Monday, September 07, 2020

A Couple of Recent Purchases (with a brief review of one of them)

So, I started smoking again. No apologies. I quit for more than six months and missed it every day. I always felt drowsy in the morning -- enough that I took a late-morning nap almost every day -- no matter how much sleep I got.

When I traveled for my mother's funeral, I was spending a lot of time around people who smoke, had a few, then quit for another week when I got home again while I consciously considered my course of action. I'm a smoker. Have been since I was 16. I enjoy smoking.

There will be a few differences this time. One of them is a binding agreement with the missus to not smoke in the house, so I'll probably never be smoking as much as I used to. Another is that I'm rolling my own. I've done that before, with one of those cheap hand-powered machines. It's a pain in the ass and always ends with me deciding to grab some store-bought cigarettes rather than screw with it. So:

That's the Powermatic 2 Plus Electric Cigarette Injector Machine (not an affiliate link). Yes, it's about $70. But it should (based on what I'm paying for tobacco and cigarette tubes) pay for itself after three cartons or so versus the prices of the Super El Cheapo brands I generally buy. Depending on what kind of tobacco I buy and where I find discounts on the tubes (the price can range from $3 to $5 a carton depending on brand and quantity purchased), I should be cutting the cost per pack by about 2/3.

So far, so good with the machine.  It's fast (I rolled my first few packs in 5-7 minutes per pack), it's easy, and so far I haven't torn and wasted a single tube (the hand-powered machines work sort of like those old KA-CHUNK credit card processing machines; they require some hand muscle and often the metal filler tube would tear/puncture the cigarette tube). My brother uses a similar machine and also has no complaints about it. So if you're thinking of rolling your own smokes, I highly recommend spending a little more on this and skipping the manual route.

The second item hasn't arrived yet:

It's a Rhino Valley bivvy tent (again, not an affiliate link). I've been looking for a decent and reasonably priced bivvy tent for years, and happened to come across this one last night. A waterproof (supposedly!) cover for rainy nights, or just good mosquito netting for clear ones.

I need a tent for upcoming events. In particular, I anticipate possibly attending a Desert Storm 30th anniversary reunion, complete with camping, late this year or early next. I'm also hoping that music festivals will be returning to north central Florida this fall. And heck, I just like sleeping outside -- in the yard, if nowhere else -- and no one else in my family does.

So I'm ending a decade and a half of buying cheap-ass multi-person tents that only get used by one person. The last one was a $25 three-person dome tent that no amount of Scotch-Guard and seam tape seems to be able to get very waterproof and that's just bulky enough to not be a good pick for backpacking or throwing on a bicycle rack.

If it turns out to be an especially good or bad buy, I'll probably post to that effect.

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