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About frenchkiwi

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    Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui, Aotearoa

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  1. good visual combo with that sundial, looking forward to the firepit lighting of that cigar on the review !
  2. Been a while but two others i think i enjoyed once upon a time that i can vaguely remember were: - Magician (riftwar?) trilogy by R Feist - Taliesin, Merlin, Arthur, by Stephen Lawhead but i was spoiled by reading Tolkien's hobbit + lotr by age 9, after that the bar was set too high for everything else it seems.
  3. Keep the memes coming people, they're keeping us all Alive! I made this up and printed it off to send to my brother in a parcel of cigars one day before lockdown:
  4. This guy's "Resident Cigar Climatologist" tag is no exaggeration ... The PigFish has some great posts on aging and humidity which come recommended!! You'll need a Forum Archaeologist to find them though cos he's been posting on here for centuries... 😎
  5. It was a good WC. Japan take a bow. Sth Afs reverted to 10man rugby like it was 2007 but did it with such brutality it was beautiful to watch. (almost worked against the ABs but England did that better for one game) My prediction that the heat and hard and fast grounds of Japan would suit open Sth hemisphere style play held true... until it faltered on the semi-finals altar of necessity. By which point it was too late for Ireland who were run to shreds by both Japan and ABs. And then the switch to 10man rugby upset the All Blacks for one game at least, and almost got an ailing Wales back into the swing of things. The only real disappointment for me was that Fiji didn't get a big win despite having some of the best athletes in the comp (without mentioning those scattered in all the other teams!). All 3 Pacific teams were missing a decent number of players stuck on club contracts with no release. And there there was... Tuisova! Yato!! Radadra!!! et al Same old same old, Until the rich European clubs start releasing the Pacific Islanders for international duty - or better, paying options are developed to play in and around the Pacific - and World Rugby supports fixtures in the big leagues in between WCs they will continue to be failed by the system. Also Ledesma will have to look at himself carefully in the mirror as unlike the PIs they have been supported by World Rugby and done everything right in recent years - joining 4 nations intl comp, super rugby team keeping most of their players together, quality players ... and underwhelmed in the ensuing WC! as they have since he became coach. Anyway a great WC and Japan re-emphasised that there is another way to play tournament rugby. Long may the clash of diverse styles continue.
  6. Q: do i retrohale when smoking? A: are bears catholic? does the pope $hit in the woods? does the bear pope $hit catholically? That would be an oecumenical matter. etc 😁
  7. Yep it seemed the two English openers survived a scare every 3 balls on average. I hope they went home to buy lottery tickets. England had so much rub of the green they could have rolled joints out of it. The extra runs off a diving Stokes (who is a kiwi, small mercy or supreme irony - take your pick) were just the cherry on top. Eng had the much superior batting team but were still dominated by a cracking bowling attack, just like India in the semi-final. The most disappointing thing for NZ is that of all the teams, the English conditions (occasional swing, often green bowler friendly wickets) gave them the best chance they would ever have of winning a world cup with so many batsmen out of form. But these very conditions also made for a great world cup, contest between bat and ball almost every game, great crowds ... we could almost give the cup to england as gracious visitors, if it were not for the highly inconsiderate timetable down under. So for NZ it will forever be - A Most Inglorious Draw, ... and for England - A Most Fortunate Winning Draw. They are probably still frenchkissing their sisters as we speak.
  8. Nothing particularly new here. I had a friend who worked in Ministry of Health alcohol and drug policy unit who said they'd looked at differentiating cigars (due to the known lesser frequency of cigar smoking) from the rest but gave up - a lack of compelling evidence due to lack of proper research, and the problem that it would mess up the "Smoking is Sin" social morality narrative. I would say that until cigar smokers band together to lobby for, or to directly fund, a proper study on cigar smoking (with a large sample of actual cigar smokers), it will continue to be confused with cigarette smoking in public regulation. (that means US$100 per 100g here in NZ, going up every year, so it easily doubles the price of cigars and some) So who amongst us can, or knows someone who can, set up or lobby for some proper gold-standard research? If someone put up a project on Kickstarter or similar, i'd happily chip in some cash. And volunteer to participate. I'd love to have some hard evidence as the emphasis on evidence-based policy in many countries would make it hard for regulating agencies to ignore. I'd also like to have it as proof for my own knowledge rather than relying on a likely but untested hypothesis (that my cigar a week is not harmful to my health in any meaningful way). Sapere Aude, they said, but enlightenment hasn't reached knowledge about cigar smoking in our lifetimes it seems!
  9. Hmmm the options are narrowing... not helped by all this earthquake strengthening going on, strict council smoking rules... 3 of my favourite bars closed last year. Havana Bar on Wigan St - good character place, decent cocktails, little outdoor courtyard, part of the Havana coffee roastery which has been going for 30 years. Fidel says hello. My pick. Fork and Brewer on Bond St has a nice balcony and 30 odd craft beers on tap. The Arborist and Dirty Little Secret are two rooftop bars with cocktails... If I actually went out on the town more than once a year i might know more...!
  10. I give up regularly if I have any illness that disturbs my tastebuds e.g. cold (just coming out of a month-long neverending cold - good for my cigar budget). Bad weather will dissuade me temporarily as I don't have the swankiest indoor smoking facility (tiny garage i have to reverse car out of). I just don't see the pointing in wasting good cigars on bad tastebuds. Technically i know I should swear off'em when i have any mouth injury (burn/cut) or ulcer, as that is meant to be really bad for your long term health, but that rarely stops me. (as an aside that's apparently why it's also really important not to burn your mouth when smoking e.g. the hot nub or cigarillos. Not just smoking either, saw an article the other day quoting a study that drinking hot beverages over 60 degrees celsius quadruples your chances of getting mouth/tongue/throat cancer or some such).
  11. Gday Ken - I actually think that the Wallabies have a first XV on paper which, on a good day, could beat any the top teams. Most of the players were in the 2015 WC final. (their bench is too weak to win consistently in modern day rugby imho - you need a quality first 22 - and the tight 5 is still a bit iffy) But the coaches are not the men for the job. An over-emotional, short fuse, "everybody is out to get us - circle the wagons" type approach, has never been a recipe for long term success. Cue Cheika. A dysfunctional defence system will start losing you games you would have won at a canter. Cue Nathan Grey, defence coach for the Waratahs 2015-2017 try-leaking seasons (in spite of a decent team lineup on paper). Who knows. Maybe they will learn from their mistakes, sort their $hit out and start winning a few games next season. But it looks very unlikely with these - "blame the other guys" - fellas at the helm. Which is a pain because guys like Folau, Kuridrani, Pocock can be a joy to watch when they're supported by a decent team.
  12. Thanks. It's one of those occasions where you can say - it really was my pleasure!
  13. Not a purist experience in terms of the exclusive focus on one cigar but... the most enjoyable by far. Christened the garage of my latest house with a dress up poker, a fiver of cigars to share, and a lot of whisky. You'll see the tips of the full house in my top pocket here: Ramon Allones Superiores, Cohiba Secretos, Romeo y Julieta Cazadores, Trinidad Reyes, Partagas Short. They were all good cigars chosen because I knew that they all paired well with the light single malts we had. The one I really enjoyed, that wrested my attention from the table, was strangely enough the mildest (in body) - the RA.

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