A Special Trip for a Special Stamp

Photo by: Jim Schoenherr.

Photo by: Jim Schoenherr.

Many who send wedding invitations through the mail often choose a stamp design that offers the perfect message to recipients. For one individual in Grand Lake, CO, the acquisition of that special stamp involved a unique form of transportation.

Amber Valez and her fiancé identified the perfect stamp to accentuate their wedding invitations to friends and loved ones. Rather than set off in a mechanized form of transportation, Amber opted to venture out to her local Post Office via horseback.

The distinctive mode of transportation faithfully waited outside the office while Amber picked up a collection of Love stamps. Grand Lake Postmaster Diane Mahoney was thrilled to have the special visitor at her office waiting for its owner.

“I thought it was a great example of us here in the Wild Wild West!” said Mahoney.

Postal Coloring Page

Postal coloring page by Anise

Hello all, Benny here. I thought I’d share with you a copy of the postal coloring page with unique design touches added by Anisa Valenzuela. I think it’s terrific, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Take care!

 

Benny

Art in the Mail

Art in the Mail

Sending a postcard in the mail to friends and family is good way to share a glimpse into a joyous occasion. Adding a personal, artistic touch to the image can even become a way to demonstrate creative talent to art enthusiasts.

Now through August 15, the Art by the Sea Gallery and Studio is accepting submissions for its 2014 Mail-Art Postcard Exhibition. To participate in the exhibition, an individual should send original artwork on a postcard to:

Art by the Sea Gallery and Studio
175 Second St. SE
Bandon, OR 97411

For submission rules and other information, click here.

The exhibition is scheduled to take place on August 27 through November 3.

Stamps Celebrate Hot Rods and Statehood

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and “Car Crazy TV” Host and car care products mogul Barry Meguiar take a shine to the new limited-edition Hot Rods Forever Stamps issued this month.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and “Car Crazy TV” Host and car care products mogul Barry Meguiar take a shine to the new limited-edition Hot Rods Forever Stamps issued this month.

A nationally-known TV host who is “certifiably crazy” about cars and a stamp artist who was meticulous about capturing the natural beauty of his home state are featured in June’s edition of Your Postal Podcast.

Barry Meguiar, host of Velocity TV’s “Car Crazy” show and the President of Meguiar’s Car Care Products, shares his thoughts on why cars and stamps are a perfect match during the release of the new Hot Rods Forever Stamps.

Next, artist Ron Spears discusses the process behind creating the new stamp celebrating Nevada’s 150th birthday. The podcast concludes with a roundup of recent postal news.

Click here to share comments or ideas for future podcast stories, and a chance to win a Digital Color Postmark Keepsake Envelope featuring the Ronald Reagan Centennial Forever Stamp, plus a full pane of 20 stamps.

To see photos of the Hot Rods Stamp Event, click here. To watch a video of the Hot Rods Stamp Event, click here.

Both the audio and transcript versions of this podcast and an archive of previous editions are available at YourPostalPodcast.com.

Your Postal Podcast is also available on your mobile device at YourPostalPodcast.com/mobile.

Guitar Legend’s Sister Reflects on New Jimi Hendrix Stamp

Jimi Hendrix podcast

Hear thoughts from Jimi Hendrix’s sister about the new Forever stamp honoring the legendary rock musician in March’s edition of Your Postal Podcast.

You’ll also hear the story of a southern Arizona letter carrier who shares the road with some unusual vehicles. A roundup of the latest postal news concludes the podcast.

Both the audio and transcript versions of this edition and an archive of previous shows of Your Postal Podcast are available at YourPostalPodcast.com. Listen to Your Postal Podcast on your mobile device at YourPostalPodcast.com/mobile.

Jimmy Hendrix

The Best Delivery Value

Star spangled banner

Recently, the Postal Service increased the price of a stamp from 46 cents to 49 cents. With the 3 cent increase individuals now pay to send a First-Class letter from one location to another, is the service still a good value?

To send the same, physical piece of mail though an alternative carrier in the U.S., the cost to send that item could become prohibitively expensive. FedEx’s One Rate charges $9.50 to send an envelope from Los Angeles to New York City using their Express Saver option. UPS’s ground option for a letter travelling the same route will cost $10.44. While neither carrier currently has a network geared toward the efficient, cost effective delivery of letters, adopting such a network and delivering letters at a comparable rate to USPS is highly unlikely.

Recently, Australia Post requested a 10 cent increase in basic postage rates. If approved, the new rate will go into effect in March, bringing the cost of mailing a letter up to 61 cents (in US dollars). While the change represents a modest premium over U.S. postage, the price remains at the lower end of the spectrum when compared to other countries. Sending a First-Class equivalent letter will cost 99 cents in the United Kingdom, 81 cents in Germany, and 58 cents in New Zealand (in US dollars). It might be some time before mailing rates in the U.S. reach these levels.

When it comes to value, there is no other mailing option that brings as much to the table as the US Postal Service.

Video Mail

bloggerqr

Advanced technology is finding its way into Post Offices throughout the world. From offering stamps with pleasing aromas to mobile Point of Sales for customer convenience, innovation is the mainstay of future Post Office revenue. In an effort to adapt currently available technology for enhanced customer value, one particular Post Office has recently introduced a way for individuals to send a multi-media experience along with their package.

Released in time for this past holiday season, Australia Post added a new capability to stamps placed on its Express Post and Express Courier International packages. Customers who want to offer a personal video message along with their items in the mail can do so using a Video Stamp.

Each Video Stamp features a unique QR code that directs an individual to a personal message from the sender of a package. Messages can be recorded or rerecorded prior to mailing the package or within 12 hours after mailing. Each video can hold up to 15 seconds of footage recorded directly from an individual’s phone using a free app available from Australia Post. If the recipient of the package doesn’t have a phone capable of displaying the message embedded in the QR code, the eight digit code associated with the stamp can be entered into http://auspost.com.au/parcels-mail/video-stamp.html and viewed or downloaded any time within 90 days.

As technology continues to advance in the future, Post Offices around the world are likely to adapt additional uses of new innovations to enhance customer value and satisfaction.

Do you think USPS should issue stamps incorporating QR code technology for video messages?

Stocking Up for the Winter

Stocking Up for the Winter

The start of the new year brings winter flurries, cold weather gear, and the inevitable price increase of many goods and services. This bump up in prices also includes shipping and mailing services from FedEx, UPS, and USPS. All have announced service price increases this year by an overall average of 5 percent. While it might be difficult to offset these increases, there is one opportunity some are choosing to lock in the price they pay for certain services.

There are few things in the world that have the ability to hold their value throughout many years of ownership. Aside from collecting classic automobiles, popular works of art, or a rookie baseball card from 1916, there is an opportunity savvy individuals have turned to as a way to lock in the value of a service – investing in USPS postage stamps.

USPS Forever stamps hold their value for the life of their existence. A book of forever stamps purchased today will be just as valuable next year and every year thereafter, no matter what the price of a postage stamp happens to be in the future.

For those who want to take advantage of the power to lock in the price of mailing a letter, the clock is ticking. Postage prices are scheduled to increase from 46 cents to 49 cents on January 26. Stock up today to seal in the current rate forever.

Rare Right-Side Up Opportunity for Special Inverted Stamp

Jenny Flies Again

Hello all, Benny here.

Recently, the Post Office reissued one of my favorite stamps of all time – the Inverted Jenny. We didn’t have airplanes back in my day, but I sure could have used one to get around on all those long trips.

While I like the new stamp, the idea of actually flying upside down is enough to make my hair stand on end. Well, what little is left anyway. Maybe that’s why the Post Office decided to place 100 right-side up Jenny sheets into the collection.

100 correctly oriented sheets of Jenny’s were printed and added into the rest of the batch of inverted Jenny’s. If you’re interested in buying one of these rare sets though, you won’t find it easy to do. Each stamp set is wrapped in such a way as to mask its contents, preventing someone from figuring out if a right-side up Jenny is within their grasp.

The Post Office printed 2.2 million sheets of the upside-down version of the stamp, and I’ve already picked up my copy. Sadly though, I didn’t get one of the right-side up versions. That’d certainly be a real treat, wouldn’t it? I can just imagine the thrill of getting one of only 100 of the special versions. I still enjoy my version of the stamp though, and it’s a great addition to my collection. If you happen to be the lucky recipient of one of the upright versions of the stamp, would you mind sending me a note about it and maybe even a photo too? I’d love to hear about your good fortune!

Well folks, I think I’m going to check out the beyondtheperf.com website to see what other stamps sets are coming up. They’ll make great stocking stuffers this December, and I’m not one to wait till the last minute to do my shopping. Not all the time at least.  🙂

Take care!

 

Benny

Inverted Jenny Flies Again

Jenny Flies Again

One of the most famous stamps ever to be printed by the Postal Service has finally made a comeback.

Originally issued in 1918, the Curtis Jenny stamp commemorated the first airmail flight on May 15 of that year. The image of a Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” bi-plane, however, was unintentionally printed upside down in the initial printing. Eight of the misprinted sheets were identified and destroyed, but one sheet of 100 stamps was inadvertently sold to a collector.

The Inverted Jenny was re-issued last week, although in a larger denomination of $2. Unlike the original misprint, this version of the stamp will intentionally feature the Jenny bi-plane in its unique inverted position.

  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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