Best prices on the net!

Yesterday, I blogged about a new web store that almost died due to insane regulations and issues with getting credit card processing.

Well, I did some research on this new web store, High Desert Tobacco, because I wanted to see if they stood any chance of survival at all in the competitive market of smoking accessories and supplies.

What I found was surprising! Using the products they sell, I did price comparisons against Amazon, Ebay, and the three largest major players dealing in smoking accessories and supplies. I even checked the pricing offered by outlets that offered retail pricing that also sold to the wholesale market.

In EVERY instance, High Desert Tobacco beat them by a huge margin! For instance, High Desert Tobacco offers Zen king size tubes for as low a price of $1.92 (plus shipping) when you buy five cartons but, the LOWEST price for these same cigarette tubes I found elsewhere was $2.50 per carton (plus shipping) regardless of quantity.

If, and I have my doubts, High Desert Tobacco can keep this pricing going, they should become one of the major players in that growing niche market. The problem they seem to have now is exposure so, guess what? I’m going to give them what exposure I can!

If you are a smoker, if you want to save money on your cigarettes, it would pay to go take a look at what this new little web store has to offer.

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WOW! Insane regs nearly ended this new store!

Well folks, it was touch and go for High Desert Tobacco’s store. They were using PayPal for payment processing but, PayPal took exception to the sale of whole leaf tobacco. The result was that PayPal, as is NORMAL FOR THEM, demanded High Desert Tobacco employ the services of an attorney to verify that they were in FULL compliance with EVERY law in EVERY jurisdiction that the whole leaf tobacco might POSSIBLY be sent to. The expense of such legal research was beyond what High Desert Tobacco was ready to spend. PayPal is still holding a small amount of funds belonging to High Desert Tobacco hostage… as THEY ALWAYS DO any time they get a hair up their ass.

This is not new, nor is it uncommon! High Desert Tobacco is just one more victim of the nanny state war on all things “cigarette”. It is due to the insanity of the “we know how to take care of you better than you can take care of yourself” crowd that every seller of tobacco products are under constant assault.

It took some time, and dropping all sales of whole leaf tobacco, but High Desert Tobacco is back online! They had to shop around for a new merchant account and since what they still sell is considered “high risk”, that took a MONTH to accomplish!

What do they sell? All the accessories you need to make your own cigarettes! Tubes, rolling papers, injector machines, filters, rolling machines, cigarette cases, you name it, if it has to do with making, or rolling your own smokes, High Desert Tobacco has something you need!

They also sell FLAGS! Looking for a Confederate flag? Hey have it! Need a U.S. flag? They have that too! Want to fly the Gadsden flag alongside your US and Confederate flags? Yep, they have it!

So, though they no longer sell tobacco, of any kind, over the internet, High Desert Tobacco has the accessories you need and even more at great pricing!

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Confederate Flags can be found!

With the flap over an absolute monster posing with Confederate flags prompting major retailers and sales site to remove all things Confederate from their shelves and listings, finding sources for Confederate flags has gotten a bit more difficult.

Many retailers have sold out of their stock. Other retailers have increased prices to astoundingly high levels.

However, one tiny online retailer is keeping his prices low for the few offerings he has in stock!

High Desert Tobacco has three Confederate Flag themed items for sale now.

A 3′ X 5′ “Don’t Tread On Me” Confederate Battle flag selling for $7.95 plus shipping.

Don't Tread On Me, Confederate Battle Flag.

Don’t Tread On Me, Confederate Battle Flag.

A 12″ X 18″ window mount Confederate Battle flag for your car. Sells for $4.95.

A window mounted Confederate Battle Flag for you vehicle

A window mounted Confederate Battle Flag for you vehicle


And a 3′ X 5′ “2nd Confederate Battle Flag”. This sells for $5.95.

3' X 5' 2nd Confederate Battle Flag.

3′ X 5′ 2nd Confederate Battle Flag.

So, you can get your Confederate themed items still and at reasonable prices too!

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High Desert Tobacco! My go-to smoke shop.

I’m excited as all ‘get-out’! My smoking cost just went below $1 per pack of cigarettes and I’m smoking the best tasting cigarettes I’ve ever had!

The reason is that I’m using whole leaf tobacco from High Desert Tobacco and making my own custom blended smokes.

Now, you have to understand that using whole leaf tobacco is not like grabbing a can or bag of ‘ready to use’ tobacco from the smoke shop to roll your own cigarettes with. You have to shred the leaves and blend the tobacco yourself but it’s certainly worth it!

I’m saving thousands of dollars, if you figure it out for a year, on this! Let me sort of do the math for ya.

A pack of commercially made cigarettes averages $6. That’s $60 per carton. If you smoke 2 packs a day, that’s $4,300 a year on cigarettes! If you reduce your cost to $1 a pack, that’s only $720 per year! A savings of $3,580 over the course of a year! To top it off, you’ll have the best tasting cigarettes you’ve ever had in your life!

What does it cost to get started? Well, if you get the combination package from High Desert Tobacco that includes a shredder, and a carton of cigarette tubes, it’ll cost you about $60. The cost of one carton of smokes!

That combo deal will give you four kinds of tobacco and you will be able to blend up about a carton’s worth of cigarettes. After that, you should have a really good idea of how much of which types of tobacco you’re going to want.

I buy my whole leaf tobacco from High Desert Tobacco by the pound. I use all four types that High Desert Tobacco sells:

  • Virginia Flue Cured – common in American blends
  • Virginia Brightleaf Flue Cured – I use this to lighten up the smoke
  • Tennessee Burley – Used to add flavor and nicotine
  • Turkish Izmir – Used as flavoring and provides some nice aroma

Other than the Brightleaf, all American blended cigarettes have the above tobaccos. The big difference here is that I’m using “straight from the farm” tobacco that has NO ADDITIVES! Also, my cigarettes don’t contain “reconstituted tobacco” (stems and scraps made into ‘tobacco paper’) which the major cigarette manufacturers include in their blends.

So, out of a pound each of the above four whole leaf tobaccos (about $64) I get about a 40 ounce blend and have a half pound of Turkish and a half pound of Burley left over. That’s enough for 1000 cigarettes or, 5 cartons of cigarettes. Add in another $10 for cigarette tubes and you’re spending $74 on five cartons of cigarettes! That same 5 cartons, if bought at the store, would cost you $300! To get another 5 cartons of smokes, I only have to buy another pound each of Virginia Flue Cured and Virginia Brightleaf Flue Cured (about $40) because I have the Turkish and Burley left over to blend with it. Add another 5 cartons of cigarette tubes ($10). So, I’m spending only $124 on ten cartons where it would cost $600 to buy in the store!

If you smoke, and want to keep smoking, you need to visit High Desert Tobacco and get started using whole leaf tobacco!


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Cigarettes for less than $1 per pack? YES!

Yes, it is possible to have your smokes for under $1 per pack but, you’ll be rolling your own. However, you’ll still be spending over $3 per pack if you use commercially available, precessed, rolling tobacco such as Bugler, Drum, American Spirit, or some other brand.

Other reasons to roll your own, beside plain cost, is that manufactured cigarettes contain a ton of additives used to change the flavor, turn the tobacco into pulp and then into what is basically a ‘tobacco paper’ for shredding and to change nicotine levels.

The way to get your cost down to under $1 per pack is to buy unprocessed tobacco then shred it yourself. That can be done with a sharp knife, good paper shredder, or dedicated tobacco shredder.

I’ve been shredding my own tobacco and stuffing my own cigarette tubes for about a year now and my cost is about $0.75 per pack.

To do that, I bought a tobacco blend from “Just Good Tobacco” but, I will be changing my source soon and I’ll be telling you about it in a bit.

If all of this sounds like a lot of work, it really isn’t! Making your own cigarettes is pretty simple and shredding the tobacco is no issue at all. Using the shredder, I can shred enough tobacco for a carton of smokes in less than a minute. Using a “Powermatic I” tobacco injector to fill the tubes, I can stuff a pack of smokes in about 7 minutes while I watch television.

Manual tobacco injector by Powermatic

Manual tobacco injector by Powermatic

An electric version of it is also available but, I see no advantage over the manual version.

Cigarette tubes cost about $2 per carton and come with the filter already installed. I bought 30 cartons for $60 and will probably stay with that vendor for those.

Of course, you can buy rolling papers and hand roll your cigarettes with or without filters. There are very simple little machines out there that help you roll a nice, even, round cigarette that does not look like a joint.

What I found most interesting was that before I started rolling my own cigarettes, I was smoking 2 to 3 packs per day but, once I started rolling my own, my consumption went down to less than a pack per day. If I hand rolled, without a filter, I would only smoke about 10 cigarettes per day!

So, how much have I been saving over the time I’ve been rolling my own? If you figure manufactured cigarettes cost $4 per pack (in some states the cost is well over $9 per pack!) and I was smoking 2 packs per day, I was spending $2,920 per year! After starting to roll my own, and shred my own tobacco, my ‘per pack’ cost is about $0.75 and I smoke less than a full pack per day. We’ll just call it a full pack for simplicity sake and that brings my cost down to $273.75 per year! I’m saving $2,646.25 every year and even more since the price of cigarettes is constantly going up!

Of course, those figures only pertain to me and how I smoke. Still, if you keep smoking two packs per day, the savings will still be about $2,372.50 per year.

Now, other than the site I linked to above, “Just Good Tobacco“, there are other places to buy unprocessed tobacco. The reason I point this out is because the tobacco you get from “Just Good Tobacco” is a blend of tobacco leaf pieces…not whole leaves. That usually indicates that they are buying tobacco scraps and repackaging them. Tobacco scraps are pieces of leaf that fall to the tobacco shed floor during the process of curing and bundling.

I’ve decided I want more control over the actual blend of my tobacco too and I want better quality overall. There is a source that is going to be getting started soon called High Desert Heirloom farm. they have just announced that they will be selling whole leaf Virginia, Burley, and Turkish tobacco for about $17 per pound with free shipping.

A pound of tobacco leaf is enough to roll about 400 cigarettes (the center rib of the leaf takes out some weight so, out of a pound of whole leaf, you get about 12 ounces of usable tobacco.) once the center rib of the leaf is stripped out. That comes out to a tobacco cost of $0.85 per pack but, the quality of the tobacco will be better and I’ll have total control over the taste and strength of the cigarette by blending my own mix.

There are two other places that sell real whole leaf tobacco and both charge $16.99 per pound, or more, for their tobacco but they don’t have the blanket free shipping thing going on.

In addition to the price and free shipping, I feel that buying from High Desert Heirloom farm is an overall better thing due to the fact that they are going to be doing a lot of charitable work once the far itself is in full operation. I like what they plan on doing!

Posted in cigarettes, Northern Nevada, tobacco, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AT&T U-Verse is OK until you have to send equipment back…

Let me start off with saying that the service reps for AT&T on the phone TRY very hard to help…they really do. The problem is they CAN’T help in some isntances and this is one of those instances.

The problem started when my AT&T modem for U-Verse internet died. I called AT&T on March 28 and they troubleshot over the phone for a long while and eventually found that I would need a new modem/router. The agent went through what seemed to be the process of setting me up with a service call for the next morning.

Well, that service call never happened so, I called them back the next day and the rep I got that time said he could not find any record of a service call being scheduled. Soooo, another half hour of troubleshooting, from scratch, ensued to come to the same conclusion that I needed a new modem/router.

That time, a modem/router was sent via UPS next day air. I got it on time and the instruction included directed me to very simply take my old modem and power supply with the invoice to “any” UPS store and they would be GLAD to handle shipping the old modem to AT&T.

Guess what? Not ONE UPS store would ship that modem because the modem model number didn’t happen to show up on their SPECIFIC LIST of equipment that could be shipped back to AT&T!

So, I called AT&T up again today and they decided to simply send me a shipping label, this time for the U.S. Postal Service.


I told the rep that she needed to find a way to get the packaging taken care of but, hey, even though she cheerfully stated that it would be taken care of, THAT NEVER HAPPENED! The Post Office does not DO packaging!

So, if you have AT&T services, jut hope and pray that you NEVER have to send equipment back to them! EVER!

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More of why X-Plane 10 flight simulator still sucks ass!

Laminar research now has an update from version 10.31 to 10.32. I had hoped that the update would fix some serious operational flaws…. it DOESN’T!

Let me explain.

Depending on which airport you want to simulate a flight out of, the ATC may or may not EVER give you clearance to take off. If you remove ALL OTHER aircraft in your situation, you have a much better chance of ever getting clearance to take to the runway and take off. That’s problem #1.

Once you manage to take off, you just might be directed to fly UNDERGROUND! I don’t mean fly in a stealthy fashion either! Oh, no, I mean quite literally UNDER THE SURFACE OF THE GROUND! That’s right, I took off from Reno International that sits at an elevation 0f 4,015 feet and was told to descend to an elevation of 1,000 feet!

Of course, the very second you leave the ground of the runway, you are also IMMEDIATELY “off course” and the ATC will tell you that every two seconds until you manage to get PERFECTLY aligned with your planned course.

So, even though X-Plane has the best coding to run on modern hardware and has the best flight dynamics, it has NOTHING ELSE that is native to the program that’s worth much. Yes, it does have autogen scenery that is much better than the autoge scenery of either FSX or Prepar3d but that isn’t saying a whole lot.

You MUST find addons for everything from basic scenery to airports and even to towns and cities if you want anything close to an immersive experience simulating a flight.

Count on HOURS UPON HOURS of downloading additional scenery files and adding those to your custom scenery folder.


Forget any possibility of using the native ATC as it quite simply is worse than useless! I have found exactly ONE addon ATC program and it is 100% voice activated so and is payware.


Would I reccomend other people go out and buy X-Plane right now… NOT A DAMN CHANCE! Go get FSX (There is a Steam version now) or, if you want to learn more about flight, the academic license for Prepar3d! Yeah, they both depend almost totally on CPU power and won’t take much advantage of your heavy duty video graphics cards but, at least you can USE them with much less frustration and the airports actually HAVE BUILDINGS!


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Flight simulator X-Plane… impressions and thoughts

First things first… X-Plane is a GOOD flight simulator. In my honest opinion, for simulating flight, X-Plane by Laminar Research is huge leaps and bounds beyond any of the Microsoft simulator packages and that of Prepar3d by Lockheed Martin.


Now, before you get all excited and go making a purchase, there are things you need to be aware of:

  1.  X-Plane comes on 8 DVD disks and takes one hell of a long time to install. This is because of the more highly detailed terrain scenery.
  2.  You will find exactly TWO airports that have ANY buildings. Both of these are in the Seattle area and are used for the demo of X-Plane. No other airports in the world have buildings…just runways, ramps, and taxiways.
  3.  Initial setup takes time and attention to detail! You’ll find that this process can be daunting at first but, it’s worth the effort
  4.  X-Plane scenery is 100% stuck in summer. You won’t find that it changes according to time of year like Flight Simulator X or Prepar3d do.
  5.  Cities are auto-generated and DO NOT look anything like what you would expect them to…not one little bit.
  6.  The camera that provides your various views is a bit of a pain in the ass to use. There is no facility to assign a joystick button to cycle through views either so, you’re stuck with using a keyboard “hotkey” assignment.
  7.  The native ATC is almost useless. In fact, I’ll just go ahead and call it useless since it’s so difficult to use without constant errors anyway. You’ll be “off course” through most of an IFR flight which is the ONLY kind of flight that the ATC will let you use. At present, I can’t find ANY good ATC addon for X-Plane unless you want to go online and fly that way.
  8.  X-Plane does a much better job of simulating EVERY environmental and aircraft variable and the effect it has on your flight. Don’t try to taxi behind a 757 in a light aircraft!
  9.  To get X-Plane configured and modified so that you’re really happy with it will take many hours and days. I’m not fully there yet and I’ve been working on it several hours per day for the last week and I am certain I’ll be working on it more from time to time. Right now, I’m trying to get seasons to change and get PAPI lights to work at runways that have them.

Now for the good news:

The default terrain scenery that comes with X-Plane is so much better than anything Flight Simulator X or Prepar3d has to offer that it almost makes those two flight simulator programs laughable but it’s not the best yet. There is a site called where you can find FREE addon scenery and aircraft. You’ll find there is a TON of it! I spent many hours downloading high resolution terrain scenery for all of North America. It’s pretty easy to install too.

There are lots of addon airport scenery that will put buildings at airports and they seem to be very well designed. The whole world isn’t covered yet but, you will be surprised at how many large, medium, and small airports are covered.

As for cities and towns, there are quite a few addon scenery packages for many of those too…not all, just some.

Bottom line is that I would NOT suggest X-Plane for anyone’s first flight simulator! However, after spending time with Flight Simulator X or Prepar3d, X-Plane is a good and very interesting upgrade. You’ll be frustrated at first with the setup…then you’ll start adding scenery and becoming more satisfied as you see the changes.


Oh, as for that “stuck in summer” thing, I’m trying to get another free addon to work that is supposed to switch seasons according to month and temperature…we’ll see.

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New website for authors and aspiring authors.

I’ve put The Writer’s Archive online at

This is a platform for people who like to write to publish their works. Anything that may legally be published in the United States of America is allowed but, a person has to REQUEST access to adult material and certify that they are over the age of 18 if that kind of access is desired by the user.


It’s still a work in progress and probably always will be but, it’s fully functional now.


No advertising, No products to sell, No begging for donations.

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Crowd source funding experiment.

In my last post, I described what I want to do with the 81 Acres I just acquired. “Notalottawata Farm” is hopefully to become a small research facility to find viable farming and basic living techniques to use in harsh environments.

In order to get started on a more solid financial footing, I’ve decided to attempt “Crowd Source Funding” with IndieGoGo.

The campaign is launched and can be seen here: Harsh Environment Agriculture Research. The funding goal is $20,000 to help build the basic shop facility and other basic start-up expenses.


I hope this works out but, if it doesn’t, I can still get it done! things will simply take longer.

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