Project 313 – Post No. 039

My coffee pot is leaking . . . again. That’s the fourth coffee pot in the span of two years. For reference, prior to these four, our two previous coffee pots lasted something like twelve years. When we moved from Colorado, we sold one at the garage sale and gave one to a student that was heading off to college. 

In contrast, the coffee pots we bought since we came here (same brands, three Mr. Coffee and one Cuisinart) all began leaking within four-to-six months of purchase. As I bought them at Costco, I returned the first three there for a complete refund. 

For this last one, I was too embarrassed to take yet another coffee pot back and I called the company, instead. They are shipping me out a replacement . . . which I assume will leak within four-to-six months after I start using it. Why do I say that?

Well, the leaking was a puzzler . . . all of them leaked water from the base. The first one, I assumed was faulty. The second one I thought might be something environmental, something in the air (we live on an island hence there’s more salt in the air and everything rusts) was causing something to fail. Then, I started doing some research . . . surprise, surprise . . . it’s a common problem and lots of people are pissed off about it (some had damage from the leaking water).

At fault, from people who investigated the issue, appears to be the heat-resistant hose that feeds water from the reservoir to the heating plate. Apparently, the repeated heating-cooling cycles deteriorate the plastic and it eventually cracks. Those same people report two ways to fix it . . . one, cut the damaged portion of the hose and reattach it. This is a temporary fix as the problem will just resurface. It’s also a one-time solution as the hose is then too short for another fix. Two, buy a piece of appropriately-sized heat-resistant hose — one of better quality than the one the manufacturers used — and replace the cheap-ass one that’s in the machine. That is a longer-lasting solution, at least until some other cheap component fails. 

You might be tempted to ask why I didn’t do that . . . well, the manufacturer specifically says all sorts of bad things happen if you open the machine. Normally, that would not deter me. What did deter me were the specialized (non-standard) screws (some deeply recessed in a small diameter chute). I would have to buy a set of screwdrivers specifically for the task. 

So, why am I mentioning all this? A number of reasons. One, the fact that so many products are currently made on the cheap. The fact that this is an apparent known problem and there’s no indication it’s being addressed. The fact that the majority of the people will junk the product. The fact that as a society we seem to want people to junk the product. The fact that the products are made so cheap because people don’t want to pay for even slightly better quality stuff. The fact that the cost of these cheaply made units are still (comparatively) high when you consider their lifespan.  

I could go on, but the one that pisses me off the most is the specialized screws . . . I bought a piece of equipment that the company — while happily taking my money — made it difficult for me to service. 

It’s the same with many things I own. For some, I still was able to open them and maintain them. For example, the tower fan I have is not designed to be opened; it has hidden catches that if broken makes it impossible to put the thing back together again. You need to take the unit apart in a specific sequence, and even then, it’s not easy.

Unless you take the unit apart, it’s hard impossible to clean. They say to use a can of compressed air, but that is both ineffective and costly. After watching videos of similar (but not exact) fan models, it took me about an hour to figure out how to open it and put it back together, but the fan is now as quiet and clean as when I bought it. 

I could have, of course, donated it and bought a new one. 

Not all products are so. Some are geared toward the convenience of the consumer and don’t cost much more than the cheap-ass products; just a few bucks more, in fact. Those are the products and companies I plan to support. One such company is Rowenta, maker of powerful and very quiet fans.  Easy to take apart, quiet enough to have in the same room we sleep in, and smartly designed. Yes, it costs about $15-$20 more than the Bionaire Tower fan I have but well worth it especially since I don’t run the Bionaire fan higher than the lowest level because it’s annoyingly noisy. Of course, I could buy a Dyson bladeless fan for three times the cost and a third of the airflow. I’m kidding; having owned one Dyson product, I never plan to own another one unless they give it to me free and throw in a few bucks for my trouble.  

Unfortunately, cheap-ass companies know they have an endless supply of first-time buyers and people who simply won’t care and will keep giving them money. 

And now, the photo:

Project 313 039

I miss the fall. I mean, we have seasons here in Hawaiʻi insomuch that things get a bit hotter or a bit dryer or there’s a tad more rain, but not so much that you’d notice unless you’re especially attentive. 

Those are aspens among some pines and it was shot during one of our fall drives (2008) in Colorado. Unfortunately, that was a few years before I had this blog and from a time before SmugMug, so you can’t see the rest of the photos.

Or can you?

Why, yes; yes you can! I forgot that I had created an album in what was once Picasa then became Google+ and is now Google Photos. That album is HERE.

. . . although . . . I’m not happy with that processing. 

You know what? I’ll do a post about that trip. Soon. Maybe. No, no; I will. I definitively will.

. . . and people wonder where I get my quick retorts . . . I don’t know; I was pretty much born with them and never stopped doling them out (except for the years when I wasn’t speaking — but I was still thinking them). 

Like many people, I follow science. Unlike many people, I don’t think I have new and unique insights or knowledge about how the universe works. . . . except for this . . . 

Visible Black Hole

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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