BLOG – STOP SMOKING: One week completed and going well
7:30am Monday 16th January 2012 in News
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MONDAY, JANUARY 16, 2012: A week has past since I gave up the cigarettes and I am happy to report that I am still going strong.
the weekend was always going to be a bit of a test, but I came through with flying colours – not being tempted by the fags, although it was quite nice to get a whiff of a fag during the half-time interval of Yeovil Town’s match with Tranmere Rovers at Huish Park.
So I am now onto Day eight of my own personal Big Quit and the patches are working incredibly well. As you have to put a new patch in a different spot each day, it is getting to the stage where I’ve forgotten where I’ve stuck them.
Tonight will also see me go along for my latest session with the NHS Somerset stop Smoking Service session at the Aqua Centre in Crewkerne.
It will provide me with that little bit of extra encouragement and support I need. although things are going well, I am not taking anything for granted and a gentle kick-up the backside by my advisor will be welcomed.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012: Just like I discovered the last time I attempted to quit the habit five-six years ago, the nicotine patches are really working well.
the cravings have virtually gone and although I find myself thinking about it every now and again, I quickly erase those thoughts from my mind.
What I have to do is to stay focussed and remain strong willed.
I heard an interesting theory at the NHS Somerset stop Smoking Service session on Monday evening at the Aqua Centre in Crewkerne.
A lady who had so far given up for 14 weeks said she was taking each day as they come.
instead of saying that she was giving up forever, which I suppose is quite a daunting prospect for some people trying to give up; she says to herself each morning that she isn’t going to have a cigarette today. Basically taking each day as it comes, which is without question much more manageable for the brain to register.
And the other thing worth noting is this same lady said she had just had the “best Christmas ever” as the money she had saved from not buying cigarettes, had been spent on making the festive season of 2011 a very special one.
To anyone reading this who is considering giving up smoking – I would thoroughly encourage you to join a NHS stop Smoking Service group.
the advice, encouragement and the little bit of pressure that is available really is worthwhile. I take my hat off to anyone who can give up on their own without any support, but for the majority I’m sure a helping hand would not go amiss and that is available from the NHS stop Smoking Service.
the number will be in your phone book, but for the group I’m using – the NHS Somerset stop Smoking Service – please call 0303-033-9840.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2012: the time is approaching 9.30am and I have now gone 35 hours without a cigarette.
Yesterday was my big Quit Day and last night I attended the NHS Somerset stop Smoking Service clinic at the Aqua Centre in Crewkerne.
Once again I was asked to blow into a machine which can guage whether you have been smoking or not. I’m no medical person so I don’t know what the machine is called or how it works – but, basically, it is all to do with your lung capacity and higher the reading it shows, the more cigarettes you have had.
my advisor was shocked when I gave my initial reading back in early December when I scored 28 – a definite smoker he said.
But last night my reading had dropped to just three – “you are now a non-smoker,” he told me. “Three or less is what a non-smoker would achieve.”
although it was nice to hear, I am not hanging out the bunting just yet! There is a long way to go before I can call myself a non-smoker.
At the moment I would tend to call myself “a smoker, who is trying to give up smoking!”
the cravings, which last barely a minute or so, are already becoming less and less – thanks to the 24-hour patches I’m wearing.
But one thing I struggled with last night was – sleeping! I’m not sure whether it is anything to do with me giving up smoking; whether it was the excitement of Gary Johnson returning to Yeovil Town as manager yesterday; or whether it was me thinking about this morning’s newspaper deadline at the Chard and Illy!
MONDAY, JANUARY 9, 2012: well here we are on my own personal Quit Day and it is so far, so good.
I had my last fag at about 10.30pm last night and so I’ve now gone nearly 16 hours since lighting up.
Sixteen hours may not seem a long time to those non-smokers, but ask any smoker and 16 hours without a fag would seem like an eternity.
But I’m pleased to report that it has not been too painful! the nicotine patches I’m using have helped and although it is obviously far too early to start saying that I’ve cracked it, I’m pretty pleased that the cravings have not driven me to distraction.
But I will have to be careful not to let my guard down. if somebody offered me a fag now I would say “no.” But would I enjoy it if I said “yes”? of course – so I have got to make sure I do not give in to temptation.
So far today, like I have already said, I have had a few cravings. But I’ve kept busy.
One person and one unexpected event today has certainly helped to take my mind off the fags – the return of Gary Johnson as manager at my beloved Yeovil Town FC!
Johnson, the man who brought silverware aplenty to Yeovil Town during his first stint at the club between 2001-05, has been working his magic already, unknowingly, by taking my mind off the fags.
To coin a Gary Johnson word – cosmic!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 8, 2012: There are now just a few hours to go before I bin the fags!
I went and signed up with the NHS stop Smoking Service in early December and arranged with the advisor that my Quit Day would be Monday, January 9. So here we are – just a few hours to go.
I am getting more nervous as the hours tick by because I am determined to give up, but all smokers who go through this process know that it is a lot more difficult than it sounds.
But I’m looking forward to the challenge and receiving your messages of support!
I will ‘blog’ again tomorrow to let you know how I am doing.
Thursday, January 5, 2012: THERE are now just four days left before I hopefully say a “final goodbye” to the cigarettes as I look towards my big Quit Day on Monday.
I have had a number of positive messages of “good luck” from various people since my last blog on Tuesday and the story about my pending challenge appeared in yesterday’s edition of the Chard and Ilminster News.
although slightly daunted at the prospect, I am looking forward to the challenge.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012: THERE is now less than a week to go before I reach my “Quit Day” when I hope to give up the cigarettes for good.
I’m writing this having signed up with the Somerset NHS stop Smoking Service in a bid to quit the habit.
I’ve been smoking for the past 20 years and have decided that now is the time to stub out the habit once and for all.
I went for an initial meeting with the stop Smoking Service, which meets each Monday at Crewkerne Aqua Centre, just before Christmas where an adviser discussed a Smokefree plan to discuss my needs.
we decided that Monday, January 9, will be my Quit Day, so I have that date pencilled in my head now to when I will be saying goodbye to the fags.
This will be the second time I’ve made a serious attempt at quitting the habit which not only has obvious health risks but burns a hole in my wallet.
I tried to give up five or so years ago when I attended stop Smoking Service sessions in Yeovil and I went for three months without a cigarette.
It was going really well but I then fell into the fatal trap of ‘trying one’ and before I knew it I was back smoking again – it was so frustrating.
I made further attempts on my own to give up again but failed miserably.
I need that support which the stop Smoking Service can provide. each time you go to a session you have to breathe into a machine which can tell whether you’ve been smoking or not.
It adds that little bit of pressure or encouragement to make you resist the temptation – I know it certainly worked when I last used the service.
Keep following my blog and for more details about the stop Smoking Service phone 0303-033-9840.
Four teams remain in contention for the Lombardi Trophy—28 teams are already thinking about the draft.
With Conference Championship Weekend upon us, the draft order is almost set. a coin toss still needs to separate several teams, but only picks 29-32 truly remain in question.
The prospect rankings have also taken shape, and declaration day has come and gone.
The postseason collegiate All-Star games kick off with the East-West Shrine Game this week, and things only pick up from there.
One thing we’ll hear a lot over the course of the next few months are words like “ceiling,” “potential,” “bust” and “upside.”
Here are several players who won’t don’t have a ton of exposure, but have high ceilings.
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
1. Indianapolis Colts (2-14): Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Top prospect in the draft is a lock for the no. 1 pick.
2. St. Louis Rams (2-14): Matt Kalil, OT, USC
The Rams have an entirely new regime taking over, so the safest pick is usually best pick. they should also entertain idea of trading down.
3. Minnesota Vikings (3-13): Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
The Vikings have a number of needs, but none more important than out wide on both offense and defense. Claiborne is the top defensive prospect and a better value than Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.
4. Cleveland Browns (4-12): Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Drafting a running back in the top five isn’t what teams want to do anymore, but the Browns desperately need a playmaker they can trust in the backfield.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12): Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
The Bucs can afford to “reach” for Kirkpatrick here based on need and the junior’s potential to develop into an elite talent.
6. Washington Redskins (5-11): Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
It is highly unlikely that the Redskins get lucky enough to draft RGIII at no. 6, but no team needs to land a the Heisman Trophy winner more.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11): Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Blackmon falls to a Jacksonville team that desperately needs his playmaking skills.
8. Carolina Panthers (6-10)*: Devon Still, DT, Penn State
Disruptive defensive tackle was close to earning recognition as not being recognized enough, but more and more people are getting familiar with his talents. The Panthers have a need for help at every level of their defense, and Still is the best available on the board.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
9. Miami Dolphins (6-10)*: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
The BCS Championship Game defensive MVP will continue to ride his Tide to a top-15 selection. Miami’s need at pass-rusher bumps him into the top 10.
10. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Safe pick for an organization that has passed on a tackle for too many years now. Reiff’s a solid technician with size and skill level needed to take over immediately.
11. Seattle Seahawks (7-9)*: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
Speedy pass-rushing talent with the potential to be a dangerous sack artist.
12. Kansas City Chiefs (7-9)*: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Martin enters the NFL with a big frame, smarts and great feet. Excels in the run game and can help Chiefs get back to what they want to do with a healthy Jamaal Charles.
13. Arizona Cardinals (8-8): Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The Cardinals can go in a lot of directions here, but they can help their front seven and secondary by bolstering pass-rush.
14. Dallas Cowboys (8-7): Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
Smart, instinctive and tough, Kuechly is simply a football player who makes tackles everywhere.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-8): Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Floyd is the most prolific receiver to ever wear the Golden Dome and is an ideal complement to the Eagles’ speedy receivers.
16. new York Jets (8-8): Quinton Coples, DE/DT, UNC
Will the Jets Stick with Mark Sanchez?
- Will the Jets Stick with Mark Sanchez?
- yes 64.0%
- no 36.0%
Total votes: 89
Rex Ryan won’t be able to pass up an opportunity to land a prospect with Coples’ size and potential despite his sliding draft stock.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (via OAK 8-8): David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
The draft’s top interior lineman can step in and aid Andy Dalton immediately.
18. San Diego Chargers (8-8): Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Dennard is a solid all-around corner prospect who can do a little bit of everything.
19. Chicago Bears (8-8): Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
The draft’s top center is a home run for a Bears team that can make their entire offensive line better with this pick.
20. Tennessee Titans (9-7): Vontaze Burfict, LB, ASU
Burfict’s size, speed and athleticism will overshadow his maturity issues.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7): Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
If Miller runs sub-4.4 in the 40-yard dash, he’ll move up the board even more. Cincy will likely let Cedric Benson walk in hopes of getting a younger playmaker at the position.
22. Cleveland Browns (via ATL 10-6): Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
The big, athletic receiver could go much higher than this, but his consistency issues are a problem.
23. Detroit Lions (10-6): Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
The Lions need to get younger at tackle, and Adams is one of the best left on the board. He comes with great size and good athleticism.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4): Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia
Not many players stand 6’5″, 348 pounds with the versatility that Glenn possesses.
The Georgia captain can play guard or tackle and is a complete football player.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
He’s willing to work hard for what he wants, and he’s not the type of player to rest on what he has.
Glenn’s potential at the next level with a team like the Steelers is extremely high. He was thrust onto the field early in his collegiate career and responded.
He’ll do the same in the NFL.
25. Denver Broncos (8-8): Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
Worthy has proved himself worthy of first-round consideration once again. Helps the Broncos immediately.
26. Houston Texans (10-6): Mark Barron, S, Alabama
The Crimson Tide safety is the draft’s complete prospect at the position, and he has the size and athleticism to take over right away.
27. new England Patriots (via NO 13-3): Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
In terms of numbers, the Scarlet Knights wide receiver was one of the best in the nation this year with 109 catches. it was the first season Rutgers let him solely play receiver, and he not only delivered, but excelled.
At 6’2″, 215 pounds, Sanu possesses an intriguing combination of size, speed, athleticism and versatility.
He’s played Wildcat quarterback, running back and wide receiver in his career and actually went to Rutgers with the intention of playing safety.
He can do it all and will do it all.
28. Green Bay Packers (15-1): Chris Polk, RB, Washington
The Packers secondary certainly needs help, but without a running game, we’ve seen what good defenses can do against them. Polk is a complete back who can help them immediately.
29. new York Giants (9-7): Zach Brown, OLB, UNC
Brown is a freak athlete with elite speed and potential to shine in the right system.
30. Baltimore Ravens (12-4): Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama
The Crimson Tide’s least-known star from the dominating championship-winning defense is going to be a stud in the NFL.
Who is the best Alabama Defensive Prospect?
- Who is the best Alabama Defensive Prospect?
- Dre Kirkpatrick 28.1%
- Courtney Upshaw 39.3%
- Mark Barron 13.5%
- Dont’a Hightower 19.1%
Total votes: 89
Hightower comes with a great combination of size and speed at 6’4″, 260 pounds, and can dominate on the inside.
He was an even better athlete before knee injury a few years ago, but he’s since developed as a player with great instincts and a love for flying downhill and destroying ball carriers.
Hightower can make plays in coverage and can get after the quarterback as well.
Potential star replacement for Ray Lewis.
31. San Francisco 49ers (13-3): Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
A big-play athlete with great production in his career.
32. new England Patriots (13-3): Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Janoris Jenkins isn’t truly going to be overlooked, but he is forced to put himself back on the map after getting kicked out of Florida last spring.
The 5’10″, 182-pound cornerback could be an Asante Samuel-like game-changer at the next level if he keeps his head on straight.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Jenkins showed an ability to match up with elite receivers when he played at Florida and is also a dangerous player with the football in his hands.
Teams with corner needs will regret passing on him.
*Order determined by coin flip at NFL Scouting Combine
To collect coins is not what most people think of as a heart stopping, pulse racing, knuckle biting way to wring out the tensions of the workday. This is a hobby of quiet contemplation.
OK, so NASCAR it is not. but still, for such a calm activity, there do seem to be more than a few coin collectors, especially in the US. More than you would think, if all these passionately involved individuals are just, uh, filling up holes in an album.
What is going on here? what are all these people thinking about, and why do they so enjoy what this hobby seems to be giving them? What is the connection?
Ask any coin collector about his interest in the hobby and you will see certain patterns of connection emerge.
Collecting Money is Fun
Most of us have a bit of avarice in our personalities. Those photos of gold bars in Fort Knox, and the stacks of twenty dollar gold coins from the S. S. Central America sitting upon on the sea floor at 8,000 feet below the surface are exciting. Would it be fun to have even one gold coin?
Suppose you are a middle school teacher of social studies or history, and you want to break through to your class in a tangible way. Coins have existed in one form or another for 2,500 years or so. they are a product of a people, a time, and a place.
There are coins available at reasonable cost, even to student collectors, from many of the significant times in history. usually they will be well worn rather than pristine. all the better. A well circulated coin has been there. Who can say if the 1863 Indian Head cent your student brings into class was not in the pocket of a Union artilleryman at Gettysburg?
Many young coin collectors get their start from a relative who had some coins left over from a long ago trip overseas. or, as in my case, from a great grandmother who owned a small dry goods store in the Canton area of Baltimore during the final decades of the nineteenth century.
Receiving coins from long ago that touch your own family history brings a sense of participation, albeit through inheritance, in the life of long ago.
As a new collector delves into the hobby, an awareness of the incredible depth and breadth of coinage takes hold. This is especially true as one enters a large coin show in a major city. looking over the vast expanse of dealer tables upon entering the room can be like ones first view of the ocean.
What incredible coin awaits my discovery?