Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Not Bad

Tonight I searched some coin in my effort to close out 2008 in style. I did pretty well.

3,400 quarters turned up one silver Washington (1963), four Canadians, four Cayman Islands 25¢ and one US nickel.

4,000 nickels were pretty good too. In them I found one Buffalo (1927), four War Times (2 x 1943P, 1944P, 1944D) and four Canadians (1 Ni). That's the first Buffalo I've found with a readable date in some time. I also found a key date Jefferson in the bunch, the 1955.

Books of 2008

Because it is the end of the year I've decided to write a short series of 2008 summaries. The first one up is the books I've read during 2008. In March I decided to write short book reviews. Today I looked at past posts and some old e-mails to tally up all the books of 2008.

In 2008 I read twenty-four books and I almost finished one more. There's a couple of books I started to read, but quit reading after a chapter or two. I haven't counted those. That's pretty good I think. It gives me hope that I'll find the time to read all the books I've found recently sometime during 2009. By genre the books are:


Crusader: by Horse To Jerusalem by Tim Severin
Tracking Marco Polo by Tim Severin.
In Search of Moby Dick by Tim Severin
A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: The Life of William Dampier by Diana and Micheal Preston
Joseph Thomson and the Exploration of Africa by Robert I. Rotberg
The Man Who Would Be King: The First American in Afghanistan by Ben Macintyre
Livingstone by Tim Jeal
Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival by Dean King
The Dutch Come to Korea by Gari Ledyard
Engelbert Kaempfer (1651–1716) by Detlef Haberland
Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer by Tim Jeal
The Spice Islands Voyage: The Quest for Alfred Wallace, the Man Who Shared Darwin's Discovery of Evolution by Tim Severin

Ancient History

The Complete Pompeii by Joanne Berry
Roman Towns in Britain by Guy de la Bedoyere.
Pottery in Roman Britain by Guy de la Bedoyere
Hadrian's Wall: History and Guide by Guy de la Bedoyere

Other History

The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief by Ben Macintyre
Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire by Diana and Michael Preston
Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre
The Englishman's Daughter: A True Story of Love and Betrayal in World War I by Ben Macintyre


Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
Lawns: Your Guide to a Beautiful Yard by Nick Christians and Ashton Ritchie
One For The Road by Tony Horwitz
When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz (unfinished)

Redeemed: $.10

Back on Track

Yesterday afternoon we got our tub/shower back! I was quite surprised at how quickly we were able to get a plumber over.

Last night I got back on track and did some coin roll hunting.

106 small dollars and six half dollars turned up one 40% silver half dollar (1967).

880 quarters produced just five Canadians.

I had better luck with the dimes. 1,100 of them yieled two Canadians. One of the Canadians was an 80% silver dime (1965) and the other was a 50% silver dime (1968). Each came from a different bank, quite a coincidence.

400 nickels only had one Canadian in them.

I did OK with the pennies, however. In 2,400 of them I found five Wheats, twenty-seven Canadians, one US dime and one Panama 1¢. The Wheats were:

1935, 1940, 1944, 1947D, 1953

In the morning I found a nice stash of coins by the coin counting machine at a bank. In it was a bunch of foreign coins.

Found: 1 penny (in Belmont Center), 1 nickel (at Sovereign Bank), 6 foreign coins (1 UK 5 pence, 2 Canadian quarters, 1 Canadian dime, 1 Bermuda 25¢ and 1 United Arab Emirates 1 Dirham)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Part II

It is a bit sad, but our first Christmas is now officially over as I am back at work and Meg's at home with very sleepy baby. :(

The holiday went great for us. On Christmas Eve we saw my oldest newphew perform a song in his church's Christmas pagaent and then had a tasty meal at my sister's house. We were home early, around 9pm and were able to relax before the big day. On Christmas we opened our presents at our house. Meg got an IPod Nano, Henry got some toys and I got a really cool map of our town from 1898. The map is framed and I put it up in our hallway. We then went to my parents' for dinner and my aunt's for visiting. Henry started to max out just as we were arriving at my aunt's. It was a bit of a struggle, but overall he did very well. (Unfortunately, I can't say the same for last night ... he was horrible ... maybe it is his 5th tooth?)

I only searched a very small amount of coin last week. Thirty-four small dollars and five halves produced nothing. I haven't searched that little since Henry was born ... go figure, I guess! We were busy.

Right now we are hoping a plumber can come and rescue us. My father and I cut a hole into our hallway ceiling on Saturday to investigate a leak coming from our bathroom. We discovered that the drain pipes from our tub/showere were completely corroded. So now we have no shower. :( Henry doesn't mind.

During the weekend I finished reading Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer by Tim Jeal. It's the longest book I've read in some time, about 500 pages. I read it in two parts. I had read Jeal's biography of Livingstone and liked his style and scholarship so well that I decided to read this one even though I wasn't too interested in reading another book on Henry Morton Stanley (the first book I read about him portrayed him in such a brutish light I found his story difficult to enjoy). I'm glad I went forward and read this book. Jeal was able to get at much personal correspondence of Stanley's and with that he was able to create a more complete picture of the man. Jeal shows that Henry was much less of a brute than his reputation suggests. His own attempts to talk up his encounters actually worked against him and in comparison to other African explorers of his day he was far more progressive. Jeal's writing is a joy to read. I wish he had time to write more biographies. He has one other on Baden-Powell. I'll have to read that one.

Found: 1 penny (at Wal-Mart), 1 dime (at Home Depot)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Part I

This weekend we celebrated half of Henry's first Christmas. To make things a bit easier for everyone we went out to my in-laws for dinner and exchange gifts. We got many nice things and it sure was nice not being rushed from one side of our state to another. Henry did pretty well. He was a bit tired of unwrapping once he realized he could crush and shake all the wrapping paper he wanted to. He had a good time playing with several new toys. We also got a bunch of cute outfits for him. My favorite gift so far is actually a gift Meg got. Her mother found her a really cool birdhouse that looks like a little cottage. I'll have to put up a picture of it when we set it up in the backyard.

Unfortunately, in addtion to Meg and Henry having colds nothing seemed to be going right for us this weekend. Our new to us (used) snowblower isn't working and so I had to shovel for about five hours total this weekend. When we were about ready to leave for Christmas Part I Meg's car wouldn't start. I then had to push it out of the garage, buy jumper cables at Home Depot and jump it with my car. It started on Sunday, but on Monday morning it was totally dead and so we bought a new battery. In addition the antenna on my rough broke off somehow. :(

On Saturday night I finished a small book I had been reading, Engelbert Kaempfer (1651–1716) by Detlef Haberland. Kaempfer was a German physician who in the late 17th century traveled from Sweden through Russia to Persia and then onwards to Ceylon, Java, Siam and Japan by boat. All throughout his travels he kept detailed notes and made many drawings. His goal was to write books on the cultures he encountered upon his return home. After his death several of his manuscripts were published and one, his book on Japan, is still an essential source on Japanese culture in the 17th century. Unfortunately the biography I obtained is the only one on him that is available in English. It is not very detailed. This might be because suitable sources for a more detailed biography no longer exist, but I am not sure of this as the book hints at the existance of diary entries and personal letters. I'm hoping to learn more about Kaempfer by reading the two works of his that have been translated into English.

Found: 3 pennies (at Costco), 1 dime (at Costco), 1 quarter (at Costco), 3 half dollars (at Sovereign Bank)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Birthday Treats

Thursday, the 18th, was my birthday. Although I already got a family dinner on Sunday (everyone was at the house because of the ice storm), I got another great dinner on the actual day. We had steak, sweet potato chips, salad and cupcakes. My parents came over to join us three. It never feels too much like a birthday when one has to work, but that meal definitely turned things around.

I searched a big bunch of coin over the past few days.

16 small dollars didn't produce anything.

8,002 half dollars turned up twelve 90% silver halves (1952, 1953, 1957D, 8 x 1964, 1964D), forty-six 40% silver halves (2 x 1965, 13 x 1966, 22 x 19 x 1967, 23 x 1968D, 6 x 1969D), eight proof halves (2 x 1979S, 1980S, 2 x 1982S, 1985S, 1987S, 1988S) and two mint set halves (2 x 2008D). Although I already have one the 1953 was a good one to find. Only 2.6 million were made and it is the 2nd rarest of the Franklin halves. 1987 is one of those odd years when more proof halves were minted than circulation halves. I now have only one more 2008 coin to find, the 2008D Hawaii quarter.

I didn't search quarters. I was a bit sick of them.

2,350 dimes produced two silver Rosies (1962D, 1964D), one Canadian and one UK 5 pence.

1,120 nickels only turned up one US dime and two Canadians.

I searched a massive about a pennies and did really well. 16,150 of them yielded 124 Wheats (two Steels), 124 Canadians, five US dimes, one UK 1 penny, one Netherlands 5¢ and one Barbados 1¢. A lot of these Wheats came from two rolls from the same lady whose coins help produced my best Wheat hoard a month ago. Yesterday I was excited to find my rarest penny to-date, the 1933D! Only 6.2 million were minted (my previous most rare penny was the 1932 of which 9 million were minted). The Wheats were:

1909, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1916, 1916D, 1917, 1918(3), 1920, 1923(2), 1925(4), 1925D, 1926(2), 1927(4), 1927D, 1928(2), 1930, 1933D, 1934(3), 1935S, 1936(2), 1937, 1938(3), 1939(3), 1940(4), 1940D, 1940S, 1941(2), 1942(3), 1942D, 1943(2), 1944(9), 1944D(2), 1944S(3), 1945(6), 1946(4), 1946D, 1946S, 1948(2), 1949D, 1949S, 1950(2), 1950S(4), 1951(3), 1951D, 1952(2), 1953(2), 1953D(2), 1954, 1955(5), 1955D(2), 1956, 1956D(8), 1957(2), 1957D(10), 1958, 1958D(2)

Yesterday I also found a new foreign coin on top of a coin counting machine, a 5 Peso coin from Chile. That's a new country for me!

And on my birthday I got a small package from Immy for Christmas. In it were the two nickels I need, 1938D and the 1943D. I just can't put them in my album because that'd be cheating. This kills me a bit, but they are giving me some great inspiration. Who knows? One of these days I might give in. I don't know Immy well, only from online contact. It's things like that that make the web great in my opinion. Little acts of random kindness!

Found: 13 pennies (4 at Hannaford's, 4 at McDonald's, 1 at Home Depot, 1 at Burger King, 1 at CVS, 2 at Sovereign Bank), 1 dime (at Home Depot), 1 quarter (at Sovereign Bank)

Redeemed: $14.40

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

First Snow

Today we had a our first snow storm of the season. We only got an inch or two, but the ride in was terrible. It took more than double the usual time. Oh well, at least it was on the way into work.

Last night I searched a fair amount of coin. I didn't do that well.

Eleven small dollars didn't produce anything.

3,760 quarters turned up just two Canadians and one Bahamas 25¢.

3,150 dimes yieled one silver Rosie (1957), four Canadians and a US penny.

520 nickels produced nothing.

The pennies were OK. I searched 1,800 of them and found nine Wheats, eight Canadians and one Euro 2¢. The Wheats were:

1921, 1942, 1946, 1948, 1951, 955, 1956D, 1957D

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Inner Caveman

Recently I've been trying to find books that detail early explorations of different parts of the world (other than Africa). A lot of this exploration was obviously done by non-English speaking persons and so it has been a bit tough to find books written in English about these adventurers. Yesterday morning I completed the first such book, The Dutch Come to Korea by Gari Ledyard. It told the story of Hendrick Hamel, a Dutch trader, who along with thirty-five others was shipwrecked off the coast of Korea in 1653 on their way to Japan. They were kept in Korea for thirteen years. While there they lived off the sale of the trade goods in their boat and a stipend given to them by the king. They also worked as soldiers and fisherman. Eventually eight of them escaped to Japan aboard a small boat they had managed to purchase. While in Japan they convinced the Shogun to petition for the release the other survivors (at this point only eight more were living). All eventually returned to Holland. On his way back home Hamel wrote a small book about his experience. Ledyard's account, written in 1971, is the only English book on the subject I was able to find. He did a pretty good job of telling the facts and pointing out the inconsistencies. His research turned up an amazing amount of references to the survivors in the Korean, Japanese and Dutch Colonial archives. The book's notes include the Hamel journal in its entirety. My only wishes are that it used a newer, more modern translation of the journal and that Ledyard took the time to annotate the journal's description of the culture of Korea.

My grandparents and sister's family have had their power restored. My folks are still without it.

Found: 1 dime (at Sovereign Bank)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ice Storm: The Cleanup

Yesterday I spent most of the day cleaning up the fallen tree parts that were in a yard. It took a while to cut them down and drag them to the front of our house. Fortunately as I was finishing up and fading my father arrived and helped me out. The town will take them from our front yard at some point this week.

My sister and parents still have no power. Who knows when it will return.

I searched 8,000 halves this morning. They produced forty 40% silver halves (3 x 1965, 11 x 1966, 7 x 1967, 16 x 1968D, 3 x 1969), two proofs (1994S, 2002S) and five mint set halves (2004P, 3 x 2005P, 2005D).

Here's a picture of Henry playing with a brussel sprout stalk. I didn't know they came this way.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ice Storm

This morning Meg, Henry and I woke up to quite a sight. Our backyard had become a disaster area.

Things started last night around 9pm or so. I heard what I thought was fire crackers, but was really a tree snapping. I went outside and moved the cars away from the garage. At that point I heard more tree limbs breaking. Trees continued to break throughout the night. It was pretty scary to hear. Henry went a bit crazy with it all and didn't sleep well. Meg and I hardly slept either.

When we got up we were shocked to see that our backyard was littered with tree limbs, some as big as six inches in diameter. Thankfully our garage and house were saved. Moving the cars a proved to be a very good idea as a tree limb came down where Meg's car usually is parked. It definitely would have broken the windshield. We lost two small trees.

The three of us took a short walk through our neighborhood. Many trees had suffered and about a dozen splintered during our walk. We didn't see any downed power lines or damaged houses. Our town got it relatively easy.

When we got back to house I got a call from my sister. The roof in her house had been punctured and they were without power, phone and cable as the lines were ripped from their house. The street was so clogged with tree remains that they could not move their cars out of the driveway. I went to "rescue" them.

It was quite a journey. I've never seen so many downed trees and power lines. It looked like a tornado swept through their town. One way into their town was shut down by the police, all traffic lights were out and I had to constantly drive over, under and around downed power lines and trees. I met them at their house and took them to my parents, who also lost all services. My Dad, brother-in-law, and I went back to my sister's and patched the roof. My sister and Mom took my nephews to our house.

My sister's family is now staying with us. My parents are roughing it without power, but with a wood stove.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Canadian Teller Save

Today I got a big batch of foreign coins from a teller friend. An early birthday/Christmas gift perhaps? The mix included one US dime, thirty-two Canadian pennies, eighty-six Canadian nickels (84 Ni), two Canadian dimes, one Canadian quarter, one UK 10 pence, one Bermuda 1¢ and one Dominican Republic 5¢. She got these all during the past few months. Presumedly someone turned in a small collection of Canadian nickels. The Canadian nickels were:

1937, 1944, 1945, 1946(2), 1947, 1951 Steel, 1952(4), 1953 SSNF, 1955, 1956(2), 1958(2), 1959, 1960(3), 1961(10), 1962(4), 1963(3), 1964(11), 1965(2), 1966(5), 1968(4), 1969(5), 1971(3), 1972(4), 1973(4), 1974(6), 1975, 1977, 1982, 1986

I already have all of these in my collection, but the 1937 is now the oldest Canadian nickel I've come across.

There has also been a little Henry news. Last night I saw him clap after seeing us make his stuffed monkey clap and today Meg saw him clap after he saw people clapping on TV. I always wondered what he was able to make out about both things. Now I know!

Found: 2 pennies (1 at work, 1 at Shaw's), 1 nickel (at Shaw's), 1 dime (at Costco)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nice Surprise

Last night I got a nice surprise. As I was picking up coin from a regular spot I noticed the teller had some rolls of halves. I asked to buy them all. When I got to my car I looked through a roll. Sweet! Silver!

170 half dollars produced seven 90% silver halves (1963D, 4 x 1964, 2 x 1964D) and seventy-four 40% silver halves (2 x 1965, 7 x 1966, 22 x 1967, 25 x 1968D, 16 x 1969D).

In 1,760 quarters I found just five Canadians.

2,050 dimes yielded two silver Rosies (2 x 1964) and five Canadians.

1,600 nickels turned up just four Canadians (1 Ni).

The pennies were also so-so. In 2,500 of them I found six Wheats, ten Canadians and one US dime. The Wheats were:

1939, 1944(2), 1944D, 1955, 1958

I also got a new 2008 HI quarter in change yesterday. I forgot about that coin. I'll have to get a roll of them.

Found: 1 penny (in East Cambridge Savings Bank), 1 dime (outside the post office)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Last night I searched a big bunch of coin ... quickly. I was urged on by the exciting Amazing Race finale!

150 small dollars didn't produce anything.

10,120 quarters finally broke me out of my no-silver-quarter-streak! The last roll of 253 rolls produced one silver quarter. It was a 1964D. That's the most good I felt about finding a 1964D quarter in a while. It had been one long dry spell. In total I found one silver Washington (1964D), four Canadians, two Bermuda 25¢ and one South Korean 100 Won.

100 dimes, 160 nickels and 600 pennies just turned up one Canadian dime, two Wheats (1948, 1957D) and five Canadian pennies.

My biggest score of the night, however, was a big one. When I got home I found out that a large internet store starting with "A" had mailed me six of one item (it's a Christmas present so I'm not saying what it is) instead of just one like I ordered. They only charged me for one. Typically these items sell for $18-$24 on E-Bay! Those five are going for sale sometime soon. :)

Found: 2 pennies (at Stop & Shop), 1 nickel (at Stop & Shop), 1 quarter (at Stop & Shop)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Time

This weekend was a time for Christmas activities. We had a good time doing them and wish they would have last longer. Every activity seemed to go so fast. :(

On Saturday we went to church to visit Santa. Henry did a pretty good job with the picture taking. He didn't smile, but he didn't get upset either. He was just overwhelmed. Right after that we bought a Christmas tree in the parking lot. The proceeds benefit our church. We set it up as soon as we got home. It was a bit tougher to set up than we thought it'd be. We first thought we'd be able to set it up with Henry just crawling around. What were we thinking?! As soon as we put him in his high chair with a snack things went much smoother. We'll have to repeat that trick when we decorate it.

Today we dropped Henry off at his Aunt and Uncle's for a play date with his two older cousins. Meg and I went shopping. We did pretty well. I just wish we had more time. It was great for us to be out buying stuff for Henry. We'll have to make time to do this more in the future.

I searched 8,000 halves on Saturday. In them I found twelve 90% silver halves (2 x 1943, 8 x 1964, 1964D, 1999S-Silver), forty-two 40% silver halves (6 x 1965, 4 x 1966, 16 x 1967, 11 x 1968D, 1968S, 4 x 1969D), three proofs (1993S, 199S, 1999S-Silver), two mint set halves (2002P, 2004P) and a flattened penny. The modern silver proof is awesome. It is in even better shape than one I found a few weeks back and is one of the rarer coins, by mintage, I've found. Only about 800 thousand were minted. The 1968S is a nice upgrade to the other one I've found. The most unusual event of the searching exercise was the flattened penny. It was in a roll of twenty halves. It is one of those pennies people at an attraction with a machine that puts an image on it. On this one is an alien and the text states that is from The International U.F.O Museum in Roswell, NM.

Henry in his favorite place. When the refrigerator door opens he moves as fast he can to get in there!

Found: 5 pennies (1 at Sovereign Bank, 1 in Kohl's, 1 outside Target, 1 in Old Navy, 1 in Eastern Mountain Sports), 1 dime (at Barnes and Noble, Meg actually found this one, but I'm counting it)

Friday, December 5, 2008


Henry now has a third tooth (and maybe a fourth). One of his top teeth came down and looks like the other will come down sometime this weekend. You can see them clearly when he smiles a certain way. We haven't seen that many smiles lately as this teething experience has been troubling, but when he has it's been very cute.

I searched a major load of coin last night. One bank seemed to have a ton. It didn't produce that well, however.

142 small dollars didn't have anything in them.

3,120 quarters yielded seven Canadians and two US nickels. No silver Washington was in the batch. :(

6,900 dimes turned up four silver Rosies (1948D, 1962D, 1963D, 1964D), seventeen Canadians, one UK 5 pence, one Barbados 10¢ and one Bermuda 10¢. That's not too bad. I don't come across many mint marked dimes from before the late 50's.

3,800 nickels produced one War Time (1945D), five Canadians (1 Ni) and two Bermuda 5¢. I was hoping for more silver nickels, but the 1945D is a pretty good one for me. It is the fourth one I've found. I also found one nickel that was struck off center. It is definitely a keeper.

In 3,150 pennies I found twenty-seven Wheats, seventeen Canadians, one UK new penny, one US dime, one Panama 1¢, one Euro 5¢, one Euro 2¢ and one Euro 1¢. The Wheats were:

1919, 1929, 1934, 1939, 1940, 1941(3), 1942D, 1944, 1945, 1946(2), 1950(2), 1951D, 1953D(2), 1953S, 1955(2), 1956(2), 1956D, 1957, 1957D(2)

The other day I got a surprise. A co-worker gave me two Ukranian coins, 10 Kopiyok and 25 Kopiyok. Those are the first coins from that country in my collection.

Found: 2 pennies (in Belmont center), 1 dime (in Belmont center)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

9 Months!

Yesterday Henry turned nine months old. He's now lived about the same outside of the womb as in it. He's still very attached to his mommy, however. Meg took him to the doctor's yesterday for a check-up. He now weighs 21 lbs. 10 oz and is 29½ inches tall. He's also learned a new sound, "ffffuh."

I searched some coin last night.

640 quarters and 800 dimes produced just one Canadian quarter and two Canadian dimes. The hunt for a silver quarter goes on.

4,440 nickels yielded one War Time (1943P), fourteen Canadians, one Bahamas 5¢, one Bermuda 5¢ and one Singapore 20¢. I've decided to start a big push on the nickels in an effort to find the remaining two for my album, 1938D and 1943D.

1,700 pennies turned up fourteen Wheats and sixteen Canadians. The Wheats were:

1916, 1931, 1940, 1944(3), 1946, 1948, 1951, 1956D(2), 1957, 1957D, 1958

The 1931 is a bit rare, it is only the third or fourth I've found.

Found: 1 penny (at Sovereign Bank)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Making Sounds

Lately Henry has been making a lot of sounds. He's not talking yet, but it sure has been fun to hear him learn new constonants. His sounds include bah, dah, gah, mah, nah and puh. The best one is puh. He makes the sound with a lot of enthusiasm and it is possible to go back and forth with him over the sound. Meg and I have been trying to encourage him to use certain sounds when he holds particular toys, like his ball, etc. It seems to work a bit. So far he seems to get four words, "clap clap," "shake," "night night" and "milk."

Over the weekend I completed another book. It was a quick read, The Englishman's Daughter by Ben Macintyre. It covered the hiding of a small band of UK soldiers during the First World War in France. The author covered the occupation of one particular village in detail and the soldiers various attempts to hide and then to escape. Unfortunately most of the soldiers were executed for being spies and a good number of the villagers were incarcerated for hosting them. Those villagers who weren't imprisoned were moved out of the town in 1917. After the war they all came back to a village that was totally flattened. One French cavalryman did manage to hide for the entire war in a cupboard. It is difficult to imagine.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Thanksgiving Report

(Henry had such a messy lunch we made him go without his shirt for a bit ... just kidding.)

Things have been going well here. Sadly, only one vacation day remains, but it won't be long until another nice break arrives (Christmas).

Thanksgiving here was excellent. Meg's cooking came out great. I especially enjoyed Meg's stuffing and my grandmother's fudge. We also had a good time socializing with our relatives. The three boys cooperated and everyone was able to hang out a bit long than usual. I even go to watch about 1/3 of the "Cars" with my oldest nephew. Henry's biggest moment came when I found him with a beer bottle cap in his mouth. His cousin Liam had thrown them on the floor and these days anything on the floor is fair game to Henry (today we found a small stick in his mouth). Henry did quite well at the dinner table too.

On Friday we didn't do too much besides rest. We got to go for a nice walk in our neighborhood and enjoyed leftovers. I searched some coin in the evening.

Seventeen large dollars and six halves didn't produce anything.

My "no-silver-quarter-streak" continued. 2,400 quarter only turned up one Bermuda 25¢.

3,000 dimes yielded three silver Rosies (1952, 1952S, 1964), three Canadians, one US penny and a Swiss ½ franc. The 1952S is a relatively rare dime, just sure wish it was another one, one that I need!

1,480 nickels turned up four Canadians (4 Ni).

The pennies were poor. 2,600 of them yielded just five Wheats, four Canadians and one Irish 1 Penny. The Wheats were:

1940, 1945, 1946, 1949D, 1958

Today in the morning I searched some more coin.

8,000 half dollars produced four 90% silver halves (1958, 2 x 1964, 1964D), eleven 40% silver halves (1965, 1967, 7 x 1968D, 1969D, 1969S), eight proof halves (1969S, 1973S, 2 x 1980S, 1982S, 3 x 1986S) and six mint set halves (1987D, 2002P, 3 x 2003D, 2006P). Compared to my previous weeks, that's a poor showing for silver, but the two new proof finds are great, especially the 1969S. Only 2.9 million of those were minted.

In the afternoon before some leaf blowing, Henry, Meg and I went to a nearby park run by the city. It was great. They have small farm there with some animals. Henry seemed to enjoy watching the birds (including some peacocks) and a small horse. Meg and I also liked the goats and two big pigs who were sleeping. We'll definitely go back there when it is warmer. There seemed to be many trails to check out.

This evening I had my first phone conversation with my almost 2 year old nephew. He said, "hello ... bye!"

Found: 2 pennies (1 at Bank of America, 1 at Green Hill park), 1 dime (at Sovereign Bank)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Tonight Henry, Meg and I went for our Mexican. Meg just couldn't think of cooking more. Who can blame her? She's been very busy preparing for Thanksgiving. It looks good so far! I haven't been this excited for the holiday in a long time, if not ever. It is great thinking it is Henry's first. Can't wait for Christmas.

Today I finally got to do some decent coin roll hunting, at least in quantity.

Eighty-one half dollars turned up two 90% silver halves (2 x 1964) and two 40% silver halves (2 x 1968D).

3,700 quarters yielded three Canadians, one French franc, one US nickel and one US penny. I still haven't found a silver US quarter. :(

1,250 dimes turned up three Canadians and one Bermuda 10¢.

2,120 nickels, one box and some hand rolled, produced one War Time (1943S), three Canadians (1 Ni) and one Bermuda 5¢. That's the first silver nickel I've found in almost two weeks.

The pennies were just so-so, 1,000 of them yielded six Wheats and five Canadians. The Wheats were:

1944, 1951D, 1952D, 1953, 1957D, 1958D

Found: 1 penny (at Moe's), 2 dimes (at White Hen Pantry)

Proud Uncle

This morning I got a call from my sister with a story that made me proud. She was with my 4½ year old nephew at Wal-Mart the other day and he ran from her shouting, "there's something over there Uncle Brian told me to always check out!" It was a Coin Star machine. In the machine's reject bin he found over $2 worth of coins (including a dollar coin) and a bunch of Canadian coins. That little story made my day. I'll have to keep working on Henry. He's an even better height for this kind of work than his cousin, but his pincher grasp could use some work (although it is good enough to pick up everything from the floor and put it in his mouth).

Last night I searched just a bit of coin (the banks don't seem to have too much this week). 1,000 quarters, 150 dimes, 40 nickels and 50 pennies produced one Canadian quarter, four Canadian dimes, and one Wheat (1940).

Found: 1 dime (at Sovereign Bank)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Yesterday morning I finished reading Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival by Dean King. I read it quite quickly as I enjoyed it so much. It told the survival story of about dozen men who shipwrecked in 1815 off the coast of Morroco. The men were robbed and made to be slaves. Eventually their captain convinced a trader to buy a few of them and take them to the English consul who then ransommed them. Along the way they suffered from the sun, starvation and dihidration. King constructed the story from two published accounts, one by the captain which became quite famous in the 19th century and another more obscure account by another shipmate who's survival story was slightly different. He also added bits he obtained from other sources and his travels to the area. Although I knew that at least these two men survived considering the conditions they were existing in I couldn't imagine how. My curiosity kept me reading this book all day on Sunday.

Last night I searched a tiny amount of coin. Fifty dimes and two hundred nickels produced just one Canadian nickel.

Found: 1 penny (outside Sovereign Bank), 2 nickels (at Sovereign Bank), 1 dime (outside the Mall), 1 quarter (at Sovereign Bank)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

W is for Wheats

This weekend Henry, Meg and I went to Maine for a wedding. One of my good friends was getting married and I was the best man. My parents also came along. These assisted us a lot by watching Henry during the rehearsal and the wedding. Although the weather never go above 30 much, even during the day, Henry and Meg were able to go swimming in the hotel's heated pool. It was very cute to watch.

Before we left I searched some coin.

Seven large dollars and fifty-one half dollars produced one 90% silver half (1964).

2,400 quarters turned up just four Canadians.

I fared better with the dimes (seems to be the case lately). 3,450 of them produced four silver dimes (1943, 1957, 2 x 1963D) and six Canadians.

620 nickels yielded just one key date Jefferson, 1955.

I also did well with the 3,800 pennies. Two rolls were marked "W" and a third was marked "Wheats." They were all solid Wheat rolls, unfortunately the Wheats in them were all corroded. In total I got one hundred sixty-seven Wheats, forty-seven Canadians, one plastic penny and one Bermuda 1¢. The Wheats were:

1929(2), 1937, 1940(3), 1941(10), 1942(7), 1942D, 1944(18), 1945(7), 1946(13), 1946D, 1947, 1947D, 1948(5), 1949(2), 1950(3), 1950D(3), 1950S, 1951, 1951D, 1952(7), 1952D(12), 1953(4), 1953D(2), 1954D(6), 1955(3), 1955D(6), 1956(4), 1956D(15), 1957(4), 1957D(10), 1958(5), 1958D(9)

After we got back from our trip I finished sorting a bunch of coin I got early Friday.

119 small dollars didn't produce anything.

I did pretty well with the halves. 8,002 of them turned up fifteen 90% silver halves (1944, 1952, 1952D, 1954D, 1957D, 1962, 2 x 1963, 1963D, 6 x 1964), twenty-seven 40% silver halves (1966, 18 x 1967, 6 x 1968D, 2 x 1969D), one proof (1978S) and twenty-nine mint set halves (2004P, 2004D, 13 x 2005P, 12 x 2005D, 2007P, 2007D).

Found: 2 pennies (at Bank of America)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Vroom, Vroom

Last night when I got home Meg told me that Henry has begun to make a car sound a bit like "vroom, vroom" when he moves his truck on the floor. I haven't heard it yet, but it did get me thinking why has Henry suddenly begun to push his truck on the floor in a upright fashion. Before a few days ago he just liked to flip the thing over and play with the wheels, now he likes to push it along. It is cute. He's also started pushing a foot stool we have across the carpet. Who needs a wagon with wheels when you can push just about anything, I guess? We'll have to watch that Christmas tree and pile of gifts!

I searched a bit of coin last night ... no hoards.

5,000 pennies produced twenty-three Wheats, twenty-nine Canadians, four US dimes and one Euro 2¢. The Wheats were:

1916, 1934, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1944, 1944D, 1945(2), 1949D, 1951, 1953, 1953D(3), 1955(2), 1956D(4), 1957, 1958D

Found: 3 pennies (all at Costco), 1 dime (at Costco)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another Hoard!

At lunch yesterday I picked up some coin to search in the evening. While doing so I got one large dollar, two small dollars and six half dollars. In the mix was one 90% silver half (1964).

Last night after giving Henry his bath and have a good pork dish with Meg I searched the coin I had gotten from two locations.

3,200 quarters produced five Canadians and two US nickels. I was really hoping I'd break out of my no-silver-quarter streak, but it didn't happen.

I next searched 4,050 dimes. With these I hit it big! I found my second hoard in two days. They produced one hundred nine silver dimes, five Canadians (including one 80% silver dime, 1960) and one US penny. The silver dimes were in five rolls. I thought I was doing insanely good when I found one roll with sixteen silver dimes in it, but then I got one with forty-seven in it (a full roll as it was three short) and later I got one with forty-five in it! This is by far my best non-half dollar silver find. Previously my best non-half silver hoards were eleven silver quarters in one roll and seven silver dimes in one roll. These dimes now represent about 1/4 of all the silver dimes I've found. In the mix I found three silver dimes I needed for my albums, 1939, 1949D and 1949S! Previous to last night I hadn't found a new dime for my Roosevelt album (besides 2008 coins) since October 26th, 2007, about thirteen months. Now I need to find just four to complete my album. I also finally found a 2008P dime. I was simply estatic. The silver dime breakdown was:

1934, 1935, 1939(2), 1940, 1941, 1941S(2), 1942(6), 1943(7), 1943D(2), 1943S, 1944(2), 1944D, 1945(4), 1946(5), 1947(3), 1948(5), 1948D, 1949(2), 1949D, 1949S, 1950(2), 1950D(3), 1951(2), 1951D, 1952(4), 1952D(2), 1953(2), 1953D, 1953S, 1954(3), 1954D, 1956, 1956D, 1957, 1957D, 1958, 1959D, 1960D(2), 1961(2), 1961D(4), 1962(4), 1962D(3), 1963(2), 1963D(3), 1964(9), 1964D(4)

I was planning on leaving the nickels for tonight, but I couldn't resist checking them out to see if my luck continued. I searched 2,000 of them and found seven Canadians (4 Ni) and two Bermuda 5¢. Oh well.

This morning I went back to the bank with the great dimes rolls. I bought all of the dimes and quarters they had left. I didn't find any more such rolls, but 1,600 quarters produced three Canadians (one 50% silver, 1968) and 500 dimes had nothing in them.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sweet Wheats

This weekend Meg and I sure accomplished a lot. On Saturday we threw a party for Meg's mom friends, their husbands and their babies. We had a good time. The kids fared well until about the third hour and then they all started to crash. The need for nap time was contagious. Meg's chili was well received. On Sunday we had a different sort of day. Meg took Henry out to see his aunt and uncle. I spent my time getting a haircut and finishing the door over the stairway to the attic. I had been putting off finishing that door for so long that it really felt good to finish it.

Last night and on Saturday night I searched some coin.

2,000 nickels, all hand rolled, produced just one proof (1983S) and two Canadians. That doesn't sound like much, but I was pretty excited about the proof. It is in very good shape and is only the fourth nickel proof I've found (and it came during the week I found my first dime proof!).

I also searched 12,500 pennies and they produced my best Wheat hoard to date! In them I found one hundred ninety-five Wheats, eighty-two Canadians, six US dimes, one UK penny one Euro 2¢. Most of these Wheats came from five rolls from the same lady. The total variety count was amazing, sixty-seven, and the mix including eight steel pennies (one roll had three and two others had two!). Beforehand I had thought if I ever happened upon a hoard we some many pre-1940 Wheats I'd surely find a few new ones, but it was not to be. There were no new new varieties in the batch of pennies. I did, however, get a nice upgrade to the scratched and crappy 1914 I had in my album. I also found another clipped penny. I've now found clipped coins for four straight weeks! The 1933 is only the second one of those I've found. Just 14.3 million were minted. The Wheats were:

1910(2), 1914(2), 1916, 1916D, 1917(3), 1918(2), 1919, 1919S(3), 1920(3), 1923, 1925(3), 1926(4), 1927(2), 1928(5), 1929(2), 1930(2), 1933, 1934(4), 1935(2), 1936(2), 1937(6), 1938(5), 1939(3), 1940(6), 1940S, 1941(4), 1941D, 1942, 1943(7), 1943S, 1944(8), 1944D, 1944S(3), 1945(5), 1945S(2), 1946(3), 1946D, 1946S, 1947(2), 1947D, 1948, 1949S(3), 1950(4), 1950D, 1950S(10), 1951, 1951D(4), 1951S(2), 1952(2), 1952D(3), 1953(3), 1953D(6), 1953S, 1954(2), 1954D(2), 1955(2), 1955D(3), 1956D(17), 1957D(12), 1958(2), 1958D(5)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Madagascar 2

Yesterday I took the day off and a good day with the family. In the morning Meg and I took Henry out for breakfast at a local dinner. We had a good time and Henry was very well behaved. In the afternoon I took him over to his aunt's house. She watched him, I took my older nephew to see Madagascar 2, and Meg prepared for a party we are throwing today. A win-win-win situation! Both Evan and I enjoyed the movie it was a little scary at times and I thought there would be more singing and dancing, but it was still good. I was just impressed by the graphics and happy to have some time with my nephew.

He brought good luck. Before the movies we stopped at a grocery store to buy some candy and soda (just for me). We found a bunch of coins in the Coin Star machine reject bin. I let him keep the US coins and I kept the three Russia ones, one Russian 2 Kopek coin and two Russian 15 Kopek coins. Both varieties were new to me.

I've also done a mega amount of coin searching over the past few days.

Seventy-five small dollars didn't produce anything.

8,127 half dollars turned up eight 90% silver halves (7 x 1964, 2000S), seventeen 40% silver halves (1965, 1966, 2 x 1967, 10 x 1968D, 3 x 1969D) and six mint set halves (3 x 2002P, 2002D, 2003D, 2006P). I thought I was going to do worse than last week, but my last box pushed me over the top a bit. The 2000S half I found is only the third modern silver half I've found. It has a great mirror finish to it and the silver seems much whiter and brighter than any other half I've pulled out of a roll. I was very happy to find it.

3,000 quarters yielded just four Canadians, four US nickels, one US dime and a US penny. I was really hoping for a silver quarter, but it was not to be.

I did much better with the dimes. I searched 4,200 of them and found five silver dimes (1943, 1953D, 1962D, 2 x 1964), eleven Canadians, one UK 5 pence and one French ½ franc.

The nickels weren't so good. 1,600 of them only gave me two Canadians. I did find a key date Jefferson, however, the 1949S. That's the first key I've found a while, I think.

I've yet to search another bag of nickels and the big bunch pennies I have.

Found: 7 pennies (3 at Sovereign Bank, 4 at Price Chopper), 1 nickel (at Price Chopper), 2 dimes (1 at Sovereign Bank, 1 at Price Chopper), 3 foreign coins (all at Price Chopper, one Russian 2 Kopeks, two Russian 15 Kopeks)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Proof!

Last night I did some coin roll hunting.

I searched a partial box of dimes, 2,000 coins. I didn't find anything in the rolls and was a bit bummed. I looked into the box afterwards and noticed an extra dime was in it, laying on the bottom. When I picked it up I noticed it was a 1991S! That's my first proof dime. I was quite pleased. Now I just have to find a proof penny (I've found three proof nickels, one proof time, one silver proof quarter, countless proof halves and a few proof dollars.).

A box of nickels, 2,000 coins, yielded just one Buffalo (1914D) and one Canadian. The Buffalo is a rarer date and a new variety for me, but it is terrible condition. I had to use Nic-A-Date on it three times in order to see the date. I sure wish the mint had decided to design the Buffalo nickel just slighly differently with a recessed date. Searching nickels and finding Buffalos would be so much more fun.

5,000 pennies, a box and some hand rolled coin, turned up twelve Wheats, twenty Canadians and one US dime. The Wheats all came from the hand rolled coin as the box had no pre-1983 coins. I think that's the first time that has happened to me. The Wheats were:

19XX, 1940, 1944(2), 1952D, 1953D, 1956D(3), 1957, 1957D(2)

Found: 1 penny (outside White Hen Pantry)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Zig Zag

On Sunday morning I finished the book Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre. It's the third book of his I've read and was about British double agent who operated during World War II. I enjoyed the book, but the spying done by Eddie Chapman, the main character, wasn't as exciting or movie-like as the book's title implies. I learned most about how both sides turned agents into double agents. As before I enjoyed the journalistic, close to source, writing of Ben Macintyre. I've got one more of his books on order.

In the evening we had a nice family dinner at my sister's house. Afterwards I realized just how different the boys behave when they are in such a crowd. The older boys are a bit crazier and Henry withdraws inward a bit. He's much better at handling the loud noises associated with being with his cousins, but he still seems overwhelmed by the comotion at times.

I searched some coin last night.

Twenty-three small dollars and one half dollar didn't produce anything.

1,560 quarters yielded three Canadian quarters, one UK 10 pence and a US nickel. One of the Canadians was one I needed, the 2008 RCM Snowboarding variety.

The dimes I searche were even better. 1,650 dimes produced two silver Rosies (1952, 1961), four Canadians, one UK 5 pence and one Euro 1¢ (France). That's the first Euro 1¢ I've found in a roll of dimes.

In 600 nickels I found one War Time (1944P), two Canadians (1 Ni) and one nickel I think might be an error coin. I'll have to do so research.

Lastly, the pennis I searched were so-so. 3,100 pennies turned up seven Wheats and seven Canadians. The Wheats were:

1918, 1919D, 1945, 1948, 1952, 1957D(2)

Found: 1 penny (at Sovereign Bank)

Redeemed: $.10

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Skunked ... Nope

Today was a good day. We didn't do too much, but it sure felt great to stay close to home. Henry and I went out to do errands, played some and with Meg we went to a sale of kid's stuff at a local middle school. We found a dinosaur playset there for Henry. He seems to like it, but is a bit scared of the sounds it makes.

I picked up my weekly batch of halves this morning. Things didn't look so good as no silvers were showing in any of the boxes. I was guessing I could be totally skunked. It wasn't that bad, however. 8,000 halves produced six 90% silver halves (1942, 1942D, 3 x 1964, 1964D) and nine 40% silver halves (3 x 1966, 4 x 1967, 2 x 1969D).

14 small dollars didn't produce anything. At the bank I was at the tellers let me buy a roll of Martin Van Buren 2008P dollars before their official release date of Thursday.

Found: 2 pennies (1 at Sovereign Bank, 1 at Price Chopper), 1 dime (at Sovereign Bank), 1 quarter (at Sovereign Bank), 1 foreign coin (a Canadian dime at Sovereign Bank), 1 plastic coin (at Sovereign Bank)

Redeemed: $15.65

Friday, November 7, 2008

Clap, Clap

Recently Henry's hit three development "milestones." The first one is clapping. Meg and I have been trying to teach Henry to clap for a couple of days and it has paid off. He now claps when encouraged and sometimes just for the heck of it. It is very cute. He also surprised me yesterday by banging on the bathroom door while I was in there. He wanted me out of there since I just came home. I had to be careful not to knock him over when I exited. Lastly, Henry called me for the first time. He did so by accident, but he still managed to call me on Meg's cell phone somehow.

Last night I searched some coin. I did fairly well.

2,000 quarters produced one silver Washington (1964), two Canadians and two US nickels.

In 3,000 dimes I found two silver Rosies (1959, 1964D) and six Canadians.

2,000 nickels yielded one War Time (1943S) and six Canadians (3 Ni).

I had a pretty good time with the pennies too. I searched 5,000 of them and found twenty Wheats, thirty-four Canadians, eleven US dimes, two Euro 2¢ and one Russian 50 Kopek (worth 2¢). The Russian coin is only the second coin from that country I've found and it is a new variety for me. Strangely after just coming back from California and finding a 1936S there, I found another one! This happened to me before. Two weeks after finding a 1917S in Seattle I found one at home. Oh well, the 1936S I found in CA was in better condition and finding another just makes me think finding the 1936D is possible. The Wheats were:

1926, 1935, 1936S, 1938, 1941, 1942, 1944(4), 1945, 1946, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1955D, 1956, 1957D(2)

Found: 1 dime (at work)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Silver Lining

Tonight I had a good night coin roll hunting.

1,600 quarters, all hand rolled, turned up one silver Washington (1962), five Canadians and one US nickel. That's a new silver one for me.

I did really well with the dimes I searched. 4,000 dimes produced six silver Rosies (1947, 1957, 1960, 1962D, 1963D, 1964), eleven Canadians, three Bermuda 10¢, one US penny, two UK 5 pence and one British Caribbean Territories 10¢.

The nickels weren't too bad either. In 2,000 nickels I found one War Time (1943S), five Canadians, one Bermuda 5¢ and one Kingdom of Greece 1 Drachma. The Greek coin is a new for me. I have smaller coin from the same era, but not this one.

I had great luck with the pennies I searched. 2,500 pennies produced forty-two Wheats, twenty-two Canadians, one Euro 1¢ and one US dime. One of the Wheats was clipped, but better yet was the number and variety of Wheats I found. I didn't find any new varieties, but I wasn't complaining! The Wheats were:

1910(2), 1911, 1915, 1917, 1919(3), 1920, 1925(3), 1929, 1935(2), 1936, 1938(2), 1939, 1940(2), 1944(4), 1945, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1953(2), 1956D(4), 1957, 1957D(5), 1958D

Found: 1 penny (at Home Depot), 1 dime (at White Hen Pantry)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Back Home

Tonight I did some coin hunting. I miss CA! I didn't find any pre-50 mint marked pennies. Oh well.

I searched fourteen small dollars and found two Canadian Loonies.

1,960 quarters produced four Canadian quarters.

650 dimes turned up one Canadian dime and two Bermuda 10¢. One of my favorite tellers saved me a silver dime (1964D).

120 nickels didn't yield anything.

The pennies were a bit better. In 1,950 pennies I found fourteen Wheats, eighteen Canadians and one Bahamas 1¢. The Wheats were:

1910, 1928, 1938, 1941, 1944(3), 1945, 1953, 1955(2), 1957D(2), 1958D

Found: 1 penny (at Costco), 1 foreign find (a Canadian quarter at Stop & Shop)


This past weekend was a great weekend. On Friday Meg and I took Henry trick-or-treating with my sister's family and my parents. The whole experience brought back a lot of good memories and it was definitely something special to take our son out for his first time. We continued the fun on Saturday when we drove out to Meg's alma mater for homecoming. There we met up with some of her college friends, their husbands and their kids (all three, including Henry were born this year). I had a great time talking politics and Dad stuff to the guys. That night Meg and I had a great date dinner while her parents watched Henry.

Before taking off from California I was able to search some more coin. My finger was a bit sore from sorting and my back was tired from hauling pennies, but I decided to press on. I figured any penny searching I do out in CA has a better chance of finding a new variety than my searches back home. Plus there are still a few varieties I found last year, but I haven't found this year. (Keeping track of 2008 vs. 2007 has been a good way to keep things interesting while I wait to find the next variety. Next year I think I'll do this for pre-60 nickels as well.)

I searched 10,100 pennies (four boxes and two rolls) thus surpassing my goal of 50,000 pennies for this trip. I found seventy-nine Wheats, twenty Canadians and one Panama 1¢. The Wheat varieties were:

1919S, 1925, 1941, 1942, 1944(2), 1944D(2), 1944S(2), 1945, 1945D(2), 1945S(2), 1946S, 1947, 1947S(2), 1950D, 1950S, 1951, 1951D, 1951S(2), 1952D(3), 1952S(4), 1953D(2), 1953S(3), 1954D, 1954S, 1955D(3), 1955S, 1956(2), 1956D(8), 1957(4), 1957D(7), 1958D(11)

While putting non-keepers from the above search into the coin counting machine I had the good fortune of crossing paths with a lady turning in a whole bunch of coin. I could tell she had a lot of foreign coins (and hopefully a silver coin or two!), so I asked her if I could buy her rejects. I gave her $30 for a basket of leftovers and twelve rolls of pennies and two rolls of nickels. I definitely made out ahead! The mix had $10.64 in US coins, $34.65 in Canadian and eighteen other foreign coins. Assuming I can get rid of the Canadians at US face value, I came out $15.29 ahead. The coins included one Twoonie, three Loonies, sixty-three Canadian quarters, one hundred one Canadian dimes, thirty-four Canadian nickels (15 Ni), thirty-five Canadian pennies and two Wheats (1945, 1957D). The other foreign coins were three Cayman Islands 1¢, one Australian 2¢, one Ireland 2 pence, one New Zealand 10 pence, one Cayman Islands 25¢, two Cayman Islands 5¢, three UK 5 pence, one Swiss 20 Rappen, one Fiji Islands 2¢, two UK new pennies and two Australian 5¢. No silver, but not too bad I think! There's a few new foreign types in that mix for me, a new Canadian quarter(2008 Alpine Skiing) and one new country, Fiji Islands.

On the first leg of my trip home I finished reading Diana and Michael Preston's Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire. About a year ago I went to a book reading and signing session of theirs that they were doing to promote this book. I didn't buy the book until much later, but had always planned on reading it as I've enjoyed other works of Diana Preston's and knew next to nothing about the Taj Mahal. The title of the book is a bit misleading. Only about a third of the book concerns the Taj Mahal itself. The majority of the book covers the Moghul Empire. I found the topic to be pretty interesting. I like Indian food a lot, but other than that don't know much about India. I'd like to know a lot more as on the surface the culture and history seem romantic and exotic to me. The book did a pretty good job of describing the Moghul period, roughly 1500-1700, and had a lot of cultural details throughout that brought the story to life. The lives of those involved were well documented by official historians and by traveling Europeans. As always, Diana Preston did a great job creating a flowing narrative out of these sources. My only complaints are that all of the personalities were tough to keep track off and the book lacks good illustrations. The photographs taken by the authors are not as powerful as they could be as most are reproduced in black and white. I'm definitely going to have to bite the bullet and buy Ebba Koch's The Complete Taj Mahal sometime soon. Now that I've learned so much about the back story of the Taj Mahal I'm anxious to see better drawings and photographs. One of these days I hope Meg and I can travel to India. I think we both would enjoy touring the Taj Mahal and all of the other wonders within the country. Until then I'll have to study from afar and enjoy books like this.

On Saturday morning I searched some local coin.

Twenty small dollars didn't turn up anything.

8,000 half dollars produced ten 90% silver halves (1938, 1942, 1963D, 6 x 1964, 1964D), ten 40% silver halves (6 x 1967, 4 x 1968D), two proof halves (1993S, 2001S), two mint set halves (2006D, 2007P) and one clipped half. That's only the second clipped half I've found. They command quite a premimum on E-Bay too!

Found: 3 pennies (1 at Starbucks at LAX, 1 at LAX, 1 in Williamstown), 1 nickel (at Mollie Stone's), 1 dime (at Mollie Stone's), 1 foreign coin (a Canadian nickel (1 Ni) at Mollie Stone's)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Million Pennies, A Million Miles

For the past few days I have been in California on a business trip, a developer conference. So far the conference has been OK, but being away from Meg and Henry has been more difficult than I imagined. I feel so far. Tonight I even had a pretty tough time eating dinner at a restaurant because I was seated next to two small boys. I feel like I'm missing something. I definitely can't wait to get back. I'm really looking forward to Halloween.

Before I left and I did some coin roll hunting. I didn't find too much for my efforts.

I searched 6,600 quarters and found just five Canadians.

600 dimes didn't yield anything.

240 nickels turned up four Canadians (1 Ni).

I also searched a big batch of pennies. 5,100 of them produced seventeen Wheats and three Canadians. The Wheats were:

1939, 1940, 1941(2), 1945, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1950D, 1952D, 1953D, 1955(2), 1956(2), 1957, 1957D

While here I've tried to go absolutely crazy on pennies. I've used my non-conference time as best I can to accumulate, sort, and dispose of pennies. Along the way I've picked up some other stuff as well.

I rounded up seven large dollars and one hundred fifty-two half dollars. In them I found only two 40% silver halves (1967, 1969D). Oh well, that's better than nothing and it wasn't much of an extra effort.

I also searched 450 dimes, but they didn't produce anything. I got a 2008D dime in change.

At various banks I asked for presidential dollars and state quarters I didn't have. I know I could find these eventually at home, but it seemed a bit easier just to ask for them here. I got three state quarters, New Mexico 2008D, Arizona 2008D and Alaska 2008D. I also got three presidential dollars Monroe 2008D, John Quincy Adams 2008D and Andrew Jackson 2008D.

And lastly I searched a tremendous amount of pennies. My efforts almost triple my previous West Coast penny binges. I guess I've just gotten better and faster. In total I've searched 44,950 pennies! I would have searched more of them if I could as my chances of finding new ones here are just so much greater, but I can't do any more. With these pennies I have surpassed my 2008 goal of a million pennies searched! In them I found one hundred forty-three Wheats, forty Canadians, thirteen US dimes, one Netherlands 1¢, one Hong Kong 1¢, one Bahamas 1¢, one German 2 Pfennig, one UK penny, one Euro 2¢, one Philippines 25¢ and one Philippines 5¢. The Wheats included three I needed, 1925S, 1936S, 1939D! It felt great to find those new ones, especially the two from the 30's as it has been a while since I've found new ones from that decade. Finding a bunch of new foreign coins was a great bonus as well. The complete Wheat breakdown is:

1917, 1919, 1925S, 1930, 1935D, 1936(3), 1936S, 1938, 1939D, 1940(2), 1940S, 1941, 1942(4), 1942D, 1942S, 1944(5), 1944D(3), 1944S(5), 1945(3), 1945S(3), 1946(5), 1946D(3), 1946S(5), 1947D(2), 1947S(2), 1948D(3), 1948S(3), 1949, 1949D, 1949S(3), 1950, 1950D(2), 1951D(5), 1951S(4), 1952, 1952D(2), 1952S(3), 1953, 1953D(4), 1953S(3), 1954D(3), 1954S, 1955(3), 1955D(11), 1956(3), 1956D(16), 1957, 1957D(9), 1958, 1958D(21)

To top things off today I found the first bill, a one dollar bill, since January. Last time I was here I found one too.

Found: 2 dime (1 at Logan Airport, 1 at Wells Fargo), 1 quarter (at Logan Airport), 1 $1 bill (at WaMu)

Monday, October 27, 2008


Yesterday Meg, Henry and I went to a nearby farm. We went to get a pumpkin and some pumpkin pictures. The place also had a ton of goats in a caged petting area and a neat playground so we hung out in those places as well. Later in the day I took Henry over to a friend's house and he had a good time playing with other kids' toys. Lately, I've been proud to see just how well he plays with other kids. He even handles himself pretty well when amongst older kids.

I searched twenty-nine large dollars at the bank this morning, but didn't find anything.

Here are some other recent pictures of Henry I like.

Above is a good example of his smile as of late. He doesn't make much noise, but likes to show this expression when he's having a good time.

Now we have to make sure he doesn't rip up books! Perhaps he's interested in some of his Dad's history books?

Found: 1 penny (at Sovereign Bank), 1 nickel (at Sovereign Bank)

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Tonight we had a great family dinner. Meg made a beef stew dinner and we had my parents, sister, brother-in-law and nephews over. The boys all behaved well and and played together nicely. I had a particularly good time with my two nephews. There were some good moments there that'll I remember. I especially liked sharing a book about the Hindenburg with my older nephew (who told me 64 people were killed by the explosion, his number was off, but his curiosity was the important thing) and hearing my younger nephew use even more words than the last time we saw him. Henry handled everything very well.

I did a lot of coin searching last night and today during nap times.

67 small dollars didn't turn up anything.

The half dollars I searched continued my lucky streak. Hope things keep going. 8,0001 half dollars yielded eleven 90% silver halves (1952, 1953D, 9 x 1964), one hundred fifty-three 40% silver halves (10 x 1965, 22 x 1966, 49 x 1967, 35 1968D, 38 x 1969D, 1970S), twelve proofs (1970S, 1976S, 1978S, 1981S, 1983S, 1988S, 1992S, 1993S, 1994S, 2005S, 2006S), twenty-four mint set halves (2 x 2004P, 7 x 2004D, 2005P, 4 x 2006P, 8 x 2006D, 2007P, 2007D) and one Dominican Republic ½ Peso. In one box I found eight 90's, one hundred forty 40's and one proof. That was one awesome box! It feels good to have found so many proofs I needed, especially the 1970S. Less than 3 million of those were minted and it is only the second 40% silver proof I have found. The Dominican Republic coin was a first for me. It is worth 1.4¢.

I searched 160 quarters, too, but only came up with one Canadian.

I had better luck with the dimes. 3,700 of them produced two silver Rosies (1946, 1947), seven Canadians, one US penny, one Bermuda 10¢, one Belgian 1 franc (worth .0025€), one Israeli 1 New Shekel (worth 26.5¢), one Panama 10¢ and one Russian 10 Kopek (worth .3¢). That batch produced three foreign coins I had not found before, the Belgian, the Israeli and the Russian coins. The Russian coin is a good one for me, too, as it is the first coin I've found from that country.

I also did well with the nickels I searched. I went through 2,800 of them and found two War Times (1943P, 1945P), eight Canadians (4 Ni), three US dimes and two US pennies. The 1945P silver nickel is a great one. It has a double clipped planchette! I'll scan a pic of it soon.

Lastly, the pennies were OK. I looked through 3,600 pennies and turned up thirteen Wheats and twenty-four Canadians. The Wheats were:

1909, 1938, 1940, 1944, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1953D, 1954S, 1957D(2), 1958

Found: 2 pennies (1 at Sovereign Bank, 1 at Bank of America)