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Pinehurst #4 Renovation

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A good friend took me on a tour of the renovation work at Pinehurst #4 today. The course was closed in October and is due to reopen next fall. Gil Hanse is doing a renovation, not restoration, to the course.

So far the crews are working on some of the holes surrounding the lake on the back 9 holes. Lots of dirt being moved and drainage being put in.

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I will update with more pics as the project progresses.

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The Cradle at Pinehurst

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I played The Cradle twice this afternoon. The Cradle is the new short course at Pinehurst. Nine par-3 holes, ranging from 56 yards, to 127 yards.

Since I last played it, the course, especially the greens, have firmed up and were running fast. A couple holes served up real penalties for being above the hole and missing in the wrong place. A shot left pin-high was not necessarily a good miss, and the follow-up shot could be considered satisfactory if it managed to stay on the green inside 20 feet.

Because the Bermuda teeing areas have gone dormant, all tee shots were done from mats. Not a big fan, but there’s nothing that can be done when the grass isn’t growing this time of year.

Our group went around twice in two hours. We could’ve managed one more loop but the starter said it was too late for another loop.

The Cradle cost $50 and you can replay free all day if there is availability.

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What’s the deal with some pipe smokers?

Most pipe smokers are pretty cool people. Sometimes a little weird, but who isn’t a little weird?

This year I have a noticed an increasing number of pipe smokers that are outright assholes. Especially when buying (and/or stealing) pipes from me on Amazon. Never have I had so many pipes returned without any regard to the pipe.

It’s pretty well accepted that if you don’t like the pipe you receive, you should be able to return it without a hassle. This is fair. Many times, especially on Amazon, you are only seeing a stock photo and not the actual item. So that’s no problem.

It’s also pretty well accepted that if you want to return the pipe, you don’t smoke it. I have never seen a place that takes back pipes that have been smoked. Unless there is something defective with the pipe.

This year I have had returns where the original pipe was kept and a corn cob pipe put in its place (Rito Maxtla). I have had returns where the customer bought the pipe they had just broken or burnt out, keep the new pipe, and send the old one back. And it wasn’t like they bought the first pipe from me.

And I have had many returns where the person keeps the box, filters (if included), and pipe sock, and only return the pipe.

Recently I had a return where there was still tobacco left in the pipe! Almost a full bowl! The customer apparently had problems with putting the mouthpiece back in, and looked like they used some kind of tool trying to twist the mouthpiece back flush with the shank. Which I was able to do with just my hands. So either he was a puss, or I’m really strong.

I won’t impugn the rest of the pipe smoking community because of a few assholes, but it does seem like there has been a change in the type of clientele in certain respects the last couple of years.

Or maybe I just seem to attract the assholes.

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Buy 4, Get 1 Free

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At both stores, while supplies last, buy any 4 brands listed at the top of the flyer and get 1 free new Inspirado. Mix & match allowed.

Choose from the Inspirado White (mild), Inspirado Orange (medium), or Inspirado Black (full).

Tobacconists of Cary – 2434 SW Cary Pkwy – 919 469 4262

Phil’s Cigar Shop – 857 Bass Pro Ln – 919 377 0133

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Thanksgiving Sides Power Rankings

6. Anything Healthy – Nope.

5. Gravy – Its own “dish”. Can be added to anything, very versatile. Can also drink straight from the tap.

4 Mac & Cheese – Would be higher, except this is something you can eat year round. So while normally Mac & Cheese is high up in the everyday rankings, it slips a little on Thanksgiving because it is not Thanksgiving specific.

3. Corn – Basic but great. Even better when mixed up with some mashed potatoes. Corn on the cob doesn’t count.

2. Rolls – If you invite me to Thanksgiving dinner make an extra pan of rolls just for me. I think I eat maybe 5 rolls the rest of the year combined, but at Thanksgiving get after it when it comes to rolls.

1. Mashed Potatoes – Not just for yelling when someone hits their tee ball. Do you eat mashed potatoes at any other meal besides Thanksgiving? Why is that? They’re so good.

Bonus Rankings – Desserts

2. Banana Pudding – Used to be #1, has slipped in recent years

1.Pumpkin Pie

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How To Spend $950 on a Cigar

Go to this restaurant.

The article said that the restaurant “sources” rare cigars, and it does, somewhat. There is a $950 cigar from 1881 available, a $450 cigar from the 1950s, and a $600 cigar, also from the 1950s.

However, most of the cigars are just regular cigars, though the author (likely not a cigar smoker), quotes the cigar sommelier:

“Additionally, the relationships that I have been able to build with cigar makers such as Arturo Fuente and Nat Sherman have benefited the guests who are seeking highly sought-after cigars.” I thought he was referring to hard to get Arturo Fuentes like OpusX or Anejo, but he mentioned the Don Carlos line. Which is a great cigar, but not extraordinarily hard to find. And Nat Sherman…

At least I know if this cigar store owner thing doesn’t work out I can get a job as a cigar sommelier, a job that now exists. I just have to learn a few words of french and refer to a drink as a “libation” and I’m good to go.

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Cuban Cigar Update

The United States is still not trading with Cuba. The embargo has not been lifted.

In the last week, restrictions were tightened on Cuba. However, if you care one of the people allowed to travel to Cuba, you can bring back cigars as long as they are for personal consumption. You can also bring back Cuban cigars from 3rd party countries as long as they are for personal use.