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Saturday, August 20, 2005
By Ed W

One of the first steps in recognizing an addiction is admitting to yourself and others that you have a problem. Now, having said that, I’ll go on to say that I am not addicted to coffee. Let me re-state that – I am not addicted to coffee! I don’t have a problem with coffee. Just don’t get between me and my cuppa in the morning! I’ll hurt you.

It wasn’t always like this. I didn’t drink all that much coffee in college. It wasn’t until I did shift work in a hospital that I started over-indulging. Sometimes I worked 10-day stretches, often with 3 or 4 different shifts over those 10 days. Sometimes I didn’t know what day of the week it was. People showed up for the wrong shift or even on their days off! Sleep deprivation was the norm.

So I started drinking 6-8 cups of coffee each day. It kept me alert, but it was probably not an especially healthy practice. Of course, if you saw the urn we made coffee in, you’d probably be appalled. It made nasty, bitter stuff that ate at the lining of my stomach.

Skip forward about 30 years. My doctor warned about high blood pressure and recommended that I drink no more than 2 caffeinated beverages per day. De-caf doesn’t count, of course, so I substitute it for the normal after-dinner coffee. During the day, I’ll have 2 cups of strong French or Italian roast. The dark coffees have less caffeine than the lighter ones, something I discovered by getting all jazzed up on some milder stuff.

But for true comfort, nothing beats having a water bottle full of hot coffee on a cold morning. Granted, as I write this in August, it’s hardly necessary to have something hot. But fall is coming, and I’m anticipating that cold, dark ride to work. I have an insulated stainless steel water bottle for coffee, and believe me; it’s welcome on those cold mornings.

I won’t go into the various ways to carry hot beverages. Steven Scharf does it much better than I can on his website. Check it out!

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