Has Russia Hacked Postcrossing/-cardunited? Sent toGermany, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, & the U.S.

This time:

  • A conspiracy?
  • A Snoopy treasure trove discovered, and cast far & wide
  • Other stuff
  • Tons of stamps & stickers

Let’s start with Good Ol’ Snoopy Brown.  I’ve mentioned many times in this space the lack of Snoopy/Peanuts cards here in the U.S.  Despite being the birthplace of the comic strip, and although Peanuts greeting cards seem to be sold absolutely everywhere (even in supermarkets), the postcards are just not found unless you go to the source: the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.

That being the case, I was thrilled to find a book of 1970’s-era Snoopy postcards on sale online!

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Several have already been dispatched, including to Peanuts-loving pen-pals of mine in Hawaii, Tokyo, & England (I know I didn’t write that trio out as an equal set, yes).  Those cards (and one to Taoyuan, Taiwan, for a Postcrossing Forum tag) went out as postcards should, with a note & a stamp on the back, & dropped into a mailbox.  The next one here went out to a Postcrossing Forum regular in Finland who says that she gives Snoopy postcards to a friend, so she’d like hers in an envelope.  Okay, fine–I made an envelope:

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She also likes to collect stamps, so since I was already throwing stuff into an envelope, I added some stamps from my incoming mail.

The foggy view of Golden Gate Bridge was chosen by someone in Berlin, Germany, in a Postcrossing Forum “show the card you offer” tag.  I’m glad I had something she liked.

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To Berlin & St. Petersburg

Okay, let’s get into the Russia hack scandal story I’ve just made up (or unearthed inadvertently, who knows).  I have fallen way behind on “official” cards traveling out via Postcrossing Forum & Postcard United: between the two sites, I had only 1 card traveling (I think I can have around 30 at this point if I chose to).  Yes, I’m sending a lot of cards out, but it’s mainly via Postcrossing Forum, which offers so many different options that I’ve just found it the more fun way to go.  The problem I have with the main focus of the two sites is that Postcrossing Forum seems to send me constantly to just the same 3-4 countries, and Postcard United’s algorithm is so rough that there are repeat encounters with the same people, and I’m being paired within my own country.

Anyhow, I decided to send some cards out again via the two sites, so started asking to be assigned addresses:

Click 1–Postcrossing: Saint Petersburg, RUSSIA.  Of course.  Decided to try my luck next at the other site.

Click 2–Postcard United: Moscow, RUSSIA.  Why, I oughta…

Click 3–Postcard United: Krasnodar, RUSSIA.  What?!?  I claim shenanigans.  I’m moving back to the other site.

Click 4–Postcrossing: Alkmaar, Netherlands.  Fine.  I then quit while I was ahead.  We’ll see when I click on those “send a postcard” buttons again.  This is supposed to be relaxing.

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A sweetened pickle to the Netherlands, and the rest to Russia.

Moving on from the Eastern European drama… the pair of cards pictured next went off to China, in Postcrossing Forum tags.  The aerial view of Hearst Castle (another card I replenished during my recent postcard-gathering road trip) is headed toward a food safety major in Beijing, who expressed his wishes for anything local to the sender: “local buildings…anything local is welcome!”  If by local, he meant anything in the same state, this place 3 hours or so away from me is local!

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The pancakes, which I received recently from a Postcard Uniter, go to Heifei, Anhui, China, in a food postcard trade.  The recipient is a chemistry student who says he loves travel, and receiving food postcards.

Finally, this multi-zoned California map card (part of my recent haul) went off to Hong Kong, to someone hoping for map cards. I told her that within just a couple of months, I will have traveled to every segment on the left sided of the card within this calendar year.  I do love coastal trips!

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Now a look at stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff–do you have any favorites down here? Behold the new USPS stamp release, Delicioso, which “celebrates the influence of Central and South American, Mexican, and Caribbean foods and flavors on American cuisine.”  And I always love the shorebird & sea shell postcard stamp sets.

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In Which I Try My Hand at Writing in Chinese: Sent to Brazil, China, & Taiwan

More time in the Postcrossing Forums:

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The It’s-It cookies are on their way to Taoyuan, Taiwan, in a food package postcard trade.  I wish I could find these cookies in grocery stores!  Every time I’ve bought them, it’s been during visits to the It’s-It factory.

Tiger at top right is headed for Nanching, China, to the girlfriend of the person I tagged in a USA-Asia thread.  He wants to surprise her with birthday greetings from strangers.  He sent me an image of the Chinese characters for “happy birthday;” you can see my efforts below.

Dale & Daisy are going to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  This was for a “I Spy” tag, in which the person I tagged said she spied a big tree.  There are several in that gorgeous photo.

Cat with a Pearl Earring is destined for Henghshui, China in a China Meets the World tag trade.  This Postcrosser, based on what she has sent out, seems to like art & cats, so I figured she has to love this.  I talked about one of my loves, going to the movies (today’s flick: 24).

Stamps, stamps, & washi tape:

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What are the Odds?!? Sent to Canada, China, & Taiwan

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The Disney Paradise Pier card is going out to Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum tag trade in which participants were to list what Disney-related postcards they might like to receive.  The person I tagged wanted real Disney parks or hotels.  This is a card that I was given as a guest customer of the Disney Paradise Pier Hotel.  It’s my favorite of Disneyland’s three hotels!  I like being out of the scrum.  Of course, if you like basic hotel amenities–more of them, and without needless additional charges–the right choice is just about any of the off-site, non-Disney hotels.

The other two cards are regular Postcrossing draws.  I  pulled TWO users in Asia!  Those odds are practically impossible–especially as I don’t currently have any cards traveling to Netherlands or Belarus!

The bridge card goes to someone in Beijing, China, who said he would like to receive bridge postcards, and the tiger is going to a cat lover in Taoyuan, Taiwan.

Stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff:

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Update on a **#%^ Cipher, and, Sent to Belarus, China, Netherlands, and Taiwan

Let’s start with an UPDATE!  You know that one post from last week?  Yes, that’s the one: the one about that cipher Postcrosser in Germany who provided zero profile, zero favorites, zero way of getting to know her or to know what to send or say to her.  Well, she got the card I sent her!  I reprint the entire message she sent me between the two lines below:



Yes, you read that correctly: she wrote absolutely nothing in the “Hooray message” that would normally contain a little thank you.  So we have here someone who put zero effort into Postcrossing, sucking all fun & enrichment out of the (non-)encounter, for this user at least.

Hey, I just thought of what I should have done as far as a message on her card, rather than the minimalist note I described in my original post!  If I had it to do over again, I would have printed out my own profile, & pasted that to my card, so she could have an example of a user profile!

This does not end poorly, actually. I got a second automated e-mail from Postcrossing about the card I sent to Cipher: a user in France added it to her wall of favorites!

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Okay, now for the current slew of postcards, counter-clockwise from the top left.

The elephant seal is bound for Gomel, Belarus, where the Postcrosser professed a love of nature.  If you ever find yourself on California’s Highway One just south of Big Sur, you have got to stop at Piedras Blancas and see the hordes of elephant seals, the crowd a bit different at every time of the year.  Until you can make that journey, you can peek in at them via webcam!

The alphabet will end up, I hope, in Den Helder, Netherlands, with a Postcrosser who said she enjoys alphabet & letter cards.  Happy to find a good home for this, one of the few cards I have left from the big box ‘o book cover postcards which was all had to rely on when I first started Postcrossing a bit over a year ago.

That wonderful tiger (who, as it happens, was photographed not far from San Simeon) is on its way to Shandong, China, to someone who says he likes to collect stamps.  The card has four different stamps, all very nice, I think.

Finally, there is the recycling.  The box labeled It’s-It goes to Taoyan, Taiwan, in a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag.  The It’s-It factory is quite close to San Francisco International airport in the city of Burlingame.  No tours, but there is a factory store, where they sell some varieties of the ice cream sandwich I’ve never seen in stores–and also mugs & t-shirts, of course.  On my first visit, I bought a mug–and also a cooler fulla sammiches. You see this postcard is hacked not from a sandwich package, but from the box for a special product made of two components from the sandwich: the crispy oatmeal cookie, and the chocolate dip.  Wonderful stuff.

A trio of characters: Sent to Canada, Hong Kong, & Taiwan

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Snoopy is headed to Taoyuan, Taiwan, in a Postcrossing Forum Snoopy/Peanuts tag trade.  I am nearly out of the postcards I purchased at the Charlie Brown Cafe in Bangkok, Thailand, and I have never seen Peanuts cards for sale here in the U.S.–so I guess my time participating in this trade is coming to an end!  Hey, fellow U.S. people: do YOU ever see Snoopy/Peanuts postcards for sale?  I need a resource!

Astro Boy is headed for Port Coquitlam, Canada, to a swap-bot member with whom I’ve been matched several times.  This time, it’s for a “not your usual postcard trade,” and I think this card certainly fits!

One more “not your usual postcard,” this time the tiger, which is going to a swap-bot member in Kwai Chung, Hong Kong.

All three cards are weighed down with a similar array of stamps:

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A Beautiful Handful: Received from Canada, China, Taiwan, and the United States

Love this batch!  Working clockwise-ish from the top left:

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The “Thirsty Beaver” seems to have come from a beer box, and is part of a swap-bot “chunk-o-cardboard” trade–one of my favorites!  The sender, from somewhere near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, tells me my toy photography inspired her to take a toy out on the beach for a photo shoot.  I love that!

The dessert dumplings came to me as part of a Postcrossing Forum trade called “anime-wishlist tag,” in which one person is to send an anime card, the next something from the previous poster’s wish list, etc.  My wish list included Asian foods, and so here we are.  It came to me from Fuzhou, China, and the sender tells me:

“This is yuanxiao 元宵.  We eat them in the Lantern Festival 元宵节.  It’s the special food for the festival…I like Chinese food, especially dumplings 饺子 and noodles 面条.  How about you?”

Oh, yes!

Those beautiful spotted jellies, on a card from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, were sent to me from Davis, California.  This was for a swap-bot “what are you reading” trade, and she said she is reading The Goldfinch for book club this month, and she is not far enough in yet to be grabbed by it. Now, the book won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2014, but a prize sticker on a book is by absolutely no means any guarantee that a person is going to find it enjoyable.  There are many prize-winners I just love, but I’ve got to say that this blurb:

The Goldfinch is a mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

…makes my eyes roll so hard that my head sounds like a billiard room!

The card’s sender also tells me that she is “listening to Balducci’s Last Man Standing–THAT grabs you!

I love that “Snoopy and his friends” card, which came to me from Taoyuan City, Taiwan, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum “Snoopy/Peanuts” tag.  Peanuts cards are tough to get here in the U.S.; in fact the only ones I have to send–one of which I used to send out in this tag trade–I bought in Bangkok, Thailand at the Charlie Brown Cafe!  And I would be happy to go there & buy some more. Don’t know why there are not postcards to be found generally here, but it does seem that the bigger market for an expanded array of Peanuts goods is outside the U.S.

Lastly, there is that beautiful scenery from Gulangyu Islet in China’s Fujian province.  Be sure to make the image large so that you may see what’s going on.  It’ probably not good that a hole seems to have been blasted through that mountain–but I do think I’d enjoy taking that sky ride on through! This card came to me through a regular Postcrossing draw, from a sender in “Tianjin, a beautiful city in China.”

Stamps!

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