Where do you stand on the refill? The refill typically occurs at breakfast and is considered a sign of an efficient server. Personally, I do not want the “secret sauce” of my coffee mixture (86.473% coffee / 13.256% half and half / .271% Splenda) altered by the illicit introduction of fresh, black coffee. The result is a warmer, but just not the same cup of mutated coffee. Do you want to drink mutated coffee? Of course not.

Refill recovery from this jolt is possible, but tricky, dangerous, and not for the jittery. The first repair involves carefully raising the half and half ratio back to 13.256%, but who’s kidding who? I’m not Enrico Fermi, nor am I working with a graduated cylinder, so the goal is short of elusive coffee fusion, and simply to approximate “my color.” Once in a while I’ll nail it, but most of the time I’m probably drinking a sub-par 12% cup. Now there’s adjusting the level of sweetness. My patented formula never involves a whole Splenda pack and the conservationist in me wants badly to perform this chemical gymnastics without sacrificing another poor Splenda. I wouldn’t want the “Save the Splenda” nuts after me. Since my formula requires exactly 92.6% of a little yellow envelope, the remaining 7.4% goes in the mix. Next there’s the single turn of a tea-spoon (Hey, is it still a teaspoon when you’re drinking coffee?) and the tentative taste test.

[This is a commercial break to tell you I’m listening to Wilco’s “Handshake Drugs” from their live “Kicking Television.” To borrow a quaint little phrase from Megan and whatever culture it is she lives in, “Wilco is the shit.” Come to think of it, I have yet to ask Madison what she thought of that Wilco show she attended with her mom and me in June.]

The taste of mutated coffee is, well, a decaffeinating experience, not the exhilarating rush of that first sip at home each morning. You know. Yes, you do. Some mornings you just nail it. It’s the moment your brain smiles at the notion you concocted just the right amount of pulverized beans, water, and complements of choice from the Periodic Table of Java Elements. That’s the start of a good day and no one is going to spoil it with an unauthorized refill.

Now, back to our commercial programming of some robust mid-tempo rock…