368. The XL5BC / CPG Pipe of the Year 2023 Celebration

Many thanks to all who participated in this year’s Pete Geek Pipe of the Year event. The time spent developing an idea then seeing it pass through the stages of development and come to fruition is considerable and I hope you’ll join me in thanking pretty much everyone at Kapp & Peterson for the spectacular job they’ve done.

I’m always so impressed with the photograph skills of our community, and as always, delighted to share with everyone what has been sent. There’s still plenty of time, of course, to submit a photo of your CPG pipe for this year’s merit badge.

If you’re on the WAIT LIST–
drop codes will be sent out Monday or Tuesday for the remaining pipes
at both SPC and SPE!








Congratulations, old boy!  Despite the leprechauns who rendered “Pipe Notes” as “Pipenotes” and insisted on labelling the XL5BC an XL5S, Mr. Holmes’ legendary pipe is properly stamped and its history fully documented.  I received my copy, No. 68, today, and I’m almost as delighted with A Chat with the Smoker as I am with the pipe itself.  I’m so glad you included “The Case of Sherlock Holmes and the XL5BC” in the leaflet.  When the next revision of the Bibliography of the Writings About the Writings is published, one important essay will be missing, but you and I and a few others know where to find proof that the historic meeting between the Great Detective and the “famous Russian of Dublin” did indeed take place.*  And when the translation of the Latvian biography of Charles Peterson is published, I fear that there will be no mention of that meeting, but all we have to do is to reach for our copy of A Chat with the Smoker, for there it will be, hidden in plain sight.





Well my PPN POY arrived yesterday on Halloween (our time Down Under) and it was a bit “gnarlier” than I expected so I have called it “The Beastie”.





#114 has a nice craggy blast and I love it. It’s like an ancient tree full of wisdom and stories to tell. The finish on this pipe is great and I especially love it’s a System.









Here is my PPN pipe 2023. I think they did a great job on this pipe. Going to dedicate this pipe to my grandpa James Sullivan who gave me my appreciation of Peterson Pipes through his stories of Ireland and the wee people. Big adventures to a six year old!









My CPG PoY 2023 (10/130) has arrived and I’m happy to report it is both a terrific smoker and has some quite nice looking grain.  I think your choice of stain was quite a success, it is certainly reminiscent of tree bark and adds a pleasant rustic-ness to the pipe.  I also discovered that the stem is practically identical to those used on this year’s 9B revival release (which to my knowledge was not offered with the option of a filter) and can be used interchangeably.  A little extra utility for those of us that enjoy filters but not exclusively; four pipes for the price of two.









She made her way to the (now) frozen North yesterday and I immediately rubbed out and dried some of my home stoved Luxury Bullseye Flake for her maiden voyage. I love it, it is amazing and the blast is gorgeous when looked at up close, seeing the little swirls of what is now sandblasted Birdseye. I got 84 of 130, one digit off my birth year. Absolutely love the pipe, this is one Pete Geek who won’t be letting it sit on a shelf for a year to flip for a profit on eBay that is for sure.









Banner by Jason Canady
Background painting for Mark Irwin photo
“Easter Morning–Gethsemane–Ground Zero”
painting by Leslie Irwin (collection of Mark Irwin)


* While the “Chat” article wasn’t meant to confuse, I realized afterwards that there are scores of SH fans who don’t know about the “Writings About the Writings,” which must have left them scratching their heads.  To make a long story short, “The adventures of Sherlock Holmes have inspired a vast body of literature dedicated to the proposition that the Great Detective was not a mere work of fiction, but an actual historical person. Since the 1920s these “writings about The Writings” have contributed fascinating new insights into the stories, enhancing the pleasure of reading them. You can get a good start on this by a quick glance at the Gasogene Books website, then pick up any number of additional volumes, as there are lots of famous (and not so famous) writers who’ve contributed, from Christopher Morley to the Baring-Gould and Klinger Annotated SH sets to books like Zach Dundas’s compelling The Great Detective. As this is exactly the kind of thing we encounter in postmodern novelist Thomas Pynchon’s work (I wrote my dissertation on him) and you’ll encounter in my novel The X Pipe when it debuts, I hope you’ll delve into it a bit. “The game,” as Holmes said to Watson, “is afoot!”


You might
want to take a look
at this:
(a fellow Pete Geek tells me Tuesday is the drop)


Pete Geek Zippo?

Jon Umpherville is looking for a Pete Geek Zippo. If you’ve got a spare & are interested in parting with it, please contact him at iconoclast85@gmail.com

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