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Posts Tagged ‘mail’

A Fun-break!

Posted by Dirck on 8 May, 2014

I’ve had my nose down pretty consistently, and I’m at it today again, but I thought a little diversion might be in order.

A riddle, then– what is this:

Hint: "Ceci n'est nes pas une pipe" is looking in the right direction, but not quite far enough along.

Hint: “Ceci n’est nes pas une pipe” is looking in the right direction, but not quite far enough along.

The answer after the status update.  I think you’ll find it surprising!  Now, the update:

WHAT: First draft of short story  “Yard Light”.

HOW MUCH: 5½ pages of manuscript.

HOW LONG: About 30 min. (due to fun-break)

Are you ready for the revelation?  Have you written down your guess?

It’s–  not a postage stamp!  And yet, it was in the place of a stamp on an envelope which arrived at The Regular Job today.  I’m assuming it’s something in the line of an Easter seal, some kind of semi-useful fund-raising item.  As to how it managed to trick its way through the postal system, I suspect that the response of the front-line workers to the care and consideration Canada Post is getting from the current government is, when not simply curled up in a corner and weeping, a certain amount of shouting, “Good enough!” at whatever the task in hand is.  I don’t blame them.

Today’s pen: Waterman Ligne 60
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black

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Follow That Duck!

Posted by Dirck on 13 December, 2013

As a sort of irreverent mash note to the endangered folks of Canada Post, today’s film shows the joy mail delivery can bring:

Let’s hope public outcry works for a change.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Vac 700
Today’s ink: Wancher Imari

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Merry {Expletive} Christmas!

Posted by Dirck on 11 December, 2013

Let me quote myself from yesterday’s tiny appearance:

I am all in favour of anything that that puts money in the pockets of Canada Post….

Now let me qualify that– “…apart from massive reductions of service and staff, and rate increases should be kept to a dull roar.”  When I speak of Canada Post, I speak of the people that comprise it rather than the corporate entity.  That entity is apparently a bit of an Anti-Claus, as we have in the news today Canada Post’s announcement of how they mean to address what is described as a perilous collision of cost rises and reduction of traffic.  The announcement itself is here, but let me show the the plan:


Very jolly. I especially enjoy the increase in postage, which is about a 25% rise over the current price; I hear on the radio that single stamps may be going to a full dollar.  This, in my untutored opinion, is not the sort of thing that is going to encourage people to return to traditional mail as a means of communication, the dropping away of which has been cited as one of the causes of Canada Post’s current difficulties.  I would, from my place of gross ignorance, view a massive increase in the price of stamps as effective a treatment for declining amounts of letter-mail as suggesting a daily dozen cigars for miner’s lung.  I am, as I say, not schooled in business, so I’m probably missing something.

Similarly, “Please write often so I have more reason to stagger out in a raging blizzard to check the communal mail box” doesn’t sound like an effective strategy.  I’m one of the strangely pampered one-third that gets home delivery, so I’ll admit there is a tone of personal laziness in any complaints I make about this innovation, but I’ve always thought it was a terrible idea since the “Superbox” was introduced for newly-developed neighbourhoods a couple of decades ago.  Apart from the inconvenience, there is also this– that much centralized other-people’s-stuff is bound to be attractive to both vandals and enterprising thieves.  As someone who regularly has the property of others coming to me in the mail, sometimes quite valuable (commercially and moreso sentimentally), I find that’s rather a concern.  We may also consider the position of Muriel Dodderington, retired lace tatter and part-time allegorical figure, who maintains contact with what remains of her friends and family non-electronically, and who finds walking a block or two on wind-polished ice something of a challenge; mail delivery is a social good.

I’m also quick to look sideways at any cost-cutting measure that looks at the staff as something of an accumulation of barnacles.  “Canada Post has a much higher cost structure than its competitors” seems to me to mean that unlike the private haulage companies (U Pay Sucker and FedExtortion are how I refrequently refer to them) they charge somewhat less for the act of moving your stuff while paying the workers enough to keep them from taking out their frustrations on said stuff.  If we heard that there were going to be some substantial voluntary cuts to the ranks of the management, this might sit a little better.  “Attrition” sounds well enough, of course, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s really so many Posties on the cusp of retirement that it won’t simply develop into yet another enhancement to the numbers of unemployed people.

I shall write a letter to my MP on the matter, which by law is to be carried without charge by Canada Post, to complain about this once I’ve had a little more time to formulate my arguments.  I don’t expect it will bear much fruit, my MP being something of a throw-pillow upon which the Prime Minister props his feet occasionally (and under whose regime “A Mare Usque Ad Mare” is being replaced by “Anything For A Buck” as national motto), but it’s about all I can do other than read Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal again and wish for a von Lipwig to take over here.

Today’s pen: Waterman Phileas
Today’s ink: Diamine Steel Blue

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Stamping Out Greed

Posted by Dirck on 24 October, 2013

Greed, humanity’s longtime companion and one of the prime motivators of human misery.  It seems to be the ground from which most of the other capital sins spring (you have to stretch a little to get Sloth in– “Greed to naps” is not persuasive).  The thing I was off yesterday making redundant noise about has greed in its fabric.  Everyone feels it, now and again, whether it comes in the form of “Why shouldn’t I have this other doughnut?” or “Why should I pay taxes on my nine figure income?”  If I were in an other setting, I’d probably get into corporations and environmental degradation, but I’ll leave off at mere mentions.

When getting a couple of letters ready for mailing yesterday, I felt an eminently silly manifestation of covetousness rising up in me.  I had trouble getting the stamps onto the envelopes, because they were mine and I wanted them forever.

This wasn’t based on the cost of the stamps, even though it was a pair of overseas letters– just shy of four whole dollars in postage!  Rather, it was the stamps as objects, regardless of the monetary value, that had me in a brief daze of avarice.  Canada Post does a bang-up job of offering diverse stamps— it may be part of whats behind all this noise about their financial worries, having to set up loads of presses every couple of months– because the runs of their interesting stamps tend to be fairly short, a regular… well, a willing correspondent such as myself finds the supply of any given stamp dwindles quite briskly.  Greed, in its most senseless form, cries out to hang onto them, as no more can be got!

Canada Post’s habits make more sense than the Canadian Mint’ regular production of rather interesting and hang-onto-able coins, if I can digress a little from my point.  Stamps aren’t quite the representative of national capital that coins are, and I find myself wondering at the effect vis à vis inflation of being encouraged to hang onto piles of quarters and dollar coins not because they’ll ever be worth more than their face value but just because they’re decorative– doesn’t it devalue a currency to constantly issue more of it?

Actually, when I say in digressing from my point, I’m wrongly suggesting that I have a point.  As is common here, it’s a mere observation of a moment of weakness.  A more than usually silly one, too.  I’m long out of the habit of philately, but I understand that there’s only a point to collecting stamps if they’ve been circulated.  A pile of stamps lying in a drawer is no more than a squared-off, sticky-backed equivalent of some abandoned pocket change.

Not necessarily small change, of course.

Not necessarily small change, of course.

I overcame my grasping aspect in the end. I remind myself that the point of getting festive stamps is to send them away.  Apart from the mere proof of postage being paid, they’re meant to brighten the day of the recipient.  I have certainly found my day brightened by the receipt of stamps from the US, England, Slovenia, Austria, Indonesia and even Australia (pictures of wildlife are much less venomous than the real thing).  Unlike certain prime ministers I could mention, the stamps I send go forth to enhance the world’s opinion of my nation and increase the global level of Happy, something they can’t do sitting in a heap in my desk.  It’s not going to save the world, but it’s still worth doing.  And that’s why I totally wrecked this souvenir strip:


Yes, we do claim some interest in Superman, via Joe Shuster. I understand he’s a citizen of the world these days, anyway.

Today’s pen: Lamy 2000
Today’s ink: Pelikan Brilliant Black 

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