The Smoke Monster Got Me!

Smoke Monster By: [177] (http://flickr.com/photos/banky177/)
Photo By: [177]
So, yeah….I’ve quit smoking (kinda).

Monday, I did pretty good.  I only chewed one fingernail down to the bone.  I don’t like bone chips in my teeth, so I smoked two cigarettes that day to keep from gnawing any deeper.

Tuesday, I was in the office…bored outta my mind!  The thought of a cold smoke (a term my friends and I coined in high school) frequented my deliriously nervous state of mind.  I was able to fight off the nic fits by taking it out on a small piece of flavored rubber…other wise known as chewing gum.

Wednesday, I traveled for most of the day down to tornado land Tennessee.  You CANT smoke in the airports or on airplanes these days so I just tried to sleep as much as possible.  That night I stayed in a smelly hotel.  I asked for a non smoking room, but was *this-close* to lighting up to get rid of the stench.  Also, since I slept so much on the plane, I was up all night…and what else is there to do at 3AM besides smoke and surf the net?  I held out due to the sign that stated a $100 fine for smoking. 😀

Thursday, things started to get easier.  However I only worked for about 3 hours and then spent the rest of the day and night in a better smelling hotel room surfing the net.  Boredom has to be my worst enemy! Even though the Internet is huge, you can only distract yourself from the smoking urge for so long before smoking a cigarette or passing out from eye strain.  I passed out. 😀

Friday, again was mostly a travel day, but the urges and withdrawal side effects were less fierce.  I only growled at one fellow traveler as they bumped into me at the airport.

Saturday, however, was a different story.  We were spending the night at my Mom’s and I forgot my patches at home.  I got pulled over and spent all night drinking in a bar.  I just couldn’t overcome the urges.  I gave in.  The smoke monster got me.

Sunday, I still didn’t have my patches so I smoked one more pack.  Better than going nuts and committing a mass homicide, right?

Since Monday, I have been back into quitting mode again.  It is Tuesday afternoon and I have not had a smoke in the past day and a half.  Do you think I can make it through this weekend without lighting up?

Flashing Lights and Spinning Rooms

I wasn’t around this weekend to do any blog hoppin’, as most of you probably noticed. It was time for a Mom and Dad night out on Saturday. It’s been awhile since we were able to go out and “let it all hang out”!

Saturday, my Mom, volunteered to watch Ace while Momma and I went out with my brother and some friends.

Cop Car By: http://flickr.com/photos/pingnews/
Photo By: pingnews.com

On the way to my Mom’s house I got pulled over (again) for speeding. Ever since I got pulled over in October I have been very careful with my speed. I rarely go more than 5 MPH over the speed limit.

I was driving through a small town called Mechanicsburg. I turned down a side street that leads out of town towards my Mom’s house. I knew that this road was 25 MPH for a long ways. There are no houses there, but there is a park on one side of the road. After you pass the park the speed limit goes up to 55 MPH.

I wasn’t paying attention to my speed and was just driving, talking to Momma, and accelerating up to 55 MPH. When I popped over the small hill just before the 55 MPH speed limit sign and came into view of Mr. Officer, I was already doing 54 MPH (according to Mr. Officer’s radar). 😀

The next few minutes were filled with flashing lights, me digging through my center console and the glove box looking for my registration and insurance card, me stuttering trying to explain that I don’t have an insurance card but do have insurance, and then just sitting there wondering how bad of a fine/punishment I was going to receive while Mr. Officer was running my plates and driver’s license.

To make a long story short… Mr. Officer was exceptionally nice to me. If he would have marked my speed as 55 MPH I would have been charged with Reckless Operation (big fine). Since this was my 2nd ticket in 6 months the fine automatically goes up as well. He said that he could have easily given me a $450 ticket. But being the nice guy that he was (and since I was from out of town and just passing through) he gave me a $150 ticket. I got off easy!

Photo By: http://flickr.com/photos/llimllib/
Photo By: llimllib
Well, I didn’t let this little mishap spoil our fun times. We finally dropped off Ace at Grandma’s and made our way to the bar. Momma didn’t feel like drinking so she was DD. My brother and I drank quite a bit. We started at Winger’s. When it got boring we moved to the 68 Lounge and closed it down. Then we moved onto The Fountain and closed it down too. I don’t remember a whole lot about the night other than it felt good to let loose… 😀

We got home at 4 AM and felt like crap the next day, but it was all worth it.

No Smoking Update: Well, I did good until the weekend. I’ll write a post about it in the next few days.

Ace Update: He’s starting to walk. Usually just a few steps at a time, but today he did 18 steps. I’m going to try to get a video to post here because he is so funny when he walks. 🙂

10% Off For Valentines Day!

Valentines day is sneaking up on us quick!  Only 7 more days!  Have you got your special person that something special?  Me neither… 😀

Well, I’ve got you a good deal!  Go over to GiveSimple.com and enter the promo code DADTHING for 10% off your entire purchase!  This promo code is good thru February 28th, 2008.

Here are just a few ideas and examples of what GiveSimple.com has to offer…

 givesimple-wild_heart_domino.jpg givesimple-wild_love_domino.jpg 

GiveSimple.com - Peony Robe - Pink give-simple-bangle_group.jpg

They have tons more than pictured here including spa products, PJs and T-Shirts, and candles just to name a few.

So go check them out!  Pick up a great Valentines Day gift for your loved one, and do not foget to enter promo code DADTHING for 10% off your entire purchase through February 28th!

Everything Ripped Away, What Would You Do?

I don’t watch the news.  So when I flew into Memphis, TN this morning I was in for a big surprise!  Last night they had quite a few tornados.  I don’t know all the details, but I did hear someone say that a tornado reached the EF4 status.  An EF4 has winds anywhere between 207 to 264 miles per hour!

As I was looking out the window of the airplane as we were coming in for landing in Memphis I saw something simlar to this…

Jackson, Tenessee Tornado 2/5/08

This is one of those big power line towers that carry the high-voltage lines bent over and touching the ground!

I left Memphis and started driving to Jackson, TN where I was working today.  On the way I saw tons of damage.   The median on the interstate was full of branches and trees that had been pulled from the highway.  Whole trees (roots and all) were lying everywhere.  Trees were snapped off like little twigs.

I heard on the radio that within a five mile stretch on the interstate there were over 20 semi trucks rolled over from the wind last night.  They were cleaning up the mess from the last truck as I drove by.  I had a hard time finding my exit because all of the road signs were bent over so far that they were touching the ground!

I thought the damage I was seeing was bad, but I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to see.  Once I got off on my exit I was greeted by this…

Jackson, Tenessee Tornado 2/5/08

And right next to that was this…

 tn-tornado-4.JPG

 tn-tornado-3.jpg

The amount of damage down here is just unbelievable!  I have never seen this kind of destruction first hand.  The pictures do not do it justice.  The feeling I got driving through this area was horrible.

Seeing the damage down here is a real eye opener.  It makes me realize how small we all are in the world.  No matter how hard you work, no matter how much you prepare, no matter how big or smart or tough or powerful you think you are…you are nothing compared to the forces of nature.  Everything you have could be ripped away from you without warning.

When I get home tomorrow I am going to give Momma and Ace a big ole’ hug…just because. 😀

EDIT: Pictures used on this post are property of the following sites.  For more pictures  and information about the tornados visit the following sites…
http://bloggeddownworld.blogspot.com
http://picasaweb.google.com/j.razz1/

http://www.jacksonsun.com

No Naked Lights? Or Smoking?

No Smoking or Naked LightsDamn it!  Now I have to go buy clothes for all of my lights!  All of my lights are exhibitionists and just hang out in the nude all of the time.  They are going to be pissed!

No really.  In all seriousness.  I am quitting smoking! (Or at least going to give it one hell of a try!)

I’ve smoked since I was about 16.  The first few years were pretty light, but once I got into college it was full on…a pack or more a day.

I’ve tried to quit multiple times.  As you can see none of them have worked.  The best I have done is quit for six months.  I used the nicotine patch, and it worked quite well.  But, when a stressful event occurred…I was right back to a pack or more per day.

I’ve tried quitting cold turkey before and that just doesn’t work for me.  Most non-smokers always say, “Just stop buying them!  That’s all you gotta do!”  Easier said than done.  It is hard…extremely hard.

In the past when I have tried to quit cold turkey, it doesn’t last long.  The nicotine withdrawal does weird things to the body.  I get jittery. I get moody.  My vision gets blurry at times.  I get headaches.  My teeth hurt.

The thing that bothers me the worst is my teeth hurting.  Well, they don’t actually hurt.  My front two teeth on the bottom of my mouth ache horribly the whole time.  It is so weird and doesn’t make sense, but that was always my sign that it was time to smoke again.  So aching teeth is the hardest symptom for me to overcome.

I woke up this morning and put on a nicotine patch.  I did good…really good.  I went all day long at work without losing my mind.  I got home and had one cigarette.  I shouldn’t have smoked it, but damn it sounded good.  After smoking it I wasn’t too happy with myself.  I did good all day long and had to break down, didn’t I?

The thing is, that even when wearing the patch my teeth still ache.  I’m not jittery or too moody, but my teeth still ache like I was quitting cold turkey.  I know that if I can hold on for about 3 or 4 days the aching teeth sensation will go away.  I just have to get most of that nicotine out of my body, and then slowly wean my body off with the lower dose patches.

Hopefully tomorrow will be as easy as today was. 

Stress and boredom are two of my triggers to have a smoke.  I’m trying like hell to avoid stressful situations and to keep from getting bored  these first few days. 

Other triggers are getting into my truck, after eating a meal, and break time at work.  Smoking consumes everything you do.  Everything you do reminds you of how bad you want a cigarette.  Sometimes I wish a doctor would put me into an induced coma and wake me up a few weeks later to cleanse my body of the nicotine so that I would be unconscious during the withdrawal period. 🙂

So, wish me luck!  I hope I have the strength this time to beat the money hungry health destroying habit…once and for all!

Hostinger