As an armchair grammarian, I'm always interested in how our language bends and twists to accommodate new things, and how it never really seems to follow any logical pattern for winding up where it eventually does -- favoring the lowest common denominator.
For historical perspective, and street cred: I started using electronic cigarettes a little over five years ago. I had been trying to quit cigarettes for the ten years previous at least. I loved smoking cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and I used snuff and chewing tobacco as well. At the point I finally picked up some cigarette looking e-cigs in a mall kiosk, I had tried nicotine laced gum, lozenges, drops, and patches as well as two different psychotropic drugs. When I got my first e-cig, I was in fact on my way to buy some cigarettes after caving on yet another three day "quit."
The mall kiosk salesman burdened me with all sorts of misinformation and took somewhere in the neighborhood of two hundred dollars for what I would soon discover was about thirty dollars worth of product. The good news was that it sort-of worked. That gave e-cigs an infinite advantage over any of the products or methods previously tried.
However, within a few days, I found myself out of pre-filled cartridges and back on the horns of the same old dilemma. I didn't like the price of the mall kiosk refill kits, so I looked around and found that our local .... hut stocked ejuice. I went by and got a bottle of blueberry flavor liquid at 14 mg nicotine strength and that lasted me about another week. In the meantime, I was surfing the net and discovered the then nascent online e-cigarette community and wound up ordering a push button battery and a twenty pack of refillable "cartomizers."
The naming standards were all over the place at the time and the jargon wars had begun. E-Cig was the strong favorite at the time, and the act of using one was still mostly called "smoking." The term "vaporizing" was not used much, but "vaping" had started to take hold. I hated it at the time because it just sounded childish to my ear. I favored and fought for "steaming" because people are less alarmed by "steam" than they are "vapor." Vapor sounds like chemistry while steam sounds like tea.
In the comfort of my own mind, my personal gear was called a steamer (battery holder or "mod"), carto's, and juice.
On the Gear front, after about a year off combustible tobacco products, I got a "Provari" which was at the time the cadillac of e-cigs. I also got a "cartomizer tank" which is a glass tube that goes around the cartomizer to provide a reservoir for more juice. I had also settled into buying one flavor of juice from one online vendor. I would pretty much stick with that arrangement for the next two years. I purchased two cheap Chinese battery holders and still used the cigarette looking ones from time to time, but mostly, it was Gingerbread in a carto-tank on the Provari all day every day.
Over the past two years, I've started mixing my own juice (about $3.00 vs $15.00 for commercial juice), and using rebuildable coil device heads. I can make atomizer coils using resistance wire and organic cotton for an almost incalculably small expense. I've acquired three or four regulated battery holders with fancy electronics for variable voltage/wattage use, and three or four simple tube battery holders after discovering the joys of high-temp (low ohm) "cloud chasing."
Probably the most amusing development in the electronic vaporizer world is the names of nicotine juices. When I started, it was almost always just what the stuff was supposed to taste like; tobacco, peach, waffles, etc. But now you won't find a straightforward flavor name in the highly commercialized and soon to be over-regulated commercial juice world. All the flavors sound like Stephen King novels and it's not considered worth sniffing unless there is a demon or zombie on the label. I'm thinking about producing a wheat-grass flavor with a picture of an angry old man called "Stay Off My Lawn."
I like to keep it simple so I still call all my "mods" steamers and the fuel is just "juice," but I have to face facts when necessary; the jargon wars are over. "Vape" was just entered into Webster's and when I asked my 13 year old if she had seen my "steamer," she asked, "You mean your vape?" So not only is the verb for what I'm doing "vape" but the general noun for what I'm doing it with is "vape" as well. As a matter of fact, I've seen several instances where juice is also called just "vape." Maybe I'm the one that is overcomplicating things.
I can now just grab my vape, put some vape in it and vape vape vapie vape vape all the vape long day. Yay vape.
I posted an image of a HUMOROUS e-juice label I created (linky), but I think someone took offense or felt that it might reflect badly on the vaping community, or rebooted a server at the wrong time. At any rate, it's gone now and I was looking forward to the sort of playful banter and such that that sort of thing usually inspires here on the ECF. I've decided to make a blog post about it so I can rest easy knowing no one will ever even see it, let alone comment on it.
I wrote another one that's probably even more offensive. (Again, it's SUPPOSED TO BE humor.) I'm not going to post a picture of it, but I'll paste in the copy from the bottle so nobody will read about it here.
On the off chance you're trolling forgotten blogs looking for something to be offended by, this will probably do it for you.Front (Has little dressing-room door stars)* Movie Star *
"One puff, and you're a star!"
All Mad Pumpkin Pharmaceuticals ™ products are made with questionable ingredients, dirty equipment, and measurements that involve lots of squinting and shrugging. Our products are unnecessarily tested on cute helpless animals. We squirt it in their eyes, rub it all over them, and when we run out of product, we throw the empty bottles at them because, screw the FDA!
My freshman English professor blew out a huge cloud of blue smoke and said, "I won't say anything if you elect to smoke in my class, but keep in mind that it is not, strictly speaking, allowed, and some self-righteous ..... may elect to report you." His tobacco was allegedly cherry scented, but it bore little if any resemblance to the smell of cherries. It' didn't smell like tobacco, or anything else for that matter. I think they just picked "cherry" at random, because the cough syrup guys got away with it.
When he wasn't smoking his pipe, the room smelled like a great vat of .......s and pencil shavings. I had come to think of this as the smell of adult academia. I was already smoking myself, and had been for quite some time. The year before, the school had banned smoking in the hallways, and now the Calvinists had invaded the classrooms; the faculty was furious. By my junior year, smoking was relegated to a designated area out by the AV department building. I hung out there with the other AV geeks and senior faculty where I smoked at least two of my customary five daily packs, even though I was not, strictly speaking, enrolled. The most helpful part of my secondary ecucation came from these gatherings. You may think this is a sad commentary on my education, but my time at Amarillo College was not, strictly speaking, wasted because I did manage to pick up a few handy phrases from Mr Hueber, my English professor.
Back to my rant. When I tell young people how the world used to be run by smokers, they simply cannot believe it. (I think being able to tell young people .... they simply cannot believe is one of the few real pleasures of getting old.) It's true though. Smokers were in the majority and non-smokers didn't say squat about it. My dad used to smoke in restaurants after meals. He would walk in smoking, light up another after he ordered, and sometimes, take a break for a mid-meal smoke. I don't remember ever seeing him not smoke except for in church. We were Baptists, and Baptists didn't smoke in Church.
I remember going to an indoor movie theater and my eyes burning from all the smoke. I told my dad about it and he assured me that I would outgrow it. What he meant was that I would start smoking myself and that going an hour and fifty minutes without a cigarette would be so uncomfortable that I'd just tell my eyes to shut the hell up. My mom said the only people who didn't smoke were either too sick or too poor to afford cigarettes. By age 17, my eyes had been put in their place. They still watered and burned, but they knew better than to say anything about it.
We had a leper in the family. Severe asthma had earned my little-sister a place on the too-sick bench in the extremely small non-smokers wing of our family asylum. I felt sorry for her because of all the wheezing, and not breathing, and all the midnight trips to the emergency room, so I would always try to hold my smoke in if she was in the room. If I just could not manage that, I would be careful to blow my smoke to either side of her face as opposed to directly into it like the rest of the family did.
My mom drove a truck for a tobacco wholesaler, and a surprising number of cases (twenty cartons each) managed to fall off the truck and wind up in our freezer. The freezer was one of those huge console affairs and about half of it was kept stocked with a vast assortment of fresh Marlboros. Until the mid eighties, I really thought of cigarettes as food, and it seemed like most everybody else did too.
I think smoking was almost universal for a hundred years between the time Bonsack invented the cigarette rolling machine in 1880 to sometime in the in the early 1980's. The current status is the result of a relatively short war. The anti-smoking crusade had started in the mid-seventies, and was pretty much over by the turn of the century. It seems like around that point, we hit the "hundredth monkey" and now nobody argues for smoking. Lot's of people still do it, but I give it another fifty years before it's universally viewed as a completely insane thing to do if you can still get them.
The first time I tried to put my "can quit anytime I want" theory to the test, I was shocked. I didn't make it a week! I promptly made a vow to never try that again. It was a vow I could not keep, because I started finding myself in the "too sick" category my mom had told me about. Even then, I would return to smoking when my health improved. I smoked pipes (not cherry flavor, blech!) cigarettes, and cigars. I dipped snuff, chewed chewing tobacco, and wore patches and chewed nicotine gum even when I wasn't trying to quit. I'm like the Will Rogers of Nicotine; I never met a nicotine delivery method I didn't like.
I never actually quit nicotine, I just discovered electronic cigarettes and they work for me. I actually like it more than I ever liked combustible tobacco. It's cheaper, more satisfying, doesn't stink ,there's no butt ends, and I have yet to set myself on fire with an e-cig. I don't use the wimpy ones that look like cigarettes. I have these huge over-amped contraptions that look like science-fiction movie props, and I mix my own juice so it costs me about the price of one modern pack per month. The second-hand vapor is about as dangerous as a tea-kettle, and doesn't even test for trace nicotine, which brings me to my point.
I just learned that the people I called *Calvinist earlier (sorry, that's an insult to Calvinists) are at it again. They are trying to ban e-gigs because they don't like the way it looks or something. My theory is that they are worried about being outmoded. Think about it. These are the same shock-troops that have been successfully waging the war on cigarettes for the past fifty years, and now they are virtually unemployed. They have worked hard to develop a set of highly specialized skills in the areas of manipulation and social influence and now, having largely won the war, they are at idle and their skills are unneeded. Like Warren Zevon's Headless Thompson Gunner, they fight on in spite of facts, reason, and common sense.
Don't get me wrong. If you are an anti-smoking crusader, I personally owe you a huge debt of gratitude and I want to offer a sincere apology for each and every time I mocked and ridiculed your efforts. But the war is over, and if you come after my e-cig, I promise you I will poke my thumb so deep in your eye that it will kill you and then I will leave your carcase in a dry South-Texas river bed where the buzzards will make it impossible for anyone to ever find you. Ever.
*I actually AM a Calvinist in so far as that means accepting the teaching of the French theologian. I'm just using the term "Calvinist" here in its modern derogatory sense of "busy-body Puritan self-righteous buzz-kills," or like "narcissistic self-appointed control-freak saviors of the universe," because I don't want to over-use those terms.
I got into DIY a few days ago (late bloomer), and I've noticed that it has an aesthetic all its own. Of course, light streaming in a window and all around colored glass bottles is one of the oldest tricks in the big book of photography, bit I thought I'd post this one here just for my fellow DIY clubbies.
I guess everybody is different. At least that's what our fingerprints seem to indicate. On the other hand, our similarities are sometimes amazing. Take the common progression of using an electronic cigarette. Most of us start out wanting something that looks, feels, tastes, and behaves like a cigarette, but wind up with something almost nothing at all like cigarettes.
My story is not unique. I had been struggling with quitting analogs for years and I just sort of stumbled across e-cigs in a mall kiosk on my third day of yet another trip through cold-turkey hell. I had already made the decision that I was going for some smokes when I left the mall, but I ran into this little sno-cone stand where a guy was hawking e-cigs. I paid something around $200.00 for a kit with two look-alike e-gigs and a bottle of juice. I paid an extra twenty for a set of three "cartomizers" because the guy said the three pre-filled ones in the kit would only last about a month (Salesmen, go figure). The juice was labeled "14mg full strength." I immediately started chain vaping them and it actually seemed to be taking the edge off of my withdrawals.
After a week, I still hadn't smoked any cigarettes, but I was having a hell of a time keeping the batteries charged. On a hunch, I dropped by a local head-shop and found some (whoa mama!) 18 mg juice! I also found the EXACT SAME cigarette looking batteries for $12.00 apiece!
And blueberry. They had freaking blueberry.
This was a little closer to turning my nut, but I was still having wild cravings and feeling the weird psudo-hunger pang of nicotine withdrawal. Somewhere in there I started shopping for equipment and juice on the internet and found the ECF. I was directed to a manual push-button battery called a "riva." It was 30 bucks, hand a button and looked NOTHING like a cigarette, but I decided to try it and I'm very glad I did. I got some 24 mg juice (Sweet Mother of Jupiter!) and I was very close to as comfortable as I'd been on my standard 1+ pack a day Marlboro habit. I was never really satisfied until I found 30 mg juice, and started punching cartos to run an a tank on top of my ProVari. That's when I knew I never had to go back to combustibles again. Sure, if the stinking rotten FDA has it's way and bans it, I'll probably be back on cigs in a week, but for now. I'm good.
But I digress. Here's the point I wanted to make: I think we do people a disservice when we try to start them out vaping wimpy juice on under-powered batteries. I mean, if you are not a smoker and are just checking it out for gits and shiggles, sure, a zero-nic lookalike might get you there, but I'm guessing you'd have more fun at the movies. If you are trying to replace a nicotine addiction, well, what the patient ought to have is something more like 36 mg blown out of a theatrical fogger. Sure, as new patients we say dumb things like "I want it to look like a cigarette and light up when I suck it, and I don't want too much nicotine because I'm trying to quit." We should be politely ignored during this phase.
When I started, I wanted it to be "just like smoking," or so I thought. And, as long as it didn't cost me (much) more than the $150 I was shelling out each month, I'd be happy, or so I thought.
To be fair, my original requirement were almost met. It had to be white with a brown filter; light up on the end; same size as a cigarette; taste like a Marlboro 100, and keep me from getting "hungry." Now, almost two years from my last cigarette, I have three or for big battery tube mods, a couple of variable voltage disposable batteries, that all look more like avionics equipment than cigarettes, and I vape Gingerbread and Cola flavored juices at 30 mg because I can't find anything stronger.
I know "coulda-shoulda-woulda" is a fools game, and if you'd offered me a free ProVari with a tank full of Bobba that day at the mall, I probably would have said no-thank-you, and reported you to the authorities. But still, I think the transition would have been a little easier if my mall-sticks had been loaded with a much higher octane,
Today, I actually like the form factor of my big battery tube mods. I'm now fully acclimated to carrying around a huge device that looks like a cross between a Star Wars prop and a sex toy, and if they came out tomorrow with a look-alike that had the same performance as my VAMO/Vivi Nova rig, I'm not sure I'd even want it.
I recently charged up one of my mall sticks and filled up a carto with some Virginia/Turkish, just to reminisce, but I didn't like it at all; it was actually too much like smoking a cigarette.
I just committed to a whole 3ml tank of TVR's Pumpkin Spice; it's that good. That's the thing about carto tanks though; it's a commitment, so you better really like that flavor.
I have some TVR's new Cranberry flavor due this afternoon, if it's half as good as the Pumpkin Spice, I'll be happy, but what other "holiday" flavors could we get?
Turkey and Dressing? ok, maybe not...
How about Eggnog, or maybe mix clove and bacon for a little Christmas Ham? See, there is another thing about vaping that separates it from smoking. You'll vape things you'd NEVER smoke.
I just got my VaporRoom shipment in and I'm very VERY pleased.
I got 30 ml of Pumpkin Spice (50/50,24mg), 30 ml of Ginger's RY4 (100%VG, 30mg), and a sample of Keoke Coffee (50/50, 24mg)
I direct dripped all of them for an initial trial. All of them vape perfectly. At 100% VG, the RY4 makes REALLY THICK clouds, but does not get a decent TH under 5v. The flavor is excellent; it lives up to the legendary ambiguity of the name. I have no Idea what this taste like, but I like it. I like it a lot. It's on the reorder list.
The Keoke Coffee is on the re-order list as well. IMHO, this is the only coffee flavor I have tried that actually tastes like coffee.
I ordered the Pumpkin Spice on a lark, and it is by far my favorite of the three. Great TH, good VP... but the flavor is pure Thanksgiving.
To think that I almost did not try TVR stuff because a friend gave me some TVR Apple Pie (like smoking bread) that I didn't like. I've now tried six TVR flavors in various PG/VG ratios and all of them have been sublime.
HA HA, made you look.
Actually, I just got in a shipment from CCV with the can't-be-beat 15 cartomizer deal, a NICE aluminum DT, a syringe filling tool, and a 30 ml bottle of 30mg Menthol.
I dremeled some feed slots in one of the new cartos for my carto-tank and then stuck the syringe filling tool into the 30ml bottle, but while I was drawing juice out, the bottle's drip cap dislodged and I got about 15 ml of joy, right in the crotch. I've trained myself to remain calm at all costs when wielding a syringe filling tool, so I caped it, ran upstairs and disrobed as quickly as possible. Decisive action and knowledge of the effects of menthol on sensitive skin mitigated the effects to a mild tingling sensation, which, while I do not recommend it as a practice, I must admit I found somewhat pleasurable. I may have blown any savings from the 15 carto deal in off-label use of the e-juice, but no harm, no foul. Lot's of guys pay much more for less stimulating entertainment.
BTW, this is my first time with 30mg juice and I can already tell that I prefer it when working because I can keep writing longer without having to keep plugging the light-saber in my face every five seconds.
I want something strong so I'm getting a ProVari
I always liked strong tobacco products. Strong cigarettes were my favorite; I inhaled cigars and pipes when I smoked them, dipped Copenhagen, snorted powder snuff, chewed Big Red... I feel like the freaking Will Rogers of tobacco; I don't think I ever met a tobacco product I didn't like.
Then again, probably the only reason I used anything else besides cigarettes is because I HATED cigarettes. I hated my first one, my last one and every one that came in between. When I started, I remember thinking, there is NO WAY I can get hooked on this crap. It tastes like MONGOLIAN A55!
I've decided to get a ProVari because,l while it's expensive, I think it is cheap compared to the thousands of dollars I've wasted on NRT products like Gum, Patches, Pills, etc. I've tried it all, some things twice. One day, I heard a blurb about Nitrous Oxide helping to reduce cravings. Since that is the only mind-altering chemical I like more than alcohol, I decided to pick up a tank full. It was the least-effective cessation effort I ever made, but it was one of the most relaxing weeks of my life. I gave up the Nitrous because while it was fun, it was not helping me cut down much except for the time I spent with the mask strapped to my face, and it was seriously impacting my productivity. Maybe one of the reasons I'm getting a ProVari is that it bears a slight resemblance to the Nitrous tank.
Did I mention that I'm getting a ProVari?
I thought I'd try my hand at the blogging thing by just relating some of my weird thoughts and day-to-day experiences as realted to vapeing.
I had a vape related situation in the car yesterday.
Daughter#1: Do you smell popcorn?
Daughter#2: Yeah, with cheese.
Daugheer#3: ...and... what? ham?
The above transaction occured yesterday as the passenger side seatbelt activated the button on the Riva setup in my brest pocket. Just before I realized what was happening I thought, "yeah, I smell it too... I know that smell, it IS like ham and cheese popcorn...hey, wait... is that my chest burning? DOH!"
I had managed to let it go long enough to compleatly toast a full carto of Clove Black (ham?) as well as burning out the carto's element .
Separate names with a comma.