… August, 2018

Welcome to this Internet Site.

The intent was to offer camaraderie
to those who are downcast by what they see
and hear around them;

and observations to inspire moral individuals
to rise above the degradation of the masses.

There is Nothing that is … Entertaining … on this site.

Those who are bereft of the self discipline
to read for 5 minutes, should look for their amusement
anywhere but here.

My wife and I live a Plain Lifestyle
content to own a few quality possessions,
without television, stereo, or technology gadgets.
We have Internet service because my wife requires it
for her medical profession.

We read books and have conversations in the garden:
playing with iToys and staring into screens is not
a part of our life.

Which is why people who arrive at this site
… want nothing to do with it.

It neither amuses nor entertains,
but challenges people to make a personal effort
to pause, think, and rise above the deification of “Me”.

which leaves me unable to understand
why those who do return,
have not the decency to leave a word of greeting.

The most important articles appearing are:

“A Blind Man, A Dog, and Modern Humanity”,
“The Farce of Animal Rescue, Parts 1 and 2”,
and, “Teaching: What is the Use”.

No comment has ever been received for any of them.

For six-and-a-half years now, the hand of friendship
has been extended to regular visitors of this site.

This is what remains of that effort.

P Livingstone
philiplivingstone.org

Author: Mr Livingstone

A gentle man who simply wishes to live quietly and die peacefully ... despite being surrounded by a world that has neither manners nor morals.

8 thoughts on “… August, 2018”

  1. Dear Robert,

    Your English is superb !!! (And you may take that from a man
    whose life has been spent writing Bespoke Documents
    (specially-ordered requests to compose professional documents for people)
    in Prescriptive English (‘Oxford’ or, “Proper” English).)
    You are certainly better than the bulk of what is written in North America!

    Yes, about ‘a third’ is what I would be paying if in Britain or Ireland:
    Oh well, we are here for another 5 years …

    Yes indeed – What you said about YouTube was exactly why I left the whole thing
    in (I believe it was 2010, or early 2011 … No “Philosophy” or even just folk
    sharing a book (giving a ‘book report’) while having a pipe … that was what I did;
    it all seemed to be nothing more than “Look at what I own” … THANK YOU for confirming
    that I am not the only person who thought this.

    For me, yes – it is the philosophy, and Not a hobby.
    The Jeremy Brett/Sherlock Holmes depictions of the pipe
    as a part of relaxation or considered thought is the only example
    that comes to mind, when trying to explain what the pipe is to me.

    I only have a pipe when there is no mental stress whatsoever …
    and almost always have one, if it is pouring with rain:
    sitting on the covered porch: watching heavy black or grey clouds,
    and listening to the rain as it falls. The Pipe is ‘A State of Mind’.

    I do miss having my books all around me, but – in 2004 –
    we were thinking of moving … I went to teach school in Venezia (“Venice”)
    in Northern Italy … and then, came to Canada in connection with
    my wife’s medical expertise with children having Cerebral Palsy:

    I knew people who did not have “too much of the world’s goods”
    (as we say in Ireland), and gave my books (which I had read and re-read
    so many times as to almost know them by heart) to various people
    whom I knew would appreciate them.

    Absolutely, have enjoyed the conversation.
    Feel perfectly welcome to ‘get in touch’ anytime.

    All the best for now, my friend.
    Philip L

  2. Hello Philip,
    thank you for your time. I too enjoy this conversation but must admit
    that I am not used to “talking” to someone thru a keyboard.

    Born in the sixties I tried to teach myself to smoke a pipe with a book. There were a few of them around
    here at the beginning of the eighties and all of them started with a list of things you need to smoke a pipe
    “properly” besides pipe and tobacco (most important a tamper) and than another list of things that would
    be nice to have (like a pipe stand).
    The cake was important. According to those books it adds to the taste and takes up the moisture.
    There was information about how much cake is optimal, how to reduce it etc.
    Pipe smoking was presented as a hobby not as a philosophical practice.
    Which seems to be the complete opposite of what you do. Its a pity I did not see those videos of yours
    back in the day might have learned a thing or two.

    I quit watching pipe videos on YouTube years ago. Couldn’t stand the sight of people anymore who have
    absolutely nothing to say but talk for hours on end about stuff.

    Over here the price of tinned tobacco is about a third of what you pay. If sold in pouches even cheaper.

    Read your article about Possessions and can very much relate with the notable exception of books.

    Thanks again for your time and patience (english is not my first language) and till next time.
    Kind regards,
    Robert

  3. Robert, honestly, I very much appreciate the “conversation” !

    My ‘way’ (strange to hear it termed that) is just the same way
    as the “old Countrymen” – the shepherds and such like – in Ireland
    (and later, Scotland) handled their pipes:
    one’s waistcoat held our pocket watch; the tweed jacket had a pipe
    in one pocket, matches and tobacco pouch in the other;
    and a (second) tobacco pouch served as my wallet (still does)
    that was carried in the inside breast pocket …

    … no interest in carrying “do-dads” – the men all used their
    fingers and pulled a penknife to ream out the pipe after use.
    We all seemed to be able to use a knife without gouging
    or cutting into the briar … self control and patience, I suppose.

    Same with using the pipe at sea … no place for “hardware” and gadgets
    when the deck is rising and falling with every wave and trough, or gust of wind.

    It was these ‘old’ methods and concepts that I tried to ‘pass on’
    when I had the Youtube channel: and in 2008 it was terrific,
    but then the college boys started arriving along with American characters
    who would do ‘pipe videos’ from their cars and trucks; or with noise
    blaring in the background from a stereo …

    These people had no interest in my “Victorian” style of doing things:
    the pipe as an aid to contemplation and pondering – thinking
    or just listening to the sound of the birds.

    By 2010, I would find that I was the subject of ridicule on various
    YouTube ‘pages’ … and realised that I was trying to pass on Quality:
    (the methods and customs for using the pipe that I learned by
    shutting my mouth and observing those older men back in 1985), to Modern-day
    mental teen-agers, who made noise and were all about
    “Look At Me Smoking My Pipe” vanity.

    So, “my way” (the way that you see Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes) of using the
    pipe as an aid to considered thought … was completely incompatible with
    the modern mentality of the Internet’s “Look what I Own”.

    When sitting on the dry stone walls (if you think of the Irish or North
    British countryside, you can picture those distinctive style of walls we have
    enclosing fields of sheep), the pipes used by the Countrymen
    were all “the same” – big, heavy, Petersons – usually bent billiards
    or bent apples.

    There was no “ego tripping”.
    (Which does not fit with the YouTube crowds at all.)
    I do not want to break away from typing this to you,
    but I think I still have a “Pipe Portrait” of the Peterson ‘Birr Castle’
    … that was the usual style.

    No, No ‘Cake’. I could never understand that practice at all.
    But then again, I never heard of this “Tongue Bite” thing, either, that
    (judging from my memories of the YouTube days) seems to affect
    every North American that ever picked up a pipe …

    Perhaps, I am simply too “neat and clean” in my habits, but
    I always had a clean pipe that was never foul-smelling:
    never wanted to offend anyone whom I might meet in the course of a day,
    by having a pipe reeking of stale tobacco and smoke odour.
    Just a personal preference for me … So, No – no cake.
    (And no … never had a ‘fancy tool’ as you have observed !)

    Tell you what though: I used to have this little habit that obviously
    attracted attention on YouTube … When I would strike the match,
    as I brought it up to the pipe, I would twirl it between my fingers and
    – on the video, there was this little full-circle, “trail of fire”
    that was came out on video footage, as the match approached the pipe:

    I never consciously thought about it … but saw it once someone
    drew my attention to it by saying that it looked “cool” (or some such description).

    Ah well, still … all the YouTube wanted was videos about (either) Owning Things
    or (more or less) bragging because someone bought this or that.

    A chap named Khaldoun62 (I think, from Saudi ???) did some wonderfully simple
    – yet very captivating “reviews” which involved just his hands, pipe, tobacco
    and smoke – featuring in the frame.
    No voice. And only his hands and arms were ever shown:
    Very artistic. Simple, but very enjoyable to watch.
    He was terrific.

    The Taste? … Do you mean from having no cake ?
    It was just the briar and fresh tobacco … lit with the gentle flame
    of a wooden match, so it had to be a fresh and “pure” taste –
    I always found it so, at least.

    Yes indeed, FAR More Sense in Europe: North America has this mentality
    that every gust of wind is going to kill you or be a danger to “The Children”.
    Appalling hypochondria this side of the Atlantic.

    (There was a Robert from Austria that used to comment – not sure if it is you,
    but if so, converted to euros, our costs would be …
    Tinned Tobacco is One Canadian Dollar per Gram = .66 euro per gram.
    80 per cent is tax. Just horrible.)

    Actually, on the subject of ‘tools’ – I think my article on “Possessions”
    – “Freedom From Greed” (???) – is still up … there is a picture of what
    I carry when going past my front garden gate … No ‘fancy tools’ at all.

    Lovely to hear from you again, Robert. Never any need to apologise.
    The ‘conversation’ makes it worthwhile to have gone to the effort of
    putting all the work, text, and photographs ‘up’ on the Internet.

    All the best for now,
    PL

  4. Hello Philip!
    Again thank you for your detailed reply. And I apologize in advance for getting more curious every time about your way
    of pipe smoking.
    What you describe would mean you have no cake in your pipes? Which would also mean you need no fancy tool to manage it.
    What about the taste?
    As to the insanity, maybe people are a little bit more relaxed in Europe but there is definitely a negative trend.

    Kind regards,
    Robert

  5. Robert! Hello!!!

    Wonderful Quote indeed – describes my entire life and personal philosophy.
    Wonderful, Many thanks for noting that.

    Oh, Robert – Yes, absolutely! I am a clean person, after all. (But, to confess … I actually clean after every use of the pipe — Isopropyl alcohol, scrap of cloth ( cut up old socks, cotton shirts, or such like and keep them in a bag for pipe cleaning) to “scrub out” the bowl, before using pipe cleaners. I suppose I like to think of having a “fresh” pipe each time I sit down to enjoy some tobacco.

    We live (for the time being) in British Columbia – Canada’s anti-tobacco Tyranny is Appalling: only Australia is worse. A dreadful place: tobacco will “kill” but everyone should now smoke (legal) marijuana. And people here find nothing absurd in that reasoning (wrote an article on this about a month ago, “Populations to Pot Heads” … )

    For me, a few times a week with the pipe (cost of tobacco prohibits more than that) makes it all the more important (for me) to have a “fresh”, clean pipe. Want to get back to Europe, but not sure if this insanity is gaining momentum there … ?

    Kind regards my friend,
    PL

  6. Hello Philip,
    thank you for your personal reply. Hopefully everything is well on your side too.
    I must admit I’ve never tried smoking without a tamper but the simplicity is appealing.
    Reminds me of a quote from Antoine de Saint Exupéry:
    “It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.”
    But you do use pipe cleaners do you?
    Kind regards,
    Robert

  7. I use my forefinger.

    The ‘anonymous’ prevents me from making a personal salutation,
    so … “Hello There!”, very nice to have someone reply:
    the occasional personal photograph is my way of trying to be
    welcoming and friendly to folk who arrive here.
    Thank you for reciprocating and leaving a few words!

    Have simply never bothered with gadgets, something that annoyed a few back
    in the YouTube days in 2008: I began with the pipe as seaman
    whose home was in the Irish and then Scottish countryside;
    at Sea, or with Shepherds and amiable Countrymen,
    there was no place for fancy “do-dads” … the match
    applies an even flame that does not incinerate the tobacco,
    the finger tamps, the used matchstick cleans the bowl afterwards.

    Must explain the picture, though …
    My wife is speaking at a medical conference in Copenhagen,
    so have the house to myself for three weeks;
    it was a mild night: I opened the windows right up and thought,
    ‘a pipe at my desk’. Otherwise, the picture would never have happened !!!

    Hope these few words find you in good spirits, my friend.
    Lovely to hear from you (very much appreciate the personal contact).
    With Kind regards,
    PL

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