A New Look

It was about time. The EP Studios website was soooo 2013. An overhaul was long overdue.

As you may have noticed, the site looks different now. I upgraded to the WordPress Twenty Twenty theme, nicely mobile-friendly. I flattened out the menu–no more submenus. I eliminated some outdated pages. I upgraded the remaining pages with new screenshots of the apps.

A big difference is that the landing page is now a static web page showcasing the apps. The blog still exists (obviously; you are reading it), but it has been relegated to a menu item. This change reflects the change of emphasis of this site over time. It started out as a blogging site with the apps as a sidelight. The situation now is reversed. I note that the last blog post before this one was over a year ago. This decrease in blogging frequency reflects the decreased interest in blogs in general, at a time when podcasts, tweets, and YouTube videos are becoming increasing popular means of media consumption. Who blogs anymore?

Yet, now that the site is tidied up, I’m thinking that maybe it is time to start blogging again. I’ve got some ideas forming in my head, to quote the film Time Bandits. Some of these ideas have been percolating for some time. For example: I’ve been reading a lot of Jules Verne in the original French. I’ve been working on an app to draw ladder diagrams. I’ve been using ledger and Emacs ledger-mode for my personal finances and budgeting and have found it very useful. I would like to give a 5 year update on my post on retiring as a physician. And, although I no longer have a dog in the fight and others have picked up the mantle, I have further thoughts on electronic heath records and how needlessly bad they are. All these topics deserve posts. And I might inflict some more short stories on you. These stories will eventually be gathered in a volume entitled Unpublishable Tales, a very loose play on Lovecraft’s Unaussprechlichen Kulten. So be warned! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

Medicine Misc

Cutting Down on Coffee

Not coffee

This morning as I write this, there is on my desk a steaming hot cup of fake coffee. The ingredients are roasted barley, roasted malt barley, roasted chicory, and roasted rye. This is the sort of stuff people drank as a coffee substitute during wartime rationing. It smells odd. It is hot and black and looks like coffee. It tastes kind of meh–not bad, not good.  It has a depression era vibe.

As someone whose very life energy used to be fueled by coffee, the transition from coffee to not-coffee was difficult. I drank at least 5 or 6 cups per day. When I was working as a physician I depended on it to keep going. I usually took it black, never added sugar, and completely eschewed Starbucks overwrought concoctions. I loved simple espresso based drinks, particularly Americanos, but, like a true addict, any bottom of the pot leftover coffee would do the trick. But then I was forced to go cold-turkey.

I was having some epigastric pains. The doctor told me to cut out coffee and spicy foods (that’s another saga). So I did.

The day after I quit coffee was filled with headaches and fatigue. The next day was a little better. By the third day I felt fine.

After quitting coffee and a course of omeprazole, my stomach felt better. I also felt pretty good energy-wise sans caffeine. So I cautiously reintroduced some coffee into my life.

I don’t drink it every day. When I do drink it I limit myself to one or two cups. Afterwards I feel a distinct “high” that I hadn’t really appreciated when I was a chronic imbiber. In the past I drank coffee just to feel normal. Doubtless I had built up a tolerance to it. If I didn’t drink it I felt bad.

Now when I don’t drink it I feel normal. When I do drink it I feel a burst of energy. But I don’t need to feel that way all the time. So most of the time I am drinking a coffee substitute or an herbal tea rather than coffee. It works for me.

Your mileage may vary.