blakeLA

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About blakeLA

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    Campanas

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    Los Angeles

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  1. That's my take for sure. I think they just filled up the newbie list on this one from the looks of the top of the thread.
  2. Man, things have been hectic and I haven't been searching the threads much. Sorry I missed this. Never done a box pass, but by the time the next one rolls around, I think I'll have to consider the collection in veteran territory
  3. I at one point had a burr grinder, roasted at home, paid careful attention to water temperature, etc. Nothing on the level of your friend, but even what I was doing just wasn't sustainable for me. I love the fruity flavors that come from light roasted Ethiopian coffee that's not been sitting around for too long. There are plenty of great coffee places where I live that now handle all that hard work for me if I feel my nespresso isn't cutting it. But great to have a friend like that! Nice to reap the rewards of someone else's passion
  4. blakeLA

    Trinidad Reyes

    Love them. Favorite cigar for a quicker smoke. Fan of the marca in general, but I consider reyes an awesome value. Do great with some age if you have time / patience.
  5. blakeLA

    24:24 TUESDAY

    Same boats on all fronts. Saved me from myself.
  6. Agreed all around. If there is a real allergy, it seems chatting with a dr. about what might be safe would be a good idea. Spanish cedar is indeed part of the mahogany family, so I'm curious to know if that's an allergy as well. Re: spanish cedar flavor, plenty of folks store sticks outside of boxes if that's your preference - plastic bags inside of tupperdors or coolerdors is fairly common, and there are many threads about that on the forum. I haven't personally tried to avoid spanish cedar, so can't really speak to how long it might take to have that wear off, but presumably on young sticks, they have not taken on much flavor from wood contact. As far as non-woodsy sticks go, I find most montecristos to have predominant flavors of cocoa. Something milder like Fonseca tends to be fairly floral in taste. Cohiba's vitolas typically exhibit some hay, citrus, honey for me. But that's what I get out of them. Perhaps consider getting a sampler from the international store so you can try a wide range of marcas and see what suits her tastes before buying larger quantities to age. It's a nice and cost effective way to try a huge array of flavor profiles. Good luck, and welcome!
  7. @MD Puffer that's a serious maneuver to try and get back on track! Hope it went well. I don't really understand criticism of "sleep hygiene". I think good sleep practices are part of a healthy regimen (including diet, fitness, all that good stuff), and are a really smart preventative measure for more serious health conditions (to avoid medication, chronic dr. visits, etc.). I too have a young child and a hectic job. I try to stay regimented, but if I'm filming nights on a project or the little one is teething or whatever, things inevitably get thrown into disarray. To try and avoid insomnia with an ever-changing schedule, I craft a consistent pre-bed routine (whenever that happens to be). It includes the usual floss, brush teeth, other hygiene stuff, and also includes some reading and meditation. I take melatonin, but to avoid the groggy feeling in the AM, I take it several hours before I go to sleep. There is nothing worse than being exhausted and finally getting a chance to sleep, but not being able to. Happens to the best of us. Sounds like outside of the siglo you enjoyed the smokes at least. Hope you are back on track.
  8. In my experience, most any tangible asset is insurable and it's up to everyone's personal preferences as to what is worth the cost and hassle to do so. I have separate itemized policies for art and jewelry, but my cigars simply fall under my home owner's policy. If my collection grows to a certain value, I will most likely itemize it under a separate policy. I do catalogue and inventory them, not for insurance purposes, but it's nice to have for that case as well. It's my understanding that it's not illegal to own Cuban cigars in the United States. Many people on this forum take them through customs, declare them, and have no issues. You are not allowed to buy or sell them in the U.S., but current rules seem that the actual ownership of the cigars is not an issue. I've never had to prove provenance of any insured item, simply ownership / possession of it. I can't speak to the nuance of what an insurance company might go through to try and get out of a claim, but in my experience, I've simply sent proof of damage for any insured item and used reasonable market comps to establish fair market value for my claim. I assume cigars would be handled in the same way.
  9. blakeLA

    Blown budget but...

    I have gone down a similar path. Bought a bunch of boxes. As others have said there isn’t much out there that won’t come up again. And better to save up for those boxes instead of buying a bunch of random stuff you may or may not like and not having the cash when a great opportunity comes up. I now buy singles to keep me out of my aging stash and only buy boxes that I know are a home run.
  10. I have gently turned down sticks before because circumstance permitted it (in most cases I had brought my own). I smoke with my neighbor and he brought over some terrible freebies thrown in from a box purchase. We made it a quarter of the way through and I got out something much more pleasant when we both agreed they weren't worth the time. That said, if someone brought something specifically for me to smoke with them and it was a kind gesture, a friends father who wasn't my peer / buddy, etc. I would probably bite the bullet and smoke it with him and smile through the whole thing. Sorry it was a DC. That's a lot of time to grin and bear it!
  11. blakeLA

    Would this bother you?

    Agree with @Lotusguy. No big deal to wipe it off if it's not on the foot, but if these were hand picked / inspected by the retailer and showed up in this condition I would send a polite email informing them of the circumstance. That's enough to assume that it was there before shipping.
  12. Good to know! I am a big SP fan, but also don't smoke them young or particularly often. I will have to check out both.
  13. How were the North Star and Gran Quixote? Both on my list to try.
  14. Congrats! No one could have predicted such a paltry score. Good on @crking3 for having a prediction at least vaguely in the ballpark.
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