1/15/2009

Day one and commuters in the cold ....

Looking back, I guess it's been around 19 1/2 years since I was nicotine free. Before that I was clean for 5 years and had only smoked for about two years before I kicked the habit the first time.

Peb's has been off the smokes since Monday. Can't begin to tell her how proud I am of her for making this decision! Her quitting however, can't be and isn't the only reason I'm making the choice. This has to be about me and stopping something that ultimately, I know is killing me.

So day one starts here. All encouragement offered, will be gladly accepted.

= = = = =

A funny thing about commuters and the cold. The vast majority of them, just can't wrap their heads around the rocket science of -34c (-29f) and shiny roads! I don't remember exactly what age I was when I learned all about water's freezing point. But I do remember learning it! As I recall from those lessons, water typically freezes at a point slightly above -34 Celsius.
(at least a degree or two I'm certain)

So why is it that on a three lane artery into the big smoke at 5:00am, with a start to the day at a snot inducing -34c, commuters see the shine on the blacktop and assume the roads are just wet?

My normal one hour drive to work today, took a little over an hour and a half. One may assume that driving at an appropriate speed for the conditions was the main reason for the addition of 50% more driving time. That actually only added probably ten minutes or so. No, the main reason time stretched out so much this morning, was from a group of us trying to avoid the 21, (TWENTY-FRIGGIN'-ONE !!!) idiots that we had drive past us at nearly Mach I and put their vehicles into either the ditch, or center guardrail.

Twenty one in just this one trip down, is a mind blowing number for me! I've seen 50 car pile-ups, rolled over tractor trailers, no less than five multi-vehicle accidents within a 16 km (10 mile) stretch of the highway and after missing an accident myself with some delicate and deft driving skills, I've had a Dump Truck pass within a foot or two of me at about 95 KPH (60 MPH) while the driver was trying to avoid the same pile up.

But to watch in amazement and realize that it was going to happen over and over again so I should start counting, as 21 moronic wastes of flesh made the same mistake of heading out to the fast lane that just looked "wet," so they could really make up some time over there, sends my brain into overdrive! Five days a week I drive with, near or around these imbeciles twice a day. At first, I started thinking that I should really fear for my life each and every time I take to the commute. But something happened as we reached the relative safety of the non-snow covered and dry pavement of the South. You see, when you do this at the same time everyday for long enough, you make driving buddies out of a few out there that also make the trek. Not buddies that you're probably ever going to sit down and have a beer with, but the type that will give you a wave or nod from time to time. Buddies that will either let you into a lane when needed, or know you'll return the favour for them some day out of courtesy for a fellow long-drive zombie. For the most part we all know to stick together, for we find safety in our numbers and know that we are all watching each others backs.

Well as we reached the top of the city and found ourselves on way more manageable pavement, on four separate occasions one of my "buddies" drove past one by one and looked over and laughed. With their arm, (or arms) in the air and a grin that was obviously meant to say, "can you fucking believe that?" each of us went our separate ways. I'll see all four of them again on the way home tonight, (I always do) and I'm sure there will be more laughter about this mornings trip. Maybe in a sick and twisted way that only long time veterans of commuting could ever understand, laughing at the destruction and danger that occurs is the only way to handle it?

Maybe I should be the initiator and make the first move? Perhaps I should make the universal signal for, 'let's go get a drink' to all my "buddies" on the road? Then we could sit down and discuss everything we've ever seen on the highway to hell over the years. There would be some fascinating stories in that conversation I tell you!

But I'd better not. That beer and all the laughter would lead to two, and two would surely turn into a Scotch. A Scotch would lead to me looking for a smoke and a smoke would be me failing at something miserably. So instead I'll look over and give a nod or a wave, maybe share a grin or a laugh and then go along on my merry way.

It is day one after all!

My sincerest thanks for dropping by....

11 comments:

Baywolfe said...

Congratulations Pebs and good luck! Barb quit cold turkey back in 1984 and hasn't looked back. She told me the hardest part to break is the habits for when you smoke. After a meal, when you're feeling stressed, etc. All of our hopes and encouagement go with you.

If it's any further encouragement (on the negative side) my mom just succumbed to advanced emphysema last Friday night and passed away in bed. She had been on a heavy dose of morphine for almost a week.

Ironically, she was very healthy except for the fact that her lungs were burned up. She smoked cigarettes for most of her adult life until she was forced to quit.

Schaubs said...

Gooooo Bammer (and Pebs)!!!

That is such awesome news! And to think, I am cheering for a guy I have never met in person, never seen smoke.

My mother smoked for my entire childhood. She once fell asleep o nthe couch with a smoke in her hand... a nice cig. burn was found the next morning.

Ever since that morning I have encouraged everyone I know to quit.

Some do it, some don't. It's those that find the reason for themselves that make it.

You have to WANT to quit first.

Make it happen Bammer.

Astin said...

Good luck guys!

I don't understand why any Canadian would smoke. It's fucking cold in the winter and a cigarette sure doesn't offer enough heat to keep warm. :)

Riggstad said...

Good luck to you both brudder.

I have quit a thousand times... Of course I'm chewing, not smoking, but it never goes away.

Stay diligent! Any help let me know.

DrChako said...

You know I'll encourage the hell out of you! Here are three good reasons:

1. I must admit that the idea staying with you in Bedrock was great except for the fact that I know I'd come out smelling like cigarettes. It's one of my least favorite things, and I've left other places just because I couldn't take the smell. If you quit, it gives me all the more incentive to book my reservations for the trek north!

2. If that's not enough, I'll go one further. If the urge to smoke is made worse by scotch, then I won't drink at all when I come up there. The last thing I want to do is give you an excuse to start up again. That's how committed I am!

3. Finally, I just gave a lecture to my residents about lung cancer. I have tons of x-rays and CT scans comparing healthy lungs to smokers lungs. The healing process has already begun. Let it continue.

-DrC

Gadzooks64 said...

You are doing an awesome thing!

I wish you the best!

You'll be so glad for everyday you stick to it.

I quit a brazillian years ago so I know it can be done.

Hang in there baby!

Tell Pebbles she's awesome!

Wolfshead said...

Good luck to you and Pebs. Never had the problem, in my younger days the few weekends I did smoke while partying were just that, weekends with no urge to continue so personally don't know what you are going thru. Rest of my family tho were pack a day people or better and watched them go thru the cycle. If my peckerwood nephew can stop so can you. Keep up the good work.

OhCaptain said...

You can do the quit. I did. I quit about 4 years ago. Cold turkey. It can be done. What worked for me? Every time I had the urge, I just kept repeating with conviction, "I will never smoke again." Note the period.

I'm with the good Dr. C. I can no longer stand the smell. I'll leave a place rather then smell it. I'd love to visit Bedrock!

I work for the Radiation Oncology department at one of the world's most famous hospitals. Do you know what we do? We treat cancer patients with radiation. One of our most common? You understand.

Believe you can and you will never smoke again. Not one. There is no such thing as just one. You can do it. I believe in you.

Dr. Pauly said...

Good luck, brah!

DrewFours said...

"Ewe ken dew eet!"

Drizztdj said...

10 years here (but will fib for a decent cigar).

And drivers who think a road is "wet" at -30F need to see a picture of my Cap'n Coke after three minutes while ice fishing.

Started looking like a Slushie but oooooh sooooo goooood.