Friday, March 25, 2011

Dye Cut Postcards

No, this isn't a picture clipped out of people magazine.  It's one of a huge stack of postcards my son brought back from Europe this summer, and gave to me for Christmas.  A dye cut card of Lady Di - a double dye/di, if you will.

I'm always a sucker for an irregularly shaped postcard, and this one is particularly good.  Plus with all the talk of another royal wedding, it seemed fitting, somehow.....

Just for fun, here's another:

Might as well stay in England for a quick cup o' tea, as well.

For a few more dye cut cards, click here (Michael Jordan), here (Stonehenge), and here (manatee).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Australian National Anthem

I know every word to the song Waltzing Matilda but I don't think I've ever heard (or at least paid attention to) the words of the Australian National AnthemAdvance Australia Fair. 

The song did not become the  official anthem until 1984 when it had to go up against the Royal anthem God Save the Queen, the "unofficial anthem" Waltzing Matilda and Song of Australia in a vote.

Another fun fact learned through participation in Postcrossing.  Check it out.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Animal Series - Bats

I was surprised to find I had two postcards of bats, one of Polish bats (or at least bats on a postcard sent from Poland) and one of fruit bats in northern Australia.

The Polish bats came from Gouraanga (her Postcrossing ID) who lives on the Polish coast of the Baltic Sea in a town called Koszalin.  She describes herself as a mad ecologist who studied bats and their habitats for a couple of years.  Very cool! And, very unusual to get such a card through Postcrossing.  Thanks, Gouraanga!

I'm not sure where the fruit bat postcard came from - it may have been from my mom's collection.  She recently moved out of her home of 48 years and found lots of postcards which she passed on to me.  In any case, the Australian fruit bat is also knows as a "flying fox".  The one in the postcard above appears to be a Spectacled Flying Fox

Some interesting info about bats from the Wikipedia:

Bats are flying mammals in the order Chiroptera.  The forelimbs of bats are webbed and developed as wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums and colugos, glide rather than fly, and can only glide for short distances. Bats do not flap their entire forelimbs, as birds do, but instead flap their spread out digits, which are very long and covered with a thin membrane.

There are about 1,100 bat species worldwide, which represent about twenty percent of all classified mammal species.

20% of all mammal species are bats?  That number surprises me - it seems so high.  Who knew?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Casa Rosada, Argentina

In Argentina, the Casa Rosada (the Rosy House) is the official seat of the executive branch of the government of Argentina, and of the offices of the President. However tempting it is to compare the Argentine Casa Rosada with the American Casa Blanca (White House), in fact the Argentine President lives at Quinta de Olivos, a suburb of Buenos Aires. 


When the surf comes up at Mavericks, the waves are among the largest cold water waves anywhere.
This past week, one of the best big wave surfers in the world, Sion Milosky, was killed there while riding one of these monsters.

I recently read a book called The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean.  Not only does it talk about the physics of waves, the giant rogue waves at sea that were considered sailor tall tales until recently, and the changes in insuring ships at sea warranted by these giant waves, it also talks a lot about the really big wave surfing spots around the world, and the surfers who pursue them.  I'm not normally a non-fiction reader, but this book reads like a novel and I couldn't put it down.

Mavericks isn't far from where I live, and it's around the point from a beach where we used to tide pool often.  However, once the surfing contest and its giant waves became renowned over the last ten years or so, our secret tide pooling spot became much less accessible if for no other reason than it's hard to find a space in the hardscrabble dirt parking lot there.  Sigh.  I miss it.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I love playing Scrabble.  At any given time, I've got about four games going on Facebook with friends, one who lives in San Francisco, another who lives in Chicago, a teacher in Louisiana, and yet another who lives in  Vancouver, Canada.  Once I scored 469 points in a game and another time I scored 92 points on a single word.  Woo hoo!  I was pretty psyched.

That's why I like this postcard so much - it served as not only a holiday card, but also an invitation to an open house.  The cat paw is a particularly nice touch.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

Spring is always my favorite season.  It reminds me of poppies in bloom, asparagus, hard boiled eggs, my birthday, daylight savings time, and Palm Springs.  And daffodils. 

"Daffodils" (1804)

I wander'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).
This painting of daffodils is by Nicoline Heemskerk, of the Netherlands.  More of her work can be found here.