The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I need a cuppa

On days like this, I drag myself out of bed... unwillingly, mind you... and try to get my brain kick-started. I rouse the computer from its electrical deprivation and wait, somewhat patiently, for it to get its 0's and 1's in some kind of order. In the meanwhile, multi-tasking (in my own way), I stumble off to the kitchen for some coffee. I need to get my organic computer roused and alert and coffee helps.

We form that habit early on in life, don't we? Coffee, that is, to start our day. A mild stimulant, caffeine, helps wipe the cobwebs from our brains that form during our "down" period. My first cup of coffee was when I was about 8 years old. Lots of cream and sugar, as I recall. Not at home but at, of all places, a golf course. Bethpage golf course, to be exact. A place I used to, as a child, wander about from time to time.

I drank coffee very sparingly until my mid-teens and always with cream and sugar; enough cream to make it "blonde" and two sugars. It was the Navy which changed that. Coffee, in the Navy, is made in large urns like they used to use in diners. You know, with a spigot and a glass tube in the front so you could tell how much coffee was left. I am not sure how much coffee they held, maybe 5 gallons, perhaps more. And there was always coffee available. I know, I spent a couple of moth long assignments as a "mess cook" and that was one of the first things you learned how to do... make Navy coffee.

So there was always plenty of coffee available. What wasn't so available was cream. Instead, you used milk. And that was often unavailable. The milk lasted about 5 days at sea, at most, before you ran out. Often a day or two less. Sometimes, they'd put out powdered milk which the diehards could use but it wasn't often, as I recall. And you develop a dependence on coffee in the Navy. An attachment. At the right index finger, usually. It seemed I (and many others) always had a coffee cup in my hand. And there was always coffee in that cup. A cup that was rarely, if ever, actually washed; just rinsed between cups from time to time. Usually if it had been sitting unused for a few hours. Often, that rinse was just some hot coffee swirled around a bit and then dumped in the water fountain drain.

After being at sea for more than a few days, the milk would run out. I needed coffee so I learned to drink it with just sugar. Then there would be times when the sugar jar was empty. Lots of times. And so I drank it "black and bitter" at those times. It wasn't long before I didn't bother checking for milk or sugar; it was simpler and more efficient to just fill the cup with black, unsweetened, coffee.

I learned a lot of about my eating habits in the Navy. I realized I was no longer the picky eater I was as a child. No more separating the food (peas to one side, potatos to another, meat by itself... none touching the other) and I pretty much ate whatever was available. Except liver. I never learned to tolerate liver.

I realized sometime in my 30's that I had a caffeine addiction. It's a socially approved addiction so it is unimportant. I learned about it when I would wake up on Saturday mornings and develop a massive headache quickly that wouldn't abate until I finally got a couple of cups of java in me. That was often sometime later than 10 AM and those headaches were brutal. It took me some time to get the correlation between the (lack of) coffee and the headaches but it eventually was clear to me.

I did cut back on my coffee intake, down to twor three cups a day but I have never broken my coffee habit entirely and I never reverted to using cream and sugar.

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