how's my drinking?
Wednesday, October 8 2014
I took a break from working on the Wall Street house today to do some pseudoephedrine-powered web work, beginning with an early-afternoon meeting with my Lightroom webapp client. Though the resulting bug list was mercifully short, I decided to tackle the whole thing immediately and get it over with.
It was a beautiful autumn day, with colorful leaves blowing in the wind beneath cloudless skies. Gretchen spent some time down in the greenhouse upstairs, where she was joined by Ramona and (after I brought her down) Celeste. Those two posed for this beautifully austere picture either yesterday or the day before:
Ramona & Celeste in the first floor office. (Click to enlarge.)
I was unnerved today after reading an article about the way alcohol is drunk in the United States. I'd long been aware of how much alcohol is drunk per capita in various countries, and it had always seemed to place my own personal drinking in the category of "normal" or at least "near normal." Recently it's gradually crept up, and I've been thinking I need to cut back, but nothing has jolted me quite as much as this particular article. It laid out a fact that I've never seen communicated before: that nearly all the drinking done in a given geographic area is done by a small minority of the population, much like wealth distribution. So, while the "average person" may enjoy ten drinks per week, that's like saying the "average wealth" of the people in a bar that includes Bill Gates is two billion dollars. It turns out that a third of Americans don't drink at all, and only the drunkest 20% are drinking more than 10 drinks per week. It's hard for me to remember how much I drink on an average day, but here's what I'm buying: I'm up to a three litres of 80 proof booze per month and ten to twelve beers per week. That comes to 24 shots of liquor per week, and, with the inclusion of the beers, 32 "drinks." (Mind you, I generally don't drink at all on Mondays and Tuesdays.) That's less than half the drinking rate of the drunkest 10%, but it's twice the rate of the second drunkest 10%. I suppose I can take some comfort in the fact that only 18 million Americans are considered alcoholic out of an adult population of 242 million, meaning only the drunkest 13th of the population are considered alcoholics, and my drinking is still down somewhere in the second drunkest tenth. But it's still worrying to be up so high in the bad part of the curve. This realization was enough tonight to scare me away from drinking until after 9:00pm. Nevertheless, I ended up having four drinks: three shots of scotch and a Sierra Nevada Torpedo (which, as much alcohol as it contains, probably counts as two drinks). That might sound like a lot, but I was on a recreational dose of pseudoephedrine, which always makes me drink more than I otherwise would.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next