As the pandemic continues, it’s wearing on me emotionally. My younger son turned 18 and is lamenting that his senior prom will not happen, and he basically lost half his junior year and most of his senior year to a virus.
And my parents, 92 and 78, FINALLY, got their first shot of the Moderna vaccine last week. Trying to get them set up for vaccination appointments took up way more time than expected, because they live in a rural area that doesn’t have a ready supply of vaccines.
My wife is still not 100% over her COVID-19 recovery, from when the whole family got COVID-19 back in December, and had it ruin Christmas for us. She’s still tired a lot and is experiencing some brain fog.
So, I have been a little pandemic pre-occupied, which is eating into my free time.
Having said that, here are some updates:
I don’t see myself doing any more of these. I have hacked everything through the year 2003, I believe. Anything after that is just too much work. I may do a page or two on request. But getting 2003-2020 done would be a major undertaking. If I catch up on other stuff I may revisit it.
Community US Stamp Album
I got halfway through the 2005 supplement. I’m pulling descriptions from the US Postal Bulletin. And for 2005, I am really NOT happy with the descriptions. So, I replaced the Postal Bulletin ones by using Wikipedia, and I am not thrilled with those either. So, this is going to take some manual editing on my part. I would LOVE to crowdsource the description writing, so we could all collaborate on the descriptions. But I am picky and don’t want to offend anyone by correcting their submission. I bought a lifetime subscription to ProWritingAid.com and use that for all my grammar checking.
It’s also a challenge to figure out all the definite varieties issued each year. That eats up the biggest chunk of time.
Tryzub Ukrainian Stamp Album
Back in the first week of January, I put together an order on ukrposhta.ua of all the 2020 stamps. I left it in my cart and did not order it because I was waiting for payday. Of course the first week in January I was still on the mend from COVID-19, and was only functional for a few hours before I needed to take a break. So, like many things that week, it slipped my mind, and they never got ordered. I’m going to place an order this week. The pandemic is adding 1-2 weeks of shipping time to stamps from Ukraine. So, instead of the usual 2 weeks, it now takes a month to get stamps in from Ukraine. Luckily, I can start on descriptions and layout waiting for stamps to arrive. I just can’t test-fit stuff till stamps get here.
Something That Makes My Stamp Collecting Life Easier
Just 5 minutes from my house, there is a great “collectibles” store. The gentleman sells, stamps, coins, paper money, sports cards, and collectible card games such as Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, etc.
He has a very good selection of stamp mounts. So, if I get a stamp that needs a mount size I don’t have, I can usually get what I need after a 5 minute drive. But, even better, my son works there! So, I can text him my order, and he comes home with the mounts I need. This has significantly sped up the publications for me.
Stuff I Want To Do In The Future
I want to get the website off of WordPress. WordPress is a great publishing platform, but I don’t want to have to deal with the WordPress update cycle for a site as simple as my own. I want to switch to using Hugo for creating my web pages. That would require a teardown of the site and recreation. Which really wouldn’t be that bad. There’s a lot of OLD cruft here that really isn’t needed anymore.
I also want to get back into Ireland. I made one page of Irish stamps (my wife is Irish, and I thought she would like it), and then I went on to the most dreaded of topics, the Bird Definitives. I was so frustrated with figuring out all the varieties that I joined the Eire Philatelic Association to recruit help. They told me that the Bird Definitives are a huge PITA, and the different catalogs don’t even agree on them. So, I shelved the idea.
I really want to get to where I am cranking out just 3 supplements a year: Ukraine, US and Ireland. That’s going to take a while to get there.