My Beef With Engineers Concering Coffee Stuff and Water Bottles

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For years I’ve wondered “who are the engineers that designed the drip coffee makers?” Apparently they are not coffee drinkers themselves. I came to that conclusion because the design of the coffee pot and machine are not correct. First of all, the spout portion of the pots are so pointy and small that when you try to use the pot to pour water into the machine, the water spills all over the place!

Secondly, why oh why is there a slotted top to the machine? Oh, yes, some would say that is to let steam out of the machine when the coffee brews. I understand this concept. However, in most of the machines I’ve seen, there are a series of small slats, and then right in the darn middle of the thing is a LARGE slat. What does this mean? Once again, as you try to pour water into the machine with that tiny spout, the water hits that middle slat and… guessed it, the water spills all over the place!

The other day our coffee machine decided it had run its course and the bottom warmer stopped warming. So I went to search for “the perfect” coffee maker. I also wanted one that was reasonably priced. I thought I’d found it with the Black and Decker model.

Upon opening the package I discovered that someone finally wised up and designed a pot with a wide spout! I almost jumped with jubilation at that discovery. Peace at last, I thought. Issue of spilling water solved.

Tonight as I was preparing the pot for the morning (I do this because I’m not awake enough in the mornings to measure out that perfect blend) I noticed a great deal of moisture inside the top of the machine. You see, the redesign eliminated the slat problem by having a large opening on the back, but the cover goes on snugly. This means that as the coffee brews, all of the steam that is created cannot escape because the top is too snug! Now the hair on the back of my neck began to raise a little as I realized that all of that moisture is trapped inside the machine. And I’m thinking “Great. Now we’ll have bacteria growing inside the machine!” I will now have to remember to wipe the machine dry after every brew, and I know I will not remember to do that. I’m already freaking out about it. While I sleep at night, bacteria will be forming in the coffee  machine! And so once again I ask, “who are are the engineers who designed the coffee machines?”

Here’s another engineer flub: the design of the coffee container.

Tonight I opened a new “can” (which is now plastic) of coffee. The label on the container states that it has an “Aroma Seal”, as if we’re supposed to believe the seal keeps the coffee fresh forever. It doesn’t.

The container has “built in” grippers on the side, supposedly for easy handling. My hands just about reach around the “can” to fit in the grippers. So the engineers used large handed models (probably male) for their design. Alright, I can live with that.

There’s a little tab on the side and you are supposed to peal away the “aroma seal” (thereby ending that freshness by the way). I pulled the seal back (gasping because there goes freshness right out of the can) and went to pour the coffee into a small container because no one can keep that large coffee can in their refrigerator. It just takes up too much room. And then I faced the inevitable dilemma with the large containers. You can’t successfully pour from the large can into something smaller without spilling the coffee grinds all over the place!

I then realized the problem: the pull tab for the seal is on the side of the can, and if you pull it back and try to pour while fitting your hands into those grippers, it’s a disaster. The pull tab and grippers are not aligned! They need to both be on the front of the container in order to pour out properly! And so now I ask “who are the engineers who designed these coffee cans?”

And while I’m on a rant about engineers, I have another issue….water bottles. Oh yes, the companies who sell bottled water want us to believe they are all environmentally conscious because they’ve moved to a new “green” design of the bottles and are reducing ozone obstruction by using less plastic on the caps of the bottles and also less plastic for the bottles themselves.

Who are they kidding? They are definitely using less plastic, saving them billions of dollars a year in production, but still charging the same price, if not more, for their product! It’s a scam, I tell you!

And here’s my issue: the caps on the bottles are SO small now that I cannot get a grip on them to even open the bottle. I have to squeeze the bottle, which is also made of less plastic, so in the process of holding it while trying to turn that little cap, the bottle indents. What does that mean? When I finally am able to get that little cap open, because I am squeezing the bottle so hard, water shoots out of the top and I lose about 1/5 of the water as it spills all over the place!

This is extremely frustrating to me as I can only drink water at my workstation. I actually have to turn away from the computer while I open my water bottle because if I don’t, then that water will shoot out and destroy my keyboard and even possibly my computer! This is a frustration I live with daily. I might even write to Poland Spring and the others about this issue. According to my calculations (1 bottle a day times 5 days a week) I lose an average of one whole bottle of water in spillage a week, just by trying to open the darn thing. In the course of a year, that’s over two cases of water wasted by their oh so “green” and environmentally conscious design. In this economy, every penny counts. I figure I lose about 20 cents per bottle, or $ 52.00 a year in water due to the small cap design!

Well, that’s it for my rants today. It’s time for me to leave this blog, (which is “green” by the way because I waste no paper in designing it and am saving trees every day) and move on to daily tasks. My first task: to waste paper towels (sorry, there go the trees) and wipe that coffee machine dry!

I’ll Take A Pick Up Truck and, oh yeah, an AK-47

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You probably have heard of this already, but just in case you haven’t, there is a car dealership in Butler, Missouri that is running a promotion for the month of August: buy a truck, get an AK-47 free.

Actually it’s a voucher for the gun. You’d have to register to own it and get it from a licensed dealer first. But still….

Here is the You Tube video with CNN’s interview on the deal:

I’m not sure, but I’m willing to bet this promotion is more successful than the Cash For Clunkers program!

Check out their website HERE.

‘Harry Potter’ and the One and One-Half Movie Premier

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Yesterday was the official premier day for the new “Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince” movie. I admit that I’ve never read the books, and have only seen the first three movies (I think), but I was curious to see the premier of the newest film. Others in the house had been looking forward to the showing with great excitement and anticipation for weeks now.

We arrived at the theatre with only minutes to spare. I had thoughts that we’d be standing in a long line, but since we’d gone for a 3:00 p.m. showing, we lucked out and were able to get tickets just as the doors opened for entry. There were five of us, and it was so crowded that we could not get seats together. We split up into two groups.

We watched the string of previews for other movies, and I munched on popcorn and sipped the large diet Pepsi until, finally, the movie began.

There were a few intense scenes that I think are borderline scary. I really wouldn’t recommend the film for young children. I suggest waiting for the dvd version for the young ones, and then they can view it in the comfort zone of their home on a smaller screen where things don’t seem so scary.

Anyway, I’d put the popcorn bag down  (a large bag was just too much for me to consume in one sitting), and was sipping on the diet Pepsi when a suspenseful scene in the movie began. Just as a special necklace was discovered, a staff member from the theatre walked in and said “Excuse me, but there’s been smoke spotted in Theatre 9. We have to evacuate. Please exit the theatre.”

“What? You’ve got to be kidding me.” was the thought that ran through my brain. Some people had waited for the premier of this movie for months (even years, perhaps) and now that we were finally watching it, a fire had broken out?

It was true. No one panicked, which was a great thing. I grabbed the bag of popcorn and diet Pepsi and followed the crowd. I give credit to the staff at the theatre for remaining calm and not yelling or inciting panic to the population. We simply all filed out of the multi plex and stood outside.

And there we waited. There were firetrucks from the town there, but no smoke or fire was seen. That was a good thing. We did see the firemen on the roof of the building, so I assumed it was a faulty air conditioner or something that caused the smoke.

We stood outside in the sun for about forty minutes. I wondered if we would have remained in waiting had the event occurred in January. I doubt we would have withstood the cold winds for that long, even if it was the Harry Potter premier!

After the forty or so minutes passed, I saw a worker from the theatre go to one of the entrances. Another worker went to the other entrance. Each staff member began to hand out tickets to return to the multi plex at another time.  This is the only time that I thought the management of the theatre fell short. Two people to hand out tickets to hundreds of people was a little frustrating for the movie goers!

Nevertheless, we stood in line and received the “Emergency Ticket” as it was labeled. No one could tell us if or when the theatre would re-open yesterday, so we left.

Not to be deterred, however, we arrived home and one of the teens went immediately on line to find another multi plex that was showing the movie. Ten minutes later we were in the car again, heading to a different theatre. The eldest and the youngest sibling decided to stay home this time. In a way, that worked out, because the younger one might not have enjoyed the film in its entirety.

We arrived at the different theatre, again, just minutes before the showing. This time, however, it was difficult to find seats at all, and we ended up in the front section, third row.

The last time I sat in the front section of the movie theatre was when I saw the movie “Titanic.” I actually suffered from motion sickness (or something similar) because I was too close to the screen!

We watched the same previews of movies, and then watched the first hour of the movie that we’d seen just two hours prior. I was feeling a little queasy during the scenes when the boys were flying on their brooms, but other than that, I felt okay.

Until the baby started to cry.

“Baby?” you ask?

Yes. A woman actually brought her baby (in a stroller) to the movie. I’m guessing from the size of the kid and the quality of the blurbs the baby screamed, that the child was about one year of age. All thoughout the movie the baby cried. What one year old wouldn’t? The volume of the movie alone was probably hurting the kid’s ears, not to mention the dark and ominous scenes that were displayed on the screen.

I delved into my inner strength and remained seated, even though most of my thoughts were shouting at me to get up and go find a manager. A screaming baby in a theatre is just not right. If it had been a teenager who was making that kind of noise, surely the staff from the theatre would have escorted he or she out of the room. But no. We had to sit there and be distracted for two hours!

And now today I am in pain. Since I had to look up for over two and a half hours to watch the movie, I must have pushed my neck out of alignment. I woke up this morning with that sharp and piercing pain in my right shoulder!

All in all, I think it was worth going through everything (and some things twice) to see the movie. Of  course, since my cousin paid for my ticket (twice) as well as the popcorn and diet Pepsi, my opinion may be highly influenced toward the positive.

One local newspaper reported that faulty wiring in an air conditioning unit was the cause of the smoke in the multi plex yesterday. I had guessed correctly. The report stated that the theatre was closed for one half hour, which was not correct, however.

My advice is that if you are a huge fan of the ‘Harry Potter’ movies, then go and see the new one. Hopefully you will find a safe theatre void of smoke and screaming babies.

Now, since the morning yoga exercises didn’t help my neck too much, I’m off to find the Advil and Biofreeze!

Wish me luck!

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