final coke

Cola study #1

As I’ve grown older my diet has changed away from what I used to eat and drink in my youth. One of those changes is my ability to handle sodas, and then diet sodas. I gave up sugared sodas thirty or so years ago in my late thirties. There wasn’t much in the way of diet sodas, but fortunately for me I was able to switch over to Diet Coke, which had been released back in 1982. I didn’t care for the taste all that much, but I didn’t have much choice as I was rapidly gaining weight; my doctor at the time told me to drop the regular Coke habit or basically die young. So with that rather blunt choice I chose to drink diet Coke.

Over the following decades I switched around to various diet sodas as they became available, keeping diet Coke as my fallback soda. The only diet soda I couldn’t stand was diet Pepsi. I just couldn’t drink it. If I went to a restaurant that only served diet Pepsi then I switch to ice water.

Over the last few years I’ve been dropping diet soda consumption to zero. I discovered I was reaching a point of intolerance; I couldn’t handle the taste nor the after effects of consuming it. So I would stop cold turkey, usually for a month or so, then “fall off the wagon” and start drinking it again. After another period of abstinence I picked up a bunch of twelve ounce diet Coke packs (eight bottles to a pack) because a local Publix supermarket had a buy two, get two free sale. So I stocked up and started binging diet Cokes again, usually three or four at a time.

Over the past week I haven’t felt particularly well. I felt tired, wound up napping a lot during the day, and in general felt like I had low energy. I also had a ‘vague’ headache; nothing painful, but annoying. Then I ran down the diet Cokes and stopped drinking any of them three days ago. It was almost magical; my energy slowly returned and the vague headache went away. Right now I’m feeling pretty good.

I think my body is trying to tell me something about consuming diet Cokes, as in, don’t. Since switching back to ice water (you know, ice out of the freezer mixed with water in a glass) a number of little things are better; my mouth doesn’t have this permanent aftertaste, my stomach isn’t bloated, and other minor complaints seem to have just gone. I can comfortably live with my body again.

I’m completely done with the witches brews of diet sodas, especially diet Coke. Ice water, and maybe brewed teas (I used to make pitchers of brewed unsugared tea), are the drinks for me, especially water.

the first amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This is from the Constitution (see ). The First Amendment is in three parts, one of which is devoted to freedom of speech. The other two concern the prohibition of establishing religion and allowing its citizens to petition (read: protest) for a “redress of grievances.” While he was president Trump broke all three quite consistently and quite hard. The establishment of religion was in my opinion the worst, with the allowance of evangelical Christians into the White House for public “laying on of hands” and very public praying, for which Christ himself spoke of in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:5):

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Now Trump wants to make a big deal out of his being banned from all the social media platforms of consequence. And that’s where Trump shows his total ignorance of the First Amendment. When the First Amendment talks about “abridging freedom of speech,” it’s talking about Congress, meaning the federal government, from abridging freedom of speech. The government doesn’t own any of the platforms, and makes no attempt to regulate them (although regulation may come sooner than later due to documented monopolistic practices having nothing to do with free speech). Trump is pissed because a lot of people got tired of his endless lying and what it eventually led to, i.e. January 6th, which led to his being booted off those social media platforms. Or, to put it rather succinctly: