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About Ginseng

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    Twitter: WilkeyXW

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    Sr. Rompecabezas!

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  1. Fascinating to see some new life in an old topic! I certainly can't attest to any authorship of the technique, but I have tweaked up a method that is flexible and effective. Run the unclipped cigar under running water (filtered is preferred if you can smell any chlorine at all in your muni water. Under 10 seconds. Gently flick off the largest droplets clinging to the barrel/wrapper. Roll up in a suitably-sized piece of kitchen paper towel. This is where the adaptation comes in. On an already well-humidified cigar, pat dry and unroll immediately. For a cigar with a dry wrapper especially when smoking in conditions where cigars may be prone to cracking (dry cold winter), keep it wrapped up for a minute or more. The last step is where you can really tune the process. As some work done years ago showed, wrappers do not take up bulk water very quickly. However, in extended contact with dampness, they can absorb significantly and broadly. For example, when smoking outdoors in 80%+ RH. As winter is approaching in the Mid-Atlantic, the opportunity to try this technique for yourself is here! Cheers, Wilkey
  2. You know the saying, "If you haven't got something good/helpful/friendly to add..."
  3. The Cazadores is one of my all time favorite cigars. Never have they failed to satisfy. Rich without weighing you down. Powerful without inducing palpitations. Body from medium to heavy and rarely a loose or tight one in the bunch. I have been buying them fresh for quite a while, maybe a dozen years or so. Right now I'm tapping boxes from 2008-2015. As to the questions: Sometimes I drink double espresso, sometimes house blend. Most times I lean toward a good French press Sumatra. So for me, Caz generally reach maximum enjoyability with 2-5 years from the box date. I'm not a golden palate so I can't give you a very detailed or expressive characterization of the change from infancy to the teens. However, I experience this as a decrease in "roughness" but it's not the harshness of poorly fermented tobacco. There is also a decrease in "tang" with a concomitant emergence of sweetness, but not the sweetness of, say, honey. Only rarely do I perceive cherries or prunes. There is no purer tobacco avatar of well-tanned, full-grain armchair leather than the Cazadores. This is one cigar that you do not have to struggle to discern its development. Wilkey
  4. We did quite a lot in our short time there. Let's see... We went to ramen shops where you order choose the food from a ticket machine then go inside, sit, and hand the ticket to the waiter. All ramen was excellent. Udon too! The public transport is initially quite confusing. The JR (Japan Rail) local line, the Shinkansen lines for moving between cities, and the parallel local subway lines. The subway stations are often near or next to the JR stations but sometimes accesses by separate escalators. We use a few iOS apps for the rail and I'd consider it indispensable as the maps are just ultra dense and confusing. We had JR Passes for the Shinkansen and used PASMO for all other lines. They were like all-purpose debit cards for transit and convenience stores. Very convenient. Bottled drink dispensers everywhere. I mean several per block. You would never go thirsty. Anything green tea was refreshing. If riding the city bus (can be crowded and hot during busy times) buy a day pass for $3-5. Well worth it. Had plenty of sushi...honestly after a while it blended together, but in a good way. It became almost a staple rather than "exotic" food. Prices weren't all that bad for most things. Didn't have time to find a cigar bar or smoke a single cigar. We went during the hottest part of the year, it was unseasonably hot and humid, and were were in Kanazawa for the hottest day of the year. Very humid. upper 80's to lower 90's everywhere and humidity 70-85%. And lots of walking. If you weren't fit, sunblocked, or had liquid with you, you were going to be in trouble. The guides told us people had passed out and we did see this once or twice. Some palace/villa/garden grounds were brutally exposed. Staying in a townhouse, ryokan, or machiya is highly recommended. Gives you a sense of how Japanese lived in the last half century. Toilets were the most advanced in the world. Heated seats, squirters front and back. Typhoon Nuro hit us while in Kanazawa. Our Shinkansen got cancelled and we had to take a bullet back to Tokyo then out to Kyoto. By the time we got to Kyoto, it had downgraded and rolled past, but for a while, we were right in its path. Visited the pop culture places, Harajuku, Akihabara, and Shinjuku, Ginza, wow. So fascinating for people watching. They are crazy for their arcades. Beware of claw machines. My daughter won a prize but many are clearly rigged. Visit temples, do the tea ceremony, have a Japanese mom teach you to make sushi then share a meal. Visit the Nishiki Market and eat your way down. Squid, octopus, all sorts of foods on sticks, sweets, fruits, and much, much more. So, all in all, a truly memorable and worthwhile trip. Go once with some partial guiding if you can (especially helpful for families with kids) and second time, you can definitely do it all on your own. Please enjoy the nighttime view over Shinjuku from the Hotel Gracery. Wilkey
  5. We had a GREAT time! Fantastic all around. And here are the Rolex photos as promised. Taken in the basement shop of the BIC Camera in Shinjuku. IMG_4233_DxO by Wi Wo, on Flickr And...notice what might be a platinum Day-Date for 5.4 million yen! IMG_4235_DxO by Wi Wo, on Flickr Wilkey
  6. Congratulations! I know you've been wanting that baby for some time. Do let me know when you've posted in TRF if you intend to. I will take pictures for sure. As for what I'm wearing, given the temperature and humidity, I bought a Casio G-Shock Solar/Atomic for comfort and ease. Wilkey
  7. Fascinating thread and great investigation! It was a pleasure to read all of the back and forth. Looking forward to the plume expose! Wilkey
  8. Thank you for all the great tips, folks! We leave in 2 days. The whole family is looking forward to a great trip, culture, and food. Cheers! Wilkey
  9. Have not seen Shin Godzilla yet. But...we're traveling to Tokyo this summer and will be staying at the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku where the red carpet for the movie premier was laid. Cool! Wilkey
  10. Oh, and here's the above Unimatic looking much more serious on a MilTat Hexad Oyster bracelet with diver ratchet clasp. Great watch. Wish it had a bit more drop on the lugs but this is about a happy as it gets.
  11. Squale 20 Atmos Blueray. I love the sunray's mesmerizing in the bright sun. Hypnotic!
  12. Yep, Starting to plan our late summer trip to Japan, centered on Tokyo and surrounding regions as our base. I'd love to hear what the travel pros and frequent visitors have as advice for things to see and places to stay. Tips for hidden gems from native denizens would also be greatly appreciated! Wilkey
  13. Two new acquisitions: Seiko SNZF17J1 - one of the best, inexpensive Sub-type divers and Unimatic Modello Uno. Lovely design, just crisp and beautiful, purity of design, with a high level of finish. The rubber strap is very nice but I don't like it. Also came with a high quality, classy Nato. Have already ordered an aftermarket 22mm Hexad Oyster bracelet with ratchet diver clasp.
  14. Casio G-Shock GWM 5610-1. So comfy, a throwback to 30 years ago for me. The automatic clock signal time setting is a nice convenience.

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