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Good morning, and happy February! Today is a special day, because I have a really wonderful interview with Jimmy Lonetti about his throwback Postal Service uniforms. Jimmy is already somewhat Uni Watch-famous because of his longtime excellent work in the field of baseball glove repair, but he’s also an official Postal Service letter carrier, and he customizes his uniforms with vintage patches, buttons, and other throwback details.
I don’t mind saying that this is one of the best Uni Watch articles ever. It’s long — about 5,000 words — and is studded with lots of photos, links to lots of additional resources for people who want to learn more about postal aesthetics, and a very special surprise at the end.
You can read the first part of the article here. In order to read the whole thing, you’ll need to become a paid subscriber to my Substack (which will also get you full access to my Substack/Bulletin archives, of course). Honestly and truly, I can’t imagine a better reason to sign up than to read today’s piece. It’s that good — trust me.
In 1996, before Uni Watch even existed, an AP reporter named Ted Anthony came over to my house to interview me and ended up writing a very nice story about me. Anthony liked my sensibility and I liked his, so we’ve stayed in touch over the years. He recently launched a free newsletter called “Unsorted but Significant,” and it’s really good. One of the first entries is about distressed baseball caps (like the one shown above) and the larger phenomenon of “distressed” culture, and it’s a really fun, thoughtful examination of the topic. A lot of it feels intuitive, like Anthony is saying things you already implicitly understood but hadn’t yet been able to put into words. He’s really good that way.
I had an interesting and slightly disturbing experience yesterday morning as I was rearranging a few knickknacks on a shelf. As I was in the middle of doing it, I realized that the original arrangement was better after all, and I had this instinctive urge to just hit some invisible COMMAND-Z keys to restore the original arrangement.
Then I realized that I’d actually have to, you know, do that myself.
There are probably all sorts of jokes to be made about ⌘Z-ing various aspects of one’s life. But in all seriousness, it’s weird to have the urge to automatically “undo” something in the physical world just because I’m used to doing it on a keyboard.
I shared this same story on Facebook yesterday and asked my friends if they’d experienced anything similar. Got some really interesting responses:
It’s interesting to see how so many of our habits are mediated by technology, and how our behavior in the digital realm can bleed over into the physical realm. Weird!