A question came up on Bibliophile yesterday about why sellers run private auctions on eBay. While there are certainly some legitimate reasons to run a "private" auction, there are also some really sleazy ones, the top one being that you have ripped people off in the past and don't want them warning your current bidders. I know of a few sellers who run private auctions for this specific reason. Somebody in the thread suggested that a private auction is a courtesy to buyers, but that doesn't make any sense to me. While it is certainly true that bidders make note of other bidders who like the same stuff they do, and "stalk" them to find items they might have missed, any savvy bidder can defeat this by simply not bidding until the last minute -that's what eBay's "Watch-this-Auction" function, and bid-sniper programs are for. Besides, sellers want as many bidders as they can get, and having a private auction actually works against that, unless you have something to hide.
Today's Poor Taste Question- if (as some idiot such as Pat Robertson said) Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment against N'awlins for putting up with gays and other people having a good time when they should be praying, what are the Texas wildfires God's punishment against Texas for?
And speaking of George Bush...
Over at Beekslayers k told those of us who had been hanging out in the bar and not paying sufficient attention about the new "guerrilla stickering" campaign of the single word: "Impeach". Not that writing it on a napkin at the coffee shop and leaving it there on the counter, or putting a sticker on a telephone pole, will get the job done, but the more people see the word, the more they start to think about it, and the more they think about it the easier it will be to do it.
Works for me.
Now Reading- "Caviar: The Strange History and Uncertain Future of the World's Most Coveted Delicacy" by Inga Saffron. I know, what with Global Warming and all the Earth is going to Hell anyway, but it's always sad and maddening when another species dies because people are greedy and stupid. There's a lot more here than just the tale of an ancient fish going extinct, though. It's an engrossing book (engrossing- whatta great word -almost indecent). I bought my copy on remainder from Daedalus (hey, booksellers don't pay full #@%%$# price for anything). They still have some left at $4.98.
I bought ten...