Coffee Pots, Cameras and Other Words That Start With “C” Like Capital and Capitol

10 01 2012

Washing up the coffee pot this morning, I mused about a good friend complimenting a couple of pots we shared over the holidays.

She returned to a grueling work schedule last week as most folks no doubt did, and had stopped in at a Starbucks for fortification during the latest cold snap. Expecting a little bit of holiday magic I suppose, she ordered up the same brand I’d served her — Cafe Verona. It disappointed her.

She later called to complain it had “tasted like ass!”

Why?

Same beans, same label, bigger and better equipment although I do have a built-in grinder that sounds like a jet engine revving for takeoff, plus Starbucks bean baristas are pros unlike moi, with training at making coffee that I’ve never sought or even thought about trying to match. I don’t take any particular pride of identity in my coffee — to me it’s a caffeine delivery medium, period. I take it hot and black and serve it that way too, unless lobbied by a special guest for special frills.

Aha! It hit me as I carefully washed out not just the pot but all the coffeemaker’s disassembled parts . . .

Could it be a question of “clean optics?”

Like camera lenses! Scrupulously clean optics are the secret to photography, or so I was taught by several fine photographers who tried to help me get the most from some fancy lenses I enthusiastically swapped out on my Nikkormat back in the 70s.

Good light and a good eye count, too. But even the best of both can’t compensate for the lack of squeaky-clean optics so that good light can pour through pure and true, where a good eye can make the most of it.

Coffeemaker cleaning is the same deal, I’ve learned (the hard way.) When oils from the coffee beans smear across even a little part of the mechanism and carry over into future production, the end product may indeed taste like ass.

Oh, it’s all very well to tout the beans and the roasting, the cost and the care with which the mechanism was created and is manipulated in the creative process. But clean optics are the key even though no one can see the difference. You can taste it.

I finished washing the pot and all the little parts, probably with even more care than usual.

Then I sat down with the last cup of coffee I’d saved from the pot before washing up, to watch the oiliest and most rancid governor in my personal half-century of Florida experience, giving his “state of the state” address to the oiliest and most rancid Legislative congregation of rich and selfish Capitol Capitalists assembled in my painfully experienced memory.

This is a fine state with good light and good mechanisms full of hardworking, vigorous and creative people.

That tastes more and more like ass.

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14 responses

10 01 2012
bpbproadrunner

Pure, sad poetry.

You nailed it.

10 01 2012
JJ

Hey Beep! Happy new year and here’s to a whole year of the spring cleaning mindset . . .

10 01 2012
JJ

Andrea Mitchell covering the NH primary on MSNBC, just said “these billionaires got that way by being smart about money.”

Made me notice that “smart” and “smarmy” sound like the same word without clean, crisp diction.

10 01 2012
NanceConfer

Well, their latest “winner” got that way by firing people. Which I guess is one way of being “smart about money.” The evil way.

Welcome back, JJ! :)

11 01 2012
bpbproadrunner

I don’t really give a crap how they got their money. Using the excuse that a lack of money makes another person a perfect candidate for being treated like shit is just an excuse. Money doesn’t make morals–I don’t care what the medieval manuals say.

11 01 2012
bpbproadrunner

And glad to see you back too JJ–I hope your holidays were fun and sweet. And yes, spring cleaning! Spring Cleaning!

11 01 2012
JJ

I’ve been gone longer than I realized, to have overlooked another clean-critical C-word : Christianity.

Like the Girl with the Curl (another C-word) — when it is good it is very very good, but when it is bad it is horrid?

Can something BE smart, by definition, without good light pouring through the whole process so good eyes can clearly see and understand the relative value of various human means, motives and outcomes?

Our own, first and foremost. Even for the personal (coffee and photography at home) Socrates’ unexamined life is not worth living. Good, pure light needs to shine through so good eyes can see. Yet Mitt Romney seems not to have done any self-examination through his own optics, much less looked clearly at how to help anyone he claims to care so much about. His money-making with Bain is just like his Mormon mission in France, about which I was struck to hear him cheerfully say they’d converted no one behind any of the doors they knocked on the whole time. It didn’t matter a bit to him! Didn’t occur to him that it was supposed to have been about THEIR souls, not his. . .

Jessica Alba’s scary parenting as an example of all scary parenting comes to mind. She’s trying to be a good person, do the right thing, but can’t see how wrong it’s all gone with those smeary inside parts . . .

11 01 2012
NanceConfer

I think Romney and his ilk see just fine. They just don’t give a shit.

11 01 2012
bpbproadrunner

I have to agree with Nance on this one.

14 01 2012
Stephanie

I didn’t know coffeemaker cleaning was so complicated. :-) I’m probably better off sticking with tea. That Jessica Alba parenting tidbit is so sad! I can’t even imagine what it was like for her toddler being locked in a dark bathroom. :-( I don’t even think toddlers “behave badly,” they’re just trying to manage with the coping skills they’ve developed in a culture that assumes small children are “rotten.” Ugh. And I have nothing to say about politics. I’ve been trying not to follow the horror show that is the Republican primary, but I can’t seem to tear my eyes away. Why do they even allow such idiots in front of a T.V. camera let alone in a race to become “leader of the free world?”

15 01 2012
JJ

Hey Stephanie! :D

1 06 2012
JJ

Former Gov and Sen Bob Graham says our state universities are tasting more and more like ass, too:

[The state university system is] rapidly declining. The university system today is operating at less than $4,000 per student on inflation adjusted dollars from what it had 20 years ago. The university system has dramatically increased the cost of higher education to students. At the same time there has been a decline in the total resources – state, federal and student to support a quality higher education experience.

1 06 2012
JJ

And I’ve been noticing more and more how public education at all levels has been cleverly “Bained” by the big money — hostile takeovers cloaked as free market privatization to get us to go along with it as “American.” The rich and usually righteous-religious white guys swoop in and seize power, bust the unions, dump the staff and all the rules and laws and shared customs defining that community, break it up for parts and extract huge government windfalls by duping customers and taxpayers all while brazenly claiming they are just serving the people and making “business” efficient and “better” because now “government” is out of the way.

Did you know btw that one of Romney’s sons (Tagg) like one of the Bush boys (besides Jeb I mean, Neil I think) is cashing in big-time with for-profit schooling already and looking to expand, coincidentally as his dad helps push that on the campaign trail? It’s a tangled tale of corporate money drained from government even as it trashes government, and boy does it taste like ass . . .

Romney has received between $100,000 and $1 million in returns from his stake in the investment company that is partnered with TA Associates, a private equity firm that is getting rich of for-profit universities — while Romney on the campaign trail has touted for-profit education as the future.

1 06 2012
JJ

And need we note for those of you particularly busy with kids and families this time of year, that the US Justice Department is (finally!) blasting my state for unconstitutionally tampering with our sacred right to vote down here? Gee, almost as if we as Americans might enforce the Voting Rights Act for the first time in decades . . . but of course the rich white guys who claim their divine right trumps all human rights, continue to revile and undermine our own national government as if it were some foreign enemy.

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