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Posted: 09 Jul 2020, 18:17
That mailbox issue is one that never was made clear to me. The common thinking is that it belongs to the feds, but that's not entirely true. It belongs to the property owner who agrees to let the government use and more or less control it. That's about as close to an understanding as I've been able to get. In any case, it would be insane for me to not provide a mail drop or to blow up the one I did provide. LOL
Every so often I read comments in the local community newsletter regarding loud noises, such as an explosion. Apparently there is a rock quarry on the edge of town and they use TNT to do their work. When they set off a charge on a calm quiet day, it gets heard by at least the entire northern half of O'Fallon. Until I read an explanation of where those booms were originating, I never knew about the quarry. I never saw them in operation, but I think it would be fun to watch a wall of rock collapse after an explosion.
I think I understand from when your fascination with pyrotechnics comes from. I'd have to agree with you that it was a shame that some disgruntled drunk can put an end to all that fun, but I see it in that same newsletter I cited in the above paragraph. People bitch and moan about how neurotic their dogs are becoming due to the neighbors setting off fireworks. Some guy even wrote to the city to get a list of all the fines they issued to unauthorized firecracker users. He suspected they were not enforcing the ordinances that are on the books. Well, yeah. I don't think the O'Fallon police go after fireworks violators; nor do any other police departments that I ever heard of. LOL
Posted: 10 Jul 2020, 15:14
The USPS refused to deliver mail to an entire new subdivision near my dad.
The reason being is there was not an approved USPS mailbox inside the housings used.
The sad thing was, the mailboxes were all really cute, many the same design as the house, others were like known objects or locations. One guys was an antique car which was really neat looking.
They all had a flip down door just like a mailbox, but did not have an actual approved mailbox.
The subdivision builder did come out and modify them so they held a standard approved mailbox to get the homeowners off his back, hi hi.
One thing I think is interesting is:
The Flag on the right side of your mailbox is NOT USED for the purpose that flag is required to be there.
In fact, some mailbox companies put an automatic flap on the left side of the mailbox to make up for the misuse of the red flag. In many Rural Areas, the Red Flag is still used for the purpose intended. To notify the owner of the mailbox that their mail was delivered.
The usage of the Red Flag got reversed when postal carriers began picking up mail from private mailboxes.
Most cities had postal boxes on every block or every other block for you to put your outbound mail in. Often these were small and mounted on utility poles, or the corners of buildings, or a larger box ground mounted near a street corner.
I guess the post office figured they would save money by getting rid of the post boxes and just pick up outbound mail while they were stopped delivering mail to a private mailbox.
Seems I looked it up once, back when kids were running over mailboxes or bashing them with a baseball bat.
Damaging a private mailbox is Not a Federal Offense, UNLESS it contained US Mail and the mail got damaged in the process.
The taking of US Mail from a mailbox, OR putting something into an Approved USPS Mailbox by someone other than a postal worker is a Federal Offense.
We were at Steinies Inn for a party, probably a wedding reception (later named Shotlocker), when the quarries dynamite shed blew up. The concussion that far away was so strong, it knocked a musician off the stage, blew in the back windows, and cause the dropped ceiling to fall down. It was a mess in there, but no one was seriously injured. A couple of cuts and bruises is all.
Took them close to a year to figure out what caused the explosion. No old sticks were in there, and the caps were kept in another building far away from the dynamite shed. All necessary safety precautions were always observed.
Turns out they finally caught the three guys who were involved, who at first appeared to have rock solid alibi's, but something seemed fishy about the whole story.
It was later discovered they were drilling a hole in 30-6 rifle bullets and putting the heads of self-striking kitchen matches in the bullets. Apparently they missed hitting the shed enough times, some of these bullets were found in a direct line just beyond the shed in the ground or in a few trees. A few that went into the ground did not set off the match. But it did get them the rifle marks off the bullets which led them back to the rifle. All three guys were charged!
Although I do know a couple of guys who were given tickets by the police for shooting off fireworks in years past. One did pay the requested fine by the city, but the other guy held his ground stating although the city made the law, it was not normally enforced so became only symbolic and for that reason is of no consequence. The judge said we can't catch every speeder so should I let everyone off the hook? The guy said no because you are actively pursuing speeders, but the police are not actively pursuing those who are using fireworks. Judge said case dismissed!
Posted: 10 Jul 2020, 16:14
OMG - what kind of deranged people would use a dynamite shed for target practice? No need to answer. I know where you live.
One time back in the old house I received a double bill from the electric company. They added a late payment penalty to it as well. Normally I'd pay the utility bills within a couple days of receiving it, but for some reason I didn't get this one. I didn't call them because I knew what they would tell me. Regardless of whether I received the bill or not, I'm responsible for paying it every month. Seems like I had that argument with somebody in my distant past so that I just paid it and forgot about it. That was in the middle of winter. A few months later I was out in the front yard and noticed an envelope under the 25 foot tall Colorado Spruce in our front yard. Turns out it was that missing electric bill. It was damaged from being soaked by the elements. After some judicious thinking and recollection of when the blizzard passed through Chicago that year, I concluded that the village snow plows whacked my mailbox out by the curb when they were plowing the snow. Apparently there was mail in the box and it wet flying. I recall cleaning the snow out of the inside of the mailbox but never thought there might be some missing mail. So, I suppose, the village people broke the federal laws about damaging and removing mail. Even if I would have put 2 and 2 together at the time, I'd probably not have a chance against recovering that late fee the village people caused me to pay.
The flag on the mail box always was understood as a signal to the deliveryman that he should stop to pick up the mail. I found that out when I was a wee toddler visiting grandpa on his farm. I'd always flip up that flag just because it was there. Then I was caught red handed by grandpa and told the reason to stop. Thus your explanation is very interesting to me. It's opposite of everything I ever knew about it all my life. LOL
Posted: 10 Jul 2020, 17:15
This was in Bussen Quary in Fenton, Missouri where the dynamite shed blew.
Oh, we've had snow plows knock over mailboxes many times. Not that they hit them, but the weight of the snow being tossed to the side knocked them down. Had several cars that also got dents or broken glass that were parked on private property at the time too. One of my neighbors had a trailer hitch on the back of his truck and left the slide out receiver installed and it was sticking out beyond the curb. The snow plow hit that thing and guess what. HE had to pay for the damage to the plow truck, hi hi. I see a lot of folks driving around with the removable hitch in place. That was illegal back home, but I guess not down here.
I sued the electric company once and won. It took a year before they finally heard my case. I didn't really win any money though, since I settled on getting two 100 foot rolls of Belden 9512 coaxial cable and my filing costs back.
That was the year I was also running on a generator. And although they are not supposed to, they were also ordered to have my wiring replaced from the meter to the weather head as well and reconnect my electric.
Originally designed only for incoming mail delivery, in 1923 curbside mailboxes were fitted with a semaphore or signal flag mounted on an attached arm to inform the recipient that incoming mail had been delivered. Soon, this flag was raised not only by the postman to inform of a delivery, but also by the resident of the property to signal the postman of outgoing mail. The act of raising the flag by the postman fell by the wayside, except during periods of freezing or inclement weather. After the end of WWII, new postal regulations alleviated the postman of raising the flag for a mail delivery, and it was thereafter be used as a signal for the postman to stop to collect outbound mail. Many rural mail carries still raised the flag to notify the resident their mail had arrived, but the postman is no longer required to perform this courtesy.