I'm new to smoking, new to pipes, and new to this forum. Couch_Incident is a friend of mine from a totally unrelated forum, and suggested I check it out.
I grew up among teetotalers - no drinking, no smoking, and I don't think I ever saw my parents dance, although that wasn't strictly forbidden. I also grew up thinking that my paternal grandfather (a smoker) had died of lung cancer, and when my father (not a smoker, but grew up around it) likewise died of a lung ailment (pulmonary fibrosis), I resolved to make sure I kept my lungs in good shape. Not that they were in bad shape - I was in marching band all through high school, rode my bicycle everywhere while in college, and continue to ride and do cardio at the gym during the sloppy season.
But then I found out that my grandfather had actually died of a heart attack. Still could be related - but when I found out that pipe smoking (and cigar smoking) don't necessarily involve actual inhaling, I got a little curious. A friend of mine picked up a pipe while we were doing a writing retreat, and it was really quite nice to sit out on the porch while he puffed away. So I went and did some homework, and then bought a Bjarne Viking Classic sitter and some tobacco (aromatic house blend from the store I bought the pipe at).
That was in December. In the meantime, my pipe "collection" now includes a second Bjarne Viking Classic (a churchwarden), a bag of seconds from Missouri Meerschaum, and several 2 oz. samples of various aromatic and English blends, which I'm finally getting the hang of packing and lighting correctly. Now I just need to slow down and let my tongue heal...
Anyway - Couch posted a cigar pic, I commented on it regarding my new pipe habit, and we wound up chatting for a while about pipes, tobacco, and this forum. So here I am, finally logged in and registered, working on my initial post count.