Friday, January 09, 2009


I am glad I have 31 days to come up with all the things I need to change to make Life idyllic and grand again. Surely 31 days is long enough to identify those personal facets and habits which need tweaking, deleting, or turning it up because it really is something I do but not enough of. One month must be a reasonable time span to find all the faults there are to find. The rub is deciding just what is a fault, a harmless idiosyncrasy, or life threatening tendency. The process of deciding is more complicated for me. First I have to weigh suffering the mental and physical pain of modifying a certain habit against the perceived positive results. Is this really worth it in the scheme of a life spent so irresponsibly. It's never simple. Certainly not a breeze when subliminally I continue to find excuses that will allow me to fail. Two steps forward, 1 & 1/2 steps back. Progress is measured not with a yard stick but with vernier calipers and a microscope.

Google came up with 257 million hits when I punched in the word "coffee". 257 million bits of information in 0.18 seconds. This wonderfully tasty stimulant is found in every corner of the globe. It is served in many ways every day of the week. In the US, coffee accounts for 1/3 of the water we throw down our gullets. Shade grown, sun grown, over 100 million people rely on this world's most traded commodity after petroleum for a paycheck.

Coffee has been and still is entwined in international controversey, religious edicts, and off and on been banned for a variety of reasons. Apparently the enviromental folks are concerned about the impact it's cultivation has on the rain forest ecosystems it seems to love to grow in. Up until the developement of the sun grown variety "robusta", shade grown coffee had been on the A list of good crops to cultivate if one was concerned about trees, furry critters and creepy crawlers that like the high canopy. Shade grown is still the preferred type if one takes this drink seriously as it should be. Bad coffee should be outlawed and anyone caught dispensing it to the public be flogged. Well, berated strongly anyway. Flogging might just be over the top and too Gitmo like.

My parents drank huge amounts of coffee. Right into the evening and beyond. I was never allowed to drink it. Yet my arm was almost twisted to make me drink wine at dinner. Odd. But there it is. It didn't bother me though. I hated coffee as a youngster. Thought it tasted like crap. It was not until I became an over the road truck driver that I began to develope a taste for the invigorating brew. Many a mile passed under it's influence.

So I became addicted. At some point my day could not even begin to fire on all cyclinders without at least one, preferably two or three cups of Joe in my belly sending that caffiene to where it needed to go to get my day started with both eyes open.

Like any addiction, a little became a lot. two or three cups of coffee became five or six. And then I noticed one day I was brewing 24 cups of the stuff some days at the shop. Living my waking hours buzzed to the gills on caffiene. Moderation meant I stopped tossing it back by eleven o'clock.

A perfect personal attribute to include in this month of resolutions I thought. In my quest to better health, the idea of a full night's sleep made some sense for a minute. And curtailing my intake of coffee couldn't hurt. Matter of fact everyone, and I mean everyone insists cutting back will indeed allow the natural soporific chemicals in my body to do what they do. Make me sleepy.

I began a rudimentary investigation into coffee looking for all the negatives I could to bolster and make me strong enough to fight this evilly good liquid. Negative positive reinforcement. But instead my eyes and brain kept finding benefits. Coffee is thought to reduce risks surrounding heart disease, Alzhiemers, Parkinsons' Liver damage, and the antioxidants in caffiene keep those nasty free radicals from damaging cells. Damn. I guess I should drink more.

No. I will try to cut back. Sleep is an important ingredient in my recipe for better health. Besides, I am sure the amount of coffee I ingest is probably way over what would be considered a sane amount.


Utah Savage said...

My mother laced my bottle milk with coffee and sugar. She also taught me to smoke like a pro when I was five. So I have been drinking the delicious brew since birth and smoking since five. I find value in both and so do all my docs. Nicotine is a very effective antidepressant and caffeine has probably saved me from all the ills you listed--love those antioxidant properties. While living in Italy, I discovered the lovely, handy stovetop espresso maker. I have the biggest one make and drink two huge bowls full with milk and sugar. Great way to start the day. But I do limit my consumption to two bowls. I try to keep my cigarette smoking down to a pack a day.

BBC said...

I am glad I have 31 days to come up with all the things I need to change to make Life idyllic and grand again.


Yeah, right, carry on then.

Utah has a few good points, too bad that she is a member of THE INSANE CHICKS SOCIETY.

But I won't put it against her, I mean, that against her. Ha ha ha.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

hey, just switch to decaffinated----problem solved. you CAN have all the coffee ya want AND get a good nights sleep. (lol) hey, works for this old dude

Demeur said...

As I see it it doesn't matter what you do whether it be eating "healthy" natural foods, quite smoking drinking or whatever, none of us are going to get out of this alive so just be happy with your vices.

BBC said...

I'm waiting for a Saturday post.

Randal Graves said...

So we should be drinking even more coffee. I'll just sleep at work.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Due to stomach problems and a heart rate that is much too sensitive to caffeine, I have to limit my coffee intake to one cup a day. Can't drink the stuff at an early hour or even with breakfast, but a fine, steaming cup of black coffee with a cinnamon role around 10 a.m. is a habit I'll not give up without a gun to my head.

Twenty-four cups in a single day, Crum? Really? You're not foolin' us here?

MRMacrum said...

Utah - Wasn't Life great before ADD was discovered. My mom kept my sugar and caffiene intake down as much as possible. She had already been through two boys and knew how fired up we could get at the slighest provocation.

BBC - Yeah I thought it was funny too when I wrote it.

Old Dude - Can't stomach the decaffinated stuff. Might be just in my mind, but I have convinced myself that coffee without the speed is just another soft drink.

Demuer - Yeah I am happy with mine. I am just having trouble controlling them.

Randall - Sleeping at work certainly keeps the meaningless lip flapping to a minimum.

El Cerdo Ignatius - Well let's see. SInce I am on a kick to cut back my coffee intake, today I split a 12 cup brew with my wife first thing. We always do that. And then I usually brew up another 12 cup brew while I dub around before opening the shop at noon. Today I only brewed up 8 cups and will stop there. Normally another 12 cup brew at the least is fired up for the afternoon. Today I will most likely only consume 14 or so cups and be sleepy as Hell by 11:00PM.