inconclusive vagaries, blogged

October 18, 2006 – 12:45 am



the intervening silent vacuities, it should be noted, have been filled of Trial by Espresso Machine Innard. meaning, basically, that to know the depths of this blog’s flummoxed anguish you pretty much had to be there. will that keep us from attempting strident, curmudgeonly rehash? why, no!

clearly, one of the most underrated advantages to home junkie-ism would have to be the experiential knowledge of the top three ways to engage one’s upper torso in live electrical pathways. those would be, in order of this blog’s bungling, water tank switch-right hand-left hand-boiler; water leak-sop rag-heater switch-left hand; and machine frame-left hand-right hand-pump connector ends. clearly, there are just too many “enlightening/illuminating/electrifying” jokes to be made at this juncture.

water-path obstructionism is how it all started, with a sudden hush at the grouphead. the pump couldn’t reach 5 bar, the water flowed at a rate formerly reserved for toddler schnoz. not being a complete fool, we put out the call. all signs pointed to pump. which is how one knows it is NOT the pump.

still, this blog stupidly relied on its empirical data, signing up for the 52-watter and a three-day wait. wrassled the old thang from its rubber mounts, harangued the new one into place and discovered that, well, you need just the right kind of plasti-zip-tie. the smallish kind is best, with the inner-looking teeth. not too big a clasp, you know. should be able to cinch a gnat’s forearm.

we admit, we make this hard on ourselves. it’s rough being an establishment shunner. basically, this blog won’t darken a home depot unless the only two mom-n-pops left in town absolutely can’t help. we’ll wait two days for delivery before running the u-scan line at the home improvement where-house. it’s the carping third-waver in us. but duncan’s hardware didn’t stock the mini-zips. nor did the corner drug store. off to the depot, then, where seventeen sales associates took seventeen guesses about where you might find them. (answer: electrical. beside the strapping thigh-sized power cables that double as bolshevik whipping hams.)

is it too much to ask if, when someone undertakes to dominate a sector of commerce, said someone does so with actual merit? expertise? brio? do you sometimes sicken of insipid rhetoricals? you do? well how about if we move on then? shall we?

you can tell this is going to end badly, i’m sure. the new pump changed nary a thing. the air release valve and the expansion valve, with its inner spring of impossible reattachment, also appeared to be non-culprits. the vinegar down the grouphead only raised false hopes. we were beginning to wonder if the water gurus had it all wrong about our municipal water with the softness of brie on tap, and that perhaps we should have been subscribing to a regular descaling regimen. tried one. it didn’t work. then learned a handy trick about extracting the heating element. clean as a medical, er, device. the spring of impossible reattachment was adjusted, the air-siphoning insert removed, the descaling enema run through again and the barista torso electrocuted one more time, just so we could BE SURE WE WERE STILL LIVING IN THE TERRESTRIAL SPHERE.

in anguish, we dumped her for a day. came back, pulled the lever, and … SHE WORKS! all she needed was an overnight suppository and a day to sulk! or whatever. only one problem left: the air release valve, removed for experimentation, had disappeared, as things are wont to do in a household that includes a Toddler Landfill of Mostly Plastic Amusement. also, yawning 1940s heater vents.

the new one purchased and inserted, it occurs to this blog: we’re still not sure that we spent a single warranted penny on machine parts. do we care? we do not! this, i tell you, is the surest sign of grinding quality-centric slavery. when the mere squeak-hum-drip-splash of a ristretto cycle is enough to loosen the tear ducts of exuberance, why it causes one to ignore the obvious — you’ve been overcooking your rwanda!

the straggling theories: it was the pump — plus something else. or, it was the air release valve but we don’t have the mechanism to prove it. or, the momentary water leaks in the post-pump replacement process drained enough vacuum — or introduced enough air — to prevent full power until they were remedied. or, there was hunk of something vile lodged inside that only an overnight dredging could dislodge. or, the expansion valve had been maladjusted. or, this blog is seriously bereft of structural logic.

of that, we can almost be certain. meanwhile, the lady isomac is not the same. the flush routine is now moot — all our heater cycles are of a new persuasion. the pump pressure settings have soared. and, did we mentioned the rwanda is overcooked?

we would like to discuss with you what it means to be an underdog. also, an establishment shunner.