Monday, October 31, 2011

Adam McCauley’s Monster "Stamps"

Although technically "cinderellas" with no valid postal use, illustrator Adam McCauley won a gold award at the Society of Illustrator’s annual exhibit for the monster "stamps" shown above.

From Dracula to Godzilla, each creature’s "stamp" is related to their city of origin.

Happy Halloween!

To visit Adam's website, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dismantling a Legacy: New Deal Post Offices Being Sold website reports, "The US Postal Service is dismantling the institution of the community post office and the rich legacy of the New Deal. The USPS has announced that it will be closing as many as 2,000 of its 32,000 post offices and auctioning off the buildings. As of May 2011, about 200 post offices have found themselves on the closing list, Many of them, like the Century Post Office in Raleigh, are significant historic buildings. At least 12 of them were built by the New Deal."

It goes on to say, "At this rate, something like 120 historic New Deal post offices could be closed and sold. They will be converted to real estate offices, retail showrooms, and restaurants. Most are not likely to remain public spaces, and they will certainly not continue to remind citizens of their link to the federal government. Moreover, while they are almost all located in downtown areas and serve people on foot, their services will usually be consolidated to annexes and office parks on the outskirts of town and require a car."

According to the article, "The director of the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum once said that the New Deal murals "constitute a great national treasure . . . and the buiidings that house these works represent a vaulable and important American asset" (quoted in Preserving the People's Post Office by Christopher Shaw). It's one thing to close a small, underutilized, retail post-office outlet in a shopping mall, but closing downtown post offices and selling off valuable architectural resources that belong to the public is a shame, and it shouldn't be happening. "

Shown above, Westport, CT,  Post Office which was built in 1935. The Westport News reports that the post office was sold on May 18 for $2.35 million, to a real estate company named Ansley Westport Partners, based in Atlanta. The new owners of the building will seek a retailer or restaurant as a tenant.

For more on this and other historic post offices being closed, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: You’ve Got Mail

The Wall Street Journal reports, "When the [Occupy Wall Street] group set up camp at Zuccotti Park... they signed up for the mailbox so that supporters near and far could send provisions. Tani Sussman, 33, franchise manager at the UPS Store, rented them the box for about $40 each month."

According to the article by Jessica Firger, the demonstrators receive hundreds of packages from supporters each day. Besides a marching band drum, whistles and noise makers, other items have included blankets, clothes, hygiene products and even big-ticket items like the generators used to power laptops and cellphones.

Packages and letters of support should be sent to OWS, # 205, 118A Fulton St., New York, 10038.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dracula - #1 Halloween Character on Stamps

According to Thomas Lera, the Winton M. Blout Chair in Research at the National Postal Museum, Dracula is the Halloween character that postal administrations around the world have depicted the most on stamps. In 1997, the U.S. Postal Service issued a “Classic Movie Monsters” stamp set, featuring five villains from Universal Studio films. Dracula was one.

"As a special security feature, a process called ‘scrambled indicia’ was used, which overlaps symbols and images that are not seen by the naked eye when printed,” says Lera.

“The Dracula stamp has three vampire bats in the blue background, which can only be seen by a precision optical device using elongated lenses called lenticules.”

Lera suggests modeling a Dracula costume after this or the many other portrayals—a Canadian stamp honoring the 100th anniversary of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula in 1997, a Samoan stamp from 2000 featuring the Sesame Street’s Count von Count and a British stamp from 2008 with actor Christopher Lee as Dracula commemorating the 50th anniversary of Hammer Horror Films.

For more Halloween costume ideas from the Smithsonian, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Military Post Offices in Iraq to Close Nov. 17

Because U.S. forces are coming home from Iraq by the end of the year, the U.S. Postal Service will stop accepting mail addressed to military post offices in Iraq starting Nov. 17 according to a Defense Department press release which goes on to say, "Military post offices in Iraq also will stop processing mail Nov. 17, and service members there should begin now to advise those who send them mail about the Nov. 17 deadline. Mail still in the postal system through Nov. 17 will be processed and delivered to service members in Iraq."

In November, U.S. military postal service responsibilities in Iraq will transition to State Department embassy or consulate post offices for service members assigned to Office of Security Cooperation or the Chief of Mission in Iraq.

If APO mail arrives in Iraq after a service member departs, mail will be redirected to the new mailing address provided or, if no mailing address was provided, returned to sender.

Shown above, a military post office in Iraq.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What's This Stamp Contest

The Round-Up has decided to have a "What's This Stamp" contest from time to time.

The rules are simple. The first person to correctly identify the stamp pictured above by country will win a very nice presentation pack courtesy of Royal Mail.

The first person to correctly identify the stamp pictured by country AND SCOTT CATALOGUE NUMBER will also win a Royal Mail presentation pack.

So go ahead, make my day, and identify the stamp shown above.

Send entries to:
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Odd Stamps Highlight Ohio Show

Ohio's Daily Record reports the Wooster Stamp Club held its annual stamp show and exhbition over the weekend and says it drew a "pretty good crowd."

Unusual stamps were part of the draw according to reporter Linda Hall.

Tom Hirschinger showed off some of his most unusual stamps which included New Zealand's first 3D stamp honoring the 2011 Rugby World Cup, a "moving model" stamp from the Netherlands of a young woman moving her hand up to her face, and a moving train stamp from Hong Kong.

Hirschinger was quoted as saying ,"I do try to get odd stamps -- a little different," such as the set of silk stamps from Thailand which are shown above.

Randy Sigler told Hall he collects things that interest him. He especially likes fancy cancels with "star" and "feather" designs.

According to the article, this year's exhibit theme was "Remembering the Onset of the Civil War."

Wooster Stamp Club President Jim Thompson, highlighting part of a display incorporating sterling silver stamps said, "They're kind of a rare thing, too. Then we have people who came with different themes," Thompson said, including French West Africa, space, and post offices from locations called Victor from around the world.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mailing Pumpkins

Reporter Charmaine Smith-Miles of the Anderson, South Carolina Independent Mail writes, "Mary Busey toted five one-pound pumpkins in a baking pan and set them down on the counter at the main Anderson branch of the U.S. Post Office on a recent morning, and waited for the stamps to go on their marker-painted surfaces. By the end of the labeling, about half of the pumpkins were covered with the labels that will help postal workers get them to their intended destinations."

"Those pumpkins are Busey's unique way of wishing her four children and a dear friend a happy Halloween," pens Smith-Miles. "Forget a greeting card. This has a more personal touch, Busey said.To start with, the pumpkins are decorated with their own artwork, drawn by Busey."

According to the article, "The unique care package started when Busey's oldest child, Barbara, left home for college in 1972. Then as the other three children left home, she followed suit by sending each of them a pumpkin in time for Halloween."

U.S. Postal Service regulations allow for certain perishables to be shipped within the United States as long as they are labeled appropriately and the person shipping the item understands the risks involved.

Busey is quoted as saying, "In 40 years, I've only had four that were smashed."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Marvelous Mailboxes

The Urban Hikers, Peter Hartmann & Stacey Wright take a look at some unusual mailboxes on the Edhat, Santa Barbara website while walking within the city limits of Santa Barbara, California.

Rather than tell their readers about a specific hike or neighborhood they've experienced, they decided to share photos of some of the cool mailboxes they've seen along along the way.

According to Peter and Stacey, "With mailboxes, we've noticed that very often a neighborhood adopts a theme. Once one resident starts with a particular motif or style, others seem to follow suit... almost as though there's a collective consciousness of mailbox ornamentation. Animals seem to be popular in several neighborhoods. They always make us very cheery."

They go on to say, "Another very popular theme is architecture. Sometimes it mirrors the home to which it belongs, and sometimes it doesn't. We're always tickled to find a homemade mailbox, and especially like those that look like they've been part of the family forever."

They point out that some their favorite mailboxes are "standouts because of how they are placed, and what surrounds them." 

 For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Teddy Bear Mail

"Every Tuesday second graders arrive early to Theodore Roosevelt (TR) Elementary School. They come in with a smile on their face and the excitement of taking on their task at hand. The students help deliver the Teddy Bear Mail, TR’s in-school postal service," writes Nicole Gawel on the Metro Western New York website.

According to the article, "This in-house postal service encourages all students, from pre-kindergarten to grade 2, to write letters to their teachers, administrators, classmates, and peers. Last school year, the TR postal workers delivered almost 2,000 letters and packages. Co-advisors, or postmaster generals, Elizabeth Rehac, a first grade consultant teacher, and Celeste Korzeniewski, a reading teacher, run the club, which is based off of the United States Postal Services’ We Deliver program, which has been discontinued for quite some time."

Gawel goes on to say... "They address their letters to the receiver of the mail and the hallway’s designated bear name, which include Cubby Bear Court, Teddy Bear Terrace, Polar Bear Place, Black Bear Boulevard and Grizzly Bear Trail, to name a few.

"The jobs include postmaster, who collects the mail from the mailboxes; facer, that takes the mail from the postmaster and places the letters in the facer box with the address facing front and the stamp in the upper right hand corner; the nixie clerk or canceller, who receives all improperly addressed and stamped letters from the facer, although almost every letter does get to the appropriate person eventually.

"The canceller who cancels the postage stamps; the sorter, that sorts the mail by address and places them into the appropriate folder to be delivered; and the carrier that delivers the mail. All jobs are thoroughly explained to the participants."

When the children are ready to deliver the mail out of their special postal bags, they don their special hats and deliver to the assigned classrooms. In five years time, since the club’s inception, more than 6,800 letters and packages have been delivered.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cost of First-Class Stamp Going Up To 45 Cents

Reuters reports the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service announced  a one-cent increase in the cost of mailing a letter, starting in January.

It goes on to say, "The new prices lift the cost of a first-class stamp to 45 cents starting on January 22, 2012, the first increase in more than two years.  The cost to mail a postcard will go up three cents to 32 cents, letters to Canada or Mexico will increase five cents to 85 cents, and letters to other international locations will increase seven cents to $1.05."

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:15 AM

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Winner of the Owney Look-alike Contest Announced

And the winner is.....Bentley, from Fremont, California.
In partnership with the Washington Humane Society, the National Postal Museum hosted an Owney, the unofficial mascot of the U.S. Railway Mail Service in the late 19th century, look-alike contest this past summer.

Before the submission round ended in mid-September, 73 dogs were nominated. Over the voting period, from September 16 to October 17, a grand total of 8,284 votes were cast.

Bentley's guardian, Judy Perry, writes on the National Postal Museum Facebook page, "Bentley is a 4- or 5-year-old terrier mix who somehow became homeless -- just like Owney. But, luckily, his travels (not on a train, but in the Tri-City Animal Shelter Mobile Adoption Bus) brought him to the Niles Dog Show in July 2008. That's where he and I met, and I adopted him from the shelter right away. He's a great dog and my very best friend."

She goes on to say, "In addition to receiving a blue ribbon, he was selected to serve as Owney's official stand-in at the July 30th Golden Gate Railroad Museum's celebration of the Railway Postal Service and USPS's Owney Stamp-Release. Bentley appeared at the event wearing a harness with lots of tags attached – just like Owney's. He must have caught Owney’s spirit, because he climbed right up the steps of the railway postal car and settled down comfortably on and near the mail bags. He seemed to feel right at home on the train, and he greeted everyone who came through with a smile, accepted lots of pats, and posed nicely for countless photos."

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Conan O'Brien Stamps

Now that living persons can be on U.S. postage stamps, Josh Simpson has posted on the Team Coco website a bunch of Conan O'Brien stamps he'd like to see . 

To view the others, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Are Children "Stamped Out"?

Britain's Daily Mail in an article titled "Stamped out: Why the Nation’s Children Turned Their Backs on the Hunting for a Penny Black" reports, "With concerns for the future of the traditional hobby increasing, national organisations are now making efforts to boost interest amongst children. However, they face an uphill struggle. In today’s hi-tech world the sight of a Penny Black or a rare stamp from the far corners of the globe no longer gets young hearts beating like it once did."

According to the article by Chris Brooke, "Kidstamp, the national organisation for junior stamp collectors, now has only 1,000 members, compared to around 100,000 who were signed up to a similar group in the 1990s."

Richard West, of the Royal Philatelic Society, is quoted as saying "Children are still ‘fascinated’ by a good stamp collection, although the interest is now higher at primary rather than secondary school level.

"The world is a smaller place these days and so the thrill of seeing stamps from faraway places has largely gone," he said.

"There are hopes that Olympic stamps may help revive the interest of children. But an image problem is hampering efforts to breathe new life into an old hobby," writes Brooke.

Erene Grieve, who runs the Stamps in Schools programme, is also quoted and said, "I hear children sneer at those who express an interest in stamps. If only Victoria and David Beckham would come out and say they collect stamps."

To read the entire article, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, October 17, 2011

Post Office Doesn't Need Fixing

"When a mail carrier works the same route for years, you become embedded in people's lives.You go to parties and to Eagle Scout ceremonies. You come to know people well when you deliver wedding gifts and condolence cards and birth notices. There are quick conversations with elderly customers who rarely speak with anyone else. There is the chance to casually spread the news of a lost dog or missing bike."

So says says Wendy Lopez-Swiatek, a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service in a column by Mark Hare that appears on New York's Democrat and Chronicle website.

Hare says, "But to the bottom-liners who run everything these days, price always trumps the human touch. So faced with what looks like $20 billion in losses forecast over the next few years, it's no surprise that the penny-pinchers, including new Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, want to close more than 3,000 post offices, end Saturday delivery and lay off more than 100,000 of 560,000 postal workers. If it comes to making drastic changes, the actual cutting could go even deeper. No one knows right now."

According to Hare, "But this fake postal crisis is a proxy battle being hyped by the same old government-is-always-bad crowd — another chance to sharply cut or eliminate a public service by privatizing what's already a cost-efficient, well-run program."

Ken Montgomery, president of the Branch 210 of the National Association of Letter Carriers responds, "The Postal Service is the richest broke company you'll ever see. The Postal Service has been a quasi-independent organization for 30 years, providing universal mail service at some of the lowest rates in the world without a single tax dollar of support. It doesn't need fixing."

 Lopez-Swiatek points out, "We go to every address in America, every day — for 44 cents. Nobody else can do that, and still make a profit. Why would you mess with such success?"

Click here to read the entire article.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Martin Luther King Memorial Dedication Cover Available

A double cancel cover will commemorate the October 16 dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and the 16th anniversary of the Million Man March, which happened October 16, 1995.

The cover features a cachet of the MLK memorial, complemented a Barbara Jordan stamp.
In addition, the cover includes two stamps from the “To Form a More Perfect Union,” with significant events in the African American journey toward equal rights.

One cancellation bears an October 16, 2011 date. The second cancellation bears an August 28, 2011 date, which was the 48th anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Cost of the cover is $7.

For additional details, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pneumatic Mail

Today marks the 114th anniversary of the pneumatic tube system which was introduced in New York City on October 15, 1897.

According to the National Postal Museum website, the first pneumatic tubes were introduced in Philadelphia in 1893.

Eventually, pneumatic tube service operated in Boston, Chicago and St. Louis. By 1915, more than 56 miles of pneumatic tubes were installed under the city streets.

Smithsonian Institution Public Affairs Specialist Jessica Porter points out, "In the late 1890s, networks of pneumatic tube systems were installed under city streets to move the mail. Each pneumatic tube canister could hold up to 500 letters. The canisters, also known as carriers, were air compressed through the system, traveling at an average of 35 miles per hour. By 1915, more than 56 miles of pneumatic tubes were installed under the city streets."

Shown above, a pneumatic tube which is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is on display at the National Postal Museum.

Click here for more information.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, October 14, 2011

Just How Desperate is USPS?

Connecticut's  WFSB-TV reports, "The Sickles, of East Hampton, thought nothing of slipping notes in the neighbors' mailboxes about an upcoming Halloween block party, until the U.S. Postal service stepped in."

According to the report, "The couple had no idea it's against postal code regulations to leave notices in residential mailboxes unless they have postage.  The U.S. Postal service charged the Sickles 44 cents for postage for all 80 invites they placed around their Royal Oak neighborhood."

Communicating via mailbox notes apparently is not unusual in the close-knit neighborhood.

One local resident Michelle Fraser is quoted in the article as saying, "We do it all the time for sending thank you notes, kid's birthday parties, anything," said

The U.S. Postal service did not return phone calls from the station seeking comment.

Apparently a law called the “mailbox restriction” was passed in 1934 that “prohibits anyone from placing mailable matter without postage into any mailbox.”

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Postcards Were The E-Mail of the 1920s

Joe May is quoted in an article that appears on Illinois' Forest Park Review website as saying, "The postcard was the e-mail of the 1920' an example, a postcard that was mailed from Chicago to Maywood on a Friday in that era. The card was postmarked by the Maywood PO that same day. The urgent message was that the sender couldn't come to Sunday dinner."

May points out in the article by John Rice that postcards were popular from 1910 to the late 1920's but the telephone ended their heyday. "Postcards are still in use today, but mostly by vacationers wishing to make their friends envious," according to May.

May, a retired furniture-store manager, used to collect postage stamps, but now he belongs to the Windy City Postcard Club.

"Most of the postcards May has depict local churches, schools and businesses. Some were used by businesses and organizations as a way to communicate with potential customers, members or donors - similar, in concept, to the blast emails and newsletters of today," writes Rice.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sticky Fingers Use Sticky Paper to Steal Rent Checks

Georgia investigators are working on 30-40 cases of checks being stolen from  mailboxes and apartment drop boxes according to The Augusta Chronicle.

Staff writer Bianca Cain pens, "An investigation revealed the thieves are sliding a long, sticky paper in the drop boxes and pulling it out with the rent checks attached. Mailboxes – especially business mailboxes – across Richmond and Columbia counties have been targeted as well."

Investigator Michael Lanham is quoted as saying the thefts have been going on for several months.

“Once they get their hands on the checks, they’re either typing their name over the names on the checks or going behind (a business name) and typing ‘Attention’ and their own name,” Lanham said.

According to the article, "The checks are typically being cashed in grocery stores and then being deposited into an ATM."

Postal authorities are advising renters to hand-deliver their checks to their apartment managers or management company. They also say mail containing checks should be dropped off at post offices instead of leaving it in the mailbox to be picked up.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stamps Keep History Alive

Reporter Jacques Von Lunen of Washington state's Tri-City Herald pens, "...postage stamps and the envelopes they are attached to offer surprising glimpses into foreign countries."

Writing about the Tri-Cities Stamp Club which held its annual show over the weekend, Von Lunen says, "And that is why many collectors like the stamps -- for the stories they keep alive."

He points out  the club successfully lobbied the U.S. Postal Service to create a special cancellation for the show. Celebrating the fact that 100 years ago, the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard started using airplanes, the cancellation shows an image of the local Pasco Naval Air Station control tower which is being considered for demolition.

Show organizer Lawrence Clay was the president of the Scouts On Stamps Society International, which has 800 members worldwide. He retired from the office, Von Lunen reports, but still collects and sells Scout-themed stamps.

Postal worker Jeanette Benders, ran a temporary post office at the show where people could buy the latest stamps. However, Benders is quoted as saying, when young kids who came to the stamp show with their grandparents stopped by and looked at the stamps, they'd say "Oh, cool -- stickers."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, October 10, 2011

World Post Day

In case you missed it, yesterday was World Post Day. According to a write-up in The Times of India...

"World Post Day is celebrated on October 9 to mark the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 1874 in the Swiss capital Berne. It was declared World Post Day by the UPU Congress held in Tokyo in 1969.

"From the earliest times in history, 'postal services' existed in the form of messengers who travelled large distances on foot or horseback. In the 1600s and 1700s, many countries set up national postage systems and entered into bilateral agreements for the exchange of mail between countries. By the late 1800s there was a large web of bilateral agreements that made the distribution of international mail complicated, non-transparent and inefficient.

"In 1863, Montgomery Blair, Postmaster General in the US organised a conference of representatives from 15 European and American countries. On September 15, 1874, Heinrich von Stephan, a senior postal official in the North German Confederation (an area that now forms parts of Germany, Poland and Russia), opened a conference in Berne, Switzerland, with delegates from 22 countries. On October 9, 1874, the delegates signed the Treaty of Berne and established the General Postal Union."

For more on World Post Day, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Postal Inspectors Warn of New Email Scam

A new email scam involving the United States Postal Service (USPS) is hitting Southwest Florida inboxes. Postal inspectors are warning that a single click can be disastrous for your computer.

The USPS scam asks you to open a link to find out when you can expect or reschedule a certified mail delivery date according to a report from WINK-TV News.

The USPS says this isn't the first time they've been targeted.

USPS Spokesperson Debbie Mitchell is quoted in the piece as saying, "In the past, they were sending something similar saying, 'We have a package for you, we've tried to deliver it. We need your help. Please click on this link to re-deliver your parcel."

The U.S. Postal Service reminds everyone that they never ask for personal information via email.

To read the entire article and watch the station's on-air report, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Another Royal Wedding

As seen here, Bhutan Post and Thailand Post have issued six sets of stamps to commemorate the royal wedding of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Jetsun Pema which will place later this week.

According to an article in the Bangkok Post, the stamp sets consist of "one gold, two embossed and two holographic sets and one souvenir sheet."

Tseten Geltsen, managing director of Bhutan Post is quoted as saying the reason Thailand was chosen was because "they were impressed by the quality of stamps printed in 2008 by the Thai British Security Printing Company for the 100th anniversary of the Wangchuck dynasty despite very short notice. The second reason was because King Jigme is highly revered and loved in Thailand."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Roger Ebert Stamp Company

John Finch, stamp guide, quotes film critic Roger Ebert and his youthful philatelic activities as mentioned in Ebert's book Life Itself: A Memoir(Grand Central Publishing, 2011)...

"It was from the basement that I operated the Roger Ebert Stamp Company, buying ten-cent ads in little stamp magazines and mailing out 'approvals' to a handful of customers, who must have been about my age. These I addressed on an old typewriter. One day two men came to the door and said they might want to buy some stamps. I proudly took them downstairs and showed them my wares. My mother hovered nervously at the head the stairs. The men left quickly, saying they didn't see anything they needed for their collections. Nevertheless, they seemed to be in a good mood. As they were driving way, my dad walked in from work. 'What did those men want?' he asked. We told him. 'Their car said Department of Internal Revenue,' he said."

Click here to check out John's other "Must Reads."
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Post Offices Once Featured Tobacco and Candy Stands

"The candy and tobacco store that opened in the city’s main post office in the late 1940s was part of a nationwide movement to provide work for persons living with a disability," writes Katherine Yamada in California's Glendale News-Press.

According to Katherine, "In 1947, Postmaster Max L. Green, with assistance from the state and federal governments and the Lions clubs of the area, installed and outfitted a candy and tobacco stand in the post office’s lobby."

She goes on to say, "The tobacco and candy stand, which represented an investment of nearly $2,000, was one of several similar stands being installed in other cities throughout the state to provide the handicapped a way of making a living, according to the Glendale News-Press of January 3, 1947."

The stand was stocked with a wide assortment of candies, from Almonets to VitaSerts, along with chewing gum and tobacco products according to the News-Press article.

Shown above, the opening of the candy and tobacco stand at Glendale's main post office in 1947. From left, Mayor Albert C. Lane, Postmaster Max L. Green, Ray Barker of the Glendale Lions Club and, right, Eldon Littell, concession operator. 

Click here to read the enitre article.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011)

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posted by Don Schilling at 6:09 PM

U.S. Post Office Becomes First-Class Home

Joseph D'Agnese of  This Old House writes on the MSN Real Estate webpage, "It may be a fine place to visit, but who would seriously consider turning a former government building into a private sanctuary? Well, Dr. Sarah Belhasen, for one. And she's no eccentric. She is, quite to the contrary, a family physician, a student of history, an inveterate collector of Americana and a practical-minded native of Paintsville, Ky."

He goes on to say,"That her current address, smack in the middle of Paintsville's sleepy business district, served the local population of around 5,000 as a U.S. post office for 70 years is a circumstance based on some clear-minded financial and lifestyle choices and more than a little determination. Ten years ago, the young physician moved back to this former coal-mining town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains with the goal of buying a house in her hometown. But not just any house: It had to be a house with character."

Shown above, the former postmaster's office which Dr. Belhasen turned into a office and den.

To read the entire article and see additional photos, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Digital Currency: An Opportunity for the Postal Service?

"The Postal Service already offers money orders and some wire transfer options. Should it expand into digital currency?" the Office of the USPS Inspector General wants to know.

A newly released OIG white paper Digital Currency: Opportunity for the Postal Service looks into the world of digital payments to identify a possible role for the Postal Service.

According to an entry on the Inspector General's website, "The paper finds the Postal Service is well positioned to expand into new digital currency products, such as prepaid cards, and offers some suggestions for implementation."

The white paper points out, "Promoting the financial inclusion of the unbanked and underbanked population could be an important part of the traditional Postal Service’s mission of “binding the nation together.” Embracing new payment technologies to adapt its products and services to the changing needs of these customers would be the natural evolution of its role."

It goes on to say, "Some foreign posts have already launched prepaid card services successfully.For example, the Italian Post is the leader in the Italian prepaid card market. Its low-cost prepaid card services generated revenues of $124 million in 2010, or about 2 percent of total revenues from financial services."

To read the entire report, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, October 03, 2011

Mailboxes in Love

"For the critics, it’s graffiti. But for the romantics, it’s art in the form of mailbox love," blogs Christina Ng on the ABC News website. Nestled lovingly beside each other, two ordinary mailboxes in Denver seem to have fallen in love with a little help from someone who's become known as the Mailbox Love Bandit.

According to Ng, it began in December 2010 with the first messages—the eyelash-clad blue mailbox gazing at the larger green mailbox with a smile and the message, “[heart] u” painted in white. The green mailbox smiled back with the message, “[heart] u too.”

She goes on to say, "The city paints over the mailboxes and, every time, the messages come back. Others have included 'I’m here' and 'I’m here too!' as well as 'They can never' and  'Tear us apart' painted on with hearts."

Chris Stroup, station manager for the Capitol Hill U.S. Postal Service office, according to the Denver Post, is quoted as saying, "“For us, it’s graffiti, and if we see it, we’re going to call the maintenance guys to come paint over it.”

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 02, 2011

QR Code stamp

The 2d Code website reports, "QR Codes on postage stamps are not new (cf. QR Code Valentine’s Day postage stamps from Taiwan and a QR Code postage stamp from Spain) but these from Hrvatske pošte, the national postal service of Croatia, incorporate a novel functionality.

According to the article, "Scanning the QR Code takes the user to a mobile site where the unique code can be entered and view confirmation on the receipt of your mail as well as additional data about its route. Users can find out when the mail was sent, how many kilometers it had travelled, when it reached its destination and more."

The QR Code stamp was produced to mark the 20th anniversary of the issuance of postal stamps by Croatian Post.

According to Wikipedia, a QR code (short for Quick Response code) was first designed for the automotive industry track vehicles during the manufacturing process.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 01, 2011

British Exhibition Highlights Black Achievements Around The World

As part of Black History month in the U.K., an exhibition highlighting black achievement titled Post-Colonial: An Exhibition of Stamps from the African Diaspora opens today at Stanley Gibbons in London.

"African diaspora" was the movement of Africans and their descendants to places throughout the world - predominantly to the Americas also to Europe, the Middle East and other places around the globe according to an entry on Wikipedia.

British design critic Stephen Bayley is quoted in a press release from Stanley Gibbons about the exhibition as saying, “[Stamps] involve a whole range of creativity, within clear disciplines, not least dictated by their size. So by collecting stamps, you are, at a fraction of the cost of collecting other forms of art, gaining access to a vast international archive of design.”

Bayley went to say in the release, "The design disciplines involved are fascinating: within a tiny space, a stamp must establish national identity, indicate its value, contain (if it is a special edition) usefully suggestive symbolism and needs high visual impact...without compromising the dignity of the issuing authority. Stamps are astonishing bargains as well as examples of miniature genius.”

For those unable to attend, the exhibition will also be available at  and .
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM