Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Monday, October 04, 2004

I'm really not ignoring stamps...

Several of my friends have accused me of spending too much time with my weblog, and ignoring my stamp collection. They couldn't be more wrong. Yes, I do spend a considerable amount of time here, but I'm also working heavily on postage stamps. I've just found that I've been making a lot of mistakes, and I need to do something about it.

I have a large collection - about 150,000 different postage stamps from virtually every country in the world. I also have about 70,000 duplicate stamps I offer for trade through my Trading Page on my personal website. THERE's where the problems were discovered. I had stamps listed as being in my collection that weren't, and some stamps for trade I didn't have. Honesty is essential in any long-standing relationship, and I was unable to be truly honest with what I wanted, and what I had to offer in return. I'm trying to rectify that, and it's taking a lot of time.

I'm building personal inventory sheets for every "country" that's ever issued postage stamps, using the Scott Standard Postage Stamp catalogues, and their numbering system. These inventory sheets are being built using a spreadsheet template I've designed. There are about 800 different "countries" listed, plus some areas where I have to build incidental inventory listings - for occupation stamps, for different currencies in use in different parts of the same country, and so forth. I'm also making entries for some of the varieties that exist of individual stamps - variations in color, perforation, design, and so forth. I'm also listing some of the errors. It takes anywhere from a few minutes to several days to build each inventory sheet, even using some of the shortcuts I've developed over the last couple of years.

Once the inventory sheet is built, the real fun begins. I have to match the stamps in my collection with the listing in the inventory sheet. I find I frequently have a variety, instead of the major listing. Sometimes I find holes in my collection that match stamps in my duplicate files. It's not until I completely go through my stamps for a particular country, including all the duplicate copies I have (sometimes thousands!) that I can determine what I really need, and what I really have for trade.

It only takes about 20 minutes to build or update a trade want/have list, once I finish the inventory. It's building the inventory, entering the information, and verifying the information is correct, that takes so long. It's easy to keep the inventories updated once they're completed. I've got about 130 inventories built, so it's not something that's going to be finished soon. I make a little progress every day, and I'll get there eventually - just in time for the updates to be out with the new catalogues.

One other thing is slowing up my ability to get everything inventoried. I depend on William E. Steiner's Stamp Albums Web for album pages. He's done a remarkable job building pages for about 80% or more of the countries of the world. I have many, many stamps that would fit on pages he hasn't had the time to build yet. That makes it a bit more difficult to create an accurate inventory, but I do try!

The other major problem I'm up against is a body that won't cooperate. I have a bad back, and right now I'm going through a change in medication and some changes in my physical condition (I have a degenerative problem, so it's always changing - usually slowly, except for the last month or so). That limits the time I can contribute to any one activity. With so many things to do for fun, thought, there's always something to divert me until I feel better - especially the playful activities of three new kittens!


Blogger ~Jen~ said...

Sounds like you have Degenerative Disk Disease. That's what I have. It sucks. I take celebrex. I'm not wild about the side effects, but it helps.

I collect something weird. In fact, I don't know anyone else that collects what I collect.

I love theater. Musicals in particular. I have a gigantic collection of musicals in foreign languages. Yes, I collect cds of musicals in foreign languages. Do I speak any languages other than english?? NO! Does my obsession make any sense? NO!!!!! But that's what I do. I order them from New York and London mostly. I have "Les Miserables" in 12 languages so far. I just bought the Korean cast of "Rent" (I have "Rent" in 7 or 8 languages now). My favorites are in Swedish. They just really make me giggle.

So, that is the second dirty little secret I have revealed in the blogosphere. The first, in case you missed it, was that I once voted for Anne "Helmut Head" Richards for governor. I think that is way worse than listening to "Jekyll and Hyde" in Japanese.

12:45 PM  
Blogger ~Jen~ said...

Kittens are one of my other favorite things. Will you be posting pics? I love love love them!!!!

12:47 PM  

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