Date Joined: July 16, 2018
Last Online: September 24, 2021
Country: United States
Updated: Aug. 7th 2021
Greetings form southern Maine,
ME: My name is Neal. It is spelled as if it were a last name because it was my Mother's maiden name. My family name could be both a first or last as well. Back when I used film to take pictures, the drugstore would have my prints filed under my first name more often than my last.
My wife, of 44 years (and bless her for putting up with me) and I live on a country road in a small rural town in southern Maine. I retired six years ago after 40+ years in electronic work. She still works at the local hospital, but has cut back to two or three shifts a week so we have more time to do things together.
We have two grown daughters and a granddaughter. Our grandchild turned four on Valentine’s Day. She is a hoot! I love every minute I can get with her and, in normal times, that was very often. Every time we see her, even after only a week some times, she has changed so noticeably. Her vocabulary grows all the time. As a contractor’s daughter, before she was three years old ,her vocab included terms like front-loader, backhoe, nail gun, plumber, backhoe, permit, staging, chop saw, and estimate. As a Doc McStuffins fan, her vocab includes diagnosis, treatment, and vaccination. All those terms she used appropriately. I enjoy that I can have an actual conversation with her.
We have had a few socially-distant, masked and outdoor meetings with them. She and I both enjoy being close to one another. Especially walking along the beach and playing in the sand and water, though we are both sad that we can’t hug and snuggle. We video-chat almost every evening and she often likes me to take the laptop in hand and give her a tour of the house. She likes to see her play room and bedroom, I think to reinforce for her that they are still there waiting for when she can visit.
Now that all the adults have been vaccinated, we have seen her more. As I write this, I just returned from four days of child-minding her in her home. It used to be that, when her parents had to go away for a few days, she would stay here. Now though, she would miss too much. During my four days there, I took her to Fairy Princess camp each day, as well as to dance, gymnastics, and ice skating classes.
We also have a good friend with six-and-a-half-year-old triplets. I have had the pleasure of minding them since they were infant, when their Mother works and on other occasions when their mom has to do something or just wants a break. I am, for better or worse, their primary male roll model. My wife and I also do things with the four of them and enjoy the young ones as though they were grandchildren. They live less than two miles from us so we have seen them frequently, all be it masked and distanced until recently.
I am getting to a point where I can almost keep up with them again. I had Covid in January and it left me weak, short of breath, with balance issues and with post-Covid fog-brain (yes, that’s a thing). I can walk over two miles now, though it has to be on a smooth flat surface, Fortunately, there are a couple rail-trails close by. I want little more than to take a nice long hike in the forest but I would trip over every rock and root in the trail.
In the winter, I like to snowshoe (I’m hoping I can do a little this coming winter) and I spend more time working on my Banknote collection (see below). In the summer I seek shade, hike, seek shade, work in my yard, and (did I mention this?) seek shade. I do not like hot weather and, for me, hot is anything over 68F. I’m a ginger (well, most of my hair is white now, but I still have the light complexion) so I have to be careful with how much sun I get.
MUSIC I like pretty much all kinds, depending upon my mood at any given time. My constant favorite groups are Pink Floyd, Warren Zevon, The Eagles, Talking Heads, Florence and the Machine, Dropkick Murphy's, Raining Jane). My favorite instruments to listen to are harpsichord, fiddle, cello, violin, sitar... all the strings, really. I don’t much like RAP or Hip-Hop as most of the lyrics seem to denigrate women. My town has a free, summer, outdoor music series, featuring local artists. The opening acts are young local musicians. I love it!
TV and MOVIES: I don’t watch TV. Not regular TV programs at least. I use my television to watch movies and anima from DVDs. I have a large DVD collection. According to the spreadsheet listing them, I currently have 1342 titles. Over half are horror and psychological suspense. I have decent sub-collections of anime and of Wizard Of Oz and Alice In Wonderland versions and related movies. My favorite movies are the Star Wars series and the Harry Potter movies. My favorite anime is When Marnie Was There.
READING: I like to read but am not a fast reader. I usually like young-adult horror, Sci-fi, and dystopia. YA books are usually not real long and fairly easy reads. That said, my two favorite authors are Stephen King and Douglas Adams. I have read everything they have written (aside from some of King’s screen plays and Adam’s Dr. Who radio program scripts), much of it more than once. I have read Adam’s 'The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy' [5-book trilogy] more than a dozen times in the past 30+ years and I have listened to King’s 'The Dark Tower' series five or six times.
The post-Covid fog-brain left me unable to read much at all for over three months. I could struggle through swap requirements, reading them three or four time to comprehend, and then having my wife check that I understood. I have been improving over the past few months so that I can now handle swaps and read magazine articles and such. I have recently been enjoying listening to audio books but have been sticking with those I have already read or listened to.
HOBBIES & INTERESTS: I am an Amateur Radio Operator who enjoys contests. I also enjoy: Postcrossing, WheresGeorge, and Letterboxing. I like to fly in small plains but don't do it much as it can be quite expensive. Mostly, I enjoy working in my yard and garden. I keep flowering plants that attract butterflies and Hummingbirds and grow milkweed for the Monarch Butterflies.
PHOTOGRAPHY: I love taking pictures but don't consider myself a "photographer". They put thought and effort into their work. I just set my shutter on continuous and squeeze off five to ten shots. Usually a couple will be good. I find this method works well when trying to get photos of active children.
TRAVEL: My wife and I enjoy 'seeing the world'. I particularly enjoy our two-week-ish road trips to areas of our own country. I also enjoy traveling by rail and use that option whenever I can. It disappoints me greatly that my own country has what is probably the least used - per capita - passenger rail system of any country in the world and is vary limited because of it.
We have, of course, not travelled other than to see our children and grandchild over the past year-and-a-half. A rail trip through Canada and two domestic road trips have been cancelled so far. We hope to do a road trip this fall but it is going to be a long time before we are comfortable flying again.
SWAP INTERESTS: I came to Swap-bot mostly for Postcard Swapping but I have now tried several other things that interest me. I have made some ATC’s but it will be a little while before I try swapping any but the most basic.
POSTCARDS: I look forward to meeting new people through PC swaps. I often find a short message as enjoyable as the card itself. I like getting almost any card. (See my few dislikes below) Anything that will tell me something about you or your country, town, or area.
Multi-view cards are fine for me. I think of them as like receiving several nice little cards all in one. Handmade cards are fine. I think that a lot of people miss out on some very interesting things by not wanting handmade PCs. LGBTQIAPK related are fine. Just not too kinky, please. I am straight so nude/partial nude guys don't do anything for me. I have friends who are, and friends with children who are LBG... I support them.
POSTCARD and ATC INTERESTS are:
TRAIN cards (Diesel and Electric more than steam) Railroad stations (Historic to modern) Historic buildings, architecture (especially those particular to your area) Though I am not a religious person, I do like PC's of churches, cathedrals. mosques, alters, etc. They represent some of the finest and most lovely architecture. Your country's currency, especially paper banknotes. A card showing your National Bank or Mint would be nice. Traditional, native, or ceremonial dress / costume. Children (children are the best thing ever invented!) If only the sounds of children laughing could be sent on a PC... If you are a Ham Radio Operator, I would enjoy one of your QSL cards. I enjoy a MESSAGE on the card. Just a little something about yourself, your family, work, hobbies, town, region, or country. What has the weather been? How does the garden grow?
DISLIKES: Subjects I don’t particularly care for: NUDITY CATS (domestic… I like wild cats – lion, lynx, bobcat, leopard, etc.) POLITICAL RELIGIOUS (Except religious buildings and costume are fine)
I truly dislike anything that DENIGRATES WOMEN… anyone, any group, especially as a joke.
Send that postcard NAKED... unless it is hand-made and you are really concerned about it getting damaged. I received 'roughed up' PCs all the time. Very few, that don't have Washi tape on them, are damaged significantly. A cancellation mark, bar codes, and even a little scuffing adds to the charm... makes them look "travelled".
WASHI TAPE ON POSTCARDS causes damage to them. While I have Washi tape and stickers, will swap them, and use them in some crafts, I am not a fan at all of it on postcards. It seems to cause problems with the postal sorting machines. Almost every PC I get with Washi around the edges is torn and/or badly scuffed with pieces of the tape loose or are torn right off, along with pieces of the card. Also, Washi and stickers take up message space and I would rather have a nice message from you.
PASTELS and MARKERS: I have gotten some PCs that were written in pastel colored markers. While colorful, they are hard for me to read. I would prefer the message be done in a good old black or blue ink pen and I can't help but think that the post office would like the address that way too.
LANGUAGES: Like most Americans (shame on us), I only really speak and read English. I knew some Spanish and a little German, many years ago -- even a few phrases of Russian -- but I have not used them in many a year, so they are pretty much gone. I know several Japanese words and phrases by sound, from watching Anime, but can not read the language and couldn't have much of a conversation..
I would love to see a few words in your own language, with a translation in English, if you could. (especially Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Cyrillic, Abugida... as I do not have the capability of entering ideograms into Google Translate. At least I don't know how.)
HOME-MADE POSTCARDS: love making my own PC's from found images. I can usually find a nice image that suits a Partner's likes better than the commercial PCs I have. If the swap doesn't prohibit it and there is nothing in your profile saying you don't like them, there is about a 40% chance you will get a handmade postcard from me. If a swap requires an envelope, there is a fair chance that will be hand made too.
I am generally not interested in DIRECT SWAPS and I will not respond to any card that I have not received as a part of a valid swap. Sorry. If you really want something special from my area, message me first.
I COLLECT BANKNOTES / Paper Currency that is currently or recently in circulation in other countries. When I get a new piece, I research the currency history for that country and the specific people and places that are pictured on the bill. I then write a page, outlining the information, to go in my album with it. I have made my collection available to local elementary school Teachers who have used it in lessons. Go to the end of my profile to see a list of the banknotes I am still in need of.
I also collect FLUTES and small figurines of OWLs and TURTLES
EXTRAS - While I appreciate the thought, if it isn't something related to my listed interests, I probably won't use it but pass it on. I'm afraid that I can not afford to send a lot of extras.
The best way to get a HEART from me is not to send 'extras' but to write something about yourself, your family, town, or country. I love a 'personal touch'.
KID FRIENDLY SWAPS - I may join one, from time to time, to share with my three favorite pseudo-grandkids. They are two girls and a boy, vegetarians, love stickers and anything they can color. They like animals, colorful pictures and being outside. They love being read to. They do not use video games or watch television.
I will list other likes as my swap interests dictate.
I hate to write this but...
When I started here and had read several profiles, I wondered why people wrote some of the things they did. After dealing with more than one unhappy partner, I find myself writing the same sort of thing.
My understanding of "Hearts" is that they are given for something special. It is very easy to get a heart from me. You do not have to send extras. All you have to do is write a bit of a message on / with the swap. Tell me a little something about yourself, your family, where you live, what you love, what you hate... I enjoy and reward that.
If you do the absolute minimum to satisfy the swap, you will get a five from me but not a heart. I expect nothing more from anyone for myself. I can't afford to send a lot of extras to people but I do try to write a note with each swap, which I hope people will find interesting and appreciate.
Thanks for reading my profile.
Best Wishes, have fun swapping, and Take Care!
“You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.” - Robin Williams
Banknotes I need: (Note: I do not collect coins)
franc pacifique (CFP franc),
Saint Helena pound,
Vatican City Lire,
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