The Mill
April 30, 2017;
    It's not too early, I hope, to forego any
attempt at making prose sense here and
simply announcing that the annual
collector's show in St. Charles, IL is
coming up next week and I'll be there,
which means,  for those of you
challenged by Aristotelian logic, that I
will not be here.  
  Thus, starting, say
make that Tuesday, please hesitate to
contact me and wait until Monday night,
May 8th before e-mailing.  If you don't
telephone ever, that'll be soon enough
for me.  God that loud, ringing sound is
harsh and few things do more to ruin a
good nap than a phone call.  
  In fact, as I type this, it occurs to me
that not all the bad technology is new
technology.  Upon further reflection, it's
probably safer to retreat to the position
that it's not the technology, but rather
how it is used.  We had a phone in our
home even as I was growing up inthe
40's & 50's, yet nobody cursed that
instrument.  Why?  Because there
weren't, for the most part, batteries of
people calling you up every 5 minutes
with a solicitation.  It would have cost
too much to pay that many tele-marketers.
One could rely on a nap working itself to
its proper conclusion.  Not today.  Today,
even your own wife, who generally does
not wish you ill, will, from the middle of
nowhere, place a call home to see what
you are doing regarding the dinner she
expects to be on the table when she
comes home from work.  No need for her
to stop and find a phone booth, is there?
  Does anybody out there need a PhD
thesis idea?  I may have just come up
with see if all this
innerconnectedness has ramped up the
irritation and anger quotient to the point
that violence & rage is increased.  That is
not an insane thought, is it?  Give people
some room to breathe and they also have
room to calm down.  Crowd them with
phone calls, e-mails, tweets and instant
messages and pretty soon the wires (that
term is used so that you will not be
overwhelmed by the use of technological,
neurological terms that you do not
understand) are overloaded and
overheated (and again, you are spared
the more precise description.  You're
  Of course, a population of over 8
billion doesn't help, especially when 1/2
of them are on the road, your road, at the
same time.  That is when it is wise to
have a pipe in your pocket, some good
tobacco in your glove compartment and
a tamper and matches in your drink
holder.  Gridlock?  Screw it.  Fill that
pipe, light it, puff a bit and feel that
blood pressure subsiding while the guy
or woman in the adjoining vehicle is
about to pop-off, while, at the same time,
smugly imagining that they are acting in
a healthier manner than you because
they are not smoking.  And if that's the
case, how come the traffic delay has
them frowning and thoroughly pissed off
while that smile of satisfaction curls your
lips upward?  Little do they know, huh?
  So, come to Chicago (the show is in St.
Charles, as I said, but we all say
"Chicago") with the intent of getting just
one more pipe, the one for your car.  
That's a sane justification, isn't it?
  See you there.

P.S.  Most recent posts include a
stunning, large Tsuge briar Calabash
shape, and a handsome black, bent
Tsuge sandblast,
both on the Misc. page.
Another beautiful sandblast is a Lasse
Skovgaard ring grain Shell.  Terrific.  
Also, a smoked Bang and a smooth,
unsmoked Skovgaard.  Plus, a
Balleby on the Danish page, a Jody Davis
on the U.S. page and another Ingo Garbe
on the German page.
 Hear, hear.  

Pease Southlinch from 2002 NASPC show. $90
Friedman & Pease Winter's Tale.  $100
Balkan Sobranie Virginia # 10 50 grams. 4 tins.  
$290 each.  
New Tins arrived, including
Mephisto, Blackpoint, Abingdon, and a bunch of
others from 2003 and starting @ $40 a tin.

More old, collectible tins from the 1990's:

McClelland Mixture #1 (2000?) 100 grams. $50
McClelland Virginia Woods. 1997. 100 grams. $50
Ashton 1997 Old Church 4 oz., $125
Ashton 1997 Celebrated Sovereign 4 oz., $100
Esoterica Pembroke...2 oz., 56 grams. $80
Davidoff Royalty 50 grams. $30
Davidoff Danish 50 grams. $25
Dunhill Nightcap from Lane Ltd. 50 grams. $85
Dunhill Std. Mixture Mile from Lane 50 grams. $65
Butera Matured Ribbon 1996 & '97 50 grams. $50
Benjamin Hartwell Pvt. Reserve 50 grams from
Consolidated Cigar (thus from mid '90's) $30
Quotes & anecdotes from "The Portable Curmudgeon"

The earth has a skin and that skin has diseases; one of its
diseases is called man.    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Man is a puny, slow, awkward, unarmed animal.
Jacob Bronowski

I love mankind.  It's people I can't stand.  Charles Schulz

To succeed in the world, it is not enough to be stupid, you
must also be well mannered.   Voltaire.

Manners are especially the need of the plain.  The pretty can get away
with anything.                                   Evelyn Waugh

He marries best who puts it off until it is too late.  H.L. Mencken

All tragedies are finished by death.  All comedies are ended by a
marriage.                                               Lord Byron

When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most
insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are
required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal and
exhausting condition until death do them part.   George Bernard Shaw

A ceremony in which rings are put on the finger of the lady and through
the nose of the gentleman.                Herbert Spencer

A friendship recognized by the police.    Robert Louis Stevenson

The dread of loneliness is greater than the fear of bondage, so we get
married.       Cyril Connolly

I got married the second time in the way that, when a murder is
committed, crackpots turn up at the police station to confess the
crime.                                 Delmore Schwartz

It is often pleasant to stone a martyr, no matter how mch we admire
him.                                     John Barth

There is a certain impertinence in allowing oneself to be burned for an
opinion.                               Anatole France

Women want mediocre men, and men are working hard to become as
mediocre as possible.                           Margaret Mead

The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics
and women are idiots.                          Rebecca West

When an opera star sings her head off, she usually improves her
appearance.                                            Victor Borge

If you leave the smallest corner of your head vacant for a moment,
other people's opinions will rush in from all quarters.
George Bernard Shaw

The amount of noise which anyone can bear undisturbed stands in
inverse proportion to his mental capacity.
Arthur Schopenhauer

I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend
in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.   G.B. Shaw

Assassins!      Arturo Toscanini to his orchestra.  

Many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the
whole girl.                                                                       Stephen Leacock

Many a man has fallen love with a girl in a light so dim he would not
have chosen a suit by it.                                         Maurice Chevalier

Nature is a hanging judge.                            Anonymous

The murals in restaurants are on a par with the food in museums.
Peter DeVries

A mother-in-law dies only when another devil is needed in hell.
Francois Rabelais

Getting out of bed in the morning is an act of false confidence.
Jules Feiffer

On Marilyn Monroe: She was good at playing abstract confusion in the
same way a midget is good at being short.    Clive James

Morality is a disease which progresses in three stages:
virtue--boredom--syphilis.                                    Karl Kraus
This photo was taken only days before my beloved San Francisco
store, Sherlock's Haven,  was closed for good in June of '06, thereby
diminishing the quality of life on this planet no little and quite some.  
The man to my right was my trusty pipe tobacco and cigar taste-tester,
Johnson, of the sensitive palate.  He is now  plying his trade in
Phoenix.  The tall gent behind him is Jimmy Walker, hand picked to be
my successor until lease negotiations broke down.  The hoodlum
looking character to my left is my good friend and Consigliere, Steve
Brunner.  Among the regulars are a number who are still friends and
with whom I have regular intercourse.  There has never been a more
congenial spot than Sherlock's Haven, the Camelot of tobacco stores.  
As its proprietor is how I'd like to be remembered.
I wanted to caption this photo, "I knew more about pipes when I was
seven than you know now," but my P.R. firm nixed that idea.  So, let's
try, "With the pristine palate that accompanies youth, Marty smokes a
blend without a full complement of Latakia for the first time in his life."
I don't actually know what was going through my mind at the time, but
the photo was taken circa 1950, and probably in Williamsburg, Virginia.
(And no, I did not actually smoke a pipe until I was 18 years old, really.)
Shortly after my mother met my wife, she told Joy that all it took to
keep me happy in the back seat of our 1938 LaSalle during our annual
one week vacations was a pipe in my mouth and a cap on my head.  
Joy responded with the fact that nothing has changed except that now
I'm in the front seat.  
Above is my sister, with whom I contentiously shared that large back
seat, and my father.  The sweater was knitted by my Aunt Rae.  The
site was most probably Niagara Falls and the year 1949.  I'm guessing.
Welcome to Pulvers Briar
This website is devoted to pipes and my enjoyment of talking
about and showing them.  For your part, I hope you derive some
pleasure in seeing and reading about briar and meerschaum
There are plenty of pipe websites and lots of good pipes other
than mine.  What will distinguish my site from most of the others
is the willingness to voice my  opinion in the relatively rare
occurrence when a pipe is not superior, or has a noticeable flaw.
Mostly, I'm pleased with the pipes I choose to offer for sale, both
in pipe quality and price.  But please, look and decide for
You will see new and used pipes for sale, the new often having
been hand picked and the used always having been cleaned
and reconditioned and ready for you to smoke upon arrival.  
Please enjoy your time spent here today, and please come back
I'm almost always happy to hear from you and to field your
questions, concerns, ideas or other input.
Feel free to write.
Marty Pulvers
Pulvers' Prior Briar
P.O. Box 61146
Palo Alto, CA  94306

(650) 965-7403