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  2. I spend a lot of time on the road for work (not so much lately for obvious reasons) and listen to quite a few podcasts. Corona Virus Daily- Daily updates on the virus from NPR Rabbit Hole-A podcast dedicated to studying how and why people end up consuming massive amounts of internet content The Doctors Farmacy with Dr Mark Hyman- A functional medicine doctor that studies/promotes more natural/diet approaches to health in our time Around the World in 80 Cigars- You know about this one. I learned about it here Hardcore History with Dan Carlin- The episodes don't come out too often but they are 3-4 hours when they do. A well researched look at events and cultures that changed history LSE Public Lectures and Events- for Econ nerds. Mostly speeches given at or sponsored by the London School of Economics Citations Needed- "The intersection of media, PR, power, and bullsh*t". I left leaning look at many issues facing society today, mostly US related. Dungeons and Daddies- A narrative podcast of a Dungeons and Dragons adventure where dads are thrown into the forgotten realms in search of their lost sons. Lots of laughs So Very Wrong about Games- A podcast dedicated to board game reviews and latest board game news Criminal- A different true crime story each week or two. A lot are historical. Deep Dish on Global Affairs- from the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs. Discussions on international issues mostly being foreign policy, national security, and and economics through a US lens Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan- US Politics focus. Sponsored by the Intercept Common Sense with Dan Carlin- Like his Hardcore History podcast, the updates are few and far between, mostly because he has been writing books lately. I love his perspective though. What Trump can Teach us about Con Law- A Constitutional Law professor digging deep about history and laws related to US Politics
  3. I’d be interested. Work prevents me from playing most weeks at the current time.
  4. Most of us use relatively inexpensive lighters on a regular basis. I will use a FOH travel lighter 99% of the time these days However I have a huge appreciation of a great lighter. I love the intricate design, weight and tactile feel in the hand. In terms of style, my dream lighter would be a ST Dupont Art & Technique. There are more expensive lighters but it just does it for me. Post up your dream lighter....."the lighter that makes you go hmmm"
  5. So as soon as I saw the review criteria I knew I had to write a review on this cigar from this factory code. Because although the title indicates "POS" the cigars I have enjoyed with this factory code have all been the opposite of what one usually thinks when they hear those three letters in that order. I picked up the box of Siglo IVs in 2007 and can easily say this was the best box of cigars I ever acquired. This cigar has a wrapper that is colorado in color, showing very faint veins, and has a honey/barnyard aroma before lighting. I paired it with milk oolong tea and a glass of water. After clipping and lighting the flavor train leaves the station. The flavor starts out with a creamy note and quickly presents ground coffee and honey flavors as well. The draw doesn't seem easy by any means but I am able to get great smoke production with small, light puffs, allowing me to savor in an attempt to extend the experience. At the beginning of the second third the honey note takes center stage and a graham cracker flavor joins as well as cream. When I was a child a treat that I loved to make was taking honey grahams and crushing them into a bowl with milk and allowing them to soak up just enough milk to still leave a crunch in the cracker. This is what the flavors of the cigar remind me of now. The retrohale is spiced graham cracker, fantastic. The last third takes on a more refined spice note and a honey/cream combo. A little grassy/herby note on the retrohale. Fantastic smoke 96 points I have enjoyed this box with the POS code as well as a lot of samples from box of Bolivar Tubos no 3 (POS FEB06) and Cohiba Robustos (POS SEP06) with the same factory code. All three boxes had outstanding construction and aged beautifully. I had a few friends end up with boxes that came from the same period with the same code that were similarly pleased. I think I saw it noted somewhere that this was the Partagas Factory code for the time. Either way it was a gem for me to find a box with that code.
  6. Yes, that's correct. Responding within this thread of one's intention to order doesn't equate to an order. The new link is on page 7 of this thread, or follow the link below to order...
  7. With our weekly Friday game going pretty strong for the AU/US time-slot, @david9985 posed the question of a more friendly EU, etc. start time. Good call. And I'm fully on-board to set something up if we get enough punters involved. Please post to this thread with your interest and suggestions of day/time-slot. Let's see if we can get this rolling too!
  8. Siglo VI, Miss them EVERY single time. Great price on the D4's, hate I missed them too. Didn't even think about 24:24 yesterday.
  9. I could definitely tee something up if there's enough interest. Let me start a new thread to see what EU/UK, etc. interest we get.
  10. Today
  11. Excellent article spotlighting Cuban ingenuity Cuba’s Offline Quarantine By MÓNICA RIVERO Young Cubans connect to the internet from their mobile phones in Havana on June 6. Yamil Lage/Getty Images Alex, 28, rides his bike all over a neighborhood in Havana delivering el paquete. It doesn’t matter that there’s a “stay home” order in place—he goes out wearing a mask and carrying a chloride solution. His delivery is now more precious than ever precisely because of the quarantine: Alex provides his customers with information and entertainment. He delivers the Cuban “offline internet.” “I have almost doubled my clients since the lockdown started,” he says. El paquete (“the package”) began around 2008. Today, it’s a hard drive with nearly a terabyte of downloaded magazines, films, music, games, and soap operas (even from Turkey). Most clients pay about $2 or $3 for the whole thing. You can find there the latest Hollywood releases, Jimmy Fallon’s show, Rachel Maddow’s, Korean dramas, and any popular Hispanic or American TV show you can think of. It’s digital content managed through human infrastructure. If you don’t want to buy everything on the drive, you can even pay for a certain amount of episodes by unit or data weight, as if you were buying apples, cash only. Then someone like Alex transfers the content to your own devices. Hence el paquete. Here’s how the distribution network works. There are at least three places where the content is selected and downloaded; we don’t know much about where this happens, but they seem to be locations with internet bandwidth unheard of in Cuba. Two of the main roots are known as Omega and Crazy Boy. They supply intermediaries, who in turn sell the content to deliverers like Alex. Then, this last link of the chain will bring their drives around for clients to choose what they want and then transfer the content for their personal use. Sometimes they meet at a delivery point in public, and sometimes they go to clients’ homes. The collections travel the whole 777-mile- long island, from east to west, through a hand-to-hand network, with the help of bus drivers who carry the content spread beyond Havana. At least, until the virus hit and the inter-province transportation was suspended. Some of the deliverers also stopped working after late March, when most of the measures were enacted in Cuba. Those who kept going out have seen a surge in demand. Despite the economic uncertainty, more people are buying entertainment content, and many of those who already bought it before, have now more time to watch it. This unofficial system is particularly important now that the country is in lockdown. As of late May, Cuba has seen about 2,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 83 deaths.* The government says that the pandemic is “controlled” on the island. But lockdown measures have not yet been lifted, out of fear of a worse outbreak. El paquete is necessary because streaming is far too expensive for the vast majority of people in Cuba. In 2016, about a year and a half after the thaw between the U.S. and Cuba began, Netflix launched service on the island for $7.99 a month. At that time, the internet was available in Cuba—but regular citizens (meaning those who don’t have a position that provides with online access) had to go to a public Wi-Fi hot spot and pay $2 per hour—a lot of money in a country where the average monthly salary is $30. Most public Wi-Fi hot spots are located in parks or street corners, full of people seeking good signals for their phones, talking to relatives abroad in messy and loud video calls. It’s not exactly the finest place to read, let alone watch something. The bandwidth would not allow it anyway. Today, there are more internet options—but they remain too expensive for most people and don’t provide great service. The price of these public Wi-Fi hot spots has now dropped to 70 cents an hour, but that is still out of reach for too many. In 2017, the country saw the debut of Nauta Hogar, Cubans’ first broadband service. Its cheapest plan is $15 for 30 hours a month (during the pandemic it’s 40 hours), but it’s available in only a few specific areas. Mobile data was also expanded beginning in December 2018. So far, the cheapest plan is $5 per 400 MB of data or 10GB for $45. It runs out really quickly, even if you are careful to limit the time of connection and avoid videos or any other heavy content. Even so, since March 8 mobile data traffic has risen 92 percent and Nauta Hogar 96 percent, according to Cuba’s telecom company, Etecsa. It does not necessarily mean a significant increase of users, but rather the same people ending more time online. This year the Global Digital Yearbook reported Cuba as a country has above average internet penetration, according to the amount of users. But Cubans’ use of the web is intermittent and occasional. I myself created a hotspot with my phone to connect with my computer, and I am hopping online and offline while gathering information for this piece to save data. All of this has made the lockdown challenging. While philosophers in the U.S. and other wealthy countries talk about the split screen as the visual metaphor of the new era, Zoom is not available in Cuba. Even if it were, we could barely use it because of the internet´s limitations. Outside of the government, there are no virtual events, full remote working, or online teachers delivering a video class or a conference to their students. Cuban students watch classes on TV and talk to their teachers on the phone. Some of them, at least. Early on in the pandemic, there was an attempt to enable digital commerce. For the first time ever, some big stores were selling goods through a website, with delivery service. Two weeks later, the system collapsed because of the high demand and the lack of infrastructure to support it and respond. “If we had already advanced further, it would have been possible to better face the scenario that COVID-19 has imposed on us,” Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel said regarding e-commerce. In the meantime, Cubans have—again—created their own systems. For instance, people using WhatsApp and Telegram groups for sales of vegetables, oil, poultry, baked goods, etc. The providers notify the group members about the available goods. These systems—the physical delivery of digital content, the jury-rigged e-commerce—work, but they have been taped together. In the pandemic, the failures of the Cuban internet are all the more evident, and all the more limiting to the people who would use it
  12. Vegas Robaina Famosos AEM May 2015 Vegas's not exactly a marca that would be in your rotation right now, right? Did you know that supplies of the Vegas Robaina Unicos (yes, the piramide) were in hiatus in 2019 and the Famosos was low? Probably not, but if you do manage to smoke a Famosos, Unicos or dare I say, a recently-discontinued 2017 Double Corona Don Alejandro, maybe you might be interested in seeking these out! According to our FoH Forum, recent 2019 Famosos has been smoking very, very well. This Famosos was very much like the rest of this box thus far, which is to say, simply sensational! At just on five years of age, these are continuing to be in their prime for my tastes. Yet again, the raisin-sweet/licorice and cocoa flavours intermingled with some baking spice around a luscious grass core signified some 75 minutes of pure smoking pleasure. I can see myself seeking to acquire another 2019 box and soon!
  13. Punch 8-9-8 Asia Pacific from our host. Fantastic smelling sticks. Love the box itself. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. The MSU code has been a good one for me in 18-19. The Cohiba Sig II, RASCC, RASS, QDO etc. have all been delicious and excellently rolled. So, I nominated it for this weekend's review with the P2. As always, exemplary construction, burn, balance, fill, wrapper, draw. Had an immediate complex, rich earthy tone. Smoked paprika (not the regular 'ol kind). Moved into some leather, coffee bean, a little pepper and a very light honey. Stayed good to the not-so-bitter end. I prefer the E2 in terms of depth and richness. But this P2 had some vibrance that broadened as it warmed that didn't suck at all. Love the even roll, oily wrapper, density and burn. I gotta hand it to MSU. It's been berry, berry good to me. I give this 18 MSU P2 an "A."
  15. 1.Cohiba Coronas Especiales DEC '19 2.HU Sir Winston '19 3.Diplomaticos N. 2 '19 4.Sancho Panza Non-plus '18 5.HdM Petite Robusto '18
  16. 2014 Alexandro pig tailed Robusto extra custom roll today... Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. Not really a podcast, but I've enjoyed the Boveda Box-press episode lately. although a commercial outlet for Boveda, there are some interesting new-world cigar conversations to listen to. An old classic would be Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. A self confessed amateur history fan weaving great stories from the big and sometimes overlooked moments from history. And if you're into old-school pro-wrasslin, The Jim Cornette Experience has a load of great pro wrestling stories to listen to. Although I grew out of wrestling in my teens, i love to hear 'shoot' interviews from and about the real life goings on of one of the most unique businesses in the world.
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