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About magick777

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    Emir - Of the Emerald Argileh
  • Birthday 02/05/1980

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  1. Cleaned out the pipes after a few months hiatus... it'd be rude not to smoke a bowl, wouldn't it?

    1. Chreees


      Yes it would.
    2. A13lackFish


      Clearly this gentleman has his head screwed on correctly.
  2. magick777

    Mental Health Issues

    The problem is the very same compartmentalisation that TheAnesthetist describes; the notion that there is such a thing as a "mental health doctor" and that he/she is distinct from a "medical doctor" or a "holistic doctor" speaks volumes. Sure, there are a few people incorrectly labelled AD(H)D by cursory or incomplete assessments - but they pale into insignificance compared with the undiagnosed and the underdiagnosed. So first, let me deal with the question: do we over-diagnose? Thirty odd years ago, I didn't manage to walk until I was almost 2. Nobody had a clue about developmental disorders, so they sent me for hip x-rays, confirmed I didn't have fused hips and said "well, he'll grow into it". Aged 6, I'd run my school out of maths and English books, but I couldn't ride a bike or walk a balance beam. Nobody batted an eyelid and that's not because my parents weren't paying attention; they were, and my mother was by profession a teacher of the blind. Aged 9, I was academically brilliant but socially and practically useless. I became withdrawn, depressed and suicidal before I was 10, but the GP was still cautious. I was 11 by the time they referred me first to behavioural specialists, then psychologists, then psychiatrists - all of whom stopped short of diagnosing a mental health condition or a developmental disorder, but diagnosed "emotional trauma" and tried SSRIs and cognitive behavioural therapy, neither of which helped. By age 14, my long-suffering parents had reached their limit and I went into care along with a Statement of Special Educational Needs, but still no diagnosis other than that I had "difficulties with processing visual information in timed situations". Eighteen months and four homes later, and still without any formal diagnosis, I was placed in a residential therapeutic community, at an astronomical cost to the local authority. This helped, but it addressed symptoms without getting to the root of the problem. Fast forward through ten years of not really getting on at anything, not happy in any course I went on, any job I did (there were many), any social group I joined, with still no real explanation. Still unable to ride a bike, or drive a car, despite a couple of hundred hours of tuition, and I had no explanation, besides that I was smart at a few things and f**king hopeless at the rest. Then came the point that I began to study Asperger Syndrome, because a friend's son was diagnosed. Long story short, it fitted, and after an exceptionally thorough assessment - over the course of two months, including discussions with my parents and former partner, and a visit to my home - I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome myself. Needless to say, it would have been damned useful if I'd had that diagnosis twenty years sooner. However, back to the rant about compartmentalisation. The local mental health team doesn't consider developmental disorders as part of their remit, so they're not interested unless and until that's been fully assessed. Meanwhile, the learning disabilities team doesn't consider it their remit unless the client's full-scale IQ is below 70 (mine is not). So, it falls instead to a psychology and challenging needs service, who to their credit diagnosed AS and identified (as had I) that AS is not the whole picture. But, they're not psychiatrists, so they've had to refer me back to the local mental health team, in order for that team to determine that they do not have a psychiatrist with suitable experience of autism spectrum disorders and need to refer me to a more specialist unit outside the local NHS trust, which requires an exceptional circumstances appeal for funding - and that's just to determine whether I have a mood disorder or a personality disorder in addition to AS. However, that doesn't describe the extent of my ongoing difficulties with motor skills (I've been typing this post for two hours now), so they've also got to find somewhere to refer me for an assessment for dyspraxia. Though they can see it as clear as crystal, it's not their remit to assess it, nor that of the psychiatrists, so it'll take another referral before I as an adult have something resembling a complete statement of the issues I face. [u]It is this very compartmentalisation that leads general practitioners (and to some extent psychiatrists) to over-medicate[/u] or to mis-prescribe, because they often find themselves treating symptoms in a vacuum, with insufficient information and with their hands tied by their job titles. When I was a child, they were asked to look at behavioural problems, so they did. Nobody thought to consider them in context of developmental delay, motor skills, or social & communication issues. Then they were asked to treat depression, so they did - using SSRIs and amitryptaline - without seeing the hypomanic periods in between that would counterindicate. Then they were asked to assess fainting and blackouts, so they did - physiologically via ECGs and EEGs, without considering any neuropsychological factors. I don't think that depression is [b]over[/b]-diagnosed, I think all too often, it is scapegoated for more complex conditions that noone really knows whose job it might be to assess, As an adult, the situation has not much improved, other than for the fact that I am blessed with a competent psychologist who understands the problems this causes and is doing everything she can to plug the cracks in the system. I suppose that makes me one of the lucky ones, though that means it's taking eighteen months to assess whether an anti-psychotic or other drug is wise in my situation. I don't think we're being hasty in terms of medication. In closing... a note to the conservatives amongst you who will be wondering who's paying for all this mess. Yes, the taxpayer is funding all this mess, so you might like to know that [url="http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/0809/autism.aspx"]our National Audit Office has reported that specialist services for high-functioning autistic adults need to reach just 4% of the autistic population before they become cost-neutral.[/url] This is believable; undiagnosed, I myself have cost the local authority a small fortune, and those friends of mine with similar conditions who needlessly spent time at Her Majesty's pleasure have cost even more. The proper provision of diagnosis and support - psychiatric, psychotherapeutic, or both - pays for itself in the big picture when more disabled adults are net contributors to society. The problem is the damned compartmentalisation again, that an education authority is paid to teach but not to concern itself with mental health, a psychologist is paid to analyse the mind but as often as not to disregard the body that it comes in, a doctor is given sufficient appointment time to assess the symptoms you present but seldom the context in which you present them, etc. The world will be a better place when the American Psychiatric Association rips up its Diagnostic & Statistical Manual and begins to draw greater links between the developmental disorders (autism, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, AD(H)D, Tourette's) and epilepsy, bipolar affective disorder and schizophrenia. Co-occurrence is the norm, not the exception, and the sooner that we stop disconnecting our brains from our bodies in our approach to mental health (take that as you will), the better.
  3. If he speaks Arabic, he'll have no trouble finding shisha in Morocco. If he doesn't, he'll have no trouble finding it as a tourist, but he might have to really insist that he wants not to smoke shisha but to buy a pack of mu'assel for someone who does. There are places (Chefchaouen in particular) where if you turn up out of season, [url="http://www.hookahforum.com/topic/8855-question-about-your-local-hookah-lounge/page__view__findpost__p__494063"]they'll pretty muchinsist on serving it to you whether you wanted it or not[/url].
  4. magick777

    So, How Is Aladin?

    I haven't personally used an Aladin pipe - mine are Egyptian - but I've bought a number of their accessories and have been entirely satisfied. They seem to be a big, German manufacturer / importer / distributor, who commission and stock some good quality accessories. The reason you don't hear much about them here is a barrier of language and location; they are a German company and you'll find them all over German and Austrian (and Czech, we learn) shisha sites. Aladin products barely make it to the UK, and we're supposedly part of Europe. The great majority of users here are in the US, where the market for cheap, durable, robust pipes is filled by Mya - however their stuff looks expensive when you import it into Europe. From what I've seen, I'd have no reservations about buying an Aladin pipe, but don't be tempted by the multi-hose ones. As with just about any other mainstream pipe, your Aladin pipe will likely benefit from better bowls and hoses than it is supplied with, but everything I've had from them has been of good quality. I'd say if you're in mainland Europe, go for it; they are your local specialists. Those in the know import their accessories over here at some cost; on the mainland it would be a no-brainer to stock Aladin.
  5. magick777

    No Time For Hookah?

    Aww, that sucks. Personally, I've found my sessions have gotten shorter as I've gotten more experienced; if you're smoking something that lights quickly and produces a rewarding smoke from the outset, who needs a 2-hour session? The most constructive suggestion I can make is look for some relatively shaped natural coals that will light through in 5 minutes, something like Abo Alabed, and combine with a tobacco that lights easily and tolerates being relit a few times, such as Tangiers. Typically, those coals only last about 45 minutes, but one set will often do fine.
  6. magick777

    Weird Symptoms

    Look up a condition called [i]atrial fibrillation[/i] - which can be triggered by caffeine, nicotine, or carbon monoxide, amongst other things. I am also not a doctor, but 1) Before we attribute your symptoms to the nicotine, what shisha are you smoking? (please tell me it's not Tangiers F-Line...) 2) What coals are you using, and are they lit right through before you start? 3) Are you smoking in a well-ventilated area? 4) Do you routinely smoke cigarettes? (will increase tolerance) 5) Are you drinking water or juice with your shisha, or are you combining it with coffee, alcohol, or energy drinks? Finally, I would not be scared to talk to your doctor about this, even if you suspect it is self-inflicted and the answer is obvious. This is not an excess of caution about something more serious; if you are prone to such things, then they may be able to prescribe a low dose beta-blocker, such as propranolol, which would help to control your symptoms. Obviously, avoiding the triggers is the better strategy and, for the avoidance of doubt, I am [b]not[/b] suggesting that you take medication in order to be able to smoke shisha, merely that the symptoms you describe are treatable with beta-blockers and you may wish to discuss this with your doctor.
  7. magick777

    Af Question.

    IMHO the problem is your choice of shisha; I've never got AF to smoke [b]well enough to enjoy[/b] out of any bowl (and neither has anyone else who's ever served it to me). Clouds, sure, flavour, sure, but the smoke always lacks body as compared with other brands. As others have hinted, the problem is likely to be too much heat and/or too much hurry. Two coconut coals shouldn't be too much, but try giving them 5-10 minutes to warm the bowl through before you start to draw on it, then move them every few pulls. Patience may well be the answer. If this still doesn't do it for you, you could also try using a ton of heat (3 coals) to light your bowl. The moment you get clouds, pull all the heat off (you're seconds away from scorching), leave one coal in the tray and replace two. After 15-20 minutes, as the coals die down, you can re-add the third one. This [b]will[/b] scorch your bowl if you don't pay enough attention, but it's how I normally approach new shisha when I don't know how much heat it wants.
  8. magick777

    Making The Smoke Thicker

    First, welcome to the forum... Start by trying different brands of shisha; some produce thicker smoke than others. If it's thick smoke you want and you're fairly new to hookah, then something from the Tangiers Lucid line ought to give you an easy life. Then try different brands and types of coal; Nakhla and Desi Murli respond well to the extreme heat of hardwood coals; Tangiers requires less heat and smokes well with coconut coals. Then consider a bigger, wider, flatter bowl - all other things being equal, more volume of tobacco under more area of coal produces more smoke and more flavour, and it makes heat management easier. Then look at the air flow on your pipe; if the stem draws easier than the hose does, you'll pull more smoke by upgrading to a wide bore hose. Feel free to have a look round the forum; there are a number of beginners' guides and information on how to get the most from your hookah.
  9. We face similar problems in the United Kingdom, where shisha is hard to find and subject to punitive tax regimes, and where shipping it in from anywhere else is normally expensive and risky. I have a couple suggestions for you: Find your coal and other supplies locally; it won't be highly taxed and there won't be a need to ship it from abroad. Use whatever is local; most of the Middle Eastern coals I buy locally are better, subjectively, than the coconut coals I've had delivered. In turn, you can then limit the cost and risk of an international order to the 3 x 250g of shisha that does fit neatly in a USPS Small Flat Rate box; this has the advantage that you don't have to be at home to receive it as it fits through the typical letter box and it also reduces the shipping cost and risk. For instance, hookah1.com have Salloum for $6 / pack and a small USPS flat rate box to Canada for $15, so you're looking at $33 delivered for 3 x 250g packs. In my humble opinion, it may be wiser and more sustainable to repeat this as needed than to risk large amounts of money on filling a larger box or to pay the inflated prices charged locally.
  10. I also noticed the DM Gold with some intrigue, but have never tried it. I like saffron and spices in a paella, but probably not in my shisha. Might complement the Indian flavours, I dunno. Can't see any mention of it on here... anyone inclined to be a guinea pig? [quote name='TheyCallMeDave' timestamp='1320079746' post='529588'] And just to clarify, Desi Murli smells the way it does because it is a sort of hybrid between traditional dark leaf tobacco, and modern shisha. The soy sauce smell you are getting is the tobacco itself and cannot be acclimated out. That's the smell you're supposed to receive. You'll find a majority of the Desi Murli flavors you smoke will have strong tobacco/dark overtones, with light undertones of the listed flavor. When smoking Desi Murli, here's what you should expect: - Clouds no bigger than nakhla-sized clouds. - Depending on the person, a most likely intense nicotine buzz. - A very tobacco-y flavor/smell, with light undertones of whatever flavor you're smoking. - a drier tobacco, not lasting as long but still with some moisture. You can acclimate it, add glycerine, add honey, whatever, but that's like trying to take a goldfish and trying to make it into a 45 dollar meal. [/quote] My experience so far bears out almost everything Dave says, with one or two observations: - there was, for me, an aggressive soy sauce smell on first opening the bags, which acclimated out quickly. I mean something other than, stronger than and less desirable than the fundamental tobacco smell & taste that comes through thereafter. I wouldn't subjectively call this a "strong" tobacco flavour, but, I'd agree that it takes pole position over the named flavour. - ultimately I achieved better clouds from Desi Murli than I often do from Nakhla, but only at long-term levels of heat that would scorch a bowl of Nakhla in seconds. DM copes well, and I'd recommend more heat over adding glycerine. - tried adding ten drops of Mola-Mix to a Crown Micro full of DM Aniseed, and would agree that it's like trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Sure, it started to smoke quicker and at lower temperatures - with no flavour or body at all - but I was aware of not smoking the tobacco. Fifteen minutes later, and under more heat, the DM proceeded to smoke just as it did without being treated. So, I got a longer session, but would have done just as well to smoke the DM on its own. So, in conclusion, my observations are that brief acclimation is good (certainly over here), lots of coal on lots of surface area is good, and that Desi Murli is enjoyable for what it is but should not be viewed as direct competition for Nakhla, Tangiers, et al.
  11. magick777


    [color=#282828][size=4][font=arial, tahoma, verdana, sans-serif][size=4][b]Desi Murli [/b][/size][/font][/size][/color][color=#008000][size=4][font=arial, tahoma, verdana, sans-serif][size=4][b]Mint[/b][/size][/font][/size][/color] [color=#282828][size=4][font=arial, tahoma, verdana, sans-serif][size=4][b]Hookah: [/b]35" Egyptian [b]Bowl: [/b]Saphire Power Bowl (9cm; 30-50g load) [b]Screen/Foil: [/b]Alufoil pre-cut heavy duty shisha foil [b]Hose:[/b][color=#CACACA] [/color]Shisha King EX-L [b]Coals:[/b][color=#CACACA] [/color]Cococha x 4 [b]Base Liquid:[/b][color=#CACACA] [/color]Water [b]Appearance:[/b] Finely cut, black, some small stems, moist but not dripping wet [b]Nicotine:[/b] unknown, but plenty [b]Base:[/b] unknown [b]Smell:[/b] initially soy sauce / tobacco, clearing to a smell of Moroccan spearmint, just like the tea. Very low menthol.[/size][/font][/size][/color] [color=#282828][size=4][font=arial, tahoma, verdana, sans-serif][size=4][b]Taste: [/b]broadly the same spice/tobacco flavour as the licorice; slight hint of mint[/size][/font][/size][/color] [color=#282828][size=4][font=arial, tahoma, verdana, sans-serif][size=4][b]Smoke:[/b] excellent clouds attainable with extreme heat, less scorchable than Nakhla [b]Buzz:[/b] ridiculous. Had to stop after 20 minutes, 15 of which was getting it lit. [b]Duration: [/b]20 mins (the bowl would have done far more) [b]Purchased From:[/b] hookah1.com [b]Overall:[/b] 6/10 - not what I wanted from a mint flavour, should be labelled as Spearmint if it's anything and the flavour is the weakest mint I have tried. However, the smoke quality was outstanding and the buzz was impressive, making it an enjoyable if short-lived session.[/size][/font][/size][/color]
  12. Discussion always welcomed, you're not hijacking anything. It comes ready mixed, a consistency not dissimilar to Tangiers. However, I note that many reviewers have still added honey/glycerine and I begin to see why. As it comes, it takes crazy amounts of heat to persuade it to smoke (think 4 coconut coals on a 9cm bowl, then 10-15 minutes), and when it does, the buzz is immense enough that I tend to stop after a few minutes. Very pleasant, but a rather short session. It's also the single hardest substance I've ever tried to clean out of a Crown Micro, but that's another story. It seems that adding honey/glycerine would let it start smoking at more moderate heat levels and lead to a longer session. Note that the flavour is already quite subtle (to put it politely) and in some cases could be improved by a flavoured molasses mixture. I'd advise trying it as it comes, but plan on having some glycerine lying around.
  13. My goodness - to think I very nearly placed an international order with these morons, it was only the fact that their payments system didn't properly handle AVS for international orders - and rejected two of my cards - that put me off. I was initially a bit sceptical at the exposé on this outfit as we've seen any number of rows with retailers on here, but their response is priceless and not just for the quality of the English. So, thank you to this forum for saving me some grief. I think the best thing we could do having silenced them is not to add them to the "banned vendors" list - after all, they are not in conflict with this forum - but perhaps to make this thread sticky for a few months... help them out... out of where I'm not sure.
  14. This is getting more interesting as I go along. I picked up and smelt a previously unopened bag of aniseed, and got a very appealing aniseed scent. I planned to smoke a bowl there and then. However, soon as I opened the bag, the aniseed smell was overpowered by the same soy sauce / tobacco smell I'd noted in the other flavours. I've left it open to see how that goes. For comparison, I smelt the mint, which has been in a closed bag for a while after being left open overnight, and it still smells nicely of spearmint rather than of tobacco. I smelt the licorice that's been packed into a closed jar for a couple of days, and whilst it smells better than it did from the bag, it's gone back to smelling like it could use further acclimation. I'm not sure to what extent this is humidity shock, a la Tangiers, and to what extent it's a one-time "belching" of organic compounds that don't make it through a plastic bag, but disperse quickly when that bag is opened. Anyone have the science here? In case it's relevant, I'm in the UK, with humidity presently at 88%. The humidity in Steger, IL, where the shisha is mixed and packed, is presently at 35%. My understanding from other threads is that Tangiers (as our reference example) plays nice when it's been acclimated to an environment [u]equal or greater[/u] in humidity to that in which it is being smoked, but not when the reverse is true. It seems that for an unwashed tobacco packed in relatively arid conditions, the greater the humidity the greater the need to acclimate before smoking. I'd like to establish definitive answers to the question as it will affect the type of storage that is appropriate and may make my usual practice of using glass coffee jars look like a bad idea.
  15. magick777

    Jms Hookah Shisha For Sale/trade In Uk

    It's not the worst shite I've ever smoked by any means... it's on a par with al-Fakher for those who like that sort of thing. I find Tangiers or Desi Murli more interesting. However, it seems a shame to leave it sitting here until it goes to waste and I can't be bothered to eBay it, so let's see if a price reduction will tempt anyone. Fifteen quid for the three tins, I'll cover UK shipping. Anyone?