Coffee Report – Four weeks


Four weeks of coffee

I drink too much coffee…

I’ve been making an attempt at tracking my coffee intake and expenses for four weeks. Here are the totals:

Total cups drank: 101 (missed taking pictures of 3)

Total Dunkin’ Donuts large ice coffees bought: 12 x $2.75 = $33.00

Medium McDonald’s ice coffees: 5 x $1.00 = $5.00

Approximate total spent on coffee outside of the house: $38.00

I drank 3.6 cups per day on average, though I did not always finish every cup.

I think I did about as well as I expected with my attempts to buy less coffee outside of the house. I tended to start the week strong, making my own coffee at home before work, but I notice I tended to slip up more towards the end of the week. I also tend to get at least one ice coffee per day on the weekend if I am out and about. I tried McDonald’s iced coffee, which is currently only $1.00 for a medium, and it is surprisingly good. It’s a viable option for the days that I just need an iced coffee.

I think with a little more planning and a little more focus, I can cut my outside coffee buying down even more. I think brewing a large pot of coffee at home on the weekend to keep in the fridge for iced is a good starting point.

I still think I might be drinking too much in general.

There is a lot of conflicting reporting out there, but this NPR story mentions a study that men under 55 who drink more than 28 cups per week have a 56 percent increased risk of death from all causes. Statistical manipulation aside, that’s something to think about. I definitely have hit 28 cups per week occasionally and I think my usual numbers are at least in that ballpark. There are an assorted bunch of possible benefits associated with coffee,as well, and this article at the Huffington Post give a decent list. I think I could stand to cut back a little, but I don’t think I am going to stop completely.

And in a slightly random aside:

In my original Coffee Report post, I put together the image of all the cups of coffee using Paint.Net, cropping and adding together the 23 images by hand. It was tedious and error prone. If you look closely, several of the images don’t line up and there are seams between some others. Something tedious, repetitive, and error prone? That sounds like a problem for software to solve! I wrote a quick and dirty little .Net WinForms program last weekend in about two hours to combine multiple images into one. I’ve made a couple of tweaks to it over the past week, and I might continue to refine it. I put it up on GitHub (which I am just starting to use), and I am trying to find a decent way to share a compiled version of the program for anyone who might find it useful.

Brain Crack is Tasty

Out of all the crap that I have watched across the infinite cultural wasteland of the Internet, there are two particular videos I found to be very inspirational. The first is by Ze Frank (Explicit, probably NSFW video below – though it is probably fine as long as you have headphones on)

My name is John, and I am brain crack addict. I am definitely guilty of not executing on ideas, and I am making a focused effort to change this, one day at a time. This blog is a part of that. Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything. A mediocre execution in the real world is better than a perfect, polished idea locked up in your brain.

Another video that really stuck with me over the years is this one, by Ira Glass.

The gist of the above video is that creative people tend to have good taste, and when they first start out doing creative work their work sucks. And since they have good taste, they can tell that their work is not up to par. This is very discouraging, to say the least. I think that this dichotomy between what I know is good and what I was actually creating has affected me over the years more than I would like to admit.

Ira’s way to overcome this is by creating “a huge volume of work.” This is the key right here. Create crap by the truckload. Keep creating, turn off your inner critic and just keep doing it. Churn out terrible stories and novels. Paint canvas after canvas of paintings that would fit right in at the Museum of Bad Art. Practice, practice, practice. If you have an idea, execute it. Don’t let it become brain crack. Eventually, maybe after 10,000 hours or so of doing this kind of stuff, your work might eventually live up to your own standards of taste. And if it doesn’t, keep going anyway.

I re-watched these videos recently and they helped to kick me out of a creative rut, and I hope that by sharing these videos I can help out any other creative-types who might be stuck or uninspired.

How I Became a Programmer, Part 3 – Just Getting Started

In earlier posts, I wrote about my early experiences with programming and my wandering path away from it and then my wandering path back.


I signed up for a Computer Science I night class at a community college during a summer session. I had a very long commute at this point, and the school was right next to a train station about halfway between home and work.

The class used Java as the language to teach basic CS concepts. Prior to this class, I had not really used Java. While there is a lot of discussion of whether Java is a good language to learn programming from, for me it was fantastic compared to C++. It is just easier to rapidly build programs to try things out in Java, without having to worry about manually managing memory or fiddling with pointers. We used the JCreator IDE for the class, while it is not as powerful or flexible as Eclipse, it was clean and straightforward to use. The class used Deitel’s Java How to Program, 7th Edition (looks like there is a 9th Edition now) as the textbook.

rocks in a river

There were about twenty people in the class and it was not the most lively bunch. A three hour class on hot summer nights does not make for happy students. I really just liked having an excuse to focus and write programs. I learned a ton while I was taking the class, from the class itself and by working through problems in the text book. For the class final, we were given a challenge assignment. If we could write a program that could complete a Knight’s Tour, we didn’t have to take the final. I worked for about a week on that program. I wrote a lot of it on my tiny netbook during my commute. I got it to work, and didn’t have to take the final. And I was hooked on programming again, like a junkie relapsing after a decade sober.

I started writing code and reading about code as much as possible. Thinking back, I can’t believe how much code I wrote on an under-powered netbook with a 10 inch screen. It may have been actually helpful, since I had to keep a lot more of the code in my head since the screen could not show many lines of code at once. I wrote a Java program to solve Sudoku puzzles, I wrote a program that used a genetic algorithm to solve the eight queens problem, poked at many of the Project Euler problems, and more. I wrote programs in Java, C++ and C, eventually adding C#, Ruby, and Python over the course of my schooling, along with HTML, Javascript, XML, and SQL.

I burned through all the computer classes for an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science in about a year and a half taking classes part time and online. It would have taken me over two years to finish up the non-computer degree requirements at that school because of the way the classes were scheduled, so I transferred to a four year school where almost all of my credits from other schools counted towards a BS in Information Technology. I managed to finish up the four year degree (with a minor in Business, go figure) in about a year. Taking five classes while working full time is not something I recommend to anyone. Sleep deprivation was my normal state of being for quite a while.

In my last year in school, I managed to get an internship at a real life software company. It was a real eye opener. I learned more in my ten months there than I did in all of my classes, or to put it another way it really helped solidify what a lot of the stuff I learned in my classes was good for. Working on a large scale software project with hundreds of thousands or even millions of lines of code is a vastly different beast than anything I dealt with in school. If you are writing a 100 line program encapsulation or abstraction doesn’t really matter but on a bigger scale it makes the difference between a codebase that is navigable or a drunken pile of spaghetti. The first couple of weeks at the internship I did some testing but then I was knee deep in coding (as well as icon design an some graphic design type stuff). The project I was working on was replacing an MFC UI with a new WPF UI, and I got to work in C++ and C# with XAML. It was fantastic and an amazing learning experience.

I started interviewing before graduation, and I had a few offers to choose from. I have been working at the same place for about two years, and it’s awesome. I work on a small agile team in a large company on a great piece of software used by a lot of people. I get to work on the full stack, from the database to web pages to a thick windows client. I get to write code in C#, Javascript, and SQL. In school I took a database class, and it was pretty boring. Databases in the real world are not boring at all. I get to build cool stuff everyday.

I also continue to work on side projects on my own. I’ve done both IOS tutorials and Android tutorials. I’ve gone through an OpenGL book and am itching to get to use some of it at work. I’m trying to sharpen up my Javascipt and JQuery skills. I’m interested in learning a functional programming language.

It’s been a long, twisted road to get where I am today. Some people have a straight line laser focus on what they want to do with their lives, but it seems to have taken me longer to figure it out. I am psyched, and I feel like I am just getting started.

How I Became a Programmer, Part 2 – The Lost Years.

In a previous post, I talked about my early experiences with computers and programming.

Love That Dirty WaterFor the first few years after high school, I did not really make any progress with my programming skills. I flopped around in school part-time vaguely pursuing a degree in art and illustration while working an assortment of terrible jobs before I ending up working in a bookstore. If you are interested in the world and curious about the stuff in it, I recommend spending a few years working in a bookstore or a library. You will learn a lot of things, especially how terrible and ignorant the mass of humanity can be. Most bookstores have a lending policy, so you can read whatever you want for free as long as you return it in sellable condition, and I read all kinds of books. At this point in my life I was burning through like two or three books a week. Long commutes by subway do have this small advantage. I read lot of science fiction and fantasy, history, popular science books, and the occasional computer book.

The bookstore I worked at was in in a mall that happened to be right next to a very large software company. Consequently, the store had a very large computer book section. Around this time, the Internet was starting to actually be a thing that real people used and I loved every second I managed to get online at the blistering speed of 36.6k baud. We had twenty feet of wall covered with computer books on everything from Cold Fusion to J++. I read some HTML books, and did some dabbling in Visual Basic and C, using the compilers and software that were on CDs in the back of those books.

Robot Mech Tank ThingI have always been the go-to computer guy for family and friends. I am good at setting computers up and fixing them when things go wrong. One time I saved my sister’s unsaved term paper after a power failure by pulling most of the text from a Microsoft word temp file. I really like computers. I didn’t really pursue tech as a career because I wanted to do other things. I wanted to be an artist or a writer or a musician, but none of those really panned out.

Fast forward a few years, and I left a trail of closed bookstores in my wake. The art career never really took off. It was a fun side hobby that occasionally brought in a few bucks, with some of my art occasionally appearing online and in print books,  but never anything close to live on. I was running a Waldenbooks in a mall, and I decided that I needed to change my life up. I took off across the state and went back to school to study psychology (another subject I am really interested in) full time. I did a semester and was the loneliest I have ever been, and I ended back home and working in yet another bookstore. Sigh.

Guy with Big Radioactive GunSomewhere in this time frame, I picked up Beginning C++ Game Programming. I spent a few weeks going though this book, and it reminded me of how much I loved programming back on the Apple IIe in the high school library. It really helped solidify a lot of computer programming concepts that I had touched before in C, like pointers, and introduced me to things like encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism, and just why you might want to bother with an object-oriented approach to programming. There is a newer version of this book, and it may not be the best first programming book, it certainly re-lit my interest in programming.


At the small independent bookstore I was working at, I ended up running the website. It was a Network Solutions eCommerce site, and it was all setup when I inherited it. I worked on it quite a bit, tweaking the design, adding some javascript bits, and learning a lot as I went along.

At this point, I decided I needed to go back to school (again!), and this time I would study Computer Science. I signed up for a night class at a community college, and I will continue my story in How I Became A Programmer, Part 3 – Just Getting Started.

Random Review – Medal of Honor: Airborne

The next game to come up on the random game chooser is Medal of Honor: Airborne. Steam says I have 32 minutes on record with this game, but I don’t remember much at all about it so I figured I’d give it another shot.

medal of honor airborne

I don’t have any screenshots of this game. As I was playing, I was occasionally hitting ALT + PRINTSCREEN which usually works, and instead I ended up with 74 images of my Windows desktop.

Why do I own this game?

It looks like I bought this on Steam on May 11th, 2011 at the same time I purchased Battlefield 2, and together both games came to $7.50. Must have been a daily deal or weekend special or something. I have fond memories of playing the original Medal Of Honor game for the PS1, and Medal of Honor Frontline for the original XBox. The series has definitely lost some of its luster over the years as the Call of Duty series came to dominate the WWII shooter genre. I had no interest in this game at all when it was released in 2007, mostly because I did not have a decent gaming PC at the time or one of the then current generation consoles.

How much time did I spend on it?

I spent about two hours playing through the first two missions.

What do I think?

It’s a dead average World War II shooter. The one interesting mechanic is that you can parachute into any part of the level when you first start. It’s cool, but I think it causes problems with the level designs. The levels are open, and it seems like you can pursue any of your current objectives. This is the big difference from the Call of Duty series. Call of Duty is almost on rails – any choice you seem to have is an illusion as you move through the area. In this game, you can head for any yellow objective arrow on your compass. Typical objectives are blow up an AA gun or fuel tank or radio. I don’t know for sure, but it seems like enemies spawn in as you move from area to area, and as I made my way through level it seemed like they were popping back in where I had previously killed them. I could be wrong, or maybe the bad guys moved from other parts of the level. It seemed a little off.

The gameplay has some quirks that I found a little annoying. When you bring up your iron sights, it modifies the strafe keys to act as lean keys. It makes it awkward to shoot out from corners and if you are in a shootout with enemies at the far end of the range of your weapons. Speaking of enemies, they are not the brightest bunch of bad guys out there. They seem to have some rudimentary tactics, but they are also very easy to flank and are not particularly clever. Sometimes they run right past you chasing after one of your allies. And your allies are are not great tacticians either.

The game uses a modified version of the Unreal3 engine and it looks pretty good, if a little bland. The character models look decent, maybe a little bit blockier than I would have expected for a 2007 game but they were passable. Music is a nice John Williams-eque orchestral score. Voice acting is pretty good overall as well.

Call of Duty: World at War came out very shortly after this game, and I played through that sometime in 2011 shortly after I got my Xbox 360. More intense, sharper graphics, a lot of variety in level design (even if they are essentially on rails), it was just more fun to play.

Will I play it again?

I don’t think so. It’s not terrible, but there are better WWII shooters out there if I feel like killing some Nazis.

The next game that came up on the random game chooser was Incredipede, and I hope I get an hour or two to play it soon.

How Sedentary Am I?

Apparently, sitting all day is going to kill me. I love programming, but I would really like to minimize any negative health consequences of my chosen profession.

I sit for many hours a day at a desk, hunched over a keyboard and staring at a screen. I’ve been using a fitbit to track my activity level (somewhat inconsistently) for almost two years. I am a fan of the quantified self movement, but too undisciplined to really get into it. I’m not sure I have gained much insight from the fitbit or if collecting this information has helped me in any significant way, but one thing that became shockingly clear is how sedentary my days can be.

A typical day for me can look like this:

fitbit 4-29-2014

I get up in the morning, walk to my car, drive to the office, walk into the office, and get up a few times for meetings/bathroom breaks/coffee, and then after work walk back to the car, drive home, and walk a little bit more as I make dinner and do random chores around the house. Total step count: 3180. That is nothing. About 1.7 miles.

Until about a month or two ago, being sedentary at work did not worry me too much. I was an active Crossfitter, working out two or three (or occasionally more) times per week. Crossfit has  a somewhat sketchy reputation on the Internet, but it made a huge positive impact on my life. I’ve read stories online about terrible Crossfit affiliates and some of the questionable things they do, but that was not my experience at all. The coaches were professional and extremely helpful, always encouraging people to push themselves but never to compromise safety. I started shortly before my wedding in the summer of 2012, and over the course of a year and a half I lost 40 pounds and built some muscle. I stopped my membership a few months ago because of my only real issue with Crossfit – the cost. It was very pricey compared to a globo-gym, but I easily justified it by the results I was seeing and comparing the cost to that of a personal trainer. However, now we have a baby on the way and I am tightening up the budget wherever I can. Cutting Crossfit was a tough choice to make. I hope to get back into it once the baby gets here and things settle back to normal (I am aware that this is probably wishful/delusional thinking.)

I have been trying to do workouts at home, but it’s tough to motivate myself to do so. I have a decent size room to work out in, a jump rope and a kettlebell along with some light dumbbells, but I haven’t managed to get a good routine going. I’ve experimented with a 7 minute workout, and it seems like it might be a decent way to go if I can make a habit of doing it in the morning before I start getting ready to go to work. I have already seen the scale starting to climb back up and I think I am losing some of the strength I have built up in a very short amount of time.

I have recently started taking a walk during my lunch break at work. Previously, I have just eaten at my desk and either kept working or just wasted time on the internet. I’ve been trying to walk at a brisk pace, for about 15-20 minutes. Today, my activity level was this:

fitbit 5-12-2014

Total step count: 7602. 4.07 miles. Not great, but not too bad either.

I am thinking of trying a standing desk. Several of my coworkers near me have switched over to standing over the past year or two. Some have stuck with it, some have not. It is a fairly major project to have the desks raised in my cubicle, so if I switch over I am committed. I have thought about building a riser for my monitors and keyboard so I can lower them if I need to sit (a coworker has this type of setup), but I haven’t had time to design or build one.

Another project I have been thinking about experimenting with is setting up a treadmill desk. We have an ancient treadmill in the basement. It is not great for running on, but could be just fine for walking. There seem to be a lot of plans for DIY treadmill desks online, and it seems like something I could put together cheaply. So if I set up a laptop on the treadmill desk, I could be getting a (very) light workout while doing things like writing blog posts or coding on some of my side projects.

I feel better when I exercise regularly, I just hope I can manage to find a way to work it into my daily routine and rebuild a regular habit of it. I really don’t want my eventual cause of death to be a chair.

How I Became a Programmer, Part 1.

Some people are just born to code. They come out of the womb thinking in binary. I am not one of those people.

I came to programming through a more indirect path. My first exposure to computers was in elementary school. There were a few Apple II computers in the building, and every once in a while we got to play with them. I think Oregon Trail was the most popular choice, and the closest thing to programming was Logo. One of my friends from elementary school had a Commodore 64 with a tape drive, and I remember being unimpressed with it.

Freshman year in high school, I ended up having “study hall” in the library, and there was an Apple II there as well. Rather than study or working on homework, I spent my time plunking away on that machine, trying to do cool stuff. There were other kids who used that machine as well, and I ended up learning some things from them.


This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Image by Wikipedia User Bilby.This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

There were no actual books on programming in the school library of course. And the few books on programming in the town library across the street were way over my head. Regardless, I managed to learn enough to actually make the machine do things. I wrote some games that were essentially choose your own adventure games, RPGs that used text characters for graphics, and a space invaders-type game using the amazing Apple II low-res GR graphics. (I just stumbled across this traumatic flashback causing Apple basic emulator written in Javascript.). Not everything worked quite right, and nothing was ever quite finished, but I wrote stuff that ran and put stuff up on the screen, and saved it on one of my few 5 1/4 inch floppies. It was awesome, and I loved it.

I received a computer as a Christmas/Birthday gift from a very generous aunt. It was a Tandy 286, I can’t quite remember what model it was but I believe it had a 10mhz processor and 1MB of RAM, running some flavor of MS-DOS. It even had a hard drive. It ran Wolfenstein 3D. It was fantastic. I wrote tons of programs in QBasic, essentially flying blind since I didn’t have a tutorial, a book, or anything. A few random scraps photocopied from magazines at the library, but not much to go on at all. I wanted to make my own version of Wolfenstein 3D, but the best I could do was some more simple space invader-type shooters and insane text adventures that made no logical sense whatsoever.

Wolfenstein 3d

I took a computer programming class in junior year of high school, using the same ancient Apple II’s, taught by an instructor who really did not seem to care at all about teaching. The lessons were essentially repeating what I learned on my own in freshman year, and the teacher did not offer any advanced instruction or let anyone skip ahead. The classwork was pretty much a waste of my time, but I usually finished it with plenty of time to work on my own stuff.

This is where tough guythe story should have transitioned with me going off to college to study computer science, dropping out after a year or two, and founding a multi-billion dollar company and living happily ever after as a gallant hacker-philanthropist. Unfortunately, I took a slight detour for a decade or so, leading an exciting life of adventure as a starving artist/retail slave. I eventually found my way back onto the programming path, and I’ll write more about my journey in How I Became a Programmer, Part 2 – The Lost Years.


Time and Television

Have you ever wondered how much time in your life you’ve spent watching television?

I came across a mention of this website on reddit a few weeks ago. You enter the name of a show, and it displays the amount of time it takes to watch all the episodes in the show. And they you can enter another show, and it keeps a running total. I stopped when I went over 30 days. And I did that without even really trying. Just some shows from the past few years I enjoyed watching. And I have definitely watched more shows than that.

Too much TV?

A month without even trying…

I am actually afraid to keep going. How much time have I spent in my life watching TV? I don’t think I want to know. I am sure it is a significant percentage of my time here on Earth.

It’s interesting to think what I might have done if I used the hours and days and weeks and months I spent watching TV and instead applied it to some constructive or creative activity. I enjoy watching television, and I find it relaxing, especially after a long day of work. There are a lot of amazing shows on these days, like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. Is the entertainment value of these shows worth the opportunity cost it takes to watch them?

I don’t think so. I am going to try to cut my TV watching. First step, decide to cut shows that I used to like but don’t really watch anymore. Purge the DVR of middling detritus. Limit TV viewing to one hour a day, and possibly only watch while I am on the treadmill or exercising. And the big step, the one I have been thinking about for a while now, cutting cable.

It would be even scarier if I added up the time I spent reading terrible, terrible novels.

Random Review – XIII

Next up in my attempt to burn through my backlog of video games – XIII.

I added the games I own from GOG, Playstation Plus, and XBox Games with Gold to the list for the random game chooser, and XIII is the next one that came up next. It looks like GOG removed XIII from their catalog at the end of 2012, so it is no longer for sale there.

Why do I own this game? I remember seeing a demo or video for this game when it first came out in 2003. The thing that stood out to me was the cool cel-shaded style, which I hadn’t seen much of up to that point. I think I read some reviews that gave it very middling scores, and then totally forgot this game existed. I didn’t pick the game up until December 13th, 2011 when it went on sale on GOG (for something like $3.00 or so, I don’t know the exact price). Same price as an iced coffee, so I figured why not give it a shot. And I installed it, and forgot about it again.

How much time did I spend on it? I played this game for about an hour and a half. Definitely enough to get a feel for the game and how it plays.

What do I think? This game definitely has a cool look, and later games such as Borderlands may do this visual style better but it was definitely something new back in 2003 and visually it holds up surprisingly well. The game is based on a comic book series (which I had never heard of until I read the wikipedia entry). The protagonist is an amnesiac secret agent-type character who is implicated in the assassination of the president, and all sorts of wacky shenanigans proceed from there.

Screenshot 2014-05-05 22.19.09

I played through the first couple of missions, and the game play is just OK. The levels are pretty linear, and I feel like I shot the same few goons dozens of times. The maps don’t seem to have a lot of variety in textures, but the rooms and spaces look nice if somewhat repetitive. You have access to what seems like a standard selection of FPS weapons- throwing knives, an automatic pistol, a revolver, a shotgun, a couple of machine guns, grenades, a sniper rifle, and an RPG, and the weapons do not seem to carry over from level to level. You start each level with a particular set of weapons and find others while making your way though, but then at the start of the next level you get a new set. Nothing at all unique or special about the shooting. Enemies are pretty stupid. I am not sure if there are hit locations – I seemed to shoot guys in the head many times with little to no effect.

Screenshot 2014-05-05 22.24.01

There a cutscenes interspersed between the levels, and they have a nice graphic novel style to them, with lots of motion within the panels and with the panels themselves arranging and rearranging across the screen. It looks very cool and is nicely done. While you are playing the game, panels occasionally pop up showing a close up when you kill someone dramatically or when there is interesting action that your character can’t see. The visual design of the panels is very compelling and something I think other games might benefit from trying something like this.

Since the game is over a decade old, it runs really fast on a modern machine. I had no problem getting it to work on a Windows 7 64 machine. I wasn’t running FRAPS but the game ran very smooth. The resolution seems to be capped at 1400×1050 and there are no really visual setting to adjust for improved graphics.

The game seems like something that did not quite reach its potential. It reeks of production value – good voice talent (David Duchovny, Adam West), a groovy soundtrack (which is part of the bonus material from, and slick design all around. The game play is just a little bland and by-the-numbers.

Screenshot 2014-05-05 22.33.55

Will I play it again? I might. I had fun playing through the first couple of levels, and I am at least mildly interested in the story. I might set it to the lowest difficulty and burn through it as fast as I can, or I might just move on to another game. Not sure yet. It was worth the $3.00 just for the excellent soundtrack so I feel like I got my money’s worth.

Screenshot 2014-05-05 22.55.04

Coffee Report

In a previous post, I did come quick estimates of how much my coffee drinking habit is costing me. The numbers were a little scary. As an experiment, I took a picture of every coffee I drank last week:

coffees from 4-27-14 to 5-3-14

I have cut back on buying on coffee outside of the house. I’ve been pretty good the weeks prior to this one, but I slipped up a little and bought large iced coffees on the way to work, twice. I had a couple of rough mornings, and I just didn’t want to deal with making coffee at home. The iced coffees cost $2.75, so a twice a week habit would still end up costing $286 per year. Not as bad as once a day, but still considerable. I also had an iced coffee with lunch on Saturday. Other days I used a Contigo travel mug or waited until I got to work for my first cup.

I actually did miss taking a picture of one coffee. I went to a party on Saturday, and I picked up a Box Of Joe from Dunkin’ Donuts to share, and I had one cup that I missed. So my total number of cups this week was 23. That’s about 3.3 cups per day. Not as bad as I thought, all things considered. At home, I made coffee using a reusable Keurig filter, and coffee is provided for us at work, so the cost was nowhere near as bad as it could have been.

I am thinking of setting up a special fund, that for every week that I don’t buy coffee outside of the house I will put the price I would have spent on coffee aside for something. For the five days a week iced coffee habit, it comes out to about $13.75. I am considering putting it into an education savings account. If I can maintain that rate of savings, I will have managed to set aside $12, 870 (not counting interest or tax benefits), which might even pay for a half a semesters worth of text books in 2032 when the kid is starting college. Sigh.