August 26, 2005


Outbit on what, you may well ask? On a postcard.

For three or four years now I've become hooked on collecting postcards of Waterbury, Connecticut, land of my youth. Don't ask me why. I don't collect anything else, really. But there's something cool about seeing the places I was deeply familiar with as a kid as they were fifty or sixty years before that.

This morning on ebay a postcard was sold that had never turned up before. What's remarkable about it is that it shows the block that I lived in, right across the street from the main office of Scovill Manufacturing. In fact, the four story brick building I grew up in hadn't been built yet when the postcard was printed, some time before 1910. Anyway, this is one of only two postcards that shows that particular block and I already have the other one.

The card went on ebay with an opening price of $9.95. By last night it had gone up to $21. I put in a bid of $51 and went to bed. Minutes before the auction closed, though, someone else put in a higher bid and the card sold for $52. The winning bidder, I'll bet, probably grew up in the same general area.

All the buildings in the picture are long gone. The site of my apartment building is now buried beneath an overpass the goes from nowhere to nowhere. Scovill's is now the Brass Mill Center shopping mall and the Timexpo Museum.

Oh well. Now that I know the card exists, I'll keep going back to ebay to continue the chase.


August 20, 2005

Cloistered, with Laptop

If you're one of the many people whose phone messages or email to me have gone unanswered, please don't take it personally. Late summer is the only time of year I get to hide away and do fulltime nerding. No need to shave if I don't want to. Some days I never leave the house.

What am I doing? Developing QuestGarden, pretty much full time.

I even started up a blog, mostly for my own use, to document and remember each step along the way. If the spirit moves you, check out QuestGarden News.

August 02, 2005

A Room Full of Camo

I'm at DFW, waiting for the plane ride home after a day-long workshop in Irving, Texas. Just passed through something I've never seen before: an entire section of the terminal filled with soldiers shipping out to Iraq. Desert camo as far as the eye could see. Hundreds of them, sitting and lying on the carpet while waiting to leave. There was barely space for a path for civilians to pass through. A few had family with them. One guy sitting with a baby on his knee. Everyone quiet. Most in their 20s with a whole life ahead of them. Maybe.

The woman at the ticket counter says it's like this every day. Hundreds of men in camouflage, unnaturally quiet, filling every seat and every patch of floor.

Damn this unnecessary war.

Damn the lying chimp who started it.