Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Love This Stuff

Article in today's StarTribune (actually a reprint from NYT) about guerrilla tactics - sort of a passive agressive primer:

When Seth Shepsle goes to Starbucks, he orders a "medium" because "grande" -- as the coffee company calls the size, the one between big and small -- annoys him.

Meg Daniel presses zero whenever she hears a computerized operator on the telephone so that she can talk to a real person. "Just because they want a computer to handle me doesn't mean I have to play along," she said.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What is a “Business”?

In a meeting this afternoon, the speaker was talking about dealing with entities of different sizes, and made the observation that the larger the organization, the more it functions “like a business”. That comment lead me to ask, (rhetorically - not out loud for God’s sake - I have my career to think of), “Just what is a business?”

For example, a Mom and Pop operation, sells a product, takes in money, even makes a profit - to me they have a “business”. Perhaps Mom “keeps the books”, but they never call her the Chief Financial Officer. Pop always keeps the website up to date (let’s make this a modern example), but he doesn’t go by the title Chief Information Officer. That’s still a business.

As time goes by, Mom and Pop meet success and take on more help to meet the needs of their business and customers. Let’s say they have a dozen employees now. Is that a business?

Yes (to me), No (to the speaker).

OK, I’m making fun of this person, and I know what he meant. As a business grows in size it takes on the attributes of a business one encounters in business school: regular accounting, an organization that resembles a top-down flow chart, employees with titles that mean something to the outside world. But his lack of comfort with small entities was telling. I hope we are not ignoring those folks just because we don’t relate to them on the same terms. Lost opportunity if we do.

Also heard at the meeting: Someone said we had a lot of “synergy”, to which another replied, “Oh yeah, we got tons of synergy with that.” - - At this point I've made my peace with "synergy", but “Tons” of synergy??

Also, “talk to” - as in, “I can talk to that slide”. Does no one else find this phrase ridiculous? At its most literal, we have a man - alone in a room - addressing a PowerPoint slide. That’s very sad and lonely. Even if you know what it means - - Perhaps: During my presentation I will explain the content of that slide in more detail - - it’s just poor English

Monday, June 27, 2005


Hobbled at home. Posted by Hello

This is why they ban cameras in locker rooms. Found this gem while looking for pictures to post on the Spy Family site. Taken by the Dude of Dad, at swimming lessons.  Posted by Hello

Then Every Week Would Be Pledge Week

Maybe we should just set CPB loose from its government moorings? This Frank Rich piece got me thinking - and probably not in the way he intended. Let’s admit it, CPB is “liberal”. Not in the evil sense imagined by Rove and his minions, but it has liberal tendencies, and I imagine it would love to take the liberal ball and run with it.

If the only way to “save” CPB is to co-opt it by buddying up to the present administration, perhaps it’s time to cast off the lines and let it float alone. I don’t think it would sink. Sure, it would list and take on some water, but it would right itself sooner rather than later. It would be a smaller ship for sure, but it would be its own ship. Perhaps a rejuvenated CPB - and not Al Franken’s Air America - would be the real answer to the growing conservative media (talk radio and TV). [My deepest apologies for the terrible boat metaphor.]

Oh course, pledge weeks would be hell - since they really would depend upon viewer/listener contributions.

Friday, June 24, 2005

You're Both Wrong

OK, OK, I talk a lot about how I have no more interest in politics; Yet I remain fascinated by the process. The problem is I just don’t know where I’d fit in anymore.

Today’s post by Jeff Jarvis in Buzz Machine expresses some of my present frustration with “the system”. Commenting on recent remarks by Karl Rove, and Sen. Dick Durbin, he says:
You're both wrong. Your all wrong. You think you're going to win at the edges because that's the way the game is played today. But you have lost the middle.
The NY Times' op-ed graphic illustrates the point, uh, graphically today. It shows that the number of moderates in Congress -- not in the nation, mind you, but in Congress -- has greatly reduced because:
The differences are attributable to the emergence of the permanent campaign, the rise of partisan news media and, most of all, changes in Congressional redistricting. The expansion in the number of “safe” seats in the House that began in the 1980’s has put an increased importance on primaries, which favor more ideological candidates. A number of these sharp-edged representatives have then moved to the Senate, where they have helped widen the partisan gulf we have talked about — and now can see.
The system is as broken as the American auto and airline industries. It's time for a political restructuring. It's time for a revolt of the middle. Right now, the middle is simply revolted at "leaders" such as these.

First George, then Shana

We recently marked the passing of George Mikan - former Mpls Laker, the first "big man" in basketball. In addition to making the world safe for giant basketballers, he was also (supposedly) the source of my brother-in-law's nickname. He is known throughout the family as "George".

S has shocked to read this morning that Shana Alexander had died - Shaaana (different pronounciation, same spelling) was the source of Mrs. Hobbled's name.

Trailblazing journalist and author Shana Alexander, whose on-air verbal skirmishes with conservative James J. Kilpatrick on CBS' "60 Minutes" were so popular they were spoofed on "Saturday Night Live," has died of cancer, her family said. She was 79. Source


Spoofed on SNL? Yes, she was the original "ignorant sl#t" ?

Camp Names

M has spent the entire week at Girl Scout day camp at Camp Lakamaga. On Thursday and Friday, S and the Dude joined her. (They have a program for the GS's younger siblings called Little Sprouts.)

As part of the camp experience they all had to adopt "names" - sort of a nom de camp, that they are called while there.

M chose Petal early this week, she then dubbed Mom Rose Petal. The Dude is calling himself Volcano.

Not Dead Yet

Some of the folks around here (lawyers all) found this interesting.

Yesterday afternoon, the Washington Post posted a series of stories in their RSS file for the national news page on Chief Justice William Rehnquist's death. From kotte.org

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Carry That Weight

I found this interesting. Do The Zen Monk's Robes Have Pockets?

There is a reason monks renounce worldly possessions: they are distractions from important work.

There is a reason people in therapy talk pejoratively about carrying around "baggage" from relationship to relationship. Baggage is Bad.


Lately, for a variety of reasons that I can't begin to understand, I'm trying to get by with less. Perhaps I got annoyed with carrying around a briefcase full of stuff - - that somedays I never opened! I've been looking for ways to get by with less.

Not so long ago - - OK, it was 20 years or so - - I never carried anything: just a wallet and keys. Back in the day, we never carried backpacks to school. Most days I only carried a lunch bag (since I hated school lunch). College brought backpacks, and I guess there was no turning back.

Ever since stumbling onto the Hipster PDA phenomena, I've been intrigued about what I carry and why I carry it. Perhaps yoga has played a part. Despite coming to the practice via videos and community ed classes, some of the spiritual aspects rub off after a year or so. Yoga puts a lot of emphasis on being present in the moment, not letting junk distract you. I actually "carry" that philosophy with me more these days. Trying hard not to let all my worries and anxieties overwhelm me. Breath . . . and breath again.

Wait - where was this going - Oh, right, carrying less. The above-referenced post has "juiced" me up. Now I want to really get by with less. I'll leave the briefcase home tomorrow - and see how it goes.

Next stop - less at home. Hmm - that's a tough road to hoe.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Popsicles in the Bathtub

Yes, it's summer in Minnesota. Bones is upstairs enjoying popsicles in the bathtub. What a life.

When it's hot and humid, Dad declines the popsicles but opts for wine over ice. Gasp - yes, it's true. Even M (age 8) knew it was "wrong". I set out a nice wine glass - then dropped three large ice cubes in - her jaw dropped! "What are you doing?" she gasped. Even an 8 year old knows it's wrong to have red wine over ice. Ahh - but how refreshing!!

Metaphysical Meteorology

Driving down Cleveland Ave to preschool this morning, we saw two women in full religious dress, suggestive of a burqa. Looking for an opportunity to educate (that’s the kind of parent I am); I pointed them out to Bones. I allowed us to speculate whether they might be ninjas - covered all in black - but then I explained that they wore those clothes for religious reasons. “They dress like that because of how they believe in God,” was how I put it.

“Wow, Mom sure wouldn’t dress like that. She doesn’t believe that,” said the Bones. “I wouldn’t dress like that but I still believe in God,” he said.

Cute for sure, but considering we never take him to church, kind of interesting. I think he and his buddies have been talking about God lately.

Then out of the blue he asks, “What does God do during a tornado?”

“Well,” I respond - making it up as I go along, “God makes tornadoes.”

“No,” he says, “God doesn’t make tornados. The rain and the clouds make tornadoes. They get tired and mad of being rain all the time so they bunch together, get all twisted up, and then make tornadoes.”

“What does God do then?” I ask.

“He watches, and sometimes punches the tornadoes to make them stop.”

I like that - “sometimes” - not always. Suggests a little “free will”.

Sleep and Academic Performance - again

OK - so this is not the most "trendy" subject - sleep and academic performance. It's been around a while in MN. In fact, many high schools here start later now (I started at 7:30) because (most of) the powers-that-be finally recognize that teenagers aren't necessarily lazy, they are just tired from not enough sleep.

M's elementary school starts at 7:40 - which many parents see as great. Since most kids rise early (very early in fact), the 7:40 time seems fine to many. And the stay-at-home types really love all the afternoon time (school is out at 2:00) to run errands (doctor, dentist appoints, etc).

But - and this is a big but - M is not a morning person. In fact, none of the woman in my family are (that includes M, her mother, her maternal grandmother - - and on, and on.) I wonder how much M's academic performance suffers (problems focusing) because she is so damned tired in the AM. Every day, I carry her down stairs (at age 8 - she's the tallest girl in her class, so it's no picnic to carry her up and down stairs. I usually bang her head or gangly legs on some doorknob or wall), plop her on the couch, and coax her to get dressed, eat, and get out the door by 7:20.

All this leads up to this article in Slate:
Not exactly. There is an alternate—and perhaps more compelling—explanation for why breakfast-eaters do relatively well in school while breakfast-skippers may have a tough time: The skippers are also the ones whose bodies rebel against early-morning activity. Their circadian clocks are telling them that it's still nighttime, or they're plain exhausted and need the extra zzz's. Taken together, the scientific literature on breakfast and sleep suggests that making sure kids get enough shut-eye will probably do more for them than dragging them out of bed to eat their Wheaties. Yet the authors of the new review article—like most nutrition researchers—overlook the literature on sleep, which seems to exist in a separate, academic bubble.

Monday, June 20, 2005

70's Food?

SDMoose is blogging about 70s food. While many aspects of culture, music, movies, style of dress, strike me as having a uniquely 1970's flavor, I hadn't given food much thought.

[Tick, tick, tick] Now that I've given it 3 seconds, here is my thoughtful addition to the list: Fondue. Hard to believe I made it through the decade (corresponding to my ages 8 - 18) and never touched Fondue. Still haven't.

Oh - and I agree with Mr. Moose: I like potato salad and cole slaw. Didn't ever think of them as 70s food, in fact they must go much further back than that. Of course we Minnesotan's never stopped eating them.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Doing My Bit to Prevent Prostrate Cancer

Beautiful day - nice walk over the lunch-hour. Not only did I exercise my legs, and the old heart and lungs, I may have even helped prevent prostrate cancer.

A healthy dose of daily sunshine could chop the risk of prostate cancer in half, suggests the largest study so far on UV exposure, vitamin D and prostate cancer risk.


Of course, I was walking alone, and that's not good for longetivity.

Friends, not family, are the key to a longer life, a new study suggests.

Preschool Envy

Talking with my son's preschool teacher. What an action packed day: Soccer (the Step Up To Soccer program); Music with Will Hale and the Tadpole Parade; and, Movie Day.

Here I sit filling in the blanks on Excel spreadsheets - - working on mid-year performance reviews for 19 people. Well - actually - here I sit blogging because filling in the blanks in 19 spreadsheets is enough to drive a man crazy.

Next up - 11:00 meeting to discuss the (unnamed) segment, sub-segmentation, and how the (unnamed) segment differs from other segments. Wow - that's a lot of segments. Kind of like Sybil.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Peanuts - Evil Peanuts

How are kids today going to survive without peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Luckily the Dude prefers jelly sandwiches since his school, like most is a peanut-free zone.

Lileks today comments on the evil peanut:

Gnat met her new teacher, and said – with a complete lack of guile or understanding of what she was about to say – “We didn’t have time for lunch, so I’m having some peanuts now.” And then the words flashed in my brain in Artkraft-styled neon letters:

IN. THE. SCHOOL. I HAD BROUGHT PEANUTS. INTO. A. SCHOOL.

The teacher merrily explained that we couldn’t have peanuts in the school, and I did the only thing I could do: I grabbed the sack, hurled them to the floor and covered them with my body.

Yes, I know, there are serious peanut allergies; I know it’s not a made-up thing. I just wonder how I managed to get through thirteen years of peanut-saturated public education without seeing any kid have an allergic reaction.

Please, No

Every time I read about Al Franken making a run for Senate in his "home" state of MN, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. He strikes me as such a polarizing force - though that kind of thing plays well in political circles these days. Repubs and Dems - at opposite ends of the spectrum - talking about how "evil" the other is. This just strikes me as playing to your base - but what about the middle? They will go Repub again if Al runs.

"I jumped ya twice in Thief River Falls," said a middle-age woman in greeting at the pre-speech party in a tent next to the Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota here. The seeming inference of long-ago sexual congress would cause deep blushing elsewhere, but it actually meant that Faith Rud and Mr. Franken had bonded in a far more profoundly Minnesotan way: she had used jumper cables to revive his Volkswagen bus on a cold night long ago after a college gig. NYT.


I hope the DFLers come up with a more reasonable candidate. I'm glad I'm no longer involved in politics (my "first career").

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Apologies

My apologies for the onslaught of photos. Thought today would be as good as any to practice posting pictures to the blog. Now, I only hope I remember how.

Today is her 8th birthday - - and she and Mom are away from home. Happy Birthday M - from the two dudes. Posted by Hello

My uncle Ole's 90th birthday party. We had a lot of fun -- really. This picture might best be titled, "Let's cut the cake already."  Posted by Hello

Jake's retirement party. The shirt has images of slides depicting acute renal failure. The caption reads, "A Cute Renal Fella". Nephrologist humor that is. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

Home Alone - Again

Wife, daughter, and Mother-in-Law hit the road late last night en-route to South Bend, IN. Destination - Sister-in-law's new home.

Less than 24 hours into our bachelorhood, Dad and Dude have this to report.

Stayed up too Late - - Even though M took the portable DVD player, Dad and Dude watched Justice League in bed last night on Dad's work laptop - sorry boss.


Does he miss the ladies?
Dude during breakfast: "Isn't it kind of comfortable - without Mom and M?"

Fascinating Weekend

Many interesting things from last weekend.

Attended (or should I say, participated in) the most fascinating wedding of all time. Wendy and Gary's - both are very creative, Wendy works with S at the Minnesota Historical Society, and Gary is a corporate trainer by day, and plays base in a Springstreen tribute band by night. Highlights include - the wedding was held at the Progress Center on the MN State Fair grounds, complete with food on a stick, and goofy hats (the Gedney's Pickle Hat, and the Pig's Ears).

The "homily" was a series of readings from the Betty Crocker cookbook, 1950 edition. The service was interrupted by King Boreas who objected to the wedding because it was being held in the summer when everyone knew the couple first met at the Ice Palace at the Winter Carnival. The Vulcan person (king, god??) interrupted Boreas to argue the couple had actually met at the Fair. The two then put on several puppet shows with alternative stories about how the couple really met.

After the vows, Tim Sigler (vocals), Dan Chouinard (accordian), and Dick Duncan (washboard) performed Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash.

Dinner on a stick and entertainment provided by a battle of the teenage bands - two friends of the couple have children in bands so they set up on opposite corners of the for a showdown - it's funny to hear high schoolers play Free Bird and Smoke on the Water with a straight face.

Told S that I just wanted to go home, locate our wedding video, and throw the damn thing out. Gary and Wendy have redefined the marriage ceremony.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

And What's This Then?

"Listing all of the typefaces used at Walt Disney World would be impossible, and a huge waste of time." - - So they say, yet that doesn't stop them from trying.

Found this via Kottke - a fascinating site. Don't miss his links to celebrities playing ping-pong.

People of Pallor

Seems everyone is linking to Howard Dean's recent statements. I've nothing to add to that, but I did come across a very neat phrase that bears repeating - - "People of Pallor".

Context - Dean accused Republicans of being mostly white, etc. yet former Gov. Dean's native Vermont is pretty white: 96.8% People of Pallor.

World of Work

Yesterday I was running late to work - the Dude had slept late and was slow to awaken. Dropped Dude at Pre-School, and began the commute to work. Almost there, speeding along 35E at 70 mph, I glanced to my right to begin moving to the right lane, and the exit to Yankee Doodle Road (God - what an awful name), and I spied the Dude's lunch box still on my front seat!

That just set me off - much colorful cussing. Exit on Yankee Friggin' Doodle Road and turn around to drop off the lunch. After finally arriving at my desk - 10:15 - I began to wonder if it's really worth it. I spend over one hour a day commuting, burning fossil fuels and running my old Saturn into the ground. Meanwhile, our house for which we pay a modest mortgage each month, sits empty from 8:30 - 2:00 each day - - except for Fluffy the Hamster. I got to thinking, if I could work from home I would. Despite the mess, it is a relaxing place - no cubes, no piped-in "white noise", no hour-long commutes.

Stumbled across an interesting line of posts in Instapundit (and here) this morning. Given yesterday's chaos, I find myself interested in the idea of cottage industries, and work returning to the home. Interesting bit about working outside the home and family.

Family: One of the standard negative depictions from the Gray Flannel Suit era featured a disconnect between the world of work -- to which fathers trudged off en masse to downtown office buildings where they performed inscrutable tasks, from which they returned exhausted and in need of martinis -- and the world of family. Kids had little idea what their fathers did; [Most parents I know have a hard time explaining just what it is they do at work. HobbledRunner.] fathers knew little about what their kids did. Husbands and wives moved in different worlds.

The entry of women into the workforce in large numbers has helped this a little, I suppose, but not a lot, especially where the kids are concerned. But kids who get to watch their parents work up close -- the way that kids did in the pre-Industrial Revolution "cottage industry" days -- are likely to have a much greater appreciation of how the world of work operates. Perhaps -- also like kids in the pre-Industrial Revolution days -- they'll mature more quickly as a result, though here I am perhaps being overoptimistic. At the very least, however, they'll see work behavior "modeled" in their presence. Instead of "take your daughter (or son) to work" day, it'll be "take work to your kids" every day. (And spouses tend to know a lot more about the work of self-employed spouses, for better or worse.) I'm not enough of a sociologist -- or a psychic -- to analyze all the changes that may result from this phenomenon, but I feel pretty confident that there will be changes. TechCentralStation



Sounds like I want to leave the corporate world, but what would I do?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Enough Art Already?

Terry Teachout has an interesting discussion about a question posed to him by a reader. I'm paraphrasing here, but: Do we have enough art already? Shouldn't I just be content to "consume" art (music, plays, paintings, etc.) already complete, and not bother with any newly created works?

It's an intersting discussion of time (and how to spend it), and what is "new" art.
Remember that no one, not even the wealthiest of connoisseurs, has an unlimited amount of time to spend on art. However wisely or unwisely we allocate them, there are only twenty-four hours in a day. Sooner or later, we have to choose.

Teachout argues that all theater is "new":
When it comes to theater, of course, the choice is to some extent made for me. In a sense, every theatrical production is “new,” even a revival of Hamlet.


In the end, he argues, new is good:
Aside from everything else, there's no substitute for the galvanizing experience of being present at the creation of a new work of art that might possibly end up being great. Nothing is so thrilling as making up your own mind instead of waiting for posterity to do it for you. Just as important, though, taking a chance on new art is the price we pay for a healthy culture, one in which talented artists don't have to wait on tables. Those who decline to pay it are the cultural equivalent of rentiers, aesthetic remittance men who live off the accumulated capital of the past without contributing anything of their own.


In the same vein, I believe it was Ringo Starr who once said that eventually we would run out of tunes because there were, after all, only 88 keys on a piano, and soon all the various combinations would be tried. (Searched and searched but couldn't find the quote.)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Only One Incident

So far, so good. We had one incident this afternoon where everyone screamed at each other and called each other names. Without getting into all the details, which seem trivial even now, we were able to come to our senses and winded up the night making smores - - over the gas grill - - not so romantic, but probably safest. The Dude cannot understand why we just can't pile up a bunch of sticks in the backyard and start a fire.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Kids OK So Far - Dad Same

Despite the fears of relatives and friends mentioned earlier.
all is OK at home. M is at school and the Dude is camped on the sofa watching Arthur. (Yes Amy, I will be getting him out soon for some exercise.)

Dude is not happy that I have to go to work today. Neither is the Hobbled Runner. I had planned to take the day off - - for about 6 months.

Two weeks ago, the boss calls - - "Is that a 'real' vacation day, or could you come in for a special 'off-site' planning meeting to discuss the future of our department?"

A more courageous man would have said, "Hell no. I've had this day planned for months - fun with the kids, no work obligations - - lots of Dad time." But being the coward that I am I mumbled something about, "Oh yeah, I'm in town - just took the day off because my wife is out of town, I can probably find child care. . . . "

Been andry and depressed about this for the past two weeks. Had visions of telling them to take their offsite and shove-it, but in true Captain Cubicle mode I acquiesced. After all, if I had more courage I'd be an entrepreneur or something, not some corporate desk jockey.

What the ???

I have no idea how the ad on the right appeared, the one for Sexy Girls, Sexy Guys, etc. I thought Google Adsense threw up adds based on my content. Hmmm - - better click and see where it goes - might result in a little ka-ching for yours truly.

Video Conferencing bring sexy guys & girls together and Stay Connected!
Web conferencing is the art of having online meetings with one or more individuals or groups at the same time from virtually anywhere and anytime. Try web conferencing, and tell your friends about it!

Sounds sad and lonely. Web Conferencing is "an art" ??? Of course now that I've blogged about it, my entire right pane will be filled with similar ads. Great - a not-safe-for-work blog.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

What Are You Going to Do With the Kids?

S leaves for the big event today. Seven (or is it eight) women who met in college all turn 40 this year. Look out Santa Fe!

Over the weekend, while visiting with relatives, S or I told the story of her upcoming trip several times. After two different occasions, the response was, "Wow, that sounds like fun! What are you going to do with the kids?" The fact that this question was posed in the presence of yours truly was stunning. S and I got a laugh out of it at the time. "Well, their Dad will be there," was her response. "Oh" was all they could say.

I don't know what bugs me more, that these folks don't think I can "hack-it" - - or that there are guys out there who can actually get away without performing their household duties while their wives are out of town? Who are you, where are you? Hello - it's the 21st century.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Demotivation Industry

FastCompany has an interesting piece on the de-motivation company, Despair.com. The folks that poke fun at the motivational industry in corporate America:

For Kersten, the heart of the problem lies in what he calls the "noble employee myth," a product of what he dryly calls the "motivational educational-industrial" -- or "ME-I" -- complex. The central elements of this myth are that employees are good and productive labor is natural for them. Management is responsible for creating the circumstances that unleash employee motivation and should be blamed when employees fail. Profits should not be pursued at the expense of employee satisfaction. On it goes -- the very kinds of things you'd expect to read if Jean-Jacques Rousseau happened to be unleashed in an HR department.

[big snip]
"I thought work could be redemptive and healing. But after dealing with problem after problem, it was clear that it would have been better if the people who were unhelpable had been fired. Which, eventually, I had to do. They were too immature. Later, I ran into some of them at a company reunion. They thanked me. They said it was the best thing that could have happened to them at the time."

Percolator - Oh Yeah

Anybody who enjoys Space Age Bachelor Pad Music has to drink coffee prepared in a percolator.

Staying home this morning with M - poor sickly kid. After dropping off the Dude at Pre-School (Camping Day today - backpack, sleeping bag, flashlight, and pj's), M and I stopped at Target to fill a prescription for Dad (not sick kid). While waiting 15 minutes, we managed to drop about $65 (not bad for Target). My latest cool purchase is a percolator. (Melitta JavaPerk Percolator)

My old Mr. Coffee Thermal Gourmet brewer just wasn't cutting it. In fact, it never cut it. It was cheap ($19.99), but it never really made hot coffee - warm yes, hot no. I don't need my coffee McDonald's hot, but I like to have to blow on it and sip carefully when first approaching the cup. Mr. Coffee denied me that experience. Mr. Coffee Thermal Gourmet had no warmer - it was built that way. I guess you shouldn't need a warmer when you brew hot coffee directly into a thermos. But, as mentioned above, it didn't make hot coffee. It made warm coffee fast - but I would easily sacrifice a few more minutes of brew time for coffee that started out hot.

Anyway percolators seem kind of retro. Someone blogged about them a few months ago - and it's been sticking in mind ever since. It's coffee the old fashioned way, it smells like old-fashioned coffee, and even sound like old-fashioned coffee. It has that cool percolator feature - the "glass" top where you can see you coffee "perking". Not as fast as old Mr. Coffee, but 10 minutes for 10 cups seems reasonable. And the taste - - AHHH, Mrs. Olsen would be proud. Oh - - did I mention hot? Yes, the cup steams for minutes when first poured. Almost too hot to drink. Yes!