Settled Science

when it comes to coffee:

Every day seems to deliver a new story about caffeine. One day it’s good for you, the next it’s to be avoided.
But a recent large scale study suggests not only do coffee and caffeine give us an ‘energy boost’, they also benefit our health.
The British Medical Journal published an umbrella review that showed the health benefits of caffeine and coffee far outweighed the risks.
The optimum health benefits of caffeine come from about 3-4 cups a day.

I know, I know… yer not gonna cut your coffee intake in half, no matter what the scientists say.

For the record, I drink Krispy Kreme “Smooth” blend coffee from K-cups. (yeah, go ahead and call it sacrilege: according to the coffee fanatics, I should grow my own beans, roast them myself, and grind only the freshest ones for my coffee needs. The only problem with that rigmarole is I wouldn’t have time left in the day to do anything else. I don’t distill my own single malt Scotch; why should I do the same for my coffee?)

Then again, no doubt some doctors would take issue with my other approach:

…but they’re just a bunch of old spoilsports.

 

Under The Knife

My eyes have been getting progressively worse over the past couple years, to the point where looking with my left eye is akin to peering through muslin. Yup; with age comes cataracts. So here’s what awaits me later today (squeamish warning):

…and I’ll be getting the right eye done too, in a couple of weeks. Fortunately, my eyedoc is an absolute artist at this surgery — he’s the same guy who carries a SIG 226 under his white coat… how bad could he be?

After a lifetime of shitty eyesight that not even Lasik could take care of properly, here’s hoping things will get better. Apparently, it does.

Wish me luck, y’all.

Update:  all done, no problems.  See you tomorrow.

Gold Standard?

The next time some liberal fool tries to convince you that a “single-payer” healthcare system is the bee’s knees and holds up Britain’s NHS as an example of “free” medical care, feel free to point him to this little snippet:

The NHS is struggling with its worst winter ever as A&E waiting times hit their highest on record, damning figures released today reveal.

New data from NHS England shows the health service is operating at a poorer level than at the same point in 2016, which was branded a ‘humanitarian crisis’ and saw the British Red Cross drafted in to help.

The alarming statistics, collected from between New Year’s Day and January 7, show:

  • One in five patients at major casualty units waited longer than four hours – the safe limit set by the Government – to be seen in December
  • The statistics showed that for all A&E units, 85.1 per cent of patients were seen within the four-hour period – equaling last January’s record low.
  • More than 300,000 patients were forced to wait for at least four hours in all A&E units – the highest amount since figures began in 2010.
  • Ambulance delays have also risen to record proportions, with more than 5,000 patients left stuck in the back of the vehicles waiting to be transferred to A&E.
  • While bed occupancy levels have hit their worst point yet this winter, with 24 trusts declaring they had no free beds at some point last week, the figures show.

With government, when there is over-demand there will always be under-supply, and rationing.

Owie

The tear of my left knee’s lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is only partial, according to Doc Russia. Nevertheless, it’s bad enough that I need 6-8 weeks’ “light duty” (as we called it in the army).

This means that I will not be able to make the Portledge high bird shoot in Devon with Mr. Free Market on Wednesday, because the shoot involves scrambling along muddy hillside paths and steep climbs and descents and both he and Doc Russia have banned me from any such foolishness. So High Bird Shooting will remain on Ye Olde Buckette Lyste until sometime in the future, and all my shotgun lessons at Barbury and Royal Bisley were for naught. (Not wasted, of course — lessons and practice are never wasted — but for this event, irrelevant.)

I’m even wearing a knee brace just to get up and down the stairs at Free Market Towers.

Other than a sprained ankle as a boy, this is the first time in my life that I’ve suffered any kind of serious physical injury.

And I don’t bloody like it.

What Have I Done?

Yesterday morning, a stranger’s face peered out of the mirror at me. This was because, in an uncharacteristically-impulsive action the night before, I shaved off my beard and mustache; and now, for the first time since Army boot camp in 1977, my face is naked.

Actually, it wasn’t impulsive. My facial hair grows like wildfire, and I just got sick of having to trim it about every other day. So I’m going to try this new look / sensation for a while*.

I grew a beard right after graduating from high school back in 1971, and even then I tired of trimming the damn thing — no Muslim-type ragged growth for me, thank you — but I was fortunate that I was always able to find a willing face-gardener to do the tiresome chore for me.

And speaking of which: several women in my long and checkered love life adored my beard and muzzie — one said that after kissing me, all other men felt like she was kissing a woman — but as my chances of ever kissing a woman in that way again are depressingly slim, I don’t really care. (And I’m going over to Britishland again in a few weeks so the odds grow even slimmer.)

Not that I’m looking to kiss a woman again, mind you. For one thing, cooties; and more importantly, that would require some kind of affection on my part, so fuhgeddabaht it.

I also trimmed my luxuriant British-styled hair back to its usual 3/4″ all-over length (no kidding, I did have my hair styled Over There), but that’s not really a change.

I think I look like a mugshot of a man wanted in twenty states for serial murder, but Doc Russia (who has a full, luxuriant Orthodox priest-type beard) thinks the clean shave makes me look younger.

Not that I care about that, either.

Thank goodness I have a decent badger-hair shaving brush and a choice between a single-edge (if I’m in a hurry) and straight razor (if I’m not). I do need to look at aftershave lotions, though; the last time I bought any was about 1979. Does anyone know if Halston still makes 1-12, or am I dating myself terribly by even suggesting it?


*No pics; I don’t do selfies and I can’t imagine why anyone would be interested in this nonsense either.

Oh Hell

Ever since Part 1 of my Britishland sabbatical and my horror at seeing what looked like a heavily-pregnant old man shooting clays (pic below), I’ve become very conscious of what I eat [diet details redacted because nobody wants to read that shit*].

As a heretofore-lifelong chocolate eater, however, I can honestly say I hate Charlie Martin. Why?

Fortunately, I’m not studying, the only tests I face are of willpower when confronting my fourth or fifth pint of 6X, the only test I want to “pass” is a police blood-alcohol test, and I’ve had enough “new information” to last me several lifetimes, thank you. So I won’t be hitting the Aero or Milky Bars (my erstwhile choco-drugs of choice) anytime soon.

Unless, that is,  some scientist discovers that eating chocolate will make me irresistible to 55+ year-old women (and as we all know, another medical study will then “prove” that eating chocolate is linked to geriatric leprosy or something).


*Yes, I’m on a diet, for the first time in my life. No, I’m not going to talk about it because dieters are more boring than first-time mothers or even vegans. If it works, you’ll see pictorial proof at some point; if not, I’ll just go back to eating chocolate and drinking 6X to wash down my fish & chips / steak pies, and nobody will be any the wiser. And finally: all dietary advice in Comments which includes the words “paleo”, “crossfit” and other such foulness will be summarily stricken. In fact, don’t bother with any advice at all. You have been warned.