April 13th, 2011


Jet Lag (216.6)

It's not really jet lag, or at least not much of it is. After all, Minnesota is only an hour off. But the combination of the recent shift to Daylight Saving Time, the several days in Central Daylight Time, and the several late nights over the last week have conspired to clobber my sleep schedule.

I'm going to try to go to sleep shortly, even though it feels too early, and see if I can get up at a reasonable time. If I can get to work early tomorrow, I can feel better about leaving early to hang out and have dinner with a friend who's staying overnight on her way to Syracuse.

The busy weekend meant I fell behind on uploading photos, after getting some early (mostly food) shots up on Saturday. Just finished editing and uploading a bunch more photos through Thursday's hockey games.

Speaking of food, it was a nice surprise to weigh myself this morning and discover I hadn't topped 220, after a weekend of lots of big meals and plenty of beer. I'm only up a few ounces, and I'm still in the same rough neighborhood. Still need to lose some more, but at least I didn't gain a bunch.
  • Current Music
    Charlie rustling -- IN her tank

"Keurig" is Dutch for "Lazy"

A couple of weeks ago, CIT's facilities guy let us know that they'd be adding single-cup Keurig coffee brewers to the three main buildings. We're responsible for buying our own K-Cups, the plastic-heavy pods you put in the brewer for each cup of coffee you want. They're not replacing, but supplementing, the existing coffee service that CIT pays for.

I suspect this is partly in reaction to growing complaints with the limited selection CIT stripped down to about two years ago: crappy caffeinated coffee or crappy decaf, and cheap tea. There had been a third coffee that I considered quite drinkable, but it was a little more expensive than the "Classic Colombian," so it got the axe as a cost-cutting measure. (Not really interested in discussing the economic sense or "luxury" of providing free coffee to staff. It's been done.)

For about the last year and a half, I've been buying Community Coffee to share, but I'll be honest that the real frustration there isn't with shouldering most of the expense, it's with the laziness of our coworkers. The office coffee compact is simple: you're gonna drink it, you've gotta brew it. If you find an empty pot, or especially if you empty a pot, it's your responsibility to brew a pot. Far too often I try to pour a cup mid-morning only to discover a cold half-pot of yesterday's coffee. You know I'm not the first to try it, but everyone before me put the pot back down, too lazy to brew a fresh pot, or at least empty the old stuff.

The Keurig machines address that issue in a sad, solitary-focused way. If you want a cup, you make a cup. The person after you gets nothing from this. It solves the problem of people not being cooperative about making the next pot of coffee by eliminating many pots of coffee a day. Unfortunately, it also penalizes those who'll still prefer to drink a free cup of coffee, because many of us who can afford to will just be buying our own and ignoring the free stuff. Will this eventually mean phasing out the free coffee as fewer and fewer people use it, making it harder to sustain the cost? (And, if so, is that really bad?)

Yesterday, getting back to work and finding all of the free sample K-Cups gone, I simply ordered my own, deciding to try the Emeril's Big Easy Bold Coffee K-Cups. They arrived a little while ago, while I was in the middle of typing this, and they're delicious! Definitely bold. Also ordered the Solofill refillable K-Cup, a plastic and stainless steel contraption that lets you use your own ground coffee. I have lots of bags of coffee I hardly ever touch, including a bunch I buy from fundraising groups, so it'll be good to start using some for cup-at-a-time brewing at work.

Yes, the Keurig brewer is nice for those of us who want to be able to make ourselves a nice cup of coffee without waiting for a whole pot to brew, and without worrying about whether others will carry their weight. But who does it benefit most? The local corporate coffee service company, who suddenly gets to sell us individually boxes of coffee that average 50 cents a cup, instead of selling Cornell boxes of coffee that average 20 cents a pot.