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Preview: I am Jack's Brain driven by good food, travel, and cigars

I am Jack's Brain driven by good food, travel, and cigars

This is a personal website dedicated to food, travel, cigars, and anything else I might happen to be enjoying.

Last Build Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 23:10:00 MST

Copyright: Copyright: (C) Mario. All Rights Reserved.

Another Reason to Smoke Cigars

Wed, 22 Jul 2009 23:10:00 MST

Right now my humidor is covered with a thick layer of dust and the cigars within are drying out from lack of maintenance...

Cigar: Arturo Fuente Special Sun Grown "Chateau Fuente"

Tue, 21 Jul 2009 20:10:00 MST

The return of one of my early favorites.

Farewell Kodachrome

Wed, 08 Jul 2009 21:40:00 MST

A couple of weeks ago Kodak announced that they're discontinuing Kodachrome, their classic slide film (which is older than most people likely to read this).

Cigar: Ramon Allones (Cuba) "Special Selected"

Tue, 23 Jun 2009 23:30:00 MST

It had been at least a couple of months since the last time I got to smoke a cigar, and it was Father's Day, so I wanted something special. Not equipped to deal with the nicotine from my favorite Cohiba Edicion Limitada 2001 "Piramides" I went for something else Cuban instead.

Jack's Brain goes to Japan - 03/09

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 23:40:00 MST

I finished the text for my 3/9 Japan trip! No pictures yet though.

Farewell Sea Saw

Sun, 06 Jun 2009 13:50:00 MST

It's not unusual for restaurants I like to go out of business and about once a year I even lose a restaurant I love. I've loved Sea Saw for years and I'm heartbroken because this is their last weekend in business.

Airline Upgrades

Sun, 26 Apr 2009 23:10:00 MST

Thanks to persistence, and that recent flight to Japan, I should have enough frequent flier miles to get an international upgrade on American Airlines and US Airways.

Temporary Normalcy

Sat, 25 Apr 2009 23:50:00 MST

This week Lynn started training so she's actually working a day schedule for the first time in years. It only took a couple of days before I felt like life returned to normal life; watching movies, smoking cigars, and actually writing. Unfortunately Lynn's training only lasts a couple more weeks so I'm going to enjoy it while I can.

I'm Not Dead Yet

Mon, 13 Apr 2009 23:50:00 MST

The last thing I was doing before I disappeared in November was writing about our experience at the All Souls Procession in Tucson. Before I knew it months passed and we went to Tucson, New Orleans, and Japan.

Cigar: Alec Bradley Maxx "The Fix"

Sun, 30 Nov 2008 23:10:00 MST

I got this cigar free at a Maxx tasting. I'd tried a couple of Maxxs before, and didn't care for them, so I hope this one would be better.

Cigar: La Aurora 1903 Preferidos Maduros (seconds) "Perfecto No. 2" (maduro)

Sun, 16 Nov 2008 23:10:00 MST

The flavor started medium and was deepened by my Dr. Pepper, but while the cigar was enjoyable it wasn't sublime like I know they can be.

Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros (from Flight of the Conchords)

Thu, 13 Nov 2008 23:40:00 MST

This is the funniest thing I've seen in a while.

Life Update

Wed, 12 Nov 2008 23:50:00 MST

Just a quick update.

Cigar: Chateau Real "Small Club Corona"

Sun, 19 Oct 2008 10:50:00 MST

The Chateau Real "Small Club Corona" was a decent cigar I'll probably never get again.

Two Weeks Later

Sun, 05 Oct 2008 23:50:00 MST

I haven't accomplished much these last two weeks at home.

Cigar: Cusano 59 "Robusto"

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 00:40:00 MST

This was my first Cusano 59. I hoped it'd be better than the Cusano Habano LXI I had tried a few weeks earlier.

Time, Space, Motivation

Sat, 20 Sep 2008 22:40:00 MST

For some reason when other people are around our house, even if they're watching the kid for me, I can't seem to concentrate enough to write.

Cigar: Rocky Patel Edge "Torpedo" (maduro)

Mon, 08 Sep 2008 01:00:00 MST

Still one of my favorites.

The Big Announcement

Mon, 01 Sep 2008 21:40:00 MST

We had a cesarean section scheduled for the fourth, but Morgan must've thought Labor Day was more appropriate because she was born 3:19 this morning. Lynn and Morgan are both fine.

Cigar: Cusano Habano LXI "Robusto"

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 22:40:00 MST

I think this was the first Cusano I've had with horrible burn problems.

Cigar: Nub Habano "460"

Tue, 19 Aug 2008 23:50:00 MST

The Nub Habano "460" wasn't as good as the Nub Cameroon "464" I just tried.

Quick Bites (Sandwiches)

Sun, 10 Aug 2008 22:00:00 MST

Just a quick update about sandwiches.

Cigar: Nub Cameroon "464"

Sun, 10 Aug 2008 20:00:00 MST

Typically I don't like large ring gauge cigars because it seems the blender is so worried about making an overwhelming cigar that they go to the opposite extreme and make a yawner. Nub's marketing message of we'll make a fat cigar worthwhile (heavily paraphrased) made me curious enough to give large ring gauge cigars another chance.

Camera: Panasonic LX3

Sun, 10 Aug 2008 20:00:00 MST

About a year ago when I purchased my Ricoh GX100 the only other real contender was the Panasonic LX2. To me the LX2 had a couple of major issues and was already due for an update so I hoped the LX3 was impending. It wasn't and I got a GX100 instead. Finally a year later Panasonic finally announced the LX3.

LA Road Trip

Wed, 06 Aug 2008 22:00:00 MST

Last weekend I went to LA for some eating and picture taking for the second time this year.

Cigar: Kentucky "Cheroots"

Tue, 05 Aug 2008 23:40:00 MST

This was the ugliest, stinkiest cigar I'd ever seen so of course my wife encouraged me to try it.

Food Map

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 23:00:00 MST

I finally updated the food map with new restaurants instead of removing ones that fell off.

Cigar: Oliva Serie O "Robusto"

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 21:00:00 MST

Not much to say about the Oliva Serie O "Robusto".

There's a Party in My Tummy

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 23:40:00 MST

Brobee: "Why are you sad?" Carrots: "We want to go to the party. The party in your tummy."

Cigar: Illusione "888"

Sat, 19 Jul 2008 16:30:00 MST

The Illusione "888" was a good cigar, but required much more time than I normally have to smoke.

Restaurant: Szechwan Palace (east Phoenix, AZ)

Fri, 18 Jul 2008 00:30:00 MST

I have to admit I don't find Chinese food the most exciting stuff in the world. At least that's what I used to think until I heard someone on the radio talking about Szechwan cuisine.

Cigar: Padron 1964 Anniversary "Imperial"

Sat, 12 Jul 2008 23:30:00 MST

After a slew of disappointing Padron 1964s I stopped smoking them until someone was kind enough to give me a maduro "Imperial" that blew me away. I had to get one after that to see if it was a fluke or worth keeping a couple around for special occasions.


Sat, 05 Jul 2008 23:50:00 MST

I love fireworks, but not enough to actually plan to see them.

Cigar: ITC 10 Year Anniversary "Churchill"

Fri, 04 Jul 2008 23:10:00 MST

The ITC "Churchill" was a good cigar, but I expected more.

Nikon D700

Thu, 03 Jul 2008 14:00:00 MST

This week Nikon announced the D700.

In-N-Out Burger

Sun, 29 Jun 2008 22:20:00 MST

I've had a love-hate relationship with In-N-Out Burger...

Chocolate Tasting

Sun, 29 Jun 2008 16:40:00 MST

I'd put off writing about chocolate bars for a while so you get a lot of reviews all at once.

Cigar: Ashton Aged Maduro "No. 20"

Sun, 29 Jun 2008 12:50:00 MST

The Ashton Aged Maduro "No. 20" was my first favorite cigar a long time ago. They don't age well so none of the ones I have in my humidor from 2003 are very good so I snagged one recently to see if they were still any good.

Ricoh GX200!

Wed, 25 Jun 2008 23:20:00 MST

Yesterday Ricoh announced the GX200, the successor to the GX100 (my current digital camera of choice).

Kid Update

Mon, 23 Jun 2008 22:30:00 MST

I've been trying to teach the kid to say "love" for weeks now...

Restaurant: Taqueria Mi Casita (Chandler, AZ)

Sun, 22 Jun 2008 21:20:00 MST

Some days you just want food fast so a neighborhood taqueria [taco shop] is a good way to take care of that.

Cigar: 601 Connecticut "Robusto"

Sun, 22 Jun 2008 19:00:00 MST

I've really liked two out of two of these cigars so I'm going to have to get more.

Just Raise the Prices Already

Tue, 17 Jun 2008 23:50:00 MST

Recently airlines have been dreaming up all sorts of new fees to help make up for high fuel prices...

Cigar: Cuvee Grand 2006 "Centro"

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 22:20:00 MST

For my Father's Day cigar I hoped to have a great cigar (without dipping into the Cohibas). I couldn't tell if the Ashton VSG in the humidor was a "Corona Gorda" or an "Illusion" so I just decided to try something new from Cusano instead.

Cigar: Indian Tabac Limited Reserve "Buffalo"

Sat, 07 Jun 2008 23:00:00 MST

It's amazing that after all these years these are still tasty cigars.

The Joys of Film Photography

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 01:00:00 MST

The last couple of days I've been scanning my ass off, but I've only managed to scan 11 of my 35 rolls.

Best and Worst of Our Houston 5/08 Trip

Thu, 05 Jun 2008 17:40:00 MST

Houston isn't the hub of fine dining that Chicago is, but there's a lot to love about their dining scene (e.g. an abundance of Cajun, Asian, and seafood restaurants).

Cigar: Tinder Box La Reserva "No. 3" (maduro)

Thu, 05 Jun 2008 11:20:00 MST

This was a decent cigar, and maybe it would've developed into a cigar I really liked if I didn't have a Coke with it, but it's not a cigar I'd get again.

Best and Worst of Our Chicago 5/08 Trip

Tue, 03 Jun 2008 00:50:00 MST

We ate well often in Chicago...

Gone Fishing

Sun, 01 Jun 2008 20:50:00 MST

This was the picture I meant to post while Lynn and I were in Chicago and Houston, but I put it off until we got back.

Things the Kid Picked Up Too Early

Tue, 14 May 2008 23:20:00 MST

The title says it all.

Cigar: Oliva Special S "Torpedo"

Tue, 14 May 2008 23:20:00 MST

This cigar was recommended to me by someone working at a cigar shop. Funny how they always seem to recommend the expensive cigars, but I decided to try it anyway (although I forgot that I tried the "Toro" a while ago).

Cigar: Rocky Patel Edge "Torpedo" (maduro)

Sun, 04 May 2008 23:20:00 MST

This Edge started with promise, but never delivered.

It's Not Discontinued Yet

Sun, 27 Apr 2008 00:30:00 MST

When Polaroid announced they would discontinue making instant film I knew some retailers would stop carrying the film immediately. What I didn't anticipate was that people would panic and start hording film now.

Cigar: Montecristo Platinum Vintage 1999 "Robusto"

Sat, 26 Apr 2008 17:30:00 MST

I've seen a couple of vintage cigar lines before, but none of them were brands I cared for. When I saw an ad for a Montecristo Platinum vintage sampler it sounded worth trying though.

Cigar: Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ "Belicoso"

Mon, 21 Apr 2008 00:10:00 MST

I liked this cigar enough to get a five pack, but that's usually the kiss of death so I hoped that wouldn't be the case this time.

Congratulations, it's a...

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 20:30:00 MST

Yesterday we officially found out the sex of the new baby: it's a girl.