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GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are quitting or thinking of quitting, please -- join us!  We kindly ask that politics be left out.  

You can also click the GUS tag to view all diary posts, or access the GUS Library at dKosopedia for a great list of stop-smoking links. Check it out! Want to make sure you never miss us? Follow (♥) the GUS tag to keep GUS in your Stream. It's just that easy!

A message to ALL quitters and would-be quitters. You don't have to avoid GUS if you have a failed quit or haven't quit yet. We won't give you a bad time and we consider the failed quits as "practice" for the real quit.

Okay, today was much busier than anticipated, so this GUS diary is also later than anticipated...and I'm not going to be around to babysit this diary for most of the evening (family plans have come up, yet again). However, I figured something was better than nothing to fill the gap between FG last night (thanks again!) and flumpty tomorrow morning, and so here we are.

Where is here? That would be Daily Kos, a website I started reading, casually, not long after it started. I was working for the Dean campaign at the time (circa 2003-4), and had followed a link to this little political site that could (but hadn't yet hit its groove). I liked the quality of the writing and reporting, and really enjoyed the comment threads, but I was hesitant to join in...after all, I'd been down that path before (on Usenet, and later as a board and community moderator in a few different places); I didn't think I had time, with my offline volunteer commitments.

Still, I kept coming back, off and on, for years. I was a particular fan of Cheers & Jeers, enjoying the info-wrapped-in-humor je ne sais quoi that its author, Bill in Portland Maine (hey! That's where I was!) brought to the near-daily party. I liked the camaraderie of the community that sprang up in its comment threads, and it was a welcome escape when conversation elsewhere on the blog got heated. I was one of those "long time reader, first time caller" lurker types who never participated, but enjoyed it nevertheless. By then, I'd signed up, but due to the timing of C&J posts (and my real-world working hours), I was still a reader/lurker.

Fast-forward to the heated 2008 primary season; I was an Obama precinct co-captain, tasked with keeping caucusing Democrats corralled long enough to cast votes for a candidate. And of all the gin joints in all the world (okay, actually more like a distressingly gin-free Social Studies classroom in the local high school), who should walk into mine but a near-frozen-solid Common Sense Mainer and his partner, Bill in Portland Maine! They'd stood in an endless line in a freezing sleet storm for hours to be there, so perhaps weren't in the happiest, chattiest mood, and who could blame them? When I spotted the orange Daily Kos t-shirt, I namechecked BiPM (having no idea he was 10 feet away from me); fortunately for me I mentioned that I enjoyed reading C&J, even though I didn't have time to comment in the threads.

It took a while after that to get to know them (my fault, not CSM's! He's one of the best cruise directors in the business, and a whiz a organizing meet-ups), but I'm happy to count them as friends. I still read C&J almost every day, though I rarely get a chance to comment while people are still splashing in the so-called "Kiddie Pool"  (curse my work schedule!), and I know how much Bill pours into writing the column. I've seen him whip out paper and pen to jot down info in the middle of dinner or over drinks; I've seen him typing away while the rest of the group is having a cocktail, or skipping a night out to meet a deadline. He makes it look a lot easier than it really is.

As for the GUS connection---well, Bill's always been a great supporter of GUS (we get an annual shout-out in his column), because he's a great supporter of CSM's own GUS effort. CSM, always ahead of the trends, had the foresight to quit smoking exactly one year before the first GUS diary, so he even has the same quit date as some of us here.

Anyway, for those of you who don't know this, Bill's a front pager (complete with that sweet Infinity Mojo), but unfortunately, he's not a paid front-pager. He relies on donations from readers to keep Cheers and Jeers and the Kiddie Pool afloat.

So when I heard about the C&J blog-a-thon, I wanted to help spread the word. I didn't get my act together to get on the official schedule (story of my life, but with family in town, it was hard to plan) --- but I still wanted to get word out to any GUS folks who hadn't seen the diaries or wanted to help. If that's your story, you're in luck!

How can I help keep Bill in Portland Maine & Cheers and Jeers in business? Why, I'm so glad you asked! Help is just a click away...it's just that easy!

One time contribution: click here.

$5 monthly contribution: click here

$10 monthly contribution: click here

$20 monthly contribution: click here

Snail mail: Bill Harnsberger, 16 Pitt St., Portland ME 04103

Who's Your Little Buddy?
1BQ, 3rdGenFeminist, Abra Crabcakeya, Actbriniel, addisnana, AfroPonix, aishmael, Alise, Alpha99, A Man Called Gloom, glorificus, ambeeeant, American in Kathmandu, amk for obama, andsarahtoo, angry marmot, Anne933, anodnhajo, aoeu, aquarius2001, arcadesproject, Archie2227, arodb, Arthur Wolf (in memoriam), assyrian64, awkawk, b4uknowit, bamablue, BARAKABETH, barnowl, b barrie, bdizz, beatpanda, beefydaddy18, BFSkinner, bgblcklab1, BigAlinWashSt, Bike Crash, BirderWitch, BJKay, bleeding heart, blingbling65, blue husky, Blue Intrigue, bluedust, BluejayRN, BlueJessamine, Bluerall, bluestatedem84, BoiseBlue, boudi08, Brahman Colorado, breedlovinit, BrenP, Bronxist, BrowniesAreGood, bsmechanic, buddabelly, bumbi, BusyinCA, Carol in San Antonio, CathiefromCanada, CathodeRay, CDH in Brooklyn, cee4, Cen Den, ChiTownDenny, ChocolateChris, ChurchofBruce, ciganka, cinnamondog, citizenx, ClapClapSnap, Cleante, Code Monkey, codobus, Coldblue Steele, Colorado is the Shiznit, coloradomomma, common green, commonmass, Common Sense Mainer, congenitalefty, coppercelt, dadanation, dangoch, DarienComp, dauber, Dauphin, Dave in AZ, Dave in Northridge, deedogg, demkat620, Dexter, Diana in NoVa, Dickie, DiegoUK, Dingodude, dirtdude, distraught, djMikulec, dolfin66, donnamarie, Donna O, dotsright, Dr Teeth, DRo, droogie6655321, Dube, duckhunter, Eclectablog, Eddie C, EdgedInBlue, effervescent, elbamash, El barragas, el vasco, ericlewis0, Everest42, Ex Con, ezdidit, fhamme, Fineena, fiona2, fishhawk, Flea, flumptytail, Friend of the court, fritzi56, FrugalGranny, Garrett, Gator, gchaucer2, GDbot, Geiiga, GenXangster, glorificus, glpaul, gooderservice, gooners, gravlax, GreenMountainBoy02, greylox, grndrush (in memoriam), GrumpyWarriorPoet, gzodik, Haole in Hawaii, HappyinNM, henlesloop, HeyMikey, hideinplainsight, High Tide, hiliner68, hold tight, Hugh Jim Bissell, hulibow, I love OCD, Im a frayed knot, imisa, Indexer, indubitably, indyada, Interceptor7, Inventor, I said GOOD DAY sir, itsbenj, Jahiz, JamesEB, janl1776, Janeo, JayinPortland, jayjaybear, jbou,  Jeffersonian Democrat, jillwklausen, jmadlc55, jmonch, Joes Steven (aka Steven), john07801, johngoes, johnny wurster, jsfox, JVolvo's Mom, jwinIL14, Kai99, kailuacaton, Kamakhya, kat herder, Kelly of PA, kestrel9000, khloemi, Khun David, Kitsap River, kittania, KrazyKitten, Kristina40, Ksholl, labwitchy, Lady Kestrel, ladypockt, Lahdee, langerdang, LarsThorwald, LA rupert, last starfighter, LaughingPlanet, Laurie Gator, Leo in NJ, Lipstick Liberal, litoralis, lmdonovan, lockewasright, Lonely Texan, longislandny, luvsathoroughbred, maggiemay, magicsister, mango, Marc in KS, Marjmar, Mark E Andersen (Kodiak54), marknspokane, marsanges, maryabein, Matt Esler, Maxiemax, mdemploi, Meteor Blades, Micburke, michael1104, MillieNeon, minerva1157, MinervainNH, Missys Brother, mjbleo, MnRaindog, mntleo2, Morague, MotoGP, Mr Bojangles, mrsgoo, mskitty, msmacgyver, MsWings, Murphoney, nannyboyz, ncsuLAN, NearlyNormal, Nedsdag, Nick Zouroudis, notgivingup, NY brit expat, OleHippieChick, one pissed off democrat, Onomastic, operculum, OrangeMike, Ordvefa, Overseas, Over the Edge, Pager, paige, PaintyKat, paradox, parryander, paulitics, peglyn, Pennsylvanian, phrogge prince, Positronicus, post rational, PowWowPollock, Proud Mom and Grandma, psycho liberal, ptolemynm, Purple Priestess, PvtJarHead, racheltracks, randallt, ray bob, real world chick, red mittens, Reepicheep, regis, relentless, revelwoodie, revsue, Rex Manning, rexymeteorite, RiaD, rickeagle, ridemybike, rightiswrong, Rileycat, rincewind, rkex, roadlion, Roger Fox, Rosebuddear, roses, rscopes, Rudini, Safina, SallyCat, Sanuk, Sark Svemes, sboucher, scooter in brooklyn, Scrapyard Ape, seenaymah, sfbob, sgary, Shahryar, sheddhead, shesaid, Shifty18, shmuelman, shopkeeper, sidious666, sidnora, slowbutsure, smartcookienyc, smeesq, Smoh, snoopydawg, snorwich, SnyperKitty, SoCalHobbit, sofia, soonergrunt, sostos, sowsearsoup, SpecialKinFlag, spmozart, spotDawa, SpotTheCat, StateOfGrace, Statusquomustgo, stiffneck, stonekeeper, sunbro, Super Grover, Syoho, tallmom, Tay, tdslf1, teknospaz, theatre goon, The Eyewitness Muse, TheGeneral, TheStoopingRabbit, TigerMom, Tim DeLaney, tiredofcrap, TomP, tonyahky, Toyotabob7, TracieLynn, TreeFrog, triciawyse, tripodisblack, trs, trueblueliberal, ttanner, Tulsonian, Turn VABlue, Turtle Bay, Tyto Alba, uc booker, UncleCharlie, Unduna, Unforgiven, ursoklevar, USArmyParatrooper, VA02 femocrat, Vacationland, valadon, Vayle, vc2, Vetwife, vgranucci, Village expects idiot home soon, vulcangrrl, waytac, webranding, weelzup, Wes Opinion, Whimsical Rapscallion, willy be frantic, willy mugobeer, Wood Dragon, wolfie1818, Wordsinthewind, Wreck Smurfy, x, xopher, yet another liberal, Zotz
Have you had some experience with the effects of smoking, and want to write a GUS diary or host an open thread? Please sign up in the Butt Can (Tip Jar), and name the day and time that works for you (AM, PM, late-night, early-bird...). Weekly GUS Diary Schedule (regular diarists featured in bold) is below; look at all those nice open slots just calling your name!
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