Stop Smoking Already!

I just can’t help it! When I see someone smoking, especially here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where I live, I just can’t get over it. At least, where I used to live, in Southern California, the air was often smoggy, (However, significant progress in the region’s air quality has been made over the years.) so, in a way, it somehow didn’t seem as bad when I saw someone smoking. But here, in the Pacific Northwest, with its pristine air, it just seems like smokers here are really robbing themselves of some of the best air on the planet!

But in reality, smokers rob themselves regardless of how polluted their local air is. Oh, I know, the rate of smoking has dropped, especially since the 1940’s, when it seemed every adult smoked. (Just watch an old movie from 1960 or earlier!)

But those who continue to smoke are still robbing themselves, and not only health-wise, but financially. And, those of us, like me, who are not smokers, probably know, or have known, at least one person who is. And you may have tried at times to get them to quit.

Unfortunately, the health threat argument often doesn’t scare a smoker into quitting. After all, cancer and heart disease aren’t like bears at the gate presenting an immediate and obvious threat in most cases, and when they do, it is often too late.

But, the financial drag of smoking, not even counting the financial side of the health threat, is significant and shows itself every time a smoker buys more cigarettes! Perhaps this argument can carry more immediate weight with some smokers. So here it is.

Now, a smoker might not think the cost of a single pack is enough to justify quitting.  Recently, I was in a store and was waiting to check out, and I noticed the prices of the cigarettes. The lowest cost pack was $4.70. Again, $4.70 might not seem like that big a deal.  But let’s take a look at an example below, starting with a price breakdown as well as a longer term view.

First, the breakdown. Let’s assume that a smoker smokes only half a pack a day. And buys a pack for only $4.00 even. A pack usually contains 20 cigarettes. That’s 20 cents per cigarette. Cheap? If the smoker smokes just one a day, then it is. But our smoker smokes half a pack, or 10 cigarettes a day. That’s $2 a day.

Now, for the longer term view.

In a week, that’s $14.

In a 30 day month, that’s $60.

In a 365 day year, that’s $730!

Just think of what an extra $730 can get you. In some cases, that could be an extra month’s rent or an extra 1-2 month’s groceries or an extra brake job on the car, or airfare, or a week or more at a hotel, and then some! Surely, you can think of a time in the past year when an extra $730 would have come in handy!

And remember, that’s just smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day! Many smokers smoke more than this, some, a lot more. And some, if not most, cigarettes run more than $4 a pack.

Using the $4-a-pack example above, a full pack-a-day smoker is looking at spending $1,460 yearly!  This amount of money can possibly buy you a pre-owned 1990’s vehicle that is in decent, if well-used, condition, in some cases! Just check out Craigslist for Ford Aerostar vans!

So, to smokers, look at this example to see how much you are spending to …kill yourselves.

And to those who are trying to get a smoker to quit to little or no effect, try this argument. Find out how many cigarettes or packs they smoke daily, and how much they pay per pack. Then, crunch the numbers and show them the results. I think they’ll be stunned.

To smokers, I hope you succeed in quitting! To those trying to get a smoker to quit, I wish you luck and hope that this argument works!

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

A Fathers’ Day (and Mothers’ Day, too) Message

I’ve written before on how it is important to keep in touch and, with June 21st being Fathers’ Day, as well as the first day of summer, it’s especially important to stay in touch with your parents.

If they at least tried to be what a parent should be, it is important to keep in touch with them and to remember and contact them always, especially on special days like their birthdays and Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day.

Sure, you may have chafed under their rules in the past and you’ve certainly had your disagreements, as we all have, but chances are, you also had your good times and there have been times when they showed you how much they loved you, warts and all. And as the years pass, if you stop to really think about it, you’ll see they did more for you, in many ways, than you realize.

And, you don’t know how long you’ll have them, and even if they live to be 100 and you are 75, when they pass, it will still feel like it’s too soon.

So, On Father’s Day, call your father! And if he’s no longer with you, then call your mother! And vice versa on Mother’s Day!

You’ll be glad you did.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

Air blowers: A Symbol of Stupidity

Lots of things can be a symbol of stupidity, but I do have one candidate that stands out for me. It’s the air blower.

Why? Well, I distribute fliers door to door and often run across gardening crews working on someone’s yard. And the crews are often using the usual equipment, including mowers, weed wackers, various pruning shears, brooms, and of course, air blowers.

The weed wackers and mowers are the most constructive, as the grass has to be mowed, weeds need to be cut back or out, and bushes and trees often need pruning. And the brooms are good for cleanup.

Air blowers are also used for cleanup. But what do they really do? They blow dust and debris all over the place, for one.  And some goes into the neighbors’ yards and driveways, and onto their cars, too.

Some people may say, “So what, at least they cleaned my place!”
But guess what happens? The crew that does your neighbor’s yard (And it could be the same crew you hired!) will use air blowers to do their cleanup, and some of that dust and debris that was blown from your yard to theirs, will be returned to you!

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Add to this the noise. Always, I have observed that the air blowers were the loudest of all the equipment that the crew used.  They drown out the gas-powered pruners, the weed wackers, and even the lawn mowers!

So, why are air blowers used? I think it’s just “grown” on gardeners over the years.

It’s simpler and easier than using just brooms, for one.  And gardeners often claim that they cannot work without them!

Well, there have been gardeners as long as humans have had homes, for thousands of years. What did all those gardeners do before air blowers came along?

And, as for ease of cleanup, using a hose would be just as easy, far less dusty, and much cleaner. And the neighbors won’t be complaining about the coating of dust on their just washed cars.

Now, of course in areas where there is drought, such as California, using water is no longer an option for now.

But how about this: A vacuum cleaner. Not a real large truck mounted model, or the ones you use in your house, but one you can push with a large bag and its own motor.

This is not new. When I was in elementary school, before air blowers were used very much, a custodian would push a vacuum cleaner with a very large bag around the play yard every so often. It worked just fine. The vacuum had its own motor and was fully portable, and no louder than an air blower. It used no water and created no dust, nor did it just shuffle debris around that would be shuffled back when another section of the play yard was vacuumed. And it was small enough to be easily carried in a gardener’s truck.

I doubt this solution would be implemented, but, if you know a gardener, or have one working for you, you might give him or her this suggestion.

Maybe you can stop the dust and debris transfer this summer season.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂