So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

I know it has been pretty quiet on this blog for *checks posts* the last year (give or take a month) but, quite frankly, I’ve been too busy to post anything. This is despite a list of topics I had in mind to cover.

Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to devote much, if any, time to posting on here for the foreseeable future. Due to this lack of time to do anything on here, or conduct my own research into the topics I wanted to cover I began questioning whether or not to continue posting at all.

I look back at the few years of posts and I can clearly see how my journey evolved from being utterly pro-vaping-only – as misguided as that was – to discovering the true tobacco harm reduction argument along with all the lies and utter bollocks from ‘tobacco control’. Along the way I did pick up a number of loyal readers and made a number of friends. Even managed to encourage a few to become more active and vocal.

The vaping community, such as it was when I became a part of it back in 2014 was a vibrant place and I’m glad to have been a, relatively small, part of it. Fast forward a mere six years and it is completely different. Whether it is due to the divisive politics of the day or something else entirely, it is now a completely different place. Few of the folk that were there when I started are now gone – for various reasons.

So now, I am faced with a choice. Keep this blog open in the hopes that, at some point in the future, I can find both the time and the motivation to post something which people will read and either disagree with or spread far and wide. I have to say that, over the years seeing my scribblings being read in far flung places and being discussed in a variety of places was, indeed, satisfying. But, I never wanted the attention. I simply posted my thoughts and, in some cases, layman analysis of some particular dubious “science”.

I often found that diving into the more contentious topics – such as heat-not-burn as the prime example – led to more and more division. That’s totally fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. I may make fun of you for holding a contrary opinion, but I don’t go out of my way to be downright unpleasant.

So, back to my choice. For much of the same reasoning that I left the New Nicotine Alliance – piss-poor life/work balance (i.e. I didn’t have a life) – these pages won’t be updated after today.

I’m not done with the tobacco harm reduction debate, I just won’t be visible.

It’s been fun.

Martin Scriblerus

There’s been a number of changes around these pages recently. Some of them long overdue (I can never find the time to really sit down and tidy up around here), and some of them were… well just because I felt like it.

Recently, my good friend and expert blogger Dick Puddlecote considered these pages worthy enough to be nominated for Martin Scriblerus – a group of truly excellent bloggers that all share a similar vein of written excellence.

Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me. Well not quite. Ya see, when I received the message from DP that he’d nominated me for inclusion in this, I immediately scarpered off to have a look at the other names on said list. Some you’ll recognise (DP being one obviously), and some my readers probably won’t. But I had a read, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single word. So I accepted DP’s nomination, and subsequently I ended up being invited to join the merry band of Martin Scriblerus – which I was delighted to accept.

the character of Martinus Scriblerus was originally conceived as a focus for the club’s satire against current trends in culture and scholarship

Well quite. What it means in reality (as mentioned here) is really rather simple:

  1. The blog is alive and kicking, or at least gives the impression that it is
  2. It’s varied, not just a single issue rants page (which funnily enough is exactly how this blog started)
  3. Political leanings don’t matter, only the quality does
  4. It’s been around a while (think it is safe to say my blog is the youngest of this group)
  5. The blogger can string more than two words together in a roughly articulate manner

Well, as to points 1 & 2, I do post fairly frequently; albeit far less frequently than I used to – it’s that time thing again, never seem to have enough of it, I keep asking for Centauri Time – 36 hour days – but so far my requests go unheeded.

I definitely stay away from politics as much as I can, though I dare say some of my keen-eyed readers will notice some of my leanings.

Just for kicks, I checked the date of my first ever post – 19/10/2014 (don’t look, it’s a terrible post) – and to think that almost two years on I’m still here. That is thanks to you lot, my loyal readers.

As for point 5, has anyone actually read my stuff?

I started this blog all that time ago as place to vent my spleen about the TPD – given that at the time I was a new switcher into the world of vaping and thoroughly disillusioned with what was coming. Now, it’s far more than that. People actually listen to what I say on here – fancy that!

Frank Davis sums up what this means quite nicely:

I think that to the extent they’re real people, who are saying what they think (rather than what they think they ought to think), such bloggers are more influential than paid columnists in newspapers – a bit like the comments under a blog are also frequently more real and informative than the blog itself.

Not much else will change around here, I’ll keep banging on about freedom of choice, smoking/vaping bans, utterly shit science, maybe I’ll stray into other areas – who knows?

It’s been a fun ride so far, I envisage more shenanigans on the horizon.

Thanks Puddlecote, what have you gotten me into now?

Showing support for #WorldLungCancerDay

It isn’t often that I post about things that are completely unrelated to vaping, but sometimes things happen that social media just doesn’t give enough space for me to comment with the entirety of my thoughts, hence the blog.

Today, 1st August 2015 is #WorldLungCancerDay and the subject of lung cancer, and cancer in general is one I hold near and dear to my heart simply because I lost both of my parents to forms of cancer. I donate on a regular basis to charities that are active in bringing the varying forms of cancer to the attention of the masses. The work these charities and organisations do is incredibly valuable in raising awareness and much-needed funding for the ongoing research into the varying forms of cancer, both for treatment and detection for the sufferer and for the families.

As we know, smoking is one of the leading causes of lung, throat and mouth cancers. One of the leading causes, not the cause. There are of course many factors that can lead to the development of the various cancers so it comes as absolutely no surprise that some organisations took the opportunity to push their own agenda.

Of course, I thoroughly despise any organisation or individual that makes use of a particular social media campaign to push their own agenda so imagine my delight when Faces of Lung Cancer replied to the CDC.

Effectively telling them to back off, but the CDC weren’t the only ones told to go away or at least not to push their own agenda.

FacesOfLungCancer2

 

In no uncertain terms, Faces of Lung Cancer didn’t want any association with smoking, which is absolutely correct. I even responded to the Blackwell tweet thanking Faces of Lung Cancer for insisting it.

I even tweeted out my own memories.

It isn’t something I do often, nor do I undertake it lightly as it is deeply personal, but I wanted to express my support to raise awareness, help end the stigma associated with lung cancer, and maybe even help raise some funding for a much needed cause. It wasn’t to be.

FacesOfLungCancer

For reasons, at the time that were unknown to me I ended up being blocked by the Faces of Lung Cancer twitter account. Needless to say I was thoroughly shocked by this, and truly upset. After all I had shown nothing but support, shared my personal storyIt upset me to the point that I tweeted:

The support from my close friends on Twitter was amazing and unusually for me, I’m finding it difficult to find the words to express how truly grateful and thankful I am.

The reason I, and many others got blocked?

So because one called them a “fuckwit” all vapers are now blocked. I don’t think that is entirely appropriate, have they blocked the CDC?

Oddly enough, the exchange between Lorien and Faces of Lung Cancer earned Lorien a block too, for asking why I’d been blocked.

Stay classy Faces of Lung Cancer, you’ve just lost the support of someone directly affected by the effects of losing someone through lung cancer.

Update: I woke up this morning (4th August 2015) to find that I had some replies from Faces Of Lung Cancer

Replies

Oddly enough, only one of them seems to exist, but thanks to Tweetdeck I’ve been able to catch both responses. To be honest, I know how easy it is to overreact to a particular situation, especially if it affects me personally. As I mention in the comments below this post, this blog was written in direct response to being blocked so you could say that I overreacted to the block. Maybe I did, fact is, my support of causes such as this won’t waver.

Thank you, Faces of Lung Cancer for the apology, we are after all on the same side, just approaching it from different angles.

Going smokefree? Gone smokefree

I posted this as a guest on the Vapers In Power blog yesterday:

Break out the party balloons, those crazy assed poppers where you find the streamer stuff and end caps for years afterwards. Let’s have some jelly and ice-cream, trifle, and maybe, just maybe we’ll have some beers or cider if you prefer.

It is time for a little celebration! Why am I in such a good mood? Well, grab a drink and I’ll tell you. Might want to turn the music down a bit first. (more…)