Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bridges, Planes, Mailboxes and Buddha

It's Thursday and I'm blogging. Why, because the weather here in Alberta is still sucking big time. I'm not saying it's cold, I'll just say it isn't warm. Just last evening at my grandson's soccer game, I'm there wearing long pants and a heavy sweater. It wasn't just me, most all the parents and grandparents were dressed the same. It's June tomorrow and I can only hope for improvement.
Enough of that , on to postcards. Seems they never go cold.

I'm starting today with a card of that other bridge in San Francisco, U.S.A. The so-called Bay Bridge. Construction of the bridge started in 1933 and was finished in 1936. It connects the eastern side of San Francisco , with the western side of Oakland. It carries 10 lanes of traffic- 5 westbound on the upper level and 5 eastbound on the lower. Thanks to my brother Mel for this one. He used a couple of definitives along with 2 Aloha Shirt stamps.

My second card today is from Belarus. It shows a group of 9 trainor airplanes flying in formation. The card doesn't tell me who they are or what type of aircraft they are. Let me go out on a limb here and say they are Aero L-39C Albatros aircraft of the Belarus Air Force Aerobatics Team. Tanya , a Postcrosser in Belarus used 3 flower definitives from 2008 along with a train locomotive stamp. It is 1 of 2 in a set issued in 2010.

Mailboxes, we can see a group of 14 , painted in a bunch of bright colors on this next card, from The Netherlands. Rietie who loves in the north of Holland sent this card after reading in my Postcrossing profile that I would like to receive postcards of mailboxes/postboxes. It also says I like cards of planes and manhole covers. Well I get lots with planes, as you know, but I guess there aren't many of the manhole postcards out there. She used one of the international rate Postcrossing stamps issued back in October of last year.

This next card is from Yi-Ping, who lives in Hsinchu, Taiwan. With its windy climate, Hsinchu is nicknamed "The Windy City ". And I always thought people were talking about Chicago, in the States. The card shows Fo Kuang Shan "Buddha Torch Mountain" which is just south of Kaoshsiung. You'll find statutes of Buddha all around . The complex also houses a college of Buddhism. Yi-Ping used 2 stamps, the one on the left is 1 of 4 in a Flower set issued in 2009. The stamp on the right is unknown to me, I am unable to locate any information about it.

Here's another Aerobatics Team, this one is The Midnight Hawks of The Finnish Air Force. The 4 Hawks are made up of BAe Systems Hawk MK51 and MK51A aircraft. In the upper right corner of the postcard , you can see the team's logo. And now for the stamp- Issued in 2010, it is 1 of 5 in a self-adhesive set denoting Happiness.

Now, we end this update the way we started - a bridge over San Francisco Bay , sent by my brother. Only this time it's The Golden Gate Bridge. I don't think I can write anything new about The Golden Gate, so I won't. A great view though, isn't it ? I hope to see it in person sometime , sooner than later. The stamps- well they are just about the same as on The Bay Bridge card, shown above.

Another end to another update. Thanks to all for their cards. I'll be back soon, hope you will too.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cards From Ukraine, Belarus, Netherlands and U.S.A.

This is a no theme just cards update. Of the cards that I have received and have on hand at present, I think for the next while , I''ll just take them from front to back and see how that goes. This is update # 1 of that arrangement.

Today's cards :
Card # 1 - It comes from Ukraine and gives us a look at Korniakt Tower in Lviv. This city of about 760,000 is located in western Ukraine about 70 km from the Polish border. Lviv was named in 2009 as the best Ukrainian city to live in. It is nicknamed Little Paris of Ukraine. Many citizens of Lviv played a key role in the 2004 Orange Revolution. The 400 plus year old Korniakt Tower is an integral part of the Dormition or Assumption Church. Now here's the stamp - it is 1 of a set of 13 definitives issued in 2008.

Card # 2 - This card comes from Birgit who lives in Schoonhoven, a small city in western Netherlands. The cards itself is of the 15th century Gothic city town hall in Gouda. Gouda is famous for its Gouda cheese and it's beautiful old town hall. Birgit writes that the town hall now stands empty but anyone with a great plan for it, can submit their ideas for future use and maybe get lucky . This Postcrossing card arrived with a nice assortment of stamps. The stamp on the left was issued in 1983, 1 of 4 in a Famous Persons set. This semi-postal shows Rembrandt's first wife Saskia. The stamp on top right is from 1 set of 2 Tourism stamps issued in 1985. The remaining stamp , also a semi-postal, is from a set of 3 issued in 1995 honouring senior citizens.

Card # 3 - Another Postcrossing card, this time from Ivan in Minsk, Belarus. Ivan's card , about 30 years old, shows Lenin Square, now , I believe , called Independence Square. Ivan used 2 flower definitives from 2008 along with a nice topical Bird stamp from 2011.

Card # 4 - A re-print of an old card showing the harbour of Rotterdam before 1870. Postcrosser Marleen sent it along and used a common worldwide priority stamp, which I'm not showing, as I've shown it many times in the past. It's the one with part of the Earth's map in a heart.

Card # 5 , today's last - I received this one from Kate back in early March. Kate writes deltiolog. Her card shows the USS Croaker, a World War II submarine , which was open to the public in Groton, Connecticut, USA until 1987. Since then The Croaker can be found in Buffalo, N.Y.
Kate used a 2011 Washington definitive and a 2012 self-adhesive Working Dogs stamp from a set of 4.

That's today's update. Thanks to Lidia, Birgit, Ivan, Marleen and Kate for their cards.
Enjoy your cards, drop by again soon.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Another Catch - Up Day

Yes, I'm back again with an update and as the title implies, it's a catch-up as some of these cards I have had since I returned from my cruise in April. So it's time they see the light of day.

But first, a little something related to my last blog update on Tues 22 May. In that blog I showed a card from Dingle , Ireland . I wrote that from the description of the town, that it sounded a lot like St. John's, Newfoundland. Now , if one needed any more proof of that statement, have a look here. This is a postcard of Water Street in St. John's, said to be the oldest street in North America. The street was developed in the early 16th century and the buildings just after The Great Fire of 1846. So, just have a look back at Dingle in Tuesday's blog and you'll see what I mean. Very similar aren't they ? You could swap one for the other and nobody would bat an eye.

Now on to today's cards. This time cards are from Croatia, Germany, USA, Macau, Belgium and People's Republic of China.

First up is Pula, Croatia. Pula is a city of around 62,000 located on the southern tip of the Istria Peninsula. The card shows Pula superimposed inside the old 1st century Roman Amphitheatre. This is one of the best preserved amphitheatres from antiquity and is still in use today during summer festivals. Anya used a 2011 stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of The Institute of Art History.

Card # 2 is from Wesseling, Germany, an industrial city on the Rhine near Cologne. Looking at the card we see the city's old City Hall. The stamps , well there are 2, one a flower definitive and the other - a 2009 stamp honouring Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.

Next is a classic view of The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA. Actually it is the North Tower as seen on a quite foggy day. Writing as someone who has never been to SFO , I wonder if traffic still travels across The Bay in foggy conditions such as shown here. Renee used 2 wonderful 2012 Forever stamps commemorating two major battles of America's civil war between the North and South. They are the second set in the Civil War series. They mark the 150th anniversaries of two battles that year : the Battle of New Orleans (April 24-May 1, 1862) and the Battle of Antietam ( Sept. 17, 1862). They are two nice stamps , not I think, what one is offered on any given day at a U.S. post office. Nine out of ten times, you will get small definitives. And, if you ask for something different, you get a strange look back. I'm not implying this is just happening in the U.S. , it happens her in Canada , too. I also know from my postcard experiences, it happens in Belarus, Germany, Ukraine, Netherlands and many others. I don't know why countries issue so many large, wonderful stamps when it's so difficult a chore to buy them.

I guess I got a bit carried away there, but that happens every now and then.

Macau or Macao, you decide. The card and the stamps say Macau, but the sender of the card wrote Macao. I guess either way describes the special administrative region of the People's Republic of China. It lies on the western side of the Pearl River Delta across from Hong Kong. Interestingly, Macau has the 2nd highest life expectancy in the world. Must be related to all the gambling allowed there. This card shows Macanese House, one of the buildings of Taipa Houses-Museum, built in 1921. The 3 stamps ( all the same ) are 1999 Machine Labels, some sort of ATM stamps I guess.

As my regular readers know, I have a passion for airplane/airliner, aviation related postcards. I have lots of card showing planes but a very small few showing helicopters. I think this one from Belgium is only my second or third. Now I'm no expert on helicopters but this one might indeed be a Sea King. If not, I'm sure someone out there will let me know. Johan sent this card as a part of National Postcard Week back in early May. He has a great postcard blog here. The stamp used is from a booklet of 5 issued in 2012 highlighting Calligraphy.

Last is this card. It is entitled Haung Du Yi Yun, The Forbidden City. A rather fierce looking buddy, I'm not sure who or what he is or represents. The Start Here stamp was issued in 2011 and is 1 of 4 in a set, for the 6th Summer Universiade in Shenzen.

That's it for cards this time. Thanks go out to Johan, Renee, Anya and a few others who did not add their names. Thanks for reading, leave a comment if you are inclined to do so. I read all comments , but never seem to get enough. I might be back tomorrow but if not, more than likely , Monday. Cheers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Welcome Back Glenn

Welcome back, but I haven't been anywhere. Then again I guess I've been everywhere except here on the blog. What can I say, sometimes life gets in the way. Anyway, cards still continue to arrive , so I guess I should get to it.

Today's first card is a type of hologram styled card of Alcatraz Island. Located in San Francisco Bay this former federal prison , now is a national park with historic gardens, tide pools , bird colonies and bay views beyond compare. The card shows the prison high atop Alcatraz Island. Tipping the card allows a completely different view. Then you can see what was referred to as Broadway, the central walkway in the cellblock between B and C blocks. The card is from my brother Mel who was vacationing in California a short time ago. He used a couple of the 2012 Aloha Shirts stamps along with a couple of other definitives which aren't shown.

My second card for this time comes from St Pierre & Miquelon, the self governing territorial overseas collectivity of France , in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean near Canada. It is 3,819 km from France but just 20 km from Canada. The card shows a couple of houses and fishing sheds on St. Pierre . The card comes from Patricia who actually lives on Miquelon Island. Patricia used a 2011 Marianne definitiive from a set of 6. I think I have mentioned previously that the stamps of St Pierre & Miquelon are quite attractive and collectible. I myself collect them.

Next up is a card from France showing Mont Saint Michel, a rocky tidal island in Normandy. It is about one km off the country's northwestern coast. Mont Saint Michel and its bay were named part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1979. The area is visited by over 3,000,000 people each year. Jean Pierre used a 20 gram international rate stamp but I wasn't able to find any information about it.Here's a card that shows Dingle, Ireland. Dingle is a town of about 1900 people in County Kerry. It is the only town on the Dingle Peninsula and sits on the Atlantic Ocean about 70 km northwest of Killarney. It is a fishing port with lots of pubs, hilly streets and brightly painted houses. Sounds like St. John's , Newfoundland to me. David , who hails from Ireland sent this one along. He usually sends cards from other countries , so it's nice to get a local one from him. David used, what I think is some kind of ATM vending machine stamp but I could be wrong on that, anyway it shows a Squat Lobster , which in fact is not a lobster at all, but is closely related to the crab.
I think I would enjoy a visit to Ireland and Dingle , so who knows. Maybe someday.

Now if you ever wanted to look down a Ballistic Missile Silo, here's your chance. This card shows a Minuteman II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile ( ICBM) in Minuteman Missile National Historic Site , South Dakota. The Minuteman II Missile contained solid fuel unlike its liquid fueled predecessors and contained a 1.2 megaton nuclear warhead. Kate of deltiolog fame sent this card while travelling east to west in the States. She used 2 definitives from 2007 and 2011 along with a 2001 Yankee Stadium stamp and a 1992 Theodore von Karman stamp featuring a rocket blasting off. A little appropriate I guess with a rocket on the card and a rocket on the stamp.

The last card for this time is from Libya. It is the Four Seasons Mosaic at Leptis Magna, Libya. Leptis Magna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site , having been inscribed in 1982. Omran who has a postcard blog here sent this one along. Omran used a stamp , shown here, of which I couldn't find any information. I have received cards with 2 other stamps of this type from Libya in the past, but again no information.

That's the postcards for this time, but I still have a little something left to have a look at.

Many of my readers know that I collect stamps showing aircraft and that I like to show them when anything new arrives. A couple of weeks ago I received this cover from Ana in Macedonia. It was franked with 2 new aircraft stamps that Macedonia issued on April 04, 2012. Great stamps and they will be wonderful additions to my collection. But that's not all. When I opened the cover, inside was a First Day Cover containing the same 2 stamps. Just great. Thanks Ana. Ana has a great postcard blog called My World of Postcards.

Thanks for cards going out to Mel, Patricia, Jean Pierre, David, Kate and Omran and to Ana for her covers. See you all again soon.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Five Cards From Five Countries

Here we go again with another update and as the title of the piece says , five from five, no special theme . Cards are from Spain, Belarus, Russia, Netherlands and U.S.A. Now before I get to the first card , I just want to mention that National Postcard Week ended yesterday. My final 3 cards to celebrate the week went to Macedonia, Australia and U.S.A. That makes 7 cards for the week. Of course I mailed other cards but these seven were specifically prepared for Postcard Week.

Today's first card is an unusual shape- Round. I haven't received many round postcards in the 6 years of my collecting. This card , posted in Barcelona shows the resident' stairway of the Casa Batllo. It was built in 1877 and remodelled between 1904 and 1906 by Antoni Gaudi. It is a strange looking building where straight lines were avoided whenever possible. It certainly looks like an interesting place . David used 2 new 2012 stamps. They are 2 of 3 self-adhesives in a Civil Values set.

Next up is a card from Belarus. It is from a Postcrosser and shows an old view of Minsk. With a population of over 1,800,000, it is the largest city and the capital city of the country. The stamp , issued in 2010 is 1 of 3 issued to commemorate Olympic winners from Belarus at the Winter Games in Vancouver.

Card 3 shows the air terminal in Volgograd. The airport here provides air links to major Russian cities as well as Antalya, Yerevan and Aktau. Alla, another Postcrosser , used a number of large Russian stamps from 2006, 2008 and 2011. The stamp on the top left is 1 of 5 in a set showing Yakovlev aircraft and the one shown on the stamp is a Yak-42. The stamp on the right is 1 of 2 in a helicopters set . Finally the bottom stamp is from 2011 and is 1 of 3 issued for different regions.

Any guesses where this next card , with the windmill, is from ? Little too hard, I think not, The Netherlands. Anna sent this card after reading in a past update of my wish to receive the 3 Postcrossing stamps that service Europe. I already have the 3 Postcrossing stamps issued for international mailing.So now I have the complete set. Now thanks to Anna I have the complete set of 6. Here's the 3 Europe rate stamps.

Today's last card is from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A. Many cruises depart this port for the Caribbean, hence the title on the front of the card - Cruisin'- Fort Lauderdale. My Lovely Teena and I have actually departed on a cruise of The Caribbean from Ft. Lauderdale. Jean Pierre used 3 of the 2012 Aloha shirts stamps on this one.

So there's another update in the books. Thanks for reading and thanks to David, Alla, Anna and Jean Pierre for their cards. I can't do it without you people and your cards.