Smoking Saved My Life

Rockstar Juice

Rockstar Juice (Photo credit: The Master Shake Signal)

Lately, I’ve been traveling for work about twice per month.  The trips have generally been to my company headquarters, about 5 hours east of my house, though at the time this goes live, I will be ending another trip in the Chicago area.

Earlier this month, I was out there to conduct some training webinars and enjoy the company Christmas party.   After the party, my insomnia kicked in and I couldn’t sleep.  At 6AM, I decided to give it up for a lost cause and pack my stuff for the 5 hour drive home.

On no sleep.

The morning after a nasty ice storm.

I do not have a death wish.


I got packed, ready to go.  Then crawled back in bed with the nap timer on my phone set.   Thirty minutes later, I checked out of the hotel and got in my car.

I really don’t want to die, though this trip scared me a bit.   It’s a long 5 hours, 4.5 of those hours are on one road, driving across southern Wisconsin.   Tedious is one word that comes to mind.  Mind-numbing and lullaby-driving are two others.

Instead of getting on the highway, I drove to Wal-mart.  I stocked up on cigarettes and Rockstar.

Now, I quit smoking 6 years ago when we found out brat #3 was coming a bit faster than we expected.  It was purely a financial decision at that point, but breathing turned out to be a nice change, too.

Nicotine is a stimulant with immediate effects.  That means, if I start feeling drowsy, I can smoke a cigarette and I quit feeling drowsy while I chug energy drinks.

Good plan, Jason.

It worked.  I made it home, then fell on the couch and didn’t move for 4 hours.  Then I ate dinner and went to bed.

Unfortunately, even after quitting for 6 years, by the time I got home, it felt like I’d never quit.  So I get the joy of quitting again.

By the time you read this, the craving should be gone and I should just be getting ready to climb in my car for a long drive on not enough sleep.

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Time vs Money Redux

Saving money is a good thing

Saving time is a good thing.

Somewhere in between, there has to be a balance.  It’s possible to spend far too much time to save very little money.

For example, on September 30th, I left for the Financial Blogger’s Conference.  Thinking I’d be frugal and save a little money, I told my GPS to avoid the toll roads.  According to Google maps, the cheap route should have added 20 minutes to my trip.  Coming into Illinois from Wisconsin on the toll roads, it’s easy to spend that much time waiting to pay the toll, since I don’t own an Illinois magic toll-paying box.

Unfortunately, the little smart-a** suction-cupped to my windshield sent mebthrough every construction zone between Wisconsin  and Schaumberg, Illinois.

That sucks.

I went through a series of little towns with speed limits that randomly changed from block to block.   Road construction had half of the roads down to just one lane.  All told, I saved $3.40, judging by the tolls heading home, but the horrible detour cost me well over an hour and a half of time.

I saved $3.40, but lost 90 minutes.  That’s not a good return on investment.

Just a month ago, I was ripping into my mother-in-law for wasting half an hour to save 75 cents.  Then I have to go and demonstrate how horrible I am at making that save time vs money judgement.

I need to work on that.

What’s the most time you’ve spent to save a small amount of money?

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