Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Windmill Shaped Card from Holland

Windmill shaped postcard NL-2427110 from the Netherlands is perfect for marking the end of April as the spring season is on its full swing.  Locally, flowers are in full bloom at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens in Las Vegas. You can find Mr. & Ms. Green Thumb there for gardening tips daily in the morning from 10:30 am to 11:30 am. The Spring Celebration will continue through May 11, 2014 with live musical performances from 5 pm to 6 pm.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sky Fair of the Urals

Postcard RU-2600386 from Russia shows "Sky Fair of the Urals”, an annual hot-air balloon festival held in a historic small town of Kungur in Russia since 2001. Located at the western slope of the Ural Mountains, Kungur has a population of 66,074 as of 2010. As the Ural Mountains range is usually considered the natural boundary between Europe and Asia, balloon racers have unique opportunities to flight cross over the two continents.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Fenway Park, Boston

Postcard US-2752817 from Oxford, MA shows the Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the oldest Major League Baseball (MLB) ballpark, and has been the home of the Boston Red Sox MLB team since it opened on April 20, 1912. Due to the age and constrained location, it is the fourth smallest by seating capacity, second smallest by total capacity, and one of seven that cannot accommodate at least 40,000 spectators among the all MLB baseball parks.

Fenway has hosted ten World Series, as early as in its 1912 inaugural season and as recent as in 2013 World Series. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 7, 2012.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

DIY Soy Milk Breakfast

I used to order soy milk with the Chinese fried bread sticks for breakfast in Las Vegas Chinatown in the Sunday morning. However, I found out how easy it was to make my own fresh soy milk after I got a high speed blender Vitamix. All you need are 1/2 cups of dried organic soybeans and four cups of water. With a high speed blender, you don't even have to soak the beans overnight. Blend on high for a minute; let it settle for 30 seconds; then blend it more for another minute. Filter it through a cheesecloth or a stainless steel mesh strainer. Put it in a large pot and bring it to boil, then let it simmer for 20 minutes, which will deactivate enzymes in the soy milk and get rid of the beany tastes.

The postcard was sent to my parents via TouchNote showing the first cup of my Do-It-Yourself (DIY) soy milk, serving with some Chinese fried bread sticks and cereals for a complete breakfast meal.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

From Los Angeles to Chicago

Postcard US-2738798 to the Netherlands shows a map of Route 66 from Los Angeles to Chicago. Also known as the Will Rogers Highway or the Main Street of America, U.S. Route 66 was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System. It was established on November 11, 1926 with road signs up the following year, originally ran from Santa Monica, California, through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, to Chicago in a distance of 2,448 miles or 3,940 kilometers.

According to Wikipedia, Route 66 served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. It was officially removed from the United States Highway System on June 27, 1985 after it had been entirely replaced by the Interstate Highway System. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been designated a National Scenic Byway of the name "Historic Route 66". Several states have adopted significant bypassed sections of the former US 66 into the state road network as State Route 66.

The map was originally created in 1956 with inserts showing such famous scenes along the route as Joshua Tree Forest, Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, Indian War Dance, Will Rogers Monument and the Mississippi River. The postcard is available for purchase at Zazzle.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Man's World

Postcard NL-2458110 from the Netherlands, sent on April 22, 2014, has arrived within 3 days. It shows a 2006 oil painting on panel "A Man's World" (Mannenhuishouding) by Dutch artist Marius van Dokkum. Born in 1957 in Andijk, he studied at the Christian Academy for Expressive Art in Kampen, majoring in Illustration. He moved to Apeldoorn after the academy, working as art painter, illustrator and designer.

To see more examples of his work, visit his web site or follow him on Pinterest

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Krakow, Poland

Postcard PL-749739 from Poland shows Krakow, the second largest city in Poland. Its history dates back to the 7th century, making the city one of the oldest in Poland. Krakow has been one of the leading academic, cultural, and artistic centers and one of the most important economic hubs in Poland.

Krakow was named European Capital of Culture in 2000. It is the host city for the next World Youth Day in 2016.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mother & Young Baby

Earth Day celebration continues as postcard TH-165704 from Thailand arrived yesterday, showing a pair of mother and baby Asian elephants, the largest living land animals in Asia.

Since 1986, E. maximus,  one of the three subspecies of the Asian elephant, has been listed as endangered by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In 2003, the wild population, mainly living in Sri Lanka, was estimated at between 41,410 and 52,345 individuals. According to a 2008 study, The population had declined by at least 50% over the last three generations, estimated to be around 60 to 75 years. Like many other threatened species, habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation was a major factor.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mount Olympus

On this Earth Day came postcard GR-38421 showing Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece with 52 peaks, deep gorges, and exceptional biodiversity. According to Wikepedia, its highest peak Mytikas, meaning "nose", rises to 2,917 meters or 9,570 feet and is one of the highest peaks in Europe in terms of topographic prominence. Olympus was notable in Ancient Greek Mythology as the home of the Twelve Olympians. Mount Olympus is also noted for its very rich flora with several special species. It has been the first National Park of Greece since 1938, and a World's Biosphere Reserve.

Monday, April 21, 2014

American Alligator

Postcard US-2749105 from Louisiana shows an American alligator, Louisiana state reptile designated in 1983. Louisiana boasts 15 alligator bayous alone. In the early 1960s, Louisiana alligators were almost extinct. However, after years of conservation efforts, its status has upgraded to "Least Concern". Florida also adopted the American alligator as its state reptile in 1987.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Vintage Easter Bunny

Postcard US-2698997 to Japan shows a Victorian Easter postcard, created by golden_oldies, with some charming bunnies and Easter eggs. Easter is a festival and holiday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead three days after his crucifixion by Romans at Calvary. Easter occurs between March 22 and April 25. In 2014, it is celebrated on April 20.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Florida Perfume Water with Cabbage Roses

Expired Postcard US-2190474 to Croatia was sent on April 20, 2013 and reached its 365-day graveyard mark without being registered. The postcard shows a vintage Florida perfume label c1900. It features colorful pink and yellow roses with a pretty bottle at the bottom of label. A replacement card was sent but it appeared lost as well.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Alte Oper in Frankfurt

Postcard DE-3080344 shows Opernplatz (Opera Square) in front of the Alte Oper (Old Opera), a concert hall and former opera house in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

The original opera house was inaugurated in 1880 with many important operas performed for the first time.
It was destroyed by bombs in 1944 during World War II. It was rebuilt over the time in the 1970s, and re-opened in 1981. With a new Frankfurt Opera and Play House already opened next door to Schauspiel Frankfurt in 1951,  the newly restored building on the site of the original opera house was always intended as a concert hall. It has hosted all sorts of entertainment since.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tyler James as Elvis

Postcard US-2738789 to Germany shows Tyler James performing as an Elvis impersonator on the 1st Street Stage at the Fremont Street Experience. Tyler James, once working at Walmart in Arkansas, is the official Elvis for the Downtown Las Vegas.

You can join his fan club on Facebook. His incoming performances in April, 2014 are scheduled as:

  • April 17, Thursday 10pm-12am
  • April 20, Easter Sunday 9pm - 12am
  • April 22, Tuesday 9pm-12am
  • April 23, Wednesday 9pm-12am
  • April 24, Thursday 10pm-12am
  • April 27, Sunday 10pm-12am

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Remembering Titanic, 102 Years Later

Courtesy National Museums Northern Ireland
Yesterday marks the 102nd anniversary of RMS Titanic's sinking in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912 after hitting an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York City, USA. Postcard US-2542374 to Portugal shows that Titanic was leaving Southampton on April 10, 1912 as the last mooring line connecting Titanic to port was cast off. The postcard was obtained from the exhibition "Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic" at the National Postal Museum in Washington D.C. The exhibition, concluded on January 6, 2014, examined the less known heroic story of Titanic's mail clerks and featured a remarkable underwater footage of the ship's mail room.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blood Moon in Sky

Postcard US-1651277 to Russia shows various nightlife in Florida under a "blood moon".

In the early morning of April 15, 2014 when a total lunar eclipse occurred, the "blood moon" was visible from most of North and South America, Hawaii and parts of Alaska. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon, the earth, and the sun are in alignment. As a result, the moon is completely covered by the Earth’s shadow. The following photo shows the total eclipse of the moon underway over Las Vegas, Nevada as seen from West Sahara Avenue and South Valley View Boulevard around 12:40 am on April 15, 2014. The bright star on the lower-right corner is Spica from the constellation Virgo, the 15th brightest star in the sky.

The eclipse was the first of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, known as a tetrad, on April, 15, 2014, October 8, 2014, April 4, 2015, and September 28 2015.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Personal Environment Monitor by Lapka

Postcard US-2692591 to Ukraine shows a sensor for the Personal Environment Monitor (PEM) by Lapka™, which can be connected to a smart phone connect through the device's headphone jack. PEM works with your smart phone to measure and monitor humidity, electromagnetic fields, and radiation in your personal environment space at work and at home. One of the sensors in a form of a stainless steel probe can even help you verify whether those "organic" vegetables and fruits you bought at the store are really organic by measuring the quantities of nitrates in those organic matters. The postcard was obtained at Lapka's booth at the 2013 CES.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Carnegie Public Library in San Bernardino

Postcard US-2698983 to Wisconsin, US shows Carnegie Public Library in San Bernardino, California, with the Courthouse in the background. Efforts to establish a public library had continued intermittently since San Bernardino was incorporated in 1869. Carnegie offered a $20,000 grant in 1902.  An architectural competition was held where plans submitted by architects were displayed; and citizens voted for their favorite plans. Architects Burnham and Bliesner won the competition with a classical Revival style building plan.

The library was opened on August 10, 1904. In 1920, the Carnegie Corporation provided an additional $7,600 grant with the city issuing a $10,000 bond as the matching fund. The library was closed in 1957 as the building was declared unsafe; it was demolished next year. A new library was completed in 1960.

The postcard, a reproduction of a vintage postcard c. 1915, was purchased at Zazzle.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dolomiti, Italy

Postcard IT-255128 from Italy shows the Dolomite mountain ranges in northeastern Italy. According to Wikipedia, those mountain ranges "form a part of Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley (Val Sugana). The Dolomites are nearly equally shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino." They are home to many regional parks. In 2009, the Dolomites were recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

Outgoing postcard US-2738812 to Finland shows a man climbing Half Dome at the Yosemite National Park in California. A recent massive rockfall has closed the Rancheria Falls Trail. Meanwhile, a number of special programs and events are being planned to celebrate the Earth Day from April 19 to April 27, 2014.

The postcard was purchased from the National Geographic store at Zazzle. Copyright: Jimmy Chin/National Geographic Stock.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Oude Kerk in Delft

Postcard NL-2434080 from the Netherlands shows the Oude Kerk (Old Church), a Gothic Protestant church, in the old city center of Delft in the Netherlands. It is noted for a 75-meter brick tower that leans about two meters from the vertical.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Goblin Valley State Park in Utah

Postcard DE-3022284 from Germany shows Goblin Valley State Park in Utah, USA. It is noted for thousands of hoodoos and hoodoo rocks, known to locally as “goblins”, which are formations of mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles, some as high as several meters. Those distinct shaped rocks are results from an erosion-resistant layer on top of softer sandstone. The park is about 400 miles or 644 kilometers from Las Vegas.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Free Cone Day

It is Free Cone Day by Ben & Jerry's from 12 pm to 8 p.m. With the temperature in Las Vegas reaches around 90°F this afternoon first time in the year, it is the right time to enjoy some ice cream.

Ben & Jerry's is a Burlington, Vermont based ice cream company, founded in 1978. According to their mission statements, the company promotes progressive values by making commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment; operating the company under a sustainable financial growth; and initiating innovative ways to improve the quality of life locally, nationally and internationally.

Since their first anniversary back in 1979,  Ben & Jerry's have presented Free Cone Day as a token for customer appreciation every year on April 8.

Outgoing postcard US-2722693 to Hong Kong shows a photo taken at Ben & Jerry's main factory in Waterbury, Vermont on October 4, 2010 during the AYCJ trip on JetBlue. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Jubilee! Returns without "!"

Postcard US-2232207 to Turkey shows Jubilee!, a long-running burlesque show at Bally's Las Vegas that was initially opened on July 31, 1981 by producer Donn Arden. Those iconic showgirls highlight the best in costumes, set, and talent of the old Las Vegas.

While an enduring legacy, however, the show had been challenged by the changing tastes of new generations. The show went into hiatus for six weeks earlier this year while Frank Gatson Jr., known as Beyonce’s longtime creative director, went to overhaul the show. The new version of Jubilee! reopen as "Jubilee" on March 29, 2014. While the jury is still out on the success of the revision, only the time will tell. Go see the show and judge for yourself.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle

Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle is a former Ruthenian-Lithuanian castle and a later three-part Polish fortress located in the historic city of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine. Historical records dated the Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle to the early 14th century, initially built to protect the bridge connecting the city with the mainland.

The castle is the most recognized landmark of the city and one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine which consists of seven historical and cultural monuments chosen in a public contest in July, 2007. There were prior contests for the Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine, the Seven Wonderful Routes of Ukraine, and the Seven Wonderful Castles of Ukraine. Dniester Canyon, one of Seven Natural Wonders, was featured in this blog.

The postcard was a thank-you card for US-2452513. It was first mailed from Ukraine in mid-December, 2013. It appeared that the postcard made into the U.S. since the bottom of the card had one of those USPS barcodes. However, for some reason, it was returned to the sender in Ukraine. The sender mailed it a second time in an envelop on February 11, 2014 and I received it yesterday on April 5, 2014. The irony is that my first card sent out as US-2452513 was among the mass loss in early October, 2013. The card reached Ukraine on December 16, 2013 was a replacement card.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Happy New Year of the Horse from Christmas Island

Postcard AU-342883 from Australia commemorates the first-day-of-issue Year of the Horse 2014 stamp by Australian Indian Ocean territory of Christmas Island. The island, named as such because it was discovered on Christmas Day, has a population of 2,072  as of 2011 with 70% Chinese, 20% European/Australian, and 10% Malay.

The island's isolated location and minimal human disturbance in history have resulted in a high level of endemism among its flora and fauna where many species are unique. Currently 63% of its 135 square kilometers or 52 square miles total area are protected as an Australian National Park. Primary monsoonal forests are the major eco-systems.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) operates one of the Australian immigration detention facilities on Christmas Island that has attracted a lot of attentions during the on-going refugee and immigration controversies.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Cat Peering Outside

Outgoing postcard US-2680023 to New Zealand shows a National Geographic photo of a cat, next to a blue door, peering out of the window of an adobe house at Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. Taos Pueblo is a Native American community with a population of 1264 in the 2000 census. It was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992 and a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

Copyright by Ira Block/National Geographic Stock. The postcard was created By National Geographic and can be purchased at Zazzle.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Nizhny Novgorod

Postcard RU-2493226 from Russia shows a magnificent cityscape of Nizhny Novgorod. Also known as Nizhny for short, it is the fifth largest city in Russia with a population of more than 1.3 millions as of 2003. From 1932 to 1990, the city was known as Gorky (高尔基城), named after the famous writer Maxim Gorky who was born there.

As the administrative center of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, the city is an important economic, transportation and cultural center for the vast Volga-Vyatka economic region in Russia.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Horses for Courses

Another Chinese New Year themed postcard from Singapore yesterday, exactly one year after receiving the "Snakes and Ladders" postcard. "Horses for Courses" is the latest annual exhibition opened at the beginning of every Chinese New Year by the Singaporean Philatelic Museum. For the Year of the Horse, it explores the history and development of horses from the early wild years to present day’s highly selective breeds.

As the horse’s path parallels man’s civilization, horses had a special place in the postal history as well. Letters and parcels were delivered by post men on horseback or drawn carriages. Through philatelic materials and objects, "Horses for Courses" takes visitors on a journey discovering the myths, legends, art and hobby to reveal the importance of this noble and strong creature.

The exhibition runs from January 31 to August 26, 2014. if you have a horse-themed postcard, you can send it to:

Singapore Philatelic Museum
23-B Coleman Street
Singapore 179807

Make sure to include your return address. The museum will send a postcard back.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo Starts Today

Postcard PL-766352 from Poland shows a stack of books. Many aspiring and experienced writers are familiar with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), if have not actually participated one themselves. Organized every year in November, the 30-day-deadline-imposed event attracted more than 500,000 authors in 2014 and had produced a number of best selling books both traditionally and self-published.

To accommodate the participants' requests of flexibility in timing and the word counts, Camp NaNoWriMo, offered in April and July, is a month-long virtual writer’s retreat with a camping theme. Writers can choose to join a virtual cabin that consists of 11 other cabin mates from around the world. Unlike the typical high pressured NaNoWriMo, camp participants can write other type of projects, including poetry, screenplays, short stories, in addition to novels. Rather than the NaNoWriMo's mandatory 50,000 word counts, camp writers can also set their own targets.