Some additional explanation

Believe it or not, the Saeco espresso machine is functioning normally now, producing excellent espresso at the push of but a single button, sometimes at the push of the Timer button several hours prior.

The thing about Saeco is that it's Italian. And the Italians, God bless 'em, are a different people altogether. I have owned enough Italian cars over a long enough hunk of my life (I was 19 when I got my first one) that I am unfazed by some of the, er, Rube Goldberg*-like aspects of ownership.

For example, in my penultimate car, during the summer months, you had to start the car THEN turn on the air conditioning and THEN turn on the engine's fan (the factory set point for which was too slow for our summers). The air conditioning was also a bit interesting. Today it's fairly commonplace to see cars that have an air conditioning unit with two controls. But nobody has ever seen another a/c that had two units and one control. It turns out that the a/c units typically seen on Italian cars of those years were not conditioning the air to the satisfaction of anyone. So, rather than go through the inconvenience and trouble of engineering a new sort of unit, they went through the inconvenience and hassle of engineering a way to cram a second unit into cars.

Another previous car had an ingenious sunroof arrangement: It could slide backward or forward, to afford cabin occupants glorious sunshine while shading them from harsh exposure to the sun. This worked brilliantly. Working less brilliantly was closing the sunroof; since it slid both ways the only way to make sure you had a proper seal was to stand outside and wait for the ideal moment to stop the movement. It was like performing some unsavory hernia exam upon an elephant.

Then there's the issue of the batteries. In order to provide ideal weight distribution, the battery is located under the trunk** floor, opposite the driver, which was important in giving optimal handling. Less important was ease in jump starting a car with a flat battery; then again all these cars were stick shift and jump starting was a moot point. When you come to think of it, it's pretty unusual (very unusual in these here United States) to see even biggish family four-door cars available in stick-shift.

(On this latter point, I must confess I'm in agreement; as I view automatic transmissions as a combination of a Leftist plot and the work of Satan.)

The point is that doing things in the Italian way takes some getting used to. Yes, I s'pose I could have bought one of those Capresso units from Switzerland for $1200-$1500 that does the same wonderfulness without the annual purge and with a manual that could probably explain, in excruciating detail how to turn the cappuccino attachment into a manned space module and where the gold from WW II went. The fact is I'm a cheapskate, and getting this unit on eBay for a sliver of that price pleased me more.

Color me crazy, but saving $1000-$1300 is worth twiddling with a knob for 10 minutes.


*Heath Robinson-like if you are from one of the other parts of the Anglosphere
** Boot, if you are from one of the other parts of the Anglosphere


shula said…
Oh well.

That's alright then.
Joke said…
It's something like Crazy o'clock a.m. over there...and you're reading about coffee?

Go to sleep, I'm begging ovah heah.

Poppy Buxom said…
Speaking of saving $1,000, check out today's post.
Joke said…
You could also get him that wine I emailed you about from that store in Northbrook.

Badger said…
I think knob-twiddling must be a Y chromosome thing. Because I still don't geddit. Nothing with which I do not share actual DNA is worth that much trouble.

OMG. My WVW is zhaphig. I think that was Zaphod's slightly plump sister.
Ever since you first posted about the awesomeness of these machines I have been stalking them on the net. The cheapest one I have found was $799 on the other day and that is still more than I can afford to spend. I am really impressed that you got one so cheaply.
BTW-How is the build for the outdoor pizza oven going?
Joke said…
1- You have to stalk them on eBay, preferably NOT from a dealer.

2- I have marked the spot with stakes and string. That's all I got.


Popular Posts