I have been collecting antiques since I was little. My dad got me into it. He used to take me to flea markets in Upstate New York where antique dealers would have their tents all lined up in neat rows in the middle of an unused farmer's field. I began buying salt and pepper shakers there that I thought were unique and interesting and soon started a collection. An expert at the art of haggling on price, my father taught me the tricks of the trade on talking the dealer down. Each time I walked away with my new little wonderful novelty shaker set, I felt good. I was ready to add it to my collection and show it off to the world. By collecting antiques, I thought I was doing the world a favor. I recognized beauty in something and wanted to ensure the rest of the world got to see it too. I got a thrill out of it, I felt like it was something I was called to do. It didn't matter how much the pair of salt and pepper shakers was actually worth or how much their monetary value increased (if at all) over the years. As you can imagine, salt and pepper shakers don't appreciate in value a whole lot but my dad used to remind me to buy things because I liked them, not because of how much they might end up being worth later on. Now I'm not saying that you wouldn't see me smiling ear to ear on Antiques Roadshow if I happened to have one of those "bought it at a garage sale for fifty cents, found out it's worth fifty thousand" moments but that isn't why I was into it.
People ask me why I started blogging and I would go into a long winded answer about how I enjoy it, yada yada yada but this morning it dawned on me. I blog because I find something neat and interesting and feel a need to show it others. I don't really expect to take the science blogging community by storm and have an 'Antiques Roadshow' moment. If I happen to, great, if not, no big deal. What I am really after is being connected to people who are into the same things I am and showing off my curio cabinet full of scientific factoids that they might appreciate.
And with that, here comes your second eye trick of the day!