"Brewing" Technology


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Back in the 1950s… as a very young foster kid who frequently would sneak out and run the empty streets of West Haverstraw, New York after dark in order to stay away from the ‘unfriendly family members’ I was having to live with… I would occasionally amble along the nearby Railroad Tracks hoping to find some unused Railroad Flares or discarded Iron Rail Spikes lying around. On one such occasion, I spied a flickering light a bit further down the tracks ahead of me and reasoned out that it was a Hobo Camp. Instinctively… I moved away from the tracks and proceeded through the nearby woods... cautiously passing this group of very dirty and somber gray men who mumbled in anger amongst themselves about… ”Let’s get that God-Damned Coffee Going!”

From my advantageous position, hunkered down in the adjacent tree line… I watched them all for quite a while as they used a large, well-worn Blackened Tin Can to heat some water in it upon their small fire. A bit later they would spill some coffee grounds into that can. It did not take very long for the mixture to boil… and I would have to say that even as unsavory as these Hobos appeared to be… when the wind changed direction… I caught my very first pleasant scent of what freshly brewed Coffee really smells like. After that I faded into the woods and made my way “home” ...if it could be called that.

Allow me to contrast that ancient and primitive personal experience with the most recent failure of our Modern, Professional Kuereg Coffee Machine that my wife and I have grown to appreciate in the elegance and simplicity of dropping in our own, unique flavors and strengths of Gevalia Columbia Coffee Pods. For several years now… this device had easily produced some of the very best Coffee I have ever tasted… at least it was like that until it just stopped working yesterday.

Of course, the next thing to happen was for her to stand right in front of me and with that practiced, penetrating gaze of her pretty, big blue eyes… I understood in her silence, the Vulcan Mind Meld Message to, “Fix My Coffee Machine… Bob!” Under such a glaring challenge and scrutiny of my mechanical abilities to rescue the situation… I rose to the call immediately and proceeded to unplug and disassemble the Kuereg Machine… fastener after fastener… gradually peeling away one layer of the device after another… until I could see what an amazing amount of complexity has evolved since observing the Hobos on the tracks doing what this machine would never do again.

I soon explained that diagnosing what went wrong would be a nightmare… so in her impatience… she ordered an identical replacement from Staples...and thus… I just put my tools away. I soon decided to photograph what this technological animal looks like after it gets “skinned” and make mention here that all of our ease and dependence upon such things like Kuereg Machines and Cell Phones, Ipads and what not of the IOT (Internet Of Things) … that make us all weak and easily controlled. At the same time… the Designers and Makers of these things have superseded the ordinary repair abilities for those of us who used to be able to fix most of what breaks in our lives with common sense, some mechanical ability and the contents of a basic tool box.

Just imagine it... this Kuereg Machine employs not one… but two computer logic boards for its controls and possesses a brilliant arrangement of ribbed, opaque silicone tubing and plumbing and a Plexiglas cylinder along with an array of valves and a pumping system that rivals that of a Jarvik Artificial Heart. So if worse comes to worse and all of these technological marvels with all of their planned obsolescence suddenly going sideways ...it is almost a comforting thought that with just a few Tin Cans and a length of Waxed String… you can either make a simple Telephone… or Boil Water in them on a Camp Fire and still be able to make a few cups ...of Freshly Brewed Coffee. :>)




Well-Known Member
I can relate to your story. Heck one would think a simple heating element and a thermo-switch would work just fine! About 20 years ago the wife's Altima driver's door refused to go up and down. I undressed the door to find a blown circuit board. Going through my mind is what the heck is a circuit board needed to raise and lower a piece of glass? A double throw single pole switch should be all this window needs to go up and down. grumble grumble. The dealer gets $75 for the window circuit board for that car. damn. Now let me go get a good cup of Joe. Hobo coffee is good stuff too-I usually only get it once a year though.

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