Terry -- No offense taken. Like Richard says, bid what you want to pay, then go to sleep. I've been ebaying (is that a word?) for over two years, and that lesson took a while to learn. I was just having a little Forum Fun at your expense.
But geez, 51 seconds. I mean, give a guy a break.
(and the ebay clock logged it at 19 secs: http://cgi6.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.d ... 1071670297
Ebay will notify you that you have been outbid, so they secretly want you to go back and boost your bid. It's just that they take several hours to do so, some times, so notifications of "snipes" are worthless.
Some phone auctions I have participated in have a set closing time, but if you have already bid, you may always bid for fifteen minutes (or some arbitrary time) after the most recent prior bid. The catch is that the minimum increment doubles. So in the case of the subject auction, I'd have had 15 minutes after Terry's bid to get in another bid, and then he would have had 15 minutes, etc. until one of us gave up. I don't know why Ebay doesn't do this, since it would tend to increase the final sales price, and benefit the seller (who is ebay's real customer -- buyers don't mean diddly squat to ebay).
Terry, enjoy the book (and those photos of Martin and his styling clothes and bracelets -- they remind me of the photo of Richard Kaufman on the cover of the Gene Maze card book. Richard was one hip dude in the disco era -- has your wife seen those pics???)