Pulvers' Prior Briar
P.O. Box 85
Los Altos, CA  94023

The photo depicts one of the final days of the Camelot of
tobacco shops, my own Sherlock's Haven.  To my immediate
left is both good friend and my professional consigliere, Steve
Brunner.  To my immediate right is one of the great tobacco
palates, relieving me of the chore of tasting and rating each
pipe tobacco and cigar, Johnson Tacalon.  And the tall guy
behind him was the store Mgr. and current close friend, Jim
Walker.  We're surrounded by good guys and true.  
I wanted to caption this "I knew more about pipes and tobacco
when I was 7 than you do now," but my PR dep't. said that
would be a bad idea.  Looks like old curmudgeons start as
young curmudgeons, doesn't it?  Years ago, my mother told my
then newish wife that when I was a kid, all they had to do to
keep me quiet was put a hat on my head, a corn cob in my
mouth and shove me in the back seat of the car.  My wife
replied, "nothing's changed, except he's now in the front seat."
          The Mill

Jan. 17, 2020;  
Let's talk sports.  Yes, just that one short
sentence will cost me the attention of half of
you.  But, if I said "let's talk politics" that would
also cost me 1/2 of you and that half would
never come back, so sports it is.  And if you
were looking for titillation, you might still be well
served 'cause this could bleed into politically
incorrect territory.  
A couple of days ago a new agreement between
the WNBA management (professional women's
basketball league) and its players was
announced.  It provides for greatly increased
wages and benefits for the players, which they
no doubt deserve.  They have, by almost any
standard, received terrible pay and were subject
to poor working and living conditions.  To
receive a living wage, many of them had to
spend their off season, when the body should
be healing for the next season's marathon, by
playing in Europe or Asia.  I don't think anyone
objects to them getting a better deal than the
one they had (which, frankly, had me wondering
why a college graduate would work so hard for
so little pay in front of so few patrons.  And
there lies the rub).
To set the tone of where this is going, is there
anyone out there who has any idea which
women's professional team won their league
championship last year?  No, I didn't think so.
The issue of unequal pay for similar work, as
one article posits it, is fraught and begs more
questions than it provides answers.  Do the
women work and train as hard as men?  I've
never heard anyone question that they do.  But
hard work is not a metric for increased pay, or
else coal miners would be driving Bentleys and I
would be commuting on roller skates.  
Professional (and college, when you come to it)
basketball are businesses.  It can be strongly
argued that it's the number of asses that are put
into the seats that should determine pay and the
women's game puts approx. 10,000 fewer asses
in seats than does the professional men's
game.  This makes it almost impossible for
women to argue, or hope, that they should get
equal pay for their definition of equal work.  
Well, the women do seem mildly content with
the new agreement that can provide the stars,
at least, with a good living wage.  So, they have
tacitly agreed with league management that they
do not have the fire power to demand equal pay
with the men.  May they thrive and achieve that
equal pay through equal fan devotion.  They do
deserve that.
The same issue, with soccer, is maybe a tad
more complex.  Here, in my limited knowledge,
is not league pay but rather pay to the players
of the national team that represents the U.S. in
international tournaments.  The men receive far
more in pay, daily stipends, living and traveling
benefits than do the women.  Yet, without doubt
the women are far more successful, winning
world cups while the men play like they're in
their cups.  The men, however, do bring in more
in revenue if not in respect and prestige.  How is
that supposed to be parsed?  Does one get
rewarded solely on the basis of cash flow or are
results considered?  I think that's still to be
decided by a bargaining agreement.  Maybe the
women players and the soccer federation will
compromise on a balance between the two.  
(I have a solution, exceedingly unpopular, to the
dismal performances by our men's team.  It
hearkens back to something like the old reserve
clause in baseball wherein the players had no
choice but to play for the team that signed
them.  Or, put more bluntly, indentured
servitude.  Sequester a couple dozen or so of
the fastest, strongest most athletic Brothers
and, paying them an awful lot, teach them
soccer.  Then go and kick some French, Italian,
German, English, Brazilian, Mexican Argentinian
butt.  Jeez, this is going to get me in trouble.
If you're thinking of getting me in trouble...reach
into your sense-of-humor bag.  Plus, don't the
Chinese do something like this?  If you're
spotted being good at a sport, you're ushered
into one of their sports camps and that is your
short-term future.)
Lest someone interpret anything said above as
misogynistic, that is inaccurate.  I have long
been a supporter of women's sport.  
Rather than pay to see the local college's men's
basketball team, my buck has gone for seats at
the women's games.  Of course, here at
Stanford, the women have been much more
successful than the men.  I've also paid to see
the women's tennis tournaments nearby.  And,
of course, I schooled my daughter when she
was playing for her elementary school
basketball team, but she is a truly nice person
and wouldn't use her elbows the way I wanted
her to.  
Please don't report me to any authorities.   

Most recently posted were two gourd
Calabash pipes on the Misc. page,
along with an interesting carved
meerschaum Chinese face.  A Radice
Rind and Three Castellos  went up on
the italian page and a Kevin Arthur and
KayWoodie Bull Moose on the U.S.
page along with a Jody Davis Friar.


Remember: "
We are all bozos on this

A riff on the above quote came in today from
a friend: Blessed are we who can laugh at
ourselves for we shall never cease to be

The ability of so many people to live
comfortably with the idea of capital punishment
is perhaps a clue to how so many Europeans
were able to live with the idea of the Holocaust:
Once you accept the notion that the state has
the right to kill someone and the right to define
what is a capital crime, aren't you halfway
there? -Roger Ebert, film-critic (18 Jun

I finally got to post pipe # 4 in my Human Folly-
HumanTragedy series, which I am doing in
collaboration with pipe maker Don Gillmore.  
This pipe is The Children's Crusade,
representing all the centuries children have
been abused physically and emotionally,
creating a foundation for a screwed up next
On the front of the pipe's bowl is an
etched Knight's Templar Cross.  
Somehow I jumped over pipe #3 in the
Series.  The pipe, a volcano representing
the folly of building a city under a regularly
spewing Vesuvius, is in stock and only needs to
be posted.  I'll do that soon.
# 3 in the Human Folly/Human Tragedy series is
now posted.  If you think that building a city
under a live volcano, as the citizens of Pompeii
did, consider how much we've learned as a
species, with California, a state of over 30
million inhabitants, doing nothing but building
skyscrapers in cities like San Francisco, Oakland
and Los Angeles over huge fault lines.  Brilliant.

Don't forget to see the Original Sin Apple
on the Human Folly page.  It's called
"Paradise Lost" & it's the first pipe in our
ground breaking series that  points a shaming
finger at instances of thoughtless human folly
that inevitably led to human tragedy.  That first
five sold out quickly, and the 2nd group, three
of them, have just arrived.  If you want one,
please let me know now as it will be awhile
before any others are produced.
We now are also showing pipe #2 in our Human
Folly Series, The Helen of Troy, a Yachtsman
(what else) to symbolize "the face that launched
thousand ships"  and provoked a 10 year war
that culminated in a demolished great city
Also on the Specials page is pipe # 4, The
Children's Crusade, a reminder of the way we
abuse kids physically and emotionally, assuring
a screwed up next generation.  The shape is an
Acorn of sorts, but the defining detail is the
Cross etched on the front of the bowl.  
Pipe # 3 in the series is ready to post, too.  It is
a Volcano, which might help you remember Mt.
Vesuvius and the devastation it did to the com-
munity that oh so wisely decided to camp and
build at the bottom of a deadly, active volcano.  

It is horrifying that we have to fight our
own government to save the environment.  
Ansel Adams, photographer (20 Feb 1902-1984)

Philanthropy is the refuge of rich people who
wish to annoy their fellow creatures.
Oscar Wilde

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his
delusions is called a philosopher.
Ambrose Bierce

If you wish to understand a philosopher, do not
ask what he says, but find out what he wants.
Friedrich William Nietzsche

n.  A route of many roads leading
from nowhere to nothing.
Ambrose Bierce

Those who lack the courage will always find a
philosophy to justify it.
Albert Camus

available tins
Pease Southlinch from 2002 NASPC show. $90
Friedman & Pease Winter's Tale.  $100

New Tins arrived, including
Abingdon, and a bunch of
others from 2003 and starting @ $40 a tin.

More old, collectible tins from the 1990's:

For easy access to the address of other fine
used pipe dealers, please visit Estate Pipes
The web site is: