Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Like My Coffee Hot But Not THIS Hot...

I have my Cuisinart DCC1200 coffee maker programmed to start brewing five minutes before my alarm goes off in the morning.  That way my coffee is all brewed and ready by the time I amble downstairs.  So down I go this morning and immediately smelled a burning plastic smell.  I looked over at the coffee maker and saw that not only had it turned itself off, but some nice blue smoke was curling up out of it.  Especially from the back where the cord comes out.  So I unplugged it, waited a minute or so, and plugged it back in.  No clock and no lights.  Unplugged it and waited 15 more minutes.  This time when I plugged it in the clock came on and the lights worked but it wouldn't brew.  I did some research online, specifically at, and found many complaints about Cuisinart coffee makers doing the same thing.  No actual fires, just burning up.  I am guessing a fusible link does its job before an actual fire breaks out but that is still unacceptable.  I bought it from Kohls in 2010.  So I wrote to Cuisinart and told them about it, posted my experience on the Consumer Affairs page, and then wrote to Consumer Reports.  That model was rated #1 and they need to know what is going on.  The good news is that Kohls has a no-hassle return policy.  I walked in with the coffee maker in a bag, presented my receipt, and they refunded my money (most of it anyway but that was OK).  Marched myself over to WalMart and bought myself a Mr. Coffee.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

#1 And #9

Elliott came back home tonight from a state-wide DECA competition with the first place prize!  DECA is a marketing and business association.  DECA used to stand for Distributive Education Clubs of America but is now international and they just kept the DECA name.  So now he goes to Salt Lake City to represent Delaware!  There were five other kids from his school that competed in different categories so he will have some company.  Some time in March.  (Of course Lucie wants to be a chaperone!)

And what about #9?  Oh, he is #9 in his class of 320...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Raising The White Flag

I got beat on a few projects this week.  The most frustrating one is captured in the black box to the left.  You might notice the tiny white underline cursor in the top left.  That is what I saw when I rebooted Lucie's computer...  Just after the BIOS POST and before Windows starts. Now there is only one or two files that are accessed to kick off Windows. I fixed them, replaced them, edited them, everything.  Nothing would work.  I could restore a Ghost image and get her computer to work for a while, then on the next reboot (after 8 or 9 successful ones), this would happen.  For the first time ever, I had to re-format and re-install.  Fortunately I am a back-up fiend so I had backups stored in multiple locations.  What I actually did was restore a back-up of Elliott's laptop (which is essentially the same as Lucie's) and then re-customized it and restored her pictures and documents from one of her backups.  Frustrating.  Never been beat before.

But that wasn't the only thing to get me.  I couldn't find a cheap replacement wheel for the elliptical even though I went to bike and skateboard shops, other mechanical places, scoured the internet, and even tried to epoxy it.  I wound up having to buy one from the manufacturer.  But Lucie and I use it every day, five days a week and its the first problem we have had in over 4 years so it was worth it.

The Tivo remote went on me as well.  The down button stopped working.  I cleaned it and did all I could.  So I had to get another one of those.  Fortunately, the remote was VERY cheap on Amazon and the computer repair didn't cost anything (but time - and I have plenty of that...).  So I looked at it as God keeping me busy during this time.

More "random" things keep happening which at the very least remind me that God hasn't forgotten me.  There was an interesting development today that I am very encouraged about.  Hope to share it soon...