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Re: Mystery Postal #OK2019A
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971273 by Oberon_Kenobi
Feb 10, 2019 11:56pm
Thread
Clue 12: Book
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971271 by The Beach People
Feb 11, 2019 9:58am
Thread
I haven't had problems (yet). I think from your post, you've gotten to the crux of the matter ~ disgruntled employee. He/she would probably complain about other things too.

Here is the link to the specifics: https://www.usps.com/ship/letters.htm
"Non-machineable items include lumpy or rigid envelopes, and those that have clasps, string, or buttons. Unusually shaped square or vertical envelopes will also cost more to send."

Now, I've always wondered - a lot of charities like to send appeals with coins (nickels, or other items) in their envelopes. Those seem pretty "lumpy" to me, but they seem to get processed fine.

And, what happens if you add that extra postage, and mail from a post box? How does the post office "know" to separate that rectangular envelope from all of the rest, so it won't jam the machines?


In any case, when I prepare a micro, I try to reduce the lumpiness by making the envelope thickness as uniform as possible, or making it a gradual increasing-decreasing thickness, so the envelope won't jam the machine. I secure the stamp so it doesn't slide around, and put the stamp in the middle, often surrounded by a few cut sheets of paper that folks use for logging in.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971271 by The Beach People
Feb 11, 2019 12:18pm
Thread
All of our clerks used to feel the envelopes when I would take them in and add postage for any bumps. Our new clerks don't do that. You might try putting it inside a greeting card or thin cardstock on each side of the stamp. They don't charge extra for bumpy greeting cards usually. I started using greeting card-sized envelopes and had no problem.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971328 by Topcollector
Feb 11, 2019 12:33pm
Thread
On regular plbs, one of our nearby p.o.s had this ancient woman who would bark "What's in there?" Instead of the q's she is supposed to ask. Thankfully, she retired & replaced with a very friendly agent.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971333 by J Walkers
Feb 11, 2019 4:46pm
Thread
Just imagining all those possible shocking answers you could have given her.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971328 by Topcollector
Feb 11, 2019 7:11pm
Thread
They don't charge extra for bumpy greeting cards usually. I started using greeting card-sized envelopes and had no problem.

So, where do you buy them, without buying a greeting card along with it?
Re: Mystery Postal #OK2019A
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971315 by Oberon_Kenobi
Feb 12, 2019 4:13am
Thread
There are 11 (including me) in the tracker.
There is room for at least two more in the tracker.

Clue 13: Film
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971349 by Oberon_Kenobi
Feb 12, 2019 5:13am
Thread
Maybe Staples, or one of the Office stores. I get different sized envelopes there sometimes. :^)
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971349 by Oberon_Kenobi
Feb 12, 2019 7:20am
Thread
We have a fair number in our immediate family and we give birthday cards to each other in person. I save the envelopes that haven't had the flaps completely glued down and are re-usable. Even if there's a name written on the front, that can be covered up with a label.
Re: Mystery Postal #OK2019A
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971360 by Oberon_Kenobi
Feb 13, 2019 6:18am
Thread
Clue 14: Tunnel
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971271 by The Beach People
Feb 13, 2019 8:44am
Thread
So *technically* every micro postal should have the extra ounce stamp on it, even if it's at 1 oz or under and even if it's thinner than 1/4" because the stamp will make the envelope uneven and it's not paper.

I've learned to dump my postals in the mailbox and go, because the USPS employees always say the additional postage is needed. If they're doing more to sort out anything that might possibly jam the machines, then maybe that won't work anymore.

I just sent two micro postals your way. I added the "extra ounce" postage to one just to see what would happen.
Re: Mystery Postal #OK2019A
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971398 by Oberon_Kenobi
Feb 14, 2019 2:49am
Thread
This is the second to last (penultimate) clue. The tracker is technically full, but I want to finish my clues since I'm so close.

Clue 15: Sagan
Re: Mystery Postal #OK2019A
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971438 by Oberon_Kenobi
Feb 15, 2019 12:26am
Thread
Okay, final clue. This one should hopefully give you what you need.

Clue 16: Stalag
Re: Mystery Postal #OK2019A
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971481 by Oberon_Kenobi
Feb 16, 2019 1:16pm
Thread
This mystery postal is now closed. It was certainly different being on this side of the mystery. You were probably frustrated at the beginning by the numbers. As you'll see throughout my explanation, I could have used a whole lot more numbers. However, it is now time to reveal the meanings of the clues.

The answer is "The Great Escape".

  1. 50: Both the book and film were dedicated to the fifty who were executed (murdered) after being recaptured, contrary to the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war. Hitler had wanted them all killed, but his generals talked him out of that.
  2. 76: There were 76 prisoners (of the planned 220) who successfully made it away from the prisoner of war camp. Of those, 3 eventually made it to Commonwealth countries. 73 were recaptured, and 23 returned to prisoner of war camps.
  3. 75: The night of 24/25 March 1944 was when the Great Escape occurred, so this year marks the 75th anniversary of the escape. When I recently saw the film on television, I thought that this would be a great subject of my first mystery postal. When I started investigating the subject for clues, I found out that this was the 75th anniversary so I knew that I had to do it.
  4. Harry: Harry was the code name of the tunnel used for the actual escape. It was started in hut 104 under a stove. In the film, this was the one in the drain sump.
  5. Poland: The camp was within the pre-war borders of Germany, but is now in Poland.
  6. New moon: The escape was timed for the new moon so that the prisoners would have the best chance of getting away from the camp.
  7. Tom: Tom was the tunnel originally planned for the escape. It was started in hut 123 next to a stove chimney. In the film this tunnel began under a stove. It is unknown how the actual tunnel was discovered.
  8. Roger: Roger Bushell, also known as "Big X", was the organizer of the Great Escape. He threatened to court martial anyone who uttered the word "tunnel".
  9. Dick: Dick was the third tunnel dug for the purpose of the Great Escape. It was dug in the shower drain of hut 122. In the film the entrance to this tunnel was not shown. Work on it was stopped when camp expansion began where Dick was going to surface.
  10. Cooler: At least in the film, Steve McQueen's character ended up in the "Cooler" (solitary confinement) multiple times.
  11. Air Force: The Great Escape was planned by prisoners from the Royal Air Force, the air force of the British and Commonwealth countries.
  12. Book: "The Great Escape" (book) was written by Paul Brickhill, an Australian who was in the camp. The book was published in 1950.
  13. Film: The film is a highly retelling of the events of the book. It was released in 1963. I have seen it before, but seeing in again earlier this year prompted me to make this mystery postal.
  14. Tunnel: Tom, Dick and Harry were the code names of the three tunnels planned for the Great Escape. After discovery, the prisoners started digging another tunnel named George. It wasn't finished before the camp was liberated by Soviet forces in January 1945.
  15. Sagan: Sagan is the German name for the town closest to the prisoner of war camp. It is now called Żagań, in Poland.
  16. Stalag: Stalag Luft III is short for Stammlager Luft III; literally "Main Camp, Air, III". This was the site of the Great Escape. This stalag consisted of multiple compounds. The Great Escape took place from the North Compound, where British and Commonwealth prisoners were held.

FYI: "The Wooden Horse" is the account of another escape of 2 prisoners from this same compound. It was made into a film released in 1950. I read the book in junior or high school as an assignment.

This was fun for me. I hope that it was fun for you too. I look forward to doing another and for the next one by IrishRef.
Re: Mystery Postal #OK2019A
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971584 by Oberon_Kenobi
Feb 16, 2019 1:38pm
Thread
A very fine first effort at mystery postals! I look forward to more from both you and Irish Ref.
Do you ever send markers or ink?
Board: Postals
Feb 18, 2019 7:48pm
Thread
I'm considering sending specific markers with a postal. It's a book postal, so it will already be a little on the heavy side, but I don't think the markers would add significant weight.

Does anyone ever do this? Any problems, did they go missing or get damaged?
Re: Do you ever send markers or ink?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971748 by BaliWho
Feb 19, 2019 3:56am
Thread
I dont send markers.
Re: Do you ever send markers or ink?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971748 by BaliWho
Feb 19, 2019 4:51am
Thread
I was in a swap once where they were worried ppl may not have silver and gold so they sent ink pads with it.
Re: Do you ever send markers or ink?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971748 by BaliWho
Feb 19, 2019 12:46pm
Thread
I've personally received postals with ink pads in it.. I didn't have a problem with it.. but I'd check with the members and host of the tracker, just to make sure they didn't mind..
Re: Do you ever send markers or ink?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971748 by BaliWho
Feb 19, 2019 5:15pm
Thread
I have on occasion sent markers or ink for postals that I wanted to ensure the right colors were used (with no issues). The ink/markers came back just as I sent them every time. If it doesn’t change the postage rate I don’t think it’s necessary to ask the group.
Re: Do you ever send markers or ink?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971748 by BaliWho
Feb 20, 2019 7:12am
Thread
Send them in a baggie. :)

~Aurora
.... markerless
Re: Do you ever send markers or ink?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971748 by BaliWho
Feb 20, 2019 5:55pm
Thread
I'm intrigued that there are specific colors to use on your stamp. Luckily I'm in the ring and will get to see what you came up with. 🖍