Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Best Frog of June announced!

A Zen moment. Never make plans because nothing works out quite like you imagine. It's best to just be spontaneous, except in the case of combustion.

Upon awakening this morning I decided to spend the day reading. Something frothy and mindless, with no redeeming qualities. It is now after 3 pm and I haven't read a word. Instead, I have been engrossed in laundry, swapping CDs on the internet and doing various other essential and non-essential "stuff" on my computer.

And then there was that delicious, but very limp, pizza at lunch. It's hard to read while eating pizza when the slices hang vertically when held. It was definitely a two-handed pizza.

Now here I am writing a blog entry. Yes, I will read later.  For sure. Or maybe tomorrow.

This will be a spontaneous blog posting. I have planned nothing so as not to disappoint myself. It will be a surprise for all of us.

Look! It's a post card of an old British book cover. I haven't read this book but if it's about time and wrinkles, I am pretty ticked off at both and don't really want to read about them.

Although June is not over yet, I have already chosen this month's "Best Frog Of The Month". You can see he was pretty certain he would win and so just went ahead and crowned himself.

Here's a state capitol for you: Topeka, Kansas. Topeka means "to dig good potatoes" in the languages of the Kansa and the Ioway. Really.

What interests me about this card is the shape of the state of Kansas. Perfectly rectangular except for the far northeast corner. It's like someone plowed into the cartographer just as he was finishing his rectangle and made him mad so he just left it that way. Perhaps he was drawing the map in a rowdy saloon. Maybe the map had beer spilled all over it. There may be another reason for the wiggleys but I like this one.

This card is called "The Many Hats of Seattle". I don't know. I've been to Seattle several times and I've never seen people like this. It's very common in Portland, of course, but not Seattle.

A popular spectator sport in Montana: watching bears chase joggers. Go Bears!

I'm going to end today with this very interesting aboriginal art from Australia.  Uh-oh, I feel another "art card" post coming soon.

Monday, June 20, 2011

June grab bag

This is going to be one of those shut-my-eyes-and-pick-a-postcard days. Today's theme is "We Are All One", even if none of these pictures seem to have any connection to the next. You just have to trust me.

Here is a map card from Hong Kong, the only one I've ever received from there if memory serves. Yes, that does appear to be Mickey Mouse at the top of the island. It isn't often that you get to see Mickey and Buddha in the same picture, although when you think about it they would probably be great buddies.

An old, old photo of a Native American child, dressed to the nines and not too sure what's going on.

A pleasant waterfall scene from West Java, Indonesia. Maribaya waterfall is quite a tourist attraction and the area is also known for its relaxing hot springs. Ahhh, that sounds so nice.

Pombal, Portugal, on a day when everyone seems to have left town.

Here is another of my iris folding creations, a kimono made partially from origami paper and partially from strips cut out of a Trader Joe's advertisement. See, I told you - we all are one.

At first I thought this was a photograph, then I realized the man isn't quite all together. Turns out this is a sculpture by Herbert Bayer titled "Self Portrait In Mirror". Maybe not quite ALL of us are one.

I know!! After that last picture we all need a splash in the pool and a good laugh. 

Today's tip for healthy living: do not text while driving.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wag more, bark less

I see this bumper sticker once in a while, "Wag more, bark less", and it always makes me smile. Saw it again today and thought I'd pass it along as a bit of good advice, and not only for dogs. Another bit of good advice: get more exercise.

And don't cross the street except in a crosswalk. There may not be a friendly crossing guard around to save your bacon.

Besides tanks, there are also a lot of buses on the roads these days. I don't want to sound paranoid, but it really isn't safe to leave home. Unless you yourself are a tank-owner.


Sometimes a large bus is used to transport baby buses to school, where they are shown old 8mm films that put the fear of tanks in them.

Sorry if I've frightened you. But if I have saved you from being run over you will tank me. On to more cheerful subjects now.

Remember all those great black and white photos that Ansel Adams created? Did you realize that he also worked in color on occasion? Below is an example of his color work.

And who should wander out of these woods but a family of carved cows. Too bad Ansel didn't catch them on film. Oh well, another addition to my carved cow postcard collection. Well, actually it's the first one. Of many, I'm sure.

This ewe is wondering why its owner didn't just snap a photo instead of taking him to the photography studio.

Now a little lively Mexican mariachi music and some spirited dancing to ease you back into the real world.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy mailbox

Many interesting cards have been coming my way lately. For example, how often has something like this shown up in your mail box?


This next card brought back many memories because I grew up near Santa Barbara. Sometimes I miss those brown, brown hills of home.

Oh, sorry. I dozed off for a moment.

Old Berlin, 1935. 

Ah, the good old days....when there was a Ford in your future. And a man with shiny boots.

In order to pay for that Ford, you could always play your violin on the street. I played violin briefly when I was a kid. Never very well. My grade-school orchestra teacher was tone-deaf, which was fortunate for me.

If it's a nice day where you are, you should spend some quality time outside with your pet.

Or you could have a nice picnic by the water. Perhaps ON the water, as these folks are doing.

Enjoy your day, whatever you do!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Map cards

It's been a while since I've posted any map cards. If you are lost, or trying to become lost, one of these cards should prove helpful to you. If not, they're fun to look at anyway.

First up, Queen Victoria sits on her island throne and almost completely obliterates the map of Britain. Did you know that there were seven unsuccessful assassination attempts on Her Majesty?  She was shot at several times (one nitwit tried to kill her with an unloaded pistol) and whacked over the head with a walking stick. You can see below the bucket she wore on her head ever since the walking stick incident.

The following map card shows the province of La Rioja in northern Spain, famous for its wines. The sender is a young mother of 9-month old triplets, which is incomprehensible to me. How does that happen?? Oh, the wine. The young mom appears to have marked her escape route in red.

If you are lost in either Hamburg or Paris, I would not recommend these postcards. The one of Hamburg in particular gives me an anxiety attack every time I look at it.

This is me, lost in Hamburg.

Here we have a map that will get you from Königsallee to "Afrika", as long as you don't need a lot of specifics. The "Mittel Meer" is the Mediterranean Sea. The boot of Italy sticks out into Mittel Meer. There is an amazing amount of detail on this card if you zoom in on it close enough. There is even a place in the mountains with a ferris wheel and fine wieners.

Ah, something much closer to home now - South Carolina. The state motto is "I breathe when I can", an acknowledgement of the state's stupefying humidity.

Those of you who are not fluent in Latin are excused now. This is a section of a Roman travel map from the 3rd century. This section shows Noviomagi (present day Nymegen), the oldest city in The Netherlands. These maps were distributed by the Roman Automobile Club.

I leave you today with the map the Rolling Stones used to find Australia on their 1973 tour.

Such nice boys. I hear they are in their 90s and still performing.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Spanky's dog

Want to look over Spanky's shoulder at some more of my postcards?

How many of you have seen any of the old "Our Gang" (also known as "Little Rascals") shows? The dog character - played by several different dogs over the years - was named Petey.  What a pal he was.

I love night-time photographs. Here's one of Longhua (literally "Lustre of the Dragon") Temple in Shanghai, China. 

This is famous Ukrainian theatre director Roman Viktuk. He was casting for his latest production, "Once a Pigeon....".  Come, my pretties.

From Hungarian artist Maria de Posz comes this delightful painting. My translation skills are not too good, but I believe the title of this painting is "Herb the Cat Takes An Evening Stroll". If the perspective in this painting is accurate, that is one big honker of a pheasant in the distance - like about three times bigger than Herb.

Speaking of being attacked, there are any number of little critters in British Columbia to beware of. ...of which to beware....oh, whatever. But wonderful scenery, if you dare.

A beautiful aerial view of Stockholm. Possibly taken by one of the birds that escaped from Roman Viktuk.

This woman is just spilling her champagne all over the place. There is such a thing as being TOO happy.