A Week With Omar: Rings Of Power, Chess, Magnum 54 and Divinos
Before I jump in to this weeks post, I would like to acknowledge and offer my condolences to the Royal Family for the passing of the longest reigning British monarch, the longest recorded female head of state and the second longest reign of any sovereign in history, Queen Elizabeth II.
I have received many messages about this asking my thoughts on this and how I feel due to my previously out spoken views about the Monarchy.
I would like to clarify this, I am, indeed, someone who holds views that are anti-monarchical. I fail to understand - in today’s day and age - the importance and significance of a monarchical structure. Nonetheless, I have always been pro Queen. It is a matter of fact that Queen Elizabeth II has dedicated her entire life to her duty as Head of State, her unifying ability was second to none and her public neutrality was truly admirable. I am sure we will all appreciate, remember and commemorate the life she spent in service of the people of this country and the Common Wealth.
The Rings of Power.
Have any of you seen it yet?
I have some questions, first and foremost, why do people allow corporate interests to interfere with their reviews of creative endeavours? I am really rather confused as to why the reviews seems to be so unfavourable. I can imagine a small portion of of the audience having rather strong, dissenting feelings towards the casting, writing, cinematography or whatever but 3/5 stars on Amazon Prime seems a little much?
Of course, I'm not a movie critic, far from it, but neither are most of the people who are commenting and critiquing this production. I can’t help but conclude that people either don’t like Jeff Bezos and or disagree with the business practices of Amazon and are directing this angst towards a large, well funded project. As a content creator I totally get that ‘art’ is subjective but I do smell some insincerity.
Anyway, rant over.
I must confess, to say im a fan at only 4 episodes in would be an overstatement but I am definitely invested! I think you all know I am a big fan of The Lord Of The Rings, this is no secret, I am one step away from being fluent in the Elvish language Quenya, yes, I know, I am extremely sad.
My initial impressions of this new show is it's a slow burn. If you want something to shake your world and provide you with unbridled action and storyline progression you will be sorely disappointed.
But is this a bad thing?
In my opinion it isn’t, as long as the the slow parts provide an over arching depth to the story line I don’t see what’s wrong with a slow burn. So far, I find the inclusion of legendary characters like Elrond, Galadriel and Isildur to be brilliantly tantalising, the excitement of seeing their origin stories is - so far - enough to keep me tied in intrigued to know what happens next. Of course my opinions may change and the foundations of the show may fall apart, only time will tell.
I think regardless of if you're a fantasy fan or a LOTR fan you need to check this out and please, give it a chance, don’t give up after the first episode and give it a good go! I am really interested to hear what you all think, please send me a message or leave a comment below and let me know!
Another update this week is I have started playing Chess again!
I’m not one to brag but my rapid rating on chess.com is 2178, so in other words, I don’t fuck around.
If you are all interested I would love to create a Curiosity Project League on chess.com where we can all play each other and of course, i'll come up with a prize for the winner.
What do you all think?
For those who are interested, I know there has been some hullabaloo in the Chess world with regards to the reigning champion Magnus Carlsen and an upcoming young prodigy, Hans Niemann.
In case you didn’t know, Magnus is considered to be one of, if not, the greatest chess player to ever live, being the number one player in the world for over a decade and having a sore of over 3000 on chess.com.
Magnus was recently defeated by a relatively unknown player called Hans Niemann. Magnus responded by withdrawing from the tournament and making cryptic accusations towards potential cheating.
What is my opinion?
Well, Hans does have a history of cheating, from what I understand he has been caught twice on chess.com, in spite of this, the analysis of his recent games by grandmasters shows there is no evidence what so ever of foul play. I think Magnus should make a statement providing evidence rather then making baseless, incriminatory, career ending accusations towards Hans. I hope they are able to work this out and just get on with the Chess as having respect for your fellow competitors is indeed an important part of the game.
In terms of cigars I managed, again, to get in two cuban smokes this week, both of which are new for me!
The first was the Cuaba Divinos. Similar to last week in terms of the El Ray Del Mundo smoke, I think Cuaba would probably be in the same category in terms of brands that not many people have heard of and the Divinos might be the most under appreciated cigar in this brand.
I must say, I was rather underwhelmed when I first saw it, it’s diminutive stature really caught me off guard. A rather novel little double Figurado that I can't say I've seen before.
In terms of my smoking habits, I seldom ever require a ‘quick smoke’, rather, I allow the moment to choose when I smoke. If I find myself with at least an hour where I can disconnect, that's when I settle down to enjoy some quality time with a premium cigar. So these small smokes aren’t something that I typically reach for when rummaging around in my humidor.
I sat down with a lovely Hawaii Kona espresso, lit up the cigar and was immediately greeted with hearty, full, woody, earthy and leathery notes but no harshness. I can tell you, this cigar was a bit of a mind fuck, I really wasn't expecting it to be so full flavoured!
Unfortunately has I smoked through, I started to find some rather significant construction issues, on both examples I smoked the burn was extremely uneven. Whether this affected the taste is something I wouldn't know for sure.
As I reached the end of the cigar, this little bastard really turned up the power and was rewarding me with extremely deep cedar notes. Without seeming like a light weight I had to cut the smoke short at this point as the cigar started to burn a little hot which unfornautely started to add some bitterness and harshness.
For me the Divinos gave me around 20 minutes of great fun. In my opinion this is not something I would hand over to a beginner, this is probably more of an advanced stick and perhaps one that its treated either as precursor to another cigar or as a quick smoke to get your fix. An interesting smoke and paired beautifully with the coffee but I think I would like a little more complexity and nuance, perhaps the longer Cuaba formats might be more my speed.
The second is a brand we are all no strangers to, one of my personal favourites, H.Upmann and in particular the Magnum 54.
This is a no bullshit stick, plain and simple.
A brilliant vitola, the thickness provides an impeccable draw with reams of smoke production, if smoking this indoors make sure you have either a window open or adequate ventilation.
Strangely enough, this particular blend seems to be lighter then the other Upmann's I've tried like the Half Corona, Petite Corona and Regalias. For me, this is no bad thing. This cigar was indeed light in strength but no slouch when it comes to flavour. It filled my palate with rich thick smoke that permeated my taste buds with light, signature creamy, cedary flavours. Upmann and Romeo - to my palate - are perhaps the two most recognisable blends I have tried.
For me this was a real treat, one of which I will be looking to fill my humidor with. More exciting is this is a brilliant smoke for a beginner that wants the heavier ring gauge but doesn’t want their knees shaking by the end. A massive success by Habanos and is slowly becoming a favourite of mine.