Friday, May 13, 2005

v5.1 - Day 5!!

Morning folks,

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It''s Friday the 13th and my last day of work for just over a week. Let the excitement fill the air as I almost feel like its the last day of school before summer :)

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I thought I would write to you all today about... well... coffee :) More specifically, I want to talk about the differences between coffee and that decaf stuff.

Personally, I dislike decaf coffee. I don''t understand the reason for having it as the whole point of coffee, in my opinion, is to get caffeinated to stay awake. Of course, I did a little bit of reading on the subject and found out some things about decaffeinated coffee I wasn''t aware of.

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Lets start off with talking about decaffeinated coffee. Why would someone be so cruel as to take away the thing in coffee that most people drink it for? Well, the short and sweet version is because caffeine can be bad for you especially when you are already having a hard time sleeping. We gain caffeine from so many things these days. It seems like almost everything you buy at the local convenience store has caffeine of some sort in it.

Decaffeinated coffee is created by removing the caffeine from regular coffee leaving a lesser caffeinated drink. Truth be told, not all decaff coffee is 100% caffeine free; let me explain. By weight, the amount of caffeine found naturally in coffee is only about 1% for the Arabica and 2% for the Robusta coffee beans. So that cup of caffeinated coffee you drink every day has a very small percentage of caffeine in it. If you've ever looked at the label on a decaff container of coffee you will notice something like "97% caffeine free". This means that 97% of that 1-2% has been removed from the coffee giving you less than 1% of caffeine in your coffee.

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Ok, so we've determined decaff coffee isn''t 100% decaffeinated. Now I need to ask, how the heck do they get the caffeine OUT of coffee?

Well, after doing some digging I found a couple different ways to do this. The first way is called the European Process. This process involves taking the coffee beans and soaking them in water then washing them with methylene chloride to absorb the caffeine in the beans. The beans are then cleaned again which removes the majority of the chemicals and then shipped off to the roaster. After roasting, virtually all of the chemicals have been removed leaving you a fuller flavour of decaffeinated coffee.

Yes folks, I said methylene chloride which some of you use as solvent, paint remover and refrigerant. Hey, don''t take my word for it, look it up yourselves ;)

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Of course, there is a second way to decaffeinate coffee. They call this the Swiss Water Process.

Basically, they use hot water and steam to suck the life out of the beans (oils and all). They run that solution through charcoal filters to remove the caffeine and then allow the solution to soak back into the beans. No chemicals are used in this process, but you end up with a lot less flavorful coffee in the end. Imagine having everything in the bean sucked out by hot water and steam and then leaving it in the "filtered" solution as it reabsorbs the "coffee". That just sounds sick, I''ll take my chances with the methylene chloride. In fact, I''ll stick with the normal caffeinated coffee :) After all, you can get more caffeine in a bottle of pop these days, so coffee seems to be the way to go.

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Anyway, enough about decaffeinated coffee, it is starting to make me feel ill.

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Ahh, good old fashioned caffeinated coffee.

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Oh boy

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Now that''s a good brew.

How was every one's evening last night? Myself, I ran into a few issues with my computer system and these random lockups while I''m playing games. I'm almost certain it's heat, but I don't care enough to troubleshoot it. I may get a can of air and go home and clean it out, maybe even do a clean install of the OS or something. Hell, I have 10 days off, maybe I'll just leave the damn thing outside. I've had nothing but issue after issue with that damn machine since I upgraded the video card last month. I don't understand how replacing a video card would cause so many issues, but then again, I don't really care why either.

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Like I said, I'm going to walk out of here today and I'm not even going to think about computers, work or anything else that will remind me of this place. I am going for a clean break and remove this place from my mind for a bit.

I NEED this break :) You will all be happy to know my experiment was a complete success!! I am in the process of documenting my findings and getting a test subject to give this a try in their own work environment. If my theory is correct, I will see a consistent increase in work and a decrease in stress levels. All of this based on the mindset of the individual and how they perceive their jobs. I'm really quite excited to see where this will lead.

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I feel like such an evil scientist sometimes. It is quite scary to be honest.

MWAAA HAAAAA HAAAAA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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Well gang, before I devise a plot to take over the world I better sign off. As I mentioned in the last couple musings I will be away from work next week. I intend to still write some next week, but not every day. Who knows, I may write everyday but I don''t want to commit to it because I don''t know what I''m going to be doing yet :)

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Have a great weekend folks and I''ll see most of you sometime this weekend. Don''t forget to take time this weekend and treat yourselves to some ice cream. Some say Ice Cream is a soothing substance due to the fact you have a nerve stem in the roof of your mouth that leads to the brain. Yes, I''m talking about brain freeze :)

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Cheers,

Al