I've never personally had a burn-through, but seeing that the Country Gentleman pipe is the same price as the cobs that do have the plug, I've been bugging the folks at MM to add that as an improvement to the Gent for quite some time.
I am so happy to report that as of a few weeks ago the Country Gentleman now features a wooden plug! (Pause for applause)
On an interesting side note; last year as we were dealing with the "Incredible Shrinking Cobs of 2012" I pulled from our inventory what has got to be the smallest Country Gentleman ever made. Fast forward to today as I was looking for an old Gent to picture next to a new one in order to show you the difference in the bottom and I fount that puny pipe. Lick on the pic above to Biggie-Size it to see what the new plug looks like, and to give thanks that we haven't been seeing any small cobs like that recently.
The new Missouri Meerschaum Amber Danish bit is available as a replacement from Aristocob.com for any of the filtered MM pipes. That includes the Diplomat, the General. the Country Gentleman, the 5th Avenue (That we call the Kolonel), all of the "Woodie" of maple pipes and even the smaller pipes like the Legend, the Washington, the Ozark Mountain and the Missouri Pride.
OK, now this is just cool. This pipe is from an online collection on the CIA's website. It's a sub-miniature radio receiver that is concealed in a modified pipe. The user hears the sound via "bone conduction" from the jaw to the ear canal. How cool is that?
Here's the link to this pipe, and be sure to click around the entire collection. https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/cia-museum/experience-the-collection/index.html#!/artifact/131
Here's an official statement from Cornell and Diehl:
Here's a link to Woodcraft's Badger Hair Bristle Shaving Brush and related Shaving Stuff It looks like a great deal, but please note that you'll need to purchase a 20mm Forstner Bit too. Heck, perhaps the best plan of attack would be to make a couple extra and toss them out on eBay? Let me know if you do that.
FF to around the 3:45 point to skip the ramble.
The contest runs through July 6th, and there is seriously a bonus if your naming convention is chosen, AND you shared it in the form of a Video Response on Youtube. Good luck!
Here's the video where I explain the naming contest:
This is an update where I share some new Ultimate Corn Cob Pipes and give more details on the contest.
I've noticed that the Ultimate Corn Cob Pipes that catch my eyes are ones that I'd describe as partially smooth and partially rusticated. Two pipes shown here have really captured my heart, and unfortunately the bent one is the one that was sold out from under me.
Get your own Riccardo Santia Ultimate Corn Cob Pipe at www.Aristocob.com. Click on the Riccardo Santia link on the left side of the home page.
I was excited when I learned that they were conducting another survey, and it looks like I just squeaked in under the deadline. This morning I received the preliminary results and just as before they are quite interesting. Below is a link to both the 2012 and the 2010 survey, and I think you'll see as I did that they've done an excellent job improving the visuals and keeping the topics varied and interesting.
Another job well done by Kevin Godbee!
2012 PipesMagazine.com Pipe Smokers Survey
2010 PipesMagazine.com Pipe Smokers Survey
So, in the interest of getting it out there, I smoke many different tobaccos, including many that are manufactured by Cornell and Diehl, but in the end I have to admit that for the most part I smoke Lane 1Q. I was thinking about this one day, and I'd be willing to bet that I've smoked half my weight in Lane 1Q, which is just about what my doctor says I should weigh!
Lane 1Q is most similar to the OTC tobacco Captain Black Royal, which is sold in the blue pouch. In fact, they are both made by Lane Limited and while the recipes are slightly different, Captain Blacks Royal is almost identical to Lane 1Q. As for the other Lane bulk tobaccos vs Captain Black, Lane RLP-6 and Captain Black White are quite similar. Both of these bulk tobacco blends are sold at your local tobacconist, though they may have their own names for them. Just ask for the Lane product by name (number) and they'll direct you to the proper jar.
There's a great article on the differences between the most popular over the counter tobaccos, including Captain Black, over at PipesMagazine.com.
I am new to smoking and got two very nice pipes from a friend of mine (briar). I would like to get two pipes from you to break myself into pipe smoking. Do you have some good recommendations for me to look at? I am a cigar smoker for 1 year and would like a pipe that smokes 10-40 minutes and one that smokes 30-60 minutes. Any suggestions or help is very appreciated. Jamie
For a quick smoke I would suggest one of the following as they are all basically the same pipe with a different finish:
This is Missouri Meerschaum's most popular pipe, and it's the one most people think of when they think of a corn cob pipe. The bit is amber in color and the bowl has a slight yellow color that's added to the finish on the cob. This cob is filled, but is still a little rough.
The Missouri Pride
This pipe is completely unfinished, or "Neked". Some folks like this, others don't. The cob is very rough but it smokes nicely. This is probably the one pipe that I would say is most likely to burn-through. The bit is black.
This is a rather sophisticated cob. It is filled with plaster before being smoothed and finished with a clear finish. The bit is black.
The Ozark Mountain
Again, this is the same size as the pipes listed above, but rather than being made of cob it's made entirely of the hardwood birch.
As for the longer smoker, I'm a fan of several:
I LOVE this pipe! This would be my all-around favorite if only it had the hardwood bottom like the others listed below. This has the same black bit as is found on the pipes listed above. I always swap these out. Read on...
This has become my everyday pipe in my van and in my shop. Depending on what I smoke in it, it will last me from 30-45 minutes. Like the Washington the cob on the Diplomat is filled, finished with a clear finish and has a black bit; but the bit on this pipe is my favorite. It's called the Danish bit, and it's the bit that I use on all my pipes. The Diplomat is also available with a rare earth magnet sit into the bottom and is sold as the Magnacob. You can see it at Magnacob.com
This is a very large bowl, but not ridiculously so. This pipe will smoke 40-60 minutes every time. It has the same smooth finish that's found on the Diplomat, and also features the Danish bit.
This pipe is just in a class by itself. It's hand turned on a lathe and is in the style of the classic freehand briar pipes. It has a very expensive vulcanized rubber bit, that's just like the aftermarket bits that are sold elsewhere for $20 and up for just the bit alone. This is the perfect pipe to put on your birthday wish list.
With the exception of the Freehand, all of these pipes can accommodate a filter. You don not have to smoke them with the filter installed, and many people actually cut the filters into two or three short sections to act as an ash catcher rather than a filter.
I am not a huge fan of the Patriot or the MacArthurs. The bits are very slim and delicate and are prone to breaking, and the Macs are very though to keep lit.
How about a little story?
When I was a teenager my dad was a US Air Force Colonel and was the second in command of the F-16 program. This was way back in the late 1970's-'81 and one of my favorite things to do when visiting his office was to change his name on his white board (something that was new and exciting back then) from "Colonel Markwood" to "Kernel Markwood". It always made me laugh, and I'm sure it annoyed him to no end.
So it is with that thought that I'm happy to announce that while we will begin stocking the new 5th Avenue pipe, it will be sold at Aristocob.com as "The Kernel" or perhaps as "The Kolonel". The best news of all is that The Kernel will soon be available as a Magnacob as well!
Someone asked a question about the Magnacob that I didn't know the answer to: Is the magnet strong enough for it to stick to a drywall screw in a wall. I had no idea, so of course in the interest of science...
Here's the list of Tastes Buds so far:
McClellan's "Easy Street"
Cornell & Diehl's "Burley Flake #1"
Cornell & Diehl's "Burley Flake #4"
TFH = Two Friend's "Heritage"
CEPS = Cornell & Diehl's Captain Earle's Private Stock
AHF = Cornell & Diehl's After Hour Flake
GLPCM = G.L. Pease "Chelsea Morning"
GLPF = G.L. Pease "Fillmore"
HO = Cornell & Diehl's "Herman's Own" There doesn't seem to be a review on TobaccoReviews.com, so this would be a great time to add one! (Hint)
BF (cc) = Cornell & Diehl's "Briar Fox" (crumble cake). This is an excellent Danish crumble cake made of Virginias.
SHF = Cornell & Diehl's "Sunset Harbor Flake" This Taste Bud was a little on the dry side, so we rehydrate it, rendering it much less of a flake than you might normally expect. Smokes great though.
HRF = Honeyrose Farmers. This is not non-tobacco smoking product that I purchased to try for myself, and after just one bowl I knew I just had to share it with you. Because I liked it? No, because I knew there was no way I was ever going to smoke another bowl, so I had to do SOMETHING with what was left! Anyway, give it a try, 'cuz who knows, you might love it. www.honeyroseusa.com
EI = Earth Impact Herbal Mixture. Again, just like Honeyrose Farmers above this non-tobacco product this stuff just wasn't for me. It's sold by Honeyroseusa.com if you want more of it. I'd love to hear from you if you liked this!
Here's the video that started it all.
Here's the winning video and tagline. Congratulations David!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Aristocob/102500969787186 (Got to do something about that silly URL!) Anyway, we'll pick a winner or winners next Monday, Feb 19th, 2012.
Check our Youtube Channel for the latest Taste Bud flavor and for information on how to get in on the action!
Here's the original Taste Bud announcement video:
The picture at right is a very large pile of orders that we packed tonight. I don't know what your image of Aristocob is, but we are truly a Mom (Jandy) and Pop (Scott) business, and a day like today is something special. Thank you all for supporting our efforts, and we enjoy being of service to you.
Now for the rest of the story...
If you are a fan of the Great Dane Egg shape, I have bad news to report.
Missouri Meerschaum has been dealing with a shortage of their largest cobs, which are the ones which are used for the Diplomat and the Great Dane Egg. As a result we have been in a back order situation for the past month on the Eggs, and have been spotty on the Dips. (Our name, not MM's)
Well, we received the bad news last week that MM is ceasing production of the Egg for a while so that they can dedicate their larger cobs to the more popular Diplomat. We fully support this decision, but it does leave a couple of our customers in the cold. Just so you know, we are happy to swap-out the BO'd Eggs with any other similar pipe, and as a plan B we have also offered full refunds.
We have a standing order with MM for the Eggs, so when they do get them back into production we'll have them too.
Missouri Meerschaum recently made a change to their top of the line Freehand pipe that has exciting side effects. First off, the new bent Vulcanized rubber bit can now fit EVERY Missouri Meerschaum filtered pipe! Vulcanized bits are a bit thicker and substantially stronger than the stock plastic bits found on all the other pipes int he MM line, and this change means that if you've always wanted a higher quality/strength bit on your cob, you now have a great option.
The second thing the change in the Freehand did was it made it possible for the Freehand to be used with pipe filters! I know that most American pipe smokers turn their noses up at filters, but our European customers and new pipe smokers are quite fond of them. Yes, this would mean that you'd be exchanging the excellent vulcanized bit that I just talked about for the less expensive plastic bit, but you are gaining the ability to filter.
Anyway, these two new options are great news for two groups of customers: now you just have to decide which camp YOU are in. Click the pic to be taken to the listing for the new bit.
What seems to surprise folks is that we wrap the pipes in paper to keep them safe, and that's about it. Well, this week I finally remembered to snap a photo of a shipment to us from Missouri Meerschaum. Note that most of the pipes from them are lose in zip-top bags! They used to ship the pipes lose in cardboard boxes, just like the ones seen in the box that contain several "Macs". Considering the fact that Missouri Meerschaum has been making and shipping these pipes since 1869, if they think the pipes are strong enough to handle this treatment, who and I to judge?
The video that I've embedded below is one were I did a box opening of our of the pipes that my bride had ready to ship. Feel free to search on Youtube for other box openings from Aristocob. Many of them are listed as "YABO" for "Yet Another Box Opening". It's a Youtube thing.
We were excited to have eight great entries in the 2011 International Corn Cob Pipe Month video contest, and after a tough vote, which was decided by the entrants, we are proud to announce the winners, WINNERS, plural? Yep. This year we decided to award prizes to the top three entires, and everyone who posted a video won a Magnacob!
This year the top prize of a $50 gift certificate to www.aristocob.com, a Julie Nordine glass pipe tamper, a butane lighter replacement core for a Zippo and a custom beer stein. The top prize went to Jay, aka Dighsx, for this entry:
Second prize is a $30 gift certificate to www.aristocob.com and a custom coffee mug. Second place went to Brian, aka Cobunist, for this entry:
Third prize is a $30 gift certificate to www.aristocob.com and went to Harvey, aka Hjrosasq for this entry:
You can see all of the videos that were entered into this years contest in this Youtube playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL79E71CA79935D6E8p>
Tonight my son, his buddy, my bro-in-law and I took a little drive to Burlington, NC to attend what was promoted as a pipe smoking evening with JR's Corporate Trainer, Steve Nathan and Burlington's resident pipe and cigar expert, Rudy Baker.
As we all bellied up to the glass pipe counter Steve and Rudy covered several useful subjects including choosing the right pipe, packing and lighting and a very interesting discussion on choosing tobacco. The tobacco bar was then opened for sampling, and by the time our three hour session flew by we all purchased several tobaccos and no doubt there were pipes purchased as well.
As a cob smoker I was happy to hear that Steve and Rudy were cob-friendly, and Steve was smoking a Missouri Meerschaum Ozark Mountain pipe all night long. If I'm not mistaken it was the same one he was smoking during the cigar school last July.
My son's friend, Chris brought along a couple of his dad's pipes, but smoked his new MM Diplomat all night. It was the first time he's smoked a pipe and I can say that he is clearly a convert.
I hope that this is something that other shops jump on, because the young guys were like dry sponges anxious to learn all they could. If I had one bit of advise it would be to plan on total newbies in the crowd and teach to them. Those of us in the crowd who think we know everything can always learn from a review of the basics; and the newbies need to learn from the ground up.
Due to popular demand Missouri Meerschaum has just launched a new Natural line that is simply just corn cob, a wood stem and a plastic bit. (The Freehand has a vulcanite rubber bit) The retail prices are the same as the standard corn cob pipes due to the rare, extra large cobs that are needed to produce an all-cob bowl.
At this time we've decided to add the straight and bent versions of the General, and the Diplomat, as well as the Natural Freehand,
I shot video review video which you can view below. I've always been a fan of the classic Missouri Meerschaum smooth pipe, and the previous natural Missouri Pride was never my favorite. They're very light, very porous and rough, and in my limited experience with the Missouri Pride and Natural MacArthur, I believe that they'll be prone to burning through the walls if you smoke them too fast before they develop a good layer of char.
If you want to experience them please drop back by Aristocob.com and leave a review.
Watch the video below and make sure to get into the contest.
To quote John Belushi from Animal House: "It don't cost nothin'."
Here are the details:
During the month of November we'll be adding a FREE Aristocob pipe tamper as well as a FREE replacement bit with every Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipe purchased from http://www.aristocob.com There's no need to add these to your order, we'll add them to every order automatically.
We're also happy to announce that we're hosting another video contest! Light your favorite Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipe in front of some historic site in your town and tell us a little something about the site and about what you enjoy about smoking your corn cob pipes. Tell us stuff like where you like to smoke, what you like to smoke, and if you have a favorite cob smoking memory too that in too. Make sure to put the name Aristocob in your video title, and add the url of our site http:www.aristocob.com in your description. Once you've uploaded your video to Youtube link it to the video above to be entered in the contest. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about this process.
What can you win? How about a $50 shopping spree at Aristocob.com, a customized commemorative stein and some other SWAG to be named later?
I'll add another video later in the month explaining how the voting will take place, but this year the winner will be chosen by the people who enter a video! I've embedded a few of the past entries to give you an idea of what we're talking about.
Just a couple hints:
- Shorter is better. The most-watched videos on Youtube are under two minutes long! I know it's tough to rush a pipe smoker, but keep talking.
- Yes, you can spend days editing, but if you shoot your video several times odds are you'll get a good take that won't require much editing.
- Try not to script what you say too much. You may have noticed that videos that are scripted, or even worse, read just don't feel genuine. Again, take a look at the past entries for examples.
Don't forget to let me know that you've posted your video!
Here's some of the previous entries from 2009 and 2010:
Here's the 2010 winner:
During the month of November we'll be adding a FREE Aristocob pipe tamper as well as a FREE replacement bit with every Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipe purchased from Aristocob.com
Additionally we'd love to have you shoot a video of yourself smoking your Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipe in front of a historic location in your home town. Again, you can get more details on our blog, but if the idea of winning some pipes and some other SWAG sounds good to you, then get in on this!
I'll post a few more details shortly, but feel free to email any questions you have to email@example.com. Good luck! Scott
One of the most rewarding projects that Woodworkers have been making in the past ten years or so have been pens and other small, turned accessories. Once a woodworker gets the hang of tuning them from wood the next logical thing to try is acrylic. Companies who cater to Woodworkers have been stocking some very cool acrylic blanks that are roughly 3/4" x 3/4" x 6" for $7-$15 or so which could yield one to two pipe bits!
If you have any interest in giving this a try you should stop by your local Woodcraft store for an excellent selection of blanks. You'll be surprised that some of the very colors and patterns that you've seen for sale for up to $30 a bit are available at Woodcraft.
Here's a link to Acrylic Pen Blanks for making pipe bits
We finally sat down with my iPad and manually shipped a backlog of orders this morning, including the order from the caller. The iPad is very handy but the proprietary software that our site manager uses has quite a bit of Flash, and as you may have heard, Mr. Jobs didn't think we would want to use Flash on our Apple products!
So, while our nerd-son Seth goes to work running all the anti-malware programs that I tried this weekend to no avail I thought I'd send a shout-out to all the whacking idiots who have nothing better to do than hijack people's computers. I'd love to have a few minutes alone with you in my wood shop.
If you are oneof our customer's who is patiently waiting on your order I can assure you that if it wan't sent before it was shipped this morning. You'll know you are one of the luck ones if your box was hand addressed. Thanks for your patience. Scott
I've mentioned before that I find this size pipe a little small for my liking, and as I was staging this I decided to put the entire family into the picture.
The middle row starts with the Country Gentleman, the Patriot, the Diplomat. Let's skip the bottom pipes for a moment and head back to the top right row. First is the Great Dane Spool, follwed by the Great Dane Egg and finally the General.
Across the bottom from the left are the Freehand, the Smooth and Polished bent MacArthur and then the natural or "Neked" straight MacArthur.
There are a few more things to note:
- The bent Legend in the photo is one that I've been smoking for over ten years! It was once just as yellow as the straight one above it, but the "juice" from smoking has darkened it.
- Along the bottom are two natural, or "Neked" Diplomats. These are only available in small quantities in the Fall, as they require extra large cobs that are in very short supply. I included them here to show the range of color present in natural cobs.
As I mentioned, I'm in Texas this week, and there's something in the water that just makes a man feel more... Manly.
Something that someone said last night made be Google Davy Crockett, and MAN, did that dude have some huge balls!
One of the stories that was most impressive was that while he was running for re-election to Congress (yes, he was a US Congressman) he ran against the policies of the president; who just happened to be from his own party! When pushed to explain why he didn't stand in support of the president he said:
"I bark at no man's bid. I will never come and go, and fetch and carry, at the whistle of the great man in the White House no matter who he is."
The good news in that in his newest film, Larry Crowne, Tom Hanks is seen smoking a Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipe! The bad news is apparently very few people will see it.
How does that happen? True, Tom has had his fair share of hits and misses, but I mean, the trailers for this flic left me yawning. I did see a behind the scenes making of the film that made it look much more entertaining. Either way, if you like his pipe you can get one of your own at www.aristocob.com
I selected the Missouri Meerschaum Diplomat pipe because it is a popular size and shape, and because it has a hardwood plug in the bottom that was just screaming to be drilled-out.
The adhesive choice was a bit more scientific. I tried a couple mild adhesives thinking that the slight heat the passes through the bottom of the bowl would not be an issue. Wrong. While the bowl is somewhat warm to the touch, the adhesive wanted to liquify. I tried a couple acrylic adhesives knowing that they would be a bad choice due to their brittleness, and I was right. A couple drops on the concrete flow and the magnets broke free. I finally found the best solution in a high temp two-part epoxy.
I was so impressed by this solution that I rushed-out and purchased the URL www.Magnacob.com with the intention of producing the pipes in small quantities and offering them from our aristocob.com site. And then... nothing happened.
Between travel for business, my wife and daughter opening a brick and mortar business and just the fast pace of life, I never got around to launching my idea. Until the weekend of the four of July 2011. I found myself back in the shop and back in the exact same situation; but this time I had my Magnacob! I set it on my saw and made my cuts, and when I retrieved it several minutes later it was safe and still fully lit and ready for action. I decided then and there that the time had come to share this with you.
Currently the Magnacob is available in the Diplomat straight and bent shapes in the smooth, polished finish. This Fall I may consider a "Neked" version, if demanded by you.
Check it out at www.Magnacob.com, and check-out my embedded video on the same page. It's a little silly, but you'll get the point.
I received a great call this weekend asking if we would be able to put together a unique pair of pipes. This customer was interested in several different styles but at the same time was attracted to the extra discount that is applied to pairs. Just so you know we are happy to do this. We stack all our pipes in build and "pair" the pairs only as they are purchased. We offer the pairs in the first place because we had a lot of requests for them and heck, we aren't as dumb as I look. Anyway, we can't possible put o our site every imaginable combination, so here's what we'll do: If you want to purchase a pair of two identically priced pipes, just purchase a pair of them, and add a note to your order saying something like "Hey Scott and Jandy, please make this pair one bent Diplomat and one straight Great Dane Egg.". As long as the pair you request matches the price of the items in the pair you purchased we'll be happy to make this accommodation.
While we are on this subject, don't miss the fact that we have a discount structure for quantity purchases that begin with just six pipes. And the price break kicks-in even if you mis and match six pipes of different styles and price points! That means you could even purchase five of the Legends and one Freehand and save on all six. Hum mm. I should do the calculation on that one!
Just as I cut my cigar cap and lit her up I noticed the sign that I now describe in the following video.
I have to admit that I'm a little fascinated by QR codes. They are starting to pop-up everywhere and I can't seem to stop myself from scanning them.
For example, last weekend I was buying plants at our local Lowes and the nursery who supplies Lowes with the plants had a QR code on their display that linked directly to tips on selecting, planting and caring for the very plants that I was looking for. Because of this I learned that I needed to grad some lime while I was there to make sure that my tomato's roots don't rot. Very smart, especially if they also make lime.
My wife and daughter have a new children's clothing resale store and their first ad contained a small QR code that takes you directly to their info page on their website.
I suppose I better get over that compulsion because someone is bound to find a way to send me to a virus or brainwashing center with me as a co-conspirator!
Anyway, not to be outdone I've taken a stab at creating a QR code myself. It's nothing special, but if your phone has a scanner app give it a try.
10 pipe smoking questions
On May 26th, 2011 TheWanderingRecluse uploaded an interesting video on Youtube where he presented a list of 10 questions for pipe smokers. Here's my response:
1.) What is your biggest pipe smoking pet-peeve (or if you don't have one, just name a pet peeve)?
A: Never enough Time to enjoy smoking.
2.) What is the most memorable pipe smoking experience (good or bad) you've ever had?
A: Smoking a bowl with my Father-in-Law, and later with my adult son.
3.) Do you consider pipe smoking a relatively unknown sub-culture at the present? If so, why did it become "underground"?
A: Not in my little corner of the world. We've sold thousands of corn cob pipes in the past few years, and I'm sure that # is a drop in the bucket of overall pipe sales.
4.) Do you think the YouTube pipe community will eventually make pipe smoking more mainstream?
A: Since the vast majority of our sales were spurred by YT, I'd have to say yes.
5.) If you could only take one pipe with you on an island, along with one tobacco, what would they be?
A: Will I be working or relaxing on said island?
-If I'm chill axing it would be my Missouri Meerschaum Freehand.
-If I'm working it would be a MM Diplomat.
-I would be smoking Two Friends "Heritage".
6.) Describe the perfect pipe smoking setting.
A: Late at night in a cool, dark cabin. In a comfy chair, by a fire that's mostly glowing embers and a small log or two. Several close friends and my bride are near by in deep, contemplative conversation.
7.) What's the one piece of advice you'd give to a new pipe smoker?
A: Ignore most of the advice you'll hear, including mine. THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDIN'. If YOU like or hate a certain tobacco, why would my opinion about it matter? Buy 1-2oz samples of lots of tobaccos and blends.
8.) How do you feel pipe smokers are viewed by the public (non-pipe smokers)?
A: Show me ten people and I'll show you 14 opinions! In the end, I don't care as long as they understand that it's my right to smoke as I do; which is mostly in private.
9.) What is the biggest misconception about pipe smoking (in your opinion)?
A: That we inhale, and that it's equivalent to smoking cigarettes.
10.) Morning smoker, afternoon smoker or evening smoker?
A: I rarely smoke in the AM or afternoon, so I guess that makes me an evening smoker.
So now it's your turn. Do me a favor and send me a note or respond to my vid if you post your answers somewhere. Scott
SodaStream is a counter-top "pop" maker (I'm from Ohio), and based on my super-human pop consumption it made sense to me that an in-home soda maker was my "density" :-) . The winner of the contest would win one of their top of the line units, while a couple runners up would win one of the mid-priced units. I figured that even if I was a runner up I would walk away with over $100 in prizes, so why no?
It took a few evenings to write my Instructable and I entered the contest. Here's the OREO Cake-Pie Instructable. Long story short I am now the proud owner of a SodaStream Home Soda Maker!
The unit is self-contained and best of all it's not electric; so it's just about the only think on the kitchen counter that's not hogging an outlet! At its core is a proprietary CO2 canister, which had me a little concerned because the last thing I need is to be locked into an expensive consumable. Fortunately I found these for sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond and was also pleased to learn that the $30 price sticker (!) included a $15 deposit, so that, added to the cost of flavors would make the resulting 1 liter less than .50 cents.
My wife's favorite thing is that for the first time in who knows how many years, the kitchen, fridge and cars aren't overflowing with 2 liter bottles! As for me I like that we aren't hauling all those full bottles in and empty bottles out, and best of all the pop is always fresh!
Here are a few shots of the unit in action.
The top pic shows most of what was included in the kit. The larger bottles were purchased locally and from what I can see from the SodaStream website the unit shown normally comes with one each of the sample packs shown. The unit also came with two heavy 1 liter bottles, which have a nice wide mouth that makes adding the flavors a breeze.
The prize I won included two sets of the sample flavors, so we've been having fun trying them all out. I've enjoyed the diet drinks, including a cola, a Dr. Pepper taste-alike, a wonderful lemon-lime flavor that is probably closer to Sprite than 7UP.
My bride raved about the diet root beer, which like the caffeine-free cola is sodium free. We haven't tapped into the fruit flavoring yet, but one surprising thing we read on the package was that it doesn't require a large amount to flavor water. That'll be nice for when I'm not in a cola mood.
To use the SodaStream you first fill the bottle to the fill line with cold tap water. I originally thought that I would have to break-out the Brita filter, but I'm happy that I tried it straight from the tap first, because it's just fine.
Anyway, you fill the bottle then screw it onto the female threads on the unit. You'll notice in the top photo that there's a short white tube that dangles a short distance into the water. This is where the CO2 is propelled into the water.
It takes a few short bursts of gas to fully charge the water, and you know when it's done when the unit makes a funny buzzing sound as you press the button. The sticker on the unit says that three buzzes will give you the typical fizz, but for the caffeine-free cola I just need a little more fizz, so I've been giving it a few more shots.
One neat feature that I didn't notice at first (no, I didn't read the instructions) was that the threads that hold the bottle in place will allow the bottom the the bottle to swing forward while it's attached to the unit. "Cool" I thought, "That'll make it easier to remove". But the first time I used it I was surprised by the "WOOSH" of gas that was released when I swung it forward. Why didn't I know that before? All the previous batches I made released a rush of CO2 as I twisted them off the unit, and in some cases it gave me an unexpected spritz of mist. Now that I know how to use it I'm able to remove the bottles and stay dry too!
The bottom pic shows the unit in action.
Here's a link to the SodaStream site.
Here's a link to SodaStream items on eBay.
Here's the Cake-Pie video
For those of you civilians (non-web-geeks) who are here just for the woodworking and tool advice; God bless you! Unfortunately we have been besieged in recent weeks with outrageous amounts of spam comments on our blogs. One of the things that I’ll admit up front is that Blogger makes is a little tough to comment as it is. You need to first click on the title (which is a link) to get to the individual post, and then you are able to post a comment. Apparently webmasters and bloggers who are looking to boost traffic to their sites are using software such as “Comment Kahuna” and “Fast Blog Finder” to locate blogs that are somewhat related to the keywords they use on their own site, and which accept comments. From there they post a comment and a backlink to their site.
This does two things:
1. It may attract readers directly from the blog, or
2. By having a non-reciprocal link from another, well respected site, it lends credibility to their own site in the eyes of search engines like Google. This is what is known as SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
What is sad is that this activity doesn’t have to be entirely one-sided; it’s just that the spammers are posting nonsensical and off topic comments all in the effort to serve their own desires. Look, to be honest with you I’ve posted comments on other sites with this very goal in mind, but when I do so I only reply to a post or thread that I am truly interested in, or where I feel my comment will add some value to the conversation.
So, let it be known from this day forward that while I will continue to accept and even encourage comments, I will moderate them carefully. Feel free to backlink to your related sites and blogs, but if your comment is entirely self-serving it will be deleted.
Now, back to the shop. What are you building these days?