Bill Gets Snowed On

The first big snow storm of the year was this week. One of the best parts of being retired is that I don’t care if it snows or not. It just looks different when I look out the window. Of course, that’s not 100% true, but it is for the most part.

One way it’s different is that my wife doesn’t drive in the snow, which means I have to cart her around. It also means I can’t smoke what I want while I’m driving, no bold bodied cigars.

Usually people don’t want to ride with me because my car, a station wagon, smells kind of funny. I like the smell. It keeps people from asking me for rides or borrowing the car. Station Wagons are a valuable item when people want to haul stuff. Almost as good as a pickup truck. That’s a good trick by the way. I’ve taught it to many people and they too have adopted my idea. Stink it up and ride in peace.

But when it comes to grocery shopping my two choices are take the wife or go myself. I don’t like either but the second is worse and the fact that I like food means I have to pick one.

Having to drive her around puts a big cramp on my cigar choices. The best case is she doesn’t mind and I can keep the window open a little bit. The worst is the weather is so bad that the window is only open a tiny slit and she gets so mad that I end up throwing my cigar out the window. That’s the worst of all especially if it’s a big cigar and I just lit it. I try to resist but if it gets to the third time telling me then that stogie is dying a cold miserable death on the road. Poor guy. I can’t save it because I’m driving and I can’t use two hands to clip it.

If you’re smart like me you keep an assortment of cigars on hand. Different quality and different sizes. That way I can match the cigar to the ride. It all depends on he length of the trip, who is in he car and how much I can have the window open.

This is not the same assortment I would have at home. I’m not going to want the ash to get too long and I’m not having a nice drink along with it. The whole dynamics of the smoke changes.

Another great tip for you is to have a big ash tray. Cars may not even come with ash trays anymore, and if they do they’re too small.

There is a guy on the Internet (I’ll have Phil put a link to him)* who made a video about making an ash tray that holds a pipe tool. It was a really good idea, although I’m about a 90% cigar smoker in the car. I need something that holds a lot of ash.

Be sure to take the guts out

I use an oil filter. I buy them several at a time because I’m pretty good about keeping up on my oil changes and I like to have everything handy. When they go on sale I pick up a bunch. When I got rid of my old car I still had an unused filter. I took the guts out of it which just left me with a big can. Using velcro I stuck it to my dashboard which is the perfect cigar ash tray. When I want to empty it the velcro lets me pull it off and dump it out, then I just stick it back on. The oil filter is perfect because once you have only the outside part it’s pretty light and it looks good in the car.

So there are two good tips for you. Scare everyone away with smelly cigars and use an upside down oil filter for an ash tray. Now if you want to thank me you can come over and shovel my driveway.


Bill is the acting Briar Report Chief of Staff.

he is also the Managing Editor of

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Ed: The YouTube channel Bill refers to is Peddler Piper. You can find Peddler Piper’s channel here and on Twitter @JayWoodford

The video he mentions is one which Peddler Piper modifies a commercial ash tray to hold a Czech tool. This set up is perfect for the pipe smoker.