Wednesday, February 21, 2007

This is so true....

Hello. I'll be uploading some newly received postcards soon, but in the meantime wanted to share this excellent quote I just discovered:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --Mark Twain

Dear reader, if you are younger than 40, may I tell you that this is true? I look back now with so many regrets. But not regrets of things I did do; regrets of things I DID NOT do! And now it is too late. I hope it is not too late also for you!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Marinated Roasted Kumara

Marinated Roasted Kumara, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

This official postcrossing card just arrived here from New Zealand--thanks to Lauretta for the interesting recipe! I told her that our sweet potatoes here are orange; she wrote back that sweet potatoes are three colors over there! Must be harder to tell them apart, eh? :)

International Airport of Guararapes, Recife, Brasil

This lovely airport card comes from a private trade; I understand that this airport is one of the largest in the country!


Chicago, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

This is an ad card; on the back it says that the John Hancock Center near Chicago's lakefront is just one of the city's world-famous works of architecture. I never realized Chicago had a waterline like! :)

Herakleion Museum, Greece

Herakleion Museum, Greece, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Rec'd this from a private trade; this is a "rhyton of rock-crystal from the sanctuary of the Palace of Zakros (155/1450 BC)." Beautiful!

Canada Map 1

Canada Map 1, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Map of Canada from my postcard pal Tam. She sent this and the next, Canada Map 2, and pointed out how the second map, Canada 2, was printed before the Nunavut providence came into existance. See the Northwest Territories here? Earlier, it encompassed Nunavut, too.

Canada Map 2

Canada Map 2, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Second map from Tam; this one is pre-Nunavut. Cool! :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Flickr & Blogger & TooMuchTrouble, OH MY!

I have to say that, in this day and age, I am surprised at the clumsiness of photoblogging solutions.

Ever since I switched to using Flickr to store my photos, my cards have been cut-off at the right. Flickr's "BLOG THIS" ability is nice, but it only offers two templates: 500px, which means my photos are too big and are cut off, or 240px, which means my photos show up too small here on can barely see them. So this explains why many of my previous photos are cut off.

I have found a solution, but it creates yet ANOTHER problem.

A wise soul on the Flickr help pages showed how to change the width of each photo blogged to 400px. That's great! It works for horizontal images. Now they fit nicely, and you can see the detail. But what about VERTICAL images? I was afraid that code would force Blogger to STRETCH the vertical images out to 400px in width. Thankfully, it doesn't do that. But what it does is super ENLARGE the image to retain the correct proportions! So now, what you will see on my blog in the future, are vertical images that are SUPER LARGE but normal-sized horizontal images. The next two blog posts you see as you scroll will show you what I mean.

Does that suck or what???

The lesser of two evils, I suppose....

The more I struggle with photoblogging, the more I want to find some smart programmers who want to go into business with me to create a photoblogging solution that WORKS. When you run into problems with Flickr or Blogger, you're basically at their mercy. And for some reason, they refuse to tackle and/or even acknowledge even basic issues that would make very many people happy. (This is not just me!)

For instance, why does Flickr not allow you to easily show photos AND descriptions in a slide-show format? So many people want this would be easy to integrate, according to the Web heads out there talking about it....yet Flickr people won't even engage in the conversation to tell us that they hear us and WHY they won't do something about it.

Despite my frustration I continue. I know that some day the right solution will come along and then...I'm outta here!

Back to our regularly scheduled postcards.....

Thanks for listening! :)

Horiztonal image at 400 px -- JUST RIGHT!

Cherry Blossoms in Taiwan, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Horizontal images now blog fine....but the verticals, as you will see, are way too big!

Vertical image at 400 px -- TOO BIG!

Helsinki Center, Finland, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Vertical images blogged here using Flickr's BLOGTHIS with the template modified to a width of 400 px means images that are TOO BIG.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Singapore, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

This awesome view of Singapore comes from a round robin on postcrossing. Sender relie tells me that it shows the skyline of Singapore's central business district, where most of the big banks and multinationals are located. In the foreground is the Swiss Stanford Hotel, the tallest hotel in southeast Asia! Thanks Relie!

Southernmost point in the continental US - Key West

From this spot, it is 90 miles to Cuba. I visited here when I was a teen, but I wasn't collecting postcards at that time (I think I was collecting boys!). My parents picked this up during their travels :)

Post Office in Hell (Grand Cayman, that is)

Yes, my parents went to Hell on their cruise--luckily it was full (as you will see on another postcard from Hell) they were able to come back! This card shows the old Hell post office, and the post office in Hell as it exists today. Can you imagine answering the question: "Where are you from?" with "I'm from Hell!"? :)

Hell Was Full....

Hell Was Full...., originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

So I came back. From Hell, Grand Cayman Island, British West Indies. Thanks mom and dad! :)

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Awesome aerial showing a cruise ship, like the one my parents went cruising on :)

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios, Jamaica, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

From my parents' latest cruise: this shows Ocho Rios at 7 am from the Jamaica Grande Resort. Awesome!

Cayman Islands, British West Indies

This is Smith's Barcadere, in the Cayman Islands. The back of the card says that this view shows one of the few secluded beaches that are favorite bathing areas for local residents. My parents got this for me on their recent cruise!

St. Armands Circle, Sarasota, Florida

I used to work at a coffee shop on the circle--also worked at a marina nearby. Expensive place to hang!

The Pier, St. Petersburg, Florida

One of my old haunts when I lived in St. Pete. The Pier was a neat place to take the kids--there's shopping inside, an aquarium on the top floor with a huge tubular fishtank that runs through the middle of the building from the first floor up to the aquarium, and indoor and outdoor eating establishments. Not to mention fishing...I remember all the pelicans that hung around where the old men outside sold bait and rented fishing gear :)

Pippi Longstocking Paper Doll

Pippi Longstocking Paper Doll, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Pippi is known as Peppi to the penpal's daughter adores her so she must still be popular in Finland. I recall Pippi Longstocking, but it is from a long time ago in my childhood!

Tommy and Annika

Tommy and Annika, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Friends of Pippi Longstocking :)

Hvittrask, Art Noveau style Home in Finland

I love this view....not only is the home beautiful, but look at all that snow :) My penpal in Finland sent me this. She tells me that this home was built in the early 20th century.

Helsinki Center, Finland

Helsinki Center, Finland, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Notice the arrow in the upper right corner of this card? That's where one of my penpals in Helsinki used to live. Awesome! Plus, this is a really cool view of the city!

Cherry Blossoms in Taiwan

Cherry Blossoms in Taiwan, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Cherry blossoms beside Tien-yuan Temple of Tamsui, sent to me by my postcard penpal Andrea in Taiwan. Beautiful color!