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Sweet Indulgence

(President Barack Obama, U.S.A.)

The thought of indulging myself in a rewarding cigarette has crossed my mind probably a dozen times a day since I quit smoking on Feb. 5. Despite tempting thoughts - even though it’s not as difficult as others claim it to be - giving up the one thing I have loved since nearly six years is a good thing. I can’t wait for my lungs to repair, skin to flourish and say goodbye to stinking odors.

I was ambivalent about withdrawal symptoms. Going cold turkey as a heavy smoker raised the expectations (and probability!) of long and dreadful weeks to come. But in the end, I knew it was better for my asthma. Here’s a reminder for all my fellow asthmatics out there: smoking and asthma is a DEADLY combination. But whether you suffer from respiratory problems or not, quitting will give you the miracles of reduced coughing (better described as the sound of death) and increased activeness.

The wackiest thing I’ve experienced was a dream as vivid as the sky on a sunny day. I woke up completely distraught as I rarely remember my dreams ever and couldn’t distinguish reality from reverie. My dream went as follows:

Ben Affleck Admits Counting Cards in Casinos

On Light and Easy Talk

Savy Seph gave a good account of advantage players. "The advantage players have an edge over the house given that they tend to win more than they lose. While cheating at casinos is a criminal activity, advantage players use legitimate means to beat the house. Since they play by the rules, they deserve to pocket their winnings. The casinos may frown on the advantage players but they are not able to use legal means to throw advantage players in jail. This shows that the law recognizes advantage players to be a different kettle of fish from the unethical cheaters." Card counting, a form of advantage play, was used by Ben Affleck at the Hard Rock Casino in Vegas to win $800,000 in May 2014.

Sky News had a few interesting quotes from Affleck in their 18 Sep 2014 article. "That is a true story. I mean, that took place. I took some time to learn the game and became a decent blackjack player," he said. "And once I became decent, the casinos asked me not to play blackjack. I mean, the fact that being good at the game is against the rules at the casinos should tell you something about casinos."

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