Category: Random Writes

Quit Smoking: Method Five, Stay Alive

METHOD FIVE: Conserve Increase Relish

 

“After some time he felt for his pipe. It was not broken, and that was something. Then he felt for his pouch, and there was some tobacco in it, and that was something more. Then he felt for matches and he could not find any at all, and that shattered his hopes completely.”   – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

     Conserve Increase Relish also known as, save up and enjoy the benefits. Now before I begin telling you how much money you could save if you quit smoking; I have some good news for those of you who want to keep puffing away. 

     The price of cigarettes hasn’t really gone up that much in the last 20 years. I can almost hear you now, “What is this guy talking about?” cries the dumbfounded mind. “He’s insane! A mad man!” another skeptic howls, do I hear blasphemy… now you’ve gone too far.

     Sit back, light up and let me explain. I will be using mostly  U.S. prices for this part. Back in the 1950’s in the good old U.S. of A,  minimum wage was about $0.75 per hour and a pack of smokes went for about $0.25. So, one hour of work at minimum wage could buy you three packs of the nicotine sticks. In 1965 when about 42% of the population was still inhaling the luscious poison, a bundle would cost you about $0.30 and minimum wage was about $1.00 per hour, again buying you 3.

     We move to the 2000’s where smokes went up in price but have basically remained stable since then. Back in 2000 a pack cost about $4.00 and minimum wage was about $5.00. An hour of labour got you a pack of smokes. Now in 2020 minimum wage is about $7.25 and a pack will cost you about $6.25, once again an hour of labor gets you a box. Of course depending on where you live etc, etc., you’ll have variations on the price of cigs and wages. This is just an average over the whole country, so please calm your shit.

     All I’m trying to say is, you really don’t have to complain too much about the price of smokes. If money is not an issue for you and you like to spend one of your working hours to pay for the pleasure of puffing away, do it. Stop worrying about your wellbeing, your health and your seaworthiness; people will get over you dying, pretty quick. Sure they’ll miss you for the first couple of days, but then they’ll be like “The house smells so much better now that he’s gone.” So stop feeling guilty and let anyone who says otherwise go fidget themselves. Buuuut… if you do care about the moola and you do want to quit read on.

     Depending on where you live in Canada the price of smokes will differ. In Canada as of 2020 the price of a pack of smokes will range between  $11.00 to $16.00 and minimum wage averages between $11.30 to $15.00 per hour. The hour of labor vs smokes stands firm so far.

     For the next few examples I’ll be using Canadian dollars. Why? Because it sounds like more money. Now, if you’re an American and are slightly confused by the price difference don’t be, the reason is the metric system. You see we here in Canada and pretty much the rest of the world (including Nasa) use the metric system. For example “One Inch” equals about “Three Centimeters”, so while a pack of smokes in the US is $6.25 here in Canada the metric version is about $12.50.

     Let’s say you smoke half a pack a day (if you smoke a whole pack, multiply the next numbers by 2), you’ll be spending about $6.25 Metric/Canadian dollars. Multiply that by 365 days (that’s the number of days in a year). “Come on I’m not that brainless!” you might be saying at this point,  but if you’re still smoking, I beg to differ. The cost of your substance abuse is about $236,000 dollars a year. I’m just kidding… It’s about $2,300.00 a year give or take. Now, if you and your partner smoke or you tend to give some away to friends and leeches, and you work your way up to a pack a day; that’ll cost you $4,600.00 a year. What would you do if you won $2,300.00 on a scratch and win? You could be a winner every year.

     I once knew a man who smoked cigars and one day decided he wanted to spend his money on something else. He got out a giant old pickle jar and put it on the floor next to his bed and every day when he got ready for work he’d drop in his cigar money for that day. After a year he had enough money to take a trip. He did this for years and every time the price of cigars went up he’d increase the amount of money he’d put into his jar. At one point he decided to save for five years and at the end of the day he had enough money set aside to put a down payment on a small restaurant.

     That restaurant was his pride and joy, until one day his wife left him and took the restaurant away from him. But, that’s not the point, is it? No, the point is if you’re going to quit smoking and save up tons of money and buy a restaurant, divorce your wife first.

     For me personally, money is not a huge motivator. I mean, I like money, it’s a great tool. I sometimes wish I had more. Some people are motivated by “The Cash” (As the kids say.) to buy things like “The Stuff” while others may lean toward saving for their future retirement. If you put away $2,300.00 a year for 10 years and you add a 4% average growth rate over those ten years, you’d have about $31,000.00. That could pay for the extra lifetime you add from quitting. A different person may be about to start a family. Kids will sap every penny you have. So go ahead and find something you want. A trip, a new T.V. a phone, a savings account, whatever you want. Get a pen and paper and write it down, “I am going to be the proud owner of X” and if X doesn’t appeal to you, replace it with whatever does.

     Now put that note in  your purse or wallet and any time you get the notion to buy a pack, read it, commit to it, visualize it if you can. This is your new mantra.

     Not only will you have more of “The Cash”, a month post cigarettes you’ll begin to feel a sense of heightened energy, one that I’m sure your spouse will appreciate, if you catch what I’m throwing. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. (I am talking about mowing the lawn just to make it clear.) If you know what I mean? You’ll also notice less sinus congestion and shortness of breath. The fibers in your lungs will be growing back; this will help protect you against bacterial infections. This could mean less snoring and with less snoring,  you’re less likely to wake up in the middle of night with your wife holding a pillow over your face trying to accidentally end your life so she can sleep just one night without having to wear soundproof headphones. So, yeah, a longer life possibly. 

     All those people who weren’t going to miss you all that much when you die, will simply have to put up with you a little longer. You can still keep the house smelling bad by not bathing or using deodorant. Not all is lost. You’ll probably smell pretty bad while you’re detoxing too, so there’s that.

     Congratulations, you are no longer sucking back sticks of Decalactone, Mace powder and Isoamyl Hexanoate. Well done, my compliments to you.

“Earth is a necessity, not Mars. Food and water are necessities, not alcohol and cigarettes.”  Abhijit Naskar

 

Smoke no more with method four

METHOD FOUR: Gasconade Acquirements Publicly

“Well, I’m not here to impinge on anybody else’s lifestyle. If I’m in a place where I know I’m going to harm somebody’s health or somebody asks me to please not smoke, I just go outside and smoke. But I do resent the way the nonsmoking mentality has been imposed on the smoking minority. Because, first of all, in a democracy, minorities do have rights. And, second, the whole pitch about smoking has gone from being a health issue to a moral issue, and when they reduce something to a moral issue, it has no place in any kind of legislation, as far as I’m concerned.”    – Frank Zappa

     Back in the old days, I’m sure your mom told you that gasconading was rude and impolite and she was right and wrong. It’s true that gasconading has long been seen as an unfavorable characteristic in most societies, but I dare ask you, is it really all that bad to throw down a little cock-a-doodle-doo once in a while? I say no, especially if it’s for a good cause, that one being your health. So go ahead and cock-a-hoop your way to a non-smoking lifestyle.

     Right now I bet you’re saying “What the heck is a non-smoking lifestyle?” Well, it’s one filled with a little flaunt, a little flourish and yes even a little cock-a-hoop. So how does a person actually do it? How will the big “G” help you to quit your Huffin’ & Puffin’ plight? I’m glad you asked.

     I’m sure you are well familiar with the idea of ego, self-pride or self-admiration? Of course you are, “Look at you, you’re so good looking.”. We all have it in us to want to brag about our accomplishments, especially the non-fictitious ones. On the other hand, none of us likes to be called or caught on our B.S. or as we say in Canada “Bull-Caca”. So how do you use the ego and the “G” Meister together to form an unbeatable superhero team that will create a you, absent of cigarettes? It’s easy. This technique requires you to brag about the fact that you quit smoking. It’s a fake it, ‘til you make it, thing. This technique works by the sheer force of boasting about your new found acquirements.

     What have you acquired? The skill, the will, the volition to end your smoking habit. That’s right, you’ve done it, you’ve accomplished the once impossible task of renouncing cigarettes and you are letting everyone know. You are making it very public that your smoking days are behind you and making sure that all your smoking friends and acquaintances know they are all weak, flaccid, spineless, enervated, fragile wimps who could not accomplish the task at hand. Make sure to spend the first few weeks in the smoking section with them letting them know. They’ll appreciate it.

     There will be doubters and skeptics to be sure. There are those who know your fondness for the “Tar Goddess” and they will be watching your every move, waiting in dark corners to catch you “lighting one up”. There will also be those devotees and addicts who try to discourage your effort and weaken your will. People like your mom, and anyone else who claims to love you. The followers of  “Baccy Almighty” will not want you leaving their cult and so you must be strong.

     There will come a time when all your efforts of self-aggrandizing will end and the people in your life will come to accept the new you.

     It was William Shakespear, who wrote in Othello “Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens to the which our wills are gardeners.” or to quote Barney Rubble “Think big and be big Fred.” So take that and smoke it in your pipe. Not really though cause we’re trying to get you over that habit. Basically the Shakester was saying you can be whoever you want to be. By making a loud and public announcement of your quitting smoking you add a large amount of pressure and weight to your words and your public persona.

     One week after your declaration, your success rate in quitting smoking for the long term increases dramatically. You are nine times more likely to quit for ever, after just one week of quitting. Think about how much better you’ll be then all those who have started smoking again and what about all those who never even tried quitting because they’ve never smoked a day in their lives, loosers.

     Have you quit? Wonderful. I raise my glass and praise your achievements.

“I regard breathing industrial gas to be as harmful as heavy smoking.”

Steven Magee

Smoke Free with method Three

METHOD THREE: Enumerate Roll & Dilute

“I quit smoking in December. I’m really depressed about it. I love smoking, I love fire, I miss lighting cigarettes. I like the whole thing about it, to me it turns into the artist’s life, and now people like Bloomberg have made animals out of smokers, and they think that if they stop smoking everyone will live forever.” – David Lynch 

     Written on papyrus and stuffed deep into the catacombs of ancient history, never again to encourage or advise the ones who aspire to forsake the dreaded reefer, is method three, enumerate roll and dilute. ERD is a technique as old as it’s name and for this reason I chose to unearth and unleash to you the dynamically persuasive power of ERD. 

     How could you effectively discontinue your enslavement to the coffin nail by using such an unsophisticated and primitive technique? you may be asking yourself. I will respond to your query with a query of my own. How can you not quit, using this method?

     Withdrawing from the multi-daily ritual of  wheezing back a smoke has been done on many occasions using ERD. Those who think themselves sympatico with the medico would  unquestionably agree that if you can count, you can certainly find success with ERD.

     Enumerate Roll & Dilute works in three simple steps:

  1. Enumerate or Count. Over a period of  Seven days starting with Sunday, you count how many cigarettes you smoke during the day. Here’s where it gets a little complicated, you have to write down those numbers. After seven days of enumerating you’ll take those numbers and add them all up. You’ll have what mathematicians call a “total”. (If I’m going too fast just stop and go back to the top.) Next you’ll take your total and divide that number by 7. This will give you an average of your daily consumption. For example, if you smoke a total of  133 cigarettes in a week, divide that by 7 days, you’d be averaging 19 a day.

  2. Roll or Flip. Now that you know that you’re ingesting 19 butts a day, you can admit straight away that you have a pretty bad addiction and should hang your head in shame. Ok, 19 butts. Take out an empty pack of smokes and add 19 cigs and flip one of those over. This will be your test. You want to have that one smoke there at the end of your day. Not smoking that one flipped over cigarette will be your gold medal for the day. Pat yourself on the back. You won today’s battle.

  3. Dilute or Reduce. Every Sunday you will remove one cigarette from that pack and flip over another. So on the second Sunday you will put 18 cigarettes in your pack and flip one over and pace your day and spread them out. The following Sunday you’ll put 17 cigarettes and flip one over and so on and so on. If you can’t figure out what to do the following Sunday. Move on to method four.

     In this scenario, it will take you twenty weeks to quit smoking. Maybe you’ll get stuck at a certain number. That’s referred to as plateauing. Don’t be discouraged, you’ve cut back so far and that is a good thing. At some point you will arrive at a final week where you find yourself with one cigarette in your pack and it will be flipped over. You can keep it there as a reminder and a very powerful symbol of your commitment, a show of your superior will power over the death stick. Yes, you too can become an annoying and irritating ex-smoker. 

     After just three days of not smoking Decanoic Acid Dextrose, Heptanoic Acid and Furanon  you’ll be bragging to your friends about your capabilities to breathe easily. It’s really because your bronchial tubes inside your lungs have started to relax and open; but they don’t have to know that. You can just go walking around breathing effortlessly, you big show off. Go ahead, exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen easily, you’ve got this, it’s all you. You won’t be able to hide the extra lung capacity from anyone and you know that’s all they’ll be talking about around the water cooler.

     To you my friend,  who thought quitting was absurd just a few minutes ago. I applaud and salute you.

“…[T]here is no “safe” dose of a carcinogen.”  Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

 

Quit smoking method two

METHOD TWO: Renounce Procuring Baccy

“There’s nothing quite like tobacco: it’s the passion of decent folk, and whoever lives without tobacco doesn’t deserve to live.” – Moliere

Renounce Procuring Baccy or R.P.B. as it’s known in professional circles, may seem a little intimidating at first glance, and it should . I mean seriously, when was the last time you renounced anything? I can only assume it was back in the Seventeen Hundreds, when you were procuring baccy and this is how far back this method can be traced, if not further. If this method is followed to a “T” or as no one likes to say “to a tittle”, it will be close to one hundred percent effective.

I often get the impression that complicated terminology like Renounce Procuring Baccy impedes and handicaps one’s efforts at relinquishing the compulsive obsession with the venomous toxin. Therefore, in the following pages I will use my natural gifts in orismology to reduce the reconditeness to a streamlined and simplic patois, thus removing all nomenclature.

AKA KISS and if you DIY, ASAP, according to most MDs and the AMA, you’ll be all like OMG and at the EOD, your ETA to the Promised Land will likely have moved a little into the future because you will no longer be a POW of the cigarette.

If you’re still confused, Renounce Procuring Baccy simply means Quit Buying Smokes. Don’t kid yourself, this technique as I so simplistically mentioned above has been proven almost one hundred percent successful.

But, like any other stop smoking method, R.P.B. will only work if you are prepared to commit to it. There are two simple yet very important steps you must take to secure your success using this approach.

You must publicly announce to all of your bidi addicted friends and acquaintances that you are not going to quit smoking. Now that you have their attention, you will in an obstreperous manner declare:

“From this day forth, I am Renouncing any and all Procuring of Baccy using my own capital.” (Note: You must say it this way or it’s just not gonna work.)

From this moment on, you will only bum, swipe or plunder smokes from your friends and acquaintances. You will want to use cool lines like:

You: “Hey! You gotta light?”

Miscellaneous Friend: “Sure” they’ll say.

You: “You gotta smoke to go with that?”

The miscellaneous friend takes a cigarette out his/her/them/it/she/he/misc… pack and hand it to you with an inquisitive look.

Miscellaneous Friend: “I thought you quit smoking?”

You: “Oh, I didn’t quit, I simply renounced procuring baccy with my own capital.” You say with a mischievous glance.

Both of you laugh the first time, despite the fact that miscellaneous friend doesn’t seem as amused by your little deception as you are. (Still, who can blame you? It’s such a cool line.). Nevertheless, this will get old and soon you will be shunned by all. Eventually none of your friends or acquaintances will give you Baccy. You will be left searching for butts on the side of the road like you did when you were twelve. This too will get old.

Within a few days of using this method, your supply of the Viscid foliage will be almost extinguished. In a short period of time you will surrender all hopes of accessing the plant of the nightshade that is cultivated for its leaves. At this point well established friends will be referring to you as a leech, a sponge, a moocher, a freeloader and a parasite.

Take heart, you successfully banished Methoxymethyl Pyridine, Immortelle Extract and small quantities of High Fructose Corn from your lungs and with it a constellation of changes. Not only will your friends soon disappear, within 48 hours after your last cigarette you’ll get your nerve back. That is damaged nerve endings will start to regrow. You’ll also begin smelling more (Better sense of smell and you’ll be detoxing. So yes, you’ll be smelling more.) and your sense of taste will improve. You’ll finally realize how bad of a cook you are; don’t panic, fries are still delicious.

Did this method work for you? If so, for all your efforts and future achievements I give you a hearty “Hear-Hear!”.

“Smoking is indispensable if one has nothing to kiss” – Sigmund Freud

X-Amount of ways to quit smoking

Here’s a preview of my twenty or so page self help booklet titled:

“X-Amount of ways to quit smoking OR Laugh your way to a smoke free life, Maybe

Written by Patrick Clermont

“The duty of comedy is to correct men by amusing them.”  – Moliere

“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it a thousand times.”   Mark Twain

     MMM… the pleasures of smoking. Yes, that wonderful ritual of lighting up and sucking back on the filtered teat that gives you hope and a reason to live (and possibly a way to die). “The Cigarette”. What other reason would you have to wake up in the morning if not for the insidious, yet so alluring trappings of said cigarette? A wife, husband, kids, work? Heck, those are the reasons you indulge in this soothing and calming ceremonial tradition. You reach for the magical baton slowly bringing it to your lips, you set fire to it,  you begin to absorb the nostrum, then shangri-la. Life is worth living once more. Truth be told, if it wasn’t for work, friends, family and overdue bills, you would have quit a long time ago. But you my friend are no quitter. Or are you?

     Have you tried to quit before? Probably. Maybe you’ve tried reading motivational quotes to try to inspire you? Things like:

  • “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” when in fact the quote that might suit you better would be “If at first you don’t succeed, deny ever trying.”
  • “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  -Aristotle
    That makes you an excellent smoker.
  • “You are greater than your addiction” – Nasia Davos
    He was probably thinking of someone else.

     Is it possible that today is different than all other days before? After all, you legally purchased this book in hopes to find the enchanted and mythical formula that will end your obsessive dependency on the consumption of “The Monster From The Tar Pit”. Maybe.

     If you’re thinking that this book is going to change your life, then you may be more wretched and pitiful than I initially speculated when I took on the task of writing this manuscript. If one “Quit Smoking” book could do the trick, then Allen Carr would have stopped writing after his first “Quit Smoking” book. Instead he went on to write:  “Easy way to stop smoking” and  “Little book of quitting” and “Stop smoking permanently” and his really helpful one, Allen Carr’s “Easy Expressway to Stop Smoking and quit E-Cigarettes” and finally, but probably not, this really, really helpful one “No more ashtrays”. I hope you get the picture.

     If not, here it is. Quitting smoking is not easy, in fact it’s so hard Allen Carr had to write a book for every day of the year on the subject. At this point I’m surprised he simply doesn’t write his books on Zig Zag rolling papers. Now you find yourself buying my book “X amount of ways to quit smoking or Laugh your way to a smoke free life. Maybe.” Take note that this implausible and  ill-fated journey you’re about to embark on comes with a small disclaimer and warning.

Here it is::

  1. There’s a really good chance you’ve just wasted $2.99. I hate to add insult to injury, nonetheless I will tell you that you could have bought two “Hotdog & Pop” combos at Costco for that price, then had a smoke afterwards.
  2. Unfortunately you’re probably gonna read this book and fail again. Who can blame you? Maybe it’s because deep inside you can’t muster up the kahunas to take it all the way home? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

     “Good luck this time my friend.” your acquaintances will say after they find out you’ve legally purchased this digital book. All the while you’ll be sucking in a warm dose of that magical elixir nicotine, the one that so graciously brings you a calming and reassuring sensation. As you blow out the enchanted fumes of the much bedeviled leaf of the Nicotiana genus, you close your eyes and smile. With coffee, with tea, with drink, it doesn’t matter; this is yours and you love it. You love it damn it and you know what? It’s ok.

     Yes, I said it. It’s ok. You can’t help it, it’s not your fault. You’re weak and vulnerable, you can’t be held responsible for the decisions you make. You simply can’t quit. You don’t smoke because you want to, you smoke because you have to.  You’re sick and need help. So, go ahead and put this book down, go light one up before you lose all remaining self control and do something you’ll regret.

METHOD ONE: Contrary  Neuroscience

     Did it work? That kid, was reverse psychology.  Were you like… “Hell no! I’m not weak, I know what I’m doing. I can quit anytime. I’ll prove it to you. I quit.”

     If the first method worked, congratulations, you are now an ex-smoker. Welcome to your new life. Now that you’ve quit smoking you’ll start to get immediate results and health benefits. Twenty minutes from now your heart rate is likely to return to normal. (Whatever that means.) But hold on, there’s more, we’re not through yet. This time tomorrow your blood’s carbon monoxide level will be falling back into place. (Google that. I have no idea what it means but come on… it sounds good.) After barely two to three weeks, you will start to lower your odds of having a heart attack. That means a lesser chance that those “loved ones” in your life will be cashing in on that life insurance policy they all think you have. 

     At this point you’re probably thinking that things couldn’t get much better. Oh, but they will. In the long run, you will also lower your chance of getting lung cancer and other cancers. Think about it, other cancers. Did you know that  many people die every year of other cancers?

     For those of you who have triumphed over your Nicotine, Tartaric Acid and Veratraldehyde addiction using the first method and now find yourselves smoke free, I say “Congratulations, chip, chip, what, what!”.

     For those of you who are having a smoke while reading this… you may want to read on.

“Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.” – Brook Shields 

Want to read more let me know or buy the book on Amazon or Google books.

How to retire? Or Financial Idependance…

So what’s the difference between retiring and financial independence? For the longest time I thought they were the same. But, it turns out, there is a difference. When you retire, you stop working. When you achieve financial independence you never stop working… but the work you do is not work, it’s passion.

For years now Honey and I would talk about retirement, the day we would have enough money set aside to last us until we die or die trying. But, in reality, as I recently discovered, that’s not what we were really looking for. What we thought was retirement (those days in the future where we could do what we wanted to do) was actually a longing for financial independence.  So, recently we’ve changed our goals. Let me break it down for you.

Our previous and misconceived goal of retirement was this.

  1.  Save up as much money into our RRSPs and Pension at work. (401 k plan in the US )
  2. Pay off the mortgage as soon as possible
  3. Be debt free. That means no debt what so ever except basic monthly expenses.
  4. Since our jobs had a great medical plan, we would get our teeth fixed, and that included braces and getting all of our old fillings taken out and fixed up as good as new.
  5. Get the kids out of the house (by teaching them to save and be independent)
  6. Sell the house, make a profit, buy a new smaller house.
  7. Put the remainder of the money into our Tax Free Savings Account.
  8. Quit our jobs and live within our means
  9. Do what we want to do. Go for walks, hit the pool, write, do art etc.

But then I discovered as we got closer, or should I say are getting closer, our goal was 55 years old. (That’s only a 5 years away as I write this.) Things started to change. I have a friend of mine who is financially independent, he buys apartment building with his company and he loves to help people understand the value of owning “doors” (every door represents an apartment or living space.) I’m pretty sure he’s close to a thousand by now… anyhow, he was telling me I should get into the market with him. “Come on man jump in the water is warm and the profits are good.” And I believe him. He’s an honest and gracious man who has made all of his money honestly, and none of it came easy. He used to live on the streets. He worked his ass off to be where he is.

The problem is that he loves what he does, sure, I could invest some of my RRSP’s into his business and make some money to get me to retirement sooner, but is that what drives me? Is this what I want? I’m not saying in the next couple of years I won’t do it, I never know what I’ll learn tomorrow. I, like him, want to do things that bring me joy and stoke the passions of my fire. So, what is my fire? Well, that where it gets complicated. My wife says I have “passions for the moment” or “I’m on fire for this subject right now”. Being ADHD I find it hard to stay focused on one thing and to tell the truth I don’t want to stay focused on any one thing… so, what am I to do?

Ok, hold on I’m getting distracted from my main goal here. What I discovered recently after talking with Financially independent friends and acquaintances is that I don’t want to retire, I don’t want to stop working, I simply want to work and do the things I have passion for and I need those things to bring me in a passive and direct income. Only then can I cut the shackles of the 8 hour work day that I call my life today. (not that there is anything wrong with that, I will write about that later.)

A friend of mine the other day said this to me, “What does success look like for you? And I don’t want you to tell me a dollar amount, I want to tell me what it is… what is life like as a successful you?” Well, I’m all like, “I don’t know I don’t want to do anything and I want to do everything”. “Tell me about he says”.

Ok, what does my life look like for me to be successful? Here goes.

I wake up in the morning, and look over to see my beautiful wife laying next to me. We get up have coffee and go for a walk and we brainstorm our day, then hit the pool to sit in the hot tub and pop into the sauna. I chat with the regulars and discuss life. We get back home around 11 am and my wife starts to work on her art (what ever that is for the day. she sculpts draws, paints….what ever). This is important because watching her do her art brings her great joy and thus brings me great joy. I on the other hand begin doing what I’m doing. What is that? Well one day I’m doing my cooking show for my YouTube channel, or maybe I’m doing my Building Crap with Chip show, or maybe I’m working on my blog or my novel or poems or short stories or I’m getting a call from some company that needs my ideas and they call me for a brainstorm session or I’m helping solve the problems of pollution and homelessness or Honey and I are working on our comic strip sketches of life or I’m helping my kids with their buisnesses or I’m working on my new song with the band I just put together or… I think you get the idea.

For me a successful life is doing what I want to do right now, but how do I make a living doing those things? I have no degree in marketing or social work, I do everything half ass cause I think that’s how it should be done. Well, not everything half ass. But, if I want to be financially independent, I must find a way to make these things happen. But, as soon as I am locked into one thing I want to do another. this is my life with ADHD, and I like it that way. I love the fact that I don’t want to focus too much time on any one thing… I love it.

So, where does that bring me? How do I do it? I will try to post on this subject over the coming days and months. I will work toward financial independence and see if I get there. I started listening to this one podcast call Choose FI and I have asked my kids to do the same, so far I like it. With friends and podcast and a little more education I may just reach my goals… I’m really starting to believe I will.

Ok, that’s it for now, see you soon. Hopefully? 😉

Reducing the impact of homelessness

Ok, so, before I go to far I’ll start by saying that “I don’t think this will end or cure the homeless problem. It’s just a start to ease the homeless problem.”

When it comes to homelessness there are a variety of issues that need to be dealt with and there are a number of reasons why people end up homeless. Some people have mental issues some are severe and others are mild. Some people mental issues are so great that holding down a full or even part time job is almost impossible. Others may be able to hold down jobs but need some help and guidance when working.

My “solution” is targeted at those people who end up homeless due to circumstances, like loosing a job, a divorce, a death in the family, violence in the home etc… These people end up homeless and a lot of time end up using drugs and alcohol to cope with the situation. With a little help these folks can make a comeback and be productive members of society. Can the mentally ill be helped? Of course they can, but my focus today is on the latter.

The cost of dealing with homeless drug and alcohol infested humans is great. I’ve read some articles that the cost is somewhere around 50 to 100 thousand a year. These costs are associated with emergency hospital visits, ambulances, crime and policing, increase in drug trafficking and more.

So, how could a city better use tax payers money? Here’s one idea I had.

Imagine a building in your downtown, this building has four separate areas.

  1. Sleeping quarters: This part of the building would house a specific “type” of homeless people. This “type” would be people who have the ability to hold down at minimum a part-time job, say, 15 hours a week or more. These folks would be given a room the size would be big enough to hold a bed, a dresser and a small table. Bathrooms would be shared. There would be a sleeping quarters for both men and women.
  2.  The recycling depot: This area would be where people could bring in their bottles for recycling and collect their money.  The recycling center would offer two things.
    1. You could get money for your bottles at the going rate.
    2. You could get “credit” for your bottles at two time the going rate. (more about the credit system later.
  3. The thrift store: One way to fund the project would be through the sale of used goods.
  4. The restaurant: The last block of the building would be used as a restaurant. Where people could come support the building and where homeless people could come and eat.

A little more details about the whole works. The idea would be that the entire building would be run with the help of those living there. Before I go to far, I would like to says that the numbers are throwing out are just examples of time and money, and that I use them for illustration purposes only. More time may be needed for different folks.

Each of the departments will need staff, the recycling center would need about 7 employees with  3 managers, thrift store would need say 10 employees and 3 managers and the restaurant would need 15 employees with 3 managers.

The entire operation would be run by the homeless people living in the sleeping quarters. These people would be trained in every department. First they would start at the recycling center, then move to the thrift store then to the restaurant. Each person would have 6 to 8 months training in each of the departments. This would give them life skills and help them build self worth, confidence and a resume. For the first eight weeks they will be paid by “credit” and then make the move to real money.

Each individual will be given a “Credit Card” with their picture on it, so that it can’t be used by others. The account will be monitored so that if they lose their card they can get a new one without loosing the credit they’ve earned. This credit card can be gotten by anyone who returns bottles at the recycling center and credit can be earned by doing other things. (bringing in used needles or trash off the streets for example)

The restaurant will be used as a restaurant and a soup kitchen, if you can’t afford a meal, it will be given to you. If you have credit you can use it to support the staff. The restaurant will used daily a la carte menus that will change depending on supplies that are available. When homeless people come in they will be seated at the table and asked what they want. They will be served by bussers and wait staff. I believe this will give them a sense of value and lift their spirits.

The thrift store will offer clothing in the same way, free if you can’t afford it and the use of credit. The store will also offer a laundry mat. This will allow people to come and have a shower, and wash their clothes. Small lockers will be available for storage of clothing and some small supplies.

As people learn and are able to move out of the building new people will come in and be trained on a regular basis. What I’ve given here is just a basic blue print for the system. I have not mentioned the training, schooling, reading, writing and public speaking courses that will be need to ensure the success of all people.

Sometimes all you need is just a little boost, someone to show you love and compassion, and then miracles can happen.

Chip and Honey Toodee

I’m the bad driver.

I just realize something for the first time the other day, I am that bad driver. I mean I must be… I have made my share of driving mistakes, like: not seeing someone in my blind spot as I try to merge into another lane or seeing cars move next to me and they have a turning light and I start to move forward because I think the light is green or I start backing up and don’t see the car behind me right away etc… So, I must be the bad driver that pisses you off.

Every day I hear people tell me about how no one knows how to drive, how everyone should stay off the road, how blah, blah, blah, blah… No one ever admits to being a bad driver. So, I guess it’s me.

I just wanted to say I’m sorry and I’m working on it.

Chip

How I know a pack of smokes hasn’t gone up in price in at least 30 years.

Living in Canada and hearing all the complaints about the price of cigarettes and how they’re always going up in price… and the damn government making so much money on it etc, etc, etc…

Well I’m here to give you some good news. The price of cigarettes really hasn’t gone up like you think. But before I get to that let me clarify a couple of things about the taxes the government collects on those smokes of yours, and the cost of smoking.

These numbers are from 2012 so you can imagine the costs have gone up. Smoking costs Canada about 16 Billion dollars a year with 40% of that being direct health care costs. See, in Canada we have universal health care, that means you can walk into a hospital and get treatment with no bill to follow you. Ok, so, 6 to 7 billion dollars a year just for health care.

Smoking and fires? Yup falling a sleep in bed while smoking, tossing that smoke out the window? Yup, that costs about 75 million dollars a year. We can add all kinds of other costs, like sick days missed, early death etc…

So, how much tax money does the Canadian government bring in? Well, about 8 Billion dollars a year. As you can see, not enough to cover the costs that come with smoking.

Ok, my point was that the cost of a pack of cigarettes really hasn’t gone up in 30 years, here’s how I see it. It usually costs one hour of minimum wage to buy a pack of smokes. When I was making 4 bucks an hour back in my younger days I paid about 4 bucks for my smokes. Today a pack is anywhere from 11 to 15 bucks a pack and guess where minimum wage is across the country? I’m sure you can guess.

If you don’t want to pay for smokes quit. I don’t smoke anymore, but I do like to indulge in a drink. If the government taxes that sin to the point that I start complaining, well guess what? I’ll just shut my mouth and quit drinking. I’ll put the money somewhere else.

A final word for ya, if the Canadian Government wanted to break even on the cost of smoking, they would have to charge you $40 a pack, and that’s where Australia is heading. Think about that.