There was a death in the family this morning.

My Verio coffee mug met its end today. As it was reporting for duty for the second cup of coffee this morning, I bumped it and it slid off the countertop and tragically shattered on the tile kitchen floor at work.

Verio gave out the mugs to WWA people as another pointless token of their excess dot-com VC money a reminder of their “Extra Mile” employee recognition program, but its main virtue was that it was very big; it held about 16 oz/500 ml. Many people have remarked on my coffee quantity over the years. It was, in a word, a “thing.”

My mug was responsible for many thousands of cups of coffee and tea in its over 11 years of service. It saw me through six employers: Verio, NTTC, FastWeb, the JFI at U of C, NSIT at U of C, and now Gelber. It kept me caffeinated at the jobs I was clawing at the door to leave, and at those where I was sad I had to go. It faithfully conveyed coffee of all sorts, from the disgustingly awful crap the operators at U of C used to call coffee (which was the Coffee of Last Resort), to yummy fresh french-pressed Intelligentsia. It held in equal esteem all sorts of black, green, white, and even herbal tea. It never leaked, not even once, and didn’t have so much as a single chip, though over the years it did get a little stained on the inside (nothing a little vinegar wouldn’t fix, if I would just take it home).

If you figure I used it three times a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year, for 11 years, it served eight thousand, two hundred, and fifty cups of hot beverage to me. That doesn’t count the times I just used it for a cup of water, which it also bore without complaint.

Go in peace, my beverage-holding friend.

mournfully, and with coffee in a lame, backstory-free paper cup,