May 14th, 2008

krazy koati

Fine man, crazy man, he can't see

The day after a one-cent rise in stamps is not the day to go mailing a letter overseas. Well, I'll know better in a couple years when the next price raise comes. But while there's usually a bit of a line around lunchtime and I really should know better than to go during this segment of the day, this line was filled with people buying one-cent stamps. I think my favorite customer would be the one who was buying nine one-cent stamps. Not ten, she didn't want the whole booklet or half-booklet; she wanted just the nine. I suppose it's true if you watch the pennies the dollars take care of themselves, but that's watching pretty closely.

The next favorite would be the person arguing that he needed the one-cent stamps to augment his remaining stock of the Liberty Bell stamps. He seemed very skeptical of the clerk's insistence that the Liberty Bell stamps were still just as good as ever and didn't need any supplemental postage, but eventually he did go off without buying anything.

I don't mind these, since I didn't have anywhere to be, but several people behind me moaned at this delay. I admit I probably would have used the automated postal machine if I were sure it could produce international postage, given the line, but certainly people who haven't heard the interesting thing about the `Forever' stamps are at least as interesting as whatever else you were going to do with the time, isn't it?

The day after the day after a one-cent rise in stamps is not a lot better, though. I had a package this time, and one being sent domestically, so that I didn't have to wait in the huge line of people between the little fabric-like guard ropes, but the woman using the automated postage center thing was having a horrible time trying to get the machine to print out five one-cent stamps. She warned me it wasn't working, although since I wanted to buy a couple dollars for postage in the form of a mailing label it liked me.

Trivia: The first piece of Skylab to break in the launch of the space station on 14 May 1973 was the separation of meteoroid shield tension strap 2, which happened one minute, 2.9 seconds into the flight. A tenth of a second later straps 1 and 3 separated, as did the solar array system's wing two beam fairing. Source: Skylab: A Chronology, NASA SP-4011, Ronald W Newkirk, Ivan D Ertel, Courtney G Brooks.

Currently Reading: Waterloo: Day Of Battle, David Howarth.