Archive for the ‘smoking’ Tag

07-29-2014 Journal Entry – My Favorite Addiction!   1 comment

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These days it’s become chic to announce your addiction, get your 15 minutes of attention, and then check into some over priced and ridiculous rehab center.  It apparently makes a person something of a celebrity when they can gain sympathy for having the good sense to go to rehab.  It’s a lot of nonsense to be sure but it is what it is, you get to be the final judge. It"s worked for more celebrities than I could possibly name but Lindsey Lohan and Charlie Sheen immediately come to mind.

I need to step up myself.  Being a former smoker I realize just what an addiction is and how difficult it can be to stop.  It’s been some thirty years since I last smoked but as one addiction is disposed of others then become a real possibility.  I drank a little too much for a time but eventually was able to put that behind me and there were a few other minor things like green M&M’s, chocolate of any kind, and Tootsie pops.  I seem to require at least one ongoing addiction at all times.

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About fifteen years ago I became hooked on something new which has become my all time biggest addiction and there doesn’t appear to be any rehab facility anywhere to address this problem.  The first step in any twelve step program is to admit you have a problem and I’m here today to do just that.  Here it comes. I AM ADDICTED TO JALAPEÑO PEPPERS!!!!!  I feel so much better now that I’ve finally shouted that out to the entire world (meaning this blog).

Yesterday I was running errands and doing some food shopping when I drove past my favorite Vietnamese market.  I stop there often because they carry a huge assortment of southeast Asian spices and food products that I was introduced to while serving in the Far East for a few years.  They also carry a wide assortment of fruits and veggies priced well below other food retailers in the area.  What did I find? They were having a huge sale on jalapeños and I was immediately caught up in the excitement of the moment.  I was out of control with desire and immediately purchased twelve pounds of some of the most beautiful jalapeno peppers I’ve ever seen. I made the purchase and couldn’t wait to speed home with my peppers .

I decided to pickle and can them as quickly as possible. I currently eat at least a jar a week and when your buying them off-the-shelf from a Walmart or Hannaford it can get a little pricey.  I had enough peppers to fill at least twelve pint jars which would tide me over through a couple of months during the upcoming winter.  I took a few minutes to develop a recipe for a brine, wrote it all down, and checked my canning supplies to be sure I had a sufficient number of jars to get the job done. With my jalapeño peppers in one hand and a cutting board in the other I was ready to begin.

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I put on two pair of latex gloves to protect my hands, I plopped my ass in front of the TV, and watched a movie while slicing the jalapeños.  That’s what we call a night of relaxation in this house.  An hour or so later the job was done and the peppers stored in the refrigerator to await canning tomorrow. Thank God for latex gloves!

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It’s now tomorrow and here are the jalapenos fresh from their water bath.  In a month or so they’ll be ready to eat whenever I get the craving.  I’ll keep my eyes open to purchase more if I can find them because I can never have enough.  That’s how an addiction works.

01-29-2014 Journal Entry – Coffee Trivia I   Leave a comment

“Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and as sweet as love.”       Turkish Proverb

Let’s talk about coffee. It’s the only major addiction I have left and I cherish it. When I stopped smoking twenty-eight years ago it was coffee that helped me through all those terrible days without nicotine.  That and Tootsie Pops of course. I don’t know for sure how many Tootsie Pops are in a pound but I gained thirty-five pounds eating them over the course of five months.  Coffee helped to keep me going until I was free of the damn nicotine and then the Tootsie Pops.  Unfortunately by the time that was all over I was also addicted to the coffee as well.  I replaced one killer addiction with a much milder version and was happy as hell about it.

My second major addiction was alcohol.  I never drank enough to join that infamous club of alcoholics but I drank my share.  Now at this stage of my life I’ve given up up drinking almost completely.  Coffee again has been there to help replace the stimulation I received from alcohol with a much milder version.

My third big addiction was eating.  Not the food itself but the eating of the food.  I’ve been a nervous eater for most of my life and once my metabolism slowed it became a problem.  With each passing year it became more of an issue but I waged a good battle to maintain my weight. My good buddy “Coffee” again came to my rescue and for that I’m grateful.

I decided to take a closer look at coffee and to learn as much as I could in the context of this blog..  Today will be Coffee Trivia Day.  I’m celebrating my last great addiction that has made it possible for me to defeat three others.  Here is a list of twenty trivia tidbits, the first of three Coffee Trivia  planned postings.

“A 41-inch bust and a lot of perseverance will get you more than a cup of coffee – a lot more.” ~Jayne Mansfield

  •  Until the 18th century coffee was almost always boiled.
  • Until the late 1800’s, people roasted their coffee at home. Popcorn poppers and stove-top frying pans were favored.
  • When a coffee seed is planted, it takes five years to yield consumable fruit.
  • William Penn purchased a pound of coffee in New York in 1683 for $4.68.
  • Hawaii is the only state that commercially grows coffee.
  • In the ancient Arab culture there was only one way a woman could legally divorce: If her husband didn’t provide enough coffee.
  • 52% of Americans drink coffee.
  • A acre of coffee trees can produce up to 10,000 pounds of coffee cherries. That amounts to approximately 2000 pounds of beans after hulling or milling.
  • A scientific report form the University of California found that the steam rising from a cup of coffee contains the same amounts of antioxidants as three oranges. The antioxidants are heterocyclic compounds which prevents cancer and heart disease.
  • Adding sugar to coffee is believed to have started in 1715, in the court of King Louis XIV, the French monarch.
  • Advertisements for coffee in London in 1657 claimed that the beverage was a cure for scurvy, gout and other ills.

“Decaffeinated coffee is the devil’s blend.”  ~Author Unknown

  • Espresso Coffee has just one third of the caffeine content of ordinary coffee.
  • Coffee beans are really berries. Each berry contains two beans (pips).
  • An expert in preparing Turkish coffee is known as a “kahveci”.
  • Irish coffee was actually invented to warm up cold American plane passengers leaving from Ireland.
  • And lastly, Teddy Roosevelt is and was the greatest American coffee drinker, consuming a gallon a day. But you probably shouldn’t attempt to do that.
  • An Arabica coffee tree can produce up to 12 pounds of coffee a year, depending on soil and climate.
  • Australians consume 60% more coffee than tea, a six-fold increase since 1940.
  • Caffeine is on the International Olympic Committee list of prohibited substances. Athletes who test positive for more than 12 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of urine may be banned from the Olympic Games. This level may be reached after drinking about 5 cups of coffee.
  • Citrus has been added to coffee for several hundred years.

“Coffee, the finest organic suspension ever devised.”  ~Star Trek: Voyager

MORE TO COME

09-26-2013   Leave a comment

It was a week ago that I received a letter in the mail from a government agency which will go unnamed for now.  My household had been chosen from a cast of millions as a candidate for a new confidential study of some sort.  Enclosed in the envelope was a two dollar bill to thank me for reading their introductory letter.  Normally I’d just toss the letter and spend the money.  So what did I do this time?  I threw away the letter and spent the money.

I also took the time to read the letter before  I trashed it which told me that I would be visited by one of their representatives within a few weeks who would ascertain my households eligibility to this mysterious study.  If we were selected we could be paid as much as a whopping $85.00. Of course, the study could last a few years with periodic check-ins by telephone to question us.  I shrugged it off, thought it was stupid and continued on with living my life.

A few weeks later I was at home busy with a myriad of chores my better-half assigns me.  I think it used to be called a "Honey-Do" list or so my father told me.  I never heard the doorbell but I did observe an unidentified man skulking around my front door.  Before I could confront him he had entered a car parked nearby and drove away.  I’ve been a wee bit paranoid since the robbery we had here a year ago and the fact that three more have occurred since in this general vicinity.  I quickly grabbed my gun, my camera, my car keys and jumped in my vehicle and went to find him. He was parked near a nearby neighbors house just sitting along the road in his car. I slowed down long enough to get a very good picture of his car, license plate, and face.  If anything unusual was then later reported I could supply police with the information.  I am the freaking Neighborhood Watch, by God.

Three days later my better-half and I spot the same car and the same guy a mile or so from our house.  We’d no sooner returned home when the guy shows up at my door.  He’s the same A-hole sent by the government to make his highly confidential rounds through the area to interview survey candidates.  I told him to park in my driveway but he refused.  His instructions were to maintain complete confidentiality and not to allow anyone to find out what he’s doing and where he’s doing it.  It’s just so freaking stupid!

Being the nice guy that I am I immediately checked his drivers license and government photo ID card.  If I could have given him a DNA test and taken his fingerprints I would have done that too.  What a dumb ass.  We live in a rural area where strange cars and people can be spotted almost immediately.  He was in our area for a just a few days and had been photographed by me, accosted by another Neighborhood Watch member, and stopped by the police.

A typical dumb ass government drone with no common sense whatsoever. I asked him in and he pulled out his laptop and began asking me questions about smoking and my use or non use of electronic cigarettes. This survey will most certainly be the first volley in the government’s war against the use of electronic cigarettes.  In three years when this BS survey is completed I’m sure we’ll be blanketed with a media campaign explaining the evils of smoking electronic cigarettes and how they will kill us all.  The survey will give the government as many statistics as they need to scare the crap out of everyone I’m sure.  They feel required to save us all from that highly soon to be dangerous second hand water vapor.

He tried to convince me that the survey was being funded by the private sector and not by my hard earned tax money. I doubted that but said nothing.  I tried not to laugh in his face because I’m just a really nice effing guy and I don’t trust the government when it tells me anything.  I think he began to pickup on my skepticism and moments later after fiddling with his laptop for a few minutes I was told that the computer disqualified my household for the study.  He was up and gone in mere moments. Good riddance!

Your hard earned tax dollars are hard at work apparently preparing to stack the deck with another confidential study.  One that again will attempt to scare you to death about something they feel is bad for you.  They obviously know best  because we’re nothing more than a gang of mouth-breathing morons. That makes playing games with another national survey justified I suppose.

Land of the free, home of the brave?  Not so much anymore.

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