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I had set my watch back an hour when we landed in Chicago because Florida was EDT and Illinois CDT. I might not have bothered to change the time, after all the only thing we really had scheduled was our flight home, but we landed on Friday the fourth and Sunday morning come two a.m. the country would be wrenched from daylight savings and thrust back to standard time. My internal clock has been FUBAR for well over a year and I figured that this would give me nearly a week on the new time before I had to show up for work on Thursday.

How screwed up is my internal clock? Well, in addition to needing inordinate amounts of sleep I am an early riser. I try very hard not to get up before 3:00 a.m. but a man can just lie in bed with thoughts swirling through his head for so long. Waking up after four is great and if that clock says five I feel as though I have achieved an act worthy of world wide recognition.

Of course, three a.m. east coast is two a.m. central, so I figured abiding by the never before three rule would be a good bench-mark. The clock on the bureau said 3:14, one of my magic numbers, and I congratulated my circadian rhythm on making it to after four. (Do you enjoy certain numbers on a digital clock? 1:23, 5:43, 3:14? I do. I also look for birthdays. Everybody’s birthday shows up twice a day on a digital clock in the USA. Seven oh four is another favorite.)

I was up and my wife was obviously cold so I closed and locked the balcony door, covered her with the blanket and grabbed my tablet before heading out to the apartment. Now the question was, where should I settle down to do a little writing?

After closing our bedroom door with a thump (the door stuck a bit) the first thing that I noticed was how loud the apartment’s floors were! Creaky, creaky, creaky. I hadn’t noticed the noise Friday but walking tiptoed in bare feet on Saturday I felt as though I were making enough noise to wake the dead.

I wanted a table at which to sit and the apartment afforded two options, the kitchen table at the back of the apartment or the dining room table in the center. Noree’s room sat between these two options and I was careful to be quiet. Quiet like a four-year-old trying to be quiet, but careful none the less. I laid my tablet on the dining room table and made for the kitchen.

My first requirement was the gods’ own elixir, coffee. Not knowing if the B&B would have coffee we brought our own as well as some coffee filters. (Our children are both Eagle Scouts and we live the Boy Scout Motto, Be Prepared. At least we live the motto when it comes to important things such as coffee.) I grabbed a filter, decided to use the coffee I had brought with us rather than the Folgers in the refrigerator and popped open the coffee maker. I quickly closed it.

The apartment was very cute in kitschy, eclectic way. Lots of old, mismatched furniture and items from the post WWII era. It was fun décor but the owners had wisely not followed the theme in the kitchen. Everything in the apartment was old save what was in the kitchen. The kitchen was new. Except for the moldy coffee grounds that had sat in the coffee maker for a long time. How long? I don’t know, but long enough for them to grow mold! (YUCK!)

Many of you reading this know that coffee is an essential food group. I wanted coffee, there was mold where the coffee had to go and therefor I did what any reasonable person would do; I cleaned up the mold and washed the pieces. Thoroughly. With lots of hot water. And soap.

But I made a mistake. The coffee pot was very simple but somehow, I left out one of the pieces. I poured in the coffee, added water, closed the top, turned the switch to on and walked away.

The burble, burble, burble of an automatic drip coffee maker combined with the heavenly smell of brewing coffee is lovely foreplay to a carnal act. I listened, I smelled, I returned to the kitchen. Like bad sex what I found was incredibly disappointing. Coffee was flowing into the pot but about a quarter of it was flowing around the machine and spreading over the counter.

Not the machine’s fault, mine! But there it was. I wanted to soak the coffee up from the counter but visions of The Believers movie danced through my head and I first unplugged the maker that had gone from being revolting to being in revolt. One dish towel and a few dozen paper towels later I had achieved the goal of making some coffee but had completely failed at the being quiet standard. Even four-year-old children would have been shushing me!

There is nothing like a peaceful start to one’s day and this was nothing like it.

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