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A Trip to Cuba

I have traveled to Cuba six times now. I studied in Cuba in 2003, for a month, and in 2004, for a semester, with a few other more recent trips mixed in here and there.

All of my trips were legal ones; a point that should not be overlooked.

The fact that many of my trips came years apart should also not be overlooked. After several changes in the law and regulations, I was unable to return to the island legally. In the past few years, however, these restrictions have eased and I'm allowed to return as part of "people to people" exchanges approved by the U.S. Treasury Department. The upshot of all this is that apart from money and free time, there's no reason why Americans can't legally travel to Cuba these days.

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Now Showing in The Man Cave #5: Taking Lives

NSITMC 1October 3rd, 2016

It is in my Man Cave, which includes my home theater, that I store my movie collection. I now have over 1,000 movies and TV series. The vast majority are kept in a closet that houses the water meter. Above the water meter are storage shelves, providing the perfect depth for the DVDs, HD DVDs and Blu-Rays that make up my collection. Unfortunately, the shelves aren’t quite big enough to house my entire collection, which is always growing.

To help make things easier for storage, organization and retrieval, I have two media cabinets that are adjacent to the closet. One of these cabinets holds all of the titles that I have not yet watched. I may have seen a particular movie in the theater, on cable TV or elsewhere. But unless I have watched the DVD, HD DVD or Blu-Ray version at home, the disc will remain in this cabinet. This makes it easier for me to see which titles I have not yet watched. Currently, there are over 100 individual titles in this cabinet.

The other cabinet holds all of my TV and movie sets. So, for example, my Cheers DVD set is in this cabinet, as are the Star Wars and Indian Jones compilations. As with the cabinet that holds my unseen media, this cabinet helps me to keep my collection more organized.

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From The CW Vault: Christmas Movie Favorites

Editor's note: As the Holiday Season is rapidly approaching, Cigar Weekly is pleased to re-publish this popular feature article from last year.


It's almost that time of the year. Soon, we'll be unpacking decorations stored away since last year. The kids will be giving us lists of all the presents they hope to find under the tree. My wife will be deciding what foods she will make for our family gathering. Yes, the Christmas season is upon us. And what better way to celebrate the season than with Christmas movies.

Starting on Thanksgiving Day, I begin my annual Christmas movie celebration. I usually view at least one film a day, watching some of my favorites several times throughout the season. The films I have listed here, along with mini-reviews, are my top 10 favorites. This list is certainly not exhaustive. These are the films that highlight the joy and beauty of the season for me.

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Now Showing in The Man Cave #4: Zatoichi

Takeoshi 2I’ve written about my favorite film, Shane, as well as (at least I think) the greatest film ever made, Seven Samurai. Now, I’m going to tell you about the greatest movie franchise.

Let’s face it – movie franchises aren’t always executed well. Usually, the first film is excellent. And then each film after that goes down a notch, with viewers following along simply because they love a character, characters or story. We do this despite the fact that each film is worse than the one before it. There are exceptions to this rule. The Empire Strikes Back and Terminator 2 are examples. But for the most part, a series franchise worsens the longer it extends.

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Coltrane: The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings – A Personal Impression

Live at the VV.1Monday December 29, 2014

The initial days of November 1961 dawned amid both fear and hope. While the world continued to shiver through the ominous chill of the Cold War, U Thant became acting Secretary General of the United Nations following the sudden, and suspicious, death of Dag Hammarskjöld. Scotsman Sean Connery garnered the lead role in the upcoming James Bond film, Dr. No. A United States of America federal order banning segregation at interstate public facilities took effect. The Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, visited New York. And in a tiny yet fabled Greenwich Village nightclub, a noteworthy ensemble of musicians expanded the boundaries of contemporary jazz. The leader of the group was a 35 year old saxophonist named John Coltrane. 

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