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June 17, 2008



Millions of dollars have been spent trying to demonize coffee and the bottom line is that coffee drinkers have a slightly smaller incidence of depression.

The real, and related, wonder drugs are Theophylline and Theobromine, the Food of the Gods. Guess where you find the latter? Chocolate. Big surprise, huh?


Those two and caffeine are methyl xanthines and they all have the same physiological effects, central nervous system excitation, bronchodilation, vasodilation, and diuresis. Caffeine is the weakest of the three except in CNS stimulation, at which it is strongest. For all the other effects Theophylline, in tea, is strongest and theobromine second strongest.

Once upon a long ago, on a lark, we'd hiked way up in the mountains to Papoose Lake, and camped overnight. Around ten in the morning, as the caffeine deprivation headaches started to imperil sanity, we realized we'd forgotten to bring coffee. Facing a 15 mile hike to the nearest cuppa Joe, we were pretty discouraged until the one who must be honored and obeyed remembered that we had a large Hershey's chocolate bar with us. Splitting that took the headaches away for the rest of the day.


One more reason to feel good about funding my local barista's college education and/or drug habit.

hit and run

No higher death risk in long-term coffee drinking

"Still 100%."
--James Taranto


Good Morning JOM'ers
How is everyone today?
Coffee? I'm for it.


I have an iv hooked up direct from my coffee pot.


OT (well, ok, if the topic is "liquids" maybe it fits :-) The levy broke on the IL side of the river, south of Gulfport, east of Burlington, IA. The crest is not expected for another 18 hours, and it's going to be really, really ugly. The IA side of the river is lined with bluffs, but the IL side is flat for about 5-10 miles.


cathy, are you folks okay?


We're fine -- we're not on the river, and since the city rebuilt the sewers a couple of years back I don't even get water in my basement in heavy rains. But we are scrambling volunteers -- I've got weather spotters, ham radio operators and senior red cross disaster workers in the family :-)

Right now the news is kind of confused. It's not clear whether they've given up, or if they think the break can be shored up. If you go to www.randmcnally.com and get a map for Burlington, IA, you can see that Gulfport is really an island surrounded by the river on one side and a series of interconnected lakes and creeks to the east. But it is very flat all the way back to a bluff line a good 8 miles away. The river is going to crest at 30 feet, and at that level, that whole section of farmland is river bottom.


Well, it sounds like a lot of excitement. I'm glad you're well.


Lets watch and see how Illinois and Iowa residents react to breached levies and massive flooding. I am guessing it may be quite different than what we saw a couple years ago in a similar event.


Yippee! I'll drink to that.



Make sure you let us know if you need anything locally. You have lots of pals who can send things. (That is probably a stupid offer but I can't think of anything else.)


Well, if the coffee don't kill me, I think my wife would without it!!!


Having just returned from a DC and outer banks vacation in 100 degree heat, allow me to say how wonderful it is to arrive back home in Alaska. We may not be trendy or swanky or chock full of Jamestowns and Washington Monuments etc, but 1 thing we do have, and thats a good morning chill that makes you crave a good warm cup of jo. Plus on almost every street corner, in Anchorage sits a humble looking drive up wooden shack with a nailed on chalkboard listing latte prices, and good looking college gal's inside in Polar Bear T-shirts, standing behind the portable barista machines cranking out caffeine. Great to be back home!


Well, flooding certainly sucks, but it should be pointed out that the river bottom land has yields that are like 20% higher than the farmland just a few miles away that doesn't flood. Sure, you lose the whole crop when it floods, but that happens a lot less often than once every 5 years, so those guys are still ahead in the end.

It's kind of surprising that this flooding hasn't gotten more attention -- they are talking crests of 25 maybe even 30 feet in places that crested at 22 feet in 1993. And, more sobering, in 1993 it took a whole spring and summer of heavy rains to get us to this point in August/September. This year, we already had a flood that crested about May 1, and it's only June, and we've still got 3 months of summer to go! (If you look at this picture you'll see a line of fencing that ends in a clump of trees in the center foreground of the picture. That was the water level on May 1.)

So pray for dry weather! Last weekend they got 4-6 inches of rain in just a few hours in the Quad Cities, and that's what kills us. If we can just hold off the really heavy rains for the week then that will lower the crest by feet. (Of course, flooding a few hundred square miles of IL river bottom farmland takes a lot of pressure off, too... *sigh*)

And I should point out that eastern IA from Iowa City to the north has been hit way harder than anything in western IL or southeastern IA...


Wishing you well, cathyf!

On the coffee topic, count me among the people who believe that one's first cup of coffee is the best part of the day.


I am sure all of this is due to global warming, all climate change is.


Just talking with and Ag Supplier/friend, and he's saying that currently something like 13% of U.S. cropland is under water. That is an almost incomprehensible number.


one's first cup of coffee is the best part of the day.

Me too, me too!


Dry rain it is, cathy.
Daddy, you left too soon. Last night we had a frightful storm with lots of hail and the weather dropped 20 degrees in minutes. It is very pleasant out now. (Good because both my air conditioning condensers broke and need to be replaced.)

JM Hanes

Pofarmer: 13% is just stunning.


13% is indeed a stunning figure. But I hope/believe some drying winds (along with prayers) are headed toward the Midwest.


Problem is it's too late. Around here, corn has to be planted by May 10 or yields start dropping. If they replant now, it's too late to get anything before winter.

If you want an example of externalities -- I talked to a friend who lives 6 blocks from the river (but a good 30 feet up -- no danger of flooding for them.) She said that they were wondering why the sirens stopped in the middle of the night and they stopped sandbagging. Then in the morning they realized that when the levee broke 20 miles downriver it took the pressure off of their sandbags...

I was just reminded that 500-year floods brings 500-year mosquitos. AAACCCKKK!!! Send DEET!!!


Cathyf--if you have any contact information or have thought of a way things/money could be sent to any organization to help people in this time of need, I would appreciate it.
Have thought the Red Cross would be good or the Salvation Army. The Red Cross had such a terrible track record from what I read during the Katrina debacle--I'm a bit reluctant to send money their way.
Your opinion would be valued.


I have some folks in my forum who would like to send money, also. How can we help?


If you are looking for a worthy cause, the girl scouts in the eastern IA and western IL council (basically ground zero for all of the flooding) lost their Cedar Rapids office and had extensive flood damage at one of their campgrounds:

The flood of 2008 has begun to move downstream from Iowa, but won't be forgotten soon. Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois sustained great loss with the flooding of our Cedar Rapids office last week - and we need help.

The unprecedented flood caused great damage to our offices in Cedar Rapids, leaving nothing salvageable. With a high insurance deductible, we are facing extreme costs to rebuild our offices.

Your staff of Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois has been left homeless since we were given a half-hour to evacuate our offices. They have been operating from their homes and public meeting places since last week. We have set up a very temporary office - thanks to the generosity of the Iowa State University Extension Service. Phone calls to our Cedar Rapids number currently are being routed to our Rock Island, Ill., Administrative Service Center. We hope to have a new temporary office within the next week or two and we will let you know when that office is set up.

We're experiencing great costs being homeless, not to mention the damage from the flood. We will be unable to save anything from our offices - items ranging from computers to merchandise to furnishings to office supplies and files. We don't expect to be back for at least six months.

Not only did we sustain great losses in our Cedar Rapids office, we also continue to clean up from tremendous rains that flooded our Camp Tahigwa in northeastern Iowa more than a week ago. We continue to work hard to prepare the camp for campers next week, but we also can use monetary donations to offset our costs in repairing the camp from flood damge.

If you are able to make a donation to help us get back on our feet in Cedar Rapids or Camp Tahigwa, this is a good time to help your Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois. Your monetary donation will help us rebuild our offices and continue to offer the same level of service we always have offered from all of our camps and offices, especially the damaged Cedar Rapids office.

Please take a moment and make a donation that will help Girl Scouts by visiting our Web site at www.gseiwi.org and clicking on the donation link at the bottom of the home page, or by sending your check to:

Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois
2011 Second Ave.
Rock Island, IL 61201

We appreciate your assistance in our time of need. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your help, your prayers and your words of encouragement.

Diane T. Nelson,
Chief Executive Officer

Mary Lagerblade,
Chair, Board of Directors

Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois


I can get behind that. Thanks Cathy


Here is a link to the girl scout request for donations: Help Girl Scouts: Provide Flood Relief There are two pictures from the offices -- it looks like the water went up to the ceiling.


Thanks Cathyf!

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