"I'm not the man they think I am at home"

So, I went out this morning at the crack of dawn for my brioche and coffee, and I saw a rocket ship on the curb, by the trash.

The model looked like it was out of 1950's sci-fi features: a silver metal cylinder with riveted wings, and a thick antenna nose. It was about a foot and a half long, angled upward on a metal pedestal with a thick base. There was a loose electric cord dangling from the base; it was not immediately apparent what electricity would do for the model.

I stood for a moment on the sidewalk, flummoxed over the model (remember, I still hadn't had my coffee). The rocket, almost certainly, would not fit in with my apartment decor. But dammit, it was practically on my doorstep, and I was curious about the plug.

I resolved to get my breakfast, then pick up the rocket on the way back. Just to try it out, of course -- and if it didn't work, or didn't fit, it'd go back to the sidewalk.

When I returned, ten minutes later, the rocket was gone.

It was not yet 5 AM. Once again, I have underestimated the depth and breadth of geekdom in this town.


Speaking of which, I shouldn't have made that mistake, so soon after the Fifth Avenue Apple Store opening. I went, mostly because there was a rumor on teh internet about a big-name concert outside the cube. That, and I thought I might finagle a free T-shirt during the opening and giveaway, Friday at 6 PM.

After all, it had been raining that afternoon, and who really goes to these things, anyway?

It turns out, a lot of people go to these things. This, for instance, is the blog of a guy who travels the world, going to Apple stores. The line wrapped around the GM building, from Fifth to Madison and back. There was no concert, no Steve Jobs speech, but a mob scene nonetheless.

I quickly gave up on the free-T-shirt idea, or even getting into the store. Instead, I wandered around the cube. I found a nice roped-off spot near the northern fountain, where spectators were speculating on the identities of the honchos moving in and out of the store's entrance.

After a few minutes, one of the young, all-black clad Apple employees walked over to our area. He asked, politely, "Are you ready to come in?"

It turns out he wasn't talking to me, but rather to Elizabeth Berkley, who had appeared right behind me. Maybe she was in town for this. Or maybe everyone's a geek, now.