Tag Archives: Postcard

Re-Post: Grexit Mail

Over three years ago I posted photos of a postcard I sent my friend Andreas in Athens, preparing for Grexit before it was called Grexit.

The crisis has worsened, Troika insists on austerity for Greece although austerity without a haircut has never worked, Twitter is buzzing with #thisisacoup .

The postcard was originally sent in January 2012.

So it seemed appropriate to re-post “Greek Financial Crisis: “Just in case…””:

 A couple of months ago I moved back into my appartment. When I was unpacking boxes I found a little tin can full of old currencies. Amongst them three pieces of 10 drachmae.

Just in case bailing out Greece fails, I sent them to my friend Andreas in Athens:

Postcard to Andreas in Athens, Greece, Front: Just in case...

Three old 10 Drachmae Coins sent to Greece in case the country defaults and leaves the Eurozone.Postcard to Andreas in Athens, Greece, Back: Just in case...

Mail Art: Dear NSA

I wrote a postcard to the NSA making them aware of the fact that they should stop reading my emails while I am in the US.

I typed the postcard on my Triumph-Adler typewriter, because I loved the story about the Russian Intelligence Services going back to typewriters.

In case they can’t identify me by name or by  the typeface of the typewriter, i actually licked the stamp (mormally I use self-adhesive stamps).

Oh, and, dear NSA: You’re probably reading this. So: I’m always happy about mail art. Feel free to send me a reply to my P.O. Box. You know where to find me.

The front of the typewritten postcard to the NSA.

The front of the typewritten postcard to the NSA.

The back of the typewritten postcard to the NSA.

The back of the typewritten postcard to the NSA.

Oysters for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

On July 25th, Wired’s Danger Room Blog reported that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington had posted a request for quote on FedBizOpps.gov was soliciting the delivery of 4,000 bushels of “shucked and air dried” oyster shells. By the way, come on, “bushels”?!

That was just too good to be true. So I went surfing the net and almost perished in the attempt to read and understand the jungle of provisions and clauses a possible vendor of oyster shells is required to meet. There are specific provisions on Child Labor (52.222-19), Convict Labor (52.222-3) , Trafficking of Persons (amongst the oysters?), Buy American (52.225-1 and -2) and, one of my favorites, Encouraging Contractor Policies to Ban Text Messaging While Driving (52.223-18). In it, the goverment expenses 70 words to define what “driving” means in this context, then another 100 words to define “text messaging” to then finally come to a point: “The Contractor is encouraged to Adopt and enforce policies that ban text messaging while driving”.

Well, no wonder government is so expensive. First, it needs to pay people who make up those provisions. Then it needs people who can express them in legalese. Then  it has to pay people to format those and put them somewhere on the web (and file a ton of paper in the meantime). Then the contractors have to pay someone to find, read, understand, implement and enforce those regulations, allthewhile facoring those costs into their bills to the government. And in the end the government has to pay someone inspect the implementation of regulations. To make this clear: I am not against a ban on texting while driving or child labor, and while all those regulations might have originated from plausible and good intentions, I still am idealist enough to hope that there is some way to make all this somewhat less bureaucratic. I mean, come on. 100 words to define text-messaging?

Anyway, after reading through a couple of these I decided I didn’t care too much (besides the fact that I have no idea where to get that many oysters) and that I would send the USACE just a single shell. AFAIK there is only one place that sells oysters in Freiburg, which would be the fish stall at Markthalle, where I went and got this:

I hate eating oysters by the way. Anyway, I gulped it down, treated myself to some candied Kumquats as compensation and went home to clean and “air dry” my oyster (it stank!).

A couple of days later it was ready to be sent to Denese Kushinsky who was mentioned as USACE Wilmington’s contact for the RFC. And this is what it looks like:

One Oyster shell sent to the USACE Wilmington as a response to their RFC Solicitation Number: W912PM-12-T-0

I am curious as to whether it crosses the ocean safely;-)

Rattrap to Rattray

Lena is WWOOFing of sorts on a pony farm in a town called Rattray in Scotland.

She received the postcard fairly soon, which surprised me for two reasons:

  • I can’t read my own handwriting annymore with absolute certainty. Had to look up the address again to decypher “Blairgowrie”;-)
  • IT exceeds Deutsche Post limitations.

Before you comment: I’ve read Wikipedia on Rattray, too. So:

The name Rattray is Raitear in Gaelic, and may derive from an English language cognate of Gaelic ràth meaning “fortress” plus a Pictishterm cognate with Welsh tref meaning “settlement”.

Postcard: Cheese from Nat(h)alie

Rarely she does send me postcards, but when I receive one from Nat(h)alie, they’re always great. Here is the last one she sent.

I guess the one I received on Jan. 3rd speaks for itself:

A slice of cheese sent as a postcard by Nat(h)alie. Back

A slice of cheese sent as a postcard by Nat(h)alie. Front

She was worried that it would go bad quickly if not refrigerated, that is why she sent it to my home address. It has been sitting on the loggia for the most part since, yet by now, almost a month later, it still looks as fresh as before;-)

Postcards: Snow to go for Texas

You know this dry snow stuff they sell at Christmas Markets? As everything else on those markets, it tends to be far overpriced. But sometime last year I found a company that sells them for less than a Dollar per test tube.

Right now, it is -6°C here in Freiburg and supposed to be getting as low as -22 by Saturday. In Austin, Tx, its 15°C and supposed to rise to 22°C by the week end. So, Molly was the perfect recipient for some Snow to Go. Especially after she liked sledding so much;-)

Postcard: Snow to Go for Molly, Front

Postcard: Snow to Go for Molly, Front

Postcard: Snow to Go for Molly, Back

Postcard: Snow to Go for Molly, Back