The Mill
Aug. 28, 2016;
  There are ways, well, there are probably
many ways, in which I am not a strong
person.  I do not enjoy horror movies.  I
get too scared, unless it's so badly done
that I find it laughable, as was the case in
the late 1950's when Len and I went to
see a Godzilla film and the two girls in
front of us, who must have sat through
the movie five times, delivered the
dialogue on cue with the actors.  They
were funny, intentional or not.
  If the movie or T.V. show depicts a
doctor operating, or a vicious and  
gruesome scene, I either avert my eyes or
leave the room.  If you want to take me to
the movies, make sure it's something like
"A Man And A Woman" or "Blazing
Saddles."  (Zombies, on the other hand,
are so stupid and innocuous a concept
that I am entirely unmoved by them. I

wouldn't spend the time to watch
  Clearly, I am not the only person who
feels this way. One of my favorite Jewish
jokes is:  "Do you know the definition of
a lawyer?" "No, what is the definition of a
lawyer?" "A Jew who can't stand the
sight of blood."
  This is all in preface to remarking on
the tragedies now occurring in places
like Syria, Italy (the earthquake centered
in Amatrice) and Louisiana, where 7
trillion gallons of water fell in 8 days time.
  In even just a brief reflection on
the impact of these events, my empathetic
and sympathetic systems engage.
 I have contributed money in a miniscule
attempt to alleviate the suffering.  B
ut that's as much as I know.
the N.Y. Times did an article on one verey
small village on the Tronto river, near
where we stayed in April, that is left with
5 homes standing and will thus be wiped
entirely off the map, it now appears.)

  I do not read the details.  They are too
painful, just as I don't read the details in
the newspaper when some horrendous,
disgusting act is uncovered by police.  If
a family is murdered, or children
mutilated, that is already more than I
want to hear and far more than I need to
know.  Reading the small print about
exactly what happened will not edify me
in any way.  I don't see how it could,
unless I were planning nefarious deeds
of my own and needed a 'how to,'
manual.  That is exceedingly unlikely.
Swatting a fly I can do.  Stomping on
ants is already beyond my capacity to
inflict pain.  (Although I am not a
vegetarian and do understand the
hypocrisy involved.  I contend we are all
hypocrites to some extent, just as we are
all liars, to some extent.)
  It's not that I am a gentle soul, like, say,
Mother Teresa or Albert Schweitzer; I do
imagine doing serious damage to certain
transgressors, but my imagination is as
far as those feelings go or are likely to
go.  Actually getting into detail about
such unpleasantness might lead to bad
dreams, or even worse, keep my mind
going so that I can't sleep, and that is
already enough of a problem as almost
any older person can tell you.  One just
does not sleep well for a number of
reasons at this age.  And that's my
excuse for all the naps I take.
  So, please excuse me if you ask about
some debacle and the best I can do is
nod my head and provide some general
and broadly commiserating response.
The truth is, I have not read the m
details and don't intend to.
If those details refer to the depths of hum
an depravity, my blurred imagination is
more than enough to suffice.  

  If you are in a position to help out a
ith a small donation, please do so.  It
might make a
big difference for
somebody who is just
as you are, just
less lucky at the
moment.  We are all
ozos on this same bus.

Tins still available.
Pease Southlinch from 2002 NASPC show. $90
Friedman & Pease Winter's Tale.  $100
Three Nuns 50 g. from Germany, before the
warning labels on the front.  1 tin each.  $100
Balkan Sobranie 759 tall pop top 1 3/4 oz.,/50
gram tin, 4 available.  $400 each.
Balkan Sobranie Virginia # 10 50 grams. 4 tins.  
$290 each.  
For what it's worth to you, there are many more of
the Balkan Sobranie tins available.
New Tins arrived, including
Mephisto, Blackpoint, Abingdon, and a bunch of
others from 2003 and starting @ $40 a tin.  
Quotes & anecdotes from "The Portable Curmudgeon"

The earth has a skin and that skin has diseases; one of its
diseases is called man.    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Man is a puny, slow, awkward, unarmed animal.
Jacob Bronowski

I love mankind.  It's people I can't stand.  Charles Schulz

To succeed in the world, it is not enough to be stupid, you
must also be well mannered.   Voltaire.

Manners are especially the need of the plain.  The pretty can get away
with anything.                                   Evelyn Waugh

He marries best who puts it off until it is too late.  H.L. Mencken

All tragedies are finished by death.  All comedies are ended by a
marriage.                                               Lord Byron

When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most
insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are
required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal and
exhausting condition until death do them part.   George Bernard Shaw

A ceremony in which rings are put on the finger of the lady and through
the nose of the gentleman.                Herbert Spencer

A friendship recognized by the police.    Robert Louis Stevenson

The dread of loneliness is greater than the fear of bondage, so we get
married.       Cyril Connolly

I got married the second time in the way that, when a murder is
committed, crackpots turn up at the police station to confess the
crime.                                 Delmore Schwartz

It is often pleasant to stone a martyr, no matter how mch we admire
him.                                     John Barth

There is a certain impertinence in allowing oneself to be burned for an
opinion.                               Anatole France

Women want mediocre men, and men are working hard to become as
mediocre as possible.                           Margaret Mead

The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics
and women are idiots.                          Rebecca West

When an opera star sings her head off, she usually improves her
appearance.                                            Victor Borge

If you leave the smallest corner of your head vacant for a moment,
other people's opinions will rush in from all quarters.
George Bernard Shaw

The amount of noise which anyone can bear undisturbed stands in
inverse proportion to his mental capacity.
Arthur Schopenhauer

I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend
in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.   G.B. Shaw

Assassins!      Arturo Toscanini to his orchestra.  

Many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the
whole girl.                                                                       Stephen Leacock

Many a man has fallen love with a girl in a light so dim he would not
have chosen a suit by it.                                         Maurice Chevalier

Nature is a hanging judge.                            Anonymous

The murals in restaurants are on a par with the food in museums.
Peter DeVries

A mother-in-law dies only when another devil is needed in hell.
Francois Rabelais

Getting out of bed in the morning is an act of false confidence.
Jules Feiffer

On Marilyn Monroe: She was good at playing abstract confusion in the
same way a midget is good at being short.    Clive James

Morality is a disease which progresses in three stages:
virtue--boredom--syphilis.                                    Karl Kraus
This photo was taken only days before my beloved San Francisco
store, Sherlock's Haven,  was closed for good in June of '06, thereby
diminishing the quality of life on this planet no little and quite some.  
The man to my right was my trusty pipe tobacco and cigar taste-tester,
Johnson, of the sensitive palate.  He is now  plying his trade in
Phoenix.  The tall gent behind him is Jimmy Walker, hand picked to be
my successor until lease negotiations broke down.  The hoodlum
looking character to my left is my good friend and Consigliere, Steve
Brunner.  Among the regulars are a number who are still friends and
with whom I have regular intercourse.  There has never been a more
congenial spot than Sherlock's Haven, the Camelot of tobacco stores.  
As its proprietor is how I'd like to be remembered.
I wanted to caption this photo, "I knew more about pipes when I was
seven than you know now," but my P.R. firm nixed that idea.  So, let's
try, "With the pristine palate that accompanies youth, Marty smokes a
blend without a full complement of Latakia for the first time in his life."
I don't actually know what was going through my mind at the time, but
the photo was taken circa 1950, and probably in Williamsburg, Virginia.
(And no, I did not actually smoke a pipe until I was 18 years old, really.)
Shortly after my mother met my wife, she told Joy that all it took to
keep me happy in the back seat of our 1938 LaSalle during our annual
one week vacations was a pipe in my mouth and a cap on my head.  
Joy responded with the fact that nothing has changed except that now
I'm in the front seat.  
Above is my sister, with whom I contentiously shared that large back
seat, and my father.  The sweater was knitted by my Aunt Rae.  The
site was most probably Niagara Falls and the year 1949.  I'm guessing.
Welcome to Pulvers Briar
This website is devoted to pipes and my enjoyment of talking
about and showing them.  For your part, I hope you derive some
pleasure in seeing and reading about briar and meerschaum
There are plenty of pipe websites and lots of good pipes other
than mine.  What will distinguish my site from most of the others
is the willingness to voice my  opinion in the relatively rare
occurrence when a pipe is not superior, or has a noticeable flaw.
Mostly, I'm pleased with the pipes I choose to offer for sale, both
in pipe quality and price.  But please, look and decide for
You will see new and used pipes for sale, the new often having
been hand picked and the used always having been cleaned
and reconditioned and ready for you to smoke upon arrival.  
Please enjoy your time spent here today, and please come back
I'm almost always happy to hear from you and to field your
questions, concerns, ideas or other input.
Feel free to write.
Marty Pulvers
Pulvers' Prior Briar
P.O. Box 61146
Palo Alto, CA  94306

(650) 965-7403