Archive for the ‘JayZ’ Category

General Wins,Non-Smoking Doesn’t Pay and Bye Duke by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Cohiba is a name in cigars that is well known.  Like most Cuban brands the mark has two owners… the Cuban Cohiba and the Dominican version made by General Cigar since the early 1980s.  General Cigar trademarked the Cohiba name back in the 80s, but Cuba has been fighting that for the past 16 years.  Cuba has been losing the fight, but General Cigars has to keep defending itself.  The latest win for General was late last week when the US Trademark Trial and Appeals Board basically threw out Cuba’s claim with prejudice ( meaning they cannot refile).   According to the news release:


The TTAB ruled that because the federal courts have held that Cubatabaco may not sell Cohiba cigars in the U.S. or acquire any interest in the Cohiba mark, Cubatabaco lacks any property interest in the Cohiba mark.  Cubatabaco therefore has no standing to challenge General Cigar’s registrations of the Cohiba mark.

General Cigar’s President Dan Carr said, “This ruling once again affirms what we have believed all along: That Cubatabaco has no merit in challenging General Cigar’s ownership of the Cohiba trademark in the United States.”



Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.


Ever wonder about the wisdom of banning smoking in casinos?  A couple of years ago, Atlantic City tried to outlaw smoking in all casinos. The ordinance lasted about a week and was immediately repealed after the casinos lost a ton of money.

But aren’t we always told that non smokers would flock to anyplace that banned the evil weed and the money would flow. (Restaurants, Bars, Casinos) I know this to be a crock.  Back in the 90s, I was working for Hollywood Casino which, at the time, owned the Sands Casino in Atlantic City.  As a forward-looking experiment, the Sands opened a second floor casino that was totally non-smoking.   Hollywood wanted to see if the whole non smoking thing was true. Alas it wasn’t.  We were shooting a video at the casino and were able to use the whole second floor as a studio because it was completely free of gamblers….nobody wanted to play there. The experiment did not last very long as the casino brought back smoking to the second floor and the gamblers returned.

Which brings us up to today.  Revel Atlantic City was supposed to be the dream casino.  Huge, on the beach it was an upscale place and it opened almost a year ago.  Oh and one more thing, it was sooo cool the owners decreed Revel would be SMOKE FREE.  No nasty smokers anywhere around the place so everyone could breathe easier and the gamblers would flock in. Not so much.  Revel is in bankruptcy court with  1.5 billion dollar debt.  So as the company works its way back out, one of the first thing it is doing is to open up smoking on the casino floor.

Guess those high end non smokers never came. They will keep trying though.



Bloomberg keeps on giving


When we reported on Bloomie’s latest stunt for putting cigarettes out of sight and setting up a new enforcement program two weeks ago, we seemed to have missed something.  Buried inside the legislation is a mandate that sets a minimum price for cigarettes and cigarillos of $10.50 per pack.  Hummm…wonder what that minimum pricing will do?  Oh yeah continue to have New York lead in counterfeit and bootlegged smokes  as we earlier reported NYC is already number 1 in that regard (about 61% of all sold cigarettes in New York are bootlegged or counterfeit), guess Bloomie wants to keep that record going.



Jay Z smokin

We already know cigars are popular with some musical artists.  As we reported back in February, Pete Johnson of Tatuaje fame went on the South American tour with the Jonas Brothers (all of whom are legal to smoke and happen to like cigars)  Pete’s job was to keep them supplied with their favorite Tats…smokes that is.  Well now comes word that Jay Z is going to step it up a bit.  The Rapper is going on tour this summer with Justin Timberlake and in the contract for the concerts is a rider specifying a gentleman’s club will be set up back stage….it will be a place where Jay Z’s personal cigar roller can work unimpeded.  Yup Jay Z will have his own roller. This according to the British tabloid the Sun


“Jay met this cigar expert at a friend’s private party recently. He had been hired to roll cigars for guests in a smoking room,” a source in the rap star’s camp told the tabloid. “They were chatting for ages about the origins of tobacco and all the different types and then Jay-Z offered to have him on board for the tour dates. It goes well with the nature of the tour where there’s going to be a lot of whiskey and cigars.”


And Justin Timberlake’s new single Suit & Tie which was done in collaboration with Jay Z  has a the video showing cigars and whiskey flowing freely.  Should be a fun tour.


Bye Duke


DukeYa know it sucks having older dogs and today our home is a lot emptier.  Last fall,  we had to put Jake down and Monday it was Duke.  It was a tough call on Duke because he had been frail and probably in some pain for a while, but when he didn’t want to go for a walk, we knew it was time.  We never knew just how old Duke was.


We got him in a rescue situation where a vet called us to say that he had been dropped off by his owners and since they were going on vacation they did not want to board him so they were asking for him to be put to sleep.  We immediately went up to that vet and picked Duke up and brought him home.  He was within an hour of being put down and that was 8 years ago.  He had bad hips ever since we got him but over the past few months they were getting worse.  He had trouble sometimes standing, yet other times when on a walk his tail wagged and he had a ball.  I hate judgement calls like this but I think he was trying to tell us, it was time– of course he always wanted to please.


He had a good life but still it does not make it any easier.  He was a great dog and I miss him.



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