STAMPS! STAMPS! STAMPS! Oh my gosh, you guys, stamps. All of these stamps are available now. These issues were a complete surprise to me until about two weeks ago when I followed a little link about stamp increases that I hadn't heard anything about*. In short, as of today, postcards are a penny more at 35 cents, International mail is up a nickel to $1.20 for the first ounce, and the additional ounce postage went up a penny as well.
As part of a move to across the board "Forever" rates, the denomination is no longer printed on these stamps. Wanna mail a three-ounce letter? Use a "Three Ounce" stamp. (I hereby propose that we refer to all three-ounce letters as "Flannery". Example: "Oh, I sent her a Flannery.") Got something of an odd shape? To the "Non Machinable Surcharge" stamp! And I like all of these. The penguins and butterfly are part of continuing series/artists, and thus aren't really that exciting, but I still like them. Those postcard stamps though! Wow.
*I am mildly annoyed that I didn't know anything about this increase until I stumbled upon it through a series of other links. I follow the USPS on Twitter. I read their blog. I'm constantly on the website. I know they don't exactly want to tell me that rates are increasing, but that is important info. This is why people don't know how much it costs to mail a letter. There needs to be more transparency about this, and frankly, not printing a cost on a stamp compounds this problem. I think it's sort of disingenuous of them. Now, only the USPS computers will know the price.