Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Friday, April 06, 2007


Mr. Coffee Is an Asshat

I was feeling pissy this morning. I was feeling so incredibly pissy that my wife walked into the kitchen and said, "Why are you so pissy?" I could do nothing in reply but point a shaky finger at our coffee-maker and stammer in rage.

I don't know if other people's coffee-makers do this, but our machine is designed to stop the flow of coffee from the basket if you remove the pot from the warmer. They do this for people who are just so fucking anxious for that first cup that they are physically incapable of waiting until the whole torturous dripping process has finished. I'm guessing there was a lawsuit at some point in which a caffeine-head sued Mr. Coffee for third-degree burns on his pouring hand.

The stop-flow magic is achieved by the inclusion of a lever which the pot hits when in position that, in turn, hits another lever on the grounds basket that uncovers the hole through which the java drips. What this means, unfortunately, is that, if the pot is not in the precise position to hit that lever, the machine figures that the pot isn't there and it stops the flow at the basket.

It does not stop the water coming in from the reservoir. The water continues to flow into the basket but, having no means of egress, it just fills up--and then overflows--the grounds basket, dumping grounds-contaminated, and undrinkable, sludge into the pot.

This is frustrating. Especially before seven o'clock when you haven't had a cup of goddamn coffee. It's frustrating in part because you're looking forward to having your morning jamocha and you think you've done pretty much all you need toward making that happen, only to have the rug pulled out from under you.

It's doubly frustrating because then you have to clean the goddamn coffee-maker, which is not easy because there are grounds all over the fucking place and there's hot water and steam to deal with and the grounds get into all the fucking crevasses and you have to dig them out.

And I was pissy this morning because this happened to me goddamn twice.

Anyway, I'm better now. I'm better because the third time was a charm and I'm sitting here with a delicious mug of my favorite Mexican blend, it's delicate chocolate overtones wafting toward my nose.

I'm better also because I popped my earphones in and gave a listen to the new Fountains of Wayne album, Traffic and Weather. It's just so full of fun songs and playful lyrics that it's difficult for me to listen to it and still be in a bad mood.

I don't know if I'd say that it stands up to Welcome, Interstate Managers, because a few of the tracks have mildly cheesy tunes and there are one or two relatively generic songs on the album. But, on the whole, I love it.

Songs like "'92 Subaru" and the title track actually make me laugh out loud. "Planet of Weed", meanwhile, makes me wish I was still a pot-smoking college kid, because I would have worn out my cassette player listening to it. There are the requisite quasi-country songs that FoW do so well ("Fire in the Canyon" and "Seatbacks and Traytables"). While there isn't one song that I would call a potential pop smash like "Stacy's Mom", I think the album as a whole is really solid and definitely worth the wait.

Hey, I've got to love any album that can quell my coffee-machine rage.

Have you considered getting a coffee toddy? It's a cold brew, coffee concentrating system that absolutely kicks ass.
You add boiling water to your concentrate (they suggest starting with a 1 coffee: 2 water ratio) for each fresh cup.
Ingenious, really. I'm now sucking back a pound a week, and the brew has a slightly sweet, nutty flavour to it.
And, it's near instant coffee gratification.
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