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About Philc2001

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  • Birthday December 29

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  • Location
    Cone of Death
  • Interests
    Family, Investing, Stock Picking, Fine Cigars, Scotch, Computers, Blogging, Travel, Cars... too many vises!

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  1. Philc2001

    Cold weather delivers

    I'd say with your hands, no? 😁 Seriously, nothing to worry about. In fact, it's a good start to kill off the beatles if it is cold enough. You can put them in some freezer bags and transfer them directly to your freezer for few days.
  2. Two friends of ours had full knee replacements. One of them had both knees done, about 1 year apart. Both were overweight when they had the surgery, and both had extended recovery time. One of the two friends was dedicated to his PT, which helped his recovery, but due to his obesity he had a hard time with it. He is in sales so he spends the bulk of his day in a car on a daily basis driving to clients and taking orders, so that did not help, even though it was his left knee. The other person has a desk job, and was not as motivated to do her PT, so it definitely took her longer to get back to driving or walking semi normal. If you are motivated and you're dedicated to the therapy, you should be able to recover quickly enough to go on your trip. But I would be fearful of having complications, especially away from your therapist and your surgeon. If you are adamant on going south, perhaps flying might be a better choice than driving. Maybe you can rent a car down there, rather than driving down.
  3. Philc2001

    Budget Cubans

    PL Panetela RG Panetela Extra PL Montecarlo RA Small Club Corona HU Hoyo Du Depute Not necessarily the cheapest, but good value for the quality of tobacco and their consistency.
  4. If you're somewhat handy and don't have very demanding power or resolution needs, you might consider refurbishing a used laptop. Put in an SSD, and upgrade the WiFi, and you could have a really fast and useful 1080p resolution laptop. A 256GB SSD these days is under $50, and an 802.11ac WiFi card is under $20. Older ram series are expensive, so if it has at least 4GB you'll be fine. Aside from that, take a look at, they had the HP 225 laptop for $330, with G6 dual-core processor, 8GB RAM, 15.6" widescreen, Windows 10 Pro, and Radeon graphics. TigerDirect also has Intel SSDs on sale, 256GB for $40, and 512GB for $75. At that price just get the 512G and swap the HDD for the Intel SSD, and you'll have a nice fast machine for a little over $400. If you want it all in the box, and don't want to mess with upgrading stuff, then try this REFURBISHED HP EliteBook with Core i7-4600U 2.1GHz, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 240GB SSD for $449. Another option might be a chromebook as long as you always have Internet access.
  5. I don't know when you were last in Cuba, I was just there a few weeks ago. Certain things may be backwards in Cuba, but in Havana you certainly don't see people starving or homeless on the streets. Believe me, you will see far worse in some of the inner cities in the US. Just about everyone we met in Havana were pretty upbeat, happy, hard working and fun to be with. I've been to several other countries in the Caribbean, Europe and Asia and I've witnessed far worse poverty and human conditions outside of Cuba. Just my $0.02. Of course, as a tourist you don't really get to experience government services much, so I can't relate as it pertains to the inner workings of gov't, and that is likely the root cause of the QC issues.
  6. The frustrating thing for many CC smokers is that roll quality is easy to fix. Every cigar rolling country in the world has mastered it; Africa, DR, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, US, and everywhere in between. Quality control is atrocious in CCs. And it's not just draw issues, we see the result of very lax controls in length, width, color, box labels, cigar labels, warped boxes, and so on. But as consumers we vote with our money, so the only way the situation improves is if people stop buying until quality improves (never gonna happen).
  7. In my experience I have come across fewer plugged cigars, but a significant rise in 'underfilled' and tunneling cigars. I haven't smoked many younger boxes as I smoke through my aged stock, but I've smoked through perhaps a dozen boxes with production dates of 2013 or newer. I find one in three to four cigars is underfilled, or poorly rolled, with uneven filler. Cuba seems to be weeding out some plugged cigars, but they are letting a lot of other crappy cigars pass through. Most recently a box of 2014 Montecristo Tubos was a disgrace where the first 4 of 10 I've smoked from the box have been underfilled. The rest of the box are also soft to the squeeze, also underfilled. It's the most disappointing box I've had in recent years.
  8. First order of business is to get your data off that laptop and onto external storage. Next, buy a new computer, and then get the old one fixed for free. If you're halfway handy you can extend the life of most laptops by simply switching out the internal HDD for an SSD, which are dirt cheap now. And you can greatly improve their usefulness by switching out their WiFi boards for a newer 802.11ac. I did that on my daughter's 3-year old Acer and it was like a brand new computer, and now 4-years later (total 7 years) my son still uses it everyday for school work. Amazing how easy it is to refurbish and upgrade these things.
  9. Bring 'em. I love the size and I sorely miss the Partagas SdC, one of my favorites before they were cut. So, what is the origin of the tobacco in these, is it from the ISOM?
  10. Philc2001

    Wineador help!

    Unless you're going to get into wiring and messing with thermal controls, then you may be better off just leaving it unplugged. These fridges usually have a decent seal and work well for keeping RH steady, and they can hold 500-600 cigars depending how you stack them. Some cheap and simple setup ideas: 1- ditch the curved bottle shelves, and replace them with vinyl covered wire closet shelving, cut to fit. These are sturdy, they allow air circulation, and don't consume vertical space 2- put a couple of small computer fans in there for a little air circulation, one near the top, another near the bottom. You don't need a tornado in there, just a little intermittent breeze. I wired two 40mm fans on a mini programmable timer, they run for 30 seconds every 2 minutes. 3- use a couple of small bowls of beads and a small tupperware with polymer crystals for RH control 4- get a couple of decent calibrated hygrometers 5- load it up with some seasoned cedar boxes and let it acclimate for a week. Once it is in the range you want and RH is stable, then load up your cigars.
  11. Buy a bundle or two of Puntilas from Alex at Comodoro, then head over to the Hotel Nacionale and grab a box of Montecristo Linea 1935 Dumas at the LCDH downstairs, then go out and smoke a cigar on their veranda overlooking the ocean with a little cortadito. For lunch I'd head on over to Canonazzo. After walking that off on some sightseeing around old Havana, I'd head on over to Frente rooftop bar and spend whatever is left on Mojitos. Finally, stumble back to the cruise terminal, stopping at a couple of roadside salsa bars along the way. Once back on the ship with my booty I would go on deck and watch Havana at night roll by as the ship pulls out while smoking a cigar.
  12. Several on the first list I agree with, and several I don't. I've seldom been without a bottle of Aberlour A'bunadh in my cabinet over the past 20 years, it's been my favorite malt from Speyside since I discovered it and bumped Macallan off the top of the list. Glenmorangie and Balvenie also both rank right up there on my Speyside favorites list. Ardbeg and Lagavulin rank on my Islay list, in that order. I don't commonly spend over $100 on a bottle of scotch though, so my palate will have to do with a smaller budgeted pampering. The second list is an abomination.
  13. I've read cannabis tends to elevate the effect of other intoxicating substances, especially alcohol. I've also read that it helps people concentrate, reduces stress and anxiety, and improves creativity, so what does that do to anyone operating a motor vehicle? And how long does it last? I don't really know, but I have not seen any significant research on the effects of cannabis on driving. I suppose this is something that probably should have been researched before legalizing it. Unfortunately, cannabis is still considered a schedule-1 drug with no medicinal value, so researchers need DEA approval to do any research, and they must comply with very strict rules and security standards (think expensive), so I doubt there will be any significant research on health and human effects any time soon. In the meantime, I guess the police don't know what it does, so in the absence of research and empirical evidence they will simply err on the side of caution and charge anyone with even a minor trace of cannabis in their system. Another problem is a lot of corporations are fumbling with how to deal with cannabis use. Companies that do random drug testing are still dismissing people that test positive for cannabis, even in states where it is legal (medicinal or recreational). For now I think it is a gamble to smoke, even if you're not high, just having traces of the drug in your system could lead to prosecution.
  14. Philc2001

    What's your plugged cigar rate?

    In newer boxes, past 5 years, I've had fewer plugged cigars than in years past, but I still find a fair number (10%-15%) that are either too tight or underfilled. A tight or underfilled cigar is smokeable, but not ideal. Inconsistent roll is something you just get used to with Cubans, they just don't care enough to make a consistent, quality, roll. The QC has never been and never will be on par with other top cigar producing companies around the world. In years past I smoked many boxes of NC, and I never once ran into a plugged or even poorly rolled cigar from Dominican, Honduras, Nicaragua, US, Ecuador, Mexico. I don't know anyone who has ever had a poorly rolled or plugged cigar from Fuente, Oliva, Padron, Ashton, etc. But that intoxicating Cuban twang just doesn't come from anywhere else! You just have to take the good with the bad.
  15. This has been posted a few times in recent weeks. Yolanda and Alex are both master rollers, they work in shops in Havana. Depending on vitola size you can expect to pay between $4 and $10 per cigar. While smokeable young, I intend to give them a year or two, but I haven't had any aged beyond a few months as yet.

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