So why do I want a crystal ball? I don’t believe in paranormal powers and am quite certain that crystal balls have no power to do anything but sit there. I also know that there is no real optical interest in a crystal ball beyond the spherical lensing it provides, which is interesting but not real useful.

But I really do want one. And not some tiny one either, it needs to be about the size of an average canteloupe. I’d say the lower limit on one before I consider it to be really just a big clear marble is probably about the size of a softball, and anything bigger than a canteloupe is probably just too bulky to be much good for anything.

No, it needs to be reasonably portable. Not sure why, I don’t plan on going anywhere with it, but there it is.

It also has to be clear and unblemished (as reasonably unblemished as possible, that is). No bubbles. I have one I got as some sort of project award once, but it’s full of bubbles by design, big honkin’ bubbles that give it some visual interest, but now it’s not a crystal ball, it’s a bubble ball, which is different. It also has an edge ground into it, which is the crystal ball equivalent of hacking a hole in a painting…

So I still need one.

For that matter, what I really want is an “inner sanctum” with a crystal ball, a globe of the earth, a solid and imposing chess table and pieces, all surrounded by dark wooden shelves laden with books, books, books. Add to that a telescope or two, my old typewriter (manual) and some acoustic guitars, and now you’ve got a cozy little sanctum to retire to. In fact, throw a few slide rules around the room, and put a fly tying desk in one corner and that’s even better.

What does it say about me that I am such a devoted technologist, yet I feel most comfortable surrounded by such arcane and decidedly nontechnical items? Now to just get my old pipe collection out and fill the room up with Origami models….

Actually, forget the pipe and the fly tying table, and this does pretty well describe the room I work in. Perhaps I’ll make it my summer project to finally do the things I want with this room to make it a “sanctum”.

What is your ideal cozy room to retire to for relaxation?