My Tobacco Addiction

I’m at home. Not typical for a mid-Tuesday. Reed is sick, his mother is at a conference and we’ve spent the morning watching movies in bed.  On “go days”, especially, I look forward to that first cup of coffee coupled with my first dose of tobacco.  I rarely slow down. Part of the problem, I suppose. So, today was a treat because it took me awhile to feel compelled to partake in my caffeine and nicotine ritual.

Always within arms reach. I’ve thought of using the twelve steps. But, I don’t want to admit I am powerless over this. Since that’s step one I may have a problem right out of the gate. Do you need to take them in order? Need to consult my recovery peeps.

Eventually, my body began to ache somewhat, and the beck and call of withdrawal would not be scuttled. I am grateful for these moments because there is a little slice of clarity about my addiction and the desire to find a way out.  Last night in anticipation of a sick day at home I contemplated it as an opportunity to practice harm reduction. In this regard I can claim a minute victory. The war is far from over.

Several months ago I was out of tobacco pouches. I rolled down to Sawyers Landing in avoidance of driving into town.  I find Grizzly pouches nearly unbearable, so I purchased Copenhagen Long Cut. Normally, I reserve this delicacy to camping trips with my brother in law and the occasional stop at the local print shop where the owner lets me have a pinch from his can. It’s a messy affair. But, it provides an extra rush. I think the diabolical scientists of the tobacco Empire have added a course like material that is abrasive to the mouths lining. This allows the nasty chemicals expedited sub lingual entry into the bloodstream.  I’ve never researched it. My current state of denial is such that I don’t want to know what I am doing to myself. Telling isn’t it? Pathetic.

What came first – the chicken or the egg? It’s been so long. I am just tired. Tired of the ball and chain. Tired of my dependency. Tired of not aligning with my values. Tired of being jerk because I’ve down regulated normal dopamine production.

Anyway, the last month or so I’ve been hooked on the long cut. It’s required an extra level of sneakiness at work where I am in violation of our personnel rules. I am not always successful at hiding my fat lip. Occasionally, words of shock are announced from my cohorts who are surprised that I would tank my otherwise perceived healthiness. I deserve reprimand.  Despite my cleverness in so many other areas of my life, on this one – I can say I need help. I’m not sure what that looks like now.

Most concerning has been the numbness in my lower lip. It is nasty and scary. I’ve entered a symbiotic relationship with this stimulant. I hate that it has got the best of me.  It’s been a slow burn. I’ve been down this road many times. This time, it feels more urgent, that I clean up my act. I don’t recall the first time I had a cigarette.  Somewhere, sometime, in the 80’s I started occasionally smoking cloves. Cigarettes were the nasty thing that adults did.  It was part of a “new wave” – cool kid thing.

The back porch where I keep the cigs in my Dad’s tool box. It reminds me of him. I did enjoy having a cigarette with my Dad. It was the only time we would really talk in the last five years. God forbid I repeat this one. The rubber gloves mitigate the second hand smoke thing. Even grosses me out. Not enough, apparently.

I hate the thought of getting cancer and dying before my time because of this addiction. Worse is setting an example to my son that I am weak of character and would choose such behavior over longevity with him, his mother and the people that I bring joy – that bring me joy. Fuck. And fuck, this shit. Pathetic. Pathetic. Pathetic. I know we are supposed to love ourselves. But, that is not working for me on this one. Maybe this post will help download the right intentions into my sub psyche.

Right now. Now. Into the can – the can goes. Wish me luck.

Ultralife Café – Hearty, Healthy and “Local”

Ultralife Cafe was created to offer hearty & healthy food & drink options for people like us – always on the go but still craving nutrition & quality.” I know and believe this statement to be pure. Prior to their investment and launch of Ultralife I would often see Matt and Stephanie at Crossfit Newport.  Matt was also a administrative pastor at SB, Pastor Luke is a trainer/athlete, Bo Douglas gets his Olympic lifting jam on, too: a social network of health, fitness, and nutrition.

I remember a party Matt hosted for Stephanie. It foreshadowed their skill set unknown to me at the time. The mixology, food stuff, and stylish ambiance was the tip of the iceberg, apparently. You don’t know what you don’t know about people and their drivers. Love, and love of creativity.

Unlike other businesses that emerge in our community my proximity to Stephanie and Matt has given me a few more details with which to observe the origins and genesis of Ultralife. The “nutrition and quality” component of their business model was one that was uncertain and enthusiastic. Would there be a large enough market for “clean eating” and further… vegan?  Coffee, on the other hand, appears turnkey.  According to Google, “Over 50% of Americans over 18 years of age drink coffee every day. This represents over 150 million daily drinkers. 30 million American adults drink specialty coffee beverages daily.”

I need my coffee. You undoubtedly NEED yours, too. However, If the quality between two businesses is comparable – sometimes it comes down to who has the shortest line at the drive through.  Ultralife has managed to nail the recipes for consistency and uniqueness @ultralifecafe. One of my favorite drink discoveries is their green tea matcha latte. I prefer mine with hemp milk. Oatly (another dairy alternative) is equally delicious.  I tried the Starbucks version, yesterday. Ultra has a big edge on this one, IMO.

Look at these beauties! During their Crossfit phase. They both share a zest for life and a recognition of Creation. Watching them establish and develop a local business has been super cool. Entrepreneurs unite!

The broader model of having SOMEWHERE to get quick, healthy food, is not that easy for the discerning.  Granting, that “healthy” might be a matter of opinion. How would Ultralife fare and compete? Check out the menu. Try these creations. Believe.  (I am looking forward to an audio interview with Matt and Stephanie so we can get down and dirty. What does it take? How is it going? More to come on this.) I wish I could offer more in regard to food cost and turn around time. I don’t have the data for a deeper case study. Nor have I remembered enough details to cite; Matt loves to talk about this stuff. So far, my taste buds have done the inspecting and they are remarkable good at contriving and making statements with food stuff.

What of this local thang? It’s a “more bang for the buck thang”.  Simply put, the likelihood that investing with local businesses, such as Ultralife, in turn multiplies these dollars back into our immediate economic waveform. “One perspective of the local multiplier effect focuses on the greater local economic return generated by money spent at locally-owned independent businesses compared to corporate chains or other absentee-owned businesses.” – Wikipedia.

Ultralife is grass roots evidence of the multiplier phenomena. I love seeing it in action. With every new tweak to their business offerings I get excited that it might be the next and best variation to further solidify their permanence. It reminds me of a time long ago when my own success was much more dependent on this proof of concept.  I was coming up. Hungry to evolve in local radio. I was also naïve with much to learn about marketing and advertising.  In the late 90’s we were still pre internet. The idea that we might “put lipstick on a pig” was often SOP (especially) at the advertising agency level. This philosophical construct to marketing still holds true – some of the time.  Glossy campaigns about lifestyles yet beholden motivate us to try and buy stuff. But, now more than ever, we want products and services that intrinsically authenticate our trajectory and desires. Innovation is a double-edged sword. “Minimalism” continues to trend. Seth Godin, says successful marketing, “Is about building trust, creating a connection, enabling an emotional bridge between your solution and the need that someone else has.”

This caught my eye as I was headed out the door last week. UL says this non-dairy creamer has been selling like bonkers. I used it this morning and it IS good. Cherity and I are stoked to have a travel friendly creamer. Thanks Ultralife!

When Ultralife dropped the Nye Beach location its was an opportunity to stretch their vision into an environment that would support a balance between their ideas and ours.  Matt and Stephanie value community and interaction. They are social creatures.  I love how there is complexity and simplicity to the hardware, the tables, the style and the environment.  It’s a place that feels good to chill and talk. But, I suspect Matt would tell me that’s not the primary thing keeping the lights on. I presume, since the car is not idling, we can slow down a little and wait for our food to be served while watching the waves crash.  We might take a little more time to find out just how much depth there is to the culinary side of Ultralife’s personality.

Ultralife’s decor and materials use is another fascination. The rustic implementation both practical and stylish. They take this savvy into their marketing, as well. The vibe is well done! Stephanie has always had an eye for design.

I encourage you to share your opinions and feedback with the delivery and construction of their goods. Not every business owner has the emotional resilience to process these inputs. Ultralife appears comfortable with symbiosis. Another aspect of their success, I believe, is their ability to move into this space and make the necessary adjustments while keeping their own vision vital.   “Marketers make change. We change people from one emotional state to another. We take people on a journey; we help them become the person they’ve dreamed of becoming, a little bit at a time.” – Seth Godin

Cheers to supporting local and the continued success of Ul…!  Ultralife Cafe.