Type Auction

We travelled out to the underwater republic of Mount Stewart on Sunday to attend our first auction of the season. Gerald Giampa and his family were auctioning off what appeared to be pretty well everything they owned.

Gerald is the owner of the Lanston Type Library and you can read his story here. I’m not sure what fate awaits the family (or the type archive), as they were auctioning off the fridge, the stove and the oregano, so it looks they’re moving away, or at the very least rejecting materialism and seasoning.

So there I was, standing in a couple of inches of red mud in the middle of a crowd of some 200 people at the auction, waiting for the fun stuff to come around for bidding, when who should I see across the field but Ernest Hemingway.

Given the literary nature of the auction (half the audience was there for the belt sanders; the other half for the limited edition chap books), Hemingway’s appearance wasn’t unexpected. There is, however, the matter of his death to contend with.

We left shortly thereafter, and returned home, without french fries (to Catherine’s chagrin) and life has been normal since.


If every other parent is like me, then there are a lot of people secretly terrified of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. It is, in essense, a condition without obvious cause or opportunity to effectively prevent in which infants just die. This happened to Robert X. Cringely’s son Chase this week, and even though I only know him through what he’s written, and from his PBS television work, my heart goes out.

Workers in Glass Factories

Take a read of this <a href=http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/story/0,3604,628613,00.html”>article in The Guardian about VW’s new Glaeserne Manufaktur in Dresden. Then visit the website of the factory. Truly amazing.

(Be sure to check out the “360 degree experience” portion of the website: this is the richest QuickTime VR I’ve come across).

We passed through Germany (Frankfurt en Main) on our way to Prague in 1998, and spent 2 days there on the way back. Not much time to experience a country, save realizing that Coca-Cola costs $7CDN a glass. But I was overwhelmed with how much Germany has to offer the world, and how much we Canadians, still reeling in some deep seated way from WWII, ignore this.

When I was young, the evil bastards we all hated were the Russians, and the evil bastards our parents had hated when they were our age were the Germans. There’s no doubting that each country wrecked havoc on the world in its own way. But behind the historical evil lies amazing, complex and facsinating worlds waiting to be explored in the present.