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Going on 2 Years Since I Quit Smoking…

Going on 2 Years Since I Quit Smoking…

Going on 2 Years Since I Quit Smoking…

On August 2nd, 2013 I quit smoking.  I hadn’t planned on quitting at the time.  I had always figured I would quit after I lost some weight and started dating again.  I had quit once when I was dating a girl back in the ’90’s.  She didn’t like the smell and didn’t like kissing me if I had smoked. Since I like kissing more than smoking, I quit.  I did smoke a few times when she wasn’t around but if I was in a serious relationship I always figured I’d quit for good. Of course the moment we broke up I started smoking.  Well, that’s not completely true.  It was shortly after I had spent an unspeakable amount of time curled up in the fetal position, crying on the shower floor.  But, when I eventually my true love, she would help me and I would want to quit for her.

Also, I kept not losing loosing weight and everyone I knew that had quit smoking gained a lot of weight.  So, I used that as an excuse.  I would start working out and lose the weight first.  Well, that never really happened.  I just kept gaining wight.  So what made me quit? It’s hard to say.

I knew that it was bad for me.  Around that time I was finally able to afford health insurance.  I had discovered that I was pretty much on the path for a heart attack.  My blood pressure was off the charts.  Literally.  I found out I had Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and to top it all off I was suffering from severe sleep apnea.  My doctor had told me that between my high blood pressure and lack of restful sleep over the past decade or more he was surprised I hadn’t just snapped!

It was a lot to handle all at once and there was a certain amount of denial of it all.  It didn’t last too long, a day or two maybe as adjusted to the fact that my eating habits had to change.  I smoked a lot those first few days to cope.  I just wasn’t ready to quit.  I loved smoking.  Sure I hated to smell like that but I worked from home, I almost never left the house and smokers can’t really smell their own stink.  I knew I needed to quit but I just wasn’t ready.

a lot of anti-smoking commercials on TV at the time and those thing did nothing but piss me off and make me smoke more.  There were plenty of times I considered quitting and then one of those dumb fucking commercials came on and I would go outside and smoke

There were also a lot of anti-smoking commercials on TV at the time and those thing did nothing but piss me off and make me smoke more.  There were plenty of times I considered quitting and then one of those dumb fucking commercials came on and I would go outside and smoke one as my personal “fuck you” to those “truth” campaigns that used negativity and shamming thinking that would actually make someone want to quit.  Those idiots.   All they want to do is shame those that don’t think like they do.

There were a few “quit smoking” commercials that did make me feel like quitting.  They were positive commercials, they didn’t try to scare me into it.  They didn’t try to shame me, they just suggested that I could do it and if I needed help they could help me.  I am talking about those “Celebrate” commercials with the tiny band.  Some random person gets asked out on a smoke break and passes on it.  He looks down and the tiny band is playing.  Loved that!  It actually made me want to quit.  Another one I liked was for some 800 number.  An animated guy character wants to quit but can’t.  He thinks he’s a failure but the narrator convinces him to call for counseling or something.  Whatever it was, it motivated me as well.

On August 1st 2013 I was at the store.  I passed some of that nicorette gum.  I had bought one of those eCigs.  It wasn’t too bad.  I used it a little.  My thinking in that moment was that if I can just cut back a little, I will have an extra hundred bucks for my trip to Laughlin in a three weeks that I had been planning.  I purchased the gum, went home and planned on having some the next morning.

The morning of August 2nd, I popped that gum in my mouth and I thought, “Why don’t see how long I can go without smoking today?”  I still hadn’t planned on quitting.  It was difficult but I made it about 4 hours and it was starting to get to me.  So I had some more gum instead of smoking.  I made it all day.  I thought, well, let’s see if I can make it another day.  The first few weeks were agony.  Smoking was all I thought about.  I found a few trick that helped.  Like I would take Red Vines, bite off both ends, take 4 or 5 of them out to my smoke break spot and and take drags off of them as if they were cigarettes. It actually seemed to appease my brain a little.

I had only taken the gum twice.  I knew that it’s not really the nicotine that is the problem with quitting.  As I understand it, the addictive properties of it only stay in your system for about 48 hours.  The sooner I got it out of my system the better it would be. What is hard about quitting is breaking the habit.  When you smoke, it’s the habit that get’s you.  My life evolved around my smoke breaks.  I had a smoke break every one to two hours accept for when I slept.  Going outside to take those fake smoke breaks with my Red Vines saved my life.  I only did that for maybe a week or so.  And, over that time I did it less and less.

So, this August 2nd it has will have been 2 years and I haven’t cheated once.  I have been through all the situations that I would make me smoke.  Stress, sitting at the blackjack tables, playing slots, going out to bars and social events, being awake.  I have not had a single cigarette.  I have had dozens of dreams that I smoked and I always wake up suddenly like it was a nightmare.  For a few moments I am so disappointed in myself that I smoked until I realize it was just a dream.

I still think about from time to time.  I loved it so much it.  Smoking had always been there for me.  It was like a friend to me.  Friends, family, they aren’t always there for you but that cigarette never let’s you down.

I still think about from time to time.  I loved it so much it.  Smoking had always been there for me.  It was like a friend to me.  Friends, family, they aren’t always there for you but that cigarette never let’s you down.  The great thing about it now is that I see people smoking in their cars and I smile.  I am so glad my car doesn’t smell like that anymore.  I don’t smell like that anymore.  The smell is so gross and everyone once and while I pass someone who reeks of it.  It makes me happy that I’m not that person anymore.

It’s also nice that I can take a deep breath and actually fill my lungs with air.  I couldn’t do that when I smoked.  No matter how deep of a breath I took I could never get that full capacity feeling.  Now, I can take a long deep breath and it feels great.  I am so glad I quit.  The funny part is that I wasn’t at first.  One of the hardest parts about not smoking was that I really liked it, as I mentioned.  I hadn’t quit for my health.  I didn’t quit because it made me stink.  I just quit because I wanted to save some money and that I knew it would be good for me.  But, that whole good for me part, wasn’t a big motivator at the time.

When it comes right down down to it, I think the real reason I stayed quit was because it became like a challenge or a dare to me.  Can I make it one more day.  One more week.  But, those first few months I so wanted to smoke.  Sometimes I would make it several hours and not think about it.   The next day, the thought of smoking consumed me every minute.  It was so strange.

Another thing to consider is that I really thought a lot about why I was smoking.  What made me want to smoke when I knew it was bad for me.  I knew that it made me smell.  I knew it could cause erectile dysfunction and to be honest I think it did a little?  Regardless, knowing why I smoked, helped me.  I had thought about this for years before I actually quit and never really had a good answer, the best answer I ever come up with was that I just liked smoking.

Then it dawned on me, that was it.  There wasn’t a deep physiological reason.  I just enjoyed it.  Smoking had become like a friend to me.  In some strange way it understood me.  It was there for me.  Sure it had it’s downsides but those cigarettes were never not there for me.  They calmed me, they always made me feel better.  Realizing that greatly increased the probability of success because once you know why you do something you can deal with it.  Those cigarettes weren’t real people.  They didn’t care back.  I think this is true for a lot of people.  Smoking in someways is crutch for us.  You can get rid of that trust in smoking.  Give that trust to a person.  Give it to something real that can talk back to you.  Give it to someone that cares for you.

I understand now why people have a hard time quitting.  I think it’s because they don’t fully understand what is happening to them mentally and physically.  No one seems to explain it properly and between the habit and the addiction, if you don’t understand what your mind and body are going through, it’s almost impossible to quit.

If you’re reading this and you’re smoker.  If you want to quit, you can.  I didn’t want to quit and I quit.  You can too.  But, if you do, don’t do it because you feel shame.  Fuck those companies that are trying to shame you.  They are scumbags, that like “truth” group, I should file suit against them.  So many times I had thought of quitting but then I’d see one of their stupid shamming ads and I would get so pissed off and offended I’d start smoking again.  So find the positive things and focus on them.  No needs the negativity.

Here’s my best advice:

  • Stay positive.
  • Understand that there are 2 parts to quitting.  One is the actual addiction.  Two is the habit.  You have got to understand that they are two very different things.  One is a chemical addiction.  It’s your bodies craving to a drug it’s no longer getting.  The habit is a more of a mental thing.  It’s the hardest part to deal with.  The chemical addiction only lasts a few days, the habit lasts for at least a month.  The best way to break a habit is to replace it with something else.  But, in my opinion don’t replace it with a singular thing.  When you feel the urge to smoke, take that “Smoke Break” but don’t smoke.  Do some push ups, chew some gum, get up and walk around.  Do it for about the same amount of time that would you normally take a smoke break.  Change it up each time.  But, take those 5 minute “smoke breaks” when you need them.  It really helps.  Soon, you won’t need them at all.
  • Talk to some friends or a friend. Confide in them.  Ask them if you can call them from time to time for support.  I didn’t do that.  But, there were a great many times I had wished there was someone I could talk to to.  I think it would have helped.  There were some people in my life that I could have and did talk to but there was some surprisingly dark thoughts and I didn’t feel comfortable sharing those.  So find someone that is going to love you even when you want to rip their head of for no good reason.
  • Don’t join a program like AA unless you feel that you have no choice.  These programs aren’t run by professionals usually.  They are run by former addicts that somehow managed to move past it without ever dealing with or understanding the underlying reasoning for their addiction.  This means, they are at risk of failing again.  You are not powerless, there is no “higher power” and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. You are the power to quit.  Talk to real people, professionals and friends.  No imaginary friend is going to help you.  But, if you simply must go that route then find a teddy bear or the like and talk to it.  The benefit it that, is it’s real, you can hug it, touch and talk it to it.  Sure it’s not going to talk back but neither is an imaginary friend.  And, if your imaginary friend does talk back to you, seek help immediately.
Bear Eludes Capture by Flying Away in Colorado…

Bear Eludes Capture by Flying Away in Colorado…

Bear Eludes Capture by Flying Away in Colorado…

Officials in Montclair, Colorado started receiving calls early Monday morning about a “Black Bear on the loose” in the rural town of Montclair, Colorado Said Det. Lt. Angel Roman.

Stacy Frackleback of Montclair said, “The bear was surrounded by the cops and then one of the guys from Fish & Game was about to shoot the bear with on of those tranquilizer things and that’s when “Scooter” the bear just up and flew away!”  Frackleback went on to say that the bear had been seen a lot recently rummaging through peoples trash but always ran off when it saw people.  She continued, “But, this was the first time we ever saw it fly!  I wouldn’t have believed if I hadn’t seen it myself!”  Frackleback said she hopes the bear comes back but fears the officers have scared him off for good this time.

Montclair Det. Lt. Angel Roman said in a statement that they will be working with the Department of Fish & Game the next few days in a joint stakeout in the hopes of catching the bear so that it can be safely euthanized and then studied.  When asked why the bear must killed the Department of Fish & Game because of it’s ability to fly they feel that may pose a serious threat to the community as well.  He continued, “This Black Bear also needs to be studied to determine if it’s ability to fly is just a fluke of nature or the next step in it’s evolutionary path.”

Flying Bear

Contact Info for the Montclair Police Department:
City Data
*If you believe any of this story, please do not breed.

If a Tree Falls in the Forest…

If a Tree Falls in the Forest…

If a Tree Falls in the Forest…

I just opened an energy drink but I need to go shopping.  I don’t want to bring the drink with me as it will just get warm in the car, it’s almost 100 degrees outside.  So, I need to kill some time as I finish my low calorie, low sugar Rockstar tasty beverage.  While taking a sip I was reminded of that old saying, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”

I have long since been of the opinion that it does not, though conventional science pretty much proves me wrong.  I don’t have time to recall the exact science at the moment, this is just a short rant.  I only recall it had to do with the tree falling creating sound waves.  If there’s sound waves, then there is sound, end of story.  I still disagree but only because I don’t fully under the science because I haven’t taken a serious amount of time to look it.  If it’s really true and the facts support it, I will certainly change my opinion.

Here’s why, at this moment, I am of the opinion that it does not make a sound.  Sound, as I understand it, is nothing but vibrations passing through the air or a result of passing through the air.  That vibration, I don’t believe, makes a noise.  It takes the mechanism of a function ear to translate that vibration into what we perceive as sound.  Without that ear those vibrations simply continue on a quick path to nothingness.

I should really do some research on this.  I know the answers are just a Google search away but I am now just a few short sips away from finishing my drink and have no time for it.  However, I think if I have time later, I will look into it and report my findings here…  Because this is serious need to know stuff!

The Problem with Network Executives…

The Problem with Network Executives…

The Problem with Network Executives…

It seems that Network executives have become spineless and clueless over the years.  I don’t think they always were but they certainly seem so today.  I recall a time back in the 80’s and 90’s when these executives would stand up for good shows, even when their rating weren’t that good and sometimes when the ratings were pretty bad.  They would even stand behind a show when the insane religious right would complain about a show.  Even when some sponsors pulled their advertising.  These executives still stood behind their shows.

I am reminded of a few examples.  Going back to the early eighties shows like Night Court and Cheers suffered from poor ratings but they were good shows and given a chance for a second season. These shows became part of the backbone behind NBC’s in the eighties and in part became part of NBC’s domination of Thursday night.  That domination later turned into it their “Must see TV!” campaign.  NBC ruled supreme for well over a decade and it owes a lot of that domination to these series that suffered from poor ratings in their first season.

There were campaigns by Christian groups to get Married with cancelled.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s on FOX, shows like The Simpson’s and Married with Children dominated!  Conservative religious groups hated these shows.  There were campaigns by these groups to get Married with Children cancelled.  Sponsors pulled advertising but the the executives at FOX had some backbone and didn’t kowtow to these idiot groups.  Today, these shows would be cancelled the moment anyone claimed to be offended.

Now, any show that offends the Christian right is cancelled the moment there’s a complaint.  Yet, if the show is followed and generally supported by the Christian right it can get away with promoting a life style that is anti-gay, bigoted and racist as long as it does so by hiding behind the Bible.  Hell, people in the show can be child molesters who admit to committing incest and the cast can support them and the network behind the show will adopt a let’s wait and see mentality.  This happening right now with the show 19 Kids and Counting.  Sure it has pulled the current run of the show but hasn’t cancelled it.  This is an obvious attempt to literally just wait and see how bad the media attention gets before it finally does the right thing and cancels the bigoted show.

19 Kids and Counting is a cast full of admitted bigots and anti-gay people.  The network doesn’t even flinch at the criticism.

Seriously, think about it.  Duck Dynasty‘s cast supports underage teen sex and bigotry with just a touch of racism thrown in for taste.  The show is still on the air.  19 Kids and Counting is a cast full of admitted bigots and anti-gay people.  The network doesn’t even flinch at the criticism.  It has taken the admission of multiple disgusting acts of sexual perversion of the worst kind to get episodes of the show pulled from the line up.  But, even that hasn’t been enough to get the show cancelled, yet.  However, in all fairness, I am pretty sure the show is going to get cancelled as the events surrounding Josh Duggars crimes are brought to light.  My point however, is that it hasn’t been cancelled yet.  The network has been aware of the admitted sex crimes for a full week.

So, here were are in May when the Networks normally start to announce the current seasons cancellations. Two cancellations really stand out to me this season.  The new show Backstrom on FOX and ABC’s show Forever have both been cancelled.  Both of these shows contain unique main characters, interesting stories and really good writing.  Why were they cancelled?  Lackluster ratings.  Doesn’t matter that they are good shows with loyal fan bases.  It seems these idiotic network executives simply have no back bone to stand behind them.  Think about it, insanely stupid, shallow and ridiculous shows like the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are still on the air and they cancel Forever?  Are you kidding me?

In this day and age when the average TV watching person has access to hundreds of channels and thousands of shows that can be watched online, as well as all the podcasts and internet programming, it’s insane that there isn’t more advertising for these shows.  It’s so easy for good shows to fall through the cracks.

Where are the days when networks stood behind shows like this.  They knew the shows were good and they gave them every chance to succeed.  Now, they get nothing.  Almost no promotion at all. They throw up a Facebook and Twitter account and do almost nothing with them magically expecting ratings miracles.  In this day and age when the average TV watching person has access to hundreds of channels and thousands of shows that can be watched online, as well as all the podcasts and internet programming, it’s insane that there isn’t more advertising for these shows.  It’s so easy for good shows to fall through the cracks.

I will admit that NBC put forth a valiant effort to save The Slap.  A show that from the first preview I saw as not only boring but about a decade or two too late.  It might have made for an interesting mini-series but as a TV series?  It reeked of of Epic Failure.  I don’t care if it had a star studded cast.  Who wants to sit down on a weekly basis and be forced to contemplate child abuse.  Yes it’s an important issue but it makes for horrible TV and it was bad idea from the get go.  I don’t know anyone that watched this show.  Yet, NBC promoted the hell out of this show.  Even after the ratings sucked.  They didn’t give up on it.  I respect that.  Someone believed in the show and they fought for it.  It wasn’t until after all that support and the ratings still sucked that they finally pulled the plug on it.  That’s how you do it!

On the other hand, taking good shows like Forever and Backstom off the air after only putting in a half-assed promotional campaign is ridiculous.  It shows that not only are these network executives clueless as to what is good TV but they seem to have absolutely no idea what good TV is.  It seems they wouldn’t know a good show if it “fell out of the sky, landed on their face and started to wiggle.”

Poor Shamming, Can We Please Stop Doing That…

Poor Shamming, Can We Please Stop Doing That…

Poor Shamming, Can We Please Stop Doing That…

I hope this is going to my last political rant for a while.  I really hate these but I get so pissed off at how shallow, unsympathetic and easily manipulated people are and I just have to rant about it.  Here’s what pissed me off this morning…

As I was on my way to bed last night I see one of the alerts that a Facebook friend shared “Mr. Conservatives” post.  It was yet another attempt by the conservative right shame the poor.  It was a meme that was just so stupid I had to rant about it.  I used to be able to ignore this type of bullshit but sadly too many well meaning people fall for this form of propaganda because no one points out how they are being manipulated.  I let it go because I was tired, in my bedroom and had already turned my PC off so I just went to bed.  It was all but forgotten until I got up this morning and checked my Facebook feed.  There it was, this stupid, ignorant inflammatory conservative meme.  I wrote a huge rant in my friends timeline.  I didn’t post it because I know it would be like trying to explain basic math to a monkey.  Sure it can be done but it takes a long time and they’re still going to sling their shit at you when you’re done so what’s the point. Side note, not to say my friend isn’t as smart as Monkey or that she is an idiot.  It’s just that I know she doesn’t mean to shame the poor and I know she’s well intentioned.  Instead, I agreed with her and said that corporate greed is bad and that Walmart and the big three auto companies for example cost us billions a year.  Trying to not correct my friends as much nowadays.

Mr. Conservative's poor shamming

Mr. Conservative’s poor shamming

The reason this kind of crap pisses me off is because it’s pointless.  Seriously, who think it’s a career choice?  The only people that would disagree with this are probably the very few that have made it a career choice.  Also, does anyone think that this is meme is going to persuade them to not make welfare a career choice?  So I ask you, what is the point of this?  I will tell you.  Because, it’s propaganda for the conservative right that is designed to inflame good people.  Good people who feel as if they are working too hard and paying too much in taxes to have it wasted on welfare fraud.  And, I am not hear to tell them that they shouldn’t be enraged by it.  What I am hear to say is that welfare fraud isn’t this rampant thing that conservatives keep telling us.

…it turned out he could only find that 2 tenths of 1 percent might have committed some kind of welfare fraud in his state.

To give you an example, the state of Maine’s governor LePage wanted go after those committing welfare fraud in his state. So his people did some research on it.  He was on the case and this was a serious problem costing his state unknown fortunes!  Well, he released the data and as it turned out he could only find that 2 tenths of 1 percent might have committed some kind of welfare fraud in his state.  That’s it.  Another way of looking at it is that 99.8 percent of the poor in his state are just poor and not committing any welfare fraud.  And, of that 2 tenths of one percent, not all of them actually committed any fraud at all. As it turns out, some of those were just typos or clerical errors.  So, we know in at least the state of Maine welfare fraud isn’t really too big of problem and isn’t really costing us that much money. If you want to get angry over 2 tenths of 1 percent go right ahead but if fraud is what bothers you, there are much bigger fish to fry.

Maine is just one state though, what about all those “Welfare Queens” we keep being told about?  What about all that fraud FOX News keeps telling us about.  Well, most of it never happened.  That’s right, they lie to you.  Most people know that FOX News has been proven repeatedly in study after study as one of the least factual news agencies in this country.  And, the actual cases of fraud they come up with are so rare.  So what is the national rate of welfare fraud in this country?  It’s got to be like 25 percent?  40 percent?  25 percent? The numbers have to be outrageous right?  Why else would conservatives make such a big deal out of it if it wasn’t such a big deal?  As it turns out, at best, the national average for welfare fraud is about 2.7 percent.  That’s right.  All the poor shamming the conservative right does it turns out that 97.3 percent of the American’s poor aren’t committing fraud.  They’re just poor and need some assistance.

So why is the conservative party so outraged by welfare fraud?  To be honest, it’s just what they do.  They convince good people that there’s a problem and they can fix it.  They make simple statements designed to outrage.  This type of negative propaganda works.  My friend that shared the image doesn’t know dick about the poor.  But, she works hard and doesn’t want her tax money wasted on people taking advantage of the system.  She’s being manipulated to believe that there’s a serious problem when there isn’t.  Further more, it implies that since this is a conservative page that those who are not conservatives must be the ones allowing such travesties of fraud to continue.  That simply is not the truth.

Have the facts to back up what you’re saying otherwise, don’t post it.

I don’t care what party a person belongs to.  All I ask is that if they going to post something, have a clue as to what you’re posting about.  Have the facts to back up what you’re saying otherwise, don’t post it.  I don’t mind opinions that differ from mine.  I love a good debate when I have the time.  But, what pisses me the fuck off is when people just randomly post this kind of crap when it’s sole purpose is to mislead others and create a rage over an issue that really isn’t as bad as it is being made out to be, that isn’t right.

People need to question things more.  When did we stop doing this?  I saw someone post a meme the other day explaining the origins of the term SWAG.  I had to re-tweet the correct information when I saw it.

Her intentions were well meaning, she said something like, “Personally, this makes me like the term even more now.” The problem is, this is not what it means, it isn’t a fact, it’s just stupid shit some dumbass came up with because he or she was smart enough to know that people are gullible and will believe pretty much anything they are told if they thing it sounds reasonable.

What I have found is that when it comes to politics, propaganda works.  Liberals do it, conservatives do it.  It’s just that conservatives do it to an insane level.  They are creating a fear in people that is causing a level of paranoia that is absolutely ridiculous.  If it isn’t promoting bigotry by hiding behind the Bible, it’s shamming the poor by hiding behind non-sense statements and creating an unrealistic ideal of welfare fraud.  I just have a hard time letting this kind of bullshit go unchecked.  But, there is just so much of it, I simply don’t have the time to correct all the bullshit I see by posting the actual facts.  It would be nice if I did.  But, I have a job and if I don’t want to be on welfare, I need to get back to it.

Please, read these articles below, they are eye opening.

Resources for this article:
Governor’s Attempt To Find Massive Welfare Fraud Turns Up Next To Nothing
Welfare fraud is nothing compared to Pentagon waste and abuse
Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs
Dishonest Fox Chart Overstates Comparison Of Welfare To Full-Time Work By 500 Percent