Friday, May 14, 2010

A paper and pasteboard time machine.

The post office brought a big box from Colorado yesterday: The twelve-volume set of the Educator Classic Library. Yesterday afternoon I kicked back on the front porch and settled into reading Swiss Family Robinson for the first time in better than twenty years...
"As I looked at my two young sons, each with his gun, and considered how much the safety of the party depended on these little fellows, I felt grateful to you, dear husband, for having acquainted them in childhood with the use of firearms."
This is the literary equivalent of comfort food.

Thank you to everybody who made that possible.


(True story: It took the USPS seven days to get the box from Fort Collins, CO to Denver, a total of some seventy miles. It only took four days from Denver to Indy. I am presuming it was carried the first leg of its journey on foot, somewhat slower than they could have managed in Pastor Wyss's day. Perhaps we should consider bringing back the Pony Express.)

16 comments:

Dr. StrangeGun said...

local processing will always take longer on packages than regional... it's been on the 'larn yerself' cable channels before, often shipments of anything over letter-size can be held until there's a full container.

Once it gets to a larger processing center, there's no problem assembling full shipments.

Joanna said...

If they brought back the Pony Express I would join it because then I would get to ride a pony. I'd name it Sparkles. It would kick ass.

Nathan said...

A kick-ass pony named Sparkles.

OK, now I've heard everything...

Anonymous said...

That quote is one of my favorite gems in all of literature...I first read it about the time I was reading my all-time favorite book "A Boy and his Gun" by Janes. It was about 1964, I was ten, and both inspired a love of shooting and a sense of responsibility and maturity that lives inside me 'til this day.

As to the USPS, I send a box of scrap gold, silver, coins, etc. to my refiner in S. Fla about once a week by UPS. It costs about eight bucks for a five pound package; it is picked up at about 5 p.m., goes north to the depot in Orlando then south to Deerfield Beach overnight, and delivered to its destination about noon the next day. Every time, without fail...and I can track it online every step of the way.

My refiner sends me a check on the same day I call in my commitment. It used to take one or two days to reach me by mail, then it was taking three, and finally it started taking four and even five days to go that 150 miles, all without any ability to track its whereabouts. Finally I started having them put my check in a box and send it UPS...it costs about five bucks, but I get it by 10 A.M. the next day and it's in the bank by the time the refiner gets my package.

And the O has used the quasi-gov relationship with USPS as an example of how healthcare.gov will work. God help us.

AT

Anonymous said...

btw, of the twelve books in that collection, it would please me if you would consider SFR to be the one from me. Enjoy your time travel. AT

Boat Guy said...

"Educator Classic Library" ??? I WANT some!!! A quick Google/Amazon search revealed gave me a "Sherlock Holmes Casebook" said to be "#7" but I haven't found such a set for sale yet. Don't need Holes but Swiss Family Robinson would indeed be a treasure.

Joanna said...

Hey, Sparkles kicks all kinds of ass. His mane and tail are braided, but the decorative beads are bullet casings. Do Not Mess With Sparkles.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see Treasure Island is in the library. I'm in the middle of a Robert Louis Stevenson fest. In Kidnapped, David Balfour has to dust two wicked sailors at point blank with hand guns. Even the Hardy Boys, who carried revolvers from time to time in the original series, never actually killed anybody.

Brad K. said...

Paul Harvey covered a story about a guy running an ox-cart mail service in New England. It seemed it took him all day to get from town A to town B and back, including stops to chat with folks unused to seeing cows hitched to wagons.

The US Postal Service, some 15-20 years ago, took three days.

Buffboy said...

You are most welcome. If we are picking portions think the 20k by Verne from me. My old copy turned me on to a world of reading and a continuing love of SF.

Hank Archer said...

I just became aware of these recently and would like to get the set. Can you tell me how to order them?

Tam said...

I found it at Amazon.

RM1(SS) (ret) said...

Nice books. I know I had the Sherlock Holmes book and The Swiss Family Robinson; think I also had two others, though I'm not sure which ones. IIRC, my mum bought them at a supermarket, one volume per week, back around '67 or '68.

Tam said...

There appear to be more than one release.

I have seen "12 volume sets" with Captains Courageous, White Fang, and other books not in my "Complete 12 Volume Set".

The one I have here is, I believe, the same one my uncle had. It's copyrighted 1968, which would make it when he was ten, so it'd be about right.

Beaumont said...

Mail by foot? No, I have it on good authority that USPS only uses blind three-legged mules for local facility mail pickup. The mules are then led to the processing center by illiterate Afghani opium addicts.

Jay.Mac said...

Just a heads up for anyone interested- spotted a set of these books on eBay for $54.99.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=380227131542&rvr_id=&crlp=1_263602_263622&UA=WVF%3F&GUID=dc94dbd61250a0e204b6a906fc91c740&itemid=380227131542&ff4=263602_263622