Tag Archives: mail

where hobbies, hijinks, and capers go bad = my childhood #2

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another day, another hobby.

in the late 60s

this was a book that i longed to own

i loved to get mail and loved to get free things

what could go wrong?

i used my saved-up coins to send in for the book

and could not wait to begin using it

i read it from cover to cover

marking pages, checking off favorites

 began writing notes, stuffing envelopes, and ordering things

using stamps that i found in a junk drawer

before i knew it i had a small collection of

weird government brochures, lists of tips, tables, charts, and recipes

none of which were really of any use to me

but i didn’t care what any of it was

as long as it came in the mail and it was free

my pile grew and grew

until it didn’t

when once again

i realized that i had no income

had used all of my money to buy the book

and had no way

to buy any more of the stamps

that i needed

to send in my requests

to get free things.

what i really needed were unlimited free books of stamps

and it was on to the next ill-fated hobby for me…

“sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.” 

-albert einstein

 

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post.

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you’re probably familiar with the postal credo of not letting rain or snow or sleet interfere with duties. in the south pacific ocean nation of vanuatu, that guarantee extends to being totally submerged underwater. welcome to the world’s only underwater post office.

island postal officials debuted a deep-sea post office adjunct in 2003. tourists to the collection of more than 80 islands can dive roughly 10 feet (about 3 meters) down near hideaway island to discover a staffed aquatic postal station.

waterproof postcards and stamps purchased on dry land can be mailed via the sea, with visitors alerted to the window being occupied by a flagged bob in the water. (if not, they can drop mail off in a separate slot.)

vanuatu clerks can even postmark the correspondence, substituting ink for an embossing device that proves it’s in transit. the cards can then be sent internationally.

if the idea of conducting mail transactions while snorkeling isn’t extreme enough for you, vanuatu also offers a drop-off box situated on an active volcano on mt. yasur.

“i get mail; therefore I am.”

– scott adams

 

 

credits: mental floss, lonely planet, j. rossen

first class.

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USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp

  mister rogers will get his own stamp in 2018 

in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, fred rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. on it, rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were  hand-knitted by his mom, smiles for the camera alongside king friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

though no official release date for fred’s forever stamp has been given, mister rogers is just one of many legendary figures who will grace a piece of postage in 2018.

singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

“every man bears the whole stamp of the human condition.”

-michel de montaigne

 

 

credits: usps, mental floss, jennifer wood

exchange.

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staff members of the slovak and slovenian embassies meet once a month to exchange incorrectly addressed mail.

close enough, but alas, two very different places. 

i should organize this with my neighbors.

‘i believe that the open exchange of information can have a positive global impact.”

-biz stone

credit: mental floss

* kemst po haegt fari.

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                                        in iceland, drawing a map on your mail works just as well as an address

iceland is a magical place, where peace reigns and elves dictate where roads can be built and a mcDonald’s burger can end up in the country’s national museum. it’s also the kind of place where if you don’t know the address where you want your mail to go, you can just draw a map, as condé nast traveler reports.

a tourist looking to mail an envelope to a farm in the village of búðardalur in western iceland didn’t know the proper postal address, so instead, the visitor just drew a sketch of the location. the outside of the letter included pertinent details like the town name, descriptions like “a horse farm with an icelandic/danish couple and 3 kids and a lot of sheep” and the fact that “the danish woman works in a supermarket in búðardalur.” the envelope mapped out local highway routes and bodies of water in relation to the farm. it also included a hefty “takk fyrir!,” icelandic for “thank you.” the letter departed from reykjavik, and by the grace of very patient icelandic postal workers, did end up at its intended destination, the hólar farm and petting zoo. it must be quite the place to earn such dedication from its visitors.

* kemst þó hægt fari.
translation: you will reach your destination even though you travel slowly.
english equivalent: we rode slow, but we ride sure.


source: Íslands, Landsbókasafn (1980). Árbók. Bókasafnið

credits: mentalfloss.com-shaunacy ferro, conde-nast magazine, steina matt (image)

 

the lost art – part deux

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after yesterday’s post, a few of you asked to see this piece of art that went on a long, disjointed journey as it made its way to my house.  somehow, this whimsical pastel bunny made it all the away across the ocean from poland and then through a maze of american post office locations and crazy systems and insane red tape, all to finally land upon my wall. for that i am happy. 

———

“Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.”  ― Lemony SnicketThe Beatrice Letters