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Lost my Marbles


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#1 printmkr

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 04:32 PM

So I bought these glass drippers, (um, sorry, brouilliers) and I was not particularly happy with them, as the holes were all different, and either dripped too fast, or the sugar would clog them. Someone advised using a BB. I found a round marble-sized bead did the trick very well. Of course, being an anal-retentive completist, I had to get a special marble or two to impress guests, and allow myself to chuckle quietly in self-satisfaction whenever I used them.

So I google "marbles." My God... did you know there is a whole marble subculture out there?! First off they come in different side classifications, like "pee-wee" or "targets" or "shooters" or "boulders"... and then there are all these collectible marbles, and vintage ones, and hand-made ones for hundreds of dollars. There are even marble "stands" for display, and bullet proof aluminum carrying cases with foam inserts with little tiny round holes to place your marbles in, when, well, when you are traveling with your marbles.

I was quickly overwhelmed, so I did what I always do when I want a little "culture on the half-shell"... eBay! So found my perfect absinthe marbles... fitting for verte or blanche louching. The seller says they are vintage. Sure, why not? (See pix below.)

I hope this isn't going to lead to something... I tend to obsess (like with absinthe). Before you know it I will be going to marble conventions and contests, and arguing vehemently with fellow marbleheads on marble forums about what the true definition of a "cat's eye" marble is, and how the influx of questionable Czech marbles are ruining the sport...

But look at them... let me hold them up to the light... where have they been? Who owned them? If these marbles could talk... someone get me a loupe!

Posted Image
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"...anyone who listens to an artist talk should have his eyes examined."
Claes Oldenberg

#2 jcbphd

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 04:44 PM

You haven't lost your marbles. You've simply found a new obsession.
Temperance, like chastity, is its own punishment. ~Four Vines "The Peasant"

Ça descend la gorge comme le bébé Jésus en culottes de velours.

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough. ~Frank Crane

#3 elfnmagik

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 05:05 PM

The BB's are @ wally world
"I really like depriving myself of things. It's fun! Very monastic." - Kosmo

#4 Brooks

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 05:13 PM

When I think about marbles (which I do, religiously, every 15-20 years) I think back on the intense marble phase I went through as a child. I wasn't interested in traditional marble games. Instead, I would spend hours arranging my marbles in colorful patterns on the oriental rug, and summoning grownups to admire my work. HA! The handwriting was certainly on the wall.

I love the way the web has united nutjobs of every stripe. Witness the marble lovers, not to mention The Wormwood Society.

Your absinthe marbles are beautiful. For the record, I don't find it the least bit strange that someone might want — no, need — a foam-lined aluminum valise for his marbles.

#5 printmkr

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 05:23 PM

Oooo, nice rig!

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Of course one would consider nothing less but carry on when flying. I wonder what the airport screeners would think if they made you open this puppy. Reminds me of Reg Fleming's line in the movie "Slapshot" when referring to the notorious Hanson brothers... "Jesus, Joe, they brought their @#$%^& toys with them!"
"...anyone who listens to an artist talk should have his eyes examined."
Claes Oldenberg

#6 Derrick

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 05:27 PM

Addiction has many faces. :twitchsmile:
"Reality is a crutch for people who can't enjoy absinthe."

#7 Bluescat

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 05:32 PM

I still have my childhood cigar box filled with marbles somewhere..................I still love them. :thumbup:
Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.
- Henry David Thoreau

#8 Absomphe

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 05:46 PM

Every time we're antiquing, and Tish spots some marbles, she says, "If those were sulfides, they'd be mine, mine, all mine!"

Expensive tastes, she has.

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#9 jcbphd

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 06:35 PM

Darn you. You made me look up sulfide.
Temperance, like chastity, is its own punishment. ~Four Vines "The Peasant"

Ça descend la gorge comme le bébé Jésus en culottes de velours.

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough. ~Frank Crane

#10 Brooks

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 06:39 PM

Marbles go way back — maybe centuries. This gives them, I think, a kind of dignity. They're colorful and transparent....or translucent, or opaque, or sometimes, swirlingly, all three. They have personalities. They feel good in the hand and make pleasing sounds when clicked together. They're surprisingly tough and have names that are descriptive, or whimsical. They can be put to all sorts of creative uses.

Oooo, nice rig!

Nice rig, indeed!

Speaking of which, in the midst of my breathlessly obsessive absinthe honeymoon phase, I had a foam-lined travel case made for my fountain. This was the rough sketch I gave to the foam people:

Attached File  Foam_insert.jpg   7.59KB   22 downloads

Later sketches were covered with obsessively precise measurements. (I will say that my fountain has traveled safely, coast to coast, in the bellies of planes and the bays of buses.)

That honeymoon is over, alas. Could marbles be my Next Big Thing?
.

#11 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 07:14 PM

I used to have a rusty old 3lb coffee can in which was an old, dirty, tattered, falling-apart, canvas bag filled with my dad's marbles from when he was a kid in the 1930s. He had them all: aggies, steelies, chinas, cat-eyes, pee-wees; but he wasn't a "collector" he was a marble sharp! He was just a kid who was really good at marbles. Dad probably didn't realize they were tucked away in a hidy-spot in the garage when he sold the family home. Putz.


That's him on the right. About to steal that poor boy's marbles.

Attached File  dad_7yo.jpg   65.15KB   24 downloads

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#12 Joe Legate

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 07:46 PM

Beautiful picture. I really love that magnificent machine in the garage to the left side of the photo. Nice!

#13 Brooks

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 08:41 PM

What a beautiful picture, Hiram. Those old pictures crack my heart wide open.

#14 Pan Buh

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 09:57 PM

And doesn't that leave a big, bloody mess all over your sleeve.
Handwriting, indeed. :tongue:

and how the influx of questionable Czech marbles are ruining the sport...

Sorry, Czech glass is world renown. Quality stuff.

#15 printmkr

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 07:09 AM

Sorry, Czech glass is world renown. Quality stuff.


That IS true! Alright, I'm cutting the Czechs a break from now on.
"...anyone who listens to an artist talk should have his eyes examined."
Claes Oldenberg

#16 Pan Buh

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 09:53 AM

As long you don't expect the same in return. :devil:

#17 hyperlunch

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 10:32 AM

So, is there any consensus on what works better for getting drippers to drip... BBs or marbles? I am deeply ensconced in this very battle. Not the specifc "BBs vs. marbles" battle, but the more basic "getting my dripper to actually drip" battle.
I am a man of louche morals.

#18 Pan Buh

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 11:08 AM

Try water. B)

#19 Wild Bill Turkey

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 11:32 AM

I posted this somewhere else, I forget where, but I think the drippers sold by la Maison d'Absinthe are superior to all the other ones I've seen in terms of drip-control.

Most brouilleurs are made by creating a small peak in the glass on the bottom, and then grinding off that peak to create a hole, which will be of an unpredictable size, different on each brouilleur. The ones listed above are flat-bottomed, with a fitting ring to keep them from sliding off of the glass. A small hole is then precision-drilled through the glass, creating a uniform hole of the perfect size to make the water drip, not stream, into the glass.

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#20 hyperlunch

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 12:01 PM

Thanks! Thusly ordered.
I am a man of louche morals.


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