I start the day with a couple of cups of joe as it is. Today I might pour myself one extra cup and toast National Coffee Day. I might even have some toast with it.

I imagine its powers of waking me up have diminished over the years as my body has built a level of tolerance against the caffeine. So it is probably just the comfort of a hot cup of coffee to open the day. Although that aroma of a good cup still feels like it has a perk up effect.

The national chains do a fine job marketing the desire for a consistent need for their product. I enjoy frequenting the local, small town shops whenever possible. Central Park Coffee in downtown Owatonna is one of my favorites. Old Town Bagels also brews up some good choices.

I suppose some places will be doling out free coffee today, but sometimes you get what you pay for. During some of our overnight, Vacation-style family trips over the years, some convenience stores offered free coffee. It sometimes tasted caustic enough to make me consider giving up on the precious drink. I'm far too old to try driving through the night anymore, but I'll just grab a pop in those scenarios now. Our family trips many times take us to the mountains of Colorado. There's no better way to start a day than sitting in the cool air with a cup of steaming java.

The character Buddy in Elf found out you have to be careful with proclamations made by certain coffee shops. I would also caution against the idea that coffee makes you smarter, thinner and better looking. But quite a few of those claims exist.

Take a moment today to thank that first person who came up with the idea of roasting a bean, crushing it and running hot water through it. The light bulb hardly holds a candle to that invention.

At times I will drink in black, but usually I like it with a little cream or flavoring and once in a while I spring for a latte. Today might be one of those days.