Life has been a bit hectic and I've been relying on a Cuisinart grind
and brew to get me going in the morning even though I know that it
leaves a bit to be desired in the quality department.

Well, this morning it was dead. It ground all right, but then it just
sat there flashing its little lights and beeping plaintively.

Nothing for it but to wake up Rocky and Bullwinkle, (Rocky's the good
grinder, Rancilio Rocky, Bullwinkle is his faithful companion, the
Gaggia Carezza) who have been languishing for a year or more.

I ran some rice through Rocky to clear out any dust, then loaded him up
with Aldi's finest (whole bean "Guatemalan blend"), ran a filter-load
through and dumped it to get any remaining rice out, filled up
Bullwinkle, let him heat, preheated the filter, then loaded him up,
tamped, and let drive, and oh, my God, it was a God Shot (well, maybe
not by some standards, but I went "Oh, GOD that's good" so to me it
counts).

Then I discovered that I had been stupid. In less time it took to clean
and load the Cuisinart (and it has to be cleaned and loaded in the
morning or condensation in the grinder makes a real mess) and wait for
it to feed enough lukewarm dishwater into its thermal carafe to fill a
cup, I could have been preheating Bullwinkle and having real shots. And
surprisingly, Aldi's cheap whole bean makes a decent shot (better than
most of my attempts at home roasting anyway).

The Cuisinart meanwhile sits upside down on some paper towels in the
hope that it will dry out and start working again (I've seen reports
that this works) although I think it's going to end up in the basement.