Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Call For 2011

I'm back with what is the last update for year 2011. I realize the New Year has arrived in some places around the world, but it's still 2011 here in Canada, so here is a final posting for this year. Cards for this time are from The Netherlands, Finland, U.S.A., and 2 from Australia. Let's do them in that order so we start with The Netherlands.

Jessica sent this card but what it is of or where it is , I know not. The card has nothing written about the picture on the front, anywhere on the card. Perhaps some reader will recognize the picture and leave a comment. The card arrived with 3 nice stamps, which is rare from The Netherlands. There I've said it , stamp collectors know what I mean. Two of the stamps on the card are from a 2005 sheet of 10 different issued for 50 Years of World Press Photos.The 3rd stamp is a semi-postal issue. Thanks Jessica for these great stamps and the card, of course.

Elk, Moose take your pick. This card , from Finland, says Elk and I say Moose. In North America we call them moose, in Europe, I guess it's elk. Whatever you call them , they are quite majestic when you come across one. The Postcrosser that sent this card used a timely stamp, a hockey stamp. The 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship is currently underway in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The stamp wasn't issued for this championship, but for the 2011 World Hockey Championship, held in Slovakia. The stamp shows Finland hockey hero Mikael Granlund scoring his beautiful lacrosse-style goal during Finland's 3-0 semifinal victory against Russia. While skating behind the net- Granlund scooped up the puck with the blade of his stick and shoveled it into the top corner of the net over the right shoulder of Russian goalie Konstantin Barulin. It was a classic goal, all the other players appear to stand around and wonder just what happened. If you have a chance check it out on YouTube, it's worth it.

The U.S.A. card comes from Albuquerque, New Mexico. The city is nestled between the towering Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande Valley. I don't know a lot about Albuquerque, but I do know this nugget of fact. We used to have a minor league, Triple A baseball club, The Calgary Cannons, play here, up until 2003. That year they moved to Albuquerque and became The Albuquerque Isotopes. I still miss The Cannons and Triple A ball . Erin used a 2004 Navajo Jewelry stamp and a 2009 Zion National Park stamp.

The next and final cards for today and year 2011 both come from Australia. One from Sydney and one from Melbourne. Here's the Sydney one- showing the million dollar view of the city, at least according to the card. It is a cool view , though. Paul used the dingo stamp from the set of 5 Jungle Babies issue of 2011.Here's the Melbourne card. It's a look at a well known landmark in Melbourne, Flinders Street Station , a hub of the city's metropolitan rail network. Joanne also used the dingo stamp, so just look up and there it is.

So ends another blog entry, the last one for this week, this month and this year. Thanks to all who sent these cards.Thanks also to everyone all year who sent cards, a total of 552 for the year including 12 new countries. Now on behalf of me and GemsWorldPostcards I want to wish you all, my readers , a Happy New Year . I hope you all get what you want and want what you get during the year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Possible Final Update For 2011

Hello there, as the title says, this might be the last blog entry for year 2011. It might be and it might not be, we'll see how tomorrow goes and what tomorrow brings. I am just back from my little grandson Will's first birthday party. A good time was had by all but Will may have been a little overwhelmed with all the people. But he had fun with and enjoyed the cake . It was like Christmas all over again, presents, wrapping paper and lots of food and family.

Today's cards come from Poland, China, Switzerland , China again and the USA.

First , let's have a look at the card from Poland. It was sent by Magda, a Postcrosser who lives in Kalisz, a building of which is shown on the card. Kalisz is a city of just over 100,000 inhabitants located in central Poland. It has long been considered the oldest city in Poland because it was mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century A.D. , but that claim is now often doubted. Magda refers it it as one of the oldest in Poland. Magda used a number of stamps including a 2011 Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II stamp with attached tab.

My next card shows us a traditional Chinese painting. I really don't know much about this type of painting, so I leave it up to you, my readers. But, I do indeed like the stamps on the reverse. The large horizontal stamp dates from 1998 and is 1 of 4 in a set issued for forestry district Shennongjia. The stamp on the right, also issued in 1998, is 1 of 4 in a Ceramics set.

It is the opinion of the sender of my next card, that Zurich is the most beautiful city in the word. Of course since I have not visited Zurich or many other cities, I can't offer an opinion on this .
And that's unusual for me, to have no opinion. But what about Venice and Bruges. They must be well up on a list of beautiful cities. What do you consider the most beautiful city in the world ? Let me know, leave a comment. The stamp on this one was issued in 2009, 1 of 2 bird stamps in a set of Priority A stamps.

Now another card showing a traditional Chinese painting, although quite different from the one posted earlier. The stamps on this one are quite often seen, so I won't elaborate on them.

The last card for today is of Times Square, New York City, a place that will be buzzing tomorrow night, New Year's Eve. Over a million revellers will be there with millions more watching on TV as the New Year's Eve Ball drops , starting at 11:59 P.M. At midnight, over 1 ton of confetti will be released over the square. So if you happen to be in the area, have a small drink for me. This card is compliments of Igor of
Igor used the 2011 Voyageurs National Park stamp, one we have all seen before.

Well, that's another update , number 8 for December and number 90 for 2011, up from 82 in 2010. And, with any luck at all, I might just squeeze another one in tomorrow. Be sure to check back and see.
Thanks for reading, Cheers !!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Uluru, Queen of the Skies, Silent Night, Brussels, and An Old Castle in Lyubcha

Well I survived all the festivities. I'm shopped out, turkeyed out, visited out and beat out. Finally getting a day on the blog , hopefully will revive me. That's not to say it's all over, I have dinner out tonight, a World Junior hockey game tomorrow afternoon, friends in tomorrow night and my youngest grandson's first birthday party on Friday. So on we go, like the Eveready Bunny. Okay the cards, that's why you're here , right ?

Card # 1 - ULURU, Central Australia. I really don't need to write anything about this place , it's all been written before. I don't think I can add anything new. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. I do believe it's one of Dale's last cards. He's been home for about 3 weeks now, so I doubt there are any more on the way. Dale used 2 copies of a single from the 2006 Wildlife set of 6 and 1 of the 6 Christmas stamps issued in 2011.

Card # 2- It's always good to get a airplane card and this one is a great one, another addition to my collection. The Queen of the Skies, that about says it all. Well , not quite. It is a Sikorsky VS-44A, a large four-engined flying boat, dating from the early 1940s. It was designed primarily for the trans-Atlantic passenger market, with a capacity of 40 + passengers. Only 3 were produced: Excalibur, Exter and the one shown here Excambian . The one on the card is shown in the livery of American Export Airlines. Excalibur crashed on takeoff in 1942 at Botwood, Newfoundland, killing 11 of the 37 aboard. Exter crashed on Aug 15, 1947 while landing in River Plate off Montevideo when allegedly returning from a smuggling flight to Paraguayan rebels. Four of seven on board were killed. After service with American Export Airlines, Excambian was sold to Tampico Airlines to run freight in Peru. The enterprise was unsuccessful and the flying boat was left stranded in Peru. Later ferried to Long Beach, the aircraft was restored and carried thousands of passengers until 1967 when it was sold again to run passengers in the Virgin Islands. On January 3, 1969, she was extensively damaged by rocks while taxing at Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands. Damaged beyond economic repair the Excambian was beached in 1972 and converted into a hot dog stand. In 1976, Excambian was donated to the Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, Florida and put on permanent load to the New England Air Museum in Connecticut. That is where she is pictured on my postcard. Mary used a number of small definitive type stamps, including 2 copies of the 2003 American Clock stamp, a 2011 Foxglove stamp and a 2011 First Class Forever Statue of Liberty Stamp.

Next we have a card with a reproduction of a winter scene painting by famous Czech painter Josef Lada entitled Silent Night. Well it is Christmas time. The stamps on this one include 2 small flower stamps and a stamp issued in 1994 showcasing Slany, a town about 25 km northwest of Prague. The larger stamp on the far right was issued this year and honors Agnes of Bohemia.

Card # 4- This one comes from Belgium, specifically Brussels. On it we can see a large Christmas tree on The Grand Place, the central square of the city. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. Anne-Catherine used a 2011 Atomium stamp.

Today's final card is from Belarus, Minsk in fact. On it though we see an old castle in Lyubcha, a small village in southwestern Bulgaria. I guess Alex was visiting and picked up this card. A number of Belarus definitives were used.

That is the update for this time. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Christmas Eve 2011 - Merry Christmas To One and All

Once again as Christmas Day is just about upon us, I want to take this opportunity to wish all my fellow postcard collectors , cover and stamp collectors and bloggers , along with all my readers a very Merry Christmas. My Christmas wishes for all of you are again summed up in the 3 Christmas stamps issued by Canada Post in 2007. Hope , Joy, and Peace. What more could we ask for ?

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year , Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee , Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo ,Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo, Mele Kalikimaka me Ka Hou'öli Makahiki Hou.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Flag Card, A Map Card and a couple of others

Hello again. Well, time is running out , leading up to the big Christmas splash. I hope if you partake , that all is going well and most things are ticked off your list. I'm pretty well done I think, or as they used to say in a television commercial a few years ago, I'm crispy, I'm so done. I just hope we can keep the snow we have on the ground , but with sunny days and temperatures like today's plus 7 , it may all be gone by Dec 25th. Anyway, on to the postcards.

First up is a flag card. I know many postcard collectors collect flag cards. So we have The National Flag of Latvia. The RedWhiteRed Flag. I like this flag, simple design , clear lines and great colors. The flag was earlier used by independent Latvia from 1918 until 1940. It was then re-adopted on Feb. 27, 1990 and in continuous use since. Mihail sent this card and used a number of different stamps. From the left : 1 of 3 Coat of Arms stamp from 2007, 1 of 4 Coat of Arms stamp from 2011, 1 of 3 Christmas stamps from 2003 and a 2010 Flag stamp , marking 20 years of the Latvian Declaration of Independence.
I know Bruce in South Africa likes and collects flag cards , so I'm sure he'd love this one.

Here's another card that fits a postcard collection for many collectors. Map Cards. This one shows The Russian Empire. I'm not sure what date this map might represent, but Nina says it's a map of her lovely Russia. You be the judge. It is a nice looking card though. Impressive looking map, looks like one that belongs on your wall. The stamp is from a set of 15 definitives , all showing animals issued in 2008.

I don't really collect either of these card types, flags or maps. That been said of course, I welcome them, when they arrive I keep them, they become part of my collection. I have a number of each in my albums.
Speaking of map cards, I have 39 of 50 U.S. state map cards, which I purchased as part of the 10,000 postcards purchased earlier this summer. They are mint, unwritten. If anyone of the map collectors out there needs a particular state map, drop me an email or leave a comment and we can swap, a map for anything with a nice stamp.

On to business. Today's 3rd card comes from Brazil. It shows a central market, loaded with handicrafts. This one arrived without a postage stamp. It just has a rubber hand stamp where the stamp would normally be. ( Not Shown )

Alice Springs, Northern Territory , Australia. Another card from my brother Dale. He's long home, but cards are still arriving. Another one actually arrived today. This Craig Lamotte photo shows the mostly dry Todd River and the Macdonnell Ranges, landmarks of Alice Springs. Dale used 2 stamps on this one. The sideways stamp on the left was issued in 2007 and shows Maria Island, Tasmania. The 2nd stamp is a Christmas Island 2011 Christmas stamp, 1 of 2 in a set.
If you're interested in having a look at other Christmas stamps from around the world , here's a link.

With that, here's today's last card. It's a multi view card of Frankfurt Airport. Note the Airbus A380 top center. Air Canada B747 taking off , bottom left. An older picture , I guess. Tina , who sent this card, writes that she works in the control tower that you see in the bottom right view.
The stamp , issued in 2011 , is a joint UNESCO WHS issue with Romania.

There you have it, another day another update. Until next time , take care and come back if you can.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Christmas Postcard, Led Zeppelin, Coober Pedy , A Couple of Flying Machines or Not and a Beautiful Equestrian Stamp

Again, quite the title above. It certainly explains what this update is all about. Since it's 10 days until Christmas Day, let's start with the Christmas postcard. For those of you who don't celebrate this holiday, I'll keep it somewhat short. Stay with me, though. I don't get many of these cards, maybe 3 or 4 per season. The one today, is the season's first. Pretty simple, a Christmas bulb hanging on an evergreen branch. It comes to me from Nadia , a Postcrosser in Belarus. She used a number of flower definitives from 2008.

There, that wasn't too difficult , now was it ?

Card # 2 comes from Coober Pedy, South Australia. Dale's card shows a huge dust storm approaching the town of Coober Pedy. Located in northern South Australia, it is best known for its unique style of underground residences, museums, shops, galleries and churches. Coober Pedy is also called the "opal capital of the world". Opals were discovered there in February of 1915 and the area has since supplied the world with a majority of the gem. The name Coober Pedy comes from the Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means " white man's hole . "
Dale used a 2011 stamp celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Australia- Korea Diplmatic Ties.

Led Zeppelin is featured on my next card. A band from my era. They are standing on the ramp in front of The Starship in New York , in 1973. The Starship was a former United Airlines Boeing 720. It was also the first Boeing 720 built. Sort of like driving around in the first Ford Mustang ever built. English rockers Led Zeppelin used the aircraft for their 1973 and 1975 North American concert tours. Many other great bands and musicians , including Deep Purple, The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, Alice Cooper and Peter Frampton have flown on this aircraft. The Starship, registration N7201U has since been dismantled for parts. Kerry from my next door province of British Columbia sent this card as part of a private swap. She used quite a varied selection of The Beneficial Insects stamps. Kerry also did an exceptional job of drawing an airplane and incorporating my name and address into. Outstanding.

Here comes another aircraft card, another one for my Aircraft on Postcards collection. This time it's a Douglas F5D Skylancer. Only four of this type , which could reach speeds of 850 mph, were constructed. The one pictured here was flown by Neil Armstrong, of The Moon fame. It is now on display in Wapakoneta, Ohio, USA, at the Armstrong Air & Space Museum. Cherie a Postcrosser from Toledo, Ohio saw fit to send this card. She used a 2008 Latin Jazz stamp, a 2011 Mark Twain Forever stamp and a couple of 2003 American Clock stamps.

The next card won't make it into my Aircraft collection even though it has some of the same qualities of a airplane- wings and speed. It's Ralph the ostrich of the Indian Point Ostrich Ranch in Tehachapi, Ca, USA. The ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest egg of any living bird. They have a top land speed of 70 kph, the fastest of any bird. If interested , I do believe Ralph is on Facebook. Tanya used 3 Liberty Bell Forever stamps from 2009.

Now here's my last card for this time. It comes from Belarus. It is a card showing the National Library of Belarus. It opened on June 16, 2006. Impressive. Just ignore the empty box above. They sneak into my blog sometimes, so I just reserve them for invisible stamps.

Nadya used a quite nice stamp of 2011. It showcases the equestrian sport of Dressage. I think Kerry , who sent the Led Zeppelin card above, might like this stamp as she is a person who likes and works around horses.

I think that's a wrap for this time. See you soon.