Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Stamps

Art is the theme for this week's Sunday Stamps.
I had a bit of trouble trying to decide what constituted art pieces... and I have a new magnifying glass for viewing these miniatures...

First up is this American toleware coffee pot.
toleware refers to kitchen-related objects created from metal, typically tin or thin steel, and are usually in the country primitive or Pennsylvania Dutch motif

Don't you just love that spout? Though I do wonder about that sharp right turn.

From Pennsylvania to Transylvania.
Târgu Lăpuș is a city in the county of Maramureș in Transylvania and I imagine that these are typical for that region.

And for something a little brighter, I have a few of these Easter stamps from Poland. I like that the Polish stamps list the name of the author (artist) on the stamps. This particular one is by Jan Konarzewski and is one of two that he designed.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

it is startling

I guess I can admit this here. My secret is out.
I have been known to talk to myself. Out loud. Though, with the proliferation of Bluetooths stuck in people's ears, it is not as strange a sight coming across someone in the grocery store talking out loud as it once was. Still, I do sometimes startle myself when I realize that I am thinking out loud.

The other night I was caught by a dog walker who was laughing so hard his dog turned to look quizzically at him. 
"Did you just apologize to that rabbit?" 
"Well, yes, I did." 
I startled the poor little guy, who went scurrying off, so it only seemed polite. And a natural thing to do. 
I am Canadian, afterall.

Yesterday, I met up with the dog walker in the elevator.
"Still scaring the bunnies?" he asked.
It wouldn't have been so bad if there weren't other people in the elevator.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

100 dollars

I have been thinking of this as a piece of art.
The new polymer 100 dollar bills came out last week and I managed to snag one. It is still the same buff colour as the older cotton fibre version. This time around the images are dedicated to science.
I have had fun fondling its smoothness, turning it around in the light to see all the pretty colours and the embedded pics. I have caressed Prime Minister Borden's shoulders trying to feel the raised bits (they are extremely subtle). And then there are the see through bits, which are a fun novelty.
The older bills were easy to counterfeit - at one point in the early 2000s, it was near impossible to spend one at any store as no-one would accept them.

It isn't quite true that it doesn't wrinkle. But it doesn't fold well. And it has some pretty cool waterproofing - no drops remains when you pull it out of a basin of water, dries immediately!
It is also very slippery (as a friend of mine who works in a bank testified while trying to count a bundle!)
But I doubt my wallet will ever carry more than one anyway.

Now that I have wrinkled it, I will take it back to the bank until I can afford another pristine edition.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Stamps

This week's Sunday Stamps had no specific theme 
(which meant it took me ages to come up with one - I need structure!)
I eventually decided to post these stamps that have nameless faces on them.

Maybe someone out there can identify these people men.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

it wasn't that bad after all

Part of my newspaper route involves door to door deliveries in apartment buildings. Often when I am walking the halls, I will read the front page or flip through and glance at the headlines in the other sections. Sometimes, something interesting will catch my eye and I will try to remember to look it up online when I get home (I hate slowing down when I am in a good stride and besides, with an armful of papers it is difficult to search inside to see how long an article is and to read it).

Today there was a story about the new proposed animal control bylaw and last night's public meeting specifically regarding cats and licensing and what to do with strays, etc. Below that was a box that usually has other stories you can find inside the paper and on-line. That headline read "PEORIA SENDS DOGS UP RIVER. FOR A PHOTO GALLERY OF DOWNWARD DOGS GO TO .... I thought, how horrible! Then I wondered what kind of photos they had. Probably just of the river. Then I wondered where the heck Peoria was. The only one I knew was in Illinois. I figured this must be one of those small towns that had been swallowed up in merges with other smaller towns and given a new name that no-one ever uses.

Now granted, I am usually on auto pilot when I am wandering these hallways and I have been known to humorously misread headlines.

So when I got home and checked it out, it all made sense.

The local CFL team are the Tiger Cats, more commonly known as the Ti-Cats. Or, especially in the print media, just the Cats. The local AHL team are the Bulldogs. Or, in the print media the Dogs. I don't follow sports, so you can see where confusion might set in. Though, this much I knew, I just keep forgetting. And, it seems Peoria really was the one in Illinois and with further investigation I discovered their team is known as the Rivermen.

So, really, that was a very clever headline.

*I am sure, at some point there has been a headline that read
  it was reigning cats and dogs last night

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

he's here

 Look who I found, sitting in his heavily decorated Santa cave.

Seriously? Doesn't he have some last minute preparations to see to? Surely it is too early? There is still six weeks. The street decorations haven't even been put up yet.

And, more importantly the Santa Claus Parade isn't for another week. Doesn't that mean he hasn't officially arrived in town?
Here he is hard at work, waving to some toddler, who seemed more attracted by the glittery balls than the man himself.
As for me, I was more interested in this cool tree that changed colours and patterns.
There was a conveniently located coffee place just behind where I was sitting, so I had myself a beverage and set my camera on burst.... there was, at one point, some dancing snowmen, but the lights didn't seem to have a consistent pattern - some were repeated more than others and I never did see the snowmen again to get a picture of them.

Of course, people, like this girl and her friends, had to have their photos taken by the tree (though as you can see, it was not very busy on a Monday night) and I was asked if I could take one of the three of them together. Of course, I could. I was given this flat thing that wasn't a camera, but some kind of fancy phone and told to just press the centre button. It took several tries and a couple more lessons before I got the hang of it. If you so much as brushed the button, or pressed it on an angle, strange things started happening - the image would zoom and swerve and sometimes disappear altogether. I did not like this device, but still I wished to play with it some more. However, once we established that a decent photo was taken she took her phone back and off they went, completely ignoring Santa.
When I got home, I found a postcard waiting for me in my mailbox. 
It was from an American, who wrote that she was looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving. She loved that holiday because "that is the day we put up our Christmas tree"

That must be the ultimate in holiday combining.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Stamps

I am still sending and receiving postcards from Postcrossing. One of the things I despair about this project, apart from the cost of the stamps, is the boringness of the international stamps that we have available. The best ones seem to be reserved for domestic mail, which is fine, but it is hard to make them add up to $1.75 to send internationally.

We do have these new-ish stamps that have no denomination on them so that you can use them even when the price goes up, which it probably has since these ones were printed, 
but, again, that is only for domestic.

Anyway, I have found a new meme for stamps and it has given me the impetus to get my hundreds of postcards sorted and uploaded (well, photographed, at least. one step at a time.) The theme this week 
is all things related to sports and I thought it was a perfect time to jump in with these stamps from the 2010 Olympics that I still have kicking about.

This was Canada's contribution to celebrating the event philately.
Since it was the Winter Games, we have skiing, snowboarding, luge (or is that bobsled?) and hockey.
This is the Russian stamp celebrating the event

and another from Belarus
Going back to the previous Olympics, 
we have one from China with that strange looking figure running...
and I am not sure about this one, also from China, 
but it looks rather sporting to me with another figure, running...
Check out Viridian's blog for more stamps around the world, while I go and sort the rest of my cards
(and maybe find the stamp I am sure I have for Sochi)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

waddle adorably

Climb a tree and sit on a branch. Chitterchatter chitterchatter.
If someone were to find me on Facebook, or Twitter, they might assume that I lead a rather ... boring life. They might be right. Even my "friends" don't post much. (except for about 2 or 3 people, who are also, co-incidentally, bloggers). I have 2 followers on my Twitter account, even though I have never tweeted. The Facebook account is mostly for playing their version of scrabble and the Twitter account is mostly to follow the fake tweets. The first one I got hooked on was the Mars Phoenix Lander from a couple of years ago (there is a new Mars mission known as Curiosity Lander launching at the end of this month)
Rummage in a garbage bin. Toss things willy nilly.
These so-called fake twitter accounts appeal to my sense of humour and my short attention span. The tweets from celebrities hold absolutely no interest for me. The ones from the snake that escaped from the Bronx zoo and tweeted his exploits around NYC were fun to read and the tweets from the osprey who was a bundle of nerves over her babies learning to fly (and finally catching their own food, freeing up her time to take up crocheting to calm herself) had me in stitches. 
Wake up, have a little pee in the fallen leaves, go back to sleep.
My newest favourite is a city raccoon. He spends his time scurrying, gnawing, twitching and sleeping, among other less savoury activities. He also washes his paws a lot.
Get up, wash front paws in a puddle. Wash wash wash.

I get to see quite a few raccoons while I am out at night and sometimes, I will suddenly think of one of these tweets and burst out laughing.
Gnaw on leftover pumpkin bits. Gnaw. Gnaw.
Slowly...peer...down...through the bathroom skylight. Blink blink.

He even managed to send out tweets after getting drunk from eating a fermented apple. I have tried texting and found it took me an inordinate amount of time to figure out the sequence of keys to press, so you have to admire this little guy's admirable dexterity!
Car! Run run run run run run run, down into a ditch.
Crash! Scurry scurry scurry, hide among the shadows.
And his ability to make what might appear to be a boring life, rather amusing afterall. 
Dream of fresh salmon (with a sprig of dill).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


So, the world as we know it has now got 7 billion people living in it.
Actually, the world as I know it is much smaller. And much less populated.
We, in my small corner of the world, complain repeatedly and wistfully, about the new developments going up and the increasing number of people who keep moving in on our patch of paradise and changing it forever.
But in reality, it is nothing compared to so many other places in the world. Places like Shenzhen, China where the population has risen from around 352,000 to 10,358,000 in the last 30 years. 10 million people have moved into that area in three decades! There is only 13 million people in all of Ontario, give or take a few thousand and though most of them live in the southern bit and many in the Golden Horseshoe where I live, it really does not feel all that crowded. Even with all the new condos going up everywhere (apparently Toronto is the king of condo builders in North America) we still have space around us and apparently "places to grow".
taken while stuck in traffic exiting at the single lane Spadina off ramp of the expressway into the entertainment district.
I love that Douglas Coupland canoe looking out over the Gardiner and towards the lake from where once a river flowed...

On a website, which you can find here, you can place yourself in amongst these 7 billion people inhabiting our world. According to my birthdate, I rank as the  2,913,260,663 person alive on my birthdate and the 76,452,309,015th person to have lived since history began.