Saturday, September 24, 2011

521. My Coffee Maker Joined The Army

I make gourmet cappuccinos every morning with my fabulous automatic espresso machine purchased for full price way before I ever worked at the high-end kitchen store. For reasons unknown to me, The Husband makes coffee on the weekends with his coffee machine bought on double clearance and an expired coupon at Target. I never really stopped to notice, but apparently The Husband’s coffee machine has a built-in clock. In typical Virgo fashion, I wear a highly-accurate Swiss watch (okay, two if you must know), so I never really worry about getting my time from an appliance designed to heat water and pump it over coffee grounds.

So it came as somewhat of a surprise to me when I walked in the dark kitchen one night and noticed that the coffee maker clock glowed “20:18.”

Now, having worked for the airlines for a good chunk of my adult life, I am well-acquainted with what those in the know call “military time.” 20:18 means 8:18 PM. To avoid confusion, the crew schedulers always gave us our assignments in military time, as in, “MOV, you will be working ID #9633 which is a three-day trip, layovers in Miami and Chicago, and you need to be at the airport at oh-five-thirty for check in.” If it was a red-eye flight, the scheduler might say, “ID #277, a two-day, laying over in Boston, check in is twenty-one-oh-five.” A flight attendant could never miss a trip by saying, “Oh, I thought you meant PM! Oops, you meant AM! So sorry!”

Last I checked, the coffee machine is not going to Miami.

Why the military time, coffee maker? We don’t even make coffee at night because, well, it tends to keep us up. Tell you what, CM (can I call you CM? I feel like we might be on a friendly basis by now), you don’t even need to show the time after 11 AM! That’s right! You can have the rest of the day off. The only hours that matter in Caffeine Land are 4AM—11AM. So stop blinking 16:00 at me! You are confusing me, and I left that part of my brain (the military time translating section) back on the tarmac at LAX.

I mention this interesting tidbit to The Husband, that his bargain coffee maker has this newly discovered talent of announcing military time.

“Huh, that’s cool,” says The Husband, barely looking up from his ESPN.

When I ask him to convert it back to normal people time, he just gives me a blank stare. “I don’t really know how to do that,” he says finally, apparently channeling me and my Amishness.

I do the only thing I can: I ask Tall.

“Tall,” I say, my voice full of caramel gooeyness, “do you think you could help Mommy program the coffee maker? You know, since you are good at electronical things?”

“Huh, I guess,” says my seven-year-old, barely looking up from taking apart our old computer and rebuilding a new motherboard for fun. “What seems to be the problem?”

After I explain the situation and walk out of the room, I hear him furiously pressing random buttons on the coffee maker for the next 30 seconds or so.

“All set, Mom!” he calls out.

He walks past me and gives me a goofy grin and a wink. Since when does he wink?

I look at the coffee maker’s clock. No more military time. It reads:

;) ;)



  1. Brilliance, i say! Brilliance!


    -Aspiring Falconer (proper word for a hawk-falconer: Austringer) Motaki

  2. I keep my cellphone on military time. It makes sure I can set my appointments in my calendar without getting the am/pm thing wrong. I am not so hot with the 24 hour clock, though, so I often have to stop and complete my minus 12 operation to keep my head straight.

    Maybe the coffeemaker has that function so it no one sets it to autobrew at 7 in the evening?

  3. All, and I mean ALL computer/techie genes went to my brother. As did the good nose, great hair and nice ears. But I digress... I feel your pain with not being able to program a coffee pot timer. And the frustration and humiliation that comes with having ones child be the computer guru of the home. Kids these days...

  4. Let me bet your coffee maker is an european brand.

  5. I don't even read instruction manuals any more. I get a new phone, camera, whatever, and hand it to my son saying "I want to know how to do A, B and C." He also doesn't read any manuals, but 2 minutes later hands them back to me, shows me what to do and i'm all set. Having a teen is time-saving in that regard.

  6. Motaki, thanks for kind words. (I am sorta getting a big head now.)

    Kay (bluespeckled pup), oh, good point. I did not even think of that.

    Lori E., my brother flies jet planes for the Air Force. I think he got the computer/ techie genes too. (I am lucky I can get my phone to replay my messages!)

    Véronique, Krups. Bingo!

    Amy, smart girl.



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