transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

I recently had a friend ask me about electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes (known to their users as personal vaporizers). Actually, lots of people ask me about them. I switched from traditional (“analog”) cigarettes back in August, and basically haven’t smoked since.

Mainly people want to know if they’re cheaper. There’s really no question about whether they’re healthier. They’re not healthy, it’s just that they’re far, far less dangerous. Basically, a traditional cigarette contains thousands of chemicals, a couple dozen or so of which are known carcinogens. The fluid you vaporize in an e-cigarette generally contains just a few ingredients: nicotine (in varying strengths or it may even be absent), food flavoring, and either propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin.

They’re extremely cheaper than regular cigarettes – however, there is an initial buy-in, and you do have to continually purchase replacement parts. I’d say that since August, i’ve spent maybe $200 – $250 in total on supplies. That includes extra parts (batteries, atomizers), fluid (what you “vape”), and accessories (some which i highly recommend having due to the extra convenience, some which are completely unnecessary but make vaping more enjoyable).

On the other hand, i was smoking 1-2 packs a day. One carton of crappy cigarettes in KY costs around $35 right now. That’s well over $100 a month right there, and that’s on the extremely LOW end – in practice, i was actually spending more like $160 a month; in Ohio that would have been over $200 every month! Compare that to the $200 or so i’ve spent on all kinds of crazy vaporizin’ crap in the past FIVE months!

HOWEVER, most people only think they spend $4.50 on cigarettes over the course of their entire lives, because that’s what a single pack costs them right now. Try to convince someone just how much they ACTUALLY spend and they just won’t believe you. But tell them they could spend all that money on something COOL (that still exists after one use), and they might pay a little attention. So, the price to start vaping scares the crap out of most smokers, unless they actually take the time to think about it and compare it to what they actually really spend on cigarettes.

The three etailers i’ve used so far are:

I did lots and lots of research and wound up having extremely positive experiences with each one, especially Cignot, who are extraordinarily fast and helpful.

A great starter kit would cost around $35 (that’s for an “unboxed” Joye 510 model from Cignot), and that includes 2 batteries, 2 atomizers, and 5 cartridges, plus a wall charger for the batteries.

Extra batteries for the 510 model are ~$10. Batteries last a couple of hours, so eventually i splurged on a couple of batteries for the Joye eGo model (aka the Riva), which fits onto the 510 atomizer. They cost around $20 each. I just got it today and i can’t seem to make the damn thing die. It’s been well over 12 hours now. Batteries are said to last through around 300 charges or so.

Extra atomizers cost about ~$10. It’s always good to have a few on hand, as this is what makes the whole thing work. Atomizers should last around a month or more if you know how to take care of them. Many people complain that this is a big weak point and they often last just a few weeks before needing replaced. I’ve got a couple that i’ve had since August. It’s kind of a hassle to care for them, but i’m a cheapskate and don’t want to pay more than i have to!

Cartridges don’t really need replacing that often, but you can generally get a 5-pack for around $5 or so. Cartridges contain the fluid, and they need to be constantly refilled, but it’s not much more bother than taking out a cigarette and lighting it, and they should generally last a bit longer than a few cigarettes’ worth of time.

Fluid: this can vary pretty greatly. Expect to pay around $10 for a 10ml bottle, up to around $20 for a 30ml bottle. You can get different strengths of nicotine, and just about any flavor you can imagine (and i’ve seen some really, really weird ones). For me personally, i get ~18-24mg strength nicotine, and a 30ml bottle lasts me maybe a month or so.

As for accessories, i can’t recommend having a Personal Charging Case enough. These suckers will let you leave the house and still be able to charge your spent batteries while you’re on the go. One case can fully charge a battery about 3 times or so. That second battery comes in handy, but i recommend having at least three, unless you go with a big battery like the eGo. Then there are USB chargers, car adapters, and USB “passthroughs” (allowing you to hook up your vaporizer to a USB port and save your battery power). Then there are all the really crazy things like weird parts and add-ons and mod kits and stuff. Anything you can think of, somebody sells one, or the parts to make it yourself.

HOT TIP: never, ever buy from a kiosk at the mall, or in a convenience store. Those things they sell are HORRIBLE. And never get a “disposable” anything, ever. You pretty much have to buy this stuff online for now. Which is a great reason to stock up, because anything you run out of, you have to wait to have shipped!

For lots more information, see

Hope this helps!

the chasms

Nov. 6th, 2008 04:54 am
transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

omfg where do i start?

today sucked.

preface: we are so poor. that is all about that. we are poor, and it sucks balls. Holly works so hard, and for what? what the hell do i do to make the world any better? not a god damned thing. especially not her world.

on to the viewing…

my old friend is dead. younger than me, dead and gone. i remember yesterday when we were all young and crazy with life and the ecstasy of the world being at our fingertips.

i got there, alone. i killed time rolling a smoke and killing it. i rolled a couple more and walked up. almost immediately some cat comes up for a light. he’s a friend of Jason’s. there is some small talk, then he reveals that there are internal social problems & factioning, a division going on. he calls it childish; “bizarre,” i reply.

after chatting with another of his more recent friends, i mustered up just barely enough guts to go inside. what awaited was hell.

so i go inside and i don’t see anyone i know. except for Susan and Mike, who passed by on their way in. i couldn’t tell if they were ignoring me or if they didn’t recognize me. that was sort of a theme of the evening. they have every reason to ignore me. when i was younger and stupider, i did stupid things and said foolish things to Susan, who i loved then, about Mike, who was actually a terrific guy, really. so there’s that.

i’m in line for about a half an hour, behind a small group of people who obviously bothered to keep up with him in his last years. suddenly i realize that the older gentleman standing idly by is Jason’s dad.

omg. it’s his dad, i thought. omg. is it better that he does or doesn’t recognize me?

see, we used to be really crazy teenagers. really crazy, just completely off the chain and full of joy and insanity. we used to bounce off the walls with energy. we also used to do some questionable stuff. nothing terrible, just not real virtuous behavior. all in good fun, we figured at the time. and it was.

but we got suspended from school once, toward the very ass-end of my senior year, which would have been Jason’s sophomore year, for showing up drunk at a school dance, with liquor and beer in my car to boot. crap. i got him in trouble. i hope they don’t remember that.

he looks at me and we chat, and he doesn’t seem to really remember me well. that’s kind of a big relief.

then the question i was dreading.

no, i said, even though i only live a half hour away, i didn’t really bother to go and see him, as he’s dying, because i just didn’t. because i don’t fucking know, right? i didn’t say it like that, but i certainly meant it like that.

i tried several times to gather a posse together. too many years had passed. i needed a buffer to fill up the empty space of time that had grown like kudzu between us. he and i talked on the phone a few years ago, and the net result of the conversation was, i felt at the time, that he was grown up and doing his thing, and though we were greatly cordial, there was a fairly vast chasm that had come up there in the middle. we weren’t those kids anymore. he didn’t need me in his life. we of course said “we should get together sometime,” and “give me a call anytime,” and neither of us really meant it. though i would have secretly loved to. but you know how it goes. it’s happened to everyone. two old friends, grown apart after too much time.

i loved him, though, and i never stopped loving him. it had just become awkward. that’s why i wanted help, someone to go with me to see him.

so i answered that question. no, i didn’t go to see your dying son in his last couple of years in life. fuck! i wanted to. desperately. i was too scared of that god damned void that had opened up its gaping maw between us to suck our friendship in. i pussied out.

finally, i see him up close.

no mortician on earth really ever makes a dead body look natural. not to me anyway. it’s always a horrific shock to see something that resembles someone you used to know very well lying before you like some kind of expired doppelganger. it was just too unreal. i knew it was him, he just didn’t look… real. that always happens.

the shock, the numbness of it all was overwhelming.

i go outside, roll a couple more smokes, pretend like i’m talking on my phone. anything to keep the questions at bay. thankfully, Travis shows up with his mom. i keep quiet and let them do all the talking. conversations get better that way.

Fred texts me that he can’t show up because he supposedly doesn’t have enough gas. me and Jason were pretty tight back in the day, but Fred and Jason were like peanut butter and jelly. completely inseperable. i am disappointed.

Kevin Holsinger shows up in a little while. the other day i practically cried at the thought of seeing that kooky lil’ kid again. we were never all that close, but i always liked him. you couldn’t not. and we always had terrific laughs together. he doesn’t seem to know who i am, and since it doesn’t really matter anyway, i let the matter be as it is.

later on, Travis and his mom and Kevin and his whole family go out to eat. i didn’t go, it was just too awkward for me. i had a bad day. plus, i needed to pick Holly up from a business meeting. it turned out she got a ride, a fact i knew at right about the same instant as everyone was driving away. not that it would have made a difference.

there was not one single moment of the day that i had any business being a part of. but i owe like hell.

it’s hard when it really sinks in how much you never really mattered in the end, when someone you loved so much and had so much fun with is dead and gone so many years after you last saw them.

transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

My old friend Jason Stafford died Sunday morning from ALS or complications thereof at ~7:45am.

The obituary will run tomorrow in at least one local paper (thanks Tillie and Travis and Kevin and Dani). You can find the obits for the Dayton Daily Nothing and the Springfield News Sucks at the following addresses:

Viewing Wednesday 6-8pm
Funeral 11am Thursday
Gilbert-Fellers in Brookville

Will be seeing you there, in blackest black.

I wrote an essay about my friend here:

Not no news

Nov. 3rd, 2008 12:48 am
transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

  • Just got back from the Emergeny Veterinary Clinic in Moraine. I had hit Speck full-force in the eye with his latest favorite toy, a Kong tennis-ball dumbbell. He likes daddy to throw it and bounce it off the wall at the top of the stairs so it goes bouncing all the way downstairs. So i threw it hard, but he’d gotten a head start and i popped him right in the eye. No permanent damage, just blunt trauma to the eye - mainly just discomfort. He seems fine now, but we’re out $164 - which digs into our rent, unfortunately. I feel like such an asshole right now.
  • I’ve just started playing Anarchy Online. It’s pretty cool, and you can play the non-expanded version for free. I’m a froobie.
  • I’ve STILL got that damn cough. It’s just not going away. It’s a little better now, though. And when i take my antibiotics, which i’ve been on for a couple of weeks now, i get nauseated and sleepy. I hate this.
  • And i’ve been depressed as hell lately about my life. I’m trying so hard, but i’m going nowhere. I’ve applied at so many places in the last few months that it’s not even funny. I rarely ever seem to get any response. I’ve had a single interview in the last couple of months. It went well, but it looks as if that employer is going to be extending an offer to an earlier candidate.
  • My voter registration has FINALLY been processed. I’m all set to help Obama get elected to the Presidency of the United States.

And, if you haven’t seen it already, check out the Sarah Palin prank call:

transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

This is the only decent picture of me as Satan.

Satan (R- Hell)

Satan (R- Hell)

And here’s Holly as a sexy-ass she-devil:



Hauntfest is like a micro-Mardis Gras in the hip, urban enclave of Dayton known as the Oregon District. Thousands of bodies, all drunken and becostumed, filling the street, cold swill in hand.

A surprising number of people actually got the joke. Only one didn’t - a McCain supporter, of course, who had to have her drunken Palin-obsessed girlfriend explain it to her.

I made a big deal out of shaking hands with a John McCain lookalike; judging by his nervous chuckle, he was actually a real live McCain supporter. Said i, “i’m a huge fan - let’s end the world together!”

Had photo taken twice by very nice Democrats, including one couple who had just voted earlier in the day.

(By the way, John[ny] Sidney McCain = 666 - not that that means anything.)

Best costume i saw, besides Lara Croft, awesome Batman, and Catwoman… i mean really creative and original… Linda Blair as Regan in the Exorcist, in bed and everything, with a guy in a priest outfit walking beside her. Wish i woulda thought to snap any pics!! *facepalm* Will try and remember to search the local sites for a photo.


Oct. 16th, 2008 02:39 am
transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Well, it finally happened. We have been robbed. Our nice Samsung flat-panel LCD television set is now sitting in the parlour of one who never deserved it. Along with the remote. I wanna murder a mothafucka. 

Somewhere out there is a scruffy hillbilly prick basking in the warm blue glow of my bad-ass Samsung. I can’t drive around to find them, because without the car here, they’ll just waltz right back in. I know it’s somewhere in this very neighborhood, but i daren’t take my eyes off of those items which they curiously left behind, for they will surely be back for them.

They took nothing else - which actually kind of sucks, because we just know their swift but short-sighted Possession Relocation Services are going to be rendered again. Everything was in plain sight! Guitars, keyboards and recording equipment, media devices, laptops, desktops, a camera, mp3 player, tons of DVDs and CDs and games - all right there. No more. I am putting them all away, since i apparently don’t deserve to have them any more.

Incidentally, this is the second time my life-space has been robbed. Several years ago I had all my CDs and my TV set taken from me. You work your life away - blood, sweat & tears and all that - and then some rotten, moronic asshat thinks they deserve it and you don’t so they just come in and take it. I partly blame this stupid gimme-gimme society we have so proudly built for ourselves.

We need: 

  • a fucking big man-eating dog with built-in violent aggression towards intruders, 
  • a shotgun (god damn i hate that i need a gun), 
  • someplace to stash our remaining valuables, 
  • moving-away cash - fast!, and 
  • a different, less crappy goddamned city. FUCK YOU, Dayton, Ohio.

I have a real bad feeling about my short-term future.

transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

  1. Our mice have become entirely intolerable. Sometime during the night last night, one (or more) of them have somehow managed to Indiana Jones its way onto the kitchen counter, and ate a big chunk of our bread. Seriously, wtf? This, likely, because we are now even hiding our dog’s food lately, which i’m sure is not a popular decision with our dear little Speck. I have renewed my war with the rodents with vigor and prejudice. Our landlord must rectify this. Conditions are approaching unlivable. Failure: landlord.
  2. Oops, somehow missed a credit card bill. I’m not perfect, but i don’t know how i forgot that one. Failure: mine.
  3. Vectren, our fuel provider, informed us that our incredible $700+ bill was, in fact, incorrect. Due to - ahem - underestimations, it should actually have been more than twice that. Yes - read that again. We owe $1500+ for gas used over the past year, because of underestimations. I should have been suspicious that our water was, in fact, hotter than the surface temperature on Venus, and yet our bill was never unbelievably high. In fact, they had sent out notices a few times over the past several months, requesting an inside read off of the meter, but i, being an online bill-payer, assumed they were paper bills and simply ignored them. Thankfully, we have a year to pay it off in full. Failure: mine, with a little help from Vectren (hey, they had my voice number & e-mail).
  4. Holly’s friend from work called us “idiots.” Holly, apparently for putting up with me; and me for not going out and getting a gas station job months ago (believe me, i’ve been searching, but maybe i set my sites a little too high for this crummy town). Failure: my own. Though her friend’s callousness was a little over-the-top.
  5. Holly’s student loans have come due six months earlier than expected. Failure: apparently the lender, as she was quite clear that they would be due six months after graduation. It’s of course possible there was some nefarious fine print hidden away somewhere in obscure legalese.
  6. Holly is so very exhausted and just completely strung out from all these awful stresses, which of course now also include her newly-diagnosed diabetic neuropathy (her latest round of medical testing is costing around $1200). Failure: again, mine.

Final tally? Don’t even tell me, i already know.

So you can see how i might be feeling a little crappy about myself, and about life in general lately. Things have hit critical mass, so to speak.

Oh, i didn’t mention a few ongoing issues, like the killer mold that is growing in our bedroom, from water leaking in through the windowsill. Those things weren’t specific to today.

On the positive side, i did have [what i think was] a good phone interview for a corporation i’d actually love to work for. I’m really hoping for the best, but you never know in this town. Just in case, though, i’ve also applied for a couple of menial positions. We shall see how things unfold soon enough.

transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Dear Holly,

You are ah-THE bomb.

Happy birthday, dear sweet Miss Thang. Hope you enjoyed your Freedom Toast.

Love & kisses,


transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

When i am dead, i wish to be burned to a crisp, and have my dirty ashes scattered by close friends wherever they please.

It is my wish that whatever organs are desperately, vitally needed by someone else in their direst hour be given to them, free of charge, with the condition that such license to use and/or modify shall be taken up by them also, and that no derivative works shall result in profit. After all, i am an open source, Creative Commons person.

My stuff shall be dispersed however my few close friends see fit, with the understanding that of course my dear love Holly should have pretty well everything to start with, shared mainly with anything my dad & uncle  might want (so you better ask them all real nice if you want my Cure CDs). However, Tony D. is not to have anything until he sobers the hell up. There’s no point in giving anything to a man who’s only going to exchange it for crappy booze or some other escapist bullshit. On the other hand, his wonderful daughter Abby is welcome to just about anything she chooses.

I want my unfinished work to be wrapped up somehow. I don’t care how, so long as i become extremely famous and fabulously wealthy after death. Just don’t screw it up like you do everything else. This is Important Shit.

A grave marker will be permitted if anyone wants to bury my ashes, as long as the epitaph is funny as hell. My suggestions:

  • “I probably shouldn’t have done that.”
  • “Whew! Good thing that’s over.”
  • “Oops!”
  • “Not here, and not there either.”
  • “Thankfully gone, decidedly forgotten.”

If you have something better, go for it.

No serious religion shall stake a claim on any part of my death, including but not limited to any services performed to mark my exit. No rites or stupid ceremonies are to be performed, with the lone exception being that my homies will be permitted to spill some on the curb for me. No spiritual messages are to be given, and no priest of any faith shall officiate. It is to be wholly remembered that i was a devout agnostic, who leaned heavily toward atheism. Anyone caught claiming that i somehow had a soul that lived on after death shall be haunted by my fictitious ghost forever, or until they come to the conclusion that i am not haunting them at all, whichever comes first. I lived through enough horse shit; i don’t need to deal with more of it once i am dead and gone forever. My passing should be viewed as permanent. There is to be no prayer of any kind, except in jest. Silent meditation is permitted, but please: no god shit, and no afterlife crap.

Two religions which are permitted practices and/or short rites are the Church of the SubGenius and the P.O.E.E. (disciples of Eris, goddess of confusion - i think), and they should mock the whole goddamn thing, if they even bother to show up. I also do not mind Buddhism all that much.

No flowers, please. Take your money and donate it to a non-religious charity that does work with AIDS patients or research, breast cancer (again, patients or research), homelessness, runaways, asthma, the environment, civil and/or human rights, putting an end to consumerism, humanitarian efforts, nuclear disarmament, or anything related to promoting atheism or agnosticism or the like.

On the other hand, any services performed to mark my escape from this terrible veil of lies should have a darkly humorous bent, and anyone eulogizing me must include at least one tasteless joke at my expense, or (more preferably) the expense of others. Weirdness should be encouraged at any cost. Attempts should be made at gallows humor. Thou shalt have joy, and laughter, damn it. Death is nothing serious. Be wholly glad i am gone!

transmothra: (aaiiighhh!!)
Sunday night
Murray the landlord: "I'll have a guy come out tomorrow to fix it."
Tuesday afternoon
Old guy, about 85 years old stumbles into the house, walks past the front room, looks up at door jamb (??!).
Holly: "No, it's over there, on the ceiling. In there. In there. No, up! Up! On the ceiling... see it? See it? In the other room. Look where I'm pointing."
Old guy spots the giant hole in ceiling, says, somewhat exasperatedly, "Well, that's probably going to cost around $200. I'll have to get with Murray, see what he wants to do."
Exit old guy.
Wednesday evening:
Ceiling. Three full days later.

pc issues

Jan. 26th, 2007 06:18 am
transmothra: (Default)
So i just did a fresh, clean install of XP (MCE) and my pc still won't boot half the time. It powers up, but doesn't boot. It usually takes 2-4 tries. It won't restart, either, it just hangs, every time, after XP is down and it's still powered on. The screen is janky and just about anything makes it go all crazy, even after i uninstalled and reinstalled the driver.

I thought for a bit about building my own PC, scavenging what i can from this one, but too much is integrated into my mobo and i really don't know what, exactly, i can scavenge, since i don't know which bits are fried. Also, i can find a good mobo for cheap, but i have found that i have pretty demanding specs - when you're thinking about committing to a project like that, you really think long and hard about future-proofing as much as you can afford to. If i'm going to build my own rig, i want it to be capable of swapping out for bigger, better, badder parts and whatnot.

So i'm going to wait a little while and use this thing as much as it will allow me to, and then take it into the shop and plunk down as much as they want to just fix it.

I've found that, having bitten off far more than i could ever conceivably hope to chew in the course of a lifetime on several occasions, i honestly don't miss working on my computer all that much. I don't miss the internets very much. It's kind of nice to have nothing to do. Although, i do have a brand new batch of terrible/mediocre/pretty decent CDs to review, so that's got to get done. Other than that, though... I think it will be a nice change of pace to be dormant in cyberspace for a little while longer.

Still... if anyone has any tips or insights they'd like to impart, please do feel free....
transmothra: (cartoon prayer)
Got my rejection e-mail from the creative staffing agency.

I turn 35 in just a couple more months. Thirty. Five. Three-and-a-half decades - of agony, of wanting to be something i will never be.

Do you know that i actually take orders from prissy little rich-girls for a living? 18-year-old "I'm special" daddy's-little-princesses who believe truly that they are better than me? Who probably are better than me? Most of whom will probably go on to enjoy more success for every single year of their thoughtless lives than i will for the duration of my own?

I'm a miserable failure.
transmothra: (Fuck Authority)
my grandpa is always asleep when i call over there. i haven't even been over in a couple of weeks now. it's just too goddamned depressing; i can't bear it at all.

oddly, i'm not drinking it away. just sleeping.

cha-ch-ch-ch-changesFUCK OFF.


Mar. 22nd, 2006 05:43 am
transmothra: (happiness is a warm puppy)
tomorrow, i'll be making an appearance at the Bigger Rd Veterinary Clinic, and then it's off to see V for Vendetta! wheeeeee!!!

installed a ton of new plugins for my Wordpress. still have to get Gravatars, Ultimate Tag Warrior, and In-Series installed. those 'uns are too heavy to lift at the moment.

Jackie Corley's manuscript for At the Slaughter is fantastic so far. everything that made the earlier drafts i've read so damn good, and more. when you see it in the bookstores, PICK IT UP. it's so heavy, and yet such a fun read. a wonderfully tragic story about a wonderfully tragic character. i'm only a little ways through, though. must read more tomorrow, and also figure out how to get networking fixed so i can print it out and read it at work.
transmothra: (eyes on you)
i work for a major lingerie retailer that you've heard of. i work in Internet Services. i take phone calls, and e-mails, and very occasionally answer the TDD phone. (i have nothing to do with their actual website.)

today, i received the following e-mail:

please remove my daughter N***** from your catalog mailing list. she passed away last July.

her address is:

*** *. ******* **.
**** ******, ** *****

i located the account. we are supposed to note the account with the request. because there is no account-level notation function in our green-on-black mainframe system, we just have to hope there's an order and note the most recent one.

she had three orders. the final one was dated to something like July 8th, 2005. it was a backordered 2-piece lime green swimsuit. i did not look at the size - not for any particular reason, it just didn't occur to me. she would likely not have received it until sometime up to the 22nd. or rather, it would not have arrived until then.

i sat there, staring into the screen, past the green pixellated Lucida Console fonts that spelled out the question: did she get to wear it at least once? did she see it at all? did it even arrive before her death? i knew that the chances were pretty good that she had died before it had even gotten across state lines. something sank, deep inside of me; i was deeply moved by this event which was so small to me yet so gigantic to her family. a longing to touch her cheek, to see what she looked like, to tell her that it would all be okay somehow. i wanted to console her, to forgive her post facto grief. i felt such sadness for that dead ex-customer then.

life is pretty fucking precious when you realize how thin of a string our mere existence swings by; how lucky we all are to be here and be aware in the first place. and how easily and how permanently it can be shattered for all of eternity.

my "human-level response" was excellent on that one. i thanked the mother for her e-mail (as always), told her that it saddened us to hear of it, and asked her to please accept our sincere and humble condolences for her tragic loss. something along those lines.

i'd never meant anything like that in a business e-mail before.

March 2011

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