Vaping With Julia
I’m going to try my hand at a weekly column. I’m calling it Vaping with Julia , I don’t know if this is going to work, or if any of you will find this at all interesting, but it’s worth the effort. I think.
What I thought I’d do is each weekend I would go over the past week and write about my personal vaping. I’m not deluded enough to think for a second that any of you care one way or the other what I vape, how I vape, or what I use to vape, but maybe you might be interested in a kind of ‘behind the scenes’ look at how people that write about vaping for a living vape during their own time. It’s kind of like wanting to know if a pastry chef at a fine dining establishment makes pastry at home and consumes it every day, or is he or she so sick of making it for a living that it’s the last thing they want to eat at home. Hmmm… maybe this is a dumb idea.
I review a lot of hardware and eLiquids, and I try to give you my completely honest opinion about everything I review. But, just because I think the Apollo eCigs VTube is a good piece of hardware it doesn’t necessarily mean I use it every day, or ever.
Just because I think that a certain flavor of eLiquid is really good doesn’t mean I use it in my spare time. That would be impossible anyway because there isn’t enough time in the week to do it. So, what does this Vaper use when no one is looking? What flavor of eJuice do I grab when it’s for MY vaping pleasure? How does that stack up with your own choices? Maybe that would be interesting to read. And then maybe not. We’ll soon find out by way of tracking how many times this column is read and how many, or how few, comments are left behind.
If anything it should be an interesting project to try. If it doesn’t work there are plenty of ideas to try next. The important thing is that I continue to try to come up with a weekly column that you would be interested in. You’ll understand why the need for a new column after reading our ‘what comes next’ article by John Manzione, which should be published this week some time.
So, here’s what happened this past week….
This past week has been one of experimentation for me, especially in the area of cartomizers and tanks. I didn’t touch a single clearomizer, which is unusual for me. Switching between the oh-so-beautiful Vision STV Nova Tank System and the new SmokTech Double Barrel cartomizer took up most of my week. After using tanks and clearomizers with wicks for the past several weeks I had thought that the days for cartomizers were numbered, or at least they were numbered in my vaping world. Perhaps I was too hasty, the Double Barrel delivers as good a vape as a wicked tank or clearo, most of the time.
The Double Barrel Cartomizer that I obtained from MyVaporStore (the official vendor for Spinfuel by the way) has been called a gimmick by some people in the vaping community, but after using it in a myriad of setups I don’t think it is. You can read my review for more information on it here. It’s a great way to discover new flavor combinations or to get a great vape going using batteries normally reserved for tanks. Yes, it looks ‘gimmicky’, and you just know that someone is going to take it further by making a triple barrel, a quad-barrel, and so on, but for now I’m enjoying the Double Barrel quite a bit.
If you’ve tried the Double Barrel I’d love to know how you liked it or didn’t like it.
I tried some flavor combinations when I worked on the review and during my own time I tried some others. I am intrigued with the possibilities of a double-cartomizer device and since I had a bunch of cartos lying around I figured I’d play with them in my own time.
The first combination I tried was using Mountain Oak Vapor’s Cinnamon Swirl and Mt Baker Vapor’s Cinnamon Roll. I love both of these flavors by themselves and when you load up two cartos and attach them to the Double Barrel you get a completely new cinnamon flavor somewhere between a candy-like cinnamon and a cinnamon Danish. It tasted quite good but I don’t think it will be something I do on a regular basis. I enjoy both flavors by themselves a little too much to bother with setting up two cartos with two different cinnamon flavors all the time.
Feeling more than a little daring I put together something I thought wouldn’t work at all, using The Plume Room’s Banana Pudding (a flavor that tastes exactly like you’re eating a bowl of banana pudding.) and Ginger’s eJuice Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookie. I tried this combo just to see if the flavors would stay intact or combine into something altogether different, at this point it didn’t matter if the overall taste was awful or pleasant, I just wanted to take it to the extreme.
The combination turned into a very strange but enticing banana-sugar flavor. The Old-Fashioned sugar cookie flavor is a sweet desert flavor, while the banana pudding isn’t an overly sweet flavor. What the combination did was create a really sweet version of some kind of banana flavor. Interesting, but not great. I won’t be doing it again.
I experimented with others, some were pretty good and some were certainly ruined by trying to combine them. It was like combining broccoli with French fries; both are good by themselves but you really don’t want to wrap French fries around a stalk of broccoli and take a bite.
The best use of the Double Barrel for Vapers is to take advantage of dual cartomizers by loading them both up with a single flavor and enjoy the heavy vapor production. One person I spoke to said he got an amazing vape using the Double Barrel on a ZMAX set to 3.6v. My experience using the ZMAX at 3.6v didn’t produce the same level of vape that my friend talked about but it was certainly better than using a single cartomizer.
Vision STV NOVA Tank System
What I really enjoyed this week was the new Vision STV Nova Tanks. I got ahold of three of them from MyVaporStore so I was able to load all three with three of my favorite flavors. I reviewed the tank here.
It’s been a few days since that review and they are still hard at work providing me tons of flavor and plumes of vapor with the original 2.4-ohm atty head. Well, except one of them. I had a bit of an issue this week with the ZMAX, seems the “wattage” was set way too high and I must of singed the wick on the original 2.4-ohm head. I swapped that head out with a 2.8-ohm and everything’s fine now. (The tank comes with three heads, 1.8, 2.4 and 2.8 ohms.) I don’t detect a huge difference between the two heads though, but then I wasn’t trying to. I’m just enjoying vaping with these tanks in my own time and for my own enjoyment. It’s really nice to be able to swap out a tank with a different flavor whenever I wanted to.
My plan, after Christmas, is to stock up on these tanks so that I might be able to keep a dozen or more tanks full with my favorite flavors and be able to switch them out at a moments notice. There’s nothing like the ease and simplicity of switching out eLiquid flavors by switching out the tank. The three that I have are all blue (a beautiful shade of light blue), so when I do stock up I’ll make sure to get the other available colors, red, black, silver (gray), and perhaps develop a color-coded scheme to the flavors; blue for all-day flavors, red for sweet, silver for dry or tobacco, and black for fruity/drink flavors, something that allows me to make a change to another flavor even faster.
We weren’t working on an eLiquid review this week so all week long I’ve been vaping the flavors in my own collection. I don’t have any rhyme or reason for the flavor choices, it was more like “what do I feel like vaping right now?” kind of thing. The flavors I spent the most time with this week were Ginger’s eJuice, Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookie, Hot Cocoa, and Strawberry Shortcake (yum!). I also spent time with Mountain Oak Vapor’s White Leaf thanks to John’s generosity, and Heavenly 7. There was also French Vanilla by FanceeJuice and Boston Cream Pie by Prime Vaping. In the beginning of the week my all-day vape was the Cinnamon Roll by Mt Baker Vapor and then Thursday Friday and Saturday was the Mountain Oak Vapors White Leaf and another new one that John shared with me called “Peppermint Bark”. Excellent flavors and I plan to buy them both and keep a stock of them in my collection. I don’t often add a flavor to my personal collection so if I tell you I did you can bet I liked it quite a bit.
I got used to swapping out batteries all the time because of the eLiquid reviews and this habit has carried into my personal vaping as well. This week I was vaping with the Bolt, the Lambo 4 and the ZMAX, all from MyVaporStore. In addition I spent several hours with a 510-thread mini-battery from Vaporetti. That small battery does a heck of a job. I used the Vaporetti every time I went out to do errands. Because of its long, thin white shape it doesn’t draw any attention from the people around me.
I’m still enjoying the heck out of the Bolt, and I imagine I will for some time to come. During my review period with the Telescope, one of the new devices we received from MyVaporStore as well, I was reminded of the Bolt because both are simple mechanical devices. And while the Telescope is a nice, sturdy, mechanical device I still prefer the Bolt. I think one of the reasons I like this particular Bolt is because MyVaporStore includes the extension piece on their Bolts so the Vaper can use an 18650 battery with it and can vape for a couple of days on a single charge.
Nicotine Step Down – Yay!
This week I also made the change I’ve wanted to make for a while with respect to the Nicotine levels in my eJuice. Several months ago I was vaping with 2.4% nicotine and then about 3 months ago I backed that down to 1.8%. This week I went to 1.2% to .8%. This spread of nicotine strengths is due to the brands of eLiquid I chose to vape. Some brands don’t offer 1.2% strength and others don’t offer a .8%. There are no ‘standards’ yet on nicotine levels.
What I hope to do is go down to the lowest nicotine level by the end of March 2013. I’m not looking to go to zero nicotine at all because I enjoy the stimulating effect of nicotine (like I enjoy my morning coffee), but it would be nice to get to the low end of the nicotine levels so that I can vape more without having to worry about getting too much nicotine in my system. I’ve done that a few times, especially when I discover a great flavor. I find it difficult to stop vaping when I find a great new taste and I’ll wind up with a headache when I ‘overindulge’. When I get to the lowest nicotine level I won’t need to worry about it. I hope.
Odds and Ends And A Deep Blue Funk
Everybody here is pretty focused on the holidays and what’s coming for Spinfuel in the new year. Well, at least we were until Friday. As soon as we heard about the slaughter of innocent children in Newtown CT we were just numb, and stayed that way all weekend. We couldn’t concentrate, we couldn’t write, Dave and Jon couldn’t write a line of code either. We just felt like staring out the window. It was eerily strange. Each of us felt the same kind of numb, “too big to process” feeling. A crazed lunatic with an insane bent to kill his parents and anyone else he saw murdered these children ten days before Christmas. How do you process this information and not feel overwhelmed with grief and a sense that the world is coming apart at the seams?
In any case, after several futile attempts at trying to get something done we just called the weekend work off and let ourselves try to feel what we must have all been feeling deep inside. Fewer words were never spoken in our community home the entire time we’ve lived here.
Even though we were all in a deep ‘funk’ about the evil committed in Connecticut we did manage to spend time on getting all our personal vaping stashes organized and inventoried. For the first time in many weeks I got a handle on just how much eLiquid I have and what I need to get more of. Its frustrating thinking you have plenty of one flavor and when you go to fill a tank or a clearo you find out you don’t. You get your mind made up that a tank of Pineapple Upside Down Vape is just the thing you need only to find out that you ran out of it a couple of weeks ago. So, taking inventory of your personal stash is important.
I’ve also been getting emails from several eLiquid companies letting me know that if I expect an order of juice to arrive in time for Christmas I best get going or they won’t be able to deliver. So I pass this information along to you as well; get your orders in early this week, by tomorrow or Wednesday by the latest (I would imagine). In fact, because so many brands make their juice as the orders come in there isn’t a lot of time to allow them to steep at home. Some brands are fine to vape the minute you get them and others need to be steeped. Keep that in mind. I wish I had.
Till next Monday!