Friday, October 15, 2010

A Hobby Of Sorts...

I was looking back through my old blog posts and I realized I have never written a post about my favorite hobby.  I guess I haven't written about it because it makes me look like a dork.  Yes - I collect stamps.  I thought to write about it today because I pulled my US stamp album out today determined to do some work on my collection.

I have been collecting stamps for the last 36 years.  I started when I was 8 years old as one of my brothers and one of my sisters collected stamps.  It was a fun thing to do back then as I could do it with them.  Of course my interest in travel, world affairs and history made stamp collecting very fun to me.  Back in those days the world seemed to be a much larger place, so managing to get your hands on a stamp for Equatorial Guinea, Tobago or Malaysia was a big thing.  It brought the mystery of foreign lands into your home!

(A page of my US Stamp Album with stamps for the 1950's.)

For whatever reason I never gave up stamp collecting.  It became something that grounded me and no matter what the situation I could find relaxation and enjoyment working with my stamps.  During my college years I used it as a major hobby to distract myself from the rigors and boredom of constant study at Carnegie Mellon.  It was really cool because I got to know people from all over the world when I went to Carnegie Mellon so they became easy sources of stamps from faraway places.

My collection is quite voluminous as I collect the stamps of the United States and just about every country of the World.  The collection spans 6 different volumes and fills an entire shelf on the bookcase in my dining room.

Today stamp collecting has totally changed and has fallen off as a hobby.  Today's kids probably don't know that stamp collecting is a hobby.  Most teenagers and young adults have never even sent a personal letter as they do everything by e-mail and text message.  The number of stamps sent through the US Mail has fallen drastically as so many letters are now corporate mail with prepaid postage.  I am sure in the not too distant future stamps and whole hobby will die out.  But for me - I'll keep going.  It gets harder and harder to get stamps every year, but it still is fun to work with them when you get them.

It has been an interesting day around our house.  Zack had an issue at school that I am not really going to go into.  But that has unfortunately influenced most of this afternoon and evening.  Too bad for Zack as his lack of concentration on how he should behave has cost him dearly - he lost a lot of privileges.

This weekend will definitely be a working weekend around here.  Zack is going to be helping me get a lot of things done around here since he lost his privileges.  On top of that I have a bunch of conference calls for work tomorrow and Sunday.  Things with work are at boiling point for a variety of reasons.  We have a number of critical activities that must get done for our client in the next 5 days and my team in Manila is facing the threat of a typhoon coming ashore.  We are scrambling to activate our Business Continuity Plan in case the typhoon does serious damage to our facilities in Manila.  (It is silly we have to do that when the lives of the team are the most important thing - but we get paid to make sure we can get business done, so it must happen that way.)

I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead.  For those of you in Colorado - enjoy the beautiful weather as maybe this is our last gasp of summer like weather!

Thanks and peace to all! ~ J.

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