The Mill
July 24, 2017;  
No doubt, some of you have arthritis.  I'm not
accusing you, mind you, just stating that I am
cognizant of our somewhat advanced years,
whether 70 is the new 50 or not.  If that surmise
(about the arthritis, not the 70 being 50) is correct,
this column might be helpfully relevant.  Not being
a doctor (I received a liberal arts degree...& was  
not saddled with the handicap of having to
overcome a vocational school education
as is the case with doctors.   To the credit of
many, they have learned to take time they no
longer have to devote to 47 hour days in the ER
room to earn their craft, and started reading.  But
I digress) this is just repeating information sent
this way, but it was sent by a very smart PhD  in
the peripheral field of mental health, so his
research more than smacks of credibility.
This friend is smart, but not smart enough to have
avoided osteoarthritis (just like Stephen Hawking
is not smart enough to have avoided ALS, so tell
me, who's smarter, him or, so far, so good, me?).  
Getting no relief from nothing, my friend started
researching the disease and found that where
Boron, a cheap, un-patentable, element
is prevalent, arthritis is not an issue.  He
somehow put four and four together, decided to
give it a try and began taking Boron, or Boron
pills (do such exist?) or the readily available
Calcium Fructoborate.  No medical doctor was
consulted for these ingestants because, at least
in part, because non ever recommended this
In short order (I'll get back to you on how long it
took) about 90% of the symptoms disappeared.  
When doctors were consulted, they replied that
my friend was just responding to a placebo affect.
"How so, then," my friend, who is smart, as I said,
rapidly replied, "did not the stuff you prescribed
have a placebo affect?"  Silence.
My friend believes that a couple of dynamics are
at work here.  The Boron is too cheap and
abundant for pharmaceutical companies to bother
with it because they won't be able to make money
off it.  I can see that as possible.  Also, because of
that situation, research on its efficacy hasn't
been conducted by pharma and thus doctors have
not been informed that it might be an ameliorative
for osteoarthritis (and maybe rheumatoid
arthritis...more to come on this, one supposes).  
"Cure," at this point is too strong a position to
take, so we'll stay away from that for now.
That is this web site's contribution to medical
health.  It doesn't, however, stop my slightly off-
center brain from rolling over.  Think of Scurvy,
Beri-Beri & Pellagra.  
Scurvy, a disease causing weakness, weariness,
soreness in joints and myriad other problems,
was known as early as ancient Egyptian times, yet
the simple cure of Vitamin C (found in citrus
fruits, tomatoes, etc.) wasn't discovered 'til 1753
by a Scottish physician and not applied to its navy
for another 40 yrs.  
Beri Beri attacks the peripheral nervous system
and is caused by lack of grains.  Victims were
common in Asia, where white, or polished rice was
the mainstay because of its longer shelf life, not-
withstanding that the hulls of brown rice would
have been much healthier for the populace.
After how many centuries of this disease's
presence the correlation wasn't understood until
the end of the 1800s.
And Pellagra, a disease that exhibits symptons of
diarrhea, dementia, skin lesions and more, is
easily treated by fresh foods and vegetables
containing vitamin B1, which was not much known
until the 1930s.  
If that's all true (not counting my transcribing
mistakes), that the medical and scientific
community missed what we now consider the
ultra obvious, then why is it not easily possible
that Boron has been overlooked as treatment for
a common disease?  Plus, and I've not the time to
go here, there are quite possibly, if not probably,
other diseases that can be handled by simple,
inexpensive, natural treatments, rather than by
using drugs with serious side effects.  
I will say that in doing a little googling for this
column, I was directed to the site of a Dr. Axe,
who talked about Boron as a treatment for
arthritis.  I don't know if Axe is considered a
reputable source or a quack.  If you have arthritis
and care to, you can look up his web site.
My friend did forward to me a bunch of the
research papers he looked into that support his
contention and I sent them to two of my medical
doctor friends/correspondents.  No comment, yet,
from either of them.  
As a final word, I refer you to Norman
Greenbaum's Junk Band song (think washboard,
kazoo and stringed...1 string only...instrument)
"Patent Medicine by Dr. West."
"You say you want something good for a cold?
You want something new & not old?  
I got something better than the rest...
Patent Medicine by Dr. West.

For 50 cent you can cure
Anything that ails ya,
With a money back guarantee
If for some reason it fails ya.

You want something to make ya feel good?
Well, a spoonful of Dr. West's should.
Buy a bottle and put it to the test...
Patent medicine by Dr. West."


Here's what's new:
On the Danish page is  a Tom Elta
ng sandblasted Snail,
two unsmoked Jorgen L
pieces and an unsmoked Former.
 On the
Italian page is an older Becker and on the
German page is an unsmoked Peter Klein.
The English page now has a few George
Huybrecht pipes & a Pre-Transition Barling's
EXEXEL.  If I get to it, there will be a Senatorov
(from Lithuania, I believe) & Cherapanov of
Russia on the Misc. page.
(I did get to it.  The
pipes are there for the viewing.

Pease Southlinch from 2002 NASPC show. $90
Friedman & Pease Winter's Tale.  $100
Balkan Sobranie Virginia # 10 50 grams. 4 tins.  
$250 each.  
New Tins arrived, including
Abingdon, and a bunch of
others from 2003 and starting @ $40 a tin.

More old, collectible tins from the 1990's:

McClelland Mixture #1 (2000?) 100 grams. $50
McClelland Virginia Woods. 1997. 100 grams. $50
Ashton 1997 Celebrated Sovereign 4 oz., $100
Esoterica Pembroke...2 oz., 56 grams. $80
Davidoff Royalty 50 grams. $30
Davidoff Danish 50 grams. $25
Dunhill Nightcap from Lane Ltd. 50 grams. $85
Dunhill Std. Mixture Mile from Lane 50 grams. $65
Butera Matured Ribbon 1996 & '97 50 grams. $50
Benjamin Hartwell Pvt. Reserve 50 grams from
Consolidated Cigar (thus from mid '90's) $30
Quotes & anecdotes from "The Portable Curmudgeon"

The to music what a bawdy house is to a cathedral.
           H.L. Mencken

When an opera star sings her head off, she usually improves
her appearance.                         Victor Borge

The place where optimism flourishes most is the lunatic
asylum.                                       Havelock Ellis

The basis of optimism is sheer terror.     Oscar Wilde

The optimist thinks that this is the best of all possible worlds & the
pessimist knows it.                                J. Robert Oppenheimer

A paranoid is a man who knows a little of what's going on.
              William Burroughs

There may be some doubt as to who are the best people to have
charge of children, but there can be no doubt that parents are the
worst.                                                 G. B. Shaw

n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
       Ambrose Bierce

A ceremony in which rings are put on the finger of the lady and through
the nose of the gentleman.                Herbert Spencer

A friendship recognized by the police.    Robert Louis Stevenson

The dread of loneliness is greater than the fear of bondage, so we get
married.       Cyril Connolly

I got married the second time in the way that, when a murder is
committed, crackpots turn up at the police station to confess the
crime.                                 Delmore Schwartz

It is often pleasant to stone a martyr, no matter how mch we admire
him.                                     John Barth

There is a certain impertinence in allowing oneself to be burned for an
opinion.                               Anatole France

Women want mediocre men, and men are working hard to become as
mediocre as possible.                           Margaret Mead

The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics
and women are idiots.                          Rebecca West

When an opera star sings her head off, she usually improves her
appearance.                                            Victor Borge

If you leave the smallest corner of your head vacant for a moment,
other people's opinions will rush in from all quarters.
George Bernard Shaw

The amount of noise which anyone can bear undisturbed stands in
inverse proportion to his mental capacity.
Arthur Schopenhauer

I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend
in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.   G.B. Shaw

Assassins!      Arturo Toscanini to his orchestra.  

Many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the
whole girl.                                                                       Stephen Leacock

Many a man has fallen love with a girl in a light so dim he would not
have chosen a suit by it.                                         Maurice Chevalier

Nature is a hanging judge.                            Anonymous

The murals in restaurants are on a par with the food in museums.
Peter DeVries

A mother-in-law dies only when another devil is needed in hell.
Francois Rabelais

Getting out of bed in the morning is an act of false confidence.
Jules Feiffer

On Marilyn Monroe: She was good at playing abstract confusion in the
same way a midget is good at being short.    Clive James

Morality is a disease which progresses in three stages:
virtue--boredom--syphilis.                                    Karl Kraus
This photo was taken only days before my beloved San Francisco
store, Sherlock's Haven,  was closed for good in June of '06, thereby
diminishing the quality of life on this planet no little and quite some.  
The man to my right was my trusty pipe tobacco and cigar taste-tester,
Johnson, of the sensitive palate.  He is now  plying his trade in
Phoenix.  The tall gent behind him is Jimmy Walker, hand picked to be
my successor until lease negotiations broke down.  The hoodlum
looking character to my left is my good friend and Consigliere, Steve
Brunner.  Among the regulars are a number who are still friends and
with whom I have regular intercourse.  There has never been a more
congenial spot than Sherlock's Haven, the Camelot of tobacco stores.  
As its proprietor is how I'd like to be remembered.
I wanted to caption this photo, "I knew more about pipes when I was
seven than you know now," but my P.R. firm nixed that idea.  So, let's
try, "With the pristine palate that accompanies youth, Marty smokes a
blend without a full complement of Latakia for the first time in his life."
I don't actually know what was going through my mind at the time, but
the photo was taken circa 1950, and probably in Williamsburg, Virginia.
(And no, I did not actually smoke a pipe until I was 18 years old, really.)
Shortly after my mother met my wife, she told Joy that all it took to
keep me happy in the back seat of our 1938 LaSalle during our annual
one week vacations was a pipe in my mouth and a cap on my head.  
Joy responded with the fact that nothing has changed except that now
I'm in the front seat.  
Above is my sister, with whom I contentiously shared that large back
seat, and my father.  The sweater was knitted by my Aunt Rae.  The
site was most probably Niagara Falls and the year 1949.  I'm guessing.
Welcome to Pulvers Briar
This website is devoted to pipes and my enjoyment of talking
about and showing them.  For your part, I hope you derive some
pleasure in seeing and reading about briar and meerschaum
There are plenty of pipe websites and lots of good pipes other
than mine.  What will distinguish my site from most of the others
is the willingness to voice my  opinion in the relatively rare
occurrence when a pipe is not superior, or has a noticeable flaw.
Mostly, I'm pleased with the pipes I choose to offer for sale, both
in pipe quality and price.  But please, look and decide for
You will see new and used pipes for sale, the new often having
been hand picked and the used always having been cleaned
and reconditioned and ready for you to smoke upon arrival.  
Please enjoy your time spent here today, and please come back
I'm almost always happy to hear from you and to field your
questions, concerns, ideas or other input.
Feel free to write.
Marty Pulvers
Pulvers' Prior Briar
P.O. Box 61146
Palo Alto, CA  94306

(650) 965-7403