The Corn Cob Pipe

The Country Gentlemen

This post comes because of a combination of a few things.

  1. With my wife gone, I took on a new hobby of smoking cigars on my balcony. It is relaxing, non-life threatening, and fun to do while reading.
  2. Lord of the Rings is my favorite book, and they smoke a lot in that story.
  3. Apparently a lot of people smoke pipes while hiking the Appalachian Trail

So, although I hate cigarettes and the thought of inhaling smoke feels stupid, I thought I’d check out what smoking a pipe could be like. My grandfather smoked a pipe his whole life, and if nothing else it may be fun to have while hiking the San Gorgonio wilderness with the Puchtels this February. I don’t anticipate a big habit here, but I did get a Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob pipe as a gift from Secret Santa at work, and now I have an excuse to learn more.

So first things first … How the hell do you smoke a pipe? Do you inhale? Do you use filters? Do you have to keep lighting or just light once? How much tobacco do you put in? What type of tobacco do you put in? Is there a right and wrong way to smoke a pipe? So many questions!

Here’s the funny thing, there is a ridiculous cult following of the Corn Cob pipe. I stumbled upon Pipedia: A Wiki for Pipes, which is apparently the encyclopedia of pipe smoking. There are people with way too much knowledge on this and way too much time on their hands. A little light reading over the next few weeks, and maybe I’ll have a fun addition to my camping trips. Or, maybe I’ll have a new paperweight.

Spanish “Soup” and PIPA Longstocking

SOPA and PIPA.  Shame on you.  Shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame on you!

As long as the rest of my favorite sites are showing their support, Hello Neiman will do the same.  If xkcd can do it, Hello Neiman can do it.  If Google can do it, Hello Neiman can do it.  And if Wikipedia can do it, you better damn well believe Hello Neiman will do it!  I wrote letters in protest to Congressman Ellison, Senator Klobuchar and Senator Franken.  However, since Stuart Smalley wouldn’t even respond to my numerous emails 2 years ago about having lunch with a couple of his constituents working in D.C. – I don’t anticipate hearing much back from him.  The man is good enough and smart enough, and gosh darn it people like him – but he don’t like no Hello Neiman!

I urge everyone to share your feelings with your representatives as well.  To quote my “colorful” sister Mirra, “writing about it on Facebook but failing to sign or call won’t do much.”  You are correct Mirra Beth.  And for those of you saying to yourself, “Self, I want to express my concern but don’t know how to do it!”  Fear not HelloNeiman faithful, we have some wonderful links below for quick ways to act.

Hello Future? It’s Samsung … umm, we’re here.

Ever since Samsung showcased their new Transparent Smart Window at CES last week, its been pretty much the biggest talk of the gadget town.  I’m having trouble understanding exactly all the details, but if what I read is correct … this is an ACTUAL transparent window which turns into a touchscreen LCD panel for use.  The video above makes it look like just a picture of the outside, but according to the 1:08 mark in the video, “this is completely transparent” and that actually is the outside looking in.

Consider.  My.  Mind.  Blown.

Ok, so lets recap if it meets my list of characteristics for a must-have gadget.  Does it add a cool tech-flavor to a common household item?  Check.  Is it integrated with social media and app support?  Check.  Will my neighbors be able to look through my window and be instantly jealous of me using it … CHECK!!

There were rumors that the iPad3 may use a transparent LCD, but it looks like Samsung stole the show first.  As Gizmodo claims, this is “actually a TFT LCD panel with the ability to go fully transparent, like any other pane”.  Oh, and did I mention it is only visible from the inside and also partially solar powered?  Yes, the future is here friends and it looks a lot like Ben Affleck reverse engineering ALife.  I guess the only question that remains is how many will Danny buy as “business expenses” for BigTymeTickets?

LEGO Lord of the Rings Coming Soon

Coming Summer 2012.  Coming Summer 2012?!  Since when do Toys have teasers?! Leave it to LEGO to toy with childish adults like me.  Lets do the math shall we?

  1. Pretty much anything with any connection to Lord of the Rings is worth more than gold to a Neiman
  2. Most Neiman’s live in Minnesota
  3. Target is based in Minnesota
  4. LEGO is Target’s highest selling boys toy brand of all time
Buy stock in LEGO and Big Red people, we may buy out inventory across the state. Oh, and guess what Jonah, Caleb, and even Zachary … your birthday and Hanukkah presents for the next 5 years are pretty much set.  I hope you don’t mind if your Uncle Neiman, Aunt Mirra, and Pops plays with them first.
Update: Turns out this is a video game similar to Batman, Harry Potter, and Star Wars. Looks like I can dust off the Wii again.  Maybe the game will do so well they update their line of toys?

The 2012 HelloNeiman! Challenge

Let’s be honest friends, 2011 was not a good year for Hello Neiman.  What started out in 2010 as a blog to flex my creative mind, express my ongoing obsession frustration with LOST, review movies and gadgets, and just get my thoughts out to the world … sort of came to a premature end.

Starting in Spring 2010, I was posting daily for 100 days, then almost daily for another 100 … then weekly for a while … then a once-a-quarter about trying to get back on track.  And although you didn’t know it, the site’s server was actually down for most of 2011.  I was unable to upload pictures or videos, and thus lacked the desire to simply post text.

HOWEVER.  The blog has recently been fixed (thank you Craig!) and my new years resolution for 2012 is to get back on track.  I have a lot going on in life and feel its time to share it.  I hope to keep this up and share my thoughts on movies, books, gadgets, school, work, life and more.  If you are very bored or happen to be related/dating me, I hope you remain a regular  reader.

Things to look forward to:

  • eBook and Movie reviews
  • FiveDollarLiving coupons and suggestions
  • Gizmos and Gadget Announcements (and likely iPhone complaining)
  • Additions to other great categories from the past

Blog on!

Blog-Spam, Worse than Hormel’s Canned

I hate the spam that you get on your blog comments, it seems whatever you do they just always seem to find a way in.  The below comment was made yesterday to a post I wrote OVER A YEAR AGO.  Somehow the geniuses behind annoying spam-mail have found a way to annoy me in yet another outlet.  The funny thing is that this one has some funny logarithm built in to take key words from my post, match them to key sentences (badly written and translated, I might add) from some database of spam language.  It’s awful how much they try to make their comment just relevant enough that you’ll click on their link, but a bit funny to read and get a laugh.  Damn you blog-spam comments for being annoying yet humorous…

“I’ve had my Pre due to the fact shortly soon after launch and am glad to locate (by way of this forum) that I can now set a ring tone on incoming text messages and can research through e-mails and this kind of. Now is there any hope for an upcoming release by which I can look for my calendar? Would make my work a lot simpler, discovering dates of final appointments.  No other complaints, except that yesterday I used to be in and out of Sprint assistance (not unusual). I think I used to be roaming, and looked at my calendar. Almost everything within the calendar was just one hour earlier than what I had input. The clock was just one hour early as well. I was scared to death–then, once we got back into Sprint service yet again, everything was normalized. Has this happened to anybody else?? Seeking forward to answers, but please keep in mind, I’m no techie and speak English as opposed to technospeak.”

MN Street Rod Association vs. MN RX-8 Club

vroom vroom

Did you know Minnesota had a Street Rod Association?  Did you know its at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds this weekend?  Do you even know what a Street Rod is?  If you answered “no” to all those questions, then you are like me … which is why you should join me by going to the Fair tonight to check out the “Back to the 50’s” Hot Rod cars on display.  I have to admit, its probably the greatest event I never knew existed.  Over 11,000 cars to drool over, pine over, and even auction over.  Yep, you could take one home.  I’ll be driving my vintage 2007 RX-8 to the show, and who knows, maybe I’ll come home with a 1932 Model A.  Stranger things have happened.

However, if I stick with the 8, then that’s all good too.  Tomorrow is the annual gathering of the Minnesota RX-8 Enthusiasts in SLP.  I’m not obsessed with cars by any means, but I love a good gathering of metal and rubber and think this weekend will be a hit.  Not too bad a way to spend a weekend in MN.