Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Today is Leap Day! Which means there are only 306 days before the end of the year! ( And only 299 days of Christmas Shopping left!! Sorry...couldn't help myself)
You do realize this means an opportunity for a special postmark right? Well, not like a pictorial cancel..though there may be some..I haven't checked yet. But just the date will be neat to have on a piece of mail. There will be about ten of you that will get a Leap Day 2/29/2012 from me. =) Will you be sending any out?
So why do we have leap years? Well, the short answer is this. It takes approximately 365 days 6 hours to make one orbit of the sun. But adding 6 hours into the calendar each year is not easily done. SO, in the roman times they devised a way of adding a day each 4 years to the calendar. Which used to be February 24, except that in the Middle Ages we adopted the calendar numbering system that is still used today..which results in February 29.
Leap day should not be confused with Leap second which is the adding or subtracting of a second due to a change in rotational speed of the earth. The next leap second will be added on June 30 of this year. Woohoo! We are picking up a second folks! Mark your calendars! That is one more second we can use to write letters. =)
What will you do with your Leap Day?
Usually I do not write about things that are on my mind on this blog (or any blog for that matter) unless of course they are letter related. But today I am making a special exception. Mainly because this has been on my mind all week now..and I need an outlet to share it.
As many of you may have heard (it made national news after all) there was a school shooting in Chardon Ohio on Monday. TJ Lane, the suspected shooter (he admits it), went into the cafeteria of Chardon High School and randomly shot 5 students. According to reports he never once said anything, just stood up, turned around and unloaded 10 rounds into his classmates. He was then chased from the building by the assistant football coach and willingly turned himself in to officers that were arriving on scene.
Since the shooting 3 of the 5 students have died from gunshot wounds to the head. One is still in serious condition for a neck wound and the only female student shot was released from the hospital yesterday. TJ Lane appeared in juvenile court yesterday for a preliminary hearing where he admitted he took the weapons to school and fired ten rounds. The prosecution has until March 1st to formally bring charges against him, which most likely will include three counts of aggravated murder.
Now, Chardon is just 20 miles north of here. Just a stones throw really. Its not a big city, nor a bad neighborhood. It is like much of Northeast Ohio, a sleepy little tight knit community. Of all places here in Ohio, no one would have ever suspected Chardon. That's the cliche isn't it? It could never happen here. Well on Monday it most certainly DID happen here. And its affects can be felt all throughout this part of Ohio.
The biggest reason it is on my mind is this. Mr. Carter attends Crestwood Elementary. Again..just 20 miles south of Chardon. Not one, but two students were arrested yesterday at the High School (just down the street from the Elementary) for threatening remarks and photos. The one boy was on a bus when he was detained and later arrested for threatening harm to others on the bus. But the one that really bothers me is this. The second boy posted on his Facebook on Feb 22 that he wanted to go on a stabbing spree at school. That he was tired of dealing with people. Then to be followed by a post yesterday that included the status to the affect of, who agrees with their friend that shooting up a school is a good idea?. Now that might not be so bad, I can certainly see where it could be taken out of context..but if thats the case, why did the same student then change his profile picture to one where he is holding an assault rifle? What is going through the heads of these teens? Even if you were going to joke about it (how sick do you have to be?) why would you do it so publicly?
There were multiple incidents that happened in schools here yesterday and as I was writing this another school in NE Ohio was on lockdown because a student was making threatening remarks. There were two bomb scares yesterday in local schools and threats written on bathroom walls. Who thinks that is a good idea? Why aren't their parents teaching their children that violence isn't an answer, nor should remarks be made like that..even if just a joke?
I was in school once too. I know how rough it can be when you are trying to fit in and the pressures to do so. I know the sting you feel when things don't go your way and you get rejected by the peers you wish so desperately to get along with. The difference is, I never once EVER thought or said I was going to shoot or harm anyone. I never once thought that would solve my problems. When did our society become so desensitized to violence that our youth now see it as a way to "fix" their problems?
I don't really know how to end this post. This one was certainly more for me than you. I appreciate all of you for taking the time to read my little corner of the internet. (Even when I veer so far off topic).
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
At any rate I wanted to apologize for not sending out any of the letter writer questionnaire stuff yet. I had hoped to populate more questions..but I came up with some good ones I think. Perhaps after this one we can do a second?
Also, remember you still have time to create a stamp. How about I extend the deadline 2 weeks? Make the deadline St. Patricks Day (March 17th)? This is partially because I have only gotten one entry and mostly because I haven't had time to work on my own. I might work up some sketches tonight for mine. Regardless, you still have some time to create a postage stamp and submit it for a chance to win...something pretty neat. =)
I am hoping to have the questionnaire done this afternoon. Those who want it by mail will get it sent out in the next day or two and those who selected email..will get it that way. Easy right?
Alright, enough of that..I am gonna go lounge some more. It's amazing how much energy sitting on an exercise ball at a desk takes out of you.
Monday, February 27, 2012
But first..take a look at our dinner to celebrate his birthday!
Anyway, on to the presents. I am the first to admit I failed at this birthday. Brad always knows what to get me and I am always in the dark. Well, I bought an alarm clock with blue numbers (something he wanted..) but the one I got is obnoxiously bright. So that needed to be returned. I got him a set of comic postcards..which he liked and a video game that (at the time of ordering) was on his Amazon wishlist. After I ordered it..he reworked the wishlist and deleted that game. /fail. I still gave him the game and he kept it..so that is something right?
He bought me a this:
Anyway..I hope each one of you enjoyed your V-day. And that you are all enjoying yourselves now. =)
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Yourpostalblog.com for possible future giveaways. Sincerely, Judy Reeve Editor Corporate Communications USPS Western Area."
Not only should you all start taking a look at the blog because they might have other sweet giveaways, but you should do it because the information they share is truly interesting. =)
Friday, February 24, 2012
Now for a favor. Did you have any questions you wanted to ask? If so, here is what I am asking that you do. If you would like your question to be placed on the questionnaire, email the question to me. The reason I ask for email is because I want to keep all the questions secret from everyone until they get it. That way you cannot over-think the question. Sometimes people have a tendency to try and come up with an answer that others will think is good..rather than what they actually would have said in the beginning. Also, email would allow me to write up the questionnaire sooner. Simple right?
I will try to include every question assuming it is appropriate. My goal is to have this written and ready by Monday, or early next week at the latest.
Once I get all the questionnaires back I will write up a whole post about it..and of course share my answers with you as well. =) Sounds good right?
Email me at email@example.com
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The second question is this...Suppose you buy a Forever stamp and you still have it after 10 years. Postage (heaven forbid) is $2 to send an ounce. Would the USPS still accept it? I mean I know they are called Forever stamps and you should be able to use them forever...but will they draw a line somewhere?
I am just filled with questions today. Something tells me that is a good thing..no?
Monday, February 20, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
The US Postal Service's Office of the Inspector General has a blog called "Pushing the Envelope". Well, one of their recent posts was about the proposal to cut Saturday delivery. The neat thing about their post was that they didn't talk about how awful cutting the mail service was going to be, but focused more on whether Saturday was the right day to eliminate from our postal well.
At first Saturday seems the logical choice. Then we would have mail-free weekends, but delivery Monday-Friday. What could be so awful about that? Well, when you get down to it..there are a lot of reasons Saturday might not be best. First is that many families arent home during delivery times M-F. Which means packages are often taken back to the Post Office and have to be picked up when they are open. Having Saturday delivery allows the postal customer to have the item re-delivered on that day. A day when they can schedule to be home to recieve it. This was the first big..wow. I had never thought about it because there is almost always someone home to get my packages. AND unless it needs to be signed for..my postal lady leaves it on the porch. (You can do that when you live in the boonies) But for people who work during the week, Saturday is the best option.
Second, is that two consecutive days without delivery (presumably the PO would still hold Saturday open hours..) would allow for a bit of congestion as far as mail is concerned. I am not sure of the numbers, but I would imagine that the families who aren't home during the week...probably do most of their package mailing on Saturdays. Without any delivery happening, all the mail that was shipped in on Friday would sit. As would all the mail that customers bring in. Which means harder work for the employees.
Thirdly, (and least important in the decision in my eyes) is that most advertisers wait for Saturday to mail their ads. That way customers have more time to read them. The OIG of the USPS also mentions magazines, but I always get mine in the middle of the week..so I don't know how big of an issue that would be. Then again..this wouldn't bother me, but it sure would bother an advertiser.
So now I ask you. Cutting a day in the delivery is real..it is happening and I don't think there is anything that will stop it. BUT..is Saturday the right day? I really want know your answers. And if you aren't comfortable telling in the comments, feel free to email me your answer. Tell me which day you would cut and why.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
"Phoenix native Ed Mell worked with art director Richard Sheaff on the stamp design. This is the first stamp for Mell, who is well known for his distinctive modernist renderings of the Southwest desert landscape." - Beyond the Perf
Which stamp do you prefer?
Friday, February 17, 2012
If you want to read the article I read this morning you can find it here..though I imagine some other articles may have more information. Regardless, here are the main points:
- Talks of ending Saturday mail delivery
- Increasing first class postage to 50 cents either in one year..or over the course of a few years
- Slowing first class delivery by one day
My thoughts? Well, I will have to do some more looking, but I had an article to share about cutting the Saturday delivery. Second, I really think they should have increased the first class postage to 50 cents with this last round of increases. 50 cents is a nice round number AND it would have saved us from increasing postage every 6 months. (Not that it bothers me too much, but still..I would rather take the increase all at once than every couple months). Slowing the first class delivery probably wont affect much other than packages. In my opinion letters and mail in general is worth waiting for. So why rush it? After all..it is called snail mail for a reason.
Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts..and as soon as I find time..I will write a longer post about the Saturday mail delivery issue.
I open mine almost immediately unless I pick it up on my way to work. Then I will wait until my break and read it there. I know some people will wait until they have responded to all their mail before opening a new piece. However, I cannot help but think there may be something important inside the letter I wait to open. That's why I open immediately. (Well that and the suspense kills me!!)
So now I am asking you. Do you open immediately or do you wait?
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Whatever you can come up with will work. There is no specific theme or genre the stamp must fit into. Though please remember that the blog is family friendly, so no profanity or graphic nudity. I will post all the entries and then figure out how to make an anonymous poll for us to vote. The winner will be chosen by your peers and the prize will be...something that has yet to be determined. But perhaps some vintage postage would be thrown in there. =)
So what do you think? Would you like to participate? If so, let me know and spread the word. The more the merrier. Now I need to start thinking up my design!!
What kinds of Valentines mail did you make?
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
- 62% of adults say they celebrate the holiday.
- 448 billion dollars are spent on candy the week prior to February 14
- 58 million pounds of chocolate is a percentage of that 448 Billion dollars worth of candy.
- 36 million heart shaped chocolate boxes are sold in that week as well.
- 150 million cards and gifts are sent for Valentines Day.
- On average men spend $150 and women spend $74 on their "Sweetheart".
- Speaking of Sweethearts...8 Billion Sweethearts candy cards are produced each year. Which the history channel tells me is enough to stretch from Rome to Valentine, Arizona and back more than 20 times!
- 23% of adults say they will buy flowers or a plant on February 14. 61% of that 23% will be men, 39% will be women.
- Of those most people will purchase the flowers in this order of popularity: Mixed flowers, red roses, other roses, other flowers, plants.
- American's spend 8.6 million dollars on sparkling wines for Valentine's Day.
- 174,000 gallons of wine are sold during the week of Valentine's Day.
Plutarch wrote this about the festival:Lupercalia, of which many write that it was anciently celebrated by shepherds, and has also some connection with the Arcadian Lycaea. At this time many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery, and the barren to pregnancy.
Chaucer's work Parlement of Foules.
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
Sounds a little like the original Roman holiday doesn't it? How it completely became about lovers is unknown. Many scholars think it has something to do with poets who needed a monetary outlet for their creative talents. They would charge people to write verse to go inside cards destined for their lovers and potential mates.
1784? I didn't know it was nearly that old. By the way, we always said sugar...not honey. =)
For more interesting facts check out the blog post later today. And if you read this whole post..You deserve a piece of candy!!
Monday, February 13, 2012
Have you tried this pen? If so, I would love to know what you think. =)
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Have you seen this little guy?
So my question for you is: What do you think of the USPS selling things like this to earn money. Would you buy any of these types of products? If so why, and if not..why not?
**I actually own the tote bag (Obviously) and I plan on buying all the new ones that come out. I have from Go Green on. =) **
Saturday, February 11, 2012
You may wonder why I am just finding time to post about it. Well, the answer is that I just realized it! StoneZebra sent me an envelope and included one of the 1977 stamps. So it caught my eye and I though..wait! That is the same as on our new stamp!
I couldn't resist posting. I like when I "discover" things. What about you?
Friday, February 10, 2012
You know what this means? It means this Pen-thief will be eating healthier..and trying to change some snacking habits. I have already changed my lunches. What can I say, sometimes the taco bell across the street calls my name. So I have started packing a healthy sandwich and carrots. In the morning before work I have been slicing an apple and eating it. (I am not much of a breakfast person).
What sort of healthy moves will you make this month?
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Wasn't she beautiful? Sometimes I think people look more attractive because of the black and white, but honestly I think she really was a beauty. And of course you all know that the USPS released a stamp featuring her last year..right?
Celebrate her birthday by sending some mail, wont you?
**For the record..I am aware I missed Charles Dicken's birthday. He would have been 200 years old on the 7th.**
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
I finally got the postcards from the printers today. This means I can send them out to the winners thus far. I don't want to ruin the surprise...just yet anyway.
I will be (fingers crossed) writing a post about all of this on Saturday. :)
Oh and I just wanted to post a thank you to everyone for being patient with me in-between posts. I really appreciate it.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
The book I got it from did not list an origin, other than an old Valentine. (Edit..I found a picture of it!!)
Haste thee with this Valentine,
Thou silly man of letters,
And try to do the best you can
To serve,and please your betters,
For I'd sooner live an old maid
Or else give up the ghost,
Than wed a grinning postman
as stupid as a post.
Interesting huh? It was meant for the postman to read. What do you think he thought when he saw it?
Friday, February 3, 2012
Last night he asked me if he got any mail. I told him no, and that you have to send mail to get mail. So he decided I need to give him some postcards to send. So in the future..if you get a scribbled on postcard with a picture...its from him. =)
Just had to share that with you. I wish I had a picture to go with this post, but I am on the work computer and all my photos are at home.
**To anyone expecting mail from me, it is coming I promise. It's just taking a while. Remember it is called "snail mail". =) That's a little Pen-thief humor for you!**
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Remailing is rather simple. What you do is address your letters or cards and stamp them. Then you place those items in a larger envelope and address it to the postmaster at one of those "love" cities. Making sure to write "Valentine Remailing" somewhere on it. Then you stamp that envelope and mail it off. When it arrives at the new place, they will remove all your cards from the envelope or box you sent them in. And then they will postmark them and send them to your recipients. Neat, huh?
So now you need a list of cities:
Loveland, OH 45111
Loveland, CO 80537
Valentine, AZ 86437
Valentine, NE 69201
Valentine, TX 79854
Valentines, VA 23887
Or if you want a more adult option you could send it from this place.
You have a few days to get your letters in the mail before the deadline date. For more specific dates you can contact the post offices offering special cancellations.