A Conversation With Legiron

Last weekend I met up with Legiron (aka Kevin Hillman of the UnderdogsBiteUpwards blog) on Skype, in order to record a conversation to be posted on YouTube.

I saw it as a conversation rather than an interview. I did in fact have a set of questions to ask him, but they were to be asked when opportunities presented themselves to ask them. It was entirely possible that no such opportunities would arise, and we could have talked about any number of other matters.

As it was, I managed to ask all the questions I had for him, and our conversation ran on for an hour and a half. That’s rather a long time for anyone to want to listen to. I suppose I could have boiled it all down into a few succinct clips, but that would have required a lot of editing. And I thought that the entire conversation was interesting. So instead I just chopped the 1.5 hours of video I had into three roughly equal sections, the first of which I publish today. The other two will follow in the next few days. All three will be posted on the SmokyDrinky Blog, which is devoted to videos of this sort: smokers talking to other smokers.

Legiron was using a hand-held tablet computer, which he couldn’t hold far enough away from his face, and so his face fills the entire window, and sometimes vanishes completely. I wasn’t at all bothered by this. After all, I was more interested in what he had to say than what he looked like. But also I think that this sort of thing adds a certain authenticity to videos like this. The polished interview/conversations on TV never quite achieve such authenticity, to my mind. And we seem to be living in a world where more and more unedited, amateur, hand-held videos are intruding into the polished, artificial, pseudo-reality of professional TV productions.

That both of us were smoking and drinking also added authenticity, I felt. They are both things that real people do.

After it was all recorded, it occurred to me that one fairly simple way of getting some distance between himself and his tablet computer (or mobile phone) would have been to have been to use a mirror. I’ve yet to see anyone do this, but the only downside would seem to be that one’s face would be a mirror image – left-right inverted – of one’s actual face. But it may be of value to somebody facing the same problem. I just wonder what the minimum size of mirror is needed.

Anyway, here’s the video of part 1 of our conversation. It ends, rather naturally, when he tends the wood fire burning in a fireplace behind him.

The point of these conversations, as far as I am concerned, is simply to have people (and smokers in particular) meet up and get to know each other a bit. Smoking bans – which prevent people from meeting in comfort – act to divide people. And this is a way of bringing them back together. The Smoky Drinky Bar heads in the same broad direction.

I’ve been reading Legiron’s blog for many years. This was the first time I’d ever met him face to face. And I felt that I got to know him a little bit better.

I hope you do too.

About Frank Davis

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16 Responses to A Conversation With Legiron

  1. Appositely I am currently wondering what to do about the grease splatters all round my kitchen ceiling and walls. If I wash the walls down in anyway (sugar soap etc) the god awful magnolia (don’t blame me, blame the landlord) just disintegrates .
    Kevin was not as I had imagined him but for those interested I can confirm that pre-biotic gloop he peddles (or would like to peddle) works a bloody treat for all *cough* accelerated bowel issues….although I am still concerned about the vitamin content of the cranberry juice (nicotine, caffeine, tannin, codeine I can handle, nay thrive on…vitamins and 8 hours sleep the less so).
    Kevin remains a bit of a hero for me, as much for his advice on toilet cleaning as the wonderous nature of his shining science (or ‘magic’ as we in Norfolk call it).

  2. that one’s face would be a mirror image – left-right inverted – of one’s actual face
    Don’t know about Skype but pretty much every webcam software comes with an option to swap between ‘mirror’ view and ‘right way round’.

  3. Emily says:

    I enjoyed the conversation with Legiron. I actually appreciated the slower, more thoughtful style as opposed to a more traditional snappy interview format. And I agree that videos like this need not be too polished. As you’ve noted there has been quite a rise lately in alternative video media which strikes me as very immediate and authentic.

  4. beobrigitte says:

    Great video chat!! Looking forward to the next part!!
    The point of these conversations, as far as I am concerned, is simply to have people (and smokers in particular) meet up and get to know each other a bit. Smoking bans – which prevent people from meeting in comfort – act to divide people. And this is a way of bringing them back together. The Smoky Drinky Bar heads in the same broad direction.
    It sure does!! What a Friday and Saturday night!! Like people meeting prior to 2007 in any pub; no-one knows what direction the conversations go. These 2 nights were priceless!!! I laughed so much that I missed my usual bed time for more than 4 hours on both nights! Great evenings!!!

    Tonight I’m afraid I’ll revert to my usual time. I sat outside for about 6 hours (thank god it was a sunny day, no VitD supplements needed!), watching an air show. That “Typhoon” was something else!!! My myPhone surprised my with the quality of footage I got!!

  5. Pingback: Daily Mail demands a police state | underdogs bite upwards

  6. Joe Public says:

    “When (you) started (as a micobiologist/scientist) you were chasing knowledge; now (they) just seem to be chasing money.”

    The academic climate-science industry succinctly summed-up!

    • Joe L. says:

      It sums up more than that. All branches of science have been corrupted. It’s just more noticeable where the corruption is more concentrated (which are the areas where new, profitable junk industries have appeared). “Climate science” and “health science” are both fairly new branches of science which are wholly corrupt and completely saturated with (if not totally based on) pseudoscience. These new branches were formed around (by?) such new junk industries (pharmaceuticals, “green” energy, etc.) which currently have a lot of lobbying power and a lot of money with which to fund their “research.”

      Most academic researchers subsist entirely off funding in order to continue to work, and thus they are at the mercy of the ideals and whims of those who fund them. Noble scientists/researchers with scruples are either pushed out because they refuse to toe the line, or they voluntarily leave the field because of their conscience. Legiron is not alone when he says, “I don’t really like science now; it’s not like it used to be.” I, too share this point of view, as do others I know. Good scientists are becoming jaded and losing their passion for science at a time when it already appears we are headed back to the Dark Ages.

  7. Smoking Lamp says:

    The attack on smokers has reached Israel. The Health Ministry is compelling the IDF to address smoking by service members. They are claiming smoking is harming operational capabilities (which would be a surprise to anyone in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf War, Iraq War, Afghanistan, etc. The following articles cover it; the comments at each demonstrate how entrenched the antismokers have become. 1) “IDF declares war on smoking” http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/235619 ; 2) “IDF looks to quit selling cigarettes on army bases” https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-looks-to-quit-selling-cigarettes-on-army-bases/ .

  8. junican says:

    Hi Frank (and Leggie).
    I was surprised by your conversation about growing your own. (I am trying to avoid the use of the word ‘tob,,,,’).
    Just letting green leaves dry out is anathema. It is the worst possible thing that you can do if you want ‘tob…’. The leaves need to be kept damp and warm so that chemical changes can take place over a few days. I thought that you knew that. You need a way to get the leaves to yellow.

    There is no law against growing the plants at all. The law is, as usual, a mishmash of TC ‘wish-think’. The only reason that it got through was because the Chancellor of the Exchequer was led to believe that vast amount of tax were being avoided because a few tons of leaf were being imported.
    They could not stop the importation from the EU because raw leaf was an agricultural product, and so they devised a system which required ‘permits’ to import. Needless to say, no one is allowed a permit without the most rigorous examination. That is contrary to the idea of ‘free trade’ in agricultural goods, but no one gives a toss. Ireland contemplated the same idea, but abandoned it.
    The law has ‘Australia’ written all over it. It is a product from Andrew Black. How the hell did he get to achieve ‘Emperor’ status?
    As you pointed out, there are VAST numbers of nicotiana plants. The law is mostly concerned with TRANSPORTING ‘waste’. It is very similar to the Oz law dating from 1911, which forbade the transport of seeds, seedlings, etc. ‘Waste’ is an undefined attempt to find a word which vaguely describes cured stuff. You can hold, at home, two kilos of ‘waste’.
    The idiocy is incomprehensible. Everything is so vague. But I know that certain people have tried to get a permit. As far as I can tell, their efforts have hit a brick wall. The Civil Service does not know what it is supposed to do, so it obfuscates.
    Smokers have no defence at all. Tobcoms are not interested in their customers, Government is not interested in freedom,
    But the shit will hit the fan eventually. It is, and always has been, the case that persecution has to be raised to an unacceptable level before the persecutors are driven out.

    Back to ‘curing’. After curing, the stuff does not have a nice taste. It needs to be aged. Ageing is a bit mysterious. No one seems to know with any precision what to do. I suppose that Tobcoms know exactly what to do, but we amateurs struggle.
    I shall leave it at that because I know nothing better.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Just letting green leaves dry out is anathema. It is the worst possible thing that you can do if you want ‘tob…’. The leaves need to be kept damp and warm so that chemical changes can take place over a few days. I thought that you knew that. You need a way to get the leaves to yellow.

      No doubt it would taste better, but I don’t see why it should be “anathema” to just let them dry out. I’ve smoked lots of roll-ups with dry green tobacco mixed with the real stuff. It’s just another way of bulking it up.

      I’m smoking one right now.

      • One thing I have learnt in my time being a tobacco-geek is that when it comes to turning bacca brown is that there is no ‘right’ way to cure the leaves. It depends on the variety grown, the location and a myriad of other things like local customs and which way the barns face. The more i researched it the more I came convinced that a lot of it is bollocks tbh.
        You see, I take The Bestes But Insanest Frau In The World for a walk round our fair parish of Lower Colostomy Bag Magna twice daily, in all weathers (which just means it rains here all the fucking time).
        I get to see the leaves fall off the trees . Leaves that browned on the branched and then lie on the wet pavement going browner still. Rarely no I see a leaf that isn’t browned and has gone mouldy.
        So my thoughts are (and I have never tried this out) that growers could probably just let nature do it’s job and not pick green leaves but wait until the plant is dying , then rip it out and nail it upside by the stem to a beam.

        that’s just my 0.5 cents tho’

  9. Torquaymada says:

    Good stuff. I too have been a long time reader of Leggy’s blog. He writes well and always puts an agreeable smile on my face.

  10. Pingback: Tobacco Control Always Gets Other People To Do Its Dirty Work | Frank Davis

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