Tuesday, November 23, 2004

All Hail the U.S. Postal Service!

Originally uploaded by Rozanne.
Who would have thought the U.S. Postal Service capable of the finely honed sense of whimsy evidenced by this R. Buckminster Fuller stamp? Morphing Bucky's chrome dome into a geodesic dome is a stroke of pure genius! Note also the 1950s-style, space-age structures and the mod red vehicle. All atomic powered, you can be sure.

Obviously, there is some sort of new broom in charge of stamp design at the USPS, and this person is just as sick as I am of the perennial and uninspired American flag and LOVE stamps. This young Turk or Turkette has been shaking things up for a couple of years now, easing the codgers at the USPS away from the moribund design sensibility responsible for stamp after monochromatic stamp commemorating obscure white men famous for we know not what.

I have happily been sending off bills and invoices adorned with Pinocchio, Mickey Mouse, Dr. Seuss, and Prickly Red Sea Cucumbers. But yesterday B went to the Post Office and brought home perhaps the best stamps yet--the Cloudscapes series.

I have always had a thing for cloud formations. I used to have a cloud poster next to the window in my office and always hoped I'd spot some of the rarer formations such as altocumulus lenticularis (lenticular clouds), which look just like a stack of pancakes! (Some people have mistaken them for flying saucers and gotten all panicky and called the FBI.) Sadly, it was futile to search for pancakes in the Midwestern sky. Lenticular clouds need the atmospheric influence of mountains to form. But now that I live near the Cascades, I am pleased to report that I have seen lenticular clouds on several occasions. And they look absolutely delicious!

So, back to the Cloudscapes stamp series. They meet or exceed all expectations. Not only do they have a beauteous, backlit example of lenticular clouds, they've got cumulonimbus mammatus, which look like an acre of boobs. Hilarious. They've even got a tornado! Way to go USPS!

I'm sure if I were a more aware person I would have read the New Yorker article that surely must have appeared several years ago, profiling the person responsible for hoisting the USPS out of the 19th century. But I didn't. And I don't see myself making such an effort now to locate this information. That's too much like work, so this person will just have to remain an anonymous but much appreciated heroine or hero.


Blogger Jamie said...

I saw the Bucky stamps on the display card at my local post office last time I was there. I asked for some, but the only kind they actually had behind the counter were flag stamps, as usual.


7:57 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Wow! something else to check out when I make it to the big city. My last stamp choice, Flag, Madonna and Child, Snowman..

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those are great. I agree, change is good, especially if they're going to start charging us $.41 a pop!

I am still waiting for Life in Hell stamps, though...

And So It Goes

12:00 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Jamie and Sharon, Did you know you can buy stamps online? http://shop.usps.com/cgi-bin/vsbv/postal_store_non_ssl/home.jsp

I've never tried it, but it must be better than standing in line at the P.O. in December. Shudder. The Buckies and the Clouds are both available--and lots more.

Gosh. When did I turn into such a cheerleader for the U.S. Postal Service?

Denise, If they've got Dr. Seuss and Disney, Life in Hell can't be far behind.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hated using the Cloudscape stamps when I payed bills earlier today. They are just too pretty. I also like to order stamps online but I laso like to buy them in smaller denominations (which you can't do online) and use 3 or 4 stamps on a single letter. -Julee www.hipfamily.com

6:28 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Julee, I know! I faced that very problem with the Cloudscapes stamps today. I don't want to waste them on some drone who opens my electric bill. I guess there really is a use for those flag stamps after all.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a full sheet of the Cloudscape stamps framed an on my wall. they look great in my cube, especially since I don't have a window! Sure wish the USPS would sell a poster sized reproduction that I could hang on the wall.

2:19 PM  

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