Just received my new quarterly bus pass. This time, they're light blue!
My neighbour, Nate, let me scan his November bus pass. This is turning into quite a little collection of bus passes!

Gaaah! I think I have too much time on my hands.

Seriously, though, I've compulsively collected sets of things ever since I was a little kid. I started my first comic book collection at age 6 (Richie Rich), and remember putting issues into little cubbyholes in my room that I had labeled with each series name (Richie Rich, Richie Rich Millions, Richie Rich and Dollar, etc...).

Later, I took turns collecting Bobbsey Twins books, coins, stamps, soda cans, LPs, CDs, souvenir pennants, even "Peanuts" memorabilia. By the time I got to High School, I had started collecting Superman memorabilia (which I later sold on eBay -- amazing what people will pay for a decade-old unopened jar of peanut butter!)

That led me back into collecting comic books again, a collection which I eventually gave away, and I started collecting comic books a third time when I had money in the late 90s, which I eventually sold on eBay.

Of course, this "archivist" tendency of mine is hampered by several counter-compulsions: The desire to get up and move periodically (it's hard to accumulate stuff when you have to lug it all along), as well as a disdain of dusting, a constant desire to simplify and de-clutter my life, and a tendency to sell off things when broke.

I guess that's why the dawn of the digital age has been such a blessing: Instead of having to make physical space for all this stuff I collect, and lug it along with me when I move, I just make a scan of the thing that has captivated me, reducing it to its digital image, and then letting it go again. I can still look at it any time I like, but it's not gathering dust in my home.

I'm just weird that way.

Scan of a bus pass from Skagit Transit (SKAT) , Skagit County, Washington, USA.
Obtained 2008.12.02, while job hunting in Mt. Vernon. Unlike WTA here in Bellingham, which has reusable plastic cards, SKAT has paper passes that are intended for short-term use. There is a magnetic stripe on the back.

I don't know why I scan these things. It's kind of a compulsion. Or simply a collection of useful colourful everyday objects. Bus passes are so ephemeral, and yet so laden with meaning. They give you the power to travel from one place to another. They free you up from having to manage currency while getting on the bus. They carry a "charge" of both environmental responsibility (look how low my carbon footprint is!), and also poverty (can't afford a car).

More of my bus pass scans here.
This month, the WTA bus passes are green!

(Thanks to DVR for providing this for me.)
This month, the WTA bus passes are brown!

(Thanks to DVR for providing this for me.)
This month, the WTA bus passes are blue!

(Thanks to DVR for providing this to me.)


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