Saturday, February 28, 2015
This postcard from a private swap shows the Chung-cheng Lake (中正湖) in Meinong District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China (ROC). A man-made lake originally built in 1748 known as Jhongjun Pi (中圳埤), it was renovated into a reservoir between 1916 and 1920 during the Japanese occupation. With an area of 21 hectares or 52 acres, the lake had a capacity to furnish water for irrigation of over 130 hectares or 321 acres of farmland. It was also used for fish farming. After World War II, the lake was renamed to Chung-cheng Lake in 1956, after Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石: October 31, 1887 – April 5, 1975), also known as Chiang Chung-cheng (蔣中正) who was the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975. A pavilion was also built in the lake in honor of Chiang. However, there have been petitions to change the name of the lake to Meinong Lake (美濃湖) since 1996, in protest of Chiang's role in the 228 Massacre. On a side note, many statues of former president Chiang Kai-shek have been vandalized across the island around the 68th anniversary of the 228 Incident on Saturday, February 28, 2015.
While the lake capacity for water supply has been diminishing due to sediment built-up since the 1957 Meinong flood, it becomes part of the largest wetland ecosystem in the area that hosts a large number of migratory birds during the winter months from October to March next year. More than 60 bird species have been spotted around the lake. A wooden boardwalk around the lake was completed last November to accommodate nature lovers.
Friday, February 27, 2015
Postcard BY-1535613 from Belarus shows a painting of Blue Cats by artist Rina Z from Minsk, Belarus, who is specialized in watercolor, raster (digital) graphics, and mixed technique. Her cats are blue only in color, not in their mood, as they are always positive, energetic and adventurous.
Coincidentally, the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas is hosting a "Lucky Cat" exhibition, showcasing a 9-foot or 2.75-meter chrome-finished Japanese style maneki-neko (招財貓), the fortunate beckoning cat said to bring good luck and money to business establishments. Therefore, you would often see a Lucky Cat at the entrance of Asian jewel shops and restaurants beckoning and greeting customers by waving it's paw. The Cosmopolitan Lucky Cat extends this concept further by sharing its good fortune with its guests: guests over 21 years old can touch the Lucky Cat's paw once a day to receive a Cosmopolitan promotion.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Ninety Six years ago on February 26, 1919, Grand Canyon was designated a National Park under President Woodrow Wilson's Administration. The creation of the Grand Canyon National Park was seen as an early success of the conservation movement. Home to more than 1,500 plant species and more than 500 animal species, it has become a top tourist destination that attracted 4.5 million visitors every year.
Postcard US-1700612 to the Netherlands shows Toroweap Overlook, a viewpoint in a remote area on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. It is the only place in the National Park where you can see the Colorado River from vertically above, 3,000 feet or 915 meters over the river.
USPS issued a 60-cent Grand Canyon stamp in 2000 but it came out wrong, twice. The most recent stamp featuring Grand Canyon by USPS was one of four in the set of Hudson River School Forever Stamps, based on the 19th century artist Thomas Moran's 1912 painting.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower is once again offering anyone with a Nevada ID a free pass to the top of the iconic landmark from Sunday February. 22 to Saturday February 28, 2015. However, visitors who are under 21 need to be accompanied by an adult.
The pass allows free access to the tower's indoor and outdoor observation decks at Level 108 and Level 109. Guests can also purchase tickets for Skyjump Las Vegas, a 855-foot or 261-meter high speed controlled descent, or the thrill rides X-Scream, Insanity, and Big Shot.
The postcard showing the Stratosphere Tower with the Sheep Range and Las Vegas Range in the background was a private card sent to Taiwan.
|Insanity dangles riders over the edge of the tower and spins them in circles at 900 feet or 270 meters above the ground.|
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Postcard TW-1511134 from Taiwan features four beautiful lighthouses. Fugueijiao Lighthouse (富貴角燈塔: 25°17′54.3″N 121°32′11.8″E), shown on the top left, is the northernmost lighthouse on the main island in Taiwan located in Shimen District, New Taipei. Originally built between 1896 and 1897 under the Japanese rule for the construction of undersea cable between Taiwan and Japan, it was handed-over to the Republic of China in 1945. Only then it started to be used as a navigation aid. The lighthouse was opened to the public for the first time in June 2012.
Gaomei Lighthouse (高美燈塔: 24°18′45.8″N 120°33′04.7″E), shown on the top right, was built in 1967 in Qingshui District, Taichung, Taiwan. The lighthouse ceased operation in 1982 and the lighting equipment was moved to the lighthouse in Port of Taichung. It re-opened as a tourist attraction on September 27, 2014.
Pengjiayu Islet Lighthouse (彭佳嶼燈塔: 25 ° 37'44 "N 122 ° 04'48 "E), shown on the bottom left, was also built under the Japanese rule from 1906 to 1909 on Penjia Islet in Zhongzheng District, Keelung, Taiwan. The 3rd tallest lighthouse in Taiwan, it was ranked 12th among the 100 historical buildings in a 2001 contest. However, because Pengjiayu Islet is still under military control, the lighthouse is not open to public.
Lyudao Lighthouse (綠島燈塔: 24°40′35.3″N 121°27′58.8″E), shown on the bottom right, was built in 1939 in Cape Bitoujiao, Green Island, Taitung County, after the SS President Hoover, a Dollar Steamship Lines ocean liner that provided a trans-Pacific service between the USA and the Far East, ran aground on an island reef off Taiwan on December 11, 1937 and was declared a total loss. The construction cost was provided by the American Red Cross as a thank-you-gift to the local people who had rescued the passengers of the ship. The lighthouse was destroyed during World War II but was rebuilt in 1948. The lighthouse was not opened to the public until September 2013. It was designated as a historical building in Taitung County.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Postcard US-3223060 to Germany was an advertising card for a Writer's Workshop presented by Maxwell Alexander Drake, an award-winning Sci-Fi/Fantasy author, at the Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas on February 21, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Maxwell is teaching free writing classes hosted by the Clark County Library District. His next classes "Character Creation – Who is that masked man anyway?" are scheduled at Centennial Hills Library on Sunday March 1, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. and Monday March 2, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Postcard TW-1496908 from Taiwan shows scenes from a typical Temple Fair (廟會 in traditional Chinese or 庙会 in Simplified Chinese) in Taiwan. Temple Fair, originated from China, is a cultural gathering traditionally held near temples. In modern times, Temple Fairs are usually held in many regions throughout Asia during the time of the Spring Festival. Activities usually include worshiping Chinese deities, martial art demonstrations, folk art performances, and craft and food shopping.
Today in its 21st year, the Chinese American Chamber of Commerce and the Chinatown Plaza in Las Vegas are jointly hosting the annual Chinese New Year Celebration and Asian Food Festival, similar to a traditional Temple Fair in all aspects except for being on a city plaza rather than a temple ground. The program features many traditional food and craft vendors, with dragon and lion dance, martial art, acrobats, Kung Fu, Hip Hop dance, and folk dance performances from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
|Dragon dance at Chinatown Plaza in Las Vegas on February 22, 2015|
Saturday, February 21, 2015
As part of the CNY in the Desert 2015 celebration, Fighting United hosts a free "Dance 4 A Cause" event, the largest Dance a thon on the Las Vegas strip to celebrate Chinese New Year while getting fit, under the backdrop of the High Roller at the LinQ parking lot on Saturday February 21, 2015.
Participants are asked to bring a gently used or preferably new K-12 book for donattion to Spread the Word Nevada and Clark County School District. You can also select your very own cause by choosing fighting for AUTISM, HUNGER or CANCER by donating $25 or $50, to get an event T-Shirt and dance in your own special "Pick Your Cause” or VIP Section.
Postcard US-3038661 to Germany shows one of the 28 passenger capsules on the High Roller, which weighs 44,000 pounds or 20,000 kilograms each with a diameter of 22 feet or 6.7 meters and an area of 225 square foot or 20.9 square meters. It can host 40 passengers each with a total capacity of 1,120 passengers for a full ride. Each capsule is individually rotated by electric motors to maintain a stable horizontal cabin floor throughout the rotation.
Friday, February 20, 2015
Postcard JP-641295 from Japan shows a special style of hand made oil-paper umbrella (野點傘) made in Kyoto, Japan. As part of Kyowagasa (京和傘) family, they are completely handmade under the tea house principle of "serenity" and "elegance", with the handle and scaffold made from bamboo of Kameoka, Kyoto; the umbrella skin made from Meinong paper of Gifu and brushed with sesame oil. Those parasols are widely used in sacrificial ceremonies at temples and shrines, and in other traditional ceremonies around the country in Japan.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Las Vegas rings in the Year of the Sheep, Goat or Ram with lion and dragon dances today. Postcard US-3202717 to Oklahoma, USA shows one of the three 600-pound ram sculptures gilded in gold leaf to mark the occasion at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. Fruiting tangerine trees, begonias, calandivas and red, yellow and orange chrysanthemums greet guests throughout the Wynn Atrium.
Las Vegas Spring Festival will be held at at The LINQ Promenade on February 20 and 21, 2015, featuring cultural performances, a live dragon and lion dance, martial arts demonstrations, a car show and a culinary show. The 2015 Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade, part of CNY in the Desert/Las Vegas Spring Festival, will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on February 21 in downtown Las Vegas.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
It is the last day of the Year of the Horse today. The Chinese New Year's Eve marks the beginning of the Spring Festival, which traditionally runs from this last day of the last month of the lunar calendar to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month. It is a public holiday in many places with ethnic Chinese populations such as Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia where celebrations are already underway due to the time difference.
Outgoing postcard US-3224033 to Taiwan was a maxi card showing a pair of horses, part the "Year of the Horse" art installation at The Palazzo's Waterfall Atrium and Gardens in 2014, with a commemorative the Year of the Horse Forever stamp and a bullseye postmark.
Labels: bullseye postmark, first-day-of-issue, forever, maxi card, New Year's Eve, Palazzo, postcard, PostCrossing, sent, Spring Festival, stamp, Taiwan, US-3224033, USPS, Waterfall Atrium and Gardens, Year of the Horse
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Postcard US-2651107 to Taiwan was initially one of the Year of the Snake maxi cards enclosed in an envelop with the Year of the Horse Forever stamps. The envelop was sent in with other the Year of the Horse cards for a first-day-of-issue postmark in early 2014. The envelop seemed to be lost in the mail. This the Year of the Ram maxi card was sent as a replacement on February 7, 2015 when the Year of the Ram Forever stamp was first issued. It finally arrived two days before it would have expired permanently after "traveling" for a full year.
Monday, February 16, 2015
Outgoing postcard US-3238647 sent to Crimea on this Presidents' Day was one of first two stamped picture postcards ever issued by USPS in 1989, featuring the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, a presidential memorial in Washington, D.C. dedicated to Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826). One of the most important of the American "Founding Fathers," Thomas Jefferson was the main drafter and writer of the "Declaration of Independence" and served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He was also the founder of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, Virginia.
The postcard costs 50 cents each in 1989 with 15 cents postage featuring the Tidal Basin landmark framed by cherry blossoms. The other postcard issued at the same time features the White House with a view from the south lawn.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Postcard TW-1496923 from Taiwan shows Jhaorih Hot Spring (朝日溫泉), located on the south-east part of Green Island (綠島), in Taitung County, Taiwan.
Green Island, a small volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean 33 kilometers or 21 miles off the eastern coast in Pacific Ocean, is the 4th largest island in Taiwan. It was known for its prisons and penal colonies for political prisoners during the martial law period between the late 1940s and the late 1980s. The prison was later closed, and the island is now open to the public.
Jhaorih Hot Spring gets its name because it faces the Pacific Ocean to the east. Bathing in the morning in one of the three ocean-side spas, or one of the five terrace-like hot-water and lukewarm-water pools will guarantee a magnificent sunrise view in a sunny day. All pools and spas are fed by spring water from under the ocean floor with a temperature of 53°C or 127°F and a pH value of 7.5.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Love is in the air on this Valentine's Day. The high temperature reached 78°C today, the highest in Las Vegas since 1957, creating a sense as if we are already in spring. As the marriage capital of the world, Las Vegas sees more than 120,000 couples who come to tie the knot every year. The Clark County Marriage License Bureau expected to issue around 1,500 marriage licenses during the Valentine’s Day/Presidents' Day weekend. Outgoing postcard US-3224035 to Finland was made of an inverted photo used on Postcard US-2722698, showing a wedding decoration in a store front on the Las Vegas Strip. The stamp was one of the two Love Hearts Forever Stamps issued by USPS on January 22, 2015, depicting the ancient association between eternal love and the heart.
Because it is Las Vegas, you can get get married without getting out of your car via drive-thru or having an Elvis impersonator officiating your wedding. In addition, there are some unusually spots to have your wedding to make it truly memorable. Here are my top five choices.
- The Las Vegas Springs Preserve, one of the richest and most unique cultural and biological resources in Southern Nevada, offers "green" wedding services at both indoor and outdoor locations in the 180-acre botanical garden including an outdoor amphitheater that can host more than 1,000 guests.
- Flamingo Las Vegas offers wedding packages at five areas among its 15-acre garden, with waterfalls, date palm trees, exotic waterfowl, or a collage of pools as backdrop. It is known for the Wildlife Habitat that features Chilean flamingos, Ring Tealed ducks, Sacred Ibis, swans, ducks, pelicans, koi fish and turtles.
- The High Roller Observation Wheel offered free wedding ceremonies on 12/13/14. If you missed that opportunity, you can still book one of their packages for a fee. Since it's predominate in the Las Vegas skyline, you can use it as backdrop from various locations for free.
- Stratosphere has Chapel in the Clouds where you can say "Yes, I do" 1,149 feet or 350 meters above ground with a panorama view of the city that never sleeps.
- Only in Las Vegas, you can get married while you are running a marathon. However, that opportunity comes just once a year. The next Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon Race will be November 15, 2015.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Postcard DE-3903996 from Germany shows Giebichenstein Castle and the Giebichensteinbrücke bridge in Halle (Saale), an economic and educational center in eastern Germany, located in the southern Saxony-Anhalt state.
Giebichenstein Castle, seen on the right on the postcard, was a royal residence of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor in the 9th century. It is used by the Kunsthochschule Halle (Academy of Arts) of the Burg Giebichenstein Art School.
The Giebichensteinbrücke bridge, also known as Kröllwitzer bridge, is one of three Saale River crossings in Halle, located in the north part of the city below Giebichenstein Castle. The Giebichensteinbrücke bridge in its current form was built between 1926 and 1928 as a replacement for a steel bridge with large truss arch from 1892. The bridge's main arch was blown up during the final days of World War II on April 14, 1945. It was re-built in 1949 and renovated from 1993 to 1995.
On February 13, 1990, an agreement was announced on a two-stage plan to reunite Germany.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Postcard AU-402249 from Australia shows the Pinnacles Desert, made up of thousands of limestone formations inside Nambung National Park that is 17 kilometers or 10 miles south of the town of Cervantes in Western Australia, Australia. Those limestone pillars, from 5 cm to 5 meters in height, were formed by lime-rich sands from crushed seashells in an earlier marine environment under the long term effects of wind, water and plants. The area is popular with tourists and receives over 250,000 visitors a year.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Outgoing postcard US -3223052 to Czech Republic shows the Theatre in Delphi, Greece. Located on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis, the site of Delphi was said to be determined by Zeus when he tried to find the center of the Earth by sending two eagles flying from the eastern and western extremities. The flight paths of the eagles intersected over Delphi in the myths dating to 510-323 B.C.E.
On the back of the card, it reads "Lyrical and dramatic contests were held in the theatre which is near the temple of Apollo. The theatre seated an audience of five thousand. The Phaidriades provide not only a splendid setting but also perfect acoustics, which combines the echo of the Phaidriades with the quiet Pleistos river."
In the news, Greece government was talking with other countries from the Euro Zone in Brussels seeking an international bailout.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
China Post issued its second series of Landscape Stamped Postcards between 1995 and 2003. In all, nineteen sets of stamped cards had been issued over the nine years, with identification numbers starting with "FP". Each edition has A series with pre-printed domestic postage and B series with international postage.
Postcard CN-1510270 from China was one of the ten postcards from FP6(B) Liaoning Scenery issued in 1998. It shows Qianshan Mountains (千山), a National-level Scenic and Historic Interest Area which is equivalent to a national park. Located 17 kilometers or 10.6 miles southeast to Anshan City, Liaoning Province with a total area of 44 square kilometers or 11,000 acres, it is a branch of the Changbai Mountains on the China-North Korea border. It is the location of a mainstream Taoist shrine. Yiphinwai from Malaysia also recorded a copy from Baotou, Inner Mongolia, China.
|The pre-printed postage on the right shows the International postcard rate at 4.20 Chinese Yuan in 1998|
Monday, February 9, 2015
Postcard US-3142509 to the Netherlands took 50 days to reach its destination. It was a vintage card showing the Hedgehog Cactus (Cereus Engelmannii), one of the most showy of all the cactus blossom with red and purple flowers. The species can be found in Baja California and Sonora, Mexico; and in Arizona, California and Nevada, USA at elevations ranging from near sea level to 2,400 meters or 7,874 feet. April is the usual time for it to blossom.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Chocolates are hot sale items in the week leading to Valentine's Day. Postcard US-2967694 to Germany shows a box of chocolate.
Bank of America has continued the monthly Museums on Us weekend program in 2015. On February 7 and 8, 2015, you can get a free admission to one of more than 150 participating museums, science centers, or botanic gardens around the U.S. by presenting your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch debit/credit card. In Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, and DISCOVERY Children's Museum are participating.
Ahead of Valentine's Day, "Chocolate: The Exhibition" opened at the Origen Museum in the Las Vegas Springs Preserve on February 8 with a tag line Indulge your senses and unwrap the secrets of this sumptuous sweet that we crave! where visitors can:
Learn how different cultures indulge their shared fascination of chocolate;
Follow cacao's transition from a bitter drink to a sweet treat;
Explore a replica life-size cacao tree and its native rain-forest ecosystem;
Barter cacao seeds for goods in an Aztec market;
Manipulate a conveyor belt and learn about the inventions involved in mass-producing chocolate.
|The nationally touring exhibition runs through May 3, 2015 in Las Vegas|
Saturday, February 7, 2015
USPS issued the Lunar New Year: Year of the Ram First-Class Forever stamp today. I was the first one who bought the stamps at a local post office as they brought up the stamps from the back and broke out a brand new pack. In celebrating the Year of the Ram, which begins on February 19, 2015 and ends on February 7, 2016, the stamp shows a wooden candy tray known as a chuen-hop or Tray of Togetherness. The tray is filled with dried fruits, candies, and other treats to provide a sweet beginning to the new year.
According to a USPS postal bulletin, "customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store® website at http://www.usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:
Lunar New Year: Year of the Ram StampAfter applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers have to pay five cents each. All orders must be postmarked by April 8, 2015."
Attention: Station Manager
867 Stockton Street
San Francisco, CA 94108-9998
Outgoing postcard US-3224037 to Malaysia was a the Year of the Ram themed card with a matching stamp.
Friday, February 6, 2015
Postcard US-3202783 to USA features a traditional Chinese New Year of the Goat motif on the left panel and a photo of animated goats on a 14-foot or 4.3-meter tall grassy hilltop at Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens on the right panel.
From their vantage point, I-Ching coins are seen lining under the foot of the hill; live Koi swimming in a 21,000-gallon pond by the waterfall; children made of more than 1,000 fresh flowers each dancing amid bamboo trees and red lanterns.
The Year of the Goat (or the Year of the Ram, or the Year of the Sheep) decorations are on display at Bellagio from January 9 to March 14, 2015 with daily live music performances between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Outgoing postcard US-3208618 to Italy was a vintage postcard from Cunard Line Limited by J. Arthur Dixon in 1968, showing Queen Elizabeth II, a transatlantic ocean liner sailing from Southampton, UK to New York City, USA from 1969 to 2008. It was operated regularly as a cruise ship as well. However, it was never designated Royal Mail Ship (RMS) as her predecessor RMS Queen Elizabeth did. Queen Elizabeth II retired from active service on November 27, 2008, and was acquired by a private equity firm of Dubai World to be converted to a 500-room floating hotel in Dubai.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Outgoing postcard US-3208624 to Ukraine was a Western Horseman magazine's cover for May 1958, showing a photo of Carolyn Colburn, the daughter of famed rodeo producer Everett Colburn, taken at the Madison Square Garden Rodeo. On the back of the card, it reads "Carolyn was the perfect choice for the magazine's sixth annual Western Wear and Equipment Guide." A copy of the magazine costs 50 cents then.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Postcard US-3202842 from Los Angeles was a vintage travel postcard by Lantern Press showing a Volkswagen Samba Bus cruising along the Los Angeles coast. First produced in 1951, Samba-Bus, also known as Deluxe Microbus, was the most luxurious version of the Volkswagen Transporter T1 with panoramic windows and a fabric roof. It became popular as a hippie bus in the 1960s.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Outgoing postcard US-3208614 to Slovenia shows Salinas, the county seat of Monterey County, California. Located at the mouth of the Salinas Valley, the city is about 8 miles or 13 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean with a population of 155,662 as of 2013. It serves as the main business, governmental and industrial center of the region, known as the nation's salad bowl for being the principal center of the lettuce industry - the "green gold." Shown on the card is the view of the city's Main Street, looking north.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
The Oregon State Capitol, located in the state capital Salem, OR, houses the state legislature and the offices of the governor, secretary of state, and treasurer of the State of Oregon. Outgoing postcard US-3202770 to Austria was a vintage linen postcard, published by E. C. Kropp Co., showing "Pride of the city of Salem, community center of the verdant, prosperous mid-Willamette Valley valley region, and pride of all Oregon - is the majestic new capitol building. A tribute to the achievements of the past as well as to the forward vision of present day Oregon, this building was erected when fire destroyed the original edifice in 1935."
Constructed from 1936 to 1938 and expanded in 1977 as the third state government buildings in Salem, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.