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Just call me Mrs. Patmore, at least this morning.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Those who do not watch Downton Abbey won’t understand my reference. The series is set in England in the early 20th century. Mrs. Patmore is the cook for the aristocratic Crawley family in their 400 room “abbey.”

Everyone must adapt to times of social and technological change.

I cheered when Lady Edith defied convention and began to write a newspaper column. I wished Lady Sybil well when she eloped with her true love, the family chauffeur. I admired Lady Rose’s courage when she planned to become engaged to a black lounge singer at least until I realized that subconsciously she only wanted to shock her mother.

Reactions to new technology (the automobile and telephone) were amusing to me from my vantage point nearly 100 years removed from the setting of the series.

Now back to Mrs. Patmore. Electric mixers, a refrigerator and the electric sewing machine shook up her world. Again, how amusing.

This morning I am facing a Keurig. DH & I are staying with grandchildren while their parents are out of town. Fortunately, it comes with directions – our 12 year old granddaughter. OK, this isn’t hard.

DH & I drink several cups of coffee in the morning, something we’ve done all our lives. Either we talk about the coming day, or life in general or just get online. Right now I’m on my laptop and he’s reading away on his tablet.

Sometimes I don’t want another cup, just a little bit more and my coffee maker at home provides that. I want a bit more right now, but I would have to get another little K-cup and make another entire cup.

Remember frugal me from my last blog entry? Buying in bulk to save money? Waste not, want not and assorted proverbs?

“How much do these things cost?” I asked DH. My engineer proceeded to give me the prices of every brand available in his trip to the supermarket. I estimate each K-cup costs about 80 cents.

Since he is our coffee buyer at home, I asked how much we pay for the 6-7 cups we share each morning. $15 worth of coffee lasts about 3 weeks, so about 20 cents per cup.

DD and family have different habits, so this machine works well for them. One cup of coffee, one cup of hot chocolate etc. However, I feel downright decadent putting another K-cup in there as DH is doing right now. Hmm, maybe I’ll just boil some water and have a cup of tea.

For the record: I’m not a Neanderthal regarding technology.
I was a technology coordinator before retirement.
I bought my first computer in 1981, mail order from Apple, because computer stores didn’t exist yet.
I maintain my own website.
I check out the activities of family/friends on FB (even trying to communicate in Slovak with some)

Yet, some things I avoid.

I understand the need to text. I just don’t like it. I spent years working with voice recognition software, so kids with motor difficulties could speak and have their works translated into text. Now using a device designed to transmit voice and TYPING into it just seems backwards to me.

Again, I do understand why people like it. I just don’t.
I feel like Scotty from Star Trek movie #4, transported back to the 20th century trying to talk into a mouse – “computer! Do whatever…” and rolling his eyes that he has to type his command.

Note: DD is a Sparker and will likely read this. Fortunately, she’s already aware of my approach to technology.

As I used to tell the teachers that I trained in tech competency. You must learn how it all works, be able to use it and understand how others in your field are using it. Then decide how it will or will not help your teaching. Decide from a position of knowledge and strength, not fear or ignorance. After that it’s up to you , at least until some administrator decides otherwise.

There are lots of fitness devices that technology has provided for us. Some use them all the time. Some ignore them. It’s up to us to decide how they fit into or help our lives, or not.

Oh, breaking news! Something else I avoided.
Mt. Gox, the bitcoin exchange is closed and went into bankruptcy. I missed the entire rise and fall.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I tend to pick and choose which technology I am willing to spend the time to learn. For instance, I have a cell phone, but not a smart phone. (I am also a penny-pincher, and haven't been willing to spend the money for one.) I text. I use Facebook but not Twitter. I refuse to do online banking; it would drive me crazy. But I do shop online. I absolutely refuse to learn anything at all about Angry Birds! I waste more than enough time as it is; I don't need one more way to do it. Eventually I may decide to put the time into learning other technologies/games/stuff, but for now I am getting along just fine.
    2551 days ago
    Oh and hey... I do have a reusable filter basket for the Keurig that you can use regular coffee grounds in. Also, we discovered that you can use the same K-cup for a second cup. I mean, I wouldn't leave it in there for a day or anything... but if you make one and then want another a short time later, we've just used the same K-cup.
    2552 days ago
    I love my Keurig, and also Downton Abbey, we spend about 50 cents per cup, and that is expensive, but we only have 1 cup a day, sometimes my DH has 2, so no left overs to toss,
    I could teach my Scottish ancestors a thing or two about being frugal,
    2552 days ago
    Love all the references -some of my favourite TV programmes here. :)
    Don't know the coffee maker brand.
    2552 days ago
    Well, I bought a Keurig pot and the special cup to use my own coffee to try to cut back on my coffee. I became thoroughly disenchanted because the water went through to quickly for the full flavor to develop. I drink French Market with chicory. It's a medium-dark roast and I love it, I have not found a dark roast coffee that I like for the Keurig, but since Erik likes flavored coffees (aka Starbucks & Dunkin Donuts) we have found this to be a much more reasonable alternative. When Erik was working-before his accident-he could afford those extravagances. I joined the Keurig club and get much of his coffee that way, in order to save shipping costs we make large orders less frequently. He still buys Starbucks & Dunkin Donuts-but mostly in K-cups for home consumption. He loves trying different flavors, and I'll try some on occasion but I'm sticking with my old Mr. Coffee and my French Market and reducing how much I make, I'm down to two huge mugs a day, for someone who drank 2-12 cup pots a day that is a reduction.
    Texting! Its good to get a message to my kids when they are at work and I want them to know I need their help with something or if I want to talk to my DIL and don't want to wake the baby. Like someone said it's great for updating family in times of travel or crisis. My DH wouldn't even get a cell phone before he died, but he had borrowed someones to call mine to tell me he had been rear ended one day. I had mine and he'd call me to check on me, my ETA and if I would pick up something home on my way home. The value of one was there, he just couldn't be bothered-he was an electronics engineer in Bio-Medical instrumentation. I guess he felt as we do/did. I used technology that I had to use for work and was able to help others, at home I'm technologically challenged.
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    2552 days ago
    An interesting twist to the Keurig machine debate for ME (I, too, have a frugal streak) is related to using the more expensive cups to assist me in stepping down the amount of caffeine I consume. Using Keurig for portion control!

    Hmmm. After this week's adventure with medical de-caffing, I'm pondering using the opportunity to reduce the amount I re-introduce. And continuing to ponder.

    Love reading your blogs... and am on the same page with many things. Glad I'm not alone! emoticon
    2553 days ago
  • DR1939
    I sat down to check my mail while a cup of coffee brewed on my Keurig so this is really relevant to me. I resisted a Keurig for as long as they've been out. Both of my daughters had them, so it wasn't due to inexperience. I received a small one for Christmas (have to add water every time) and have come to love it. We still grind a morning pot of French Roast coffee but we do like a cup in the afternoon and the evening. My husband and I prefer different types of coffee then. He likes cappuccino, I like flavored coffees. After dinner I only drink decaf, he can drink fully caffeinated coffee. The Keurig is very convenient for this BUT I am going tomorrow to buy one which holds more water. I do agree with you on the cost, but we pay high prices for other things that are convenient.

    I also resisted texting for a long time. I begin using it extensively while traveling. I could contact all my family members in a single text at any time of the day. We have found it very helpful when a family member is hospitalized. It is easy to update everyone at once. I also find it convenient to text people at work. They can read and respond at a time that is convenient to them. It is more immediate than email.
    2553 days ago
    Texting? it's a quick,easy way to send messages, yet i figure if I have time to text back and forth many times with you then maybe we should just pick up the phone and talk, ha ha. I do use it to send quick messages to the husband when he's working and keep running conversations going with the daughter...sometimes with 2-3 days between responses. So it has its good points and its bad points.
    The keurig? I'm with you for home use. I drink way too much coffee at home to go through those little tiny single serve cups, plus when i grab a cup I just want to grab and go, not stand there waiting, even if it is for only seconds at a time. I do however purchase k-cups for work. The department provides the keurig in our break area but we're responsible for our own coffee. I buy the kcups through our office supply company for a discounted rate and end up spending about 40 cents a cup compared to the $1.25 they charge in the cafeteria. So at work, it's a major cost savings.
    But it does bring up another issue that boggles my mind. In a time when we talk about "reducing, reusing and recycling", why does the market continue to come out with dozens of "single use" items on an almost daily basis?
    2553 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13099273
    love Mrs. Patmore and Downtown Abbey as a matter of fact PBS shows are the only ones that hold my interest. I agree technology is way to much for me - too - that's why its takes me forever to return Spark responses - I do not know how to send group responses nor do I want too - when I friend someone I like to talk to that person individually - its Snail Response but works for me - hugs Karen
    2553 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    Another frugal SP here -- 3 of my favorite books are 'The Tightwad Gazette,' volume I, II, and III. Raised in a frugal, by necessity, household and when introduced to these books, I loved to see if there were any ideas I could add to my practice. The day-to-day practice allowed more funds for travel.
    2553 days ago
    Haha, I knew that would be your reaction to my Keurig! Definitely for big coffee drinkers like you and Dad, you need a regular coffee maker. We don't drink coffee every day and when we do, it's just one cup, so the Keurig is great.

    Wouldn't this discussion make an entertaining podcast episode?
    2553 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8126238
    Good Morning,
    Great blog, was very interesting and I liked it!
    I'm rooting for you!
    2553 days ago
    Many people I know love Keurig and the one cup. I use the old fashioned drip machine..but also like an even older fashion french drip pot.

    I have found that my adult children keep more contact with me by texting. I enjoy it.

    You are right to tell teachers to approach technology from a position of knowledge and strength and not fear and ignorance. All of the new curriculums are technology based. I am going to have to learn how to use chromes?

    Have fun babysitting those grandkids.
    2553 days ago
    I avoided bitcoin too, it just seemed baseless. Is it a thing of the past? Keurig coffee is more expensive per cup than coffee brewed in a machine. A lot of families use them anyway when speed and convenience or variety is more important than having a nice big pot of coffee around. Pot a day club members should avoid Keurig like the money pit it is. New isn't always better,
    2553 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9543726
    I love my Keurig - but then again, I only started drinking coffee three months ago, and I only drink a cup a day, sometimes not even every day. I'm having fun playing with k-cups for now, but eventually, I'll buy in bulk and pour into an EZ cup for my keurig to save money. Every evening, my oldest son has been running water through it to make hot water for his chamomile tea bags too, which is nice.

    You know, I didn't like texting until I had a smart phone where I could type out the words on a keyboard. I didn't MIND texting, I just didn't do it myself when I had to hit one button multiple times until I got the right letter. And, to be honest, I never even had a cell phone until I traveled to NYC in 2007 and was going to be staying in a hostel with no phone service. Then I had my little prepaid cell that I almost never used for three years before I got a real phone...

    I'm not anti-technology either. I worked in IT until I left to stay home with my kids, and my husband is a developer. We're the sort of family who has multiple computers in the same room! :D
    2553 days ago
    2553 days ago
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