So I'm in a local antique store looking at some old cameras (specifically, a Miranda Sensorex) when two guys walk behind me, one saying to the other, "Hey, should buy some of these." "No," the other guy says, "I've got a bunch of Rolleiflexes sitting at home already."

I couldn't resist asking "Do you ever use them?"

He went on to tell me that he has eight Rolleis that are sitting in a closed wooden cabinet, sitting upright in the foam of a Halliburton case. I suggested he pull them out and put them to use, as they're too nice and useful to be left just sitting. "I collect guitars, too," he said, "but I don't have time to play them either." He then said that a nice German lady had given him her husband's Leica, a "real nice old one made around 1940" with telephoto and case.

"If you saw it, you'd say 'Wow, what a nice camera!'"

"No," I said, "I'd ask you if you wanted to sell it."

He didn't take the bait, wandered off without giving this waste of good German technology another thought. Left me wondering about all the other people out there who hold onto cameras (or stereo tube amps) that could be making beautiful images or music, but they can't be bothered to use them.