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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Classical Week: Day #4

Shortly after midnight we heard coyotes howling and yipping on the back part of our property.  It sounded as if they were just outside the reach of the lights on the back of house, but sounds travel rather far around here.  They were making enough noise that I was tempted to go out and fire an air rifle in their general direction, but they stopped before I could get up and grab one.  I did wonder how the cattle on the lot next to us were handling it....

This was a quiet day, with classical music played for part of the day.  None of the children ate one another, so I would chalk this up as a good day.  Not a smoke plume in sight.

I spent a good part of the day dealing with family finances and drinking coffee.

I got one of them new-fangled Keurig coffee makers a few years back.  The first time I saw one - either 2000 or 2001 - I fell in love with it.  It was in the doctor's lounge of one of the hospitals in San Antonio which I rarely visited.  I had a case in the late afternoon, and showed up early for a change.  After changing into scrubs, I wandered into the lounge.  Dessicated remains of a hot lunch sat in pans over still-burning sterno cans, and all I could find which looked palatable were some graham crackers and peanut butter samples located in a drawer marked 'Silverware.'

The counter next to the refrigerator was filled with the strangest machine I had ever seen.  It was a Keurig coffee machine, one of the commercial ones which was connected to a water line.  It came with a diagram of instructions and a whole bunch of little cups filled with pre-measured coffee grounds.  By pulling a lever on the top, one could drop in one of these cups, close it, hit the 'Start' button, and watch a hot stream of coffee pour onto the counter almost immediately.  I quickly found a cup and caught about half of the coffee and then cleaned up the mess I had made.

It was a really good cup of coffee.  I was amazed at the variety of coffee types and flavors which were available.  I also liked that I could make one cup of coffee at a time, since I was the only coffee drinker at that time.  More than anything, I liked how putting the little coffee cup into the brewer was kind of like loading a shotgun.  Someone who designed this had to have known how this would appeal to the gun nut inside of every male of the species.

Unfortunately, it was a few years before I bought one of these for home.  I used it every day, and one day the control panel on it starting displaying the word 'Descale.'  I got online and proceeded to de-scale it, using a lot of white vinegar.  The smell was not too pleasant.  After running a lot of water through it, I started using it again.  Within a day it started to act up, and once again I was commanded to 'Descale.'  I complied with the order, but the problem persisted.  It started taking a lot longer than a minute to make a cup of coffee.

I called the service line at Keurig, and the folks there recommended I try some other things to verify that there wasn't some other obstruction in the brewer.  After exhausting all their recommendations, they stated that I could receive a replacement brewer.  Wow.  Just like that, they sent me a replacement.  You can see the old and the new one below; the new one is on the right.

I did have to return one part of the old one to show that I was not just cheating them out of a new coffee maker.
My children were surprised that the company would just send out a new machine.  I explained to them that the money is not made in the machine but rather in the disposable parts which you have to purchase to use the machine.  Just like in a lot of medical supplies, like an intravenous pump, one has to keep going back to the manufacturer to buy the tubing and other gizmos which only fit on that pump.  Those little coffee thingies are just like the intravenous tubing.  I pointed out that while the coffee maker costs about $100, I probably spend two or three times that much per year on the little coffee cups.  The Keurig company could easily give out an occasional machine just to strengthen customer loyalty.

Of course, I did not start this blog entry to discuss coyotes, music, or economics.  Instead I needed a convenient place to record they type of coffee I ordered, and to record my impression of them so I could get the same type when I order more.

Right now I am drinking Vermont Country Blend Decaf, by Green Mountain Coffee.  It is good, not bitter, and can be drunk anytime with or without food.

Next up will be:

Tully's Decaf House Blend
Caribou Decaf Natural Blend
Timothy's Decaf Columbian
Green Mountain Decaf Breakfast Blend

Yes, all decaf.  No more caffeine in my coffee, unless I want to see my heart explode.  I used to be like this character, but not any more:

1 comment:

mel amarillo said...

nice experience on quality time with family

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