Kevin Blackston
PO Box 217
Floresville TX 78114-0217
United States of America

Blog archives (March 2015)

Finishing spring cleaning

Each spring, my wife and I go through our humble abode top to bottom on a cleaning quest, removing any leavening we can find. Our tradition is based primarily on our religious beliefs, but there’s also a certain amount of satisfaction that comes with cleaning out old junk and things no longer needed and just tidying up in general.

We’ve been working on this project for several weekends now, and should be able to finish the dining area and patio this Sunday. And after that? Well, most likely another diaper change and feeding; the little one is approaching six months old. But after that? Stamps, I hope! It’s time to put together another issue of the Philosateleian Post Horn, and I owe several individuals letters.

I’m eager to get on to some of that, plus do some more writing for this blog. I realize I haven’t been terribly prolific over the past couple of weeks, but I appreciate your patience as we’ve been taking care of “real world” duties.

Gemini 3 astronauts have right stuff for Purgatory Post’s newest stamps

Purgatory Post’s Scott A. is at it again! His latest cover showed up in my mailbox last week, and the stamps on it pay homage to the astronauts of Gemini 3.

Cover bearing pair of Purgatory Post Gemini 3 local post stamps
Purgatory Post Gemini 3 cover

Gemini 3 was the first manned mission in the United States of America’s Gemini space program. The mission’s crew was comprised of Gus Grissom and John Young. Grissom, of course, died during a test of the Apollo Command Module; Young, however, went on to fly the Apollo 10 and Apollo 16 missions, and later flew on the space shuttle.

Pair of Purgatory Post Gemini 3 local post stamps
Purgatory Post Gemini 3 stamps

Scott tells me that he has several more Gemini stamps planned, so we’ll look forward to seeing those as the year progresses.

Adanaland stamps impress with quality

A couple of weeks ago, I received a letter from a Mr. Alan B. of Essex, England. Alan began his letter by explaining explained that he is a member of the Letter Writers Alliance and a “stamp-fancier.” Seeing that we have some mutual interests, I read on.

In addition to his other pursuits, Alan enjoys letterpress printing and creating “stamps” for his Kingdom of Adanaland and related territories. He sent samples of his work, a few of which I wanted to share here.

3-pence Adanaland stamp picturing D.A. Aspinall
Adanaland stamp

It’s more than a little unusual to see cinderella revenue stamps:

3-pence Adanaland revenue stamp
Adanaland revenue stamp

And then there’s Alan’s Expanded Egyptian Territories, identified on this stamp as an Adanaland Protectorate. Note that the face value of this stamp is in picas; the pica, of course, is a unit of measurement used by printers.

2-picas Expanded Egyptian Territories stamp
Expanded Egyptian Territories stamp

Although Alan’s stamps are not necessarily as colorful as those created by some other stamp-issuing entities, the printing is incredibly sharp—a result, I suppose, of the printing method, and a testament to his skill at operating letterpress equipment. I’m impressed by what he has done, and look forward to seeing more of his work in the future!

Water lily stamp makes early appearance

A few days ago, someone gave me a common, run-of-the-mill United States definitive stamp picturing a flower. At least, it will be a common, run-of-the-mill definitive stamp beginning later this week. For now, it’s something unattainable.

The stamp, as you can see, is from the new Water Lilies booklet. Floral designs tend to be popular with stamp-buying mailers, so it’s no surprise to see this one used. What did surprise me, however, was to see a copy used more than a week before the stamp’s official first day of issue, March 20!

United States Water Lily stamp used more than a week before first day of issue
Water Lily stamp

Unfortunately, the stamp had been clipped from its envelope, so I was able to determine only that it was postmarked somewhere in Florida.

It’s not exactly unheard of for stamps to be sold ahead of their official issue date, but I can’t say that it’s a common occurrence, either. And naturally, once March 20 rolls around, this will be just another stamp, but for now, it’s something that few if any other collectors own.

Do you have any examples of stamps used too early in your collection?

Stamp time (or why Philosateleia doesn’t have a trading section)

If you followed Philosateleia in its earlier days, you may remember the site at one time had a trading section. It was a place where I listed duplicate stamps that I had available for trade, and anyone who wanted could request to exchange material with me.

A recent posting in another blog reminded me of that trading section—and of why I ultimately discontinued it.

Daniel Ptashny’s March 3 post was innocent enough. “I was considering having a section on Philavilla which would allow you to trade stamps with me,” Daniel wrote. “Would you be interested in a trading section? How would you want to trade with me?” It got me thinking about how I used to do trades, and why I quit doing them that way.

The biggest factor was time. It took time to list what I had available, time to pull the stamps that potential traders indicated they wanted, and time to update my aforementioned list so it accurately reflected what was left. It got to the point where it felt like all I was doing with my stamps or my website was trading, and I wanted to be able to enjoy my collection and write new content!

I still do some trades from time to time, but it’s on a much smaller scale than it used to be—and, quite frankly, it’s a lot more enjoyable than it was when I was trying to maintain a listing of my “stock.”

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