It is my sad duty to report the demise of the Braun coffee pot on Groundhog Day. It had a long and productive life. No one is exactly sure how old it was at the time of its death, but all agree that it was most likely at least twenty, which is a very respectable age for a coffee pot. Its life was not an easy one in its later years, when it was adopted by a household of caffeine addicts. It fought for life to the bitter end, giving up the ghost with a long his, a column of steam and a shower of sparks. We think that was its way of bidding us godspeed. There will be a period of mourning, which will no doubt involve a great deal of moaning and wailing and gnashing of teeth (which may or may not be due to the chewiness of the grounds at the bottom of our cups caused by the less talented and experienced French press). Services will be private. Well-wishers may pay their respects in the form of recommendations for a replacement coffeepot. Clearly there can be no match for the Braun, but, well, we have needs.