PAINT LICK —
If you had your life to live over, what would you do differently?
Frankly, with one exception, the few things that I would change are too personal to talk about in a public forum, and they’re really nobody else’s business, anyway.
And if I went back and made major changes, say in the type of education or where I attended college, for example, they might have resulted in an entirely different life than the one I’ve lived.
The bottom line is that I’m pretty happy with the way things have turned out. I love my family and my circle of friends and I love living in Paint Lick, Kentucky. I love what I do, and I’m fairly content with what I’ve accomplished over the last 64 years.
I’m proud of my kids and grandkids, and I can’t imagine having a life-sharing partner more wonderful than Loretta. I would not go back and make a single change that would ultimately make the family and friends aspects of my life turn out differently.
But, by far, the biggest regret that I’m willing to talk about is smoking. I wish, with all my heart, that I’d never seen or touched a cigarette or briar pipe. I would be lying big time if I told you that I have not taken great pleasure from smoking, especially my pipes, over the decades.
Although I haven’t smoked a pipe in nearly three years, I still consider myself a connoisseur of blended pipe tobacco from around the world. Few things, made of wood, have more appeal to my eyes and hands than a hand carved and perfectly engineered Mediterranean Briar pipe. Nothing smells better to me than the aroma of fine pipe tobacco.
But if I had it to do over, I would have never touched a pipe and never lit that first cigarette. I’m reasonably convinced that I would not have suffered the stroke that has left me somewhat crippled for nearly a year now. I’m sure that I would have far more stamina and that I would feel better.
I don’t even want to think about all the money I would have if I had stuck it into sa avings account instead of blowing it on tobacco and it’s related products over the years.
People who do not have ultra-addictive personalities do not understand those of us who do. I know at least a hundred people who have quit smoking over the years and some of them had mighty struggles with the process. Many, if not most, of them are of the opinion that if they can do it, anyone can.
But even after my stroke, I cheated and on those days when I didn’t smoke, I wanted a cigarette so badly that I could hardly think of anything else.
Over the last 25 years, I have tried numerous patches, pills and gum. I’ve completed two of those highly-touted 16 week cessation programs. I’ve tried hypnosis several times, and I’ve fallen for several television and internet promoted scams. I’ve had a stroke, for crying out loud, and I still wanted a damn cigarette.
Last fall, someone suggested I try an e.cigarette. It’s a battery operated device that delivers a vapor instead of smoke. It feels and tastes a lot like a regular cigarette but without all the smoke and tars and thousands of chemical impurities you get from real smoke. In other words, it’s a much cleaner and less aggravating way of getting a nicotine fix than real tobacco. And unless somebody is sitting right beside you, they never smell a thing.
This writing makes 90 days since I’ve touched a match or lighter to a cigarette. I promise you faithfully that I haven’t even wanted one, but I have panicked a time or two when I couldn’t find my White Cloud Fling.
I have no idea if it’s safer, because I’m still getting nicotine. But I can tell you that I feel and breathe better than I have in decades, and I can’t imagine going back to real smoke.
I tried 11 different brands and styles before settling on White Cloud disposables, which I find to be the most reliable, realistic and economical e.cigarettes on the market and, by far, the most truthfully advertised. Simply do an internet search for whitecloudfling.com
However, if you’ve quit smoking, DO NOT DO THIS or use it as an excuse to start back. If you’ve never smoked a cigarette, THIS IS NOT A HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE.
Read everything you can find on the pros and cons of electronic cigarettes before you even try one and then make up your mind. There’s a ton of mostly conflicting information on the internet and even health professionals hold widely varying opinions.
It may turn out that I’m still killing myself just as rapidly as I would be with the real thing or maybe even faster. But at least Loretta is not yelling at me for stinking up the atmosphere.
PAINT LICK —
If you had your life to live over, what would you do differently?
Coal problem worth tackling in Washington and Frankfort
Despite hysterical cries from radical environmentalists, neither Sen. Rand Paul’s Defense of Environment and Property Act nor Sen. Mitch McConnell’s Coal Jobs Protection Act would allow activities that bring harm to Kentucky’s wildlife or waterways for the sake of propping up the coal industry.
Peter Perlman — Life lessons from a lawyer’s lawyer
One of the great moments of my life was sitting next to legendary Louisville attorney Frank Haddad at a luncheon when he learned he had received the first Peter Perlman Outstanding Trial Lawyer award from the Kentucky Academy of Trial Lawyers.
As they started his bio, the surprised Frank started crying like a baby. A sudden heart attack took him less than a year later. Winning the Perlman award was the crowning achievement of his career.
Credit score insanity
Frequently, people stop me and ask me personal finance questions.
The most common is how to improve their credit history score.
If you need to improve your credit score, it means you have lousy credit. Before fixing the score, people need to ask how their credit got so bad to begin with.
‘Tells’ about who will blow their money
Kentucky Derby week is one where gambling takes a forefront in my life. Along with the non-stop activities in my home state, I am speaking at a dinner for the Society of Settlement Professionals in Las Vegas and a film crew from Italy is flying in from Rome to interview me for a documentary about lottery winners.
Viewpoints change when critics gain power
Scandals like those roiling Washington often look more or less nefarious as time and facts unfold. After all, what at first looked like a third-rate burglary turned into Watergate.
I doubt the scandals around Benghazi, the IRS and subpoenas of Associated Press phone records reach Watergate status — but we must await more information and time to know.
Trouble’s last ride
When announcing my retirement, I made reference to letting “Trouble” having one last ride.
Going from school to work requires preparation, faith
(Editor’s Note: After graduating from EKU on Saturday, Seth Littrell came to work Monday at the Richmond Register as a reporter/photographer.)
This past Saturday weekend I graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with my bachelor’s in journalism.
It was the single goal I had been working toward for the past four years, and as I walked across that stage I realized I was the first person in my family to do so.
Report on former EKU Center for the Arts director called 'biased, unfair'
I am writing in response to the Richmond Register’s May 3, 2013, article concerning the former Executive Director of the EKU Center for the Arts. The article I reference appeared on the front page of your newspaper with the headline “Sexual harassment, other offenses alleged in Hoskin’s records in 740 pages of documents.”
Recognizing those who provide care
How fitting it is that the beginning of National Nursing Home Week is Mother’s Day, May 12.
That’s just how it is: Part four
I mentioned in the first column in this series that I still get razzed for wearing Marshall University Green.
Former EKU President Joanne Glasser always teased me about it. She told me I looked much better in maroon, and I always reminded her I bleed green. I don’t think she ever really cared.
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