Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Monday, February 22, 2010

Capping Ideals

It seems impossible to coordinate all the doings-to-be-done that would put life on an ideal basis.

I had that thought when reflecting on our having bottled, on Saturday, some five gallons of beer Martha had made -- just short of two cases. In an ideal situation we would have had some bottled-and-aged beer to crack open with our well-worn, cast-iron bottle opener, while bottling: for how can you work on your beer without having one? Yet we had exhausted our small store of homebrew. Which means the ideal went unachieved.

We are, on the other hand, certainly at the point of having miscellaneous wines to open, to go with any impending wine-bottling. And it does seem to me that the life I lead represents a sort of ideal to some earlier Mark Rich; and if that aspect of the matter is sometimes invisible to me it is simply because these are not unchangeable Platonic ideals that keep our lives moving forward, but rather parts of a changing and developing idea of what life can be. (And also because we seem to enjoy complicating our lives with projects.)

In our bottling, by the way, I have been using two different old, perhaps antique, cappers. On Saturday I was coming down well in favor of one over the other. I mainly used the cast-iron capper marked only by a raised "M" on each side, over the heavy cut-and-stamped-steel one made by the Everedy Company of Frederick, Maryland. But my estimation may change whenever I get around to constructing a solid, sturdy bottling worktable, onto which to fix them with bolts. The "M" capper is relatively stable when simply standing on the floor. The Everedy would benefit from bracing.

We happen to have a third to clean up and try, someday, too.

Cheers ...

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