As everyone knows, the summer brings with it a time when most people break their normal routine to vacation, take time off and catch up on things you can only do certain times of year. People making content for the pipe community are no exceptions. Even attending Pipe Shows, which are just around the corner. The West Coast Pipe Show, which looks promising and the Chicago Pipe Show that is coming up this Friday. Exciting!
On more than one video this week, people have asked about the whereabouts of certain channels. For the most part they come and go, and you often wonder if someone is taking a little time off or are they gone. I wonder the same thing. If you follow as many people as I do, they tend to get lost since I don’t notice right away. Next thing you know you’re wondering where someone is and it’s been two months since they made a video or posted something.
I always am grateful when people take the time to make the content, but if they don’t, I assume it’s for a good reason. Usually they move on to other interests. There is only so much time, and one can never do everything they want. Only what’s most important to them at the time. It’s fine, I don’t try to read too much into it because there are just as many reasons as there are people.
Briar The Puppy
One guy I had been wondering about lately was Briar the puppy. The hound dog who works and lives at the J. Mouton Pipe shop. Last time I saw him he was actually a puppy. One thing I should mention is that I call all dogs puppy, no matter the age. The older they are, the more I like to do it. Something satisfying about calling an old gray guy puppy. I’m sure they don’t understand, but I’d like to think they are thinking they haven’t been called that in a long time and might like it.
In this case Briar is still actually in the puppy stage, although getting into the full dog mode. Probably still gets away with stuff because it’s hard not to think they are still very young, but in dog years they know better. They are just good at taking advantage of it.
Anyway, I decided to ask Jason what’s up with little Briar so I could share it with you all. Well, it seems he’s in the stage where he is still getting in trouble but has not only accepted his duties around the shop but has taken on more. His primary job is to protect the place but as you can see from the photo, he also likes to inspect the blocks of briar that arrive. Making sure they meet specs. and that there is no food hidden among the pile. A good dog knows to alway check in case something is food.
A big difference from the last time I saw Briar. He’s got to be twice the size. But not surprised that he has that sniffer going. A dog’s most valuable asset, especially a hound dog. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s already an expert at grading the blocks. It’s a nice thing to see as my own dog is only expert at eating and sleeping. Old age, just like me.
It seems like other than blocks of briar, Briar has an affinity for those elastic bands that women use to hold their hair. Scrunchies, I think most people call them. Hair ties, pony tail holders or padookies. Not sure of the exact name. I’m sure he doesn’t know the name either, but he does know that if he swipes one he’s guaranteed to get Mrs. Mouton spun up. Which I’d bet is his real desire, not the actual hair tie. Smart or mischievous, only he knows for sure. I’ll bet it’s the later.
People Love Their Dogs
We’ve always had a lot of luck on Briar Report reporting on pipe smoking dogs. As I have said in the past, they are gold when it comes to reader interest. I could link to a story about a fire taking out a warehouse destroying an entire tobacco crop and another one of a pipe smoking dog and guess which one gets the most clicks?
There are some other puppies that are well known in the pipe community. Eddie Gray‘s pal, Delta, that has made a few appearances. Also, the dogs (Oakley & Strider) on Hiking Pipes who peer through the window wondering what’s going on and why they aren’t included in the video. They know something is going on but not exactly sure what it is. So many times the appearance of the puppy steals the show. Nothing you can do about it, viewers love it.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. The most famous dog in the YTPC is without a doubt Mr. Neptune, Boca To Boynton’s friend. That might be true. He’s the reason people actually subscribe to Boca To Boynton. There’s no doubt he’s the canine equivalent of “Da Man”. Popular with the ladies, both the four legged variety and the two. If there were a mascot of the YTPC it might just be Tune. He’s got it all, and you can even go fishing with him, although, I don’t know how good he’d be if the situation came up where he had to actually attack someone. Hopefully his dog instincts would take over. I suspect he would be much better to have around than a kitty-cat with a “new wave” hair cut. The claws are sharp but how could you not laugh?
But this post is to update you on Mr. Briar and before I get too far off track, I am happy to report that he’s doing great. You can catch sporadic updates on the J. Mouton Instagram page. Hopefully in the future I can bring you updates like this one, if I can remember. It’s easy to lose track. Much like with some of the content creators. It’s always nice to see people, even if they only pop up once in awhile. Same with the pooches.
Back To The Star
Trust me, people are interested. If you haven’t made a video in awhile, put one up just to say hi and invite your friend to join you. Years from now you’ll be glad you did. Just ask Briar, he’s probably already ticked that the other dogs appeared in his post. That’s OK, we are all friends here, including man’s best friend.
That quick update turned into much more than I intended. Haven’t even gotten to what I really wanted to talk about, which is my total defiance of the stupid “terms of service”. I’ve had it with so many people telling me what I should do, or can do. I’m totally aware, and respectful, of the fact that when you’re on a platform you need to follow their rules. But I’ve had it and am not going to be one of those guys that sit back and kvetch about it. Nor am I going to make excuses and just go along like it’s OK.
When I see the total filth and garbage on these platforms then have to turn around and say “well they just don’t want tobacco content” it ain’t gonna happen. The plan now is not to go along, but to double down. I get the fact that some channels, or accounts, are there to sell tobacco. That is a fine line. But what about the guy who makes pipes on his own? He relies on showing what he has to the public. Sure it’s free advertising, so I may be out of line, but I don’t care. Guys like J. Mouton, Professor Walker, Jack the Piper and Simon from LCS briars are all going to be hurt. I’m not the kind of guy who thinks that just because it doesn’t effect me, then it’s OK. They are my friends. I’d go down with them if I had to.
They can’t even link to websites that are carrying their pipes? That’s just wrong. I’m sure you can find all kinds of things that minors shouldn’t be involved with linked all over the place. I’m not going to give you examples because it will just make me furious. They are pipes, not even tobacco. Why do they have to suffer? I could care less what their stupid terms of service say. They are wrong and are bullies. And I’ll be d- if I’ll make excuses for it. Screw them.
Briar Report is A Safe Haven
I know most people enjoy a free place to put up their content and have no choice but to play along. You can find other platforms and that’s cool. Do whatever you have to do. That’s not really my thing. I prefer to take the attitude of I’ll do what I want and if you don’t like it, find a way to make me.
One of the benefits of having your own website is I can do what ever I want. I’m not selling anything so they can’t threaten me with losing my payment application. They can’t intimidate me from being thrown off the web host. If I have to I’ll buy my own server and set it up in my basement. I have the means to do that. Might be slow, but I’ll still be here. Who the heck do they think they are? The reason these people get away with forcing their biases on everyone is because people cow to it. They don’t want to be kicked off so they shut their traps. Not me, I’ll just yell louder.
It’s not easy for a lot of reasons, but I do have a couple of things going for me. There is another pipe website that has a much bigger newsletter circulation than I do, but mine is respectable. Don’t know if their content will be thrown off of YouTube or not, we’ll have to wait and see. But my website and newsletter are at the mercy of no one. I can advertise and link to whatever I want. Mess with me or my business, and I’ll sue you. Not an idle threat.
If a small carver wants to show his pipes on my website or have me include them in a newsletter all they have to do is let me know. I’ll put them up with all the links they want. I know the exposure isn’t the greatest, but if they are throttled by other platforms, pipe smokers can always be assured I’ll have a place they can go to see the latest. And just to rub it the noses of the bullies, I’ll do it for free. Peddle your filth and promote every stupid cause you want, just know I’m going to do whatever I want.
It’s Still A Business
It would be nice to let people know where they can find this information, so visiting the site, promoting some of the content, and subscribing to our weekly newsletter is a plus, but not required. If there is anything I can do for pipe smokers, pipe carvers or even just content creators who want to reach more pipe smokers, that’s what I’m here for.
The other thing that makes it kind of sticky for me is it might create a slight conflict of interest to our advertisers. They sell pipes too and I don’t want to take anything away from them. So please keep that in mind. If you want to support the pipe community at all, be sure to keep that in mind. You supporting them, is what supports me. I can’t pay for all of this myself and am grateful for those advertisers. Click on those links and buy pipes off them if you are so inclined. It goes a long way. I don’t want them to feel that by supporting everyone, I’m neglecting them. They will always be my first responsibility and concern. We don’t have the traffic to sell more ads, so supporting the ones we have are the top priority.
So in the future look for more links to other pipe makers. More items in the newsletter and mentions in The Blob. If you have a business and want me to include content like new pipes, sales or general information, let me know. I’ve always done the exact opposite of what people tell me I should do, and even though I’m tiny compared to the big guys, I’ll do anything I can for pipe smokers. Anything but whine and complain about it. Somebody has to stand up to it, may as well be me.