A Bone to pick with Michael Wilbon

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I am a regular viewer of the ESPN show, Pardon the Interruption or PTI as it is known.The program is co-hosted by Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser. The program consists of the aforementioned gentlemen good naturedly  arguing and/or discussing sports and sports related issues. I have long enjoyed the show and  in particular those times when their discussions meshed sports and non sports issues. Of course, there is an inherent risk in that approach.One could actually postulate on issues well beyond one’s expertise.

From my point of view that is exactly what took place on a segment that aired  on either Thursday or Friday of last week. The segment was set up with the question about what person one would like to see on a postage stamp. Mr Wilbon launched his answer with a boisterous comment that “stamps are irrelevant.”  At that point, I no longer  cared about the rest of their ” discussion” since Mr Wilbon had ( in my mind) cast aspersions on my profession.

As  a letter carrier, stamps are an integral part of what I do and I heard his statement as yet another example of  bashing the postal service and sort of dismissing us completely.  Dismissing the postal service dismisses its employees as well.

From my perspective, we are not  totally outmoded and outdated and ready for the scrap heap. Try this thought on for size. People often complain about so-called junk mail, particularly if it is unsolicited. There is an analogy in the internet world known as spam. Which of these two, if opened, can potentially ruin your computer and potentially compromise your identity? Hint, it isn’t a letter.

A more learned source puts it this way.  A recent study in the Journal of Marketing  discovered that mail  is the most effective means of direct advertising and is even considered less intrusive. Truly amazing, huh?

Just one last thought. This comes from  a recent Verizon commercial that actually  gave me  a warm feeling. A person dashes to their mailbox  at the end of the driveway and upon opening the door discovers a box from Verizon with their  eagerly  anticipated cellphone. It is hard to top the excitement of receiving that long-awaited or even expected letter or package in one’s mailbox. For me it sure beats that unexpected email.


September 9, 2011 Posted by | Media | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Where do I send the thank you note?

For many years it was proper etiquette  for the recipient of a gift or service to send  a  written thank you to the giver. This was particularly true on special occasions. I can remember the importance of thank you notes at significant times in our lives. Those times that readily come  to mind would include our wedding, the births of our children and the deaths of  parents. By the same token it was meaningful for us to receive a thank you note when we have somehow reached out to another whether by a gift or some other means. I am still quite partial to the written (mailed) thank you since it is good business for the Postal Service. ( Always remember the Arthur Godfrey admonition.) Alas, along with many other”proper” forms of behavior, the thank note in almost any form is becoming somewhat rare.

But, something has occurred over the 3-4 weeks that has  created a strong desire to send a thank you note. My problem lies in knowing to whom and where it should be sent.

I have noticed that over this  period there has been a significant increase in gasoline  and heating oil prices. One local statin that I frequent has shown an increase from $3.09/gallon to $3.55/gallon, unless it went  higher today. That included one impressive pice hike of 10 cents per gallon in the space of one hour. The price of home heating oil, which we use, has gone from $3.47/gallon to $4.06 /gallon in even less time.

My problem is in determining where to send the note or notes. Do I send one to local gas station and my local heating oil provider, another to Exxon and BP( the respective brands) another to Gadhafi in Libya for all the turmoil he continues to cause  ( at great harm to his own people, I must say) and isn’t BP a British owned company? Where  would their note go? And least we will not need heating oil to next season, so I have time to work on that note.

Suggestions from anyone versed in the proper etiquette  will be welcomed. Wonder if Emily Post’s website has an answer?

March 13, 2011 Posted by | economy, Energy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s The Most Post Office Time of the Year

Yep, the Christmas mailing season is upon us and really began several days ago. That glorious time of the year in which we  try our  very best to make sure those cards, letters and packaged treasures get to their appointed destination at the appointed time. We always deliver for you, but we do try a bit harder this time  of year.

As a proud member of the letter carrier fraternity, it is  a  special joy for me to pick up and deliver Christmas packages, knowing that there is  joy and good cheer being sent and received. And, besides, I am a customer also.

So, as Arthur Godfrey famously said many years ago( slightly modified here) keep those cards, letters and packages coming.For over 200 years, since the days of Benjamin Franklin, your Postal Service is here for you.

Merry Christmas!

December 2, 2009 Posted by | Culture, economy | , , , , | 2 Comments

Mothers Day Trumps Fathers Day

Tomorrow  is the annual and well-deserved day to honor our moms, whether they are with us or not. (Mine is not.) We

Mrs Jarvis and daughter Anna

Mrs Jarvis and daughter Anna

owe this day primarily to a lady named  Anna May Jarvis, whose mother died 104 years ago today. After her mom’s death she began a campaign to have a day set aside to honor mothers all over the country. Her tireless efforts bore fruit with west Virginia declaring a state holiday in 1912 and Congress passing a law designating the second Sunday in May as the official day. Congress passed the law on May 8, 1914 and President Wilson made the first Mother’s Day proclamation the following day. It was announced as a day to show the flag and honor mothers whose sons had died in the war.

I remember even as a child the custom of wearing a white carnation if ones mother had died and red  if she was living. This came about due to the fact of Ms Jarvis’ mother preferring carnations. Alas, this custom seem to have largely faded away. Another childhood memory bites  the dust.

One other little tidbit, the Postal Service says that the busiest delivery  day for its trademark Express Mail is on Mother’s Day. Now, having daid all that, I have often wondered why Mother’s Day trumps Father’s Day. And, yes I wondered even before I was a dad. Sentiment, guilt, I wonder. I am certain that Hallmark and the florists would not if the dads day caught up.

Oh well. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, especially those represented in my family. And if you have a mom around, do not forget her!


May 9, 2009 Posted by | Holidays | , , , , | 2 Comments