieri as technical director - and he immediately set about shortening the car's wheelbase to produce a more nimble car. The radiators were also moved to the side, assisting the weight distribution, while Ferrari's flat-12 engine kept the weight distribution low. Lauda took his first win in the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix, then took his second four races later to finish fourth overall in the standings. Ferrari 312T After being outscored by Regazzoni in 1974, Lauda suffered no such repeat when the 312T was pressed into service. With its roots in the 312B3, the gearbox became transverse - hence the 'T' in the chassis designation - while the suspension and the chassis were reworked to improve the handling characteristics, an area in which the B3 was problematic. The 312T began modestly, but as 1975 progressed Lauda began to march towards the title - winning five races en route. 1976 began with far more promise, and the 312T2 was introduced after the high, slender airboxes were banned from F1. Lauda looked irrepressible, until his accident at the Nurburgring took the rails off his year. After his miraculous recovery, Lauda couldn't beat Hunt to the '76 title - but won out in '77, again with the 312T2. Brabham BT46 After Lauda moved to Brabham, he was initially paired up with the BT45C for two races - scoring podiums in both - until the BT46 became available. Initially unreliable, Lauda managed just one finish - a second place at Monaco - in the first five races with the car. The famous 'fan car', the BT46B, joined the fray at Anderstorp, and Lauda won by over 34 seconds thanks to the obscene levels of the downforce the car could produce - before it was removed from competition Lauda won again in Italy, but retirements were all too common - the Alfa Romeo V12 becoming a particular source of consternation - stifling any championship challenge. The following BT48 was even more unreliable, and Lauda called it quits with two races remaining on the season's calendar. McLaren MP4/2 After Lauda was tempted back into the F1 fold in 1982 by Ron Dennis, McLaren had undergone a colossal change of fortunes. John Barnard's carbon fibre MP4 chassis changed the game, and Lauda returned to winning ways after just three races. However, the Cosworth DFV was starting to show its age as the turbo era had begun, prompting McLaren to get Porsche to build a bespoke turbo engine - financed by TAG - for 1984. Using 1983 as a transition season, '84 was Lauda's final title. Beating Alain Prost by half a point, the McLaren MP4/2 was the class of the field - using sidepods that swooped around the rear tyres, the car was able to generate plenty of rear end grip thanks to the improved suction at the rear. The TAG engine was one of the most reliable on the grid too, creating a perfect combination with McLaren's engineering prowess. In the MP4/2B, rolled out for 1985, Prost beat Lauda by a healthy margin, winning the title and outscoring him 73 points to 14. Sensibly, Lauda called it a day at the end of the year - putting an end to an illustrious F1 career.
  9. This is a product not of my region, never tried.
  10. interesting article, as always, from the Economist. why not keeping flogging the deceased equine? the cuban govt has just been given every excuse to crack down and blame others. Sanctions on Cuba will only slow regime change FOR THE past few months Cubans have faced shortages of some foodstuffs, as well as sporadic power cuts and fuel shortages that have affected never-abundant public transport. “We have to prepare for the worst,” Raúl Castro, Cuba’s communist leader, told his people last month. On May 10th the government announced that it would ration several staples, including rice, beans, chicken and eggs, as well as soap and toothpaste. These are the first results of Donald Trump’s tightening of the American economic embargo against Cuba, as part of his effort to overthrow the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Mr Trump’s administration is trying to halt the shipment of oil from Venezuela to Cuba. Last month it imposed fresh restrictions on tourism and remittances to the island from the United States and opened the way for thousands of lawsuits by Americans against foreign companies operating in Cuba. After ousting of Mr Maduro, Cuba’s government “will be next”, promised John Bolton, Mr Trump’s national security adviser. The Cuban regime has survived six decades of American sanctions, and there is little reason to believe it will buckle now. But Mr Trump’s offensive does come at a complicated moment for Cuba. It coincides with a gradual handover of power from Mr Castro, who is 87, to a collective leadership including Miguel Díaz-Canel, who took over as president last year and who was born after the revolution in 1959 that installed communism. It also comes when the economy is stagnant. Older Cubans look back to the years when the island was a heavily subsidised Soviet satellite as ones of relative abundance. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was followed by what Fidel Castro, Raúl’s older brother, called the “Special Period” of austerity. That ended when Hugo Chávez of Venezuela gave Cuba subsidised oil. When the oil price fell in 2014 and mismanagement cut Venezuela’s oil output, Mr Maduro scaled back the aid; it is now at less than half its peak. The blow was softened, explains Pavel Vidal, a Cuban economist at Javeriana University in Cali, in Colombia, partly by a rise in American tourism following Barack Obama’s thaw towards Cuba and by a modest increase in foreign investment as a result of Raúl Castro’s mildly liberalising economic reforms. Mr Trump’s measures target these two shock absorbers. Mr Vidal expects the economy to shrink by up to 3% this year and imports to fall by 10-15% (after a 20% drop since 2015). Harder times “do not mean returning to the most acute phase of the Special Period”, Mr Castro insisted last month. That was marked by systematic shortages and regular power cuts, the memory of which is traumatic. Since then Cuba has diversified its economy somewhat. It now produces a third of the oil it consumes. It has also hoarded foreign reserves. The immediate impact of the Trump offensive has been to send the Cuban regime into a defensive crouch. Progress in market-opening reforms has all but halted. While not doing anything to jeopardise the system’s iron political control, Mr Díaz-Canel had brought a more relaxed style, going around with his wife and talking to ordinary Cubans. Now the veteran Stalinists in the politburo are more visible again. On May 11th police broke up an unauthorised march by gay-rights activists in Havana. That march was a sign that society, too, has changed as a result of Raúl’s reforms and Mr Obama’s thaw, much scorned though it is by Mr Bolton. A third of the workforce now labours in small private businesses or co-operatives. Around 20% of Cubans, mainly younger ones, are globalised and connected to social media, reckons Rafael Rojas, a Cuban historian at CIDE, a university in Mexico City. With the other 80%, the regime “will be fairly successful in blaming a deterioration of economic conditions on the United States”, he says. “I don’t see a popular uprising or social unrest because of shortages.” For the Cuban regime, Venezuela has been a means to divert American pressure away from the homeland. A bolder leadership might cut its losses, and accept a democratic transition there in return for guarantees that it will still get some oil. But there is no sign that diplomatic overtures by Canada and the Lima Group of Latin American countries will draw that response from Havana. A different administration in Washington might seek to negotiate with Cuba about Venezuela. As it is, under Mr Trump’s assault the Cuban regime is likely to become even more rigid in its resistance.
  11. As with cigars, I like a little mongrel in my peanut butter. Always crunchy, never smooth.
  12. LLC

    FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    RAG SEP 17 Reyes before watching another great Raptors win [emoji459] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. Today
  14. I’m 40 years old and no one can convince me there’s a more balanced sandwich than a PB&J: gotta be grape jelly and SMOOTH Peter Pan on Wonder white bread. It’s the perfect sandwich.
  15. Honda for sure. Civic or accord. And that’s miles!! My civic went 450k KM and still had legs, just wanted something new. Original clutch too. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  16. Raskol

    FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    Congratulations!! & Happy Birthday! Brent.
  17. Tino652

    Central Ohio checking in

    Hi Jon I'm new too, my favorites so far are JLP, and montecristo.
  18. I’m impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit of @El Presidente. The left and right brain is strong with this one ☝🏼 Sell quality cigars ✔️ Create forum for cigar lovers ✔️ Create 24:24 feeding frenzy ✔️ Create first online auction for quality aged cigars ✔️ Pair OJ with cigars and dunk in water ✔️ Create own line of cigars ✔️ Don’t know where you find the time to do it all but I have to say I am impressed. I’ll continue to build my business so I can funnel the cashflow to yours. Can’t wait to see what’s next....(unless you take up pole dancing; that you can keep to yourself). Tip O’ the cap, good sir. 1st order is resting and I saw that 2nd and 3rd orders hit the hometown distribution center today. Keep them coming
  19. No. That piece should be of interest to everyone - great laugh!
  20. Habana Mike

    The Netherlands

    Definitely stop by Hajenius. Great little cigar museum. Here's what you want to look for
  21. Tino652


    Thanks for having me. I usually smoke a pipe but have been on a cigar kick lately. I am looking forward to the forum and cigars.
  22. Smooth here. Surprised again at how close they are. I have a couple of peanut butter sandwich technices I’d like to share. The first, I “originated” in college (I have no doubt this has been independently discovered by others). You take equal parts peanut butter and jelly (grape is my favorite) in a small mixing bowl and whisk them together and spread the mixture onto your sandwich bread. This is the technique I use for my boy who likes to separate the two pieces of bread and selective eat the jelly. The othe is to butter one side of bread completely, and then spread peanut butter on just the periphery of the other slice. Then jelly in the middle. When sandwiched together, it seals in the jelly and prevents it from being squished out. I make too many meals out of PB&J. And tater tots and chicken nuggets. Without them, I would be a failure at parenting.
  23. brainninja

    FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
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