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Four years ago, I celebrated one-year tobacco-free with a journal entry about my personal journey. Then, in 2013, I posted again, celebrating the two-year anniversary of coming clean (indeed, cigarettes are a drug), followed by another post in 2014 documenting year three, and how I couldn't get Philip Morris/Altria to leave me alone (they since have, but only after I threatened legal action). In 2015, I posted again, and since then little bits have changed, like Cracker Barrel restaurants playing into the hands of Big Tobacco (presumably) not knowing it, and the rise of the e-cig and vape crowd. Today I am posting once again, as it's the five-year anniversary of kicking the habit. As I've done previously, I am re-posting much of my original entry here on THE ROCK FATHER, along with a few alterations and timely updates. Philip Morris/Altria and R.J Reynolds: The targets on the backs of your companies and leadership continue to grow...

March 14, 2011 is the day that I officially quit smoking. At some point on the night of March 13, I quietly took the last puff of the last cigarette in the last pack that I ever owned. Upon telling my wife that I was officially ''done,'' she took it upon herself to clean-up some of the ''smoker's mess'' that I'd created. The ashtrays of both cars were scoured. The sand-filled flowerpots that I'd strategically placed on my front porch and near my gardening shed were disposed of, along with a ton of stray butts that had made their way into the surrounding landscape over the winter months. The cleansing had begun.

Published in James' Journal

Three years ago, I celebrated one-year tobacco-free with a journal entry about my personal journey. Then, in 2013, I posted again, celebrating the two-year anniversary of coming clean (cigarettes are a drug), followed by another post in 2014 documenting year three, and how I couldn't get Philip Morris/Altria to leave me alone (they since have, but only after I threatened legal action).  Today I am posting once again, as it's the four-year anniversary of kicking the habit. As I've done previously, I am re-posting much of my original entry here on THE ROCK FATHER, along with a few alterations and timely updates. Philip Morris/Altria and R.J Reynolds: The targets on the backs of your companies and leadership have grown...

March 14, 2011 is the day that I officially quit smoking. At some point on the night of March 13, I quietly took the last puff of the last cigarette in the last pack that I ever owned. Upon telling my wife that I was officially ''done,'' she took it upon herself to clean-up some of the ''smoker's mess'' that I'd created. The ashtrays of both cars were scoured. The sand-filled flowerpots that I'd strategically placed on my front porch and near my gardening shed were disposed of, along with a ton of stray butts that had made their way into the surrounding landscape over the winter months. The cleansing had begun.

Published in James' Journal

Two years ago, I celebrated one-year tobacco-free with a blog about my personal journey. Then, in 2013, I posted again, celebrating the two-year anniversary of coming clean (cigarettes are a drug). Today I am posting once again, as it's the three-year anniversary of kicking the habit. As I've done previously, I am re-posting much of my original blog entry here on THE ROCK FATHER, along with a few alterations and timely updates. Last year, I discussed how Marlboro (under the Philip Morris or Altria name) won't leave me alone. It's continued for another year... and perhaps it's time to lawyer up?

March 14, 2011 is the day that I officially quit smoking. At some point on the night of March 13, I quietly took the last puff of the last cigarette in the last pack that I ever owned. Upon telling my wife that I was officially ''done,'' she took it upon herself to clean-up some of the ''smoker's mess'' that I'd created. The ashtrays of both cars were scoured. The sand-filled flowerpots that I'd strategically placed on my front porch and near my gardening shed were disposed of, along with a ton of stray butts that had made their way into the surrounding landscape over the winter months. The cleansing had begun.

Published in James' Journal
Tuesday, February 25 2014 22:44

Old Crankypants: Chiberia does not exist...

I hate cutesy catchphrases that are delivered with a smug grin, a chuckle, or wink. Have them delivered by a news anchor, a major website or even a lesser-known internet jockey, and they're even worse... amped-up and ready to irritate. I have a growing list of phrases, along with some individual words and terms that make my blood boil... or "grind my gears" as the wise Peter Griffin once said. One of the latest is "Chiberia," a made-up, annoying term used to describe the arctic temperatures in the Chicago area this year. I'd originally thought that the Chicago Sun-times coined the term, but according to FOX 32, it was a National Weather Service forecaster named Ricky Castro that is to blame. Tonight, as news of another snowfall came across the television, I watched in agony as another anchor delivered the "Chiberia" name with a grin and that fake "ha-ha" delivery that only one at a newsdesk can properly pull off.

Published in James' Journal

This Country is regressing. Despite all the "talk" of moving forward, creating a brighter future for our children and embracing a World where there is equality and freedom for everyone - The United States is in rapid decline, and there is little to show me otherwise. Here in Illinois, Chicago has taken the stage as becoming "the wild west" once more - a place where crime pays and the bullets fly early and often. Since the installation of Rahm Emanuel as Mayor, Chicago has fast-begun reverting to the ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING depiction of the City - a dirty and ominous place where you have to question whether it's really safe to take the kids. If it's "keeping up appearances" that create a first impression, The Windy City is also failing - from burnt out lights on the welcome sign to NAVY PIER (the City's top tourist destination), to decaying Christmas decorations at O'Hare airport (saw plenty of half-lit wreaths still displayed as of February 13!) or signage where "Mayor Richard M. Daley" has been hastily painted-over rather than being replaced with the new regime. While I could go on about the plight of Illinois and Chicagoland in general, it's the "news" that brings to light the further regression from other States, and each day brings forth another head-scratcher. What the hell is wrong with Kansas?

Published in James' Journal

Note: My wife told me last night that she'd prefer I not post this... my annual anti-Super Bowl post. But since it was already written a few days in advance, I'd hate to let it go to waste.

This Sunday, while most of America is spending the evening shouting at the TV... wait a second. I wrote this before, didn't I? Well, yes, I sorta did, on "Super Sunday" last year. So here we are, nearly 365 days later, and SUPER BOWL XLVIII is about to kick-off, and just as I've done for many years prior, I will be watching - or doing - something completely unrelated to the "The Big Game." Ah yes, "The Big Game," the legally-enacted phrase that so many businesses use in place of "Super Bowl" thanks to the NFL's iron-fisted restrictions on people calling the game what it actually is (seriously: Does anyone think that some crappy used car lot really has any kind of official relationship with the NFL?). But then again, I don't like the NFL, either. Funny enough, I didn't even know who was in this year's Super Bowl until yesterday, and just found out where it's happening today.

Published in James' Journal
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