I’ve debated releasing this publicly, but I finally conceded that I can’t hide this valuable information away. That would just be selfish. These are techniques that are used in the field and have been battle-tested through hundreds of presentations. In this modern world effectively communicating our ideas is more important than ever.
Now, I had just learned these facts before my presentation at Dimescon 2018 (aka Jeff’s Birthday Presentation Party for Cool and Cooler People). This is the reason I did not implement many of them in my own presentation. I have been practicing them since then, and I promise you they have made a world of difference.
Some friends and I went to see Alton Brown live for Tim’s (Tim of Tim and Matt Play fame) birthday. During the show Alton had these comically large wheels for selecting three constituent parts of a cocktail. These were the base, the base spirit, the secondary spirit, and a finisher. Think of a Manhattan (my personal favorite) – Rye whiskey (base), sweet vermouth (secondary spirit), Angostura bitters (finisher). This is supposedly the definition for a successful cocktail. Tim constructed the wheel, and we decided to put that to the test. The results were, let’s say, varied. One of the best parts were just naming them. Anyway, in short, 8/10 would suffer through again.
The next topic up for the hear-to-be-unnamed blog project was to give something up for a week and write about your experience. Unless you just couldn’t wait to jump into reading this, or you have an aversion to titles, my choice was coffee.
Now, I love coffee. Not a little love, but a lot of love. It’s an addiction. Thankfully this one has few negative health effects and actually a few positive ones. With this being an addiction you can understand why I would be reluctant to let this delicious black elixir go.
To give context, I have a habit of giving up things, especially in the way of diet:
Strict Vegetarian for 6 years (2005-2011)
Pescatarian (fish exception) for 4 years (2011-Present)
No pop for two year when I started college (2006-2008)
No pop for five months (November 2014- Present)
I wanted to clarify a few things. I’m not a red-paint-throwing person about meat. I do it because I want to. I feel it makes me a healthier person by forcing me to look at the things I’m eating. If you eat meat, that is totally cool. No problems here. Let’s go get dinner sometime.
Secondly, I realize energy drinks could be classified in pop. I personally make a distinction, but I understand how you can lump them together. You have to draw your own lines.
I like to challenge myself to see if I can pull it off. Not to mention I’m kind of a health nut. I’m the dude who reads the facts on the sides of packaging. There is no shortage of things in my fridge with the words “free” or “light.” Just to stem the tide of negative comments, I research things. I am, above all, a man of science and therefore do not make decisions based on hype and hearsay. When I give something up, I like it to be for a reason, a benefit.
With all this in mind, dear reader, a quick summary of my experience was, to put it delicately, awful. Well, that’s not quite strong enough a word. I need a new word to fully describe it. It was terriful. Horrendocious. I didn’t feel I was doing it for any real reason besides this blog. I was tired all the time, even with additional Red Bulls, which I love (don’t ever leave me, baby).
I found myself seeing coffee everywhere, like a hungry guy on a deserted island who’s shipwrecked compatriot suddenly resembles a sumptuous turkey leg.
I also found myself forgetting I couldn’t have it, if only for a moment.
“Oh man, I’ll get an espresso! Wait, no, because everything is rain clouds and sadness.”
I felt like I was giving up smoking.
“What do you think coffee is doing right now? Do you think it’s thinking of me?”
Maybe I like it too much…
I am unrepentantly in love coffee, I hate not having it. The one silver lining is thank the stars I didn’t give up caffeine.