Coffee-fasting and Weird Sandwiches

Provolone, Dill, and Candied Smoked Sockeye Salmon on a Well-Buttered Cinnamon Raisin Bagel.I've been longing passionately for one of Tom + Chee's freaky-weird grilled-cheese donuts for a couple days. Desperate times, desperate measures. This was definitely not as good, but it was actually kinda edible, so I'll just go with it. Still, pekoe tea was a nice respite from all them flavors bashin' around in my mouth.

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On a somewhat-whim, I decided to somewhat-observe lent by abstaining from coffee. So, how is that?
I went from at least four cups daily (my most was 11 cups, but I cut back) to zero with no weaning period, so I thought it would be pretty horrible. It's not (plus, I've still got my tea). I feel great, and I didn't even know I didn't feel great before. Maybe I just feel greater. Interestingly, I had no withdrawal symptoms, other than be more tired and feeling a little slow the first several days. 

I've also noticed less ramp-up and -down in my energy levels. I'm at 100% energy much faster after waking up than I was when I relied on coffee, and perhaps more importantly, my brain shuts down incredibly faster when it's time to sleep. No more tossing and turning, I'm out in just a few minutes. It's like falling off a cliff rather than walking down a hill. 

I really love coffee. I love the taste. I love making it. I used to love the energy. But I'm kind of dreading drinking it again, or at least afraid I'll feel compelled to drink way too much of it again... I don't miss that "too much coffee" feeling in my brain and stomach. Fortunately, my current preferred brewing processes don't lend themselves to making vast quantities, and my taste is refined enough that I won't waste my one or two daily cups on cheap swill. Temperance, Jimmy!


Car-place Waiting Room Limbo

I'm sitting here in the waiting room as my car's steering system is checked out. This is always stranger than a doctor's waiting room, because there's no escape without my car. There are no sidewalks here, although I could wander over a couple parking lots to get a taco if I really needed to. I'm in some strange car-less limbo, trapped without wheels in a landscape/infrastructure designed solely for cars.

It's true, in the past I've run across the five-lane highway to take photos of abandoned buildings, or walked a half-mile behind the guardrail to a strip-mall to get some shopping done... but I still can't get very far without my car. So now I'm sitting here devouring Wikipedia entries on highways, induced demand, vehicular fatalities, the environmental impact of roads, suburbia, etc., trying to figure out how we can continue to justify such widespread use and reliance on automobiles. Meanwhile, fun phrases like "off-road excursions" butt up against "fixed-object collision" and "Cat's eyes or Botts dots" makes me wonder if the people in charge of devising lane-marking devices enjoy children's poetry more than they should.

Living near highways often leads to elevated blood-pressure, simply to due to noise levels, while a roadway can slice animal populations into tiny, isolated gene pools prone to genetic drift and inbreeding. In 2007, there were 1,230,000 traffic-related fatalities world-wide––that's 20.8 people out of every 100,000, and doesn't mention injuries. 260,000 deaths every year, and about 10 million injuries... in children alone. But it couldn't happen to me!

I sure hope they can fix my tie-rods!

Here are some photos I took a little bit ago, lest we forget that we're really not that good at cars: