MAY. 2001

I have just received a flyer from the Canadian War Museum. It is a 16-panel glossy, coloured (spelled this way since it’s Canadian) brochure that folds like a map. In its entire 16 panels, there is no mention of the Korean War. In a separate brochure listing the activities of the museum, reference is made to a temporary exhibition: “Korean War: A War in the Service of Peace,” described as “eighteen photographs depict Canada’s participation in the Korean War (1950-53).” I guess this is continuing evidence that the Korean War is indeed the “forgotten war.”

When I fly, I like to sit on the aisle. On our trip to Hawaii for Spring Break, I was sitting in my usual seat, when a passenger walking down the aisle turned and hit me full on the head with the laptop computer he was carrying over his shoulder. This reminded me of one of the things that really bugs me-passengers who pay no attention to other passengers when they are walking down the aisle or putting their luggage into or taking their luggage out of overhead storage. I thought about other things that really bug me-little things that I encounter-not big things like war and crime and politicians.

These things really bug me:

~   Students who wear baseball caps in class. (I don’t know why; they just do.)
~   A broken fingernail with no nail clippers available.
~   Drivers who won’t let me merge.
~   Hotel rooms with draperies that do not keep out the light.
~   Microsoft Word when it changes fonts on you when you don’t want to change fonts.
~   People who don’t turn off their cell phones in class, in church, in the theatre.
~   People using cell phones in my space (at the restaurant, sitting next to me, at the airport).
~   People using cell phones and driving.
~   A prepaid long distance card that runs out at the most critical moment (and they always do).
~   Being the next person in line for a airline first class upgrade and not making it.
~   My partner trumping my ace in bridge.
~   A smoky cab or hotel room.
~   Constant sneezing on an airplane from the poor air quality being circulated.
~   Making the second highest bid in a stamp auction.
~   People who use postage meters or definitive stamps instead of commemorative stamps (especially when we are both stamp collectors)!
~   Illustrations for a KP article that can’t be duplicated so they are readable.
~   Finding a typo in KP after it’s been duplicated.
~   Discovering that those rare Empire stamps you have are forgeries (again)!
~   Discovering that those presentation sheets you purchased years ago were not stored correctly and that they are now badly curled (and they’re selling for over $4,000).
~   Auction houses that don’t consistently send me the prices realized.
~   Getting lots of mail from the DPRK, none of which has stamps but is simply mailed with a rubber stamp saying “Pyongyang.”
~   Trying to transcribe manuscripts and letters written in impossible-to-read script.
~   Using PageMaker to produce KP. (I’ve got to find different software. I may have succeeded, the next issue is going to be done using Microsoft Publisher.)

That’s a lot of things that bug me. There are lots of things that I really like, as well, and many of these apply to KSS. Of course, my spouse, children, and families would definitely be at the top. But other things would include:
~   Next in order has to be the many authors and letter writers without whom KP would never come to fruition quarter after quarter after quarter.
~   Our webmaster, Harry Penn, who not only keeps me up to date on everything that is happening within the Republic of Korea stamp scene, but also responds to many questions that are posed to him about Korean philately from around the world.
~   Peter Beck, our president, who has also taken on the responsibility for seeing that KP is duplicated and mailed, and, as you will read, has now lined up a publisher.
~   John Talmage, Jr., who handles the business end of KP and the KSS in such a professional way.
~   The incredible number of experts in Korean philately who are available and ready to respond to my many questions as I try to keep errors out of KP.
~   My son, Laird, who helps me put all of the pieces together; without him, I don’t know how I’d ever put KP together.
~   The auction houses that DO consistently provide me with prices realized.
~   Authors who provide me with their photos to include with their article.

What’s the bottom line? There isn’t much that bugs me about KP, and there’s a heck of a lot that really nourishes me in serving as your editor (or I wouldn’t have been at it for so long). Thanks to all of you who make this possible. And here’s hoping that even more of you will join in this wonderful journey.

Finally, this appears to be a Kerr appreciation issue. Normally, I wouldn’t use so many articles from one author in an issue, but this is a reflection of the appeal I made in February. I am low on articles, and I really need to hear from more of you. Please get your articles to me in time for the August issue; I still need a few more articles to be sure I can put together a complete issue. Thanks to Jim for coming through for this issue!

Finally, because the February issue was so long-40 pages-this issue is a little shorter, so we can maintain our target of an average of 34 pages per issue.

Computer Crash

         In spite of an effective anti-virus software, a recent virus still managed, even after being identified, to destroy the inbox of my e-mail. No sooner had I had it fixed than the same virus came from another person and wiped me out again.

         The result of this is that all of the letters and articles that I had received for inclusion in KP were wiped out, too, as I usually put them into a directory until I work on the issue. I have now switched from Netscape Messenger to Outlook Express, which my technical advisor assures me will solve the problem.

         Here’s what’s important to you. If you have sent me a letter or an article by Internet and you do not see it in this issue (or in a previous issue), then it has been lost. Please send it to me again and accept my apologies for having to do this. Thanks. GaryMcLean, mcleaOO2@umn.edu.

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