I walk by our ashtray that sits on the checkout counter and find a cutter sitting smack in the middle of it a few times a week. This has been going on for years. It happens at all of our locations. I cannot remember exactly when it started but I remember what I thought the first time I saw it. I walked by the dirty ashtray and was going to dump it. There were a couple cigar butts, plenty of ashes and a V Cutter sitting right in the middle. Just to give you some perspective, we have an empty cigar box with cutters, lighters, etc. sitting right next to the ashtray. So, I just thought someone goofed up and flipped the cutter into the ashtray when they were aiming for the box. I cleaned the cutter off and tossed it back into the empty cigar box. Well, a few days later, I was checking the ashtray on the counter again to clean it and whammo, another cutter sitting right in the middle of all that crap in the ashtray. I shook my head, took the cutter out, cleaned it off and tossed it back into the empty box. I am sure I said something like, What the hell? and just moved on. Another couple days after that, I walked by the ashtray on purpose to take a peak and of course nothing but ashes. Hmmm, maybe it was just a fluke. A couple weeks went by and it did not cross my mind. At some point, it popped into my head and I wondered over there and there it was, staring at me, a frickin cigar cutter sitting in the ashtray. I can�t remember exactly what I said but I am sure it went something like, Why the F@$% is there a cutter in the ashtray? I think Courtney piped up and said, Oh, we find them in there all the time. All the time? What the hell is going on here? Why would someone think the right spot for a cutter they just pulled out of a box containing cutter and lighters was in the dirty F@%^&*&* ashtray? What is wrong with people? Who is doing this? I want to know. If you are doing this on purpose to torture me, stop. You know how fragile I can be! So over the last several years, I have been trying to catch someone using a cutter and putting it in the astray. No luck. Mind you, we still find them in the ashtrays all the time. I refuse to use the cameras to find out who was the person who put it there. That would be too easy. I want to catch them in the act and teach them a lesson. You know, like you do with your dog when he chews on a shoe. You have to catch them in the act to have maximum humiliation and so they know what they did wrong. I am looking to have a teachable moment! So as of now, I have yet to catch anyone doing it but we find a cutter in the ashtrays at least 3 times a week. Who are you? Why do you do it? Are you lazy or just an idiot? I would love to hear from anyone who has had similar situations or knows who the perp is?

LeBron James has earned his nickname. If there is any doubt of his place in basketball history, James took the Cleveland Cavaliers from a dismal last place finish a mere 2 years ago all the way to an NBA Championship. He almost single handedly beat back arguable one of the greatest team in the form of the Warriors.
But to a cigar smoker, King James made another statement last night. He came out to his presser with a cigar in hand. And it wasn�t just any cigar. It was the Yaxel Ortiz YO Cigar. As most of you know Serious Cigars was instrumental helping Yaxel Ortiz start his cigar company, with the YO Blend James was smoking as its first line made in the new factory in Nicaragua.
We want to congratulate LeBron James,�the city of Cleveland and Yaxel Ortiz for making it all the way to the NBA champions hands!
Want to smoke the same cigar as King James, check out�Yaxel Ortiz Y.O. Natural cigars.

The only thing worth getting up early in the morning is to go fishing. I love to fish; mostly saltwater. I enjoy saltwater fishing because of the variety. You never know what is going to be on the end of the line when you bring that fish up to the surface. I go on an annual Tarpon fishing trip with 11 other guys each year. All of the fishermen on this trip are serious cigar smokers. This particular trip is the highlight of my year. I look forward to it from the time it finishes in late April all the way until the next year. Most of the group feels the same way and we talk about it nonstop. I am sure it annoys others around us. I personally enjoy the trip for a variety of reasons other than the fishing. The most important to me is that it is guilt free. Everyone knows I am going to be away, no one gives me a hard time at home or work for being gone. The only schedule I have to keep is getting on the boat at a certain time which I said before I am happy to do. I can smoke as many cigars as I like, eat what I want, take a nap if I choose, really do anything I wish. Strip clubs are the only thing that is off limits� yes, hookers fall under that umbrella as well. Our fishing tournament is held in Islamorada Florida in the Keys and is made up of two teams of 6 fishermen. We fish out of the world famous Bud & Mary's Marina. Each team has 3 boats with two fishermen on each. It is a 3 day tournament with 5 fishing sessions of 4 hours each. We use the same fishing guides and have been doing this for nearly a decade. We target Tarpon but catch other species while we are hunting for them. If you have never fished for tarpon you should do it. It is one of the best fights you can have sometimes lasting an hour or more to get the fish subdued so that you can remove the hook and send him on his way. They are very hard to keep on the line, they fly out of the water shaking their heads trying to get rid of the hook. The hardest part is trying to find them and getting them to take your bait. If your boat caught a single tarpon per outing, that would be a good trip. If you caught more than one per outing, that would be an amazing trip. The fishing trip has evolved into a serious tournament. Well, it is serious for us, maybe just for me. I take it so seriously that we had an app built for it. The app is a ton of fun. You can enter your own catch and when you do, all participants in the tournament get dinged with a notification. It is fantastic to know that all the other boats, especially your competitors were just notified of your catch. On the other hand, when your boat is quiet and nothing is happening, it is really deflating to get notified of the other team�s success. It makes for a great competition. We stay at the same hotel, go to the same restaurants, smoke cigars morning, noon and night. It is absolutely fantastic. I get pumped up just typing this out! There is so much more to tell about the trip and so many stories from the years we have been doing it, I could never include them all. Next time you want one of the greatest fishing experiences of your life, give me a call and I can get you connected to all the right people.

The TAA, or Tobacco Association of America is a group of about 80 retail members and about 34 Manufacturer members. We have been a retail member for a short 3 years. The TAA has been around for about 48 years or so. In fact, we just had our 48th trade show this past week. It was held in Puerto Vallarta. Before you say, Must be nice!, it is a working trip. While it is enjoyable, there is not much time to do anything except go from meeting to meeting. There were a couple hours here and there but not enough to venture out. The purpose of the TAA has evolved over the years. It seemed that it began as a boondoggle for retailers and manufacturers to hang out and spend time shooting the breeze with each other. Almost like a sponsored vacation. The current form of the TAA is mostly business. We have meetings to share ideas with each other. We give feedback to the manufacturers and they in turn let us know their future plans, etc. We have buying opportunities on products that we get once a year. We also now have our own Exclusive Series products. This is a very special piece of the TAA now. The main reason I am writing this is to let you know about the Exclusive Series that are available now and coming soon. Here is a list. Padron 1964 Toro TAA Exclusive (25 ct) � In stock now Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary TAA Exclusive (20 ct) � In stock now Ashton VSG Robusto Especial TAA Exclusive (10 ct) � In stock now Drew Estate Acid Big Bang TAA Exclusive (24 ct) � In stock now Nat Sherman Panamericana TAA Exclusive (10 ct) 7 sizes available **NEW** La Flor Dominicana TheTAA 48 Exclusive Series (25 ct) - Released in a few months **NEW** Drew Estate Herrera Esteli Maduro (12 ct) - Released in a few months **NEW** La Palina Miami Series � Bill�s Blend (20 ct) - Released in a few months **NEW** CLE Azabache (25 ct) - 3 sizes - Released in a few months **NEW** Tatuaje TAA 2016 (20 ct) - Released in several months **NEW** Quesada Reserva Privada Maduro (10 ct) - Released in a few months **NEW** Crowned Head's The Angel's Anvil 2016 (20 ct) - Released in a few months **NEW** My Father El Centurion H2KCT (20 ct) - Released in a few months Padron 1926 #48 TAA Exclusive - Released in a few months Padron 1926 #47 TAA Exclusive � In stock now There may be a few from years past that we still have in stock but this is the list from this year�s TAA meeting.

This might be going off the deep end a little early in my blog writing career but a couple factors have led to this topic resurfacing. Those of you who already know me understand where this is about to go. It�s not a sexual thing, it�s not weird. It feels right and very normal in my opinion. I have a HUGE man crush on Tom Selleck. There it is and now the whole world knows it. I don�t care. Make fun if you want but by the end of this, you might very well have a little crush yourself. Tom Selleck is a bad ass. He has it all! He can play the tough guy. He can play the sensitive guy. He can play everything in between. He is physically fit, great looking, smooth as silk and can get any woman he wants. Think of him back in the Magnum PI days, running around in that red Ferrari solving the islands problems all the while hanging with the fellas and still making time for some of the special gals around town. In 3 Men and a Baby he had to work with his buddies to raise a sweet little baby. What could be nicer than that? On Friends, he scored one of the hottest women in the world, Courtney Cox. Who else could have done that? No one, I say. Definitely not that goober Chandler� He currently is the boss man on Blue Bloods where is shows all of his skills from his strong ethics to his fatherly compassion. He is ageless. He looks like he did back in the 80s. His mustache is as strong as ever. Oh, and did I mention, he smokes cigars every day? Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Robustos from what I have heard. Sounds like perfect bromance material to me! The closest I ever came to meeting him was when the NRA was in town. We had the Big Wigs hanging at our lounges after hours and they were going to bring Tom over but it never happened. Maybe someday he will walk into one of our stores and I�ll be there to help him. Hopefully I don�t act like a silly schoolboy.

WHY ARE YOU WHISPERING? I always think the customer has a secret to tell me when he walks in and asks in his softest voice, You guys have Cubans? My current answer is, Nope. I then get the sense from them that I was a little too quick with my short response. The customer is not happy with me. In my defense, ever since President Obama eased travel restrictions, we get this question all day long so I get a little grumpy at having answered the same question all the time. OK, I know, poor me!!! I promise to have a better attitude after today. The longer answer I am forced to give is the story of how the President eased travel restrictions and by doing so now allows folks who visit Cuba to bring back $100 worth of cigars and/or alcohol. So to be clear, you can only bring back Cuban products if you visit Cuba on a sanctioned trip. I tell them that the Embargo is still in effect and we cannot import or sell Cuban products. Congress has to act on that and there is current no real sign of anything happening on that. So when you are vacationing in Mexico or the Bahamas or whatever foreign country other than Cuba the rule does not apply to you. Sad to say, but that is the current state of the law. So after all that, maybe my bad attitude comes from the fact that I am not a huge fan of Cuban cigars. Maybe that comes from the fact that I have not smoked a ton of them and moreover, I cannot sell them so I just don�t get that involved with them. Customers and friends offer them to me all the time and I just never get that excited. I always think they are fakes so I really don�t want to waste my time with that. Man, I have a bad attitude� Speaking of fakes, I bet less than 1 out of 25 Cuban cigars that customers come in and show me are genuine. I feel terrible that they spent money on them but guide them to the counterfeit galleries so they can determine their authenticity themselves. I really think that the even the merchants overseas don�t know they are selling fakes. It is a worldwide issue. The only place to be sure you get authentic Cuban cigars is a La Casa del Habanos store. We may just see some relief toward the end of President Obama's term. I have a feeling congress might be ready to remove the embargo by then. Hopefully sooner.

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