Sunday was a day that had some, as the title implies, frustration, surprise and disappointment. If my headlines aren’t bad puns or a some play on a song title, they are always pretty straightforward.
The frustration took place in the morning with our very fancy Nespresso coffee machine. It’s been acting up a bit lately, and on Sunday morning, it just went kaput.
Full disclosure, I have a love-hate relationship with that coffee machine. It makes amazing coffee, and I love that. On days when its working smoothly, it is convenient and excellent and I can close my eyes and imagine I’m in a European cafe. But when it gets like this, I find myself wishing for a $20 Mr. Coffee or a can of Folgers Crystals.
So I got on the phone with the company’s technical support and explained the situation. Full disclosure, we bought the machine on the idea that many folks reviewing it were reusing the pods and refilling them with their own coffee. That is what we have been doing. We like to do this for several reasons. For one, it minimizes waste. Secondly, we kind of prefer our own coffee to what Nespresso offers up for daily brews. And third, it’s WAY cheaper.
Out of the gates, I was basically given the explanation that the machine is really only designed for their pods, and it has sensors and a computer that reads the bar code on the pod, and it could be that the grind of the coffee we’re using isn’t quite right and is causing the probes to freak out and freeze up.
Our old coffee maker has one button. “ON.”
This, however, is apparently a delicate apparatus with some kind of artificial intelligence running the show. Like the HAL 9000 of coffee makers. I will be keeping a close eye on it, lest it turn against us all.
Anyway, the tech support people were very nice and they walked me through the process of descaling the machine, which is basically a fancy way of saying “cleaning it.” In the end, it appears much of the issue came from the fact that the coffee I had been using was a much rougher grind, and what it needs is a finer grind.
Fortunately, I had just had picked up some finer ground coffee so I was able to test it when it was a little done. Now it seem to be working fine and I will be more careful about the coffee I use. So the machine is back in my good graces, even after a rough morning. Perhaps the worst thing about spending a long time on the phone trying to fix your coffee machine is that it means you don’t get to have any coffee while doing it. Unless I was going to brew it in our old drip machine, like some kind of caveman. Yeah, RIGHT.
Sidebar: All the talk of fancy machines, precision grinds, temperature and the delicate nature of these coffee pods made me think of “the bean probe” in this excellent Conan O’Brien bit.
Coffee accomplished, we shifted to having a nice breakfast and a nice surprise. Henry is a pretty picky eater and we have been trying to work with him on trying new things, something that is rather resistant to. Erin had the idea to challenge Amelia to pick out a new fruit to try every time we go grocery shopping, and this week she chose grapefruit. So we brought it out to try, and casually asked Henry if he also wanted to try, fully expecting an emphatic no.
Well the young lad surprised us and actually said yes. We were already pleased that he expressed any interest in trying it, and thought it would probably end there. But he sat down and actually ate a piece! No gagging, no spitting out, no complaining. We were blown away and praised him like crazy. I don’t know that he liked it all that much, but he sure was proud of having tried something, so we did our best to encourage that. This may sound like a small thing, but we were ecstatic and so proud of Henry. This is another sign of all the progress he’s making, step by step.
And then later that afternoon, Packers played in the NFC Championship game…and that is all I have to say about that.
OK, they lost. It sucked a little bit. I will admit that in my damaged sports psyche, I’m probably more annoyed that Tom Brady won than I am that the Packers lost.
The kids were cute and asked me a few times in the game how the Packers were doing, and when it was over and I was a little bummed, they asked me why the Packers didn’t win.
And here’s where I know I’m a different guy than I was a few years ago. A few years ago, my answer definitely would have been some gripe about boneheaded play calling or missed opportunities, but this time, I took a breath and thought a moment.
I told them the team played really hard, and came very close, but just couldn’t quite pull it off. I then told them that what I thought was impressive was that they were losing by quite a lot at one point, and it would have been easy to just give up, but they fought back, played their hearts out and came close to winning. In the end, I told them, none of us can win all the time, but we should always do our very best and never give up. It’s human to feel disappointed, but when things don’t go our way, we have to get back up and keep on going.
In that moment, I was reminded of a line from the narrator in The Royal Tenenbaums:
“Immediately after making this statement, [Jim] realized that it was true.”
By that point, I was already feeling a little better, and then I capped it off by taking Islay out for a walk. A little fresh air and a puppy cures most anything.
So it was a day with ups and and downs, but definitely ending on an up. I made some yummy salmon with red curry for dinner, and had a nice evening with Erin and the kids. Every day I get to do that gets a tally in my win column.