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  2. Loved crunchy as a child. I now prefer smooth. Nothing like warm toasted bread with peanut butter paired with black coffee. ☕
  3. Yep Honda. 07 Accord. Major? Timing chain. Front end bushings. Struts.… I did eventually change the original clutch at 372,000 miles. Honestly, not anything I would consider major… It’s just a good car that likes to have the sh_t driven out of it. 😬 Think I fired up at January 2013 Cohiba PE when i hit 300,000. Probably time to take that box out again and smoke another.
  4. Hookmaker

    LCDH Dubai

    ....your opinion - could be someone actually do love these little orphans 😜
  5. MIKA27


    Niki Lauda: An F1 legend remembered Veteran F1 journalist David Tremayne pays a personal tribute to three-time Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda, who has passed away aged 70... It’s rare these days to meet genuine heroes, let alone to be privileged to call them a friend, but Andreas Niklaus Lauda was just such a man. Of course the Austrian was one of the world’s greatest race drivers, with three world championships to back up such a claim. But he was so much more than that. Never was that more evident than the manner in which he returned, almost literally from the dead, to race again within five and a half weeks of the fiery crash at the deadly Old Nurburgring during the 1976 German Grand Prix. Days after he had been very critical of racing on the 14.1-mile track, he had exactly the sort of accident he had predicted. A suspected suspension failure pitched his Ferrari into the barriers at the Bergwerk corner, and as his stricken car was hit by others his helmet was torn off and he lay trapped in the cockpit as the car caught fire. His life was saved by fellow racers Brett Lunger, Arturo Merzario, Guy Edwards and Harald Ertl, plus some brave marshals, as they rushed into the flames and extracted him. His face was badly burned and he inhaled flames and toxic extinguisher powder, and was given the last rites. But in typical Lauda style he railed at such an apparent impertinence and decided that he was not going to die that day. Working with famed physiotherapist Willi Dungl he fought back to life, and much to Enzo Ferrari’s embarrassment he was back in the cockpit of a Ferrari at the Italian GP. The tough and unsentimental Italian team owner had already hired Carlos Reutemann to replace him, but Lauda blew off the Argentine to finish an heroic fourth and keep his world title hopes alive. That was the year of his great fight with his close friend James Hunt – subsequently portrayed in the movie Rush – and Lauda had already come close to death when he rolled a tractor just prior to the Spanish GP. “It was a bloody heavy thing, four tonnes or more, and it caught me when I turned it over. My fault entirely,” he admitted in his clipped, no-nonsense tones. When James caught him by surprise and overtook him, he ran wide over a kerb and bashed his broken ribs, but still carried on to finish second. His build was wiry, but he was tough and very durable. Later that year he marched into Hunt’s bedroom on race morning for the United States GP at Watkins Glen and declared: “Today I vill vin ze world champeeonsheep!” before striding out again. Hunt thought it was hysterically funny. Lauda did not win that year’s title, as things turned out. In the rain in the finale in Fuji he simply could not see well enough with eyelids still raw from the Nurburgring fire, so with typical candour, he retired after the opening lap (though some suggest that had been the plan, for everyone to do so in protest against the conditions). At the wheel they called him a computer, and he was always one to see things in black and white. But he was also a great pragmatist. And a gambler. He started racing with a Mini, then in Volkswagen-powered Formula Vee single-seaters, before driving an unloved McNamara in Formula 3, which is where he met Hunt, and the journalist, the late Alan Henry, who would become a close friend. “I watched this buck-toothed Austrian trying to make sense of this uncompetitive car and thought he was a bit of a berk initially, to be honest,” Henry said. “But a year or so later we watched him overtake Ronnie Peterson for a lap in a heat in a Formula 2 race at Rouen, and realised he was actually pretty good.” Blond Peterson, the dashing ‘SuperSwede’, was seen as the fastest man in racing at that time, taking over the mantle of Lauda’s countryman Jochen Rindt, F1’s sole posthumous world champion. March designer Robin Herd recalled an F2 test at Thruxton, when Peterson would go out and set a time, only for team mate Lauda to beat it, a cycle which went on for many runs. “I thought, ‘Oh God, we have a problem!’” Herd laughed. “We haven’t got one superstar here, but two!” Lauda, however, also had the analytical mindset to sort out racing cars, which would serve him brilliantly throughout his career. Boldly, and against the wishes of a grandfather to whom he would never speak again, Lauda parlayed family wealth and a life insurance policy into a £35,000 bank loan and used it to buy his drives with March in F2 and F1 in 1971/72. It was a bold and desperate ploy which in later years he admitted should never have worked. But after struggling with indifferent cars in 1972 he used his apparent 'sponsorship’ to bluff his way into the fading BRM team for 1973. Soon he was the star, notably running third for a while at Monaco and leading the Canadian GP in the wet. Enzo Ferrari’s interest was piqued and he signed him for 1974. The great team had been in decline, and after trying one of the cars for the first time, Lauda plainly told the Old Man that it was junk. But working with mercurial designer Mauro Forghieri and an elegant young man called Luca di Montezemolo who came in as team manager, he turned Ferrari round. In 1974 he still had a streak of impetuosity that, with a spin at Nurburgring, put him out of championship contention. But he dominated in 1975, missed out to Hunt by a point in 1976 and won again in 1977. In that latter year he thrashed Reutemann as he won in South Africa. But his joy at winning in a car which had run over debris and been running with no oil and water for the last 10 laps evaporated completely on the podium when he was told of Tom Pryce’s death. Later, he was asked questions by a journalist he thought he recognised. “I know you, don’t I?” he asked. “I don’t think so,” the journalist replied. But Lauda the computer read his memory bank, and recalled how cruel the man had been when he was vulnerable during the first press conference he made after his accident, when people saw for the first time the ravaged and scarred image he would forever present to the world. “I remember,” Lauda said. “You’re the guy who asked me what my wife would do now that I was ugly.” Raising his fresh-won trophy, he pointed it at the miscreant and said, “Well, you can shove this up your ass.” That was such a typical Lauda story. Blunt, to the point. Just like when you might ask him what he thought of a certain driver. A Briton might suggest that he was ‘okay’, meaning they didn’t rate him. Lauda would present his ungarnished truth, then say, “Well, you did ask me what I thought.” Lauda drove a few laps at the 1979 Canadian Grand Prix weekend before announcing his (first) retirement In late 1979 he was driving the exciting new Cosworth-powered Brabham BT49 on Canada’s Ile Notre Dame circuit during practice for the Grand Prix, when it suddenly came to him that he no longer wanted to drive round in circles. He sought out team owner Bernie Ecclestone, and told him he was retiring. He was on a plane home by the time the paddock realised it was the Argentine driver Riccardo Zunino driving the car, wearing his gear. Lauda had a new mission and set up his own airline, Lauda Air, and threw himself into a different challenge. But when McLaren boss Ron Dennis, with whom he had won the BMW ProCar series that ran at Grands Prix in 1979, kept calling through 1981, Lauda began to realise that the “old disease” was still in his system. He tested a McLaren and decided on a comeback. His contract stated there would be a review after the first three races, but it was unnecessary. He won the third, at Long Beach in California. He was back. After infuriating Dennis and technical partner John Barnard by going over their heads to sponsor Marlboro to race their new TAG-funded, Porsche-designed turbo engine late in 1983, Lauda went on to beat team mate Alain Prost by half a point to the 1984 title. But ever the pragmatist, he knew that the Frenchman was much quicker in qualifying and would be faster still in races in 1985. So it proved, but Lauda rallied to score the last of his 24 victories in Holland, beating Prost by a hair just as his mate Hunt had beaten him there nine years earlier. Lauda made his F1 comeback with McLaren, claiming one more title in 1984 In his second retirement, Lauda focused on his airline businesses, but later returned in advisory roles with Ferrari and Jaguar. But it was in his role as non-executive chairman of the Mercedes team from 2010 that he found further success, working closely with team boss Toto Wolff. Theirs was a difficult relationship initially – Wolff reportedly fined him every time he used the word 'I' instead of 'we' – but subsequently melded into one of the most sensational partnerships in history. No other team has won either the drivers’ or constructors’ world championship since the turbo-hybrid formula was inaugurated in 2014, and the Silver Arrows of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas lead the series this year, too. No story of Niki Lauda better summarises what sort of man he was than the crash in which Lauda Air Flight 004 from Bangkok to Austria perished on May 26 1991, when an engine on this Boeing 767 deployed reverse thrust of its own accord. All 213 passengers and the 10 crew members on board were killed. “If I make a mistake and die in a race car, tough luck,” Lauda said. “That’s my fault. But the people who fly with me have the right to expect safe travel.” He took on Boeing, threatening if they did not make a full statement about the cause of the incident to fly a 767 over Seattle and demonstrate that it was not, after all, safe to select reverse thrust in flight. By the time he had got back to his hotel, Boeing had capitulated. But, equally, none better illustrates his zany sense of humour and refusal to take himself too seriously, than his response when informed that a book of every driver's race statistics ironically did not actually record him as starting the 1976 German GP because the first start, in which he had crashed, did not count as it was officially replaced by a second. “So what happened to my ear?” he enquired amid laughter. Forty years later, he ‘discovered’ the answer. He and his close friend Karl-Heinz Zimmermann, formerly Bernie Ecclestone’s personal chef, went to Nurburgring and visited the Bergwerk corner. “You’re Niki Lauda!” a nearby fan exclaimed. “I know.” “But what are you doing here?” “I’m looking for my ear…” At which point Lauda ducked down and picked something up and placed it near his head. It was a pig’s ear that Zimmermann had just dropped there… Lauda helped turn Mercedes into a winning machine It’s easy to say when such a character passes that we will not see his like again. But in Niki Lauda’s case that is the hard, unvarnished reality. He was unique, and so was his story. We are desperately saddened to know that he succumbed after the double lung transplant that he endured last year, and by the knowledge that we shall never hear those familiar and much-loved clipped tones again, nor be able to grab the perfect Lauda quote at races. To ask for a quick interview and be told, “I have a piss, then we do it.” But like the other greats who have left us, this great warrior will live forever in our hearts and our memories, and will echo in the fond imitations we will inevitably enact over the coming years. And just like the scars he bore with such pride, humility and dignity, the marks he left in the record books and in the annals of motorsport history will never fade. RIP Niki Lauda: 1949-2019
  6. -3 years -3 months -2 weeks -3 days -16 hours -12 minutes -39 seconds... Did I win in 2023?
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 1997 Cohiba Siglo V and 2008 898 Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. discovered this on an american website (a good one which always has interesting stuff). had no idea.
  12. 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.
  13. Today
  14. This is a product not of my region, never tried.
  15. 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.
  16. As with cigars, I like a little mongrel in my peanut butter. Always crunchy, never smooth.
  17. LLC

    FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    RAG SEP 17 Reyes before watching another great Raptors win [emoji459] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. Raskol

    FOH'ers Daily Smoke

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

    Central Ohio checking in

    Hi Jon I'm new too, my favorites so far are JLP, and montecristo.
  22. 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
  23. No. That piece should be of interest to everyone - great laugh!
  24. Habana Mike

    The Netherlands

    Definitely stop by Hajenius. Great little cigar museum. Here's what you want to look for
  25. 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.
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