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alcohol for at least five days, beginning April 29.

This won't be that difficult, as I'm flying out to visit my mother for five days beginning April 29, and I'm going to be in her home and in a state that frowns upon substance use.

But why am I doing this?  For me, and my health?  Well, yes of course, but I have an ulterior motive.

The money I will not spend on tobacco and alcohol during this period I am going to donate to Obama's campaign.

Times have been tough lately for my wife and me.  I'm on disability and my wife only earns a bare-subsistence wage at her job.  Her job is working in the local bank as a teller.  She's on her feet all day long at the driveup window, while I sit here on my butt collecting disability payments that amount to more than she grosses.  While I sit here I smoke and drink and blog.

I enjoy the opportunity to throw my two-cent's worth in to Daily Kos, Firedoglake, Crooks and Liars, Pharyngula, Talk to Action, and other progessive blogs.  I usually spend at least six hours each day reading and occasionally commenting on these different blogs.  I'm a talker and a storyteller by nature, so like I say this is enjoyable for me.

But what I'm not having much fun with is trying to keep up with the bills.  My wife is long-suffering, and without her I'd be in one heck of a pickle.  I turn over to her virtually everything I collect from my disability payments, and trust her explicitly to keep us above water.  I must say she does a magnificent job of stretching our meager income to meet our needs.

I know my tobacco and alcohol expenditures make this difficult for her.  She doesn't smoke or drink.  I'm sorry I have these "habits", but these are indulgences that keep me from going crazy otherwise.

But I'm going to give them up for at least five days.  By my calculations this is going to be about sixteen dollars a day.  Heck, call it twenty.  That means I will not spend one-hundred dollars on tobacco and alcohol during my visit to my mom.

I'm going to send that hundred bucks to Obama's campaign.  Hope it helps.

Even if I fail in staying off my junk for the week, I'm still sending Barack a hundred bucks.

He needs it.  We, you and I, need it.  Our country needs it.  That's why I'm doing it.

Ask yourself, what are you willing to give up to send some money to Barack Obama's campaign instead?  I'll bet you can find something.

Originally posted to cn4st4datrees on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:40 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  That's great my friend... (5+ / 0-)

    Congratulations on your abstinence..
    and boy we need everything in these last days of the primary.

  •  Kudos to you! (8+ / 0-)

    I did it six years ago and am so glad. I'm still kind of addicted to nicotine gum all these years later though (especially with a cocktail) but it's better than the alternative!

    Tout va bien dans les meilleurs des mondes

    by kat68 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:42:06 PM PDT

    •  I've been through worse and kicked it. (6+ / 0-)

      But this is the most important "sacrifice" I believe I've ever made.  We need someone in the Oval Office who will work for us, the ordinary everyday folks.  Barack Obama seems to be just the right person for the job.

      If we're not willing to boldly refute the lies, the lies will stand as truth.

      by cn4st4datrees on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:44:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some people say it feels great not to smoke. (5+ / 0-)

        Those people are wrong.

        But it's just a stupid, expensive habit.  (been done quit for a month.  Not out of the woods yet)

        "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

        by burrow owl on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:42:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Give it time (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burrow owl

          It really does feel great.......eventually.

          •  I so don't believe you. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            myrealname, luckylizard

            At any rate, I'm finding quitting to be a powerful variant on the argument against God from the existence of evil.  There's just no freaking way a benevolent god would make something so pleasurable be so dangerous.  

            "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

            by burrow owl on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:48:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  For what's it's worth, I quit (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              myrealname

              16 months ago, and I still have dreams about smoking.  I do still miss it, but I'm still glad I quit overall, just sometimes the pangs hit hard.  My only advice is to make yourself wait at least 30 minutes, the urge will pass by then.

              •  I remember those dreams! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kat68

                I'd wake up not sure if it was a dream or if I really had smoked a cigarette.  I had a crew of people cheering me on to quit and I'd feel so guilty after the dream.  I'd also sit near people who were smoking because it smelled so good to me.  Not anymore!  I can't stand the smell of cigarettes anymore.

            •  Trust me on this. (0+ / 0-)

              You're worth it.  We need you to be around and healthy to vote for Democrats for a long, long time.  And you can use the money you save on cigarettes to pay for gas for your car!

        •  Hang it there. You can make if you really (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burrow owl

          want to.

          You have the power within yourself to change your own behavior, for the most part.  Some things cannot be changed, but addiction can.

          I know.  I've kicked a terribly addictive drug (not tobacco) which damn near cost me my life.

          Been clean from that one for over six years.

          It can be done.  You have the power within yourself.

          If we're not willing to boldly refute the lies, the lies will stand as truth.

          by cn4st4datrees on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:45:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It will feel better eventually (0+ / 0-)

          There are so MANY upsides...no jonesing on airplanes, you smell good, food tastes better, you stop hacking up every morning.

          And you live longer!!!!

          Focus on that.

          Tout va bien dans les meilleurs des mondes

          by kat68 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 07:28:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I have friends (0+ / 0-)

          who quit years, even decades ago.  They have told me that if they found out they only had six months to live, the first thing they would do is buy a pack of cigarettes!  I can believe it, too.  I have overcome a lot of things but smoking is the worst.  I have quit so many times.  When I do it again it will be for economic reasons - I simply won't be able to buy them!  Too soon the time is coming...

          -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

          by luckylizard on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 07:40:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  What an awesome idea! (7+ / 0-)

    We should all give up something for a week, and donate the money to Barack.  I could give up Mexican food and save like $30 to donate.  Good luck quitting the tobacco by the way.  I gave up caffeine a couple of days ago and have been having horrible headaches.

  •  really? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theran, mango, cn4st4datrees, cachola, Katie71

    Obama takes in 30 million a month and you think that he needs your hundred dollars more than your poor wife?  Do you not see that spending money on political distractions is just as bad as spending in on alcohol, they are both just selfish devices to keep you happy. Why don't you ask your wife who she thinks needs it more? I really hope you were just trying to hype up the troops and this isn't real.

    A pessimist is just a well-informed optimist.

    by Marcion on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:45:51 PM PDT

  •  Smoking suggestion. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theran, blueyedace2, gchaucer2

    I gave up smoking about 40 years ago, when my dad got sick from his habit.  I was never addicted, and only smoked at work and never had a desire to do it on weekends.

    In those days, I didn't have much money and there was a tobacco store in New York, on Pre-gentrified Bowery, that sold bulk tobacco, and papers.  So, I rolled my own and if I recall it was a lot cheaper.  

    It's best of you could break the habit, but then you know this.  Actually by rolling each cigarette it could become part of the ritual and substitute for actually inhaling the stuff.  

    •  Yeah. It's a horrid waste of money and bad (3+ / 0-)

      for my health, and I know it.  Maybe this little period of abstinence will be the kicker.  Don't know.  All I know for sure is that I'm going to try my damndest to make it work, and without question the money's still going to Obama's campaign.

      If we're not willing to boldly refute the lies, the lies will stand as truth.

      by cn4st4datrees on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:52:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When cigarettes were 20 cents a pack... (4+ / 0-)

        my father would have a little ritual when he got home from work saying, "Cigarette me" and I would open that bottom drawer in the bedroom and bring him a brand new pack of Chesterfields.

        In those days there were only about five brands of cigarettes and all of them were the same size and except for Kools none had filters.  And during the War, that's WWII, that's when my dad rolled his own, since cigarettes were rationed.

        I won't go into the details of what caused his death, but let's just say he would have lived much longer had he never had this habit.  But, the U.S. Army, where he served in WWI, would actually give them to the soldiers, I understand.  What a brilliant way to addict a generation.

        It looks like Obama is trying to kick his own smoking habit.  That's important, since if we ever get to universal health care, it will be a big savings.  But then again, non smokers live so much longer, they take more Social Security.

        Hmmmm.  More for the next Prez to worry about.

        •  Yes, it's true. Our own government gave (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          playtonjr

          our soldiers cigarettes during that war.  I've seen photos of those "five-packs" (five cigarettes per little box) stuffed into the headband of the soldier's helmets.  Of course, the hazards of smoking were not documented and out in the open at that time, and it was our government's way of "supporting the troops".  ...if you wish to look at it that way.

          But this diary is about supporting Barack Obama.  Do what you can when you can.  My thanks to you.

          If we're not willing to boldly refute the lies, the lies will stand as truth.

          by cn4st4datrees on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:38:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think not smoking saves $ in health care. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Katie71

          If the interwebs aren't lying to me, smoking saves money, since the most expensive health care is for the really old that just hang on.  Smokers tend not to.

          If this is the public health equivalent of urban legend, please disabuse me of the notion with something fact-based.

          "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

          by burrow owl on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:45:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for a great idea (4+ / 0-)

    I'll have to save my abstinence until Memorial Day weekend when I have a family reunion with the Methodist side of the family.

    My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:48:12 PM PDT

  •  Why can't your wife get a chair? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2

    I'm just wondering.

    Great job on donating, and good luck with abstinence.

    •  She works the driveup window and is not (5+ / 0-)

      able to sit down due to the nature of the work involved.  The machines and etc. are not situated so that she could have a chair.  It would not be practical given the structure of her work place.

      By the way, she is having leg problems, but fortunately her employer does provide health insurance coverage and she's currently seeing a doctor for her leg problems (edema, swelling, clots).  She's a hell of a trooper otherwise.  I'm one damn lucky fellow.

      If we're not willing to boldly refute the lies, the lies will stand as truth.

      by cn4st4datrees on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:58:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cool, trees (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, Mber, blueyedace2

    You can have my whiskey when you siphon it from my overworked, cirrhotic liver, but I hope to join the tobacco-free club very soon.

    Creative Anachronists for Obama: "Yes ye can! Yes ye can!"

    by droogie6655321 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:54:38 PM PDT

  •  9 years post-tobacco right now (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exNYinTX, blueyedace2, OleHippieChick

    So I am here to tell you it's possible. It's a lot cheaper, and simpler, and you don't have that dread hanging over you when you're out of smokes and starting to jones.

    Somehow I re-invented myself as a non-smoker. It's possible.

    You can't get away with the crunch, 'cuz the crunch always gives you away

    by dnamj on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:55:22 PM PDT

    •  Confession follows. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burrow owl, exNYinTX, blueyedace2

      I was quit for over thirty years, but joined a local group of well-meaning fellows a couple of years back, most of all who are smokers.  It was just easier to start up again than gag against the air when I was around them.

      So, I've done it once and I can do it again if I choose.  That's the key:  I must choose to do it.

      Thanks for your supportive words.

      If we're not willing to boldly refute the lies, the lies will stand as truth.

      by cn4st4datrees on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:02:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  datree, hand that dough to your wife! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, panicbean

    Kindest thoughts to you for calling it quits for however long you manage to.

    I quit the alcohol years ago. It really put the years on.

    Yesterday was my 100th day cold turkey stickin it to the man without cigarettes (with an assist by Lucky Country Black Licorice) after 40 years, 2-2.5 pax per day.

    I quit after a lung crud left me gasping for air and there I was still lighting up like a mindless goon. I determined I would enjoy the withdrawal symptoms as free rushes. My face was numb for about the first 1.5 weeks. Wow.

    The urges are only at certain times now, way fewer than I feared, so I breathe deeply, fixate on something else, until they pass. Change your picture of yourself lighting up at the usual times.

    Stay busy! Your house could be really really clean after 5 days!

    Good luck, Brah!

    Passenger on the long train of abuses.

    by OleHippieChick on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:01:10 PM PDT

    •  Thanks. I just bought a bicycle so that should (3+ / 0-)

      help.  I'm 53 years old, but with great fortune my legs are still in top shape.  All I've got to do is go focus on something else and keep my mind occupied.

      Thank you so very much for your encouragement and congratulations on your own success.

      If we're not willing to boldly refute the lies, the lies will stand as truth.

      by cn4st4datrees on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:04:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're welcome! (0+ / 0-)

        Starting to use my bike more myself. At 60, I have some kind of assache every day, but what you gonna do?

        Here in Floorduh, cartons are $15 vs. my bro, Mickey the Welder on Long Island. His are $80 per! You can ALWAYS afford to smoke in FL. Very insidious.

        Passenger on the long train of abuses.

        by OleHippieChick on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:09:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm lucky. I'm living in a beautiful California (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OleHippieChick

          mountain town, in Plumas county, in Quincy, and it's essentially a big flat valley surrounded by tree-studded mountains all the way around.

          So the roads for many miles around the valley are mostly level and fairly straight, and the traffic's not too heavy.  Gotta watch out for the logging trucks, though.

          People around here have always been courteous and watchful for bicyclists.  That's a big plus.

          This has been my hometown since 1960.  If you ever get the chance, come and visit Quincy (California).  It's really superb up here.

          If we're not willing to boldly refute the lies, the lies will stand as truth.

          by cn4st4datrees on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:13:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Good luck to you on kicking the habit. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MeToo, OleHippieChick

        My hubby did the same kind of thing as you, quitting, then starting up again and having a tough time re-quitting.  But, praise Deity, he's not smoked since the day after Thanksgiving 2007.  (He did get help from Chantix, but he had to decide for himself that enough was enough.)

        You know what?  I'm going to match your $100 contribution right now.

        Take care!

  •  Well, I just put my money where my mouth is. (4+ / 0-)

    I just went to Barack's campaign webpage and made my $100 donation via credit card.  With my wife's permission.

    Feeling better already.

    If we're not willing to boldly refute the lies, the lies will stand as truth.

    by cn4st4datrees on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:27:32 PM PDT

  •  Yes, you can (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick, allep10

    You can give up tobacco entirely, if you want to. Once you've made it past the first three days (let alone five), you may want to.

    I get $150 a month total, and Obama gets at least a sixth of it every month (pretty much), sometimes more. Plus we are going to Spokane to the convention, where I'm a delegate, a car trip of about 5-6 hours and a hotel stay with my dialysis machine. We can't exactly afford it, but it's for Obama, so we don't even talk about how we're going to afford it. We just do it.

    Want to be a living kidney donor? I need one from someone with a bloodtype of B or O. Drop a note at riverheart.livejournal.com.

    by Kitsap River on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:20:36 PM PDT

    •  Oh! You got me beat by a hundred miles. (0+ / 0-)

      My heart's out to you.  Go dog go.

      Folks like you are what I'm all about, and it's my firm belief that folks like you are what Obama's all about.

      Man, you inspire me!  You are to be applauded.  Keep up the good work.

      Together WE CAN!

      If we're not willing to boldly refute the lies, the lies will stand as truth.

      by cn4st4datrees on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:29:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gave up smoking in 2006 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allep10

        and it's a good thing I did, because it turns out it contributes mightily to kidney disease. It took me about 8 tries.

        That's how I know you can do it, too, if you want - though I won't say it's easy, and I'll be in your court all the way.

        Thanks for the kudos. :-) Go you.

        Want to be a living kidney donor? I need one from someone with a bloodtype of B or O. Drop a note at riverheart.livejournal.com.

        by Kitsap River on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 07:12:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know if this will be helpful or not, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cn4st4datrees

    but the most difficult addiction I've ever tried to quit is nicotine. I've managed a few times to quit for a few years, with both nicotine and alcohol, and nicotine was by far the hardest.

    This is about how I smoke cheaply, though. I bought a few pipes and use bulk tobacco. I get one pound of cigarette tobacco for less than ten bucks at the local Indian smoke shop. That lasts well over a month. I bought inexpensive filter pipes, and roll my own filters from one-inch by one-inch bits of paper towels and change them after each bowl. I clean the pipe thoroughly after each bowl (while it is still warm) with a pocketknife for the bowl and pipe cleaners I buy on-line cheaply. They come in a 12" length, and I just cut them in half with nippers. A years' supply is probably $20. I fold back the first half inch of the pipe cleaner and clean the stem, then fold back the other end and clean the bowl portion. Sometimes, though, the crap just builds up enough to prevent a free draw, then I pop the stem in a microwave for a second or two until it starts to pop. I then use a flat screw driver of the appropriate size to clean out the junk, followed by a run with the pipe cleaner. Works every time. I've had these pipes for five years and all are as good as new.

    I use a Zippo lighter and flints, with naptha purchased at local hardware store, much cheaper than the "lighter fluid" (which is naptha) that comes in the little plastic bottles, although I use the bottles too. The top of the bottle will pop off with the help of a butterknife, and can then be filled with naptha. The top will pop back on with a little exertion. I've had trouble in the past getting sufficient spark from the lighter to ignite, so I saved a few of the "spent ends" from old flints (a small bit can also be cut off with nippers). If I have trouble with the spark, I add a bit of old flint, adjust the screw to the right tension, and things are fine again. Cost for a year, probably around five bucks.

    I'm quite poor in monetery terms, and I if wish to indulge my chosen habit cheaply, that's how I do it. I also buy the cheapest gin I can get, and actually prefer it to the more costly brands. I also drink it in relative moderation, using a measured one-quarter cup and lots of water and ice. When I drink too much I begin to feel bad, physically. Living well cheaply can be done, but I had to modify some of my habits and tastes.

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