Dad’s Wisdom #2: Smoking

20 04 2008

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.  – Mahatma Gandhi

“The doctors told me to quit for your sake; so I did” – My Dad

I was one year old. Obviously I remember very little of that time so it will be pointless to make random guesses from it. But I have been reminded countless times from older family friends and parents about how cute I was and all that sort of crap. I did all the standard things like attempt to walk and speak random words by imitating my parents, watch cartoons, clap my hands and cough and get sick.

My dad was a regular smoker by then. He had smoked for almost 20 years by the time I turned one (well he started from a young age) and it was the standard one pack a day routine. He smoked inside the house and didn’t really think much of it. He told me (when I was older) he never really thought of quitting and it was all natural of him to smoke. But then I got sick and kept on coughing. Possibly from an unrelated matter, possibly from all the second hand smoke, I don’t know to be honest. But they took me to the family doctor and the doctor did the standard things. So this family doc who has known my dad for a long time and has actually been telling my dad for a long time to quit smokingsaw the entire connection. There was a Peter Styvenson pack in my dads front shirt pocket and the doctor knew he had to make the move right now. It is either now, or there will never be another later.

“So your son has been coughing a lot lately I see” said the family doc.

“Yup” replied dad.

“Here are some antibiotics but there is also one thing I need you to do”

“What should I do?”

[Family doc gives long speech about second hand smoking, cancer and the importance of staying healthy]

“Done” said my dad.

So a few days after that my dad went cold turkey and stopped smoking. It is now about 20 years and he has not had a smoke since. Of course now he coughs his lungs out every morning or every time a bit of smoke enters the room (think of it as the miner’s canary) but apart from that he is doing OK. I mean that stuff is serious so there might be a case where something will happen down the track as he has smoked for so long before. But for the time being, we are staying positive and are hoping for the best.


*Tweep tweep*

So I (along with my other siblings) was fortunate enough to be brought up in a smoking free home. That should not automatically say we are super healthy as the air pollution is no different and that has been around since forever so we are not completely immune. But it is amazing what one person would do for someone. The willingness to sacrifice something when there is a serious effect to it. We do our assignments a few days before hand because there is a deadline. Oh who cares that we have 3 weeks to do them, the majority of people do it a few days before hand. Cause and effect. Superman became a avid supporter of stem cell research after he became paralyzed. Cause and effect. Prostitutes have sex to make money. Cause and effect again!

Dorothy Short as Mary Lane.png

I am so coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool. I come from cool town.

So now my dad talks to me every day about how important it is to never smoke (along with all these other vice’sbut more on those another time) and that it is one of the worst things you can do to yourself and your family blahblahblah.

I suppose I am lucky. Let me explain though… I am piss poor at willpower.Give me half the chance and I will smoke any number of cigs out there. I have been asked countless timesin high school to give it a try. Each time however I said no… Why? Not because I “hated the smell” or “smoking was not cool anymore” or “I do not conform” or any other awesome virtuous act that deserves my respect. Only because my dad told me and showed me his example of why it is bad and what he is willing to do to someone he loves (stop smokingfor my health). So down the track, when I have a bunch of kiddies on my own (omg how cheesy, but look at the blocks of cheese in the blog header), I won’t need to repeat the entire cycle of trying to quit for them. Everyone wins! (Sort of?).

Anyway, to sum up somewhat haphazardly (god my conclusions/endings suck ass) I have no problem with anyone smoking as I believe it is your own choice. It is an addiction and praise should be given to those that want to quit, try to quit, fail but try again to quit. Hence I will just give one tip. If you want to achieve something (finish high school, loose weight, climb a mountain, ride a horse), try and do it for someone else (I wanna thank Jesus, my mom and Tom Sawyer). Things are so much easier that way!


Update (1/May/08): Via this blog post, I managed to find a nifty little counter that reflects how long a person has gone without smoking. I will add a version for my dad here and the date has been set at 12.00 AM, January 1st, 1990 just so it’s at a ‘neutral point’. I rather not reveal the exact date here but this later time is close enough. Quite interesting figures really.

QuitMeter Counter courtesy of


Dad’s Wisdom #1: How the Body defends itself!

1 04 2008

[Note: So my dad is my hero (CHEESY I know but look at the title of my blog). Without him, I would have been lost in this crazy ass world. He taught me everything: about all the bad things in life, all the good things in life, what to watch out for, how to act towards others, to have my own confidence, etc etc etc you get the idea… To me he is an inspiration (does anyone really look up to ‘some’ celebrities and say “fuck me, I wanna be like that tool”… yeah not really. So in this little series of my blog (that’s getting a strong readership of 56 bots and 1 live reader (i.e. ME) , Ill try and share some of the many many many MANY things he has taught me.]  


Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.Dalai Lama (If anyone happens to know “which” Dalai Lama said this,(I’m guessing latest but I wasn’t able to find evidence for it) can you please let me know? Thanks… )*

“Your body is like a castle.” – My Dad (even though there is no Wikipedia article about him, that does not make him less notable to me).


 Your body is like a castle son. In it, there you have all the huts, buildings, and folk. Surrounding this castle, is the wall. Stationed all around and behind the walls and outposts, you have the soldiers of your castle. These soldiers defend against the foreign invaders. But these foreign invaders, attack all the time. Barbariansrebels, brigadiers, thugs, hungry for luxury. They do not stop. Always attacking, always trying to find a way to get in. On occasion they succeed, damaging the wall, sometimes they penetrate deep into your castle. But your castle is strong. It is run by good leadership [I wanted to link to brain, but that would ruin the analogy 😉 ]. More soldiers are recruited, and with that, the foreign invaders are defeated. The prisoners are taken hostage inside the castle walls. Many are killed. The remainder are tortured and beaten until bits and pieces of them are left as a reminder of these foreign invaders. Their tactics. Their method of attack. Next time they won’t be so lucky as the soldiers, once immature, now remember,  and foreign invaders will need more skill to infiltrate your castle. But the foreign invaders don’t give up. They yearn for the life in your kingdom. They barely survive in the harsh conditions outside the castle. They try harder, they train harder, find new skills, change their identity, send in spies, and strike when you least expect it.

One day they succeed. Reinforcements are recruited to counter the large invasion. Messengers got sent to far away kingdoms, asking for support, and the recruitment’s came, in armadas. They crossed great lengths, through harsh terrain to reach your castle.  However the foreign invaders penetrate and conquer your castle, and no amounts of reinforcements will help. The reinforcements are newbies, they lack skill, while these foreign invaders are strong, resilient and ready for obtaining what they want. Then they get it. They become the new masters of the castle. They lay waste to it, enjoying the luxuries, multiplying, expending resources. In a twist, after all their abuse, the castle becomes corrupt, the structures weaken, the walls become weak. Other invaders from other lands want another slice of the pie. They fight, on and on until everything eventually collapses. In a twisted paradox, the castle is destroyed, obliterated. The original hosts are long dead. The survivors of the foreign invaders, few in number, regroup and try all again, on the brink of death, they will do whatever it takes to survive.


One more example (extrapolating from this wonderful analogy that my dad game me years ago before I knew what a cytokine, mitochondria, or natural killer cell is among many many other things) is when there are no major invaders. There is naturally the usual remnants of thugs and lone bandits and warriors, but they do not cause permanent damage. But sometimes, within the castle, there is disagreement, confusion, and the castle collapses within itself. What caused it? A foreign invader? A spy? No one can solve the riddle as of yet. The future, however is looking promising. Alchemists and Magicians are mixing new incarnations, new spells, all in the name of making sure the castle remains for eternity. When they succeed though, is another matter.


 So what is the best way to defend and maintain your castle? Here is the list of things you need:

1. Archers, soldiers and cavalry men/women

2. Good Management

3. Quality supplies; such as rust-free equipment

4. No smoking (OK I am going bad with the analogy just a tad bit here)

5. Community

6. God (OK OK, assuming a middle age atmosphere, before Darwin OK?)

7. Happiness

 -With that, while no guarantee, just might get you through a long life.

Remember… If things are difficult to understand…. Wikipedia it-er I mean SIMPLIFY!     

*PS. sorry if that question was ignorant, please correct me if I said something inappropriate in that regard (something about it all being the one person?)

*PPS. This is no ways exhaustive and 100% accurate. I am only human and my judgments might be more than incorrect and I did not necessarily link to the most correct of places (Feel free to suggest a link to somewhere more appropriate).

*PPPS: I am not a doctor & am I not even  a medical student for that mater. But it still doesn’t hurt to spread some common message around (eat less, exercise more, don’t smoke, stress less etc etc)…