Going deep and making it hurt, it's Blowin' Smoke #126!
With cigars a blazin', the Cretins herfed up one hell of a pre-game with a new Cigar of the Day, a new 5 Things and more hard hitting investigative reporting into what the chicks are reading. Plus, the winner of our 262 Cigars photo contest with Clint of 262 Cigars, some friendly abuse from listeners who like cheese, and plenty of the usual man cave herf topics and feedback from our Twitter tweeps. We're talkin' stuff like renaming a sewage department in Austin, romantic messages on candy hearts, what's better than holding hands to help guys heal, and more!
So, grab your pigskin and huddle up under the smoke cloud...it's Blowin' Smoke #126!
Every morning when I get into the office I watch a 7 minute snippet of Alec Baldwin giving a motivational speech in Glenngary Glen Ross. It's my way of getting amped up for the day. (Not that I need a reason to go out and bust my butt everyday.) As a boutique manufacturer, I am faced with a constant battle of fighting for shelf space. It's not always easy to go toe-to-toe with some of the guys that have been in the industry for generations. However, we are starting to see a paradigm shift in the humidors across the country. It seems like every store owner that I come into contact with is changing up their humidor to bring in boutiques. A lot of the stores are looking for "B&M exclusive" manufacturers to fill their shelf space.
It's this understanding that keeps us from becoming lunch for the big fish in the industry. Don't get me wrong, I don't want people to stop smoking what they like. I want people to add us to their repertoire. I heard somebody use this analogy once, "How many tools are enough? That's right, you can never have too many tools in your toolbox. We're not asking you take out tools; we're asking that you put us in there with the rest of your tools. Sometimes you need a wrench, other times a screwdriver, and sometimes a jackhammer. We just want you to be prepared." I'm guilty of only smoking a few brands as well. I find what I like to smoke, and I rarely branch out. Just recently I've made an effort to smoke at least 3 new cigars each week. Best case scenario is that I found something great. Worst case scenario is that I spent $8 on a cigar that I didn't care for. Either way, I was with friends enjoying myself and relaxing.
The beauty of being a smaller company is that we can devote more time to customer service. We're not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Sometimes my call-backs don't happen as soon as I would like for them to happen. Sometimes it may take me a little bit longer to get out to see a store (until recently I was running around the Mid-Atlantic, Mid-West, and North East). But almost all of the store owners have my personal cell phone number and can contact me whenever they need something. We try to go out of our way to make the store owners feel great about having our product on their shelves. We have an interactive map on our website that points consumers to the retailers, include a hand-written note with each order, and have a "what can I do to help you" mentality among other things. I love B&Ms and cigar lounges because they are safe havens. They are places I can go to relax and unwind, so I want to see them stay around for years to come.
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~ Clint Aaron is the president of 262 Cigars, a petrol-head, master of all things 'Top Gear', cigar fanatic, obsessor of coffee, and lover of microbrews. He is known for loving his wife and tolerating her dog (Emerson). Some say he's been known to refer to Emerson as his arch nemesis. You can contact him at: www.SmokeTheRevolution.com or follow him @262Cigars.
Working all hours on a new collective herf agreement to avoid a humidor lock-out, it's Blowin' Smoke #127!
With a full house of Cretins, Torcedor Coffee brewin' and a new Cigar of the Day burnin', we hit herf factor 10 and jumped right into serious detective work on something blatantly missing from the Havana Room. We also enjoyed some listener emails, wacky tweets from our Twitter followers, and a new 5 Things. Plus, our investigative series into what the chicks are reading continues with more intriguing insight!
So, jump in and get herfin'! It's Blowin' Smoke #127!
I really enjoy smoking a good cigar. I’m also a baseball fan. I happen to be a Yankee fan but that is only because I grew up on Long Island and was ten years old when Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle pushed each other all summer to break the immortal Babe Ruth’s home run record. But it is the game itself that I love. It is a combination of chess and ballet and requires an individual to accomplish the most difficult feat in sport…to hit a round object with a cylindrical object. And now, after months of waiting and counting the days, the boys of summer have returned for that great ritual we call Spring Training.
I loved the game so much that I spent years with my son and his friends teaching and coaching and always sharing my love of the game. My son picked up on it and by the time he was 16 he knew more about it than I did. He became a much better player than I was and in fact will be starting his fourth season at The College at Brockport as a first baseman/designated hitter, where he currently holds two RBI records and is three homeruns away from tying the career home run record. You can look it up.
For those of us who live in the Northeast or Midwest, we have to find places inside to smoke our cigars. Spring Training will give me the opportunity to combine baseball and cigars. One of my favorite ways to enjoy a cigar is to smoke while watching a baseball game. When Max was young, and I wasn’t coaching at the time, I would lean on the fence in center field at our youth baseball complex to watch the 12 year olds play. It was the essence of relaxation. If it weren’t for the draconian anti-smoking laws I would be in downtown Buffalo watching our Triple A Buffalo Bisons…but that is not to be. In the next few weeks, the Brockport baseball team will head south to Florida for their version of Spring Training. I plan to follow them like a teenage girl would follow a limousine that contained Justin Bieber. The thought of watching baseball, watching my son play baseball, and to be able to sit back and smoke a cigar while I’m doing it absolutely thrills me. I am already thinking about which cigars I will pick to fill up my herf’dor. I will be driving from Buffalo to New Jersey for their first three games March 4-6…a seven hour, two cigar drive. The following Wednesday I’ll start my drive to Florida…a two day, four or five cigar drive. Then a week in Florida for ten games in seven days…it doesn’t get any better than this. There’s nothing better than leaning on a fence of a baseball field while smoking one of your favorite cigars. If you are lucky enough to be watching your son play at the same time, well my friends, it just got better.
I love baseball. Spring Training marks the time of year when we begin to look forward to those warm days and comfortable evenings when we can light up a cigar, enjoy a libation or not, enjoy the company of a good friend or family member, and appreciate the gifts that life brings to us. As Buster Olney, a baseball analyst and writer says, “And today will be better than yesterday.”
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~ Nathan Zimmerman is a recently retired School Psychologist with 25 of his last 33 years working in the Buffalo, NY, Public Schools. He is the father of two adult children and the former Herfmeister of the Buffalo Herf In The Snow (HITS). He enjoys Honduran cigars, (especially Villazon products such as JR Ultimates, El Rey del Mundo Rectangulares and Flor de Llanezas) and Ramon Allones Small Club Coronas and Specially Selecteds. Follow Nathan: @Z1batmang.