Friday, December 1, 2017

Locomotives EXPO '86 Vancouver, Cuba

this weather outside has kinda totally ruined my plans for the day, so if we're gonna stay at home, at least lets spend it in some productive way (where productive doesn't mean cleaning or working).

And being that no Cuban stamps have seen the light of the day here, here comes something Cuban, which in a way is related to everything else but Cuba :D

On May 2, 1986, Cuba Postal issued a set of 6 railway stamps, plus one souvenir sheet, representing different kind of steam engines, which were exhibited during the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication held in Vancouver, Canada from Friday, May 2 until Monday, October 13, 1986. The theme of the Fair was "Transportation and Communication: World in Motion - World in Touch.

And here for display we have the mint stamps (shown above already), the FDCs (shown below), and also the maxicards (even further below). Couldn't be any happier regarding this possession :D

Out of all these, it is just the souvenir sheet that represents a Cuban steam engine from 1837.

The rest of the steam engines:

-The first Russian locomotive from 1845

-next is the Stephenson's Rocket steam engine from 1829 (Great Britain)

-from the same year of 1829, below you can see the Stourbridge steam engine from the US

-next is a French one from 1830, depicting Seguin's steam engine

- here we have the first Canadian locomotive from 1836

- and the last one is dedicated to Belgium, showing an urban locomotive from 1872 pulling a train at the Belgian Grand Central Railway.

*fun fact no. 1 - it is not that fun actually - but I have totally lost track of who has actually sent these to me. I find it embarrassing and kinda rude, but unfortunately I just cannot remember =/ So a big big thank you to the sender, and if you remember being the 'guilty' one for these in my collection, please drop me a line!

* fun fact no. 2 - Depeche Mode had had a concert during this EXPO!!! Seriously!! Back in their early days still, as part of the Black Celebration tour... damn, that setlist looks soooo good! Nowadays I would never probably hear live songs like Fly on the Windscreen or Christmas Island or Leave in Silence or Blasphemous Rumours
(weeps in silence)

* fun fact no. 3 - Apart from DM, A-ha have performed here as well!
(weeps in silence a bit more)

* fun fact no. 4 - Death Cab for Cutie have a song called 'Expo 86', and just now I know what it actually refers to - I've never really liked that one so never really cared to google for more info. It is from their Transantlanticism album (2003), where you can find my favourite DCC song, called Transantlanticism as well, but I wonder how an EXPO could actually serve as an inspiration for someone writing a song....

Monday, November 27, 2017

Quo Vadis, Poland

I am a bit late with my entry for this Sunday Stamps' edition, but I was away for the day yesterday and just didn't manage to squeeze this post in, so here comes this post on a cold, gloomy, rainy Monday morning.

I was actually very intrigued to see what people would come up to when it comes to this not so popular letter Q - and I've seen quite some interesting posts.
The first idea that crossed my mind was of course, Qatar, but I only seem to have like one FDC from there, and a rather plain one, so in the end I decided to go with these 3 Polish ones (yeah, Poland again...) regarding the Polish version of the "Quo Vadis" movie.

Issued in 2001, the same year the movie was released (and actually  Poczta Polska was the sponsor of the movie, therefore the stamps I guess).
The movie was directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, based on the book of the same title by Henryk Sienkiewicz, Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero (1895), which in turn has been made into motion pictures several times. The central plot in the movie revolves around the love of a Roman patrician, Marcus Vinicius, towards a Christian girl (coming from the territory of modern-day Poland) set against the backdrop of the persecutions against Christians during the reign of Nero.
It was Poland's submission to the 74th Academy Awards for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but was not nominated.
For the purposes of this post, I decided to watch the movie as well, even though I am not much of a fan of historical movies, plus definitely not ones that last for 170 minutes, and I can now guess why it was not nominated in the end - at times the movie feels like a joke. Good idea - poor execution. Esp the character of Petronius, portrayed by Boguslaw Linda - you can see him on the left stamp below, the guy in the background.
He simply seemed so detached from his character, so out of place in the entire story and all the scenes (I have only seen him in another movie before, the 7th part of the Dekalog series, where he kinda had the exact same attitude in the acting, but I guess in that setting, it suited him more...).
Then there is this scene where Marcus is running through fire - I couldn't tell if they were actually shooting a commercial here about some kind of men's cologne water, or he was trying to save Rome from the fire.
And since I see that scene on the right stamp below - the one where Lygia is lying asleep on a running bull - how on earth did her looong hair manage to sit so still, covering her breasts, during all that running and fighting - as if it was glued or something - seriously, some ridiculous moments in there.

The choice of female characters was right on spot indeed - regarding their appearance at least - they did have this divine and fragile beauty of goddesses (whether good or evil), that I guess was the idea behind it all.

So all in all, I really don't know if this movie deserved to find its place on stamps, even though if was sponsored by Poczta Polska - Polish cinematography is waaaay better than this, and one of my all time favourite directors is part of it actually - Krzysztof Kieslowski - not an ordinary kind of director and screenwriter, not one who was into blockbusters, but his movies have some different kind of depth and story-telling, esp his Dekalog series, and has indeed received a lot of awards for his work, not only for Dekalog but also the "Three Colours" trilogy, as well as The Double life of Veronique - you may give them a try :) (Poland should issue stamps commemorating him and his notable works instead, cos from what I know so far, no such stamps have been issued).

For more stuff on the letter Q - click this link

...and have a nice week ahead! :)

ps. maybe the other Quo Vadis movies are better executed (one of them is actually a silent film from 1912), but frankly, I dont feel like spending hours and hours of watching the same story all over again...

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Disney Villains, USA

a lovely mail-day today! this one in particular has been sent in order to 'celebrate' my getting back to blogging (and I thought it had its revengeful motives behind it) so yeah, in order to congratulate to myself as well for my 'hard work', here it is :)))

A fantastic set issued by the USPS on July 15th, this year (almost my birthday), celebrating the rich legacy of the Walt Disney Studio’s Ink and Paint Department by dedicating a sheet of 20 Forever stamps featuring 10 classic Disney Villains.

Beginning in 1923, as part of Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney’s Ink and Paint Department helped create classic animated films. Its artists brought life to countless memorable characters, including many iconic Disney Villains

First row, from left: the Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), Honest John (Pinocchio), Lady Tremaine (Cinderella), the Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland) and Captain Hook (Peter Pan);

 Second row, from left: Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty), Cruella De Vil (One Hundred and One Dalmatians), Ursula (The Little Mermaid), Gaston (Beauty and the Beast) and Scar (The Lion King).

I love all these films, some more some less, and even though I cant tell if I have a favourite villain, but as for films, out of these 10, probably 101 Dalmatians is my favourite one - probably cos it features so many puppies :)) But going back to my childhood, I actually first had read the novel and then watched the Disney Movie, so probably my heart was already full of impressions that the movie didn't manage to ruin (which frankly often happens with movies based on books..)

Alice in Wonderland is probably the most quoted one, while the Lion King seems to be the source of the most mentioned songs, or at least that's my impression.

on the following link you can take a look at the USPS ceremony where these stamps were presented... I think I'd go bankrupt if I attended an event like this....just look at those cancellations for instance!

One thing though... we're having an issue of villains here.. don't know how to take this and if I should be reading between the lines or... cos of my devious behaviour and all....hmm, got me thinking.....will stock on missiles, just in case...

Thank you Bryon :D

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Passenger Locomotives, Poland

P could stand for many things, but my brain is like switched off from the creative-box today, so I just couldn't come up with something else than Poland or Portugal... or Papua New Guinea, but then I seem to have no stamps from there. so Poland it is... with one of my all time favourite subjects - trains!

Issued on 21 September, 2002 in a set of 4 stamps, featuring the Polish Steam Locomotives from Wolsztyn.

The Wolsztyn steam locomotive was built in 1907 and today it is the only place where an old steam locomotive can be seen every day.

There are museums and open air museums in the world, but nowhere else are they used for scheduled trains. Wolsztyn steamers run on routes to Poznan, Leszno and Zbaszynka.
There are three machines under the steam. Two for passenger trains and one for freight trains and maneuvers at the station in Wolsztyn.

The passenger car locomotive Ok1-359 - 1,10 PLN (first from the left),  was built at the Schwarzkopf plant in Berlin in 1917. After the war,  Polish service began. First it was stationed in Toruń later in Gniezno, Poznan, Międzyrzecz, and since March 1989 is based in Wolsztyn.

The Ol49-7 steam engine - 1,10 zł (secdon from the left) was constructed in 1949 in the  Fablok - Chrzanów factories and was produced until 1954. Today it is the most used steam engine in the Wolsztyn steam locomotive, used to run passenger trains.

Commodity Steamer TKi3-87 - 2 zł (third from the left) - This is the oldest steam engine from the Wolsztyn steam locomotive series. It was built in Konigsberg in 1908, as ordered by the Prussian Railway. After the war it was sent to Poznań. In 1995, after the renovation in Gniezno, it arrived in Wolsztyn.

Rapid steam locomotive Pm36-2 - 2 PLN (fourth from the left) - A steam locomotive called "Beautiful Helena" (after Ms. Helena Jones, who substantially contributed to its restoration), developing a speed of 130 km/h and constructed by the Chrzanów Railway Construction Bureau in 1936. It was an experimental steam locomotive to run light express trains with the Pm 36 mark. One of them, Pm 36-2, was the only survivor of the war and was exploited until 1965. In 1995, it was repatriated to Wolsztyn.

Sorry if at times the text sounds odd - couldnt find much information in English, so this is some kind of a proofread google-translated version from Polish texts.

For more interesting ideas under the letter P, click on the following link => Sunday Stamps

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Protected Animal Species, Serbia

O is for today's Sunday Stamps, and I have these four cute Owls to share for the occasion. Don't know about you, but I find owls totally adorable... a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!
Unfortunately the have been really endangered here, and even though we have a few Owl Trusts and such, seems that the general public is still not aware about the actual existence of these birds (not to mention their importance) in the town... probably because they are simply nocturnal animals and one rarely gets so see them, so you know how it goes, if you don't see it, it doesn't exist... 

Anyways, I have these two lovely FDCs for today, issued by the Serbian Post on 16th March this year, featuring in total 4 lovely owls:

First we have the Little Owl (Athene noctua) on the left stamp and the Barn Owl (Tyto Alba) on the right one. 
The Little owl is a small owl (logically) that prefers to live near people. It chooses open and mosaic habitats with scattered trees, pastures, rockeries,, abandoned buildings, orchards, parks, farms, human settlements. It hunts large insects and small mammals, rarely amphibians and earth-worms. Little owl does not build a nest but uses natural cavities in trees, walls, cliffs and attics. It accepts specially designed nesting boxes. It nests from April to June. In Serbia there are 14,300 to 21, 000 nesting pairs, and the population is stable.

The Barn owl is a medium size owl with a prominent heart-shaped face. It nests mainly in the lowlands of Serbia. Estimated population in Serbia is 3,400 - 5,100 pairs and slightly decreasing. The Barn owl chooses open habitats with plenty of grasslands where rich food sources are found. Often, it resides in human settlements. The main prey of this owl are voles, mice, rats and shrews. It nests in attics, holes in the walls, hollows of trees, or stacks of straw. It accepts specially designed nesting boxes. Barn owls nest usually once a year, but when food is plentiful, there can be two clutches. 

*lesson learned - we use 'clutch' when it comes to owls (the complicated English language) 

On the second FDC we have the Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) on the left, and the Scops Owl (Otus scops) on the right. 

The Long-eared owl is a medium sized owl that lives throughout Serbia, from lowlands to high mountains, It feeds mainly on small rodents such as voles and mice. They do not build nests, but use or take over old nests of magpies, crows and other birds. It nests from mid-March until the end of June. The estimated population in Serbia is 19,000 to 28,000 pairs and moderately increasing. During winter, Long-eared owls gather in large roosts, that can count hundreds of individuals, mostly staying in human settlements. 

The Scoops owl is the only true migratory bird among the owls that live in Serbia, from the lowlands to the hilly and mountainous areas. Habitats are open and semi-open with single trees or small groves, parks, gardens, rockeries. The main prey of the Scops owl are large insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, and moths. It mostly chooses tree cavities for the nest, rarely man-made objects or nests of other birds. It gladly accepts bird-boxes. Nesting is from April to June. The estimated population in Serbia is 27,500 to 43, 500 pairs and stable.

Thanks a million to my Serbian partner in crime for these ❤❤❤❤

And for more O-related posts, visit today's edition of Sunday Stamps!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Narrow Gauge Steam Locomotives, Croatia

On October 3rd, the Croatian post issued these two locomotives' stamps - seems that each year, the do dedicate an issue to trains and railways, which I absolutely support :)

The history of railway systems is marked by huge and complicated development of hauling locomotives, starting from steam locomotives to the electrically, diesel and diesel-electrically driven locomotives. At the same time the sequence of development from steam locomotives to today's technically and technologically sophisticated hauling locomotives was enormous and can be traced in many segments. This is the reason why the review of the original series of steam locomotives - especially those which were used in industry or in freight and passenger traffic on narrow gauge railway tracks is almost inconsistent when compared with the possibilities and exploitation features of today’s locomotives.

Steam locomotive model  207 (top stamp) - locomotives of this kind were built for hauling in industrial plants and mines for the 600 millimetre gauge. The locomotive model no 207 is a tender locomotive functioning on the saturated steam system. It was built in 1949 at the Đuro Đaković Factory in Slavonski Brod. From 1951 it was used in the mine Rudovci and then in the Tile and Brick Factory Ilovac in Karlovac. It was withdrawn from traffic on 1 December 1966. In 1993 the locomotive was donated to the Croatian Railway Museum by the Technical Museum of Zagreb. The power of the locomotive was 26 kW (35 KSi), its length was 5.312 mm, its weight 8.87 t, and the highest allowed speed 20 km/h.

Steam Locomotive of the series JDŽ/HDŽ/JŽ 83-106(SHS/BH Stb IV a5 1138) (bottom stamp) -  locomotives of this series were built for hauling of light freight and passenger trains on narrow gauge tail tracks of 760 mm in Bosnia and Hercegovina. They were constructed by Austrian engineers by reinforcing one kind of steam locomotive which was already hauling trains on local lines in Austrian Alps. In the period between 1903 and 1929 the locomotives from this series were built in Austrian factories Krauss in Linz and Jungenthal in Sieg and in the period between 1948 and 1949 ten locomotives from the series were produced also in the Đuro Đaković Factory in Slavonski Brod for the needs of Yugoslav Railways. At first the locomotives were built using compound system on saturated steam and later the system of superheated steam. Their special features were round steam distributors, Heusinger steering, handbrake and vacuum brake Hardy, water filter and chimney Kobel. The locomotives of this series were known in public under the name „Ćiro“ and they hauled trains on the narrow gauge railway network in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
After Second World War on the narrow-gauge railway Split-Sinj (the so called rera of Sinj) several of these locomotives were used as replacement for the locomotives of the series JDŽ/HDŽ 186. In Croatia one locomotive remained preserved from the mentioned series and is featured on this stamp). The locomotive was built in 1916 in the Krauss Factory in Linz, Austria; from 1918 it was used in Bosnia and Herzegovina and later also in Croatia. It was withdrawn from traffic on 18. February 1975. The locomotive is exhibited at the train station Ploče, and makes part of the fundus of the Croatian Railway Museum. The power of the locomotives from this series was 254 kW (345 KSi), the length with tender 13,700 mm, the weight of the empty locomotive 32.5 t, the weight of the locomotive in function 36 t and the highest allowed speed 35 km/h.

I have to thank myself for these two :D

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Automobiles, Nevis

Good Day to all Sunday Stampers, Followers, Random by-passers... and everyone else :)

It's been a sunny Sunday here, but one of the kind where you rather stay indoors all day long in your pajamas instead of enjoying the sunshine outdoors...though this can be held as true for most of the time anyways.

However, been working hard lately (after a long hiatus) on recovering what Photobucket managed to so beautifully ruin, so hopefully by the end of this month, I will manage to get back in life all the posts here.

In the meantime, I may also surprise you with some new stuff, like this one for today for example :) 

I have missed most of the alphabet letters at Sunday Stamps (both justified and not so justified reasons), it has reached letter N already... and here is my contribution to it... a lovely set of Nevis' stamps! 

This set was issued on August 15, 1986, and features 6 different car models as follows (as usual, whenever I'm scanning stamps in a set, I always manage to mix up the face-value order...and then I am just too lazy to do all the rescanning)

- 15 c - The Riley Nine was one of the most successful light sporting cars produced by the British motor industry in the inter war period. It was made by the Riley company of Coventry, England with a wide range of body styles between 1926 and 1938.
The car was largely designed by two of the Riley brothers, Percy and Stanley. Stanley was responsible for the chassis, suspension and body and the older Percy designed the engine.  The stamp shows the Riley "Brooklands" Nine, from the year of 1930.

- 45 c - The Alfa Romeo GTA is a coupé automobile manufactured by the Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo from 1965 to 1971. The stamp shows a 1960 model.

- 60 c - Pierce-Arrow was an early American automobile manufacturer in Buffalo, New York, in business from 1901 to 1938. Like many of the earliest American automobile manufactures the Pierce Arrow company originally built bicycles before building automobiles.
The Pierce-Arrow Model 66 (featured on the stamp)  was one of the pinnacles of American design and craftsmanship of the early Twentieth century.

- $1 - The Willys-Knight was the most popular - and enduring - of all sleeve-valve engine-powered cars built in the United States. The Willys-Overland Company introduced its Knight engine-powered car in 1915 and production continued through 1933. The most expensive Willys-Knight was the 66 series, introduced in 1925. By 1929, when this attractive Varsity Roadster was built, it had become the 66-A series (featured on the stamp).

- $1.75 - In 1953, Studebaker was redesigned by Robert Bourke, from Raymond Loewy's design studio. ("the Loewy Coupe" or "Low Boy"). The 2-door coupe with a central pillar was called the Starlight while the more expensive hardtop coupe was called the Starliner. (on the stamp).

- $3 - The Cunningham automobile was a pioneering American production automobile, one of the earliest vehicles in the advent of the automotive-age produced from 1896 to 1936 in Rochester, New York. A V8 engine was developed in 1916 and introduced in the series V-1 Cunningham. (featured on the stamp is a 1919 model from this series).

While googling for information about these stamps, I came across an article, accusing e-bay dealers to have distributed hundreds and hundreds of fake Nevis stamps. Can't tell for sure if these now are real or forged... but oh well :D

For more N-related stamps, click on the link - > Sunday Stamps

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Postcrossing Stamp, Indonesia

So, even though my initial concept was to be back here regularly... as you already know, it never works this way. And this time I think that whole Photobucket screw up had a much wider influence on me than I thought it had. At first I was really bitter and pissed off, but the common sense prevailed of course, so as the saying goes, It is no use crying over spilled milk... so I just got down to work, trying to restore the images to all posts. Being that I have far fewer posts here compared to the Postcards' blog, I naturally started working on this blog. But what seemed as an easy task at first, turned out to be a really grueling and annoying one, going quite slow. So even after all this time, I am not even halfway done here... which makes me wonder how many years it's gonna take before I am completely done with both blogs... if ever. And then I kinda didn't really have the desire to post anything, knowing that the rest of the blog is pretty useless and in terrible condition.

But anyways, few days ago I received something that inspired me get back to this, and that is this super fantastic FDC that I won in a lottery recently at the PC forum :D

The Indonesia post released 3 Postcrossing-related stamps on 14th July this year, commemorating that way Postcrossings's 12th birthday! Yes, 12th birthday indeed... and out of those 12 years, I've been part of it for over 9 now. Looks unbelievable! Even though I am not active as I used to be, esp. not when it comes to the unofficial part of the Postcrossing, I still enjoy it equally, and reflecting on the time passed, I realize how much it has changed my life, for which I will always be thankful to that day when I accidentally stumbled upon Rafal's blog, which eventually led me to the magic world of Postcrossing :)

More and more postcrossing stamps are being issued... with that being said, I highly doubt the Macedonian Post will ever make it to that list... but oh well :D

Have a nice Saturday evening all!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Nautical History, Kiribati

Hello everyone! It has literally been long time no see... more precisely, almost a year :) As some of you know, I lived in China for 9 months... those of you who didn't know, now you do :) Actually I thought I would be able to continue with my updates there, but I was proved wrong cos I simply didn't have time for that... and the free time I had, I just didn't feel like using it for blogposts and stuff... 

and then today I finally was like, hey, it is Sunday, let's see if Sunday Stamps is still up.... *yes it is*... subject of the day "Tall Ships" .. now this kinda confused me.. I have never really referred to a ship as a tall ship,  but turns out there is a distinction indeed and even though those cruising ships are as tall as your eyes could see, they do not actually fall into the 'tall ships' category... go figure :D But I guess I did come up with something appropriate...

However, there was one not a very pleasant surprise for me, and that is to realize that Photobucket (where I've been hosting all my blog images), has for one reason or another decided to s**** its thousands of customers by deciding to prohibit third-party hosting and therefore making all those millions of uploaded images all of a sudden - forever gone (the images are still there on photobucket, but of course not visible outside of it). And if you want them back you should pay not more, not less but $400 a year... someone here has gone insane, and that is not me.

No way Im paying that much of money...after all, this is supposed to be for fun, not some kind of business I'm running here....but my unwillingness to pay, comes at a price of course...a totally useless and ridiculously looking blog... they could have simply put R.I.P on those images.
I don't know when and IF I will ever be able to put all those images back... kinda killed the desire in me, having ditched down the drain years and years of dedicated work...but oh well, who cares about us, the mortal people? Photobucket certainly doesnt..

anyways, sorry for the totally off-topic paragraphs, just had to do my rant... esp. since I realize that out of all those postcard blogs out there, I seem to be one of the rare ones who has actually used photobucket for the posts... yeah, stupid me

so, back to today's actual subjects - this is my contribution for the 'Tall Ships" - this nice FDC from Kiribati, showing "Charlotte" - This convict transportation called at the islands in 1789 to replenish stocks of fresh water while on return passage from Botany Bay to England.

The ship was commanded by Captain Thos. Gilbert whose name was given to the islands.

For more tall ships, click here