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Posted by Pops Jul 28, 2018

As in..."Hold The Door!"  Cuz old Pops is busting through today.....that being the "Triple Digit Club"  Yowza!!!  Oh boy, what a milestone....Geez hasn't been a breeze, I can assure you of that.


Good morning EXers.  It has been awhile since I wrote anything on here.  I've been busy living life.  I did take a week off and visited my brother in Ohio.  That was a great time, and I will be returning there on Labor Day as well.  Just one more blog before I get out on the Hog, and celebrate by going out in the country and ordering up some good ole fashioned country grub..... and Pops will be busting down the door to the "Triple Digit Club"  today.  I hope there isn't anyone standing to close to it as it swings wide Hope all is well with all of you.  


I also decided to put a date on my real retirement date now.  My new retirement date is now April 22, 2021.  That is exactly 998 days from now.  I will then have served my government for a total of 18 years and six months.  (Shorter than alot, but longer than most...)  I am proud of what I could contribute during my career.  I'd like to think that you can feel comfort in knowing that there was at least one procurement official working to save you the taxpayer every possible cent that I could.  I have always spent your taxpayer dollars as if they were coming straight out of my bank account.  That seems to keep me motivated to negotiate down to the lowest acceptable price, resulting in saving the government thousands of dollars each year.  Remember, I pay alot of income taxes as well....


Well, we in Maryland have been pretty much drenched for the most part of the last two weeks.  However, today is a breathtaking day with gorgeous blue skies and no clouds or any rain in the forecast.  So, I am breaking out the sunblock, and new sunglasses, and am out for the better part of the smokefree weekend.  I hope you can get out and enjoy some of the weather where you are....


Thanks for all of your support in helping me get to this huge milestone.


xoxoxoxo....Pops 100 DOF!!!

Good afternoon EXers!  Whats UPPPPP?

My 88 days is what's up.  Yep, that's right...(and just in case you're too young to relate....).  Let me entertain you for a few minutes. about memory lane reminding me of just how old I really am....I read the credits on this albums title track was released in 1973!  Hard to believe.  It seems like yesterday I was playing this jam to some of the ladies that I was romancing in that era....45 years ago?!  You've got to be pulling my leg...How time flies....

But to the point, I am happy to have 88 days of freedom today!  Just a dozen, cuzin....& Pops will be knocking on that door to the triple digit club...TDC.  Woo Hoo!  Have a nice listen, and enjoy the rest of your day....

xoxoxo Pops

Billy Joel sings title track to Piano Man in 1973

Notice all of the smoking going on in the bars back then....This modern day piano man, "doesn't do that anymore."  But, nonetheless, it was a good stroll down memory lane....



Alive with 85!!

Posted by Pops Jul 13, 2018

Hey EXers!  Happy Friday to all of you...looks like Maryland is in for another spectacular weekend weatherwise...I am so looking forward to getting off work today so I can get started on my weekend immediately!  The deadlines and scheduling this week has been especially brutal, but I just kept plugging away smokeless.  (As in I just do not do that anymore...)  It is great to be alive with 85 days....Just 15 more to go until I get to walk through that field of wildflowers and honeysuckle....I can see the doors that open into that marvelous place we call home to the "triple digit club."


I hope you are all doing well, and have a great weekend.  Try to enjoy it while you can...These summers have a way of being very unpredictable.


Pops with 85 days of feedom!

Good morning Family.....

I spent a good amount of time with a very dear friend of mine last night that I feel totally comfortable talking with.  In the course of our conversation, I confided in them that I was really struggling still with this huge gorilla on my back.  They suggested that I should consider blogging about it, that the message might not help me so much, as it could possibly help others here on the site to relate & perhaps see some of the pitfalls of this hideous addiction....not sure that my writing skills are up to snuff....but, I will attempt to convey some real feelings that I have been experiencing as of what the hell, here goes nothing....(note, I will most likely be working on this for a couple of days, in that I really do not intend to be a ball & chain around anyone here in the EX community)

After my conversation with my friend last night, I sort of drifted to the story of the movie "Gorillas in the Midst" and found some interesting parallels to this perdicament that bonds us all together.  The tiring and sometimes very elusive journey to freedom from nicotine.

Imagine if you will....I have been in the jungle with this band of gorillas coexisting with them since I was less than ten years old.  In the beginning, I was a geat source of newness to them, and they in turn were doing wonders for me in discovering new ways to live and enjoy myself.  Times were great, and in their company I felt empowered to overcome any troublesome issue in my life.  (or so it seemed anyway) As time passed and I began to mature, I was becoming more and more aware of the dangers and risk I was exposing myself to by continuing to be faithful to this band of gorillas that I thought for so many years were irreplaceable in my life.  They on the other hand were continuing to live their lives as gorillas and simply could not relate to my skeptisism.  I mean after all, weren't they always there for me my entire life?  Well then, why the sudden change of heart?  How could I possibly walk away from them ater all we had been through?

Later in my life, after constant prodding from friends, family, loved ones and doctors begging me to get away from them and never eyes opened & I could no longer simply pass on the fact that they were in fact causing me great harm to my social and physical growth.  It was time that I would need to make a clean break from that ever so comfortable way of life from days long ago.....

So....with sincere consternation and pure resolve to separate myself from that dangerous element, I was able to stay away from that very same band that had such a strong hold on my thought process for years.  I was finally free from them.  In my particular case, for over 13 years....I felt wonderful, my health greatly improved, my entire demeanor had underwent a 180 degree turn for the better.  Then one evening, I was caught off guard, and I got downwind of that familiar smell that I had for so many years associated with relief and comfort.  Then without a seconds thought I climbed back into that jungle to romp and play with the band again....aghhh it was so familiar, and better than I could even remember....

So there I was, back in the grips of a fantasy world once again....and there I stayed for almost 20 years.  Twenty years of destroying my self esteem and returning to a frail state of being.  (A direct result of overindulging in their company)  Then came a time in my life, where I could no longer ignore the harm that was being done to me from associating with this "familiar source of enjoyment that had turned into a deadly presence" in my life.  At the behest of my doctor, and my sincere desire to live a long and happy life....I reached out to this support group and was overwhelmed at the sheer number of people that could relate and show empathy and compassion and support in dealing with this huge obstacle.  Through that support, I was able to stay away from that danger for over a year and a half, and began to think that I had finally arrived at what I had hoped would be my final dance with those gorillas.

I might mention here, that about 20 some odd years ago, I attended an Al-anon convention in Northern California.  The main speaker spoke of the perils of being in love with an alcoholic.  He likened it to someone entering a cage with a gorilla to dance with them.  He then added, that the problem with that type of thinking is that quite simply, "you're not done dancing...until the gorilla says you're done dancing."  In other words....STAY OUT OF THE CAGE!

So back to my journey.  One day (not a particularly strong day for me as it turned out....), I felt that familiar urge to get back in touch with that band of gorillas, only to find they had never given up on me...they were more than happy to see me again, and immediately I began to participate in their dangerous way of life..Soon after I was back in their clutches again, I remembered how much better I felt, and all of the love and support that I had received here.  One night, I made a desparate escape and returned to this site, vowing to never return to that way of living.  That was 79 days ago.  Strangely though, I find that the inner peace and belonging that I once used to feel here, has greatly diminished.  I so long for that feeling again.  However, I feel that is probably not going to happen.  (sort of like I've outlived my welcome if you will...)  As of late, I find my inner self still thinking about that familiar band of gorillas.  Yes, I realize that it is an illusion, and that they won't help me to acheive my goals in life and health....but yet, I still think about them much more than I care to.

Please don't come at me from the other side of the safety railing looking at me down in that pit with the gorillas yelling "what's wrong with you?  we told you not to go back there....are you an idiot?"  That is not going to help.  I apologize in advance if this level of honesty makes you uncomfortable.  Please continue on your personal path to be free of this insideous addiction, as I would not wish this mental state on my worst enemy.

Pops with 79 days of struggling with that gorilla....


By the way, in case you don't remember the movie, it was an autobiograhy, and she was eventually mauled to death by the very same band of gorillas that she had loved most of her life....


Alive on day 75!

Posted by Pops Jul 3, 2018

Good morning family!  Happy 4th, in case I don't blog tomorrow....yesterday was sooooo HOT! I went to the neighboring Mickie Ds & bought everyone in the office an "Oreo McFlurry."  It goes without saying, I was the most popular co worker they'd ever  You can say that I had them eating right out of my hand....We get released 2 hrs early today to help hold down some of the traffic congestion on the Interstates around here.  I am staying home this holiday.  I will go out to Ohio later in the month.  No way am I getting on those roads with that many lunatics driving @ the same time.  The local beach here (Ocean City, Md) has passed local ordinances now that fine out of county drivers using the back roads to bypass the congestion on US Highway 50.  That means everyone now has to wait inline & stop and go traffic for over 50 miles to get to the beach.  A beach that is going to be so overcrowded, I can't possibly imagine that as a good way to spend my time off.   What are your plans?  I'm thinking that tomorrow, I am going to be offering cyber rides to my friends on the Harley and take a few of you out to celebrate smobriety.  The only requirement being smokefree for the day, and a good loud yell of the number of days you are celebrating.....sound good to you?  Then watch for the blog.  I can't promise that I will be on it all day long.  But, I will be on it enough to have some fun....

Let's put our knees in the breeze!  Woo Hoo!!!!!


Maybe we can travel south?

See you around....

Pops with 75 Days of Freedom!