The Classic Life Blog

I want to be a better husband, dad and businessman and I am far from perfect. Some of these writings are random thoughts and others are to illustrate ideas, discoveries and life experiences. I hope you enjoy it.

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Warmer air = Lower humidity

Warmer Air = Lower Humidity in your Cigar Humidor.

This has been one of the coldest winters on record for us.  It's currently nearing the end of March, and temperatures are starting to warm up.  If your cigar humidor is in a cool place in the basement, keep an eye out for your humidification level in your humidor as warmer air tends to drop the humidity in your humidor.

This is basically because air acts like a sponge when holding humidity.  For more about that read this link here:

A sudden drop in humidity can lead to dryer cigars and an improper burn.  Your cigars are valuable so be sure to keep an eye on your humidor.


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Open the Door for your Wife

Opening the Door for your Wife.

It might be a generational thing, but have you ever seen in old movies how the husband always opens the door for his wife?  

I think it's a lost art.  An act of respect.  It's not that she can't open the door for herself, but it's the fact that we are putting them ahead of ourselves.  We're thinking of them first.

Today it's so common to run from one place to the next.  Taking our kids from football practise to music lessons.  Our faces are stuck to our smartphones.  We seldom take these few moments to show respect to another individual - especially the most important person in our lives.

Next time you are out, go ahead and open the door for your wife.  You'll show her in a real simple way that she's very important to you.

- Eddie

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Wisdom from a Taxi Driver

Wisdom from a Taxi Driver

I'm in Chicago right now, and I took a cab to the place where I wanted to go.  I'm always interested in talking to cab drivers because these guys have a lot of time to think about life.  They also see people at their best and their worst.  They're probably among the wisest on earth.

My cab driver Asian - I think Japanese.  His black hair looked too black (probably died) but in the rear view mirror I could see that his face was smooth and unwrinkled.

We said our basic niceties, and somehow he mentioned he was 72 years old.  I couldn't believe it - and then proceeded to ask him a few things about his family.

Then he started sharing with me some of his wisdom that he had found over the 72 years of being alive.  Nothing was earth-shattering, but nonetheless his timing was perfect because I need a reminder of this stuff just like all of us.

Here's what he said (in abbreviated form).

  • Learn to love yourself.  Love yourself first.  When you love and take care of yourself first, then you can...
  • Love your family.  They are your true friends.  When you love and respect yourself you can take care of your family properly.
  • Always be kind and forgiving to people.  People will like you when you are nice, and you will be without enemies.

Now this is a guy I would love to spend more than 10 minutes in a cab with.  However our drive was done, we bid eachother farewell.

Great wisdom from a taxi driver.

- Eddie

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The Power of the Written Word

The Power of the Written Word

Lerryn and I are bringing my daughter to University in about a week's time and over the last week we had purchased some of her text books (used) off of Amazon to save some money.  Over the last couple of days they started to arrive in the mail.

Yesterday her and I went to the post office and in the car she started to open some of the packages.  As she leafed through some of the books, to her excitement - there were many handwritten notes and highlighted marks.  We immediately joked about how easy the semester will be with all the answers written in the books.  

But what if the previous owner failed the course?

And then I got thinking of times back in high school when the odd textbook had writing or notes, or even answers.  I never got the best grades in school, and I immediately assumed that whatever was written in the pages was accurate and believable.  It didn't matter if they were completely wrong - I believed them to be correct.

And then I think of how many times we believe the handwritten words on paper as the truth.  There is power in hand-written words.

Why don't you take a minute today and write someone an old fashioned letter.  Not typed.  Not word-processed.  Hand written.

Write something that could help change the course of someones life in a positive way.  Some encouragement.  Something awesome.

Pop it in the mail with one of those sticky things called stamps.

There's power in the written word.

 - Eddie


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Increasing my Impact

Increasing my Impact

There's a lot of talk these days about:

  • reduce your carbon footprint
  • leave the earth the way you found it
  • tred lightly
  • reduce your impact on the environment etc

While these are good (and I totally get what the intent is) why are we so concerned about leaving things the way they are?  Personally I'd like to increase my impact on the world in a positive way.

  • support a family in africa with food and opportunity to thrive
  • plant some trees in deforested areas
  • help cook food for a local soup kitchen
  • go across the road and help your neighbour build a shed
  • invite someone over for Christmas dinner that's not part of your family

Increase your impact.


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Genuine Cigar

Genuine Cigar

by Christopher Robin Adams



Dandy McCoy:

Dark and dancing in shadows

            dripping over me from oak leaves

                        blocking sun here and there.


Lights easy and medium-plus draw.

No cone,

so, as I write here,

            he nods.


Transitions from leaf to fire to leaf.

He waits for me

            to give him attention,

                        to fire him up

                        and bring snippets of light

                        into these oaken shadows.

I read, also,

and McCoy sleeps through that, too.

No patience for the creative mind.

He selfishly demands fingers and fire.


I write on,

and I do not fault my rolled leaf friend,

            at rest again.

He is what he is:

                        a dandy,

                        the real McCoy.


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By Hand

The Master's Hands.

Precise.  Deliberate.  Articulate.

A perfect cut.  An exacting match.  He makes a selection. 

Harmonious synergy with nature's age old materials.  

No synthetics.  True authenticity.

Nature offers its art and Craftsman paints.  Creating synergy with age old materials.  Wood.  Leather.  Stone.

Hands scrutinize deeper than any machine.


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Smoking Irony

Smoking Irony

by Christopher Robin Adams

“No smoking in the library”,

so I changed course:

            no lighter,

            no clipper,

            no ashtray,    

            no protective tube,

            and no cigar.


I went mental and picked up a book.

The Cigar Roller

took me to a distant past,

one denied me and my thin wallet:


            land of historic soil

            and home of Cuban leaf.


I wandered the hills with Pablo Medina,

            met his playmates and, later,

            was introduced to his early conquests.

We lit our first cigars

and then rolled our first sticks,

            thereby beginning a lifelong love of cigars.

We worked our whole life in the shade of tobacco leaf;

it filtered every movement and every thought.


instead of relighting my stick,

            I sip my black coffee;

instead of flicking ash into ceramic,

            I flip pages.

In time and for awhile,

            I forget smoking and enjoy cigars.

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Richard Hennessy Cognac Humidor

Richard Hennessy Humidor1 THWe had the privilege of creating a limited series of humidors for Hennessy Cogac.  The first batch was designed to fit a bottle of Hennessy XO and 12 Mombacho Cigars.  The second humidor was a a custom one-off humidor to fit a very rare bottle of Richard Hennessy signed by Maurice Hennessy himself.

It was a priviledge to work on this project.  Enjoy the photos.

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Bespoke Chessboard Humidor.

vanderburgh chessboard humidor THThis was a fun and interesting project.  First of all, the client wanted to integrate the chessboard as a permanent feature.  I thought that it might be nice to have the option to remove the board in case it wanted to be used seperately on a table.

All seemed fine, until we received the chessboard itself.  It was a cherished piece that was passed down for many years.  The years had definitely taken its toll on it as it was badly warped in on many planes.  Working with warped wood is often difficult, so we figured out a unique way to install the lid, while still being made removable.

Enjoy the photos!


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Smoke Opens up My Eyes

Smoke Opens up My Eyes

by Christopher Robin Adams

We are not human beings trying to be spiritual; we are spiritual beings trying to be human. - Sarah Ban Breathnach


Begin with the mind.
What we know.
I know Tres Reynas’ dark wrapper
will be stronger than my milds,
but the ring’s curious script grabs me,
                        draws me in;
its deepened black and gold flourishes ,
            like midnight Merritt Island
            with my NASA brother starring skyward,
                        watching stars,
                        dream talking life and growing wise,
moves me deeper into memory and tribute to his life well lived.
            One night, he suggested The Cookoo’s Nest for my next read;
            since then, the book has burrowed into conversations,
            reminding me that appearances deceive,
            but our minds rescue us with tools,
            just as the queen rescues the king
                                                if he pauses, thinks to ask.
This cigar’s not for writing;
three queens won’t hold a light.
they knows not why I acquired it.
Perhaps, they’re trying to be a cigar,
even as I try to be a human.
Matter can be deconstructed,
but it cannot be destroyed.
My deconstructed brother talks to me now
            through the smoke of time and this stick;
he reminds me of our evenings under stars
and of our minds bright as those very windows to heaven.
With forgiveness, I light the Tres Reynas, again,
            to help them become a better cigar
            as they help me to become a better human being.

Christopher Robin "Kit" Adams,
UCF Florida Writing Project/Mentor
Facebook: Spanish Cedar

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Crush and Roll West - Humidor

crush roll west vanderburgh humidor THCrush and Roll West Charity Humidor 2009

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Lou Rodriguez Cigars Humidor

When Lou Rodriguez first commenced his cigar company, he wanted to start off with a grand entrance with some custom humidors for his brand.  He contacted us to build a few custom humidors for his new cigar brand launch.  

Here are some images of the project which perfectly aligned with the quality of Lou's cigars.  If you haven't tried Lou Rodriguez' cigars, you are truly missing out.  My personal favourite cigar is the Premier Edition.  Have a look at Lou Rodriguez Cigars and pick up a box.  Let him know that you heard about them here.

Enjoy the photos.

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Chief Hava Humidor

Limited Edition CHE 'Chief Hava Edition' Humidor

The Hava Cigar 'Chief Hava Edition' humidor was a very intricately and carefully planned completely custom cigar humidor that we created for our friend Skip Martin who was a co-owner of the Hava Cigar Shop and Lounge in Galveston, Texas.


The Story of the CHE.

Many of you know, that Galveston took a hard hit from Hurricane Ike in 2008, and unfortunately the Hava Cigar Shop and Lounge was one of the many shops that got wiped out from the storm.

The humidor was created from solid Sapele Mahogany, and was 'quarter sawn' from the tree. This means that the wood has been cut similar to how a piece of pie is cut. This gives unique grain characteristics in the wood, and beautiful black and golden stripes are revealed through the grain.

This custom humidor was made in our 'raised panel' style, and because of the construction details, the beauty of the solid woods is very much emphasized.

However, you dont notice the intricate details of this humidor until you actually open the lid.

Inside we created a very unique tray, where the air slots (usually strips cut in the tray) were actually part of the Hava Cigar logo.

Not only that, but after the tray has been removed, the beauty of the polished black granite bottom shines through and offers rich and luxurious character to the whole entire humidor.

The entire humidor is lined with 1/4" Spanish Cedar, which - because of its unique characteristics is a perfect wood for aging cigars.

Skip's preference on humidification is the Boveda system, which required a custom made shelf integrated on the underside of the lid, perfectly made to fit just the right amount of Boveda Packs.

Finally to top the whole project off, we engraved, upon Skip's request, a poem called CRIMSON written by Carl Sandburg.

So enough of us talking about this humidor, let Skip say it for us:

Skip's Testimonial

"My custom humidor arrived this afternoon. After removing it from the shipping materials, I spent almost an hour examining the intricate details and the craftsmanship.

While these are easy to appreciate on a superficial level, I want to convey what this humidor means to mean on an emotional level.

First, it is an enduring representation of the passion and quality I put into my cigar business. As you know, my store was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008. The inclusion of my business logo into the design will ensure that I am reminded of that period of my life every time I open the lid.

Second, the addition of the Carl Sandburg poem CRIMSON on the underside of the lid reminds me of the legacy of my father and grandfather, and my experience as a boy on the outskirts of their ‘circle of men’….smelling their cigar smoke and absorbing their wisdom.

This is so much more than a box to me. I can’t thank you enough."-Skip

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Cro Magnon Cube Humidor

The Cro Magnon Cube Cometh. 


Vanderburgh Humidors was honored to be selected by Adrian's Costa Rican cigars to build the very unique Cro Magnon Cube humidors. 


The Cro Magnon Cube is all hand-made with solid black walnut, and hand dyed to a deep black finish.  The  intricate Cro Magnon logo was inlayed carefully with an intriguing white pearl finish. 


The humidor sports a removable solid Spanish cedar basket which allows humidification packs to be placed all around the cigars offering 360 degree humidification control.  Sealed with a neoprene O-ring and accented with a rich black granite floor the Cro Magnon Cube humidor is truly a unique, bold humidor reminiscent of Cro Magnon cigars themselves.  Visit Adrian's Cigars for more details on the delicious Cro Magnon cigars.


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Jameson Cigars Limited Edition Humidor

Jameson Cigars Limited Edition Humidor  Continue reading

Papa John's 1971 Camaro Humidor

Papa John Pizza's executive team approached us recently for a very special project:  "Create for us a custom cigar humidor that looks like Papa's famous 1971 Camaro, and by the way ... have it ready for us in 4 weeks - in time for Papa's surprise 50th birthday".

It was that moment that my dark roast coffee dropped as fast as my jaw.  Good thing I wasn't smoking a cigar at the time.Papa Johns 71 Camaro Front Final Concept MD

So off to my design Mac I went, creating a 3D concept that mimicked Papa Johns prized posession ... his showcase 1971 Camaro.  If you don't know the story about Papa's Camaro, read it here.

So we began the challenge of creating a humidor with design elements of Papa's Camaro, including matching gold metallic paint, striping and form factor.  Three and a half weeks later, Papa's humidor was complete including gold metallic automotive finish, professional taping, spanish cedar lining and one-of-a-kind shape.  According to Michele Heuglin, one of Papa's Executive Team upon receiving it simply said:  "GOT IT; BEAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTIFUL!!!".

What more can I say?

Happy Birthday Papa John, and thanks for the priviledge of working on this project.



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1800s Steamer Mahogany

Enjoy our discovery of some wood that came from a steamer vessel built in the 1800's.  Many layers of lacquer cover these old boards and watch how our planer removes the age and reveals character not seen for over a hundred years!


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Crotch Mahogany and Walnut Humidor

Tom is a jeweler from Los Angeles and wanted something special, just for himself.  Tom has an appreciation for fine things and wanted to incorporate a rare wood into his humidor design as well as some personalization.  Tom sent us a solid silver plaque to inlay into the top of his humidor and chose some rare crotch mahogany to accent the walnut in his humidor.

The humidor turned out beautifully with an entirely removable solid Spanish Cedar lining.

Notice the unique secret drawer deep enough to hold some cigar accessories like lighters and cutters.


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The Beatles Humidor - Hand build with artistic pyrography.

The Beatles Humidor MDThis beautiful humidor was made from fine American Walnut naturally oil-finished and was for a customer in Singapore.

  • Solid American Walnut - beautiful grain
  • Artistic pyrography by Dumitru Muradian - took 12 days to complete.
  • Solid 3/16" Spanish Cedar lining
  • 1/2" Thick Premium Granite floor
  • Personalization
  • American Made solid-brass hardware.
  • Holds about 100 cigars
  • Passive Humidification

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