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Post NASPC show report

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Puff The Magic, Aug 29, 2010.

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  1. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    Friday night, the Ramada had messages posted in strategic locations (nearly everywhere) of all of the rooms that were having a "pre-show" sale, trade, meet & greet. So I quickly wrote down all of the room numbers and like the madman I iz, I scurried to every one of them I could find (all of them) and met the maker/vendor and gazed at all of their wares. Some had toby out (mostly lightly to moderately vintaged stuff, SG Sq Ldr from 2007, etc). I picked up 4 tins of various 'baccy (Sq Ldr, Hermit - 2 English Atmosphere & Capt Earle's Private Stock which are also tinned by C&D, and a Balkan Sas), prices were very reasonable. Sq Ldr for $11, Hermits for $10 ea, the Balkan Sas was $6. No complaints. Did not purchase any pipes. Although they did look awesome, some pulled at the heart strings, but not strong enough to reach the strings holding my wallet in my back pocket.

    Saturday when the show opened, I went to the NASPC table and purchased the 2 tin limit of their toby that was tinned specifically for the show. $13/tin.

    Then, I hit the tables! Did it methodically, went around the room then to each row, circling each row. Many tables also had vintage tins of toby and I started picking up tins as I went along. As I continued on, I realized I'm gonna need a bag for all of my tins......so luckily, my next purchase (Hermit toby) gave me a bag to stash my tins. Finally met Tim West in person and "shot the bull" with him. Tim is a wonderfully nice guy. Gonna have to give him a call someday soon. As I was nearing the halfway point I got a call from Ivycap and we met up and then went our separate ways (in the show) since both of us had our own methods to "seeing it all" and were already well into our own progress. Then Soundlzrd called and we eventually got it together. All in all, there were a bunch of pipes that were just plain gorgeous or fancy beyond all getout but I wasn't even interested.......no Tinsky's except one that I saw (a Featherweight) which had a very reasonable $75 price tag, but I wasn't crazy about the shape but could live with the color. Nope, I didn't get her. She was still there at the closing as well. I didn't even make an offer.......I didn't want her. As time went by, my bag of toby was getting full! Probably 30 tins and a 1 lb bulk vacuum sealed block of Hermit (C&D) Private Stock (nice 1 lb block that's scored right down the middle.......lets me know where to sink my teeth into it so I can bite off a chunk a little easier. Also picked up a bunch of tins from Just For Him (who also had the Middle Earth and a Blueberry "sampler" packages), C&D, McCranie's, and some pipe vendors who were unloading some of the toby they had too much of or just got tired of smoking that particular blend. There was an 8oz bag of Stonehaven for $40! No, I did not get it. Wasn't even tempted. Not at $40. On ebay, it'd have sold with a BIN of that much within minutes I'd imagine. Overall, for my first show, I'm not regretting going at all. The best part of the show was when the PSF members all snagged a table out on the patio and fired up a bowl and shot the shat. A great time and we talked about meeting up at Boswell's pipe shop someday....will have to go. Always wanted to but never made it.

    After the show & bowl (with PSF members) I went back to my room and crashed. Nappy time! When I went to supper, many of the vendors were all sitting at a large "put together" table and enjoying their meal. I could hear them talking about the impending taxes and laws that are already in effect or recent ones and they did not sound pleased. They sounded threatened with their livelyhood. With toby pricing expected to go through the roof with the direction the Fed is taking things, folks won't be able to sell the amount of toby they currently are and they were reasoning that pipe sales would again have another "ebb" (as in "ebb & flow") and sales plummet. May happen......time will tell.

    ~4 lbs of toby bagged for puff (30-ish tins, 50gm size, a few were 100gm, and a 1 lb block of pressed Krumble Kake (C&D/Hermit Private Stock) makes it ~4+ lbs. Not bad for being completely surrounded by pipes and leaving with nothing but toby and a couple of trinkets (pipe stand and tool). I was pleased.

    Here's my "Pros & Cons" of the show:

    Pros:

    Very large number of "collector style" pipes. Most number I'd ever seen inperson. COOL!

    Light to moderately vintage toby at a very reasonable price up for the grabs. COOL!

    Great atmosphere of pipers and a few ladies too! (Sally "The Pipe Tart" had really nice cookies!) COOL!

    No Tax, No Shipping & Handling, Discounted Prices, COOL X 3!


    Cons:

    Distance I traveled to get there and back. ~450mi x2, Killed 2 days-ish of just driving. Sort of NOT COOL. But smoking my meer made it tolerable-enjoyable.

    Room expense & meals, gotta sleep, shower, and eat. Could have spent the money on more toby or Tinskys! and sat in my living room while doing so. :whistle:

    A THIEF at the show, Phil reported a vendor got ripped off (a pipe was missing). NOT COOL!

    Pipe Pigs! Yes, you read that right, fellow pipers who leave their wet n'nasty pipe cleaners laying right on the table when there were ashtrays at each smoking table no more than 2 feet from their dirty cleaner (noticed this both Fri & Sat nights). Leaving their trash on the table, empty bottles, cups, empty matchboxes, empty tins, baggies all on the tables they were enjoying their smoke and fellowship when the trashcan was on the way back into the motel no more than 10 yards away! What a bunch of PIGS! NOT COOL AT ALL! Doing crap like that is disgusting and extremely PigHeaded. It's GROSS. Totally NOT COOL! Helps "non-smokers" to formulate a negative attitude towards pipers or confirm an already negative one towards smokers in general.

    Bottom line:

    Going to shows are not a definite at this time. No definite plans to return but I will probably meet up with some fellow PSF members at Boswells in the future though. Or just go myself when convenieng (~90-100 miles NNW from me).

    No desire to go to Chicago, Kansas, Las Vegas, BUT may drop down to Richmond..........still up in the air about it but am leaning towards putting the gas/hotel/food money towards more toby or Tinskys......I do have my priorities! :beerhat:

    All in all, I had a very enjoyable time. I usually do as long as I have my pipe, toby, and fire!

    Recommendation(s): If you've never been to one, GO! At least to one. As I understand it, Chicago is the "Mother of ALL" followed by Richmond. I'd imagine that local blenders would also make a presence at their own hometown show or ones that are close by.

    :velho:
    Ed Puff!
    cogito ergo puff
     
  2. soundlzrd

    soundlzrd Active Member

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    I agree with the above. Will go back more for the people than the prices. Also agree about the pigs. that was sad.
     
  3. Joew

    Joew Member

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    Great report Thanks for taking the time to share your trip :whistle:
     
  4. caleb442

    caleb442 Member

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    Yep. It was a lot of fun! Walked away with 7 free tins of baccy. That was worth the 2 hour drive. Smokingpipes.com had a nice setup. Very nice people as were most that I encountered. I was kind of hoping that there would be better deals on pipes, but its probably better that I wasn't too tempted. All in all, it was a good time.
     
  5. jmiket91

    jmiket91 Member

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    It really is sad that people wouldn't take the time to clean up after themselves. That can make or break an event.
     
  6. tsgourley

    tsgourley Member

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    I have to say I'm shocked you didn't leave with a handful of pipes along with your various tobacco purchases. I admire your self control, sir! As a fan of the convention scene (having attended and even spoke at various industry-related conventions and attending conventions for hobbies past) I look forward to checking out at least one show in the future.

    People not cleaning up after themselves is a real bummer. I mean, pipe smokers are supposed to be the educated, classy gentlemen among men, and this behavior from a few makes us all look like common litterbugs.
     
  7. thomas

    thomas Member

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    Sounds like it's only really worth it if you have a lot of money to burn while you're there! Great input and first hand experience though!

    Thanks for sharing,

    -Thomas
     
  8. Rugbysh9

    Rugbysh9 Active Member

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    I'm going to playt devil's advocate even though I think there is no excuse for a lack of manners (cept when rippin' on good ole' Sas).

    People must have been so overwhelmed that they could hang out and smoke with fellow pipesters that they forgot that they are ambassadors for our dwindling hobby. Had I been there (if I could have gotten Dub to drive :beerhat:) and saw people doing this, you bet ur a$$ I would have said something...
     
  9. Longrifle3006

    Longrifle3006 Member

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    I didn't personally witness this, but it's inexcusable behavior IMHO. We all should be mindful that each of us is an ambassador of our hobby, and we surely need more friends and fewer enemies....
     
  10. jmiket91

    jmiket91 Member

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    In all honesty, though, I see where you're coming from. Everyone's been in situations where they've been so excited, they quit focusing on the small stuff. Maybe the even planners should have constructed a way to remind people to clean up after themselves, so at least it would have been a slight concern in the back of everyone's mind.

    Personally, I'd love to have the experience to go to one of these shows. Puff's review didn't turn me off at all. Hopefully I'll get the opportunity to attended in the future.
     
  11. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    I strongly urge anyone who has never been to one, GO! Find one that's local to you or "can happen" with some of your effort/time/cash. It's pure fun for a piper but set your limits, allow yourself to be reasonable in establishing these limits and try your best to stick to them.

    I started with the intent that I wasn't gonna bring home a new pipe. I wasn't looking to purchase pipes. I went to take it all in. First timer experience. I went to see if there was any toby I wanted or wanted more of and if the price was right? Then get it! I then decided, hey, I traveled ~1k mi w/2 nights in a hotel/motel (at the location so it would be "easiest" on me) so "IF" I saw a pipe that screamed "take me home", and the price was right, then I'd get just one. Well, I didn't see anything that pulled my cord so on my second round of the tables, I allowed myself to get some different toby from what I'd gotten the first go 'round.

    Whether you go to more, that's your decision. But to never have gone to any during your piping lifetime is sort of a crime in a way. I find myself enjoying the best smokes when I'm just sitting on my deck, enjoying the weather (when it's not too hot/cold/windy/rainy), with my bowl going and a nice drink at my side. I consider it two different things completely. The show is excitement, opportunity, in some cases......a museum display that you can own a piece(s) of. I found that to be totally different from enjoying a bowl. That, is relaxing and mediting, mind "easing". Now if they'd allowed us to smoke in the show, I'd probably have smoked things way too hot or at least hotter than I prefer. Bottom Line: I felt very gratified going and will probably go to another in the future but for now, #2 is up in the air along with the smoke from my last bowl.

    :peep:
    Ed Puff!
    cogito ergo puff
     
  12. t-bear

    t-bear Well-Known Member

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    You really need to consider the St. Louis pipe show in Feb. It's a smaller show than its Big Brothers, but the show is well organized, folks are the most courteous I've met, and YOU CAN SMOKE ON THE SHOW FLOOR! I've attended five, two as a gawker and three as a seller. Every one was a wonderful experience, meeting the blenders and carvers, and seeing so many good friends that I've found through the shows. The first one can be overwhelming, but after that, it's all fun.
     
  13. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the report Puff. I plan to go to Chicago next year and maybe St. Louis the year after.
     
  14. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Active Member

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    so, where were all these tables on Sat?
     
  15. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    BullW, they were in the "courtyard" (4 large round) and at poolside (outdoor pool). No one was at the poolside area whenever I walked by (to soak in the jacuzzi). They were all in the courtyard. The weather was great! But the breeze was just a slight bit more than I'd prefer, but ya can't order them things ahead of time.......

    :whistle:
    Ed Puff!
    cogito ergo puff
     
  16. daveinlax

    daveinlax Member

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    Solid report, thanks! :bling:
     
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