Posting vignettes based on great postcards found in my mail box and elsewhere.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Kraken; Mega-coaster

My daughter and I took on Kraken while at Sea World in Florida earlier this winter. The super (or mega) coaster is made of 1.2 million pounds of steel. It has seven inversions, including an corkscrew and an zero-G, and reaches 65 mile per hour. Because your feet dangle in the air, the sensation of vulnerability is accentuated. The G-forces, similar to those experienced on high-banked race tracks, and the 144-foot near vertical drop, were enough to cure my daughter of wanting to ride any more mega coasters -- at least for the time being. As a confirmed adrenaline junkie, I couldn't get enough. Even after Kraken, I can still say, 'I have yet to meet a coaster I didn't like.'

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bolivia's Salar De Uyuni

My friend Dave has returned to the states but his postcards are still coming in. This one shows Bolivia's Salar De Uyuni, an extensive salt and mineral deposit located at an elevation of over 11,000 feet in the Andes. Bolivia holds about half of the world's lithium reserves, the majority of which are found at the Salar de Uyuni.
Dave relates that getting to Salar De Uyuni took 'two buses, a kid puking, a flat tire and his passport being held hostage overnight' which, considering some of his exploits, went rather smoothly. He also said the area is beautiful. Apparently, the flats were covered with a few inches of water that reflected the surrounding mountains and clouds and for a while it was difficult to tell up from down.
You can find a nice account of a visit to the flats by a couple a few years ago, here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Royal Box Of Bones

This beautiful postcard came from Postcrosser Henneke in the Netherlands. She tells me this is the famous "box" that contains the bones of Charles the Great, King of the Franks. She noted the bones were placed in this elaborate box 15 years after his death in 814. This had to be one whale of a box. By some accounts, successive emperors opened and reopened his coffin. Otto III found his remains some 200 years later uncorrupted still seated on a thrown still holding his scepter. Obviously, it was a tight seal.
During his life, Charles expanded the Frankish kingdom to into an empire that incorporated much of what is now western and central Europe. Charles reign saw the flowering of western culture and art.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tom Foolery, Spoofing Around

Another great postcard from Steve of Montana. This is an art/advertising postcard. It was sent to Steve recently as an advertisement for the Tom Foolery art exhibition at the Missoula (Montana) Art Museum of Art. Foolery's satiric and sometimes surreal dioramas poke fun at life, art and commerce, among other things. Many of dioramas are small and some are very small. Foolery created his first miniature diorama 33 years ago in the dashboard of his Nash Rambler before moving to the cavities of Kodak Brownie Cameras, theatre flood light frames and more recently vending machines. The postcard image here is titled, Bone Cowboy, 2006. You can find out more about Foolery's art and the exhibit at the Missoula Art Museum here. The exhibit runs until May 9, 2010. A short review of Foolery's work is here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Enjoy The Park

This sign sent by Steve from Montana represents the nightmare of government over-regulation. There are rumors that the current Tea Party movement is debating convening here for its next annual convention. They want to add "No Taxation" to the list.

I especially like rule number five, "No Parking." I guess the municipality was attempting to kill two birds with one stone: reduce our collective carbon footprint and prevent unwanted pregnancies. The small lettering at the bottom is especially telling. It reads, "Trespassers will be Ventilated."

This postcard brought to mind a song, Signs, from the 1970's.

"Sign, sign everywhere as sign

Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind

Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?"

This anthem of the hippie era was written by Canadian Les Emmerson. The song was first recorded by the Five Man Electrical Band. You can read about the band and read the complete lyrics here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dirty Politics

I don't know about the training part but this bucolic scene suggests what every citizen must do before understanding any political party's spin doctors.

This is a Duckboy Card, number 423 in their often excellent contemporary 'quacked up' series. You can find their web site here. I posted another Duckboy card here, just scroll down until you see a couple of fellas in a pickup truck.
I bought this card at the local Sportsman's Warehouse store, then a couple of days later, Steve from Montana sends me another one, along with some other great cards I'll be posting as I get a chance. Serendipity happens.

Monday, March 1, 2010

You Can Run But You Can't Hide

My friend and colleague, Dave, sends this postcard testament of his travels in South America. He left Santiago, Chile, earlier in February and travelled 55 hours by bus and another 22 hours by ferry to reach Ushuaia, Argentina. The city of 53,000 people is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina's most southern province, also known as the End of the World. He's picked up a lot of local color by riding the mass transportation system in the southern hemisphere but was a little dismayed that he awoke the next morning to find a Princess Tours Cruise Ship was in port and the grey-haired tourists were everywhere flashing their credit cards. So much for getting away from it all. ¿Qué manera al depósito de autobús?