Monday, January 18

Scanning the Stamp Collection

I've got a free evening to myself, so what do I do?

1) Get drunk and watch Jackie Chan movies.
2) Go out with friends to a local bar I've always been curious about.
3) Take a long bath and read in bed.
4) None of the above.

That's right: I went through the stack of postcards I've accrued from a year with Postcrossing and scanned in a couple dozen stamps. I'm very prompt about scanning the fronts of the postcards in, yes, but for some reason I let the stamps accumulate over great periods of time.

Well, tonight Rebecca was off at her book club so I sealed myself in the office, played They Might Be Giants at a modest volume, arranged a dozen postcards on my flatbed scanner, and carefully picked apart and cropped the stamps in Picasa's very handy photo editor. And it's not enough for me to crop and retouch the stamps, but once they're in my online album, Philately, I label each one by its country of origin, type in some appropriate tags, and then affix each stamp to its respective location on the globe.

That's right: through the magic of Google Maps, I get a special little thrill in seeing the thumbnails of these stamps floating over the Earth itself! I enjoy seeing how widespread my little collection is, and I'm curious about the nations I've never heard from. For instance, I have a dozen postage stamps from Finland and Germany each, but out of all of Africa I only have five stamps in South Africa. I even have three stamps from the South Moluccas, which isn't a nation and never legally produced postage stamps, and yet I don't have one single stamp from Norway, Iran, or Argentina, among many other nations.

Okay, I guess I don't expect to collect stamps from Iran or North Korea, but still. You can still see the other stamps I've got now.

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