Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
USPS is introducing new Village Post Offices, but in Yosemite National Park there is an historic Post Office in Yosemite Village.
Built in 1925, it has received recent renovations including new wood siding, along with shake shingle roofing and a renovated woodwork interior. It's all part of the park’s efforts to maintain and restore historic buildings. The renovations were funded by the National Park Service.
The Post Office, which features stone on the lower level and wood shingles on the upper level, is an excellent example of rustic architecture, and was designed by Gilbert Stanley. This type of design became popular at other national parks throughout the country.
Through the years, four stamps have been issued with Yosemite themes. A one-cent El Capitan in 1932, a 25-cent Flag Over Half Dome in 1988, a 39-cent Yosemite Waterfalls in 2006, and a 42-cent painting by Albert Bierstadt of Yosemite Valley in 2008.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
What do you think of the clown? Would you keep him?
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Here's how it will work. Customers will purchase an adhesive barcode that will be placed directly under the postage of their individual letters.They will be able to follow the mailpiece using the tracer barcodes by checking the numbers online at www.usps.com, or by using a unique QR code with their mobile device.
On average, each item with a First-Class Tracer will receive 2-4 scans that customers can follow as it makes it's way to delivery.
This innovative idea is in answer to some customers requests. What do you think?
Would you like to trace some of your letters and cards? Will it catch on?
Saturday, December 24, 2011
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 3/4 cup flour
2 tsps cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
For the top:
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 400ºF.
Friday, December 23, 2011
The Art of the Christmas Stamp
Works From the National Gallery of Art
Many of the artworks that have inspired the traditional stamps are in the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, D.C. To showcase this tradition, the NGA and the National Postal Museum (NPM) have partnered to create an online exhibit, which explores the art behind US Christmas stamps.
The entire exhibit may viewed here:
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Bob Smith is a letter carrier who moonlights as an author. He has sold more than 60 stories and published two novels. And in 2009, a Hollywood producer bought the rights to his first book, "The Flock."
He crafts tales of zombies, ghosts and 10-foot-tall carnivorous birds who are alive and well. His obsession with fantasy, horror, and science fiction began when he was eight years old. His mother - who owned a used a bookstore with his father - handed him a copy of Ray Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man."
Along the way he's gotten hundreds of rejections. His stories include "Visitation," which tells of Edgar Allan Poe returning from the dead to meet an admirer. It took him 18 years to sell the Poe story. He advises other authors to stick with it.
He doesn't plan to quit his day job soon. But in the meantime, the fellow making his mail rounds in Charlotte might also be plotting his next novel.
Photo by Todd Sumlin, used with permission.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
|Former City Carrier Walter Mitchell and his boss |
former Postmaster Thomas Costin. Courtesy itemlive.
Walter, who will turn 105 on December 22, was hired by the Postal Service in 1934 when he was just out of the Navy.
The story generated some interesting comments from readers.
"I remember 'Whistling Walter.'"
"I have fond memories, he was a happy guy."
"God Bless you Walter."
"I was young and lived on Bedford Street. All the kids loved him."
"Thank you Walter for taking the time to stop and talk."
"We would all follow him around his route."
Walter's own mailman now, Paul Kotkowski, remembers when Walter was his mailman back in the 50s and 60s. "To this day I remember him stopping to play football with us and we'd push his cart around." Katowski also said that when he goes to see his mother now in his postal uniform, she will still ask "How's Walter?"
To read more visit: http://itemlive.com/articles/2011/12/15/news/news02.txt
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
There have been several figures through the years who dearly prized their typewriters including:
- Mark Twain is said to have been the first to submit a typewritten manuscript to a publisher with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in 1876.
- Ernest Hemingway used to write his books standing in front of a Royal typewriter placed on a tall bookshelf.
- Jack Kerouac typed On the Road on a roll of paper so he would not have to be interrupted to change the paper.
- Henry James dictated to a typist.
- David McCullough bought himself a second-hand Royal typewriter in 1965 and it has been the sole piece of technology he used in producing the manuscripts of every book he has published including two Pulitzer Prize winners.
What's next? A return to the quill and ink? I was quite fond of them.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Employees designed him from various Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes to help customers choose the right box for their holiday mailing needs.
The famous wooden nutcracker that turns into a prince on Christmas Eve is holding a mail bag and placing mail in mailbox made from Priority Mail boxes.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Canadapost has a holiday advertisement out that shows a woman sitting next to a Christmas tree. There is an opened envelope that has obviously been mailed, and she is lovingly looking at a greeting card. The banner across the top asks "Ever Displayed An E-Card On Your Mantle?"
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Well, not really. How fast can you walk 13 miles and stop at every house and business along the way while carrying boxes and bags?
In Sibley, IA a story ran on the local news about Chris Zoet who keeps on the move by jogging segments of the 13 mile route he covers on his job with USPS.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Cat litter has long been touted as a good thing to keep in the car this time of year for added traction when the roads get slick.
This customer got even more ingeneous by putting the empty litter container to work as a new mail box!
Monday, December 12, 2011
Clerks onboard the Titanic, Oscar Woody's keys and facing slips, bags of mail being loaded on the ship.
On board the S. S. Titanic on April 15th, 1912, was a state of the art Sea Post Office where mail was being sorted and canceled in route to the ship's destination. There were 3000 bags of mail on the ship.
Five clerks onboard included Americans Oscar Woody, John March, and William Gwinn who worked alongside British clerks John Smith and James Williamson. They refused to abandon their posts, working diligently to get 200 registered mailbags on deck in the hopes of saving it.
It happened to be Oscar Woody's 44th birthday. His body was recovered, and in his pockets were a chain of mailroom keys, some postal facing slips, and his assignment to service on the Titanic - the only mail artifacts found. No mail has been recovered from salvaging operations.
It is estimated that between six and nine million pieces of mail, and between 700 and 800 parcel post items were lost. Along with five steadfast men who were honored by both countries.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Benny here, marveling at the Postal Service we have nowadays. Back when I was the Postmaster General I never could have imagined the techonology that we have now.
The USPS mobile application is available now for Android, iPhone and Blackberry phones. USPS has added more features such as Lookup a Zip Code and Find USPS Locations.
The most recent updates on the iPhone application also lets customers scan package barcodes and schedule next-day free package pickup.
You can download the application now or bookmark http://m.usps.com/ in your mobile browser.
It's like having a Post Office in your pocket.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
The show featured a piece of an envelope found at the crime scene with a typical sorting barcode along the bottom of the letter. They depicted that by calling the Post Office they were told exactly where the letter had been delivered and they used that information to track criminal activity.
When they turn up missing Detective Ryan also notices the same scrap of paper on their desk and uses it to find Castle and Beckett just in time to save them. Nice story. But it is just a story.
First, the barcode they show is not all there - it has part of it ripped off. It would not be able to be read entirely. Second, you can't call the Postal Service, give them a barcode and have them tell you where it was delivered.
Barcodes are a boon to sorting the mail, but they aren't capable of solving crimes.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
In spite of a 1/3 reduction in employees at the USPS Remote Encoding Center, the Combined Federal Campaign there exceeded pledges over last year's giving.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Here's just one idea to consider for anyone's wish list.
The 2011 Stamp Yearbook is the perfect way to enjoy the year's stamp program — and preserve the best of our nation.
This beautiful keepsake uses the stamps of 2011 to highlight achievements, honor visionaries, applaud entertainers, and celebrate innovation.
Each hardbound book includes:
75 stamps from the 2011 collectible program plus mounts;
72 pages of fascinating information about each stamp subject;
Placeholders to preserve both collectible and mail-use issuances;
An array of quotes, timelines, graphics, and photography.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Westernmost in US — Wales, AK
Northernmost in US — Barrow, AK
Coldest — North Slope area of Alaska, including Barrow and Wainwright
Highest Zip Code - 99950 in Ketchikan, AK
Most isolated — Located in the farthest reaches of northern Alaska, the Anaktuvuk Pass Post Office is the only link to the outside world for the 300 residents who live there. There are no roads; everything must be flown in.
But one Alaska Post Office is just like several others around the nation. It holds memories of the local history.
In Wasilla, AK, the original Post Office was recently salvaged and saved at a new historic park. Several residents commented on how fond they are of the old building and the many memories it holds for them. It certainly can't compare with the newer location. So what makes it such a fond rememberance?
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
The company billed clients for hundreds of mailings that were missing or delayed. It was found that some were presented to the Postal Service over 60 days later than customers were told, while others were only partially or even never at all mailed. When clients had complained about the mailings, the owner and his employees blamed the Postal Service.
When sentencing the owner, the judge emphasized how his conduct had tarnished the reputation of the Postal Service and damaged its relationship with customers. The convicted mailer was sentenced to almost six years in prison and three years of supervised release. He also was ordered to make full restitution to the Postal Service.
One thing that more visibility and scanning can do is prove when items really are "in the mail."
Friday, November 25, 2011
Not only working ones that still get mail delivered in them, but also some that have been reinvented for other purposes or even as works of art. What have you seen mailboxes used for?
They may be one of our favorite Americana icons. Start noticing how many times they are in paintings, in the background in movies, or given new life working some other way.
What does their popularity mean? Maybe Americans are so fond of mail boxes because they like getting mail. Or maybe they bring fond memories because they are a symbol of everyone's home.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
So you see things like the large ice cream sundae that sits out in front of the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Headquarters. There are also ice cream cones appearing all over the city as part of a public art project.
Presently, there over 20 cones in places ranging from the elementary school to the truck wash. And now there is one at the Le Mars Post Office.
Photo of cone appears courtesy of KTIV News 4.
This cone was created by the family of longtime carrier Pat Holton who died earlier this year. Pat carried the mail along rural routes for 37 years. His son painted the cone the color of a drop box, and gave it great detail.
Pat's wife Karol said, "I just want people to know how much he loved his work, and the community."
To see more including a video of the postal ice cream cone visit:
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
New in 2012, the Postal Museum Education Department will offer Boy Scouts the opportunity to work toward the Stamp Collecting Merit Badge with the museum. What better way to learn stamps than through their collection?
This opportunity won't just be for scouts. If you are interested in this program you may contact Erin at NPMprograms@si.edu for information on how to participate.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Other resources include companion sources for special education classroooms, a Standards of Learning guide, student worksheets to accompany lessons, and even U.S. Topography rubrics.
Teacher resources include this recommended book list:
• Delivering Your Mail: A book about mail carriers by Ann Owen
• The Post Office Book: The Mail and how it moves by Gail Gibbons
• Tales from the Rails e-Book by Jerry Rees and Stephen Michael Schwartz
Friday, November 18, 2011
Marla, a breast cancer survivor herself, is among the most ardent supporters of the Breast Cancer Research (BCR) stamp. This year her office led the nation by selling more than $39,000 worth of BCR stamps during October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In addition to using stamps to commemorate people, events and places, the Postal Service issues semipostal stamps to help fund causes mandated by Congress. The BCR semipostal was issued in 1998, and was the first semipostal in U.S. history. Sales of more than 919 million BCR stamps have raised $72.7 million for research.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Doctors and medical experts are concerned about a new trend taking place on Facebook. Parents are talking about trading live viruses in order to infect their children.
Parents use the page to set up play dates with children who currently have chicken pox. Or they offer to send spit and lollipops that infected children have used. Experts say such lollipops could carry more dangerous viruses including hepatitis. Two people on the Facebook page were even looking for the much more serious measles, mumps, and rubella.
Medical experts say the most troubling part of this is parents are taking pathogens from complete strangers and deliberately infecting their children. "I could never feel good about purposely infecting a child with a disease like that," said Elizabeth Jacobs from the University of Arizona College of Public Health.
Another big concern is that they are advising readers to send the virus through the mail.
It is illegal to send infectious substances through the mail, except between very specialized and authorized parties who meet specific requirements. U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin was quoted as saying it is a federal crime to send diseases or viruses across state lines period.
The United States Postal Inspection Service has a Dangerous Mail Investigations program that can conduct aggressive investigations of individuals who violate federal laws, and Postal Service rules and regulations with a prohibited mailing. Their objective is to secure the nation’s mail system and ensure public trust against any substance that may cause harm to Postal Service employees, or Postal Service customers.
Refer to the Domestic Mail Manual for mailability regulations.
Section http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c3_021.htm refers to infectious substances.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Post Office for Sale!
A new website lists both commercial buildings and land parcels for sale. http://uspspropertiesforsale.com/default.asp.f-faq
Who would be interested in buying these? What should they be used for?
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Nothing quite says "home" like having your mail delivered.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Although I do relish food and often suffer from gout for overindulging.
Part of what I meant was that meals can often times be more than they appear. In my many different roles I have had meals with several dignitaries, and it is often more enlightening than just taking in subsistance.
Recently, President Obama's re-election campaign offered the opportunity to engage with him over dinner as part of a promotion to boost contributions. The campaign paid for flying donors from Arizona, Colorado, Indiana and Minnesota to Arlington, VA. It included one night in a hotel, along with the dinner held at the Liberty Tavern.
The donors, described as ordinary voters, included USPS Carrier Ken Knight of Chandler, AZ. Obama and Knight were heard to chat about spring training and the Chicago White Sox, the president's favorite team.
But alas, they all declined to have dessert.
For more on my thoughts about food visit:
For more on President Obama and food visit:
Friday, November 11, 2011
The Bremerton Post Office honored it's many Veteran employees on 11/10/11. They served desserts, and unveiled a display of photos from those employees who wanted to participate.
The banner above the American Flag says, "Honoring those who served. Thank you."
We send a "Thank You" to all the USPS employees who have served their country in the military, as well as those actively serving now. And we honor all the Veterans across the country on this Veterans Day, 2012.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
The opening of the new "China Post Space Office" coincided with the first ever Chinese docking in space between the unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 space lab module. The post office is located both on the ground in the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center (BACC), and, at least virtually, on board the newly established orbital complex.
The office will process letters, and e-mails, making it possible for the public to write Chinese astronauts, or "taikonauts," on the ground and in space. It will offer domestic and international delivery as well as philatelic collectibles. The first souvenirs offered are cancelled envelopes, or "covers," celebrating the Shenzhou 8 and Tiangong-1 docking complete with a commemorative postmark.
Russia has operated a makeshift post office on its space stations since the 1970s. The Russian space office continues to operate on the International Space Station. It consists primarily of a postmark device that is only used in space to mark letters and postcards as having flown in orbit.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
How to write a letter.
Below are some topics worth writing home about:
Thank you notes
Letters of appreciation
Your city and your favorite things to do there
Short stories or poems
If you could go anywhere in the world...
Who or what inspires you?
A person or event that has changed your life
Forgive someone, or apologize
Announce a milestone, or addition to the family
Congratulations on a noteworthy event
Share memories of days past
Whether you participate in this letter writing campaign or not, keep the ideas in mind. Everyone loves geting mail, so make someone happy and remember them in the future.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The love of your life
Your long lost friend from high school
Your parents, from the perspective of their new grandchild
Someone newly diagnosed with cancer
A pen pal on the other side of the world
The teacher who helped shape who you are
The employee who went out of their way for you
Your favorite author/athlete/musician
Representives in Congress
A loved one who's away to college
Your cousin in another state
For ideas on how to find some of these types of recipients, visit the website:
Monday, November 7, 2011
Ok, we know that as digitial communication grows, the art of letter writing fades. Maybe we even buy that a world without letters may quickly be upon us. Many of us are skeptical, however, that a letter writing campaign can solve the USPS financial problems. Many of you wrote comments about this on a previous post on September 29th.
But consider what this website proclaims that letter writing is a part of our heritage, and keeping the mail going will help keep a part of our history alive. What will the historic letters of this generation be?
It further states that handwritten words of intimacy conquer any distance or length of time. What letter do you keep tucked away to be read over and over?
Whether it will help save the Postal Service or not, maybe we should not lose something so important as hand written or hard copy letters.
Would you be willing to write one letter a month? If so, visit the blog tomorrow for some letter writing ideas.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Greeting cards and gift cards are two new items the Postal Service is utilizing to raise more revenue. They are currently only available in select Post Offices.
Have you purchased either of these items? What did you like about them? What would you improve?
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Nancy Donovan, a Postal Service employee, is shown organizing 240 volunteers early one morning for the Day of Caring in Great Falls, MT.
The work of the volunteers is instrumental in making it possible for about 40 senior citizens and people with disabilities to continue to live alone in their homes.
United Way of Cascade County administers the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) and organizes the annual event. USPS employees play a crucial role.
The CFC is celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year, and the campaign will run through December 15th.
Click here to view a 50 year celebration video:
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Gridley, KS, Postmaster Paula Raaf retired one year ago.
Gridley rural carrier Doug Kraft still thought about her this year and designed this mailbox display for her.
At this thankful time of year are there dedicated fellow employees you remember?
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
In the photo, from the left, Seattle District Manager Yul Melonson, Mariano Gonzalez, and Seattle Sr Plant Manager Don Jacobus.
Monday, October 31, 2011
For many years, custodian Ed Nelson looked after the labyrinth of stairs and hallways in the grand old San Pedro, CA, Post Office. Although he no longer works here, employees still see him from time to time – and that would be fine, if it weren’t for the fact he passed away 28 years ago.
The facility’s General Clerk and historian, Brian Bundy, says that all San Pedro employees know about Mr. Nelson, and some think he’s still coming to work. Bundy himself has had some creepy close encounters.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I was most honored to be inducted into the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame in 2004, for producing the first catalog, which sold scientific and academic books.
My catalog came with the first mail order guarantee: “Those persons who live remote, by sending their orders and money to B. Franklin may depend on the same justice as if present.” I wanted my customers to have complete trust in me.
I've come a long way to be Benny the Blogger now, and the mail order business has certainly come a long way too. According to a survey conducted at the Direct Marketing Association’s 2011 Conference & Exhibition, 80 percent of 231 attendees polled said they anticipate that their marketing budgets will increase in 2012.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Mary Busey, an 80-year old woman form Anderson, GA, has been sending pumpkins through the mail to members of her family for 40 years. She doesn't package them. She just writes an address on the skin, affixs the postage and hands them to the window clerk.
Most of the orange beauty's are small -- one pound or so. But no doubt, they are met with incredulity as they pass through the system.
In those 40 years, just four of them have been damaged. That's a great track record.
Her tradition started in 1972, when her eldest daughter left for college. It continued when the other three left and has never stopped.