Saturday, December 01, 2012

Sucked Into Another Product

For weeks now, Lobsterman and I have been intrigued by the SodaStream commercials.  Frankly I was more amazed at how cool the exploding bottles of soda were, but he was in it for the actual fizzy possibilities.

Frankly, I'm not a big soda drinker.  I use to be addicted to Diet Pepsi, then Dr. Pepper, but after serving in our great Armed Forces over in Germany, I became addicted to the warm, not so fizzy, pretty bland Fanta orange soda over there.  Much like beer, and McDonald's Big Macs, once I got back to the states I realized just how much crap, preservatives, sugar, syrup, and blech goes into all of our products.  I gave up beer, Big Macs, and soda, only trying them all once in a while as a reminder of how crappy they tasted.

We are a HUGE fan of sparkly water though, but HOLY CRAP the price of Pellegrino is insane for bubbly water!

So, of course, there was a very helpful (and incredibly nice) SodaStream demonstrator in Costco, who answered all of my questions (the biggest question was: can we just make fizzy water, answer is YES), and who let me choose a flavor to try out.  I opted for lemon lime.  He showed me how to screw the bottle of water on, pump the thing three times, add the flavoring, mix it gently, tah dah, soda.

I tasted it and pronounced "Holy crap, it's Sprite!", but it wasn't really Sprite because Sprite is all syrupy and too sweet and leaves a nasty film on my mouth and tongue... this didn't.  It was actually refreshing!  Best part (to me anyway) is that when you get the bottle of flavoring, you can add as much or as little as you want... great potential for recreating bland German-like Fanta orange soda here. 

I honestly don't see why you couldn't, after fizzying the plain water, just add whatever juice or flavoring you want, and we'll be giving that a shot.  Oh yeah, I had him throw one of them in my cart.



Now, there are some things to be aware of before you go all wacky nuts and run out and get one.

There is a "carbonator" tank that comes with it.  When it runs out, you exchange it (kinda like propane tanks) and exchange price depends on the size of your tank.  Some stores will exchange the tanks right there, or you can tell SodaStream to send you a replacement, they do, then you put the old one in the prepaid box and ship it back. 

The scoop I got from the SodaStream demo guy was that most stores only have the small bottle models.  The one from Costco is the 130l big bottle.  If you get a machine that takes the big bottle, then you can use a big bottle or a small bottle.  But if you buy a machine that uses the small bottle, you can't use the big bottle... just letting you know.

The model I bought had 12 samples of diet and regular flavors.  We're in the process of testing them out.  I have no idea how much the actual bottles of flavoring cost, frankly we're just in it for the fizzy water, but we'll probably go check out the bottles of Raspberry and other tasty, tasty flavors (there's a gazillion of them).

So far I've tried the lemon lime (tastes like Sprite) and we tried the Orange (too much Orange for me, and tastes like Orange Crush, we watered it down and it tasted almost German Fanta to me).  I'll let everyone know if the "cola" tastes like Pepsi, Coke, or otherwise.

As far as cost goes, even with the whole tank exchange price (the 130l tank makes 130 liters of bubbly whatever, which is 65 2-liter bottles, and in my crappy math skillz I figured that would be $40  of bubbly stuff versus about $100 for 65 2-liter bottles of soda) so yeah, there's some savings in there, but also less waste, more variety, ability to flavor how you want, and tasty, tasty, fresh fizzy stuff when you want it.

So, go out and check out the SodaStream Web site and make sure you know what you're getting into and whether it is something for you, or not.  I'm just sayin... it's tasty and convenient.  Your taste may be different.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Been A While

Yeah, yeah, I've got crazy things going on, so it has been a while, hasn't it?

We managed to survive Hurricane Sandy, as in: it didn't hit here, all we had is wind, rain, some rain, more wind, lost our power for 15 hours and managed to survive because we had propane and cookstove, and ground coffee.

Go here is you want to see the whole Sandy experience because that's where I cartoon now.  I'm not saying that I'll never cartoon here, but most likely it's over there, so just go over there.

Since I last wrote, I most likely bought about 3 new handbags and have only a small amount of shame about that.  I did send one off to a friend, so shut up.  I'm not going to tell you anything about the new bag because it is THE perfect bag (unlike all of those other perfect bags), this is THE one bag, I actually got it used on e-bay because they don't make them any more, and I'm not telling you have obsessively I searched every web site in the entire world (and do you like how I make that sound like I walked through the entire world looking for it when actually it was more like "google search... click, click, click, scroll, back, click click, scroll).

I'm not even going to post a picture of it, say its name, or hint at its total awesomeness, and a certain person who has one that caused me to fixate and hunt the world for it BETTER NOT SAY ANYTHING IN THE COMMENTS EITHER... because I don't want you to suffer like I did and wait for someone to post it on e-bay and then probably want it back... I suspect that I may have the previous owner stalking me at any time with that e-bay bag regret because I can't imagine how anyone could give something so awesome like that away.

Its maiden voyage was to the Gun Show, because nothing says swanky cool hand bag like a gun show.  It was a good test for it, because if I could still love it after carrying it around a gun show, then it was THE perfect bag, and yes, it is the perfect bag.

So the next thing on my list of things to find is long shirts.  I hate shirts that are short and apparently shirts are made for normally proportioned people, not those with long legs and long trunks (like elephants), so invariably I end up with a shirt that hangs a little above my belt line and threaten to reveal what some people call a "muffin top" but I think is more bagel if we were to equate flab to bread products.  I make no excuses for being blobby, other than the horrific Wii broken foot incident, which is a good reason not to exercise, in that if my bones are so brittle that jumping up and down doing Wii fit causes my foot to shatter in various places, then I should avoid that at all costs.  Or the fact that I bought a recumbent bicycle, but have found that leaning back while exercising makes it very easy to just sit on the bike, watch tv and eat cookies, or napping.  Likewise, laying down on the floor to do "crunches" is too much like sleeping on the floor, and usually leads me to just sleep on the floor.  So, no excuses, other than I want a shirt that is a little longer than "normal" shirts, which makes me hate shirt makers even more in that they think I'm not "normal".

I'm going to try shirts from this place, because they have funny commercials, and frankly, that's exactly what I look for when I'm making shirt purchases.  I'm also thinking of getting fire hose pants from them, because I like firemen.


Friday, August 17, 2012

How to Get a Cartoon

I get requests to cartoon things for people, so rather than send the same blah blah out, I'm putting up this post so I can just cut and paste the link.

There are four ways to get a Penny cartoon: free, personalized, business, non-profit.


  1. Free: You can Facebook post something somewhere that strikes my fancy and I cartoon it.  These cartoons end up on the Facebook page "Society of Penny's Cartooned Friends" group (which anyone can join).  Feel free to use it for an icon or whatever you want.  They do contain a copyright in the cartoon somewhere, so if you do use it, its nice to be tagged or mentioned somewhere, but are NOT to be used to make money off of. (see #3).  If you like the cartoon and want it on any merchandise that Cafe Press sells, I'll be more than happy to add it to one of my shops for you to purchase (and yes, I receive a modest commission from Cafe Press).  Cartoons in the #1 category will not be modified for any reason no matter how much you beg because that falls under #2.  Since I hold copyright on it, I can do whatever I want with it.  If, for any reason, you object to the cartoon, simply ask to have it removed, it will be removed and deleted forever.  If I see it being used for commercial/business purposes, I will take legal action.
  2. Personalized:  You want a special cartoon for whatever reason to use however you personally want.  Special cartoons for personal reasons are done for $100.00.  For that price, you give me your concept, I create the first draft and you can make/suggestion/ask for reasonable changes until you are satisfied.  Once you are satisfied, then you receive a final large version of the cartoon (suitable for print, or just about anything) after you pay for the cartoon (paypal is preferred).  There is a small, obscure copyright on the picture, but you are free to use it how you want for personal use.  It would be nice if you direct people to me that like them, but that's up to you.  I withhold the right to use the cartoon as an example of my work, and promotional purposes but not for sale by me.
  3. Business: If you want a cartoon to be used for a business purpose that will appear in a business logo (creation of a character), article, or will in any way be associated with a company the price STARTS at $250, and varies upon what the company wants done. This includes blogs.  My copyright statement will appear on it in an obscure area of the cartoon, and credit is given on Websites somewhere.   
  4. Non-Profit:  If you are a registered non-profit and having an auction to raise money, I will volunteer to cartoon for the winning bidder as long as the winning bidder is not a business who will use the cartoon for commercial purposes. All proceeds from the auction bid go to the rescue as long as the rescue provides me with a donation statement for the amount of the winning bid.  From there I will work with the winning bidder to provide them with their cartoon.
Please note: The only exception I have is that I will not provide business content to another Dog Sled Musher.  I draw exclusively for North Wapiti Kennels.

I hope that clears it all up, and if you have any questions, just send me a Facebook direct message, or e-mail me at penny.blankenship@gmail.com.

To see some of my work, go to the official site: Squishy Bags

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Higgs Boson... Who Freakin Cares

I just read the most self-serving article from a scientist that has her panties in a wad because we're all not out dancing in the streets, getting drunk and puking in a stranger's car and celebrating the discovery of something nobody can see.

Apparently scientists have indeed discovered the "Higgs Boson", also known as the "God Particle"... right, sure.

In her own words, sorta... if they hadn't found it, then years of scientific work, 50 years of "hard work" and $10 BILLION dollars building the Large Hadron Collider would have been wasted.

Well, isn't that convenient... you found it, can't show it to anyone, we just have to take your word for it, right?

Like we took your word for it in the 70's that we're heading for an ice age.

90's it's Global Warming (or climate chaos)

Dinosaurs are cold blooded... oh wait, now they're saying warm blooded

Some dinosaurs had horns... oh wait, that's a toe, never mind

Bacon is good for you, bad for you, good for you, bad for you, good for you, ... shut up.

Back to the TEN BILLION spent on that collider.  You make it sound like you mowed yards to generate all of that money, then built it yourself.  You didn't.  We all ponied up that money.  We didn't want to.  We'd rather not waste money on smashing atoms together and for all we knew you would botch it, create a huge black hole and destroy the earth... at least you didn't do that, but still, I don't think I could find ONE person that wanted their tax dollars going on that piece of crap.  I think they would much rather, oh... eat, than allow scientists to waste all that money to find something you can't even see, and take your word for it that it's the ULTIMATE discovery of all discoveries and shows us (if we could actually see it) where "we came from".

Of course, the author of this article thinks that the reason we aren't all exciting and whooping with joy is because they didn't explain it all very well... you know... to us stupid people.  They have pop up books and suggests hiring a PR person (um... not on my taxpayer money), and maybe even a video game... because we're just that stupid!


Will Higgs Boson make my car run for free?  Will it feed hungry people?  Stop wars?  Allow us to transport from place to place like on tv?  Can I sit on my butt and watch tv and play video games and still have money to eat tasty foods?

No?  Then shut up and figure out a way to do all of those things first.

Dear scientists:  Nobody cares but you, now stop spending our money on your stupid experiments.  By the way, now that you "found" it, what are you going to do with that big piece of crap collider?  Can we at least turn it into a skateboard park or something useful?  OOOH a demolition derby where we crash cars into each other at supersonic only faster speeds! 




Sunday, July 01, 2012

A Sign Of Things To Come?

So, Lobsterman and I have been invited over to This Olde Foreclosed House for a 4th of July cookout.  Please note, the nice couple that moved there are really nice, and the house actually looks like a house.

I'll be making my world famous potato salad (from the Hellmann's recipe), and Lobsterman will be making the grilled vidalia onion with butter and beef bouillon nom nom things.

This meant going to the store.

We had the monster storm of 2012 that knocked out power to over 3 million people in three states or more.

We have power, only lost it for about 5 seconds during the storm... others are still waiting.  Yes, there is a small amount of guilt involved, but hey... it's not like I'm going to shut off my power to be one with those without power.

Did I mention that it's about 2000 degrees out?

My first observation upon going outside is "why did I even bother taking a shower?"  Seriously, I was marinating before I got the front door locked and sprinted to the truck.

We drove to the store, which is located across the street from a mega mall and casino... traffic was crazy insane.

We wanted to get a little something to eat before we went to the store, and had opted for a wedge salad at TGI Fridays, but as we drove by, we saw people going into and out of the new Joe's Crabs... we made a U-turn and parked, walked in... only to find that they weren't open, they were only training.

Seriously?  No big sign that says "OPENING ON 3 JULY", you had to walk inside only to be denied tasty steamed crab by the bucketful.  BASTARDS!!!!

We didn't bother to tell other hopeful people walking up the sidewalk that their dreams of butter dunked crab would be dashed at the door... screw you, walk through the heat and find out like we did.

We dodged through mall traffic and decided to just get something light at Starbucks, then get the cookout ingredients, which we did.

Then the store... OH.... MY.... GAWD!!!!

It was packed with frantic people as if they had just been told a blizzard may or may not hit within the next 3-6 months.  Shelves were bare, people were rude and had that panicked glazed look of self preservation.

Unlike snow storms (milk, bread, and toilet paper), heat waves and power outages create a need for bagels, milk, cases of soda.  There were no bagels to be seen.  Completely empty, I can only imagine


Luckily for us there were plenty of potato salad and grilled onion recipe things, so we grabbed and ran for the checkout... which was crammed full down lanes.  We went to self checkout, which wasn't that bad... but I kept thinking...

I can see people coming to the store to replace items that may have gone bad had they lost power, but as they are still fixing power, there's really no guarantee you won't lose power again while they fix things.  Frankly we expect to lose power at some point during all of the work, it's a ticking time bomb on power.

I can see people having not shopped for 4th of July fixings trying to get it now... except it's just ONE day of cooking out... and why bagels and not hot dog buns?

Were people just full tilt bozo nuts and thinking that they had to go stock up on items that easily spoil in case another storm knocked the rest of the state out of commission?  Were people coming to the store from miles away because there was nothing open where they lived?  Do people really only keep a few day's worth of food in their house?

Are we, as National Geographic calls it: "American Outliers" for having more than a week's worth of food in our house, and the ability to survive on what we had for much longer than that without resorting to a panicked run to the supermarket for bagels, soda, and milk?  

I've heard others tell of angry lines at gas stations, getting "free" ice, and other grocery stores, and wonder... this is a weekend and some people are nearly insane with panic over gas and soda... heaven help us all if something really catastrophic happened.

By the way, if any nice business out in the Midwest and West is looking for two hard working outliers... let me know... soon... seriously.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

15th Attempt At Blogging

So far I've written about:

1.) Not having anything to write about
2.) Having things to write about but in the grand scheme of things it just seems like I'm whining like a spoiled child
3.) Why I can't find a freaking hands free device that will fit in my tiny little ear canal without either flinging itself out, or being worse than water boarding (I've been waterboarded, so shut up) with them jabbing into your ears like daggers.
4.) No, I'm not going to blog about being waterboarded
5.) Being so unmotivated that I sit around for hours playing bejeweled and laugh a little too gleefully when the little butterflies get killed by the spider and made that high pitched noise
6.) The dead baby birds in a nest in my tree that I haven't removed yet because it's sorta like desecrating a shipwreck... or something
7.) Not having any time to write about anything or including a fabulously creative cartoon.
8.) Not having any time to cartoon anything regardless of whether I even have an idea for a cartoon, which I don't except at work and by the time I got home it's no longer funny, or never was to begin with.
9.) My short attention span
10.) Going to the rifle range and shooting my new AR-15, but not making it sound like I was auditioning for the next season of "Preppers... American Outliers"... frankly if there's enough of them to have (so far) 2 seasons of them.. not so outliery doncha think?
11.) The trials and tribulations of having your dogs get older... but that's too freaking depressing.
12.) how annoying it is that this iPad app I'm using doesn't scroll up when you get to the bottom of the page... if I wasn't in a blog funk I could make that a whole blog post in itself.
13.) The fact that I can't make a whole post about a stupid app that won't scroll up when I'm typing because I'm so unmotivated
14.) How I've been procrastinating on calling my mom, and then I actually dialed the number and she didn't answer and then I felt a moment of relief, and then worry because she doesn't have life alert and is probably laying on the kitchen floor screaming "I've fallen and can't get up"
15.) I bought a new bag and I really like it, but if I blog about every bag I've bought and really like, I'd have to change the name of the blog to "Everyday Tales of Bags I bought"

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Day In A Nutshell

This is pretty much my entire day encapsulated into one run-on sentence.

La la la, having a good day, did something good, oh look a seagull employee just crapped all over me and now I have to deal with drama, so let me try this 5-hour energy stuff at 3pm because I'm very tired of dealing with work and want to feel invigorated and focused just like the commercial... gulp... why, that's strange, it seems to have the exact opposite affect on me and I couldn't totally fall asleep sitting up, which is unfortunate because now it's time for me to go home and there's my husband, all three of my dogs and why does one dog have blood smeared all over her face, oh whew its just the remains of an eviscerated baby bird that my husband now tells me he placed on the back stair rail, ew, seriously, oh look, the dead baby bird is gone, where could it be, perhaps a chupacabra carted it off in the 10 minutes he was inside, oh no, here it is in the yard so let me pick it up with a plastic bag and heave its lifeless body over the fence because now I have to go walk each dog individually on a leash to do their business because we have baby blue jays that are too stupid to wait until the carnivore isn't sitting under their nest with their mouths open before launching themselves to certain doom as my husband happily yells good-bye because he's escaping to a motorcycle club meeting leaving me to walk each dog and then chase Meeshka through the house with a washcloth to wipe the blood from her fur as the idiot neighbors start shooting off fireworks, and then in her friskiness, Meeshka runs full tilt into the back of my leg and clawed my ankle to shreds, and that's when I made a BLT and thought... it's only Wednesday.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Spam Award

Yes, yes, I know, I haven't blogged in a gazillion years.  Its not as if my life has become full of money, servants, and mountains of chocolate... its just that I got into a rut blogging as animals (get your mind out of the gutter, and no I'm not appearing in some freak show on tv), and found it hard to blog as a human.  My friends will understand, and I'm not talking about the voices in my head (this time).

Anyhoo, it seems that my blogs are just ripe with material that spammers key in on.  I had thought that most of the nonsensical rambling with link to either virus laden, or porn laden Web sites were done by mindless computers that just randomly spewed out their crap.  I even thought that there were some non-english speaking types that did key word searches and typed out a bunch of misspelled mumbo jumbo followed by the obligatory virus laden or porn laden Web sites... but this one takes the cake.

This spam comment was posted on my blog entry "This Can't Be a Good Sign".  That blog posting was all about a pigeon committing suicide, and my husband's insomnia.

Please note that nowhere in that blog post did I mention anything about:
cows
bull riding
mechanical bulls
That stupid movie about mechanical bull riding

and yet, this spammer felt compelled to write a 14 page compelling comment on why everyone should go right out and rent a mechanical bull.  Please note, most of the reasons are sadistic and involve small children getting flung to the ground... ha ha... seriously.

I was so impressed with this write up, that I'm going to present it to you in full... except for the name of the business, because they totally suck for trying to get free advertising out of me.  At the very least they could have e-mailed me and offered to pay me in Cherry or Raspberry M&Ms (for which I'm willing to whore myself out for at this point), so screw you and screw all of your hard work and run-on sentences, you aren't getting free advertising, but everyone will (for free) enjoy your manifesto on mechanical bull riding.

So, without further interruption or editing, here is the longest spam blog comment in the history of the world...so far:

MECHANICAL BULL RIDING has become one of the most popular activities to have at any special event.

"STUPIDSPAM COMPANY operates the safest and most realistic mechhanical bulls available on the East Coast for Company Picnics, Corporate Events, Colleges, Post Proms, Private parties or any special event.

Our mechanical bulls are perfect for the youngest rider to the experienced cowboy. The bulls are completely safe for both children and adults. This all electric, direct drive, computer controlled attraction is as safe and as fun as it gets.

All Bulls are high quality and use the latest technology.
Designed to simulate real bull movement.
Get the feeling that you are riding a real bull.
Horns and body of bull are contructed of safe rubber.
Operator can control bulls movementsin differentlevels from novice to expert.

No matter what kind of party you are having a mechanical bull rental is sure to add some excitement. Announce you have this activity available and watch the crowds develop. Many people are curious about just how to ride a mechanical bull. There actually is an art to managing to stay on for any length of time. A lot of a person’s ability to stay on the bull depends on how much experience they have with bull riding and what level the mechanical bull is set at. There are different settings available to adjust the mechanical bull’s speed and/or bucking ability. For an experienced bull rider, crank the settings on high and let them put their experience to test. If you are letting children ride the bull, then put the settings on low and gradually increase to let them feel like they are mastering the art.

You have seen them on television and you have seen them at county fairs; however, it is now time to see a mechanical bull at your next party! Whether you are having a birthday party, graduation party, or a free for all adult party, mechanical bulls will surely increase the fun factor. Mechanical bulls are so much fun you will wonder how parties existed before their creation. They add a great source of entertainment for everyone ages 10 to 100. They are available to rent at different rates depending on the size, style ad availability or you can even purchase one to own.

When you have a mechanical bull rental Philadelphia you do not have to have it set up for competition. You will get hours of fun just watching people laugh as they get jerked around by the bull only to eventually fall. The only problem you face when renting a mechanical bull is, your party attendants may not want to leave when the party is over!  (ok, I have to mention that the other thing you'll have to face is that certain lawsuit)

Mechanical bull riding is safe entertainment for all ages. The mechanical SPAM COMPANY is surrounded by pads or air mattress material. The laughter and fun increases as each person falls to the floor! The bull is set up to jerk and sling around just as a real bull would. The rider must learn to get in position and hold on tight. The longer a person stays on the harder the mechanical bull should start to buck. Eventually the rider must figure out how to get off. Thankfully, in the mechanical bull world there isn’t a bull to stomp back on top of the rider."

WAAAAHOOOOO!!!!!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dear Mars corporation,


I'm writing to you in regard to your recent decision to stop producing king sized bars of chocolate.

As a consumer, I want gigantic bars of chocolate.  I've noticed, with much disdain, as chocolate bars have gotten smaller through the years while the price remains the same or increases.  We've noticed it, you didn't fool us for one second.  We're not stupid... But apparently you agree with the government and do think we are stupid.  We're so stupid that we just buy as many king sized bars of chocolate and shove them into our mouths until we're so fat that fire men have to use a crane to remove us from our houses.  We are so stupid that we could never figure out that when king sized chocolate bars are no longer available, we can just buy two candy bars and shove them into our mouths and bloat up to the size of small sheds.  The only people who are hurt by this move are the poor.  Why do you hate the poor?  The poor should be able to weigh 500lbs if they want, it's their right to be obese.  Why should only rich people be able to waddle into a store and drive those carts around stocking that little attached basket with mounds of chocolate?


From a person that has a retirement plan that most likely has your stock in my portfolio, I have to say: ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MINDS?

If you had announced that you were ceasing the production of the king sized bars because people are more health conscious and aren't buying as many, therefore it is not profitable to make them anymore, I'd applaud your shrewd business savvy.   But your excuse for discontinuing them is because you claim that "Mars has a broad-based commitment to health and nutrition, and this includes a number of global initiatives,"  HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!!  Seriously?  YOU MAKE CANDY!!!


You aren't a health department.
You aren't in the business to make people healthy
You make chocolate, good chocolate, tasty chocolate, and to keep your consumers and share holders happy
AND NONE OF US ARE HAPPY!

Make good candy, make good profits, and flourish, because when it's time to bail your sorry asses out, there won't be any money left, and we’ll all be eating Hershey's.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tacos with Lobsterman

We had tacos the other day, and Lobsterman was complaining about how difficult it was to apply sour cream to a taco shell.

LM: We need something to apply sour cream to a taco shell... like a caulk gun.

Me: We have a caulk gun downstairs, want me to get it?

LM: Well, it would be perfect, but you would probably put caulk in it and then I'd put it all over my tacos and nothing good could come of that.

First of all, I have NEVER put caulk in the sour cream container, so I'm a bit perturbed that he would think that I would put caulk in the sour cream caulk gun. 

First of all, if you refrigerate caulk, it would probably turn rock hard and be impossible to dispense. 

Secondly, if he went and got a caulk gun out of the downstairs mish mash of tools in the big bag of tools and used it when he KNOWS that sour cream needs to be refrigerated, then that's his own damn fault.

The next thing he wants is a drill for his pepper grinder... because twisting the little grinder takes too much time.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cuisenart Keurig Coffee Maker - Updated

1/18/2012 - This post has been updated at the bottom

Ok, much like the Toro Lawnmower, my Cuisenart Keurig Coffee Maker (SS-700) was about to be beaten with hammer.


This was a shame, since I've done nothing but brag and boast and convince all of my friends to go buy one or else they were losers and wannabes.  I'd feel really bad about shaming them into getting one of these and then admitting that it sucks after about a year.  Blowing $200 on a coffee maker just to be as cool as me is a lot to demand of your friends, especially if they read about how I'm now beating it with a hammer...

The problem started a few weeks ago when it started dispensing coffee slower than an old guy with prostate problems taking a pee, and wheezed more than I did when climbing stairs.

Ok, whatever, I can plop a k-cup in there, hit the button and go brush my teeth while it brews... disappointing that it was acting like that, but manageable because it was still giving me the 12 ounces it said it would.

The last straw started yesterday when Lobsterman reported that it was piddling out only 4 ounces of coffee at the rate of a catheterized old man.  This will not do.

I did the whole troubleshooting tasks that you can find on the Cuisenart site.  Poking a paperclip in the punch thing to make sure it wasn't clogged.  Making sure the plastic dispenser bottom wasn't clogged, and going through the rinse, drain air bubble exercise... to no avail.

Armed with the hammer, I gave Cuisenart a call and spoke to a nice guy named Adam, who chuckled when I told him I was about to beat it with a hammer.  He asked if I had run through the gamut of troubleshooting... yes.  I described the problem and he was more than happy to replace the product (I really like hearing a company say that... we will replace your product if the next procedure doesn't work... more companies need to start off their support calls with those words), if the next procedure didn't work.

Apparently the internal hose gets air bubbles in it and its kinda pesky getting them out, so here's what you need to try:


Remove the water container, and see the hole where the water gets sucked into?  You need to pour a water in that hole until its overflowing


Then sit the container back on there, put a k-cup in and make a cup of coffee.  It will probably piddle and drip like usual, that's expected.  When its done piddling and dripping, unplug the machine, remove the water container, pour more water in there if it isn't overflowing.  Plug the machine in, turn it on and run another k-cup cycle.  Keep doing that.  Adam said that if it doesn't clear up after 7 runs, then call them back and they'll replace it.

In my case, 4 times was a charm, and its back to brewing a full 12 ounces with a stronger stream.

So, I put the hammer away... for now.  Its nice to know that Cuisenart has your back if your expensive brewer goes belly up.  Kudos to Cuisnart!

Update 1/18/2012

The "fix" lasted all of 4 cups before it started pulling the same crap as before and got worse and worse until it would only brew a piddly little bit of coffee.

That was the last straw and I called Cuisenart AGAIN and they said they would ship me a new one.  I could have returned the product to a retailer, but opted to pay for the shipping back to them.  They charged me a $10 fee (who knows) and said I would get it in 7-10 days... ugh!  We limped along on the totally crapping out coffee maker until this morning.

This morning, something very odd happened... it worked normally!  I got a full cup, it sounded normal, everything was fine.  Lobsterman reported that it continued to work flawlessly throughout the day... and then the mail came and we figured out why it was working... its replacement was delivered.

We aren't falling for its tricks... back it goes!!!!