Category Archives: Red 5

An Update on the Quit

In the last 3 weeks, I have not smoked 400 cigarettes.

Back in the day, it didn’t seem like much: 20 a day, but then I wasn’t keeping track of them past the daily intake. Pack a day? What’s that? That’s average for most people. No sweat. If I went over, like a night out on the town (read: closing a bar with drinking/smoking buddies) when I would push 2 packs in one day… yeah, I would mentally beat myself up: I shouldn’t have smoked THAT many in one day.

But, when one stops to think about the total over an extended period of time, it’s ridiculous! 400 in 20 days! A pack a day for 20 days doesn’t sound that bad, but 400 cigs in the same time frame? Hell, just the thought of smoking 400 cigarettes over ANY time frame… 400! Oy vey!

What hurts even more: if I had not fallen off the wagon in ’07, I would have saved over $15,000 by now. My Scirocco would have been running this whole time and I would have relished driving it every weekend, including to the last 6 Cincy’s and I would never have felt the shame of parking on the KIA side and getting that look from Daun (“Another year at the Scirocco get-together without the Scirocco?”). We would have hardwood floors (or a cheaper laminate alternative ;) ). Hell, we might even have a paved and heated driveway! (Who am I kidding? We probably would have pissed it away elsewhere, but the Scirocco could have been running!!!)

But still… 15 grand. And to add to that, here’s an even scarier number: 43,829. That’s number of cigarettes that I smoked since falling off the wagon (assuming pack/day for the last 6 years). ~44K cigs.

Incredible numbers and things to think about. And I would spend more time thinking about it if I wanted to live in the past on past mistakes. I don’t want to do that. Instead, I will think of the now and the future.

Now: three weeks in, I’m breathing easier than I have in about 4 years, but I know I’m not out of the woods. I still have cravings, albeit minor ones. I also know that since it took me 26+ years to walk this deep into the woods, it just might take 26+ years to find my way back to where I was. As they say on, 3 miles in is 3 miles out. Fortunately, I’ve already started to feel the health benefits and that’s enough to keep me going.

I made it farther than this in ’07, but this time I am not going to falter. I will walk the path. I will make it out of the woods. For…

I am done.

I am quit.

I am Mike and I am awesome.

Godspeed to the Timob!

A friend is starting a big trip today. He’s hitting 48 states in an ’84 Scirocco. Supposed to take 2 months. Wish I had the time to do that, but I’ll have to be happy with a couple of cross country jaunts from the past. I’m making a donation to the trip fund and have tagged 96 $1 bills with my website and another. Maybe I’ll get some hits. I’m hoping he can spend 2 in each state, but it seems he’s hit Delaware before stopping by my office* in Baltimore, so DE might miss out on my money.

At any rate, it looks to be a cool trip. He’s got a laptop with a Verizon wireless device, so he’s posting from the road. Some updates can be seen here on the vortex.

Drive safe, Timbo!

*speaking of “my office,” I have a new one! I’m no longer working part-time through Kelly Services for Jhpiego. I’m now employeed full-time at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as a “Web Specialist.” This means I get paid to play with HTML and CSS. I love it when that happens! If I persue my bachelor’s at JHU part-time, I go for free! ;D While I enjoyed working at Jhpiego, I love full-time much more. :) And JHSPH looks very nice on the resume!

Every journey, short or long, begins with the first step…

Today, after a week or so on a charger, the van started. The battery felt very strong and there was no dimming of the lights while it was trying to turn over. It will be emptied on Tuesday and hopefully it will trade places with Red soon after. I’m not liking where Red is at the moment, but more on that later. At least this year’s acorn hell is over.