May 24th, 2009


A New Post Office

Don't Make Fun Of My Post Office

It all started off as just a comment on my Facebook page.
Philip Edward Kaldon
They were putting up the word "United" on the building that will become the new Allendale post office this morning.
Thu 5:34pm · Comment · LikeUnlike

Mrs. Dr. Phil at 6:18pm May 21
cool! I thought I saw something PO-box-like through the windows the other day!

Friend at 7:30pm May 21
i take it y'all are excited to be getting a post office... is that right? so you can stand in line and pay ever increasing amounts for stamps?

Another Friend at 10:30pm May 21

Philip Edward Kaldon at 11:09pm May 21
We have a Post Office, but it is very small and the parking lot is physically dangerous. Right now Allendale Township is split over seven different zip codes and post offices. The hope is eventually the township could be unified.

Mrs. Dr. Phil at 11:30pm May 21
Neither of us has actually ever set foot, in 17 years, in the post office that is actually associated with our zip code... it's in the boonies somewhere the other direction from which we have any reason to travel most days.

It's not that we didn't have a post office, it was just small and at times difficult and even dangerous to access. And idiots would drive the wrong way into the tiny lot. And it was on a busy intersection, etc.

Coming Soon

The new post office is in the shopping center built just the other year for the Family Fare grocery store. Parking. Access from both M-45/Lake Michigan Drive and 64th Avenue. Central location. There's a lot to recommend about it.

Alas, I suspect based on some other newfangled post offices I've seen that there'll be a few issues. That glassed-in lobby with the P.O. boxes? I'm betting it'll get hot and stifling in the summertime. And I'm not sure they're going to move the old P.O. boxes. There's something about the old brass-and-glass box doors that I've always liked.

Progress. Like entropy, you can't deny it and you can't fight it. (grin)

Dr. Phil

Memorial Day Minus One Movies

On Turner Classic Movies Tonight

First was Above and Beyond (1952) and then The Dam Busters (1955). The first was about the Enola Gay and the run on Hiroshima, the latter about taking out German dams with an innovative "skipping stone" five-ton bomb which would get spent along the edge of the dam, fall down thirty or more feet, detonate, and use the reflection of the water blast to punch out the dam.

The obvious similarity is that both missions require a specially trained unit and a very special weapon. And both are WWII movies. After that, the differences are considerable.

The US Army Air Corps B-29 Superfortress was a high performance, high altitude, pressurized cabin bomber. It required reinforced concrete runways at an isolated island base at Titian. And the uranium fission bomb required care, radar altimeters and crew safety precautions.

The British Lancaster bomber also had four engines, but had an unpressurized box fuselage and used grass landing fields in England. Their bomb required low flight, with altitude determined by a crossed floodlight system and a simple Y-shaped bombsight.

The Hiroshima bomb was a one-off. The other planes flying that day were weather and camera planes. Indeed, a lone B-29 flying weather patrol was not considered a threat and so they were not fired upon. The dam busting bombs were used in multiple planes over multiple targets on their one mission. They were subject to ground attacks and lost several planes.

And then there's this. Part of the reason for making Above and Beyond was to show the strains on marriages in the young Air Force. To try to show that this was a necessary job, despite the secrets and the away time. As for the Brits, there's a glaring bit of controversy about the name of the black dog who served as the units' mascot -- being a black dog he was called "Nigger", a word I thought I'd never have to type in this blog or hear being uttered as a term of endearment by the white British flight crews. Certain prints for television have the dog's name either censored or redubbed as "Trigger".

Wikipedia mentions that Peter Jackson is working on a remake of The Dam Busters. They may use the actual alternate nickname of "Nigsy" for the dog -- under the theory that they are damned if they do and damned if they don't over historical accuracy versus offensive language in 2009. The Wikipedia article also points out that the attack on the Death Star in Star Wars, i.e. the original which is now Episode 4, is based on The Dam Busters.

An interesting pair of movies -- the sterile high performance of the Americans versus the gutsy lower tech British "Cook me a kipper, I'll be back in the morning" fliers.

Dr. Phil