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Posts Tagged → high tech

In defense of Mr Coffee

We enjoy coffee in this house.

Rather, to be honest, coffee is a necessity to get a day started properly.

Just one or two cups, and we are off and running full bore.

The question is, How should the coffee be created in the first place?

One person likes the fancy high-tech coffee makers, with all their automated bells and whistles, timers that people outside your home can set their watches by, nuclear heaters, supersonic filters, and so on. You push a button and things start to whirl, hidden gears begin to spin and interconnect, a promising mechanical thrumming starts, and then you wait a hell of a long time while all of the various moving parts begin to work together to make a black liquid known as coffee.

Me, the other person here, likes coffee made easy.

I like Mister Coffee, the low-technology coffee brewer that is easy to set up, easy to turn on, easy to load, easy to run, and easy to clean and shut off.

Unlike the fancy NASA spaceship – inspired coffee makers, with the flick of the ON switch, Mister Coffee quickly pumps really hot water over the coffee grounds and provides hot coffee faster than I can boil it on the stove top.

There are no moving parts in Mister Coffee, no hidden functions, no tiny gears, capacitors or microprocessors that the NSA can hack into to read your kitchen habits.

So when the umpteenth fancy pants ultra-tech coffee maker dies a sudden and unexpected technologically complex death requiring a full autopsy to understand, you can imagine the conversations we have here…

Me: “Well, your latest contraption died, and now we are back to boiling the coffee grounds in a pot, or drinking yechy instant coffee. What do you say we go with the old tried and true Mister Coffee?”

Her: “But I like all those gadgets! I like setting the coffee maker to automatically begin brewing at six AM, and then finding it in flames at 6:15 when I come down into the kitchen.”

Me: “So by being sarcastic about your own choices, are you finally admitting that these high-tech coffee makers universally suck, despite their equally high prices?”

Her: “No, I am not yet ready to give up. While you were gone, I ordered one and have already sent it back after it failed to work properly the first morning. Then I looked at the online reviews and saw that I should not have ordered it in the first place. Another new one arrives tomorrow, same manufacturer. After that, I have another brand to choose from.”

Me: “OK, so….we have still no coffee maker? And you do realize that for twenty bucks, we could have by now had a simple, low-tech, high-function coffee maker on the counter?”

Her: “But I don’t want a Mister Coffee! It’s so boring!”

And so on.

This same conversation has been had in some version about a half dozen times over the same number of years.

Meanwhile, in my own little domain, I continue to use the same Mister Coffee I acquired nearly twenty years ago. Sure, Tim dropped the glass pot early one deer season morning and broke it, back in 2008, I think, but he easily grabbed a new one to replace it, and it is still going strong.

Here is the truth: a) Simplicity trumps complexity almost every time across life’s landscape, as increased complexity results in greater, more expensive, more “exciting” breakdowns, b) coffee is a simple drink, and does not require complex machines to make it, c) low cost and high function trump high cost and low function.

Perhaps there is some hidden aroma associated with fancy coffee machines, and perhaps this hidden aroma stimulates an ego gland buried deep within the brain, resulting in an enhanced coffee drinking experience. All those lights and computer-driven processes could be stimulating on a amusement park ride, so maybe that is happening with these coffee machines, too.

But as far as I am concerned, by the time my fellow coffee addicts have started and finished their Western version of the Matcha, Chado, Sado, and Chanoyu services, I am long gone out the door, fully charged, ready for the day ahead.

Thank you, Mister Coffee, for your constance, your ease of use, and your rugged, low-cost performance.

Here’s to ya!

For the tech geeks among you

Some of my hunting buddies had a discussion by email about flashlights and batteries.  I am a headlamp kind of guy, ever since my eyes started aging a year or two ago, because flashlights require one of my hands while the other tries to do the work of two hands…and I am lucky if I can get both of my hands to synchronize as it is.

Anyhow, if you are into high-tech, intense, high-output flashlights and batteries, read on:

MOSH:

As per irv suggested, AA batteries are better than AAA…. also there are batteries called 14500, physically the same size, but double the Voltage. AA 1.5, 14500 3.4v

DONT PUT A 14500 IN AN AA ONLY FLASHLIGHT, IT WILL BREAK

 …If getting a new flashlight…look for one that can use a 14500 for full brightness 200+lumens,  or a AA for half the power.

 14500 batteries are not readily available in stores.

*****

Irv:
Hi George, the maratac is a good quality light. I believe its sold by countycomm, which had a good reputation last i heard.

They specifically state NOT to use high power 10440 batteries which i agree with since electronics that use AAA batteries are usually delicate and sensitive to over-current.
I would not hesitate to rely on that light with AAA Lithium batteries. You will probably lose it before it dies on you.
*******
Irv:
Here’s a short write up you guys may want to read:
STAY AWAY FROM AAA batteries unless you have no choice.  AA batteries have 2-3 times the capacity of AAA batteries.
I use flashlights daily, and everyone knows i highly recommend headlamps. Petzl and Princeton tec are great companies but they don’t make a headlamp that is also a handheld flashlight. So far only 2 companies do. Zebra light and Armytec.
Now it all depends on what battery you want to use.
After much time and research I strongly recommend STAYING AWAY from using AAA batteries if your life depends on it.
and i HIGHLY recommend size AA batteries at the least, and even better lithium  CR123 batteries (but they can be expensive and the cheaper ones can have flaws. more on that later…)
Basically Lithium batteries are best. And Rechargeable “14500” (a rechargeable AA battery on steroids) and even stronger “18650” (rechargeable CR123 battery on steroids)   …are GREAT.
I have been constantly disappointed at the quality and reliability of other companies, and of AAA batteries. Especially in cold weather where plastics get brittle and crack, and batteries freeze up even while being used and seem warm.
After our little trip going down the other side of the mountain i bet everyone realized how important it was to have a flashlight when it gets dark, and even more important to have both hands free.
Mosh loves the flashlights he gets from ebay and i have tried them but if my life depended on them, Hell NO.
Get a good headlamp, and get a good flashlight. and get the best batteries you can afford for when it counts.
Sanyo Eneloop, most Lithium Batteries, and 14500 and 18650 rechargeables have been reliable to me.
I found some interesting gear on sale from a company called ArmyTec, from Canada.
They have good promotions going right now and theyre selling out fast…
i also recommend Fenix flashlights, and Foursevens lights.
Don’t be confused by LED bulbs, the latest bulb technology readily available is XML, and the major differences are tint: soft white, or cool white. each has its place, and that would be a write up all in itself. next time.
Take care,
Irv
**********

George wrote:

I like this one as an edc flashlight despite being aaa.  Falia makes us all look like couch potatoes.   She does great reviews.