Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

I wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas!
Illinois - Christmas Around the World at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
The Christmas Around the World exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, where I am a volunteer.
Hungary HU-7649 received 12-17-07
From Nebet in Hungary

Germany - Merry Christmas from Hannover

From Moonlight1978 in Germany
Holiday greetings from Germany
From Helga_ni in Germany
Handmade Christmas card and paper crane from Japan
From Akane, a student in b-island's class in Japan
Finland FI-425872 received 12-08-2008
From siik in Finland
Finland FI-417084 received 12-19-2008
A very large postcard from Kuunvarjo in Finland
Switzerland CH-21968 received 12-24-2008
From Greenblue in Switzerland (this card arrived on Christmas Eve - maybe Santa brought it!) :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Easily amused

I like amusement/theme parks. I hate roller coasters, but I like the parks themselves. And the food. Amusement parks have such fun food that you don't see almost anywhere else. Funnel cakes, Dippin' Dots and those giant turkey legs that take two hands to hold. Yummy! Unfortunately, I don't get to go to amusement parks very often. Last time I was at a theme park was in 2006 - I went to Universal Studios Hollywood. It was a lot of fun, especially the tour of the backlot. I have been to Universal Studios in Flordia as well, but I have never visited the most famous theme parks in the world. That's right - I have never been to Disneyland or Disney World. My parents never took me when I was a kid because they believed in more educational vacations. I have not made it there as an adult either. I know, I'm deprived. :) You probably know that Disneyland (opened in 1955) was not the first amusement park. Even Coney Island, which started in the late 1800's, is not the oldest. Do you know when the first amusement park was built? Take a guess. Go ahead, guess. You'll never get it. The first amusement park was known as Dyrehavsbakken or simply Bakken. It started in Klampenborg, Denmark in 1583. 1583??!!?? Yes, really. There weren't any rides back then, but people from Copenhagen were drawn to the natural springs, and soon after came the vendors selling food and other products. In 1669, the area was fenced and made into a royal hunting ground. It finally was made into what we think of as an amusement park (rides, games and restaurants) by King Christian IV. Of course, to go along with the theme of the day, I have postcards. :) These cards show two amusement parks in Finland and on in Australia (sorry, I don't have a card of Dyrehavsbakken). The first card shows Linnanmäki in Helsinki. It opened in 1950 and currently has 6 roller coasters. This card came from Lihis as part of a trade.
Finland - Linnanmäki Amusement Park, Helsinki
The second card is an official Postcrossing card (FI-271417) from henriette. It shows the Särkänniemi Amusment Park in Tampere, Finland. It is the most popular amuseument park in Finland. henriette tells me that the tower is called Näsinneula, named after Lake Näsijärvi. It is 130 meters high and there is a restaurant at the top. Cool!
Finland FI-271417 received 04-02-2008
Finally, I have this card of the Lethal Weapon roller coaster at Warner Bros. Movie World, which is located on the Gold Coast of Australia. This official Postcrossing card (AU-21793) came from minkatink, who lives on a sugar farm with her mum and dad.

Australia AU-21793 received 06-18-2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Is that thing for real?

When British scientists first studied a platypus pelt, they were convinced it was a hoax - a taxidermist's creation combining a duck's bill with the body of a beaver-like mammal. Of course, we know now that the platypus is a real animal - funny looking, but real. :) It's native habitat lies along the eastern coast of Australia, including Tasmania. It is the only mammal that lays eggs. And did you know they are venomous? Well, actually just the male platypus is venomous. It has ankle spurs which produce venom strong enough to kill small animals. It isn't lethal to humans, but can cause excruciating pain. Yikes! What is the plural of platypus you ask? There isn't one that is universally agreed upon. Platypus, platypuses, platypi and platipodes can all be used. This lesson about the platypus is for a reason. Well, two reasons actually. 1. I think they are interesting and 2. I received a postcard showing a platypus. :) This card came from Mundoo in Australia (no surprise there). It is an official Postcrossing card - AU-18154.

Australia AU-18154 received 03-18-2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Uh-oh!

Apparently, I have been a bad girl. I have recently become aware of this Flickr policy that I was not following: Do link back to Flickr when you post your Flickr content elsewhere. The Flickr service makes it possible to post content hosted on Flickr to outside web sites. However, pages on other web sites that display content hosted on flickr.com must provide a link from each photo or video back to its page on Flickr. Uh, oops? I have been posting postcards to my blog, but they do not link back to Flickr. I liked being able to stagger the cards left right left right, and then write something about each one right next to it. The easiest way to do this was by using the URL instead of HTML. Unfortunately, using the URL does not make the photo link back to Flickr. I guess I will have to try something new. Oh well, I wanted to do that anyway. We had our first snowflakes here over the past two days, and now I really miss pretty flowers and leaves on the trees. So here is a card from dollart, which seems rather summery to me. I received it as part of the US and Around the World Round Robin. The stamp also shows a butterfly.

Finland - Greetings from Jyväskylä

See, now you should be able to click on the picture and it will take you to the Flickr page. Right?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Short and Sweet

When I started Postcrossing, I realized how difficult it can be to write a message to someone that you have never met and that you know very little about, so it never surprises me when I receive a postcard with a very short message. Here are a few postcards that I received with short messages (so I will make very short comments about them). This multiview from Austria was sent to my office Postcrossing account by Danubia. I have visited Austria, but I have not been to Vienna. I am not sure what any of these buildings are. One looks to be a cathedral. :) This card is from Elisarocha in Brazil. It shows scenes from her city, Fortaleza, which is the capital of the state of Ceará. It is a big tourist area because of the numerous beaches. I traded with Paloma in China and received this card of Shanghai. That is quite a highway system! This card from Denmark has a very short - correction - non-existent message. It is completely blank. I have no idea where it came from. I am very sorry to whomever sent this card to me. I wish I knew who you were. In case you didn't know, the card show the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen. The statue has a rather interesting history of vandalism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Mermaid_(statue) This card has no message either. It is not actually a traditional postcard, so there was no room on it for a message. It is actually an advertisement for some sort of theater show, or possible performance art. It is in German, so I am not sure. This card was sent to me as an official Postcrossing card by kleo2006. Finally, I received this card from eheri in Hungary. Miskolc is the third most populous (populated?) city in Hungary. This card does not say what any of the building are either. Apparently some postcard manufacturers don't realize that people may be curious about that!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Well, that didn't work very well!

Ok, so my grand plan of posting a few cards every few days so didn't work out very well! I have still been busy with other obligations, and silly me, I took on one more. So I guess now my new plan is to post when I have time to post. So I guess that would be almost never! :D Anyway, here are the rest of the cards that Hthrann1 sent me a while ago. As you will probably notice, they are all from Connecticut. This is the First Congregational Church in the "picturesque town" of Litchfield. That is how it is described on the back of the card. It does look rather nice. I just don't like seeing the autumn colors right now. It is still summer and I certainly don't want to think about autumn yet! Here is a very nice stone fence on a country road. And look, more autumn colors. This looks like a nice quiet place to live. Ah, such a lovely nature scene. But is autumn the only time anyone takes any pictures in Connecticut? I mean seriously? :D No, maybe not! Here are some lovely summer hollyhocks blooming in front of this barn. Very pretty! Next we have a nice multiview of Fairfield county. With all of these pictures of rural scenes, I am beginning to think that there are no urban areas in Connecticut. Guess I'll have to visit some day and find out for myself. I have heard a rumor that there are a few letterboxes (not the type that holds mail, the type that holds a rubber stamp) in the state. I should go hunt a few down... Hey look, another stone wall, another barn and more fall foliage. Who would have thunk it ;) Now, I'm really not trying to make fun of Connecticut. I'm sure it is as beautiful as all of these pictures show. This house actually has a name. It is the Buttolph-Williams House in Wethersfield. It was used by author Elizabeth Speare as a setting for the children's classic Witch of Blackbird Pond. Again, this information is from the back of the card. I have never heard of the author or the book. The house was built around 1720 in the traditional style of the Puritan settlers, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1968. Well, instead of a stone wall, we have a stone bridge this time. At least it looks summery with that tree full of pink flowers on the right (it might be hard to see in this picture). Here is a place that I have heard of. Yale University in New Haven. This is the Sterling Memorial Library. The stacks are in the form of a tower and were built to hold over 3,000,000 books. Wow! No wonder everyone who goes to Yale is so smart. ;) The library also contains the Gutenberg Bible. Finally, we have another multiview. Here is exactly what it says on the back of the card: "CONNECTICUT - Dogwoods blooming on Greenfield Hill and parade day in Fairfield." Ok, that describes two of the pictures. What about the third? Isn't it important enough to even tell us what it is? Anyway, that concludes this post. I have a few more US postcards scanned, so maybe I'll post them one of these days. And hopefully I'll have a chance to scan some cards from other countries. I have so many cards, I won't run out for a very long time. :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

How many countries have a 4th of July? All of them, of course. :D Yeah, ok, old joke, bad joke, whatever. But as far as I know, the United States is the only country to celebrate its Independence Day on July 4th. It is a day off for most people, myself included. I did not go to a parade this morning, nor will I go see fireworks tonight. The main reason? Parking. Yup, that's right, parking. I really dislike crowds of cars (and people, for that matter), and I get really impatient when trying to exit a parking lot when everyone is trying to leave at once. I did go to a movie today, which wasn't crowded or difficult to exit. I saw Get Smart, which was pretty funny. Steve Carell makes a good Maxwell Smart. Granted, I haven't seen a single episode of the original tv show, so I really have nothing to compare it to. :D But it was fun watching it while eating nachos and drinking a blue raspberry Icee (yum). It is a good thing that I am not really a popcorn person. The movie theater didn't keep their poppers going and actually ran out of popcorn. As I walked around the large group of people waiting for popcorn, I looked at my nachos and thought "Suckers!" ;) Here are a few postcards that are very appropriate today. This first one is from Hthrann1. She sent it as part of a large number of cards that we traded. It is one of the postcards produced for the US Postal Service, if that wasn't obvious. I really like all of the flag stamps. They are so much less boring than the flag stamps the USPS usually produces. :D $.37 cent stamps. That seems cheap, doesn't it? :D For some reason, this next card reminds me of the movie National Treasure. I just can't think why that would be. Hmmmm... ;) Most people probably don't know that the Declaration of Independence wasn't signed on July 4. We celebrate our independence on July 4th because that is the date it was ratified by Congress. Was that Ben Gates enough for you? And if you have no idea who Ben Gates is, I'm sorry. Go watch a movie! Which movie you ask? I have already said it... Oh, by the way, this card is courtesy of FairyDreamer. Finally we have this gorgeous view of our nation's capital. This shot was actually taken during an Independence Day celebration. The building is the Lincoln Memorial, if you didn't recognize it from the back of the penny. Just to the right of the memorial, you may be able to make out the dome of the capitol building. bodaquilts sent me this card a while back for the Fireworks tag.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Gods Have a Garden?

If you have been to Colorado Springs, you probably knew that. Because that is where the Garden of the Gods is located. The garden is actually a park with many fantastic and fascinating sandstone formations. I have been lucky enough to visit the park twice, once as a child with my parents and once with my ex. Each time, I was amazed by the variety of the formations. I also wonder why they are concentrated in this one area. I'm sure it has something to do with something that happened eons ago (boy, isn't that scientific?). Maybe a geologist could explain it to me. I really wish these cards had the formation names on them. Some of the names are pretty funny, like Kissing Camels. The names are usually based on what the rock looks like. This one always scares me: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Balanced_Rock.jpg I get the shivers driving past it because I think that there is a good chance that it could collapse any minute! Yes, it has probably been like that for thousands of years, but even rocks erode. Even looking at the picture kinda creeps me out! If you visit Colorado Springs, I would highly recommend a drive through the park. It is a very unique place. There are a number of other interesting attactions in the area, and it is not that far from Denver. Once again, thank you to Hthrann1 for these cards.

A New Start (is that redundant?)

It has been more than a month since I have posted. I have been busy, and when I wasn't busy, I just didn't feel like scanning postcards. :) But now I have a bunch of postcards scanned. I will try to keep scanning and post 3 or 4 of them every few days. It is much easier to do 3 posts with 3 cards each than one long post with 9 or ten cards. The first two are from a trade with futuremono in California. I have never been to San Francisco, but I would like to visit. I think a trip to Alcatraz would be a must. I just hope it has been repaired after the battle between the X-Men and Magneto's group. Oh wait, that was just a movie! :D A good movie too. I enjoyed all three X-Men movies, and I am really looking forward to the Wolverine movie that should be out next year. This is Lombard Street in San Francisco. It is the crookedest street in the world, with 8 consecutive 90 degree turns. And yes, it is one way - down. :) I have known these facts for quite a few years because I used to read the Guinness Book of Records when I was kids. Seriously. I guess I have always been a geek! But it has made me pretty good in trivia contests. I received 15 cards from Hthrann1 in Connecticut. I know what you are thinking, "That card says Colorado." Yes, it does. She sent me some Colorado cards as well as some Connecticut cards. I have actually been to Colorado, but never to Connecticut. This very pretty lake is in Rocky Mountains National Park. I drove through the park with my ex. It was March, so we couldn't go all the way up into the mountains - the roads were still closed from the winter snows. But we did drive though as much of the park as we could. It was beautiful, and we saw a large herd of what I think were elk. The only problem was that because it was before tourist season officially started, none of the building in the park were open. No buildings means no restrooms. Eek! I had to resort to using a port-a-potty at a campground. Can you say yuck? :) More of Hthrann1's cards in future posts. I hope that everyone who reads this blog (all 2 of you??) likes the shorter format. It sure is easier on me! :D

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I laughed my app off!

Last night, I went to see Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood....again. Yes, I have mentioned them before. They both used to be on Whose Line Is It Anyway? I cannot get enough of their shows. And the best part is, because their shows are completely improvised, they are never the same twice. In my last post about Colin and Brad (see "It's February, People!"), I mentioned the mousetrap game. Another of my favorite games that they do is called Crime. Brad leaves the theater and Colin takes suggestions from the audience about an outrageous crime that Brad is supposed to have committed. When Brad comes back, he has to guess the crime based on clues that Colin, his interrogator, gives him. Here was the crime that the audience came up with last night: While wearing a fruit hat and a hot pink Superman costume made of duct tape and rhinestones, Brad made out with an umpire and stole morel mushrooms from Bob Jones in Mishawaka at Ferrantella Construction with an eggbeater. Holy crap. Can you imagine trying to get someone to guess that? Brad was getting kinda frustrated. Of course, Colin asked for a town with a difficult name. At the last show, I suggested my hometown of Oconomowoc. Colin said they had actually done that before! And the construction company was picked randomly out of a phone book. It just happened to be a difficult name. :) As for the title of this post, they played another game called Letter Substitution. Colin asked for a letter of the alphabet between A-U that wasn't a vowel. I shouted out P and he took it. :) So Brad and Colin had to do a scene where they substituted a P for every S. In the scene, they were prison guards. Or should I say pripon guardp. They talked about how the priponerp were going to epcape. They called each other ptupid and apphole and jackapp. :D I was laughing po hard I was hoarpe by the end of the pkit, and I almopt had tearp ptreaming down my cheekp. Try ppeaking like thip pometime. Periouply, It ipn't eapy. Ok, I'm going to ptop now, I promipe. Now for pomething, I mean something, totally unrelated - postcards from South America. :D It isn't a continent from which I receive a lot of postcards. In fact, I have only received postcards from 3 South American countries - Argentina, Brazil and Chile. That isn't too surprising considering those 3 countries have the most registered Postcrossing users. Since there are only 11 countries in South america, I will give you the user stats: Brazil - 2047, Argentina - 77, Chile - 63, Peru - 26, Columbia - 15, Uruguay - 7, Venezuela - 5, Paraguay - 4, Suriname and Guyana - 2, and French Guiana - 1. This card is an official card that came to my office Postcrossing account. It was sent by guilhermeamando in Brazil, but actually shows three countries. Hence the title of Three Frontier Landmark. :D Since the USA shares only a single border with Canada and a single border with Mexico, we wouldn't be able to take a picture like this here. Next is probably the most famous city in South America, Rio de Janeiro. Sati sent this to me as part of the Landscape Round Robin. The large rock formation in the water is called the Sugar Loaf. The area around the water sure looks like a happening spot. Lots and lots of lights. :) I would like to visit someday, just not during Carnival. I am not that adventurous. :D The last card from Brazil is this beautiful waterfall. It is called Iguassu Falls. This card was sent to me by alissonmt for the US and Around the World Round Robin. Although it might be a girl's name here, in this case, Alisson is a boy's name. He tells me that this is a UNESCO site. If you are not familiar with the UNESCO World Heritage sites, here is the list: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list The last two cards are both from Valparaíso, Chile. I have heard of this city because I went to college in Valparaiso, Indiana. The Indiana city was named for the one in Chile. :) The vertical card is a private trade from Nostalgia, and the horizontal is a private trade from Annie-Hall.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Just Postcards - A Trip Around the United States 1

I am very behind in scanning and uploading postcards, so I decided to do a few posts to try and get caught up. Ok, the fact that have no life is also a reason for these posts. :D Postcrossing has recently changed its policies to allow people the choice to receive "official" cards from their own country. I immediately signed up for this option. Here are the first two official cards that I received from the US.
The first is this vintage card from laynuh. It shows a statue of James Monroe, the fifth president of the US, near Charlottesville, Virginia. It is on the grounds of his home, Ash Lawn, which is within sight of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home. On the back of the card are two phrases that amused me very much - "This space for writing" and "This side is for the address". I guess the company that printed the card didn't think people understood what to do with a postcard. :D That is just as bad as those boxes that say "Place stamp here". I really think people know where a stamp goes. If they are trying to make sure that people don't forget to put postage on the card or envelope, the box should just say "Don't forget the stamp!"
The second is this watery view of Florida from aussiefliss. Sebastian Inlet is a state park, and according to the website, it is the premier saltwater fishing spot on Florida's east coast. A number of other outdoor activities are also mentioned. I am very much an indoor person, so this doesn't really sound like a place that I want to visit. ;) Actually it looks like a beautiful place to visit. I would just have to be sure to slather myself with SPF 30.
The stamp goes with the card very well - Florida and fish. http://www.usps.com/communications/news/stamps/2006/images/woa10.htm
The next two cards are also from Florida. This adorable giraffe is from the Brevard Zoo in Melborne, Florida. Orphan1965 sent this card to me as part of the US and Around the World Round Robin. The info on the back of the card says that a giraffe's tongue is blue. The color works as a natural sunblock. Maybe I should just dye myself blue and then I wouldn't need the SPF 30. I could call myself a Smurf or an Andorian (a blue alien from Star Trek - I am a geek, remember?) Yeah, ok, maybe not. :)
Now for one of the most famous places in Florida. Walt Disney World. I actually received this card a while ago from 9teen87, but I accidently buried it, so I never scanned it. I am upset that I have never been to any Disney park. :( I am going to have to do something about that soon.
Now for 3 cards from Idaho. I did not previously have any cards from Idaho, so I was very happy to receive these from jelemiranda. The first is of the city of Boise, the capital of Idaho. It looks like such a cute little city to me. :) Of course, I am used to the absolutely huge city of Chicago, so most other cities looks small. I know I have been to Boise, but I was about 3 years old, so I don't remember it.
Here is another, closer view of Boise, this time at night. Boise is Idaho's largest city with a population of over 211,000. Considering the city of Chicago has a population of over 2.8 million, it is no wonder that I think this city is small.
The last Idaho card shows sculptures in Boise. Apparently the city has a public art collection. The stainless steel sculpture is called "Great Blues". Since it is a bird, I can extrapolate (oooo, fancy word) that it is a great blue heron.
Finally, four cards from lbradley22 in Ohio. I traded 4 cards from Indiana for these. The first shows the Ohio statehouse in Columbus. I am trying to collect all of the state capitol buildings, I was happy to get this card. Unlike most state capitol buildings, this one doesn't have a large dome on top of it.
The next three cards are from Cincinnati, where lbradley22 lives. This night view was taken from the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. With a population of over 330,000, it is another relatively small city. The Cincinnati Museum Center used to be the city's train terminal. It now houses the Museum of Natural History, the Historical Society Museum and Library, and an OMNIMAX theater. If you are unfamiliar with OMNIMAX, it is like IMAX, but with a large domed screen instead of a flat screen like a regular movie. There is an OMNIMAX theater at the Museum of Science and Industry, so I am quite familiar with it. :)

Finally, another museum - the Taft Museum of Art. I am not a fan of art museums. Maybe that is because I can barely draw stick figures. :) I much prefer science and history museums.