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Friday, September 9, 2016

Let me introduce you to my Vice Principles!

I know I know - another twist on words but what are words for if not for twisting.

The inspiration for this post has been a while in the making because I am a veritable expert on vices having mastered the operation and optimization of many for many years but the trigger point was a conversation I had with one of my hiking companions who, during a conversation up a rather steep section of trail, asked me if I had seen the new series "Vice Principals".

I told him I had not but the light bulb went off for the title of a blog post dealing with Vices.

So let's talk about Vices - Not Bench Vises, Not Ad-Vices, Not Miami Vices....

But rather Your Vices or should I say....

My Vices.

The key with Personal Vices is just like everything else that challenges you in Life.

You have to first identify them for what they are and then figure out what to do with them.

For me, the response is fairly simple....

I Embrace My Vices and Manage Them!

First off, let's quit beating around the bush and just make a list of my vices:
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Food.... Ha - Gotcha! You probably thought I was gonna say Firearms!
  • Extremism - Hang on.  Is that a Vice or a Characteristic or Personality Trait?  Geez - who'd doing this fucking list anyway?
  • I Care Too Much - Oh Boy, are we gonna classify something like that as a Vice?
  • Pot - No I'm must kidding.  Anybody that knows me knows I'm not a pot smoker.  I once told a good friend of mine who was pushing pot as a non-prescription anti-inflammatory and painkiller that when I smoke pot, it makes me "Slow and Stupid" to which the friend said - "Well Yeah - it's called getting High" to which I responded "Well - I don't like being Slow and Stupid". I'm already Old, Slow and Getting Stupider and I don't need any help getting more that way.
So what is a Vice anyway?

  1. immoral or wicked behavior.
    synonyms:immoralitywrongdoingwickedness, badness, eviliniquityvillainycorruption,misconduct, misdeeds; More

    Damn - I see the word "Wicked" in there several times.  I don't know that I do anything wicked except maybe shitting in the morning..... that's pretty wicked.

But let me try to flesh out this vice thing a little bit anyway - Hmmmm.... interesting choice of words - Flesh.

Coffee is a good way to start on Vices cause it's what I start everyday with.

I think, like many things, something only becomes a Vice when you take it to an extreme and my caffeine consumption is probably considered excessive.

It is part of the Southern culture I grew up with.  You wake up - You have coffee.

My way of doing coffee is something I call coffee dessert.....

First of all, I make my coffee so strong that each cup is a cup of espresso and then I add turbinado sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and half and half.

I consider Coffee and Caffeine a Tool and PED (Performance Enhancing Drug) for the go-go lifestyle I sustain.

I've been off Coffee and Caffeine (I say "been off" because it's obviously an addictive drug) for a couple of months at a time a few times in my life and all I can tell you is that I was the least productive, lowest energy, most worthless Zombie I have ever been.

So for me, Coffee is not a Vice.... it is a Way of Life.

Next, let's address Alcohol.

For a guy who's supposed to be all into health and fitness and a healthy lifestyle, the word Alcohol is probably not wicked but is definitely counter culture.

For whatever reason, I probably drink more alcohol than I should given that context.

And I have seen quite a few people in my life either drink themselves to death or come pretty close to messing up their life in a pretty permanent way with alcohol so I'll just give you my Outback Willie protocol on Alcohol.
  • First off, Alcohol is POISON!  Let me say that again..... Alcohol is Poison to the Human Body.  It does so many negative and destructive things to the human body on both a short term acute and long term chronic basis that they ought to have a Skull and Crossbones printed on every container with alcohol.  So bottom line is my recommendation is Don't Drink and Live!
  • With that said and understood, if you're gonna drink alcohol, at least do so with some common sense.
  • Here's my common sense guidelines for drinking alcohol.
  • First - Don't Drink and Drive.  Just don't do it.
  • If you know you're gonna be consuming some alcohol, consume a good Paleo-type meal - high in protein, low in sugar, moderate in fat - at least 1 hour before drinking.  Doesn't have to be a big, heavy meal, just get something healthy in your stomach.
  • Take a high potency multi-vitamin, multi-mineral before you drink.  Alcohol destroys or messes us the absorption of a lot of vitamins and minerals so might as well get some in your system before hand.
  • Drink at least 2 glasses of water before you start drinking.  You probably won't drink as much and being well hydrated will help with the assimilation of alcohol in your system.
  • Drink no more than 2 servings of alcohol in any 4 hour period and space the 2 drinks at least 1 hour apart.
  • If you start exhibiting indicators of being intoxicated - slurring your speech, having problems with balance, mood changes, etc. - stop drinking immediately and start drinking water.
  • Drink at least 2 glasses of water after consuming the 2 servings of alcohol.
  • Take another vitamin when you get home and have another light meal before you go to bed.
  • If you wake up with a headache, drink more water, take an OTC pain reliever, drink some strong coffee and get some exercise.
  • There ya go.... my sensible way of handling the Alcohol vice.
Tobacco - Wow! Talk about a Taboo subject.

Just like Alcohol, there's no 2 ways about it, Tobacco is Poison to the Human Body.

But let's face it, there's a reason why they distribute cigarettes to soldiers in every war.  It is a Performance Enhancing Drug / Stimulant and Painkiller.  Nicotine is another one of those -ines that amps you up, makes you more alert and keeps you going for probably longer than you should be.

I do smoke Tobacco occasionally in the form of really good pipe tobacco and I do have a chew every once in a while.

Which brings up another point about doing the Wrong Shit in Life.

If you're gonna do the Wrong Thing, at least do it the Right Way!

Which sounds really stupid, but it goes back to the concept of Vice Management.

If you're gonna drink, drink really good alcohol.  I like Hennessy Cognac.

If you're gonna smoke, get some really good tobacco, devoid of all the chemical additives they put in mass produced cigarettes and have some quality time with your quality tobacco.

If you're gonna eat sweets, go to a really good French pastry shop where they use high quality ingredients and have a nice dessert.

Bac to Tobacco.  I use Tobacco as a Tool to achieve a desired result.

Sometimes I'm short on sleep and I need to keep going on a project or a deliverable and I'll have a chew of some tobacco or a couple of bowlfuls of pipe tobacco and Voila - I'm super sharp for another 4 hours.

Tobacco is also an appetite suppressant so if I'm eating too much, 1 smoke a day will help with that.

Whatever your Vice, Enjoy it but Manage it.

Moving on to my Favorite Vice.

Food - Anybody that knows me knows I love to Eat!

It's one of the reasons I ended up doing the Paleo diet because it does allow me to eat mass quantities of food and still maintain my weight.

My problem with Food consumption is that I like the taste of well-seasoned, well cooked food and I cook pretty well so it's kind of a self sustaining cycle.

I cook good food and I eat it.

My son tells me that if I didn't eat so much then I wouldn't have to work out so much to maintain my weight and then I wouldn't tear my body up so much.

Which is all true but it's all tied to that Core Quality of Extremism.

Call it what you will... a Vice, a Fatal Flow, a Sickness.....

Whatever the Label, taking things to Extreme is part of Who I am.

I eat a lot, I work out a lot, I sleep little, I talk fast and too much, I drink too much coffee and I care too much....

Hmmm - I care too much.

Yep - even that's a Vice if you carry it to an Extreme.

Opening Your Mind, Heart and Soul to another Person leaves you vulnerable for a Whole Lot of Love and a Whole Lot of Hurt.

For me it's not an Option and it's really not a Vice.

It's a Risk that's worth the Reward.

So when Somebody gets me, they get all of me....

110% - 150 mph - All Day Every Day.

Probably one of the reasons People don't hang around me for long.

I wear them out.

So what's the Takeaway from this little bit of Ad-Vice.

Vices make us Who We Are, What We Are and are likely Woven into the Tapestry of Our Lives.

Accept Them, Enjoy Them and Manage Them.

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