Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Cupful Of Trouble

I'm a little short-staffed in my classroom at the moment. The Organized Teaching Assistant recently had surgery and is home recuperating. That leaves The Cheerful Teaching Assistant and me to keep the peace for the foreseeable future. Or the end of the month. Or less. Or longer. It's all up to the OTA's surgeon and he won't take my calls. Or my bribe money.

I had a number of students absent on Friday so we divvied up the assignments for the day fairly easily. The CTA would travel on the bus so that our two eligible students could enjoy a morning of bowling as a reward for all their hard work and not being too horrible. I would remain behind to play video games with The Kid Who Doesn't Have An Off Switch. We don't have days of such fun and frivolity all the time, but every once in a while we like to kick up our heels. It helps. We say it's for the kids, but I don't think we're fooling anyone.

It is debatable who got the better of the assignments for that day and I'll leave it up to you to decide for yourself whether I won or lost that coin toss. There was no "ideal" in this situation.

Before the bus arrived and while the kids were in other classes, I spent a little time perusing the interwebs in search of a new coffee maker. Mine has been leaking all over the counter for a year now. I felt that living with this situation was a just punishment for buying the thing in the first place. I knew better. The last one I had didn't work any more efficiently and I felt that making the same mistake twice deserved my being taught a lesson. However, even I can't punish myself forever. I needed a new coffee maker. And I was willing to pay as much as fifty whole dollars to remedy the situation.

That's right. Fifty. Whole. Dollars. I'm nothing if not dedicated to my morning java and am a mighty big spender. I even knew what I wanted. There's a miracle machine out there with the grinder right in it so you don't have to waste so much as a second in between wanting coffee and brewing it. It does it all. You just put in the beans and presto! I even found one for less than fifty whole dollars!

I mentioned this to the CTA who suggested that I might like one of those fancy, one cup deals that comes with the cool little cups of pre-measured coffee. I declined. One cup coffee makers aren't enough. I need more. Much more. Besides, they cost more than fifty whole dollars. They cost almost two fifty whole dollars and that was more than I wanted to pay.

The CTA left for the bowling trip and I played a few games with TKWDHAOS. Then he decided that I wasn't enough competition for him and I was free to shop for coffee makers again. I would have done some knitting, but I forgot it. As the only other choice was paperwork, I thought that looking for coffee makers was the better time killer.

To appease the CTA, I looked up the machine she suggested. Surprisingly, I found several features that met my needs. It worked fast so I could actually brew the morning's coffee for the day pretty easily. It had an auto-start option and you could even buy a filter that let you use your own coffee instead of the packaged stuff. It was more than fifty whole dollars, but it was becoming more and more appealing to me.

The CTA returned and I told her what I'd learned. She is a shopping enabler of the highest degree and made several good points in favor of spending more than fifty whole dollars on something as important to my day as coffee. I was 90% won over by day's end. I checked the store's website to make sure that the item was in stock before I left school and headed out. I still wasn't sure. Except for the part where I was...

I arrived at the store with that 10% doubt factor nagging at me from the back of my head. However, I was so entranced by the thought of the fifty whole dollars times two machine that I quickly pushed that little voice aside. I was going to do it! I really was!

I located the little filter in the coffee section and put it in my cart. I was going to need that. It would add twelve more whole dollars to my bill, but would mean my coffee at home wouldn't be going to waste. Then I began searching for the coffee maker of my dreams.

They didn't have it. Not anywhere in the store. I looked and looked. They had the little filter. But not the big fifty whole dollars times two machine. I got that frustrated, grumpy feeling I sometimes get when I am thwarted in my quest to spend more than fifty whole dollars. I ended up putting the little filter back to make room for the coffee maker that was less than fifty whole dollars. The one that I was going to buy in the first place back before I got all sidetracked by tales of fancier coffee makers.

The whole thing made me tired. It seemed like a lot of work just for a cup of coffee, although I suppose I can always make a cup of coffee to wake up from it all.'s a long way to go to end up where you started.

Even the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty was tuckered out from all the excitement.

I suppose it could also have something to do with the fact that he spent four hours playing with the box the coffee maker came in. It was a big day for everyone. He really should rest up, though.

The grinder on the new coffee maker is stupidly loud and scares the ever-lovin' daylights out of him. Mornings should be fun from now on...



Anonymous said...

I recoiled in horror that you might buy the two times fifty whole dollars machine that uses the little packets -- all that waste! extra solid waste! adding to the garbage stream! But then I read that you were going for the permanent filter and I rejoiced. Too bad it didn't work out, but I am happy that you will have leak-less coffee again.

Jeanne said...

My java machine died just before Christmas. It wouldn't percolate. It just sat there heating up the carafe and refusing to drip. So I went shopping.

The first one I bought didn't fit under the cabinets. It was 1/8th of an inch too tall. Returned it, got one that fits, and I like it a lot. I bought the special permanent filter basket (I've gone paperless--shouldn't I get a discount?) AND the special water filter gizmo for Perfect Coffee. (With rebates, it was less than half of a whole 50 dollars.)

I do notice a difference in taste (better).

Upon removing said coffee savior from the box and reading the manual, I noticed this section that said something about regular maintenance, and that if one runs a few cycles using vinegar, it can unclog the device.

Curious, I did this with the dead one.

Whaddaya know. It started working again.

Oh, well. I'm keeping the new shiny one and that's that!

Karen said...

I'm guessing the coffee maker fairy is going around breaking everyones. We are in the need of a new one. Ours perks but doesn't get hot. I'm going to try Jeanne's vinegar cleaning and see if I can revive it before it's retired and we pick out something new. All this concern and I don't even drink coffee.Good luck with your new one!

Knitting Linguist said...

Oh. Hmm... I don't do well with shopping disappointments (I'm all about instant gratification), but I also really don't do well without my morning cup(s) of coffee. We use a french press, and you should see us if one of us breaks the carafe!!

Mel said...

My parents got the cup-at-a-time thingie, and I'm slightly horrified by it. On the other hand, they're drinking better stuff than Folgers now, which isn't a bad thing. And using up less coffee on balance, since less of that is going to waste.

Mia said...

oh sheepie - know you not or Truly I wish you could have found the two times fifty whole dollars machine -where DO you shop??? hehehehehe

Anonymous said...

I broke down and bought the cup at a time machine and I love it. I bought the one that cost three times fifty whole dollars and am wondering why I needed the extra feature of an added size for fifty exta bucks. I only use 2 sizes on it. I do love it, though. The only down side is that before buying this machine, I was the only one using the coffee maker; now everyone uses it to make coffee, cocoa, and tea. Sometimes someone else is even using it when I want to!

Beth said...

I'm kind of glad I don't drink coffee! Congrats on your new machine!

trek said...

As long as you can score your morning caffeine fix - it's all good.

Topically, the word verification is catint, as in "the cat int happy 'bout the new grinder."

knitseashore said...

I am glad you found a new machine -- no one should get in the way of a Sheepie and her coffee! It does make me glad that I mostly drink tea...finding a new kettle is only slightly less traumatizing than your quest for a new coffee maker. Chris made me get one with a whistle this time, after I burned through the bottom of the last one. :)