Cool as Ice*

So, the repairman finally came over to fix our air conditioner yesterday. He arrived around 10:00 yesterday morning. It took him about 20 minutes for him to set up his equipment, and then he was able to get to work.

So, rather than writing a whole essay about what happened, I’m gonna sum it up with some bullet points.

  • We went with a locally-run independent company to have our AC assessed and repaired. The founders of this particular company have also worked as firefighters, which is pretty cool, and it turns out our repairman was a veteran of the U.S. Army. He and my dad were exchanging stories about their service; I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here before, but my dad served in the United States Marine Corps in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Our repairman looked much younger, though…he looked a bit closer to my age, if maybe just a little older.
  • I also have to get this out of the way: our repairman was quite cute, too. I decided to keep this to myself.
  • The first thing our repairman did was work on the outdoor unit, where the compressor needed to be replaced, as the original one was shorted to the ground. It looked like he needed to roll it on a small cart due to its heavy mass. This part of the job took the longest amount of time to perform, maybe a couple of hours.
  • Then he had to come inside and remove and clean the coil in the indoor unit. It turns out it wasn’t quite as dirty as originally thought, but a cleaning was still a good idea.
  • The next thing he had to do was reinstall the cleaned coil. And while he was at it, he also patched up what seemed to be insulation on pipe in the indoor unit.
  • After conducting a few tests between the indoor unit and the outdoor unit, he was finally able to get the whole thing running.
  • Most of this whole time, my mom was sleeping, while I managed to read some more of A Farewell to Arms. I’ve read about 100 pages so far.
  • The room temperature was nearly 90 degrees Fahrenheit when the air conditioner was finally turned back on.
  • It wasn’t until about 10:00 last night that the room temperature finally came down to its normal 74-76 degrees, and I can finally stand in the kitchen again without feeling like I’m in a hellfire.

And that’s how the story ends! Hopefully we won’t need it repaired again for a very long time!

* = previous working titles for this post were “A Peon for Freon” and “A Paean to Freon”. Neither title quite worked for me after I thought about it for a bit.

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Florida is a Cruel Mistress

Why is that air conditioners in Florida always seem to choose to break down in the summer? Or in this case, very close to it?

In Florida, as well as in the rest of the South, many of us rely on central air conditioning to keep cool during the summer. Here in Florida, we normally only use the heater during the coldest months of the year, usually from late December through February; and in our house only when the outside temperature is going to dip down into the 30s Fahrenheit or lower, as without heating it brings the room temperature down into the low 60s…a bit too cold for us to handle in the winter. Right now it is June, and we are in the very last days of spring here in the Northern Hemisphere approaching the Summer Solstice. Although it will start to feel like summer in the more temperate latitudes, here in Florida, where we are is part of the subtropical region of the Northern Hemisphere. Summer for us began about a month or so ago. Daytime temperatures this time of year are typically in the low 90s Fahrenheit during dry days and the upper 80s when there is rain involved and it gets even hotter as the summer goes on. Floridians typically enjoy their air conditioning or the occasional breeze, though the breezes here in the summer are more for the moving air than any sort of cooling effect.

Well, guess what? The compressor on our air conditioner broke! It broke this morning and tripped the circuit breaker going to the air conditioning unit. My dad spent all morning today trying to diagnose the problem. First, we thought it might have had something to do with the circuit breaker and that we were gonna have to replace the whole panel (because the one we have is old and obsolete). Then we thought it might have had something to do with the central unit itself (which is stored in a closet space in our kitchen, and the thermostat is on the other side of that wall, over in the living room). Turned out that looked okay. Then finally, my dad checked out the outside unit, and it seems that the compressor on the outside unit has blown. (The compressor helps make the air going inside cold.)

Now, my dad is pretty adept with tools, but even he had to admit defeat on this one, as he’s not trained in air conditioner repair. He said he’s likely gonna have to call for a technician to come over and change out the compressor for a new one. It’s not gonna be cheap. I have no clue how long it will be before our AC is fixed. In the meantime, we have fans running in most of the rooms, the fan of the AC unit running (thankfully, that one still works, so we get a bit of air moving from the vents, even though it’s not cold air), and the window unit in the master bedroom is on (which is how we dealt with some of the unbearable heat that ravaged our house during the post-Irma power outage last year), so that anyone who wants to sleep in there (thankfully, tonight is Saturday, which is when my dad normally stays up all night to prepare his internal clock for his work week that begins on Sunday nights, so he likely won’t sleep in there until tomorrow morning at the earliest) or just get into a cool room for a few minutes can do so.

However long it takes before our AC is fixed, it’s gonna seem like a long time whether it’s a few days or a week or two from now. Until then, my family and I will have to keep living the reality of this meme:

To those of you with a working air conditioner as the summer approaches, consider yourselves lucky! Hopefully ours shall be fixed sooner rather than later.

On Geekdom

I normally don’t pay much heed to vanity “holidays”, unless it’s something funny like International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19), something yummy like National Cheesecake Day (July 30), or something ridiculous like World Beard Day (this year it’s on September 1). (Don’t get me wrong, I love beards and I tend to find bearded men to be incredibly attractive, but color me surprised to find that they get their own recognized day of appreciation.) And for those of you wondering if we knitters get our own day, yes we do: Worldwide Knit in Public Day is scheduled for Saturday, June 9, and you can learn all about it right here. But it was another one of these “holidays” that has actually inspired today’s post, and it celebrates something that is close to my heart. Today is Geek Pride Day, a day intended to celebrate every aspect of geek culture. (It also happens to be Towel Day, which celebrates the life and work of Douglas Adams, the author and creator of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series and fandom, which itself can be included within the celebrations of Geek Pride Day.)

These days, I am pretty proud and accepting of my identity as a geek, but it took me a long time to get to this place. I should’ve known I was a geek in the making when I was 8 and wrote a brief little “article” for my school’s newspaper all about the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World…but I didn’t. I should’ve known I was a geek in the making when I was a kid and I always seemed to have my nose in a book before I even started preschool…but I didn’t. I should’ve known I was a geek in the making when I tested for and got into a rigorous academic program at my high school…but I didn’t. Not when people called me “The Walking Encyclopedia” in late elementary school because I could spout knowledge off the top of my head, or when I’d consistently get high scores and top percentiles in reading on various standardized tests, or when I became obsessed with a New Zealand TV series that was essentially a post-apocalyptic teenage sci-fi soap opera called The Tribe in my early years of high school…it was essentially my first niche fandom. (Episodes of that show are now available on both YouTube and Vimeo, if you’re interested in watching or can afford to watch it in HD on Vimeo.) Those years I remember struggling to desperately try and fit in with the more popular kids, a crowd that I now realize would’ve never been the most accepting of me in their circle in the first place (although a handful of those kids did actually show kindness to me in high school). For the longest time, I was a geek in denial. I honestly didn’t begin to appreciate the geekiness that I had already possessed until The Lady Bryan came into my life. As we became friends, I was finally able to reconcile my dalliances with anime (which I never became hugely obsessed with, but I did have some Sailor Moon and Yu Yu Hakusho mixed in with my Pokémon as I was growing up), the occasional sci-fi, and Monty Python with my overall personality: one who enjoys making her own mental database of popular music of everything from doo-wop to heavy metal, who can play along with Jeopardy! with confidence, who can enjoy debating aspects of Harry Potter with friends and/or former rivals or even random people on Tumblr, and who reads whatever she wants and doesn’t care who notices. My love for knitting came about a little later, just after high school, but even then as my skills improved, I was able to develop my own database of knowledge from experience that I now use to try and pass on to others who are either insecure about their skills or are looking to improve. In her book Knitting Rules, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee talks about different kinds of knitters as sort of characters, but I like to think of myself as a combination of two of them: the Knitting Missionary and the Knitting Sensei, both a (secular, knitting-related) preacher and a teacher. I tend to approach the spread of knowledge like I approach cooking, I don’t believe in “secret recipes”…I believe knowledge (or recipes or patterns) should be made readily available to others. Knowledge is not something only meant for the wealthy, privileged, or employed…it belongs to everybody. That is one element of geekdom that I love: that we’re willing to talk endlessly about the things that interest us and share our knowledge and fandoms with others.

What else is geekdom about? Geekdom is not defined by one fandom or activity or pastime. Not every geek is into Star Wars or Star Trek…or even sci-fi, for that matter! (Count myself among that third option, although I do enjoy watching the Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy movies. 😄) Not all geeks are into LARPing (Live-Action Role Playing) or cosplay. Not all geeks write fanfics (although The Lady Bryan is bloody brilliant at it). Not all geeks play tabletop games (but the actor Wil Wheaton is more than willing to talk about it). Not all geeks watch anime (which my dearest friend Manda-Panda 🐼 does and is willing to tweet all about it). Some geeks watch wrestling (that, I do share with Manda-Panda) and are ready to debate and wax poetical about favorite wrestlers and storylines or are willing to drop a (as former WWE Champion CM Punk would put it) a “pipe bomb” or “truth bomb” of an unpopular opinion. Some geeks follow their favorite shows closely and fill notebooks with information and opinions (as I used to do with Fox’s original run of American Idol and I now do with the songs that are entered into the annual Eurovision Song Contest). Some geeks are ready and willing to debate everything from the Marvel movies to current politics (although the latter I only debate on individuals’ posts as most of the Internet’s Comments Section has turned into the Tenth Circle of Hell of which all dignity has been stripped, and where the words “intelligent conversation” are a curse). And some geeks yell out responses to Jeopardy! clues with such fervor that had people like me been around back then, Dorothy Zbornak would’ve actually stood a chance of making it onto the show itself (as seen in the Golden Girls episode “Questions and Answers”). Some geeks turn their constant talking of their passions into a career (like comedian and TV personality Chris Hardwick, who I like to think of as my celebrity spirit animal). And some geeks will even find a way to work a Golden Girls plotline into a normal, everyday conversation 😌. Geekdom is simply possessing great knowledge and passion for the things we care about in life. And we usually have fun doing all these things.

Side note: there is currently a convention going on in Orlando called Mega-Con (much in the style of San Diego Comic-Con or Atlanta’s Dragon-Con). I have never been to one of these kinds of conventions, but be assured it is on my bucket list.

As for the post that inspired this one, which you can find here at The Tony Burgess Blog, Tony mentions a little bit of biblical wordplay and proclaims that “The geek shall inherit the Earth.” This actually made me think of a band from Germany that did a whole song around that phrase many years ago. They are no longer together, but a little pop rock band called Wir sind Helden (which is German for “We Are Heroes”) made a song called “The Geek (Shall Inherit)”, which is mostly in German but contains a few English phrases. It’s basically a song of encouragement for those who’ve been teased for their geekiness, letting them know that they can basically go on to great things, “inherit the earth”. Here is the chorus, first in its original German and then translated into English:

Die Verletzten sollen die Ärzte sein

Die Letzten sollen die Ersten sein

Sieh es ein: the meek shall inherit the earth

Die Verletzten sollen die Ärzte sein

Die Letzten sollen die Ersten sein

Die Ersten sehen als Letzte ein

The geek shall inherit the earth

The injured shall be the doctors

The last will be the first

See it: the meek shall inherit the earth

The injured shall be the doctors

The last will be the first

The first ones will be the last ones

The geek shall inherit the earth

I think, given today, that this song is a little extra special. You can listen to it as is, or you can google around for a translation of the lyrics, but either way, I am choosing to close my post today with “The Geek (Shall Inherit)” by Wir sind Helden. Happy Geek Pride Day to all you geeks out there! You are all beautiful souls and don’t stop being you!

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

So, for the last month or so I’ve been hiding a bit of news because I didn’t want to reveal it too early and then have it go south. But, as of this week it is now a sure thing so I can talk about it now.

You readers may remember that my brother got married last October and that he and his wife have a daughter together, who will be turning 2 next month. For the last couple of years, they have lived together in a unit of a duplex just off the main highway that runs through our hometown. They’ve been married about 6 months now, and they’ve been house hunting.

Well, this week they’ve finally closed on a house and are now officially homeowners. It has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms, an enclosed front porch and an enclosed back porch as well as a detached garage in the backyard that will almost certainly end up becoming my brother’s workshop/”man cave”. The house itself, though, does need some interior work done to fit their style: as I summed it up to my sister-in-law yesterday while she and my dad were working on the living room (he was painting the ceiling to cover up the tobacco stains from the previous owners, while she was patching nail holes in the wall with spackle and applying the first coat of primer to the walls), she is “rustic” while he (my brother) is “redneck”. They plan on pulling out all of the carpeting and the tile in the living room and their daughter’s room and replacing all of it with hardwood flooring (leaving the kitchen and main bathroom tiled). The walls will likely be painted a tan color with dark brown as an accent color and adding wood trim along the baseboards and the area that delineates the kitchen from the living room. There is a chandelier in the dining area that will be replaced with something more modern. Their new house is in a bit of disarray right now, but I honestly can’t wait to see what it looks like when they’ve finally finished the interior work on it…and my sister-in-law can’t wait to start decorating it.

They officially moved out of their old unit yesterday, but it will certainly be a busy time before they finally move in. Life certainly has been moving at a busy pace in my family lately.

Connections

Do you remember those connect-the-dots games you’d play in your coloring books as a child, drawing from dot to dot in anticipation of what the final figure would look like at the end? I’ve come to notice lately that life is a bit like connect-the-dots: at first glance it looks like a random disarray of moments, interests, and people with seemingly nothing in common whatsoever with each other…until you connect them in a particular order and you finally see the big picture, in this case the life or representation of a particular person. And each and every single one of us has a unique set of dots and a unique order in which they are connected to depict a unique life experience, one that only that particular person can relate to.

It’s made me think of the connections I’ve made in my own life. My Big Picture is not complete or clear, and won’t be until the day I die. But my dots consist of the people, choices, and experiences I’ve faced in my life so far. It’s funny how the most random of people can shape one’s life, and even funnier how some of them come into our lives. In one of my more recent posts, my “blogging buddy” Mr Knitter brought this up in the comments. Just about a year ago, neither of us had any idea that the other existed. It took my “randomly” coming across his blog (and I only use that in quotes because I recognized his picture from Beautiful Knitters, which had profiled him just a few weeks earlier, not long after I started this blog; Beautiful Knitters was one of the first blogs to start following mine, by the way) and leaving that first comment to start our friendly ongoing correspondence that has now lasted the better part of a year. And there are a handful of other bloggers (👋 Kris) that I have built a similar rapport with in the last year that would have never occurred if I had never made the decision to dive in and start this blog. I also think of one of my dearest friends IRL (In Real Life), The Lady Bryan, and not just the events that began our beautiful friendship, but also those that brought her husband (and the father of her son) into her life. Our friendship began on a random spring day when we were 16 and had nothing better to do in gym class. We talked the entire class period that day and it was almost as if we’d found our twin. How she met her husband was even more random: it involved a copy of Wrath of the Titans, a Doctor Who scarf and a ringtone in a public library. Their story was set on the rails essentially with just one word: “Exterminate!” (And if you’re not a Whovian and don’t get the reference, shame on you. 😝) Sometimes we meet the people who have the biggest effects on us in the strangest, most random ways.

Or how about interests? I wouldn’t be the knitter I am today if not for randomly coming across a knitting kit in the craft section of a Walmart and deciding to buy it when I was just 18. Perhaps a child who wanted to find out how their favorite toy worked is eventually able to turn that one interest into a career in mechanics, engineering, or mechanical engineering. Or maybe there’s a kid out there who has always had a penchant for telling stories who may someday become a bestselling author. One dot connects to the next connects to the next connects to the next, and so on and so forth.

The point I’m trying to get at is: life is unpredictable, but the choices we make and the people we meet can influence our lives further down the line. The things that influence us when we are young can, with the proper amount of nurturing and development, help us develop into successful adults, perhaps with careers that intrigue us and utilize our best talents, or perhaps with a passion that has helped us find some purpose in our lives, if not our careers. And the people that enter our lives can help guide and shape us into better human beings, whether those relationships are out of kinship (regardless of if they’re actual family or they’re like family to you), pure friendship, or all-consuming love. Do I believe these connections are set out beforehand? No. But I do tend to think of these connections in the way that painter, television personality, and fellow Central Floridian Bob Ross always so eloquently referred to his slip-ups on canvas: “We don’t make mistakes. We have ‘happy accidents’.” And somehow, these happy accidents all have some, even if it’s just a small, impact on the bigger picture of our lives.

Before I post, I’d like to let you all know that I finished Hidden Figures earlier this week (according to my Goodreads profile, I finished it two days ago, on April 17th). Within an hour, I picked up my copy of Fahrenheit 451 and read the introduction that English author Neil Gaiman had written for the 60th anniversary edition that I had purchased. I did try to read the first couple of pages of the novel, but I decided to put it down and give myself a couple of days off before diving into this one. I will likely begin trying to read it in earnest today, and I can’t wait to do so! I have waited about 19 years to read this book since I first heard of it. I hope the payoff is as good as the anticipation.

And so I sign off from this post, sitting outside with my mother, trying to figure out if the guys renovating the vacant house across the street from us are speaking in Spanish, in English but with thick New York accents, or a little bit of both. It’s been a real head-scratcher. 🤔

Hippie Bird Day, Two Ewes

(The title of this post is sort of an inside joke on Ravelry, and is normally used to wish someone a happy birthday.)

So, yesterday was my 31st birthday. It actually wasn’t too bad. I didn’t have any cake, but my dad had gotten donuts and breakfast sandwiches (sausage patties and cheese on English muffins) that morning, and he even volunteered to make coffee. About 2:30 that afternoon, I was getting a bit bored, so I finally asked my dad if he’d be willing to take me to a local independent bookstore I’d been wanting to go to for a while, and I still had a considerable amount of Christmas money still burning a hole in my wallet. He agreed to go, and so we all hopped into the Jeep and drove the 10 miles or so to the store. I don’t want to give away my exact location, but this is an independent bookstore that’s been around for a while, and I remember going to this same store over a decade ago to get books that were required reading for one of my high school English classes. (I still have those books and have attempted to revisit some of them, as recounted in “My Love Affair With Books”.) It sells mostly used books, but there are also plenty in new condition, with just about every genre you could think of. There are several rooms filled floor to ceiling with bookshelves. The front room houses the most contemporary books and children’s and young adult fiction as well. The next room contained the classics and all sorts of nonfiction books (biographies, history books, philosophy) on one side, and new age and self help books on the other. The third room had the general fiction books, with authors like Danielle Steele and Debbie Macomber and V.C. Andrews and Dan Brown lining the shelves. The fourth and final room contained mostly fantasy and science fiction novels, which while I am not a major reader of those two genres, I did take a look to see if there was anything interesting for people that I know who do enjoy those genres. Ultimately, I bought five books, four of them from the Classics/Nonfiction room and the fifth was from the front of the store. Some of these titles you may recognize from the list I posted, but wasn’t limited to, in “I’m Dreaming of a Mild Christmas”. And I’ll explain my reasoning behind each of them.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

This one was a case of “I have seen the movie, but I have never read the book”. I remember watching the 1960s film adaptation of this novel in high school, but for one reason or another I have never read the book. I have even seen John Green’s Crash Course Literature course on this novel and still have not read it. From what I know of this novel, it is like “Survivor” on steroids, and illustrates what happens when the most extreme of circumstances forces us complex human beings into our most basic, primitive instincts and behaviors.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

You readers do not understand how long this book has been on my Book Bucket List (basically, the list of books I want to read before I die)! I have been intrigued by this book since 1999…the year that I saw an episode of The Famous Jett Jackson in which this very novel plays a very important part in an episode’s plot. The dystopian themes of censorship and the limitation of knowledge (two things that I personally take a strong stance against) also draw me to this particular novel, and I’m excited that I’m finally going to get a chance to read it!

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

I know I may get some flack for picking this one, as a lot of people tend to associate Rand’s work with right-wing politics and political figures like Paul Ryan; I personally identify as socially liberal with a libertarian streak, but I also try to allow myself to be open minded to other points of view. My main motivation for picking this one was actually Neil Peart, the drummer from the Canadian progressive rock band Rush, who mentioned Rand and The Fountainhead in the liner notes to the band’s landmark album 2112, which (according to his interview in the documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, which I decided to watch again on Netflix last night after buying this book) inspired a then-twelve-year-old Canadian boy named Sebastian Bierk (who would later become a famous heavy metal singer named Sebastian Bach, famous for singing in the band Skid Row and later for playing Hep Alien guitarist and singer Gil in Gilmore Girls) to go out and actually get a copy of The Fountainhead and read it. The members of the band are all well-read people, and Peart especially (as the band’s primary lyricist) has never been afraid to incorporate literary themes into the band’s songwriting. I mean, their song “Xanadu” was inspired by a Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem! (“Kubla Khan”, by the way, if you’re wondering!) I mainly wanted to see what all the hype was about, even if I didn’t necessarily identify with Ayn Rand’s political themes or stances. And I should state the following: Yes. I am a female Rush fan. We exist.

A Farewell to Armsby Ernest Hemingway

I think it’s safe to say that most Americans’ exposure to Ernest Hemingway’s work has come primarily from being required to study The Old Man and the Sea for a high school English class. I include myself in this. I studied The Old Man and the Sea as part of my English class in my freshman year of high school. I vaguely remember reading it. I don’t know if it had much of an effect on me. Now, from what I know of this one, this novel is semi-autobiographical and based off of Hemingway’s experiences in World War I. Will this have more of an effect on me than The Old Man and the Sea did? I can’t wait to find out. This wasn’t necessarily on my Book Bucket List. I picked this one on a whim. But sometimes you find a gem 💎 when you least expect it. Perhaps this will end up being a gem 💎 in my collection. And perhaps I’ll get the same reaction I had to The Catcher in the Rye and wonder “WTF?” at the end of it all. Who knows?

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

I read The Hunger Games about two and a half, maybe three years ago and loved 💕 it. How much did I love it? I finished the entire book in one week. I have only read Harry Potter novels in a quicker span of time! I wanted to read Catching Fire almost immediately afterwards…only to find that Walmart stopped carrying the Hunger Games novels just after we’d bought the first novel in the trilogy! There was also a copy of Mockingjay available, but I was unsure of how much it would eat up my budget, and I’d already found quite a few titles for my collection. I hope to eventually get a copy of Mockingjay someday, but I hope I have just as much fun reading Catching Fire as I did reading The Hunger Games!

After paying for the books and leaving the bookstore, I hopped back into the Jeep where my parents were waiting, and my dad drove us around some of the more rural parts of our home county, which is filled with Florida scrub forests and the occasional cattle pasture (or as I like to call it, “Cow Country”, which Florida actually has quite a bit of). We made our way back towards our home, but not before stopping off at a local car wash first (the Jeep is white and was covered in pollen from recent rain storms that came by earlier this week). We finally got home after a couple of hours away, and had a mostly relaxing evening, which I spent watching Netflix and drafting and formatting the post you are currently reading!

Thank you to everyone who sent me their birthday well wishes, be it here on my blog or through Instagram or other social media! I appreciate it and I appreciate all of you who take the time to read my blog! I hope the next year ahead for me is a good one!

I’ll Take My Snowless Knitter Decaf

It’s unusual that I reference coffee in the title, but I feel for what’s been going on for the last few days or so, it’s appropriate. See, I am currently in what is probably my longest stretch of going without coffee ☕️ ever since I started drinking it on a regular basis (which was basically my original stint in college, so about 18-19 years old; prior to that, I would enjoy the occasional gas station-style cappuccino from my high school’s cafeteria, or a styrofoam cup of highly sweetened black coffee at the bingo hall while helping my mom and grandmother set up their playing papers prior to their going to bingo night, probably as far back as 14 or 15 years of age).

So, last week we ran out of creamer (and I’ve gotten so used to creamer by this point that I can no longer drink my coffee with just sugar in it, I now need to have creamer or milk in it) and I wasn’t going to be able to get groceries until Tuesday (which was yesterday morning, so I’ve already done the shopping now) because my dad decided to finally get a physical done on Monday morning. (Other than high blood pressure and his weight, he’s actually doing okay for someone who’s a nearly pack-a-day smoker. He saw the same doctor who’s treated my mom for many years, and my grandmother for years before that.) So I get the groceries done yesterday morning, and well, I was already fueled by both a cherry Coke and a regular Coke (vending machines, right?), so I planned on waiting until yesterday evening to have my first cup of coffee since maybe Friday or Saturday. I put a K-Cup into our Keurig brewer (which we’ve had since maybe late 2012 or 2013, when our Mr. Coffee’s hot plate stopped working) and went to go wake up my dad. After he starts to get out of bed, I go back to the kitchen to get his coffee. It is not brewing like it’s supposed to. It just goes *drip…drip…drip*. One. Drop. At. A. Time. This is not a good sign. We try cleaning out the needle housing. No luck. We try changing cup sizes. No luck. So I give my dad a glass of sweet tea for his trouble and I decided to attempt to descale the brewer in the morning.

This morning, I get up and within half an hour began my attempt to descale the brewer. Not only is the liquid still dripping out one. drop. at. a. time., I also begin to hear clicking noises when it attempts to pump water out of the reservoir. Dad gets home a little after 9:00 am, and joins me in the kitchen. After a couple more attempts at getting the water/vinegar solution to pump out of the reservoir, it just stops attempting to pump altogether. My dad says nonchalantly, “I think the water pump’s dead…time to get a new coffee maker.” Knowing he’s been interested in getting a Ninja for the last few years, I said to him, “You’ve been waiting a long time to say that, haven’t you?” He smiles back at me. He goes to his laptop, and while I only get a glimpse of a checkout screen, it seems he has placed an order for a new brewer. He also watches a video about using a Ninja coffee brewer. He has seemingly ordered the Ninja. (I will not be able to confirm or deny this until we actually obtain a new brewer, so maybe this will be a two-parter.)

I feel a little sad that our Keurig has finally croaked. I loved that Keurig. It was a fantastic brewer, willing to pump out a nice cup of coffee for me whenever I needed one. I think I’ve permanently been turned off from carafes because of that Keurig. I was always dumping out leftover coffee from the carafes we had; when we went single-serve, it felt nice not having to wait 15 minutes for the cup of coffee I’d been craving.

There is a downside to switching to the Ninja, if we are indeed switching to it: we are gonna have a boatload of coffee pods that we can no longer use (as the Ninja operates on standard coffee grounds, which is cheaper than using the K-Cups)…and I hate to throw away good coffee! (My brother and sister-in-law have a single-serve brewer that can take both grounds and coffee pods; I wonder if they’d be willing to take our coffee pods once we get our new brewer?) Oh my…

Well, it looks like I will be going at least one more day without coffee. Wish me well.