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Nina Yablok

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September 19, 2011 - 8:00 am
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I’m sure the editor will change my title, so in case he does — the original title of this post was “More Things You Didn’t Know About Ed Driscoll.”  Actually I don’t care if he changes it. I just think it’s funny to picture his face when he reads it and thinks… “Oh dear, what has that woman written this time.”

Anyway, you probably didn’t know that Ed likes a cigar every once in a while and that I usually hate the smell of cigars.  This has caused some interesting evenings.  There was our anniversary weekend a few years ago.  We were staying at the Hotel Valencia at nearby Santana Row for a short weekend “staycation.”   As is our habit, we like to indulge ourselves. We went to the spa, had whatever spa services we wanted, ate out, and Ed bought one of his once or twice a year cigars.

We went up to the large outdoor patio outside the hotel bar to enjoy a second dessert, have a drink or two and for Ed to have his cigar. Outdoors is where he can indulge and I can sit up wind.  And so he lit up.  As the fates would have it, the damn cigar stank to high heaven AND the wind kept shifting so there was no up wind. There was only “smoke gets in my eyes.” Not being shy, I blurted out “My God, I can just smell the cancer.”

What can I say, Ed is the polite one of us.

Needless to say that ruined the experience for Ed, and he didn’t even bother having another cigar for a year or two.  But recently we stopped by the cigar shop near our summer Saturday night date-night dinner-out favorite restaurant and Ed asked for a mild cigar.  Well, what do you know, I could actually walk around next to him without yelling “You can smell the cancer.”  It helps that when we walk around he’s exhaling up where 6’2″ people exhale while I’m breathing the air down here with the 5’2″ people are.

All of which brings us to the fact that we’ve now found that not all cigars stink, which has led Ed to buy more than one cigar at a time, which led to the need for a small humidor, which leads to this review of the XiKar 15 Cigar Travel Humidor.  Please, dear readers, remember this is being written by a non-cigar person.  But I did my research so there’s some value here.

Expensive humidors have built in thingies (I believe that’s the technical term) where you can put little gel thingies to which you add water and then the water evaporates from the little gel thingies thus providing enough humidity to keep cigars from drying out, but not so much that they start to look like lettuce that was left in the crisper a month too long.  Expensive humidors also have hydrometers to measure the humidity so you can spend hours adjusting how many gel thingies you need to keep your cigars at exactly 70% humidity which is apparently the exact level of humidity to balance freshness and lack of green fuzzy mold.

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