May 15, 2011

A few random thoughts...

I started on this post some time back but life, as it does, got in the way.  In my case, the part of life that caused the greatest disruption to my hobbies was that a four-week work assignment has turned into a four-month assignment.  It's helped our household finances, but really put a crimp on my hobby time.  So, for this post I have a recent acquisition, some additions to The List, a couple shows coming up to attend and one more random thought, so let's get to it.

First, the recent acquisition.  I have an alert set up on BidStart where it will email me whenever an auction is listed that includes the phrase "March 4" in the stamps categories.  A month or so ago, this search came up with a regular mail usage of a Canadian stamp postmarked on March 4, 1947.  The price was low so I bid on it, and without any competition in the auction, I won the item a couple days later.  It was billed as a second-day usage of the stamp.  I haven't had a chance to look it up in my Scott catalogue yet, but I don't have any reason to doubt it right now, and since the price was well under $5, even with shipping, I'm not going to argue if it wasn't a second-day.  It does show the postmark clearly and states March 4 in it, so it definitely fits in this collecting topic.  Here's a scan of the cover...

I've made a number of purchases on eBay in the past, but as that site has grown, I found that my experience there as a buyer has deteriorated, mostly due to snipers outbidding me on almost everything I want to buy.  BidStart is still small enough that I don't get sniped anywhere near as often, but it's also big enough to have more than enough auctions to search through for material to add to my collection.

There have been a few updates to The List since my last post.  I have a number of references still to look through, but here are the recent additions:
 CountryIssue dateScott #SubjectDenom.
AustraliaMarch42009Preserving the poles: Snow Pretel$0.55
AustraliaMarch42009Preserving the poles: Jade Iceberg$2.05

I don't remember where I saw the listings for Australia's Preserving the poles issue (since I don't have the Scott numbers right now, I know it wasn't in Scott's new issue updates).  I also don't see them listed on the Australia Post website today, so I'm guessing that I'll have to get these through other dealers now.

Now, as far as upcoming shows...  There are a couple nearby that I am looking at attending to see how many more items I can add to this topic collection.  In a couple weeks, Compex (which does not appear to have a dedicated website) will happen in the Chicago area.  This show is on May 27, 28 and 29 at the Forest View Educational Center in Arlington Heights (near O'Hare Airport).  The article in this month's Scott Stamp News Linn's Stamp News Special Edition (May 2011, page 19) says there will be 40 dealers, but the postcard that I got about the show says there will be 55 dealers as well as U.S. and U.N. post office representatives.  I'm still split on whether or not I'm going to attend this show, even though the publicity says that the parking and admission are both free.

Next month, the ATA will be hosting its National Topical Stamp Show on June 24, 25 and 26, and this year the show is almost in my backyard.  The show will be held at the Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel; this is about half the distance that Chicago is from my home, and I'm much more inclined to attend this show.  I will probably stop at the main ATA table to discuss this collecting topic with whoever is there, and maybe try to encourage them to work on some guides for collecting an anniversary topic like March 4.  I don't plan to sign up for any of the tours (although I would highly recommend a visit to the Circus World Museum for anyone else attending the show), mostly because I can see all of the attractions that are tours this year on my own time.  There are a few meetings on the preliminary schedule that I might attend and I'll probably take a look through the exhibits, but as with all stamp shows that I attend, my biggest draw is still the dealer tables.  I'm sure that I'll find something to add to this topic (as well as the other major topic that I collect — trains).

I have one final thought to close out this post.  I'll need to research other languages and national postal practices further to see how March 4 is depicted on covers and stamps of countries where the primary language is not English.  I know that in Spanish, March is translated as Marzo, but what is it in other languages?  Sure, Babelfish will help me with a few, but there again, what abbreviations are used in postmarks to indicate the date that I am most interested in?  Some postmarks in my general worldwide collection list the month as III, and it's not entirely clear what date is actually printed on many other postmarks I've seen.  So, maybe it's time to start building another page for this blog that shows samples from every postal administration showing what to look for in a postmark that is included in this topic.  Hmmm....

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