Somebody didn’t do their market research [PHOTO]

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Whoever decided to try and sell something named KuKui near Mexico has either (a) never done any market research in their life or (b) has a particularly vicious sense of humor.

KuKui photo

KuKui photo

 

For the rest of the world that has no idea what a KuKui is, it’s a very famous folktale monster told to misbehaving kids around Mexico. “You better behave, or the KuKui will get you!”

The closest thing to a KuKui in the US is the “boogeyman”, but saying “you better behave, or the boogeyman will get you” isn’t even close to the kind of terror mentioning a KuKui can bring.

You know, now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I should have bought a bottle. For research purposes, of course.

Brooks County [Photos]

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Brooks County 01

Brooks County 02

The plaque reads…

Brooks County. Formed from Hidalgo, Starr and Zapata counties. Created March 11, 1911. Organized September 2, 1911. Named in honor of JAMES ABIJAH BROOKS, Captain of Texas Rangers, 1882-1906, Member of Texas legislature, County Judge, Brooks County. Since 1911 Falfurrias, the county seat.

A look inside a self-serve cappuccino machine

You know those self-serve “cappuccino” machines that vend all different kinds of flavored coffees? The ones that look like this…

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I saw one that was left open yesterday. While I wasn’t expecting a barista on duty, I wasn’t expecting to see this either…

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It’s all powdered mix.

The powdered mix is apparently measured out and sprinkled over a hot water tube and, at least at this location, dispensed through never-cleaned spigots.

Yummy!

Oh, and that spinning whirring noise when you press the button before the “coffee” flows? It’s not a coffee bean grinder revving up – it is just a special effect to sell the product.

I don’t know why I had assumed there were actual coffee beans somewhere in those devices. From now on, I’m sticking to the real stuff.

The big difference between cigar.com and cigarsinternational.com [PHOTO]

Saying I have a “thing” for cigars is like saying Cookie Monster has a “slight predisposition” to cookies. I love cigars. Loooove cigars. To paraphrase Will Rogers, I never met a cigar I didn’t like.

Unfortunately, the local specialty “cigar shop” is full of overpriced, mold covered, dried out, busted drek. Literally. Check out these photos…

 

Local Cigar Shop 01

Local Cigar Shop 01

 

Local Cigar Shop 02

Local Cigar Shop 02

 

Blasphemy! Sacrilege! It should be illegal to beat down cigars like this, I tell you.

Since I have no local shop to rely on, I’ve been buying everything online at either at cigar.com or cigarsinternational.com.

I haven’t had any kind of problem whatsoever with either website. Both have outstanding customer service, both have great everyday and sale prices, and both deliver their shipments a day or two earlier than promised. Both have great weekly deals, and between the two of them, I can get just about any cigar I’m craving.

I will always go with cigar.com first, though. No contest.

With absolutely everything else being identical, here’s why cigar.com is the king…

 

Cigar.Com Shipping

Cigar.Com Shipping

 

Every shipment from cigar.com, regardless of the cigar’s retail price, has a HumiCare pillow in every thick-walled heavy-duty ziploc.

A HumiCare pillow is like a mini-humidifier. It has hundreds of little beads inside that absorb distilled water and regulate the humidity in small enclosures for a brief time. You can reuse those little pouches as many times as you want by just opening the HumiCare pouch, dipping the inner “pillow” in distilled water for a few seconds, letting any extra water drip off, and putting it back inside the HumiCare pouch again and again and again.

A little portable pouch is no replacement for a real humidor, but when I open that outer ziploc from a new cigar.com shipment, the cigars smell fresh with a capital F. The temptation to not smoke one right there and then? Almost impossible to deny.

All because of that little well saturated HumiCare pillow.

Cigarsinternational.com shipping?

 

CigarsInternational.Com Shipping

CigarsInternational.Com Shipping

 

A wafer thin plastic baggie with no HumiCare or humidification packet at all.

If UPS or FedEx delivers a cigarsinternational.com shipment at the end of a typical south Texas summer day, I usually smell cardboard packaging looooong before I smell the cigars. Sometimes the ziplocs pop open inside the UPS box, too, and I find loose cigars all over the shipping box.

Don’t get me wrong. The quality of the cigars from both companies are outstanding. Give a Liga, Ave Maria or a Cohiba from either company after a weeklong dip in my humidor, and I couldn’t tell you which one came from where.

Can cigar.com save some time and money by not including a “prepped” HumiCare packet with every shipment? Definitely. But knowing my cigars, regardless of price range, will always arrive fresh and in good condition? That’s worth the “first view” when I go shopping every single time.

Suddenly I have a craving for a cigar…