Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dam commemorative envelope celebrates Hoover’s 75th

The Postal Service is celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Hoover Dam with a commemorative envelope.  The envelopes are $7.50 and will be available for purchase beginning Friday, Oct. 1. Send your money and mailing instructions to the Boulder City Post Office, 1101 Colorado St, Boulder City, NV, 89005.


As one of America’s finest construction projects, Hoover Dam is nothing short of an enduring engineering marvel

This year marks 75 years since the dedication of the 726-foot-high dam. Built during the Great Depression, it consists of 3.25 million cubic yards of concrete that continues to be strong and stable and weighs 6.6 million tons.

No city was more closely tied to the project than Boulder City, NV, which continues to serve as “hometown” to the dam. The city was built to house the thousands of workers and their families who built the dam.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Your Postal Podcast: Two for the record books

Believe it or not, the latest episode of Your Postal Podcast will wow you with tales of both a giant hailstone verified via Post Office scale and a world-record giant ball made of postage stamps.

Go to now and you'll also hear about the postal sleuths at Atlanta's Mail Recovery Center who get items without addresses to the right customers. For a transcript of this, the 28th edition of our audio program for postal employees, please click here

A National Weather Service employee holds a record hailstone found in Vivian, SD

While at, you can catch up on previous shows.  All of the podcasts can also be downloaded free at the iTunes store or via any other RSS feeder. Please click here to share your comments and ideas for future editions.

Thomas J. Lynch , Director of Community
Programs at Boys Town, stands next to the
world's biggest ball of stamps.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Biggest Loser comes to Phoenix

O'Neal Hampton autographed photos for Phoenix employees after a brief motivational talk.

Hampton's daughter, Sunshine, who teamed with him on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," is a college student in the Phoenix area.

Did you see the Hampton's on TV? What did you think?

Monday, September 27, 2010

National Public Radio visits the Stamp Caves

Susan Wilson, host and producer of the weekly public affairs program, "KC Currents," recently visited the Postal Service's Stamp Fulfillment Services (SFS) Center in Kansas City, MO.
The SFS Center is located 150 feet below the surface, inside a massive underground business park called the Hunt Midwest SubTropolis. Because the limestone caverns maintain a year-round temperature of about 70 degrees, Fahrenheit, and low humidity, it's a great place to house the Postal Service's Stamp Fulfillment operations.
SFS Manager Khalid Hussain and members of his staff provided Wilson a tour of the facility, which includes more than 326,000 square-feet of workroom floor and storage space -- and millions of dollars worth of commemorative and definitive postage stamps. Wilson learned about the work of the SFS's 178 career USPS employees, who fill stamp orders from collectors located around the country and around the globe.
To listen to the program, go to or click here.
Stamp Fulfillment Services (SFS) Manager Khalid Hussain
explains the inner -- and underground --
workings of the SFS to KCUR-FM's Susan Wilson.

Friday, September 24, 2010

More Postal Haiku

There was a surprising response to last week's call for postal haiku. If you missed it, a haiku is a traditional word discipline, started in Japan, where the writer creates short poems. A haiku has 17 syllables in three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables.

A Twitter user, Postal_poems sent these in: 
  • Why write a letter? / to savor pen on paper / life between the lines
  • find cool postal stuff / usps mobile app / at your finger tips
  •  usps: neither rain nor sleet / we hear it every day / enough already!
And then many of you submitted your own. Here's just a sample:

  • We united our nation/ Built up communication/Cannot be replaced.
  • What is it we bring?/Heartfelt words from far away/Love in your mailbox.
  • We deliver mail/We link the World together/We must never die.
  • The Postal Eagle/His Priority is mail/Soaring for Service
  • Simple messages/Cut through the advert clutter/"If it fits, it ships"
  • Blue delivers/The eagle soars high/ we are the PO
  • Walk in drop it off/Amazing how far it goes/With just a stamp!
And here's my favorite : Benjamin Franklin/statesman, inventor, writer/we honor you now

Now before you get on Benny's case, I didn't disqualify any of the above to if they didn't meet the strict rules. But you get the drift, and I applaud the efforts.
Now, it's your turn. Here's the format:
  • 5 syllables on the first line
  • 7 on the second
  • 5 on the third 
Write you Haiku out and then post it  here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kansas Stamp revealed

Caption: More than 200 business leaders looked on as the design for the 2011 Kansas Statehood Stamp was unveiled by Gov. Mark Parkinson, First Lady Stacy Parkinson, and USPS Executive Director of Stamp Services David Failor at the Kansas State Fair.

Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson with
USPS Director of Stamp Services, Dave Failor
Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson gave Kansans their first look at the artwork for a new postage stamp to be issued next year in celebration of Kansas’ Sesquicentennial.

Parkinson joined Postal Service Executive Director of Stamp Services David Failor in unveiling the stamp design at the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce Membership Breakfast at the Kansas State Fair.

The Kansas Statehood Stamp features an old metal windmill in the foreground while five modern wind turbines stand in the background, signaling the forward-looking nature of the modern Kansas economy. A golden band suggests the undulating plains of western Kansas and implying statewide prosperity in agriculture, while a green band hints at the forests and hills of eastern Kansas.

“Kansas has a rich history from the last 150 years and is destined for an even brighter future,” said Gov. Parkinson. “I am pleased to help unveil this commemorative stamp which captures both our lasting traditions and our exciting potential as we celebrate the Kansas Sesquicentennial.”

“We expect this beautiful stamp to be extremely popular when it goes on sale in late January of next year,” said Failor. “Celebrating 150 years of Kansas history is an excellent addition to our program.”

According to the Kansas State Historical Society, as many as 50 companies are known to have manufactured windmills in Kansas between 1880 and the mid-1950s. The role of the development of the state was vital; They pumped water from underground for the benefit of railroads, farmers, ranchers, and residents of small towns.

The Kansas Statehood Stamp will officially debut at an event in late-January at the State Capitol in Topeka.

The coming storm

This fall storm threatened the Quad Cities, P&DC in Milan, IL.

Photo Credit: Lisa Weber

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome Fall

Photo courtesy Janet Wells, Postmaster, Cedar Lane, TX

What is your favorite part about fall? Do you think this will be a good one for the Postal Service?
Comment here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Post Office dedications: Worthy honor or trivial pursuit?

According to AOL news, over the last 18 months, Congress has passed and the President has signed a total of 237 pieces of legislation.

Of that total number, 27 percent of the bills have been renamings and dedications of federal buildings, including many Post Offices. That's 63 different bills.

These Post Offices are usually dedicated to local war heroes, political personalities and community leaders. The process involves an Act of Congress, a small ceremony, and placque installed in the office.

What do you think about this?
Comment here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rural Route Hitchhiker

Cara Jennings is a rural carrier associate in Brookline, MO.

Halfway through her 43-mile rural route, she stopped to get gas and she noticed a tree frog, resting on one of the shelves of her car's grill.

"I thought about letting him out in a field, but he seemed pretty content."

So, she left him alone. Jennings was surprised when she finished her route. 

"He was still in that same position when I returned home," she said.

Sometime during the night, he decided he didn't want another day of sightseeing and found a safer home, presumably under a rock or in a tree.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Postal Haiku

Benny here.

Haiku is all the rage now. It's a traditional word discipline, started in Japan, where the writer creates short poems. A haiku has 17 syllables in three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables.

While the traditional haiku has focused on nature, modern poets have used it for broader subjects.

If you're serious about learning, here's a how-to guide.

Now here's where it gets fun. Could you write a postal-themed haiku?

Remember this structure:

5 syllables on the first line
7 on the second
5 on the third

Here's my attempt:

Invented great things
But the Postal Service shines 
Above the others

We're all friends here. Click here to submit yours. "Anonymous" is fine.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Take your Congressman to work" day

Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) visited his local Post Office in American Fork, UT, to get a better understanding of postal issues.

Among other things, The staff at the office talked to him about PO Box delivery, rural and city delivery differences, and how the economy has affected the Postal Service.

Do you think this is a good idea? Have any of you done the same thing? Comment here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Intelligent Mail. Now that's smart!

Intelligent Mail service is one of 15 government projects — 10 federal and five from state and local governments — that has been recognized by InformationWeek as a "Government IT Innovator."

The publication announced the selection, stating "The U.S. Postal Service's Intelligent Mail service…represents a new era for the 230-year-old mail system, which still delivers letters and packages by mule in rural Arizona."

The article notes the service was introduced last year, adding it’s "based on a more complex bar code that makes it possible to track individual pieces of mail." It goes on to say "Intelligent Mail is more efficient while giving mega users such as banks and retailers better visibility into their direct mail efforts."

The editorial concludes by noting "Federal, state, and local agencies demonstrate that they, too, can apply IT in critical and novel ways."

Click here to read the entire editorial.
Click here to read about Intelligent Mail.
What do you think about Intelligent Mail? Comment here.

Crazy ways to save money

Benny here....

One Postmaster in New York wrote me about a money-saving option she used years ago.

She took the shutters off her Post Office and took them to a local prison, where they stripped, sanded and repainted them as part of their daily duties at no charge to the organization.

I remember the time I had Alexander Hamilton come down and wash my windows at the Post Office. It was all because he lost a bet -- but that's another story

What’s the craziest money-saving thing you’ve ever done for the Postal Service?
Comment here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Postal Logo - got any ideas?

The Postal Service logo is serving us quite well, splashed across hundreds of thousands of vehicles, products, and buildings.

But this blog is all about Big Ideas.

So, if you could design a new logo, what would it be?

Myra Whipple drew these. What do you think? Comment here.

And if you have your own idea, send it here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Patriot Day reflections

It was on September 11, 2001, that America, along with the rest of the world, changed as terrorists hijacked airplanes and slammed into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

It's one of those days you never forget.

As a National Day of Service and Remembrance, American flags at Post Offices flew at half-staff on September 11, 2010, now known as Patriot Day.

The day is set aside to remember those who lost their lives nine years ago, as well as those who have died in the ensuing wars since. It's a good day to remember and reflect.

How about you? What changed for you? What did it do to the Postal Service? Care to share those thoughts? Comment here.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chicken dinner, Bluegrass and a plea

Menard, IL, Clerk Angela Dilday lost her mom to Pancreatic Cancer a few years ago. But she turned her sorrow into action and now heads the annual "Raddle The Bottoms" benefit to provide medication to those suffering from the disease.

This annual event includes a chicken dinner and Bluegrass and Folk music for  entertainment. Held in Southern Illinois community of Raddle, it has raised more than $30,000 since 2007.

This year's outdoor event is scheduled for Sept. 26 at the Raddle, IL. St. Anns Church.

Angela Dilday

Friday, September 10, 2010

Five-Day delivery, what's the word on the streets?

It's been several months since the request for consideration for a five-day delivery week was first proposed.
There's no impending action, but it continues to be on the hearts and minds of many.

I'm interested in hearing what your customers are saying? Do they think it's a done deal? Are they making plans? Or do they just not care?

Comment here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

“I’m a vagabond," Postmaster is all about extremes

For many years, Chuck Keizer was happy to serve as a Postmaster in Randolph Nebraska, where he  worked for 24 years. It was his home for a long time and he was content.

At least he thought he was.

But then his brother, who was a Postmaster in Alaska, called him and told him about an opening in Barrow, AK, which also happened to be the nation’s most northerly outpost. He applied and got the job. Chuck served there for four years, surviving extreme winters and cool summers.

But his story didn’t end in the Great North. He and his wife took a vacation to Maui in 2007 to “thaw out” after a cold, dark winter. They fell in love with the place and later that year, transferred to Paia, Hawaii.

“I’m still in absolute awe of the sequence of events.”

Keizer plans to retire later this year.
The Barrow Alaska Post Office

Paia, HI, Post Office

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The fastest mail delivery vehicle around

This highly-customized jeep was photographed at the Good Good Guys Heartland Nationals show in Des Moines, IA.

No word whether the owner actually delivers out of this vehicle, but it certainly could beat any Long-Life vehicle off the line.

Like this blog? Click here to subscribe.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Prize patrol pays Vegas carrier a visit

Las Vegas City Letter Carrier Joseph Beane was surprised on his route when Publisher Clearinghouse's famous Prize Patrol pulled up next to his vehicle.

They presented Beane with a check for $1 million.

So, what do you think Joe should do with his fame and fortune? Should he keep working?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stars on Stamps

It's an honor bestowed on America's best-loved entertainers who've passed away. Elvis, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and most recently, Katharine Hepburn all have commemorative U.S. postage stamps. Add to that list Humphry Bogart, John Wayne and Grace Kelly.

People magazine is polling their readers as to the next entertainer to get a stamp. They suggested Paul Newman, Patrick Swayze and Michael Jackson.
Their poll is found here.

Who would you like to see on a stamp? Click here and tell us.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Caption Contest: The mouse ate my letter

Pierre, SD, CDS Carrier Robert Robbinholt was surprised to find a mouse in a mailbox of one his customers.

If you were writing a caption for this photo, what would it be? Write it here.