I’m Quitting Day 6: The Enemies. . .

So, on Day 6 of my adventure, I am learning new things. For one, weekends are a killer for me when trying to quit. That is for two reasons:

  1. Downtime is plenty of time to think about smoking
  2. To avoid downtime, I work on the website, occasionally leading to frustration that up until recently was abated by smoking.

So, today is a real challenge for me, at least at the moment. Work through it! I’ll be fine as long as I keep going, and blogging on it definitely helps the cravings. I know that this is largely mental as opposed to physical for this reason: that writing helps cure the crave reminds me of how writing used to cure depression when I was younger. By writing down my feelings, I work my way through them and begin to realize how trivial they are, how avoidable.

I am beginning to be of a mind that says that I will very likely recommend blogging or at least writing a journal to help the quitting. I would stress the preference of blogging, because with blogging there is an implicit understanding that someone else might read it. I think that makes for a type of therapy akin to talking to a bartender or a cab driver: no obligations, but no regrets either.? Also, knowing that someone may read it might also focus one’s mind on making sure that what you write makes sense.
Anyway, this entry is helping me a lot, and I thank anyone who might be reading it. Meanwhile, now that the cravings have subsided, I can go back to what was causing me such frustration: unit conversion.

Unit conversion? you ask. Yes, unit conversion. I am working on a long-overdue article on Ethanol production in the US, and in doing research, I am finding that many types of crops are measured, bought and sold by completely different units of measure. In some cases, one crop may be referred to by many different units of measure, depending on the situation. That means to get a handle on Ethanol production, I need to be able to boil it all down to one basic unit of measure, and that’s proving to be a real pain in my ass.

For example, I know how much Ethanol can be produced from grain sorghum, per hundredweight. I also know how much grain sorghum is predicted to be produced in the US per acre, in bushels. However, since bushels are a unit of capacity and hundredweights are a unit of mass, it is not a simple question of comparing two simple mathematically equivalent units of measure. In other words: a bushel of cotton would wiegh considerably less than a bushel of acorns, so what is the conversion of grain sorghum weight to capacity?

If you think you can find a simple conversion, you might be right, but I have not located it thusfar. Instead, I found an article that provides the price of grain sorghum in per-bushel and per-hw measurements. I am assuming that this author’s numbers are correct, and also that the base-price of grain sorghum is the same thing, merely the unit of measure is being altered. That would mean that understanding the proportional relationship between these two prices would by association reveal the mass-to-capacity ratio.

So, that’s what I’m working on. Geeze! What are the odds that a math teacher should happen to pass through here and offer me a simple solution? In case they do:

Grain sorghum costs $2.17 per bushel and $3.88 per hundredweight.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.