I Smoked Cigarettes For 55 Years

I began smoking when I was Thirteen-years-old and I finally kicked the habit 55 years later and I have never looked back.

(Image is from PIXABAY and is in the Public Domain.)

My smoking habit began when I started stealing a cigarette now and then from my Dad’s stash. He smoked like a chimney … always filterless … cigarette after cigarettes — a “Chain” smoker … which is what I became myself after awhile.

I smoked all through the Military because in those days the clarion call was “Smoke ’em if you got ’em” and I heard that command every hour on the hour during all my basic training. Smoking was the “In” thing to do back then … the “Cultured” thing …. “The classy thing.”

Smoking was permitted in restaurants, in airplanes, on trains and buses — in stores — everywhere it seemed.

I even remember smoking in theaters as movies played on the screen.

Smokers like myself who were addicted to tobacco defended our smoking habits as a “Right” that nobody could ever take away from us or that anybody had a right to take away from us or that nobody dared try to take away from us.

That was before the “Polly Purehearts” came along with all their “Family and Moral Values” bullshit of the rising Neocon era.

But the time came when my smoking began to bother me.

I developed the classic smoker’s cough and I began to have a hard time sleeping at night because it seemed harder to breathe easy and be comfortable in the bed.

Finally I couldn’t even walk a few blocks without a coughing fit and there were stains on my fingers and burn places on my lips and I knew the time had come to do something.

Luckily my X-rays showed no damage to my lungs … or at least none that my doctor could consider as relevant. I got lucky. I quite before the habit killed me.

How did I quit?

I went to the Veterans’ Administration medical facility and enrolled in their “Smoking Cessation” program and got some nicotine patches and the help and support of a dedicated nurse and a cadre of fellow ex-smokers …. It was all kind of like a 12-step program that alcoholics experience when they are trying to stop their drinking.

It took me Eight long weeks of agonized nervousness and fidgeting and sleepless nights but finally the patches and the support system worked and today I am as fit as a fiddle …. no more signs of my former addiction … the lip burns have healed … the stains on my fingers are gone … I do not smell like Hell anymore … I am so grateful to be alive because I can breathe easily again.

I did gain about 30 pounds of body weight after quitting but the doctor told me I would do that and he said I would be better being a little overweight than I would had I kept on smoking.

I didn’t believe the doctor back then but I am a believer now.

Antonio Busca And The Beginnings Of Baroque Art

First of all let us view a representation of the artist, Antonio Brusca so we can get an idea of who it is that we are dealing with:

Then allow me to mention that this representation of the artist is in the public domain, a fact which may be seen to be true at —- ( HERE ).

Next we should know that this artist lived from 1625 to 1686 which means that when he died he was 61 years old.

He lived in Lombardy during the period known as “Baroque.”

The “Baroque” period in the development of art was the period when the style of the art took on an atmosphere of exaggerated motion and was painted in a very clear manner so that all the details of a canvas were easily interpreted by the observer and the whole thing was generally crammed full of drama, tension and grandeur.

This “Baroque” style of art began in Rome and finally spread to Europe.

A lot of the religious themes you see in old cathedrals — in Europe and elsewhere — are done in the “Baroque” style and the Catholics were some of the first enthusiasts to utilize the style extensively in their buildings of worship.

There is no doubt in the mind of any observer that “Baroque” art was (is) extremely impressive and was undoubtedly intended to be that way … to be a way of impressing the observer with something on a grand scale … which is exactly what it did … and what it still does today in the examples that survive the ravages of time.

This kind of art was very useful to the early Church because it illustrated very clearly — even to the people who had the least formal education (Commoners) the various doctrinal themes of the Churches and so folks who could barely read or who could not read at all were still able to experience the vibrancy of the doctrines of their faith outside the sermonizing of their priests and elders and other leaders of The Faith.

Imagine what they could have done with television back in those times!

Here is an example of a more modern “Baroque” rendition (Rendering) by a much later artist named Caravaggio whom modern-day students of Art are very familiar with if they have studied into the classicism of the genre at all.

If you have visited any of the great Art Centers of The United States or of Europe then you have no doubt seen some of the works of both Busca and Caravaggio.

For those of you who would like to explore “Baroque” art a little further, I hereby offer the following link which I think you will enjoy immensely — ( THE BAROQUE )

Twilight Of O’Reilly Era Seems A Certainty Now

The report is that Bill O’Reilly is now out at Fox News and that the big scramble is on to find a replacement for what I have always considered to be “The Colorful and Dynamic” opinionater.

I am hearing that this decision by Fox to let Mr. O’Reilly go is going to create a really big hole in the Fox lineup because O’Reilly has reportedly become not only a television icon in his decades of entertaining and informing the public but has also become something of a standard-bearer for a new and different form of entertainment …. an entertainment form based on political commentary …. if I am not mistaken.

It looks to me like there are a lot of changes in the wind for Fox News now because I have been hearing stirrings for a few months now that things may not always remain the same over there.

The only thing I can think about this right now is that wherever life is lived things and people come and things and people go and change is inevitable everywhere.

I first heard of Bill O’Reilly sometime during the administration of President George W. Bush … about the same time as I was discovering Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and a whole raft of other individuals with broadcasts whom I thought were all interesting, captivating, often fiery, sometimes controversial … but definitely a change from what I had grown up with when news and political commentary were as dry as bones in a desert.

Now I notice that it is getting harder and harder for me to find some of these old favorites and I am wondering if it all means a big landscape change in American Public Opinion or if it is just the luck of the draw as they say?

I guess I have to settle for the fact that I cannot get as old as I have gotten and not see some dramatic changes going on all around me along Life’s way.

My WordPress.Com Upgrade Is Set To Expire

If I do not renew my premium upgrade within the next 89 days, “The Ripening Wanderer” blog will disappear completely and never be seen again.

I am wondering if anybody really cares?

So here is the survey … the only survey I am going to take on this issue:

Do you want to see “The Ripening Wanderer” remain on the Internet or is it alright with you if it disappears completely in 89 days from now never to be seen again?

I think I already know the answer but I thought I would ask to see if anybody really cares.

Let me know so I can make a decision.

Respectfully yours,

John Liming

“Crap Or Get Off The Pot” Is What I Say

Arkansas Executions Blocked By SCOTUS:
Somehow The Arkansas Supreme court had halted the first of eight scheduled executions in its prison system and The United States Supreme didn’t take action to vacate the action of the lower court — ( according to all reports I read about it.).

My Take On The News:
For me it is all so simple! — If criminals go to court and are tried for their crimes and are given the death sentence as a result of that ( those ) court hearings then either execute the condemned criminals by predetermined traditional standards used within the state or let them off the hook and allow the taxpayers to continue paying the virtual fortune required for the care and upkeep of the condemned for as long as the condemned criminals live.

I do not see what is so complicated about it.

Either enforce the law and perform the court-ordered executions or change the laws and keep the condemned under lock and key at taxpayer expense.


It reportedly happened in Fresno, California —– Three innocent people are reported to have been murdered ( shot to death) (killed) when a man alleged to be a Muslim started shooting at people in the downtown area of Fresno.

I am wondering right now whoever had the idea that the shooter might have been Muslim and even if he was why are some of those reporting on this tragedy making a big deal about religion?

What the hell would religion or religious belief have to do with something as terrible as this shooting tragedy in Fresno?

Why do some people who report on terror acts tend to single out a particular ethnicity, religion or ideology when they are making their reports? Has bigotry actually gotten that big a foothold inside The United States these days …. or is there some remote possibility that where there is smoke there might be fire?

I think there is some reporting going on saying what the news always says — that this event was a random act … that there are no known connections between the shooter and any terrorist organization …. that this tragedy was the work of a lone wolf …. you know the drill by now I am sure …. and who is to say that “The Drill” is not the absolute truth?

Now I would like to start this post out by saying that I do not necessarily accept at face value the idea that this shooter was a Muslim because the politically correct experts — the experts who seem to have the mission of keeping people like me informed of what is true and what is not —- ┬áthat I have been listening to for the last couple of years are quick to inform me that Islam has absolutely nothing to do with any reported terror attacks and that a Muslim would never dream of doing such a terrible thing.

I have heard this often enough that I am inclined to believe it!

If enough people are saying it then it must be true! Don’t you agree?

So let us not jump the gun here and start casting accusations at people just because some things might appear to be circumstantial.

It may be just a coincidence that the suspect’s name is reported to be Kori Ali Muhammad and just because he was reported to have been shouting “Allahu Akbar” as he was taken down to the ground by police officers probably has nothing at all to do with the shooting spree and definitely probably has nothing at all to do with either Islam or Muslims, radicalized or otherwise.

That is my opinion and I guess I am entitled to my opinion.

I think we can be relatively safe in assuming that nobody is going to be talking about terrorism in The United States these days unless some idiots who know nothing about it start running their ignorant mouths about truly unrealistic scenarios of terrorists running around the streets of America spraying bullets at innocent bystanders or pulling out kitchen knives and lopping heads off.

This is what the political correctors are telling us anyway — They are assuring us that all our fears about Islamic terrorism becoming homegrown terrorism in The United States is nothing but the result of a press-driven campaign of hatred and lies and that nothing that happens on our streets is ever anywhere near connected to the reality of world-wide terror.

We are often told by the enablers, the sympathizers and the apologists that we are all being fed a pack of lies designed to make us afraid of our own shadows and that nothing like what happened in Fresno recently is anything to be concerned about or to cause anybody to cower in fear of an ideology and that the whole “Fear” thing is an invention of the Media and that the creation of this environment of fear is something that is being done so that certain people can hold a tighter grip over the minds of The American People.

So now that we have the assurances of the politically correct experts ┬áthat there is nothing for the average American to fear from Radical Islam or radicalized Muslims and that the whole nightmare is just a fabrication of a power-hungry Media I believe we can all relax and remember that we have a greater chance of dying from a mosquito bite or a lightning strike than from a terror attack — and we can stop being cautious …. suspicious …. fearful.

Even with all that assurance I am still tempted to ask myself, “I wonder if the three victims of the shooter in Fresno recently ever considered the fact that they had a greater chance of being killed by lightning than of being murdered by some person acting like a terrorist?”

I have to wonder why this “Lightning Strike” scenario the apologists always use never seems to hold water for actual victims?

Mine Eyes Probably Have Beheld The Glory Of Obamacare:
I was sitting in the office of a surgeon at a local hospital this afternoon waiting on my friend who had an appointment to be seen there ….. by the general surgeon.

While I was sitting in the relatively luxurious surroundings in this top-rated hospital I noticed a rather scruffy individual walking into the office, slouching around, disheveled and packing a back pack …. obviously someone to whom the cost of a bar of soap was either beyond comprehension or beyond reach.

As the walking scruff entered the office where I was sitting — fairly close to the receptionist — he grumbled, “There’s a lot of cheap cologne in this room … awful bad … awful bad.”

He was, of course, referring to me because I was the only other person in the office at the time beside the receptionist and I was wearing $135 per ounce cologne … which is the cologne I always wear … and to the best of my knowledge the receptionist wasn’t wearing any at all …. she could have been but that’s not the point.

The point is that this vagrant-looking slouch had the gall to say this kind of crap out loud and I almost instinctively knew I was observing an Obama Care dependent of some kind.

No cultured person or educated person acts in such an insulting manner.

This had to be one of those low-income vultures on the back of taxpayers sucking off all the Obama Care he could get — vouchers and all — and of course I cannot prove any of this but I am pretty good at summing up things and this is how it appeared to me.

Even if this was not the case, the very appearance of this individual immediately suggested to me the urgent necessity of getting rid of Obama Care and all it’s dependents just as soon as humanly possible and return the scruff of this world to the free clinics where they belong and where they cannot harass legitimate tax paying citizens with their insulting little proclamations.