looking for
special?  Try this
search box.  
              The Mill

June 24, 2016;  
  On a commercial site, avoiding
sensitive topics, like politics, is the best
policy, and I've managed to do that.  This
time, I'll dabble just a bit in politics...just
a little toe in the water.
  The subject is the Brexit, and I'm some-
what comfortable in bringing it up because
I don't have a strong opinion on what the
English should do with their lives.  As
long as they don't attempt to take back
the U.S. and re-colonize us, I'm happy to
let them do with their country as they
wish.  (An Irish friend thinks the English
are particularly dense, but an Irishman
would, wouldn't he?)
   As you all know by now (how could
you avoid knowing?) the English have
voted to leave the European Union,
creating an unremitting chorus of "Henny
Penny, the sky if falling."  
  "Henny Penny" is supposed to be a
child's story, intended to teach.  It has
not resonated...it is a sentiment that is
repeated so often, we don't even hear it.  
Let me give you an example to which we
are both inured, although sometimes I
manage to catch myself.  Let's say the
year has about 365 days.  There is no
doubt that during one of those days
during the calendar year, the stock market,
or the value of the dollar, or the
temperature, is going to hit its low point.
Unless there is no movement, it is
inevitable.  And when it does, the Town
Crier will scream, "stock
market hits lowest point of the year,"  as
though it were a crisis, and maybe even
create a sell-off.  Well, yes, among 365
days of inevitable see-sawing, one of
those days has to be the lowest.
What of it?  One day or another has to be
the lowest point.  It is not really news, it is
just score keeping.  Better to monitor
Buster Posey's batting average.  
  The Brexit vote is probably not
completely counted as I type this, yet the
predictions are dire.  So, all of a sudden
everyone is a prophet and can read the
  Nothing has happened yet and it is un-
likely that everything that does happen will
be negative.  And if the result is more
negative than positive, is there a universal
rule that adjustments can't be made?  Will
the European Union refuse re-entry if
the English want back in?  
  Certainly, arguments can be made that
the Euro Zone (is that what's it's called?)
has had a less than salutary impact on
the economies of many member nations.
In Italy, with which I am familiar due to
lots of trips there, the cost of many items
instantly doubled when the monetary
unit transferred from the Lira to the Euro.
That did not help the finances of probably
the majority of Italy's working class.  
  Just as surely, a case can be made that
a united Europe has provided very
welcome stability and consistency.  
Again, it seems too early to either wring
hands in despair or drown oneself in
expensive sparkling wine.  (I would have
said "Champagne," but that's French, and
the ability to import that product into
England might be jeopardized at this
point.)  About all I can say with assurance
is that I am already tired of hearing the
news media talk about it, since there is
nothing to say beyond the obvious:
England has opted out.  Bon Voyage.  

Posted some pre-1968 Dunhills on the
English page, and an unsmoked Upshall P
along with some fine looking old
Charatans.  An early, and even
earlier, possibly 1950's, Castello went
onto the  Italian page, along with a brand
new Castello.  

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