"To be continued" is, IMO, a pretty terrible thing to do on blog posts... Why not just hold off on publishing until it is, you know, continued?
You see, the problem isn't about getting the information quickly. It's not stock information. It's about getting it complete. If I'm reading, I'm allocating time for a precise matter; and when I don't get the result, my time was probably lost.
Perhaps it's not necessarily enough for Hacker News, but it does seem to have sparked some interesting discussion on the subject, which I think makes it worthwhile.
I realized I was waking up tired and drinking coffee through the day, but then I wouldn't go to bed till late because I had drank too much coffee. And that would ensure I wouldn't get enough sleep and would wake up tired the next morning to start chugging coffee all over again.
I wasn't sure the caffeine was even helping any more because I had such a tolerance for it. And I just don't think I should need an energy boost every day.
So I switched over to black tea, and I've been gradually switching over to caffeine free herb teas.
I've found two benefits. First, I don't get caffeine headaches when I can't get coffee. And when I really do need some extra energy, I can drink a coffee and actually get an energy boost.
I had always drank a great deal of coffee. I joke that my grandfather would put it in my spill-proof cups as a toddler. At this point, I don't know if that's true or not, but even when I was 6 or so, I'd order coffee at breakfast. My household was definitely one that went through multiple pots on a daily basis.
When I started playing guitar in 5th grade, I really looked up to my teacher and we bonded over drinking espresso drinks from a small bookstore/coffee shop down the street which is sadly no longer there. I got my first espresso machine for Christmas in 6th or 7th grade. Fast forward to me working in startups, and I was at betahouse in Cambridge making dozens of shots a day with our Silva espresso machine trying to learn to get them perfect- drinking all the failures to force myself to learn.
I was probably drinking at least 12 caffeinated drinks per day. I had terrible headaches without caffeine. Having it didn't help anything much, but it was a life-long habit.
Then, when I was working at gamerDNA in Cambridge, I had just left a meeting at Andala (where I had an espresso naturally) headed back to the office to provide moral support for a code-deploy night (I wasn't coding at this point much myself).
And while crossing Mass Ave my heart suddenly started beating fast- really fast. I went to the office and kept sitting down to check my pulse. It seemed wrong. 180bpm? I must be counting in triple. I had a few others in the office try the same. It was weird. I didn't feel right. I went homeward, stopping at the neighbor's place next door. After an hour of this I had them take me to the hospital. My heart had been beating at 180-200bpm for over an hour it seemed. My counts weren't wrong.
It appeared that I had triggered some heart arrhythmia. It stopped on its own a few hours later, but the long term diagnosis was to avoid all caffeine and stimulants. The doctors were utterly shocked when they found out how many drinks I had that day (around 14 so far).
The next week was terrible, between beta-blockers they put me on and no caffeine.
I missed caffeine. But having even a small amount would send me into panic attacks and arrhythmias (neither was fun). Finally, about a year or so ago I had a heart abalation which fixed my issue there completely. No medicine needed. And no ban on caffeine.
Now I'm back to drinking coffee- albiet not as much as before (now 2-3 drinks/day is totally enough). I've also been able to get on adderall which is a magic wonder-drug for me. If I had this in college and high school, I would have been 10x more productive and a straight A student.
The headaches lasted for a bit more than a week. I tried all household remedies and only peppermint tea seemed to help although it might also be the excess fluids. I tried to avoid taking painkillers (Ibuprofen worked like a charm) but in retrospect I would probably accept a week or so of Ibuprofen/Aspirin usage.
All in all it took about two week for my body to feel balanced again. After that a few really interesting things happened though, namely:
* I could no longer get away with no breakfast or morning routine, whereas before I would just drink a coffee and be ready to walk out the door.
* It seemed that I used caffeine as an external motivator which kept me 'just doing stuff' and actually had to relearn how to choose goals and focus on them.
* I had to accept that my mental acuity was just a bit lower; even though it's now constant throughout the day.
* It now feels like my mental acuity is now linked to how physically healthy I am (as I've heard said many times), whereas that didn't seem to be the case all that much before.
All in all I realized that caffeine is very much like a self-inflicted Ballmer Peak  and if you really try to keep your blood-caffeine percentage optimal like me and the OP did, you'll destroy yourself in the long term.
I was drinking 10-12 cups of tea per day. If I stopped, the headaches would be incredible.
So three months before the trip, I just reduced my caffeine intake by 1 cup per week. The day I left for the trip, I could easily manage on 1 cup per day and the days I never had a cup of tea were fine.
Quitting anything cold turkey is tough, it's easy to reduce the dose at a rate that it's practically unnoticeable. Easier to stay abstinent if you don't have withdrawal symptoms pushing you back to your old habits.
I think the reason why this works is: (1) you still get to partake in your favorite habit (2) the habit changes so slowly you don't really perceive it changing (3) you aren't reducing the dosage so quickly that you lose any effect [i.e. when I went from 10 cups to 9 cups, I still got a boost from the caffeine] (4) by the time you get down to a reasonable dose [i.e. 1 or 2 cups] it feels like something you could carry on forever (5) you can further reduce doses by inserting holidays in between [i.e. one cup/cig every other day].
The nice part about this is that you can go as slow as you want. If you're smoking 1 pack a day (25 cigs), you can drop 1 cig each week [hardly noticeable] and it will take you almost a full year, but you'll get there eventually.
I only noticed all this after I quit smoking and subconsciously replaced a few smoke breaks with coffee breaks, causing me to massively overshoot my caffeine levels on a daily basis.
Whether it's good to keep an even level of caffeine in your bloodstream is another question of course.
Realistically, I only use it once per day ever, and then not all days- just when I really feel that i've got a good laundry list of things to get done. I never take it on weekends or on holiday (don't even take it with me). My ADD is pretty severe, but it was just formally recognized as ADD recently for me. If I don't have anything specific to do, then I don't take it and I suffer no ill effects (didn't take any to California & Burning Man for example)
I don't know why doctors prescribe it as a drug that can be taken every day. Not every day is equal, and every day is certainly not Side-project Saturday (best day of the week). :)
I recommend Vyvanse, the d-amphetamine prodrug with a therapeutic slope. Makes Adderall XR feel like a tweak with a trailing depression.
If you are concerned I suggest the book "Delivered from distraction." http://www.amazon.com/Delivered-Distraction-Getting-Attentio...
It has solved so many problems for me. I can focus on menial tasks that I used to dislike with a passion, I can work for hours on end without getting distracted in the open plan office, I no longer have issues with not finishing projects (although one problem I do have is working on too many at once ...) and because of the aderall I no longer feel the obsessive need to speed while driving (which is actually a sign of ADD).
Just because you don't have the ones that most people consider to be associated with ADD doesn't mean you don't have ADD. I used to use caffeine as well to be able to work and focus, when I stopped that my work suffered but I was sick and tired of the side effects from caffeine. Aderall gave me my sanity back, and work ethic. I am having a much easier time getting stuff done and not procrastinating.
(Encosia beat me to the punch while I was researching the RSS-to-email gateway situation, but I'll leave this here as an approach that works more generally when blogs don't have direct support like that.)
(Brain damaged and blind -- but I knew that already.)
He also has RSS and Twitter, which would be good ways to be notified when he posts again.
I have bookmarked the site and this discussion and I think I can manage to follow up. My life is less brain damaged than it used to be. (crosses fingers)
Take care and have a great day.
But thank you and have an upvote.
I've switched over to normal coffee and I'm still a pretty moderate drinker (5-6 cups a week). I don't drink soda either, so it's my only source of caffeine generally. I think it's fine in moderation and there are definitely some health benefits as well.
This knowledge is what's kept me from becoming a regular coffee drinker; The awareness that I'll get a few weeks (?) of added productivity but will then simply start at a lower baseline makes me want to preserve my caffeine sensitivity for those days when I _really_ need a pick-me-up.
I did expect to sleep more, be more tired during the day or even become less choleric and more approachable, but none of these actually happened. Needless to say, I do not miss coffee at all. ;-)
Anyway, about 5 months ago I got a huge pain in my abdomen, fast forward a few weeks I had a mild stroke says my doctor. I can't eat anything acidic now or else my body goes into weird fits. Seeing doctors etc. It sucks :P
I miss coffee so much, but being off it so long I realized it's not as good of a pick me up as I used to think. Naps are superior to coffee.
Since I have been without caffeine I have actually found it easier to stay awake, stay up longer working on problems and I don't have the same downs where I am craving caffeine or the shakes. I'm calmer, more collected and my colleagues have to deal with less "abuse" from me.
So far being with caffeine has been a huge win for me personally.
Too much caffeine started giving me anxiety. So I cut back to only 1 large cup of in the morning, and that's it.
Seems like a good balance. I never have coffee after 10am, and if I do, I can't sleep. On Sundays, I take a break and don't have any coffee at all. I sleep much better when I give my body a break.
I guess I should write a blog post.
In my experience, it's best to taper off for a week (or several) before eliminating caffeine entirely.
Cup of coffee = 8oz
Can of Soft Drink = 12oz
Bottle = 16oz
It would take nearly 36 oz (a liter) of mountain dew to equal a single cup of regular coffee. If you're drinking that much Dew, you have bigger problems than caffeine. Let's start with: your diet is now about 25% sugar by calories.
You do realize how wrong was what your doc did, right? You never just cut-off and addict from his substance like this! Yeah, for caffeine you can do it without risk killing the poor addict, and probably with most other weak stimulants too, with depression and occasionally getting dizzy because of low blood pressure, but... I imagine your work productivity dropped to a record low and this will last for at least a week! And gradually reducing the dose would have prevented this and other inconveniences...
EDIT: Ok, I read about the ulcers now. Yep, listen to the doc then, at least until they heal, and then keep antiacid pills handy :)
Anyway, sounds like he was self-medicating.