DJ Dum Ditty’s News Feed

Advertisements

My Introduction To Vaping

The Vaping experience has grown since its infancy, and what I once considered a rebellious way to continue smoking in public, I now see as a viable alternative to smoking actual cigarettes.

My first ‘unit’ was given to me recently as a Christmas present. From my nephew. Ironically, it came just days after my GP suggested (quite strongly) that I give up cigarettes, or at least switch to vaping. The kicker, though, was from my Urologist, who explained that smoking clogs up the arteries, resulting in low blood circulation. This struck me as QUITE important, as a very favorite part of my anatomy only works properly with full blood circulation, flow and pressure.

And I was … exhibiting … signs of weak circulation. In fact, the Fibromyalgia I have recently begun suffering from, what could be caused, or at least exasperated by, weak circulation, as my blood pressure is spot on.

So now I’m vaping. I was gifted an Eleaf iStick Pico Mega, complete with tank, atomizer, coil, battery pack and a small jar (20mL) bottle of some kind of berry ‘e-juice’.

It took about 2 weeks to wean myself off the cigarettes. But once I started it using it for a few days in a row without tobacco, I realized I preferred the smooth flavorful taste of the ejuice versus the ‘heavy’ feeling of cigarettes. The juice I have is listed as 6% nicotine, and a 60/40 base mix. (I will get into that in a future posting)

I wasn’t exactly crazy about the berry, but who can argue with free, right? So to get me through that bottle, I went to the local vape shop, found a flavor I thought I might like, and promptly paid 30$ (US) for a 60mL bottle. This is about average for what I was able to find online.

I like to research varies things, and even try my hand at creating some choice projects, and as such, quickly found myself researching flavors, nicotine and things like PG and VG, and the different percentages of each. I learned about different types of atomizers and coils, and then I started researching mixing and making my own flavors.

I found a shop online and purchased Liter bottles of Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerine (VG), some 100mg/mL nicotine, and a few flavors to get me started: Butterscotch and Root Beer are two of my all time favorite flavors, so I started there. I tossed in some Vanilla Custard and Cinnamon to get me started.

Thank Heaven for Google and Youtube. As my wife likes to say, “Google knows everything”, and Youtube shows everything, which is especially helpful to thick-headed numbskulls like me, that could mess up a Tic-Tac-Toe board if not shown exactly how, and even then, I might still screw it up.

It didn’t take long to match an article with a like minded youtube video, and I was off to the races taking notes in preparation for my delivery. Which to my pleasure, was delivered quite quickly. I wanted to raise the nicotine level from the 6% I was smoking, and wanted to experiment with different base mixtures.

I settled on 8% nicotine and something close to a 50/50 mixture of PG and VG, taking into account the base used in the nicotine and the flavors. I mixed up my two main flavors, Butterscotch and Root beer. Then I mixed up (2) ‘Dry’ mixes (no flavoring) at a lower PG / higher VG ratio, which is also the ‘base’ for my 50mL mix, less the flavor. Without the flavor, my 50/50 mix becomes 40/60 – PG / VG (or there abouts). The higher VG ratio should give me a smoother hit, with more of a ‘cloud’, versus a Higher PG, which would be a ‘fuller’ taste, referred to as a ‘stronger throat hit’ within the vaping community.

Turns out that was too strong for my weak palette, but after some experimentation, I settled on a 70VG/30PG mix with a 7% flavor solution. I also only ‘burn’ at 20w with a sub ohm coil, which extends my coil life exponentially.

I went ahead and purchased the E-Flavors collection, from NicVape which includes (1) 15mL bottle of each flavor they carry, (49 total) should you be like me and wish to experiment with ‘mixing’ your own vape juice. I think they even sell in Bulk, if you are a retailer.

At any rate, I’ve added a 10 pack of backup coils, rinsing and re-using coils as often as possible. After a month of weaning myself off cigarettes and onto vaping, I find myself drawn more towards the pleasant light flavor of the vape vs the heavy, ashen taste of cigarettes. I can’t even call it tobacco, with all the additives and all.

Coo-Coo for Paw-Paws

Nope, not Cocoa Puffs. I have been Coo-Coo for Paw Paws ever since I wrote an article about them for Helium (a writing service that has since changed names). While many in the world consider a Paw Paw to be a Papaya, The fruit to which I am referring to is the American Paw Paw.

‘Asimina triloba’, to be exact. The largest edible tropical fruit indigenous to North America. Part of the Order Magnoliales, which includes the tulip, magnolia and nutmeg, and more specifically, the Annonaceae Family which includes other large pulpy fruit like the custard apple, soursop and sweetsop to name a few.

images
Natures Custard

‘Asimina triloba’ is often referred to as the ‘poor man’s banana’, Hoosier banana, Prairie Banana and my personal favorite, the ‘Banango’ (for it’s unique custardy pulp that looks somewhat like a mango while having a banana-like texture). Some have also likened the taste to having a hint of pineapple or even cantaloupe. Whatever it may taste like, it is unique to North America.

Finding a Paw-Paw can be quite the endeavor. They ripen quickly, bruise easily and do not store well (lasting only a day or two at room temperature, and perhaps a week if refrigerated). It does however make wonderful ice cream, and can be used in jams, jellies and any recipe calling for bananas. The American Paw Paw is known to have more proteins than most other fruits.

maxresdefault
Flowering Paw-Paw

Paw-Paws are also difficult to pollinate, as their flowers have a near non-existent scent. What odor it does produce can be foul, likened to rotten eggs or rotting meat. Common pollinators, when they can be found, include fruit flies, blowflies and carrion beetles. While it is suggested in numerous publications to plant at least Two (2) different varieties, some farmers have even resorted to hanging raw meat or chicken necks nearby to aid in pollination. Some animals that feed on the Paw Paw include foxes, raccoons, squirrels opossums and even black bears.

Native Americans often used the tough inner fibrous bark for making fishing nets, mats and ropes. The logs have also been used for split-rail fences.

As an added benefit, Wikipedia also states:

zebra-08-2b1
Zebra Swallowtail

Due to the presence of acetogenins, the leaves, twigs, and bark of pawpaw trees can be used to make an organic insecticide.[12] The one notable exception is the zebra swallowtail butterfly (Eurytides marcellus), whose larvae feed on the leaves of various species of Asimina, conferring protection from predation throughout the butterfly’s life, as trace amounts of acetogenins remain present, making them unpalatable to birds and other predators.[15]

Other family members, like the ‘pepper plant’, are often used (in Africa) to spice meats, and the ylang-ylang has aromatic oils that are used in perfumes and spices.

Paw Paw seedlings are often expensive. 1-2 foot tall saplings can cost upwards of $30 each. However, if you are willing to grow your own from seed, it takes about three years to reach this height. (One of my seeds sprouted the first year, this year!) Most seeds spend the first 6 months of the first year sending down its deep taproot, before emerging above ground the following year. (I got my seeds from KSU – Kentucky State University, which has the only full time Paw Paw research program in the world! I sent them my request on their Facebook page in early spring, and they sent me TEN seeds for free.)

images
Paw-Paw patch

After that, the young seedlings require an additional 1-2 years of ambient light, found best in an ‘understory’ location. This is important, as direct sunlight can kill the young saplings. Paw-Paws also enjoy rich, well drained soil, again found in nature along the edges of forest growth. (Think years and years of dropped and decayed -ing leaves, and the rich organic soil it creates. Usually damp under the top layer). Finally, Paw-Paws do NOT transplant well, as their long and deep roots are quite fragile, and susceptible to breaking, which often kills the seedling.

Once you get it growing, however, Watch Out! Paw-Paws are ‘runners’ (underground roots) and will create ‘patches’ of Paw-Paws 20’40’ high and several feet thick. More if not properly tamed.

Written by Jack Sprout for     DumDittyDo.com       All World Wide Rights Reserved

My Atlanta Garden – Update Aug 2016

Written by Jack Sprout
for DumDittyDo.com
All World Wide Rights Reserved

I’ve taken a bit of a respite as the website builds content. At the moment, I am the DO part of DumDittyDo.com, (though from what I hear, there are plans to add a financial advice columnist), while others still are writing some Dum stuff. (Largely political in nature, though I admit to liking both ‘Mr. B. Nice’ and the ‘Marihuana‘ postings). I have also come to understand that a new Ditty is soon on it’s way, with accompanying video no less. Sounds like fun.

Another reason I have been absent, is due to the fact that what I really want to focus on, with My Atlanta Garden, is winter gardening and how successful I can be in cooler (zone 7b) temperatures. (and in a greenhouse.)

But before we get to that, an update on this years’ Garden:

IMG_5306
Cukes gone Wild !!

The wicking bed continues to perform well, having put off many delicious Tomatoes. The early Broccoli and Squash, however, did not flourish that well. I suspect this had to do with the heat, although I admit it did take me a while to figure out the watering amounts and an appropriate (nutrient) feeding schedule.

Now mid way through August, the cucumbers are really taking off. The temperatures haven’t really abated much in the daytime, though the nights are nice and cool, dipping into the 70’s F*.  My watering has also become more consistent, as have the Heavens, providing more consistent rain (finally) these past couple of weeks. A major time saver when I don’t have to water the trees.

IMG_5294
Jalepeno

The rock garden did well with the Hot peppers (Habanero and Tabasco) and Onions, but little else. I highly suspect lack of sufficient water, due in part to the shallow depth of the garden soil. I plan on dismantling this garden, and moving it to the back yard, while possibly switching to wood, using some 2”x10”’s that were inherited with the property.

The Aquaponics System was pretty much a FAIL. I don’t seem to do well with fish, it seems, having killed them off early. Not to let the system go to waste, however, I continued running the system Hydroponically, with mixed success. The Tomatoes grew nicely, but didn’t really fruit, even though I added a liquid based fertilizer.  (And I KNOW they had plenty of water.)

IMG_5311
Hydro-Maters

As we traversed late July and early August, the Cucumbers began growing nicely and indeed gave off some nice big juicy fat Cukes for our Salads. I have also taken note to WHERE the plants flourished and, just as importantly, where they DIDN’T. With that in mind, I have begun building another system behind the garage, where it receives more direct morning light, and less afternoon sun. I was able to notice this pattern not only in my gardening routine, but also by Clocking the Garden area. I expect this location to do much better next year. I am also installing (4) IBC totes, holding somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000 Gallons, or 4000 liters, and supplying up to SIX (maybe 8??) grow beds! I am planning on covering the totes with roofing, and then directing any rainwater into the totes to replenish loss from evaporation.

The raised cinder garden also flourished with nice tall Tomato plants AND big red juicy fruit. The Squash we harvested were delicious, if not plentiful, and now the Cukes are doing well in there also. I’m fairly certain this lack of production was due to inconsistent watering and even occasionally OVER watering, as I tried (desperately) to combat this years’ brutally hot and dry days.

The Greenhouse has held up nicely to the few storms we have had, and I am looking forward to extending the growing season in there. I am also curious to see how the shorter days and Winter location of the sun (zenith?) differs from the Summer, as well as the difference in how much sun these two areas receive. (Winter v Summer)

IMG_5304
Pomegranate

Average Fall planting time here, according to my Farmers Almanac, is mid September and barely a month away.

In other news, We have our !~1st Pomegranate ~! YEA !!  I am preparing an area for a chicken coop, and surprisingly, one of the Paw Paw seeds has sprouted above ground!

But, we’ll save those for another post, coming soon.  Until then my friend.