Five Year Vaping Anniversary

The evolution of my vaping experience

The evolution of my vaping experience

Five years. It has been five years since I started to get serious about ending a cigarette habit that started when I was eighteen.
I have been smoke free for four of the five. The picture above is my non-cigarette history starting back in 2010.

The two tubes on the far left were partial successes. I still smoked while experimenting with those…they just didn’t cut the cravings enough.

My first smoke-free gear

My first smoke-free gear

The very first black ecig, a generic EGO battery and cartridge did the trick. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I took one hit of the ego with attached cartridge…walked to the kitchen with a half pack of American Spirits and crushed them in my hand. I then said, “good fuckin’ riddance” and dropped the mangled cigarettes in the trash. That was how GOOD that ecig worked, and since July 2011 I haven’t had a cigarette…or the craving for one.

Of course, looking back, it didn’t work all THAT well…but it delivered enough nicotine to kill the cravings, and I was on my way.

By 2013, I was using gear that didn’t even resemble a cigarette, and now cannot imagine going back.

Over the course of the years the vaping experience, and the gear have evolved. Better performance, better eliquid, better choices. The community has become very sophisticated, and range from folks like me who just want stuff “to just work”, to the hobbyists who experiment with homemade builds, from the coils that heat the liquid, all the way to the electronics powering the devices, and to the guys who started mini-careers doing reviews of all of this stuff on youtube.

I shout out here to the three guys most responsible for keeping me on track:

Nick Green The first reviewer that caught my eye when searching for information.

Phil Busardo The technical side of things, Phil’s videos drill down the gear like no other.

Dimitris Agrafiotis    General vaping reviews, and the most tireless advocate I have ever seen when it comes to the intricate and insane mess that is regulatory government.  (Sorry Dimi, I couldn’t resist the text color. :-D )

Along the way I have also been sickened to discover that in my country and around the world, there is a backlash of epic proportions by governments and corporations who stand to lose massive amounts of money because this method WORKS TO GET FOLKS OFF OF CIGARETTES. What a surprise, right?

Groups like CASAA are working overtime to get the message out about the benefits of vaping, and taking the fight to the nanny state governments who are knee jerk reacting to this growing phenomenon.

Now there will be some out there who ask the question, “Well then, why don’t you just quit?”

My answer is simple. “I LIKE nicotine.”  I always have from that first pull on a cig in bootcamp back in 1980. It suited me. Then I discovered the pure unadulterated joy that is COFFEE + CIGARETTES.

Cigarettes have been referred to as “an aide to thought”,  and there is some evidence backing that claim up.

I wanted to quit not because of nicotone, which is no more harmful than caffeine in the doses that cigarettes/ecigs provide…I wanted to quit because cigarettes are FULL of carcinogens and chemicals that ARE HORRIBLE for the human body.

Ecigs/vaping provide my nicotine with four ingredients. Whether they are “completely safe” is irrelevant. They are a zillion percent safer than smoking.

The term for this is “HARM REDUCTION”…a simple concept that the bizarro-world “anti-vaping” crowd needs to figure out. (Some of them won’t because they are financially invested in products that are in competition with vaping…and this is a sad thing.) Getting people off of cigarettes should be the goal, not protecting one’s turf.

I will say one thing here, lest I get lumped in with the nanny-staters myself. FREEDOM means you should have choice. If you CHOOSE to smoke, that is your choice.  When I say, “get people off of cigarettes,” I mean, specifically, to provide a viable alternative. Force is for socialists, fascists and busybodies who think it is their right to force people to do what they think is right.

So here as I start year 6 of NOT smoking, I hope that all of you out there still sucking on the cancer sticks give this alternative a try.

I no longer stink of smoke.

I no longer have ash and stained walls or gummed up windows.

I DO have my lungs back.

I DO have my tastebuds back! (woot x 10 here!  :-D )

I have my NIC.  (For me this is a good thing.)

It worked for me! :-)

Last Bits 24

Your's Truly!

Your’s Truly on ORBIT COMPLETE! day.  :-)

1. Another orbit of the sun in the books. Time flies..sometimes. I’ll explain shortly. As it is, the birthday was a good one as far as things go in my lil’ world. I’m NOT a big “BIRTHDAY” person. To me, every day that I get up and am still breathing and able to do what I want to do is a win. So for me each day is kind of a birthday as 365 days ago, I was one year younger.  :-)

2. I’ve noticed over the last few years as I have taken control of my life that time does NOT fly. It flew when I was in the “9-5 GOTTA RUSH RUSH RUSH DO THE JOB HURRY ABOUT SWEAT EVERYTHING” mode that most people are in. Those years flashed by like a shot out of a cannon.

Oh to know then what I know now.

Once I decided to work for ME, and pursue the goals that interest ME instead of the inane bullshit that we are supposed to take as “normal”, time started to slow down. Not in a bad way, rather I actually feel like I’ve accomplished things and made a mark. Each day, while similar, is a joy to be in, rather than a drudge, and I no longer have issues with just getting up to start my day. (Coffee, of course, heh.)

Time flows, but it doesn’t feel as ephemeral any longer.

**

IMG_20150616_040219763_HDR3. The writing is moving along. Chapters are getting done, and the story is unfolding. A couple of times in the last few weeks I’ve even “fallen through the page” while pounding the keys. Writers know what this is, but for you that read my meanderings here that aren’t writers, lemme ‘splain….no…it’s too long….lemme sum-up. (heh.)

Writing, like anything else, takes work. It takes discipline, and it takes mental blood, sweat and tears at times. The term “cat-vacuuming” probably became a term because some writer thought it up for all of the excuses to NOT WRITE that seemed plausible at the time.

BUT, sometimes it isn’t work. Some may disagree with this, but I’ll just laugh and move on…sometimes the writer isn’t pounding the keys. Sometimes the writer is witnessing events and hearing people speak. Sometimes the writer has “fallen through the page” into that alternate universe where the story is taking place, and is transcribing things as fast as the keys or pen will allow.

This is the crack-cocaine of the craft. It hooks the writer to do this crazy solitary struggle…usually for the rest of his/her life. I got my first brain full of this drug when I was eleven.  :-D

4. Now back to it!

Sense8

sense8 posterSo, aside from writing and driving and stuff, I have been gorging on this show. In fact I finished the first season already. Gotta love Netflix. If there is one thing I cannot stand about television, it is having to WAIT for the next episode of something. Hate that.

Anyway, thoughts.

wachowskis-straczynski-sense8-netflix

The Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski

1. It is my opinion that the pair on the left (The Wachowskis) have been toned down by the fella on the right (J. Michael Straczynski). The three co-wrote (all of the episodes) and co-produced this program. The Wachowskis are most famous for “The Matrix”, and JMS (I’m not typing all these names over and over…to hell with that) is most famous for Babylon5 and was nominated for the BAFTA for his screenplay for The Changling starring Angelina Jolie. (Among many many many other things.)

1b. The Wach’s (see? heh.) have been on a serious downward spiral for the last several movies, culminating with one of the worst written films I’ve seen in a long time, “Jupiter Ascending”, which has been nicknamed “The Wachowski’s Descending”.

1c. I cannot vouch for this, but after watching this season, I can see JMS’ hand in this series, and I can see the Wach’s. If left to the Wach’s this show would have been a boogered up mess. With JMS involved, it is only a partially boogered up mess…which leaves one hell of an entertaining tale at the end of the day.

2. Positives. The characters are EVERYTHING in this show. Without good performances in roles that you care about, none of this would matter a damn. As it is, I cared…a lot.

2b. Interesting action sequences. Without spoiling anything, I will say this has been a season of some of the coolest (read: original) stuff I’ve seen in a long time.

3. Negatives. The pacing of the episodes is not good. Sometimes meandering, sometimes preaching a bit much, and sometimes just downright slow. There were times I sat thinking that the editor should have said, “Frack you Wach’s, this needs to get chopped.”

3b. The sticky bits.  I’m prefacing this sub-point.

I AM A BIOLOGICAL HETEROSEXUAL. Not uncomfortable in my skin. Not a closet anything. K? Got it? Now…

3c. TOOOOO MUCH GAY SEX. I do not care one bit which way a person swings, or what gender they are. I say this from the point of the viewer being bombarded by it. (Notice I said “””toooooo””””” much. )  I don’t say anything about the hetero sex, because frankly, there wasn’t all that much of it.

But when I, the viewer, start to look away from the screen, wondering where the fast forward button is…”too much”.

4. Bottom line.

This show has a “Heroes” vibe, coupled with a low key X-Men feeling, as well as being a very good character(s) drama. If they would tone down the excesses, tighten up the editing some, I could see this becoming a brilliant show. By the rousing season 1 finale, I was completely invested in these characters, caring deeply for all of them, and interested in where this story will take me.

As it is, I happily look forward to season 2.

JMS, please keep those two crazy kids in check. Please.

Oh, and I have a man crush on Bae Doona. Yep. Said it.  :-D

Bae Doona

Bae Doona

Sense8-cast

The Cast

Why authors should never comment on negative reviews of their own books

C.J. Peter:

Loved LOVED LOVED this. I haven’t had a bad review…yet, but I will drag this out when it inevitably happens, laugh, and then move on. Great advice well told! :-)

Originally posted on Thought Scratchings:

You’ve written a book. It’s been published. Your agent told you that he/she has never read a book like it. Your publisher has told you that your voice is entirely unique. The quotes from celebrities on the front cover of your book reinforce this sense of untouchable brilliance. The first fifty amazon reviews have flooded in from industry people who are encouraged to display kindness. Traction begins…but all of these opinions are inherently biased.

Then comes the first negative review from Jeremy, from Hounslow. Your brain immediately reacts by telling you that Jeremy must be mentally ill. Then you decide he must be a troll. (Because you’ve convinced yourself that you are so special, that there are people alive who spend their free time attacking your books, hoping you say something, because that’s how you think they think they will get famous. Even though nobody read your last novel.) So…

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A Vaping Update 6-2-2015

IMG_20150602_230741160_HDR

1. The picture above shows the gear that I currently use…except the sad little black device (Eleaf I-Stick 50watt) to the left. Unfortunately it has a bad switch, causing all kinds of mayhem, so it is joining the “Casey Vaping Museum of Natural History” after this post. Sad, as I really like the heft, feel and display of the little bugger, not to mention 3 day battery life. Ah well.

2. The big boy in the middle is my Vamo V6 variable wattage mod. Stuff comes and stuff goes, and that thing just keeps on working…flawlessly. It is a chinese made device, and from I’ve what I’ve read, a new version 7 is coming out pretty soon with a few additional features such as a pass-thru for charging while vaping, and a few tweaks to the brains.  I’ll probably snag one when it gets to my vendor. They’re very inexpensive. Notice I didn’t say “cheap”. ;-)

3. The red unit is my backup.  It is a Kanger IPOW 2 variable wattage unit. It works just about as well as the Vamo. The reason it is a backup? I am not fond of the switch, which is flush mounted and difficult to find unless you’re looking at the unit. This is not a good thing to be doing when driving. Good battery life, easy to read screen, and simple rotary wheel for adjustments that stays put (mostly). Nice device around the house.

4. The tanks. I’m still using the Kanger Aero-EMOW Mega units. They hold 2.8 ml of liquid and are simple to use and even easier to clean. They WILL leak on airplanes unless inverted, but a lot of tanks will do this. Air pressure is a fiend. -heh.

4b. I have purchased some “sub-ohm” dual coils to try as Kanger has made a variant that fits the aerotank line. At this point, other than sucking juice faster, and draining my batteries faster, I don’t see the big deal. I’m not “Mr. Clouds” guy, so at this point, I’m still using 1.8 ohm dual coil atties as my go-to units.  They work, and work just fine.

5. Last on the list this time is that big ol’ tank of juice.

After years of futzing about trying to find an eliquid that just “suits”, this has been my go-to for awhile now. Sweet-Vapes “Mapacho”.

I do NOT like vaping drink flavors, cake or pie stuff, or desserts. If I want that, I’ll go eat/drink the real thing. When vaping, like smoking (when I did the deed), I prefer something NOT SWEET, that gets outta the way and doesn’t make we want to gag after an hour or so…(try eating a whole bag of cookies, or the WHOLE cake to get what I mean). The mapacho flavor here has a slightly citris twang with a bit of tobacco (not cigarette flavor…think pipe or cigar).

I swear that if Dayna, who runs Sweet-Vapes ever goes out of business, I shall cry. I did get her to promise me the recipe though if they do.  heh.

6. Next up on the block. I’m hanging back a bit on buying new gear at the moment. There are a few devices that I’m liking to replace the Eleaf I-stick, but I’m waiting on Dimitris Agrifiotis and Phil Busardo to toss their reviews out. Always trust those two…they will steer you in the proper direction.

7. The drug addict looking syringe and stuff there isn’t. heh. That is a blunt tipped milliliter marked syringe to get juice from the big bottle into the tanks. Really handy as I can get the right amount from bottle to tank without over or underfilling the things.  —I should have put a bent spoon and a lighter there just to freak folks out. snicker—