PAINT LICK —
If you had your life to live over, what would you do differently?
Frankly, with one exception, the few things that I would change are too personal to talk about in a public forum, and they’re really nobody else’s business, anyway.
And if I went back and made major changes, say in the type of education or where I attended college, for example, they might have resulted in an entirely different life than the one I’ve lived.
The bottom line is that I’m pretty happy with the way things have turned out. I love my family and my circle of friends and I love living in Paint Lick, Kentucky. I love what I do, and I’m fairly content with what I’ve accomplished over the last 64 years.
I’m proud of my kids and grandkids, and I can’t imagine having a life-sharing partner more wonderful than Loretta. I would not go back and make a single change that would ultimately make the family and friends aspects of my life turn out differently.
But, by far, the biggest regret that I’m willing to talk about is smoking. I wish, with all my heart, that I’d never seen or touched a cigarette or briar pipe. I would be lying big time if I told you that I have not taken great pleasure from smoking, especially my pipes, over the decades.
Although I haven’t smoked a pipe in nearly three years, I still consider myself a connoisseur of blended pipe tobacco from around the world. Few things, made of wood, have more appeal to my eyes and hands than a hand carved and perfectly engineered Mediterranean Briar pipe. Nothing smells better to me than the aroma of fine pipe tobacco.
But if I had it to do over, I would have never touched a pipe and never lit that first cigarette. I’m reasonably convinced that I would not have suffered the stroke that has left me somewhat crippled for nearly a year now. I’m sure that I would have far more stamina and that I would feel better.
I don’t even want to think about all the money I would have if I had stuck it into sa avings account instead of blowing it on tobacco and it’s related products over the years.
People who do not have ultra-addictive personalities do not understand those of us who do. I know at least a hundred people who have quit smoking over the years and some of them had mighty struggles with the process. Many, if not most, of them are of the opinion that if they can do it, anyone can.
But even after my stroke, I cheated and on those days when I didn’t smoke, I wanted a cigarette so badly that I could hardly think of anything else.
Over the last 25 years, I have tried numerous patches, pills and gum. I’ve completed two of those highly-touted 16 week cessation programs. I’ve tried hypnosis several times, and I’ve fallen for several television and internet promoted scams. I’ve had a stroke, for crying out loud, and I still wanted a damn cigarette.
Last fall, someone suggested I try an e.cigarette. It’s a battery operated device that delivers a vapor instead of smoke. It feels and tastes a lot like a regular cigarette but without all the smoke and tars and thousands of chemical impurities you get from real smoke. In other words, it’s a much cleaner and less aggravating way of getting a nicotine fix than real tobacco. And unless somebody is sitting right beside you, they never smell a thing.
This writing makes 90 days since I’ve touched a match or lighter to a cigarette. I promise you faithfully that I haven’t even wanted one, but I have panicked a time or two when I couldn’t find my White Cloud Fling.
I have no idea if it’s safer, because I’m still getting nicotine. But I can tell you that I feel and breathe better than I have in decades, and I can’t imagine going back to real smoke.
I tried 11 different brands and styles before settling on White Cloud disposables, which I find to be the most reliable, realistic and economical e.cigarettes on the market and, by far, the most truthfully advertised. Simply do an internet search for whitecloudfling.com
However, if you’ve quit smoking, DO NOT DO THIS or use it as an excuse to start back. If you’ve never smoked a cigarette, THIS IS NOT A HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE.
Read everything you can find on the pros and cons of electronic cigarettes before you even try one and then make up your mind. There’s a ton of mostly conflicting information on the internet and even health professionals hold widely varying opinions.
It may turn out that I’m still killing myself just as rapidly as I would be with the real thing or maybe even faster. But at least Loretta is not yelling at me for stinking up the atmosphere.
PAINT LICK —
If you had your life to live over, what would you do differently?
The case of the ghostly neighbor
Wilbur lived in a world of fears. Everything frightened him. The full extent of his courage was to admit that he had none.
Noises in the middle of the night, his own shadow creeping up on him and, most of all, black cats scared the wits out of him.
So, picture his chagrin, one day, when he came home from vacation only to discover that a mausoleum had been erected on property adjacent to his home.
Provisional concealed-carry law passes Senate unanimously
Things are staying busy in Frankfort. Many bills are making their way onto the Senate floor from various committees. This past week several important pieces of legislation were debated and passed.
I am particularly proud of the success we had in advocating for Kentuckians’ Second Amendment rights.
I introduced Senate Bill 106 to allow anyone who has been granted an emergency protective or domestic violence order to receive a provisional CCDW permit from the Kentucky State Police in one business day. In some of these cases, victims need this type of protection as quickly as possible.
50 years makes a world of difference
I wasn’t in Frankfort on March 5, 1964, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and Jackie Robinson led 10,000 on a march to the state Capitol in support of a public accommodations law.
But a few months later, I stood in front of the “Music Hall,” site of the Glasgow Junior High School located on a street named Liberty, and watched black kids “walk up the hill” of College Street on the first day of integrated schools in Glasgow.
Coal has kept Kentuckians warm this winter
This winter, temperatures across the country dipped to historic lows. Here in our home state of Kentucky, the near-arctic climate caused increased power demand which resulted in an incredible strain on the electric grid and rising energy costs.
Protecting citizens’ data is a no-brainer
Target Corp. is learning the hard way: The price is steep for retailers who don’t protect customers’ sensitive financial information.
Target’s profits fell a whopping 50 percent during its fourth quarter of 2013 as the result of a massive security breach involving as many as 110 million of its customers’ credit- and debit-card accounts, which began the day before Thanksgiving and extended throughout much of the holiday shopping season.
Making plans for spring planting
My brother Keith (Keeter) probably planted peas on one of those warm days last week, and I would not be at all surprised to find out that brother Steve did likewise to try to be the first two fellows in Letcher County to actually be digging the soil in their 2014 gardens.
Keeter’s father-in-law, the late Dock Mitchell, used to get my brother to drive him a 50-mile round trip to get pea seeds and potting soil for early February planting. Dock raised mammoth melting sugar snow peas and sugar snaps around every fence on the place.
Cynicism, optimism both on display in Frankfort
Those who spend little time in Kentucky’s Capitol and who read columns by cynics who cover it should be forgiven their disillusionment about how the people’s business is conducted.
Even Scrooge would enjoy library mystery
Saturday afternoons and evenings are usually down time for Loretta and me.
We simply don’t get out much after we’ve used up the movie gift certificates the kids gave us for Christmas. That means we mostly go to the movies to avoid guilt trips because our kids do work hard for their money.
Funding education is critical for Kentucky and its communities
Kentucky’s latest budget outline makes it clear that our leaders in Frankfort plan to go to great lengths to find more money for education. For communities throughout the commonwealth, this effort to restore funds for our schools is very welcomed news.
Who benefits from ‛AT&T Bill’
Senate Bill 99, the “AT&T Bill,” is a great deal for the telecommunications giants AT&T, Windstream and Cincinnati Bell.
It would allow them to abandon their least profitable customers and service areas as well as public protection obligations. But it is a risky and potentially dangerous bet for Kentuckians. Kentucky House members should turn it down.
- More Viewpoints Headlines
- The case of the ghostly neighbor