Monday, December 28, 2009

Word from Dizz

Things have been a bit busy here.

Meg, Henry and I opened our presents to each other on Christmas Eve morning. We started things almost right after Henry had his morning milk. Henry was finished "unwrapping" after just two $1 Matchbox cars. He ran off to play with them and we had to convince him to come back and "unwrap" the rest. (Unwrapping for Henry consists of us tearing the paper a bit, giving it to him, him tearing things a bit more than thrusting it at us while saying, "help!") His nonchalant attitude towards unwrapping gave us to time to enjoy our own presents. Somehow I think things will be much different next Christmas! I got another really nice framed map of our town from Meg. It's a blow up of the town center from 1898.

We drove out to see Meg's side of the family that same day. There Henry unwrapped (and the rest of us) unwrapped more presents, enjoyed dinner and tried to go to bed early. Following Henry around for hours can be exhausting. Things didn't go to well at that point. Henry had to sleep the whole night with us. I hope it is the first and last time that happens. Henry slept perpendicular to Meg and I. I had a rubber foot or two in my face for the night and Meg had someone pulling at her hair. Occasionally he would wake up in the middle of the night and say, "duck!?" (his favorite sleep buddy).

On Christmas we drove back towards our house to see my side of the family. We had another dinner and exchanged more gifts. I didn't get any pictures of this day as things were a bit crazy with the three boys unwrapping and sharing gifts. Henry did really well after a brief period of whining (he slept just fine the night before!). I was dragging a bit and Meg took a nap upstairs during part of the afternoon.

It was a nice long weekend. I particularly like thinking back to a short walk Henry and I took on Sunday. I love watching him explore our world. Nothing give me more pleasure than walking hand in hand with him. I feel like a proud father putting his son on display for all the neighbors to see.

Henry's been calling me "Dizz" for some reason. He still says "Dad" too, but this nickname of mine is said as well. I'm not sure why. Sounds hip to me!

I tried to capture Henry's the crazy eyes Henry shows when spinning himself around, but wasn't able to exactly. The above picture gives some hint of it.

I did better with my halves last weekend than I have in some time. 8,003 half dollars turned up nine 90% silver halves (1945, 1958D, 1961, 6 x 1964), twenty-six 40% silver halves (3 x 1966, 10 x 1967, 9 x 1968D, 4 x 1969D) and three proof halves (2001S, 2006S, 2007S). One of the Franklins, the 1961, might be a proof. It has a what seems to be a mirror finish. The 2007S is a big upgrade to the slightly corroded example I had found before.

Last night I searched my last coin in the year and did fairly well.

2,440 quarters turned up four Canadians, one Cayman Islands 25¢, one US penny and one Chinese 1 Yuan (1997). The Chinese coin is a new variety and the first coin from China I've found in a roll!

2,150 dimes yielded three silver Rosies (1957D, 2 x 1964D), five Bermuda 10¢ and one Euro 1¢ (Ireland, 2002).

1,360 nickels (yup, I still searched them) produced two War Times (1944P, 1945P), five Canadians (1 Ni), one Euro 10¢ (France, 1999), one Euro 20¢ (France, 1999), three US pennies, one US dime, two MBTA tokens and one Russian 1 Rouble (1997). The Russian coin is a new variety for me. The MBTA tokens are still worth $1.25 each.

3,600 pennies had nineteen Wheats, twenty-three Canadians and one German 2 Pfennig. The Wheats were:

1909 VDB, 1940, 1944(2), 1945, 1946(2), 1948, 1950(2), 1952D, 1953D(2), 1955, 1956(2), 1956D, 1957D, 1958

Found: 1 penny (at Wal-Mart)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

After last night's nickels, tonight's pennies were a bit of a let down, but I didn't do too badly. 3,450 pennies turned up eighteen Wheats, twenty-seven Canadians, five US dimes, one UK penny and one Trinidad and Tobago 1¢. The Wheats were:

1914, 1919S, 1937D, 1939, 1940(2), 1945(2), 1946, 1949, 1950, 1951S, 1953, 1953D, 1956D(3), 1957D

A few days ago I finished reading Kaempfer's Japan: Tokugawa Culture Observed by Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716), translated, edited and annotated by Beatrice Bodart-Bailey. The book was originally posthumously published under the title The History of Japan in 1727. Kaempfer did his research for the book while working for the Dutch East India Company as a doctor. Most of his notes were compiled while he and the other members of the factory were sequestered in Nagasaki, but a significant portion was gleamed from his two land and sea journeys to Edo. Like other lords the Dutch were required to make an annual pilgrimage to Edo to have an audience with the Shogun. Kaempfer's work was extremely popular and remains one of the most valuable sources for information about the Tokugawa period. His writing is very personable, but is very detailed and really fascinating. I particularly liked reading about his meeting the shogun.

To help with my visualizing the scenes within the book I rented Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire, a PBS documentary. The documentary is great. It is done in three volumes. It has lots of good visuals (I wish I had seen it on Blu-Ray) and covers a lot in as much detail as one can given it is just under three hours. Furthermore, the first half of the third episode concerns Kaempfer and features many interview snippets with Bodart-Bailey!

Found: 4 pennies (at the mall), 1 quarter (at the mall)


Last night I was reminded just how much spirit Henry has. He was pretty sick all day with a cold and ear infection (he threw up once in the morning). Meg tried to be very accommodating to him (lots of Popsicle and TV) and he was a bit grouchy, troublesome at times, but there are still lots of moments when even sick he's a fun kid and something special to have around. It would trouble me a lot to see him totally not himself for a long period. Hope he's better today. It's a long three day week for Meg. :(

After Henry went to bed I searched my coin. It was a big, big night.

5,200 quarters turned up one silver Washington (1964D), nine Canadians, two US nickels, one US dime and one US penny. Many rolls were short. Annoyingly short too, as if someone thought it'd be good to pull one over on the bank and roll their quarters in rolls of $9. Thanks!

2,450 dimes produced two silver Rosies (1956, 1964), two Canadians and one US penny.

I had my best luck with the nickels I searched. 1,540 of them yielded two War Times (1942P, 1943D), three Canadians and three US pennies. That's right, the 1943D!. It's taken me just over 2½ years and 608,850 nickels and I've finally completed my Jefferson nickel album (1938-). It's tough to say how rare this one nickel is, but for me it was as rare as the other key date Jeffersons (those of 2-3 million mintages).

It feels super to have completed this album. Right now I'm not sure what I'll do. Many people have asked me, "when are you going to stop searching?" and I frequently say when I've finished finding them all (meaning the more modern albums are filled). Part of me would rather not see another roll of nickels ever again, but another part still longs to find a 19th century nickel, a shield nickel, more proofs or more strange foreign coins. I'll have to give it some thought. I'll definitely be searching enough nickels to get the recent coins, 2009, 2010, etc., but on other hand I don't plan on buying a box of nickels again. We'll see ...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

No news at home besides that we're all sick. Yuck. Hope we lick these things by Thursday!

3,200 quarters, 350 dimes and 120 nickels didn't produce anything.

350 pennies had one Wheat (1956), three Canadians and one US dime.

Monday, December 21, 2009


This weekend was my birthday weekend. I took off Friday to enjoy it a bit more. Meg and I had a nice dinner out (Henry was at his Nana's) to celebrate. We also had our family over for dinner on Saturday before the snow started falling. We got a lot done this weekend and have almost all gifts bought and wrapped.

Yesterday we had a good time with Henry outside in the snow as I was starting to shovel. We didn't keep him out there too long, but if it were up to him he would have been out there all day.

My coin searching was pretty sad this weekend.

3 large dollars were nothing special.

8,060 half dollars turned up two 90% silver halves (1964, 1964D) and three 40% silver halves (1965, 2 x 1968D).

5,200 pennies yielded twenty-one Wheats, forty-nine Canadians, three US dimes, one Bermuda 1¢, one Bahamas 1¢ and one UK penny. The Wheats were:

1919, 1924, 1941(2), 1942, 1945(2), 1946, 1947, 1950D, 1951(2), 1952D, 1953, 1955, 1956D, 1957, 1958D(2)

Found: 2 pennies (1 at Target)

Redeemed: $24.10

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Clean Up

Yesterday I asked Henry to cleanup his cookie cutters. While doing so he sang the "cleanup song." I'm not sure if it is an actual song, but there's a song Meg always sings to him while they pick up his toys. He's pretty helpful at times.

My coins over the past few days has been pretty good. It feels like I'm back to normal a bit with this load.

4,200 quarters produced two silver Washingtons (1942, 1964D), nine Canadians, one US nickel (glad not to get a ton of these again!) and one religious medal (an extra in a roll).

4,500 dimes yielded five silver dimes (1942, 1952, 1959D, 1963, 1963D) and fifteen Canadians.

3,000 nickels had two proof nickels (1975S, 1980S), eight Canadians (5 Ni) and one US dime. That's the first time I've ever found two proof nickels in one sitting. They seemed to come from the same customer (same rolls).

5,200 pennies turned up thirty-two Wheats, forty-four Canadians, three US dimes, one Barbados 1¢ and one Bermuda 1¢. The Wheats were:

1920(2), 1937(3), 1939, 1941(2), 1944(5), 1944D, 1945(3), 1946(3), 1947, 1951, 1952D, 1955, 1956, 1956D(2), 1957D(2), 1958, 1958D

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Tree

Last night Meg, Henry and I decorated the tree. Henry was bit counter productive to the effort, but it was great to have him there with us. He was very excited about the lights. Keeping him away from them and the decorations is going to be continual problem for this season. I think we might have to take the tree down on the 26th. Mom and Dad might just about have it by then! Right now we're hoping he doesn't realize that the stand has water in it and are pushing off putting any presents under the tree. Why add to the temptations?!

My coins weren't too exciting.

50 small dollars didn't have anything.

720 quarters had one US nickel.

550 dimes produced one Canadian and one US penny.

440 nickels had nothing.

7,000 pennies turned up twenty-six Wheats, thirty Canadians, one Euro 1¢, eight US dimes and one plastic penny. The Wheats were:

1929, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1945(3), 1946(3), 1947D, 1951(2), 1952, 1953D(3), 1955, 1955D, 1956D(4), 1958D(3)

Monday, December 14, 2009


This weekend was very productive weekend for us. We got a lot of Christmas shopping done and put up our tree (we haven't decorated it yet, the branches still need to drop a bit). Today was extra special, we got to hear the heartbeat of #2 for the first time! Henry didn't realize what he was listening to (I was hopping he'd be-bop a bit to the beat), but Meg and I did. It seems so long ago that we were at that stage with Henry. Can't wait!

A quick coin update ...

8,000 halves produced two 90% silver halves (1943, 1964), six 40% silver halves (4 x 1967, 1969D, 1976S) and one proof half (2000S). I was hoping the 1976S would be the proof version, but it was not. I still need that one. This one is a really nice circulation copy, however.

4,000 quarters had thirteen Canadians, eight US dimes, nine US nickels, three German 1 Mark coins and one Cayman Islands 25¢. One of the nickels was a War Time (1944P). It sure was a surprise to find a silver nickel in some quarters.

3,850 dimes turned up one silver Rosie (1952), nine Canadians, one Swiss ½ franc, one East Caribbean States 10¢ and one miniature quarter. The miniature quarter is pretty cool. It is smaller than a dime, says "COPY" on it and is miniature replica of the bicentennial quarter.

1,520 nickels yielded two War Times (1943P, 1944P), three Canadians (2 Ni) and two US dimes. I was on a bit of War Time-less streak, so finding two in one sitting was pretty cool.

Found: 5 pennies (1 at church, 2 at Old Navy, 1 at CVS, 1 at the doctor's office), 1 nickel (at Stop & Shop), 2 dimes (1 at Stop & Show, 1 at CVS)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Some Pictures

Here's a few pictures of Henry I've been meaning to put up here.

One night Henry got a kick out of riding on his little bus. It's pretty funny to see him try to plant himself on this thing.

Here's a picture of Henry getting out of the dryer. It's the second time I aware of him getting in there by himself. (I saw him doing it.)

Meg's behind the doors. Henry closed them on her.

Yesterday Henry figured out how to use the camera. What a technological genius! (That's what I tell myself.) Here's one of his self portraits.

Last night I searched just a bit of coin. I'm still having a tough time getting it.

40 halves didn't have anything.

2,000 dimes had just two Canadians.

2,000 nickels produced seven Canadians (2 Ni). It's been a while since I've found a War Time nickel or a Buffalo in these things.

3,000 pennies turned up thirteen Wheats, eighteen Canadians and one US dime. The Wheats were:

1935, 1941, 1941D, 1942, 1952D, 1953D, 1955(2), 1956, 1956D, 1957D, 1958

Since my last post I finished reading Nathaniel's Nutmeg: How One Man's Courage Changed the Course of History by Giles Milton. It's the third book of his I've read. Like his other books the bulk of the work does not directly concern the subject implied by the title. Nathaniel Courthope, the primary subject, was a 17th century English employee of the East India Company. He defended a small Pacific island, Run, against a Dutch siege for 1,540 days. His action was part of the greater English-Dutch Spice War of the early 17th century. Milton devotes most of his book to the many interesting stories from this times concerning the spice trade. Somehow despite the haphazard nature of this book it read easily. I guess he's just that good of a story teller. My favorite stories of the book concerned Henry Hudson and the way in which New Amsterdam (New York), a Dutch possession, was traded for Run, Nathaniel's Nutmeg island, an English possession. There's one more Milton book on my list. Looks like another good one!

Found: 1 penny (at BJ's), 1 nickel (at Stop & Shop), 1 dime (at Stop & Shop)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Last night I didn't search too much.

2,040 quarters produced two Canadians.

300 dimes had nothing.

120 nickels had two Canadians.

750 pennies yielded five Wheats (1942, 1947, 1950D, 1956, 1956D), four Canadians and a US dime.

A teller saved me four Wheats (1940, 1945, 1946, 1955).

Found: 1 nickel (at Stop & Shop), 1 dime (at Stop & Shop)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Brrrr ... Andy Williams!

It was a good weekend for us. It started off well on Friday when we had two friends and their kid over for supper. Henry and his friend had some crazy fun running our house while the adults ate Chinese take-out. They also brought over a train table that Henry has volunteered to watch for a few months while our friends move. Saturday began with a sour note as Henry was not happy to have his haircut. He started crying for "Mama" as soon as we walked in and didn't stop until his cut was over (in five minutes). Things improved for Henry when he got a "guilt gift" (a $1 car at Target) for his torture and got to see Nana and Finbar for a couple of hours. That evening Henry was totally enthralled with PBS's airing of The Very Best of the Andy Williams Christmas Shows. He loved the singing, joined in a bit and danced in front of the TV. We'll have to get him some cheap Best of Andy Williams Christmas CD soon! Henry enjoyed the snow on Sunday too! Just enough for him to play in and say, "brrr!"

This week's halves were better than last week, but still not so hot. 8,000 of them turned up two 90% silver halves (2 x 1964), sixteen 40% silver halves (2 x 1966, 3 x 1967, 9 x 1968D, 2 x 1969D) and one proof half (1985S).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Yesterday I didn't scrounge up too many coins.

6,200 quarters produced eight Canadians and one US dime. About half of the rolls were marked "NEW" or a had a check on them. That wasn't a good sign. The label "OLD" is much preferred.

1,100 dimes had just one Canadian and one Barbados 10¢.

600 nickels turned up two Canadians (1 Ni).

Lastly, 500 pennies rounded up one Wheat (1942) and three Canadians.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Beep, Beep

Yesterday when I got home I was greeted by a cute scene. The smoke alarm in the hallway was going off, Meg was in the process of taking the battery out while standing on a chair and Henry was walking under it saying, "beep, beep, beep!" He must have said "beep" hundreds of times. He also says "beep" when ever we back up the car or when he drives his toys in reverse.

I didn't search much last night. I guess not much was turned in because of Thanksgiving. It might be tough to acquire a lot of coin this week.

160 quarters, 350 dimes and 200 nickels didn't produce anything.

850 pennies turned up four Wheats, seven Canadians and four US dimes. The Wheats were:

1941, 1949, 1955, 1956, 1957D

Monday, November 30, 2009


Somehow Meg, Henry and I survived Thanksgiving x 3. All considering we did pretty well, Henry especially. Even though one holiday is just over, I really can't wait until Christmas. It pains me to have new toys in the house that I have to wait to give him.

I had off six days in a row! Today sure feels strange to be back. I'm going to miss Meg and Henry.

I finished a decent book this weekend (and got a good start on another), Maya Explorer: John Lloyd Stephens and the Lost Cities of Central America and Yucat√°n, by Victor W. Von Hagen. I'm not sure how it took me so long to become aware of this story, but recently when searching for exploration narratives I read that two of the best were John Lloyd Stephens' books on his Mayan explorations of the 1840's. What could be better for me to learn about than an 19th century exploration concerning Mayan archaeology?! Before acquiring and reading the lengthy, multi-volume narratives of Stephens I decided to read this biography of his, although first published in 1947 it is still the only modern work available. The book read well, but the early part of it that concerns Stephens' childhood and early adulthood is very skimpy. The later parts which concern his travel are more detailed, but obviously rely heavily on his multiple travel books. In general it's a good introduction to the man and should help me to understand the context of his books. As an added bonus the story of Frederick Catherwood his Mayan exploration partner, a British artist/archaeologist was also told. I'm really looking forward to reading more about Stephens and Catherwood (a print of his will definitely have to grace our home). Their adventures truly epitomize the romantic side of archaeology.

This weekend's halves stunk. 8,000 of them turned up just one 90% silver halves (1964), two 40% silver halves (1967, 1968D) and two proofs (1987S, 1988S). That was a whole lot of nothing!

Found: 2 pennies, 2 dimes (at Stop & Shop), 1 foreign coin (a Canadian quarter at Stop & Shop)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


This morning Henry showed me a new word he learned ... "juice!" It's an old favorite of mine so I'm surprised it took him this long to learn it. For the most part his strict clear liquids only policy (self enforced with the exception of milk) has been good. Things have changed now I guess. Is soda next?

Yesterday he finally got his H1N1 shot. We had to have him get it at the allergist since Henry's allergic to eggs. It took a long time since we had to do a bunch of tests to see that it'd be OK. The regular flu shot was not OK. Later while Henry napped I went to his cousin Evan's Thanksgiving pagaent. Evan was a pilgrim. I also got to see Evan's classroom. I was very glad I went I had been wanting to see the school for myself for sometime.

The coins I searched this week treated me pretty well.

3,360 quarters turned up four Canadians, two US nickels and one Barbados 25¢. In them was also a new US quarter for me, the 2009P Virgin Islands.

5,800 dimes yielded one silver Rosie (1959), thirteen Canadians, two UK 5 pence, two Panama 10¢, seven US pennies and one Bermuda 10¢. One of the UK 5 pence was a new one for me the 2008.

1,840 nickels had eight Canadians (2 Ni). One of the Canadians was a 1952 steel variety and one of the US nickels was a key date, 1949S.

7,400 pennies turned up fifty-two Wheats, forty-seven Canadians, three US dime, one Greek 1 Drachma and one Euro 2¢ (Spain, 2005). I got quite a few older Wheats, they were:

1917, 1920(3), 1925, 1934(2), 1937D, 1938, 1940, 1940D, 1941(2), 1941D, 1942(3), 1944(2), 1945(3), 1946(6), 1946D, 1947, 1949D, 1950D, 1950S, 1951D(2), 1952(3), 1952D, 1953, 1953D, 1955, 1956D(2), 1957, 1957D, 1958D(3)

Found: 10 pennies (7 outside Sovereign Bank, 3 at my nephew's school), 1 dime (in Stop & Shop)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This weekend was pretty busy for us. Meg wasn't feeling well, but we still fit quite a bit in. We had Henry's aunt and uncle over on Friday and into Saturday. In the morning we had a fun man time going to Target for some errands, visiting the botanical gardens and finally spending time in a park. Today Henry and I went to church and then to my parents. While we were there Henry said, "Nana" and some word for Grandpa that I can't remember, but was definitely unique.

8,000 halves turned up some pretty good stuff this weekend. In them I found seventeen 90% silver halves (1942, 3 x 1944, 1945, 1945, 1951S, 1952, 1962D, 7 x 1964, 1964D), fifteen 40% silver halves (1966, 10 x 1967, 4 x 1968D) and one proof half (2001S).

Found: 8 pennies (6 at Stop & Shop), 1 dime (at Stop & Shop)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Recently I purchased a Blu-ray player. I had been wanting to better understand the places I've been reading about because of my exploration book craze and figured that since Meg and I won't be traveling much anytime soon watching documentaries was the best I could do. I find the player slow and really confusing to use, but the video quality is amazing. I've never seen my 50 inch HDTV look so good. It looks even better than over the air, broadcast HDTV. So far I've watched two documentary series from Netflix (for just $4 more a month you can rent Blu-ray disks from them). Last night I finished the second of them.

The first one I watched was the BBC's The Story of India presented by Michael Woods. The visuals in that series are really good. Michael Wood is easy to listen to and has a lot of enthusiasm. My only problem with the series it that it relied too much on modern images to tell a historical story. I definitely enjoy seeing how history is still alive in modern life, but this series over does it a bit. A similar one disc BBC documentary on a journey down the Ganges River looks equally as impressive.

The second series I watched (Meg did too) was Expedition Africa. I didn't see this reality show when it first ran on the History Channel and I'm glad I didn't because this way I got to see it in all its HDTV glory. The series was made for someone just like me. It's eight 50 minute episodes that trace the journey of Stanley's famous search for Livingstone in East Africa. Four modern explorers and about two dozen locals take the journey (unfortunately none of the locals are profiled in anywhere near as comprehensive a manner as the four Americans). The gear they used was modern and instead of ninth months they took thirty days (a obviously sponsored Subaru takes them through half of the territory). The bickering that goes on in the group is the standard reality show fare, but the scenery is flat out amazing. I can't wait to read more about East African exploration after seeing these disks! I hope similar series are made about other historical journeys, maybe an Amazon expedition or an Arctic expedition could be chosen.

I finished the penny drive pennies. 5,600 of them yielded twenty-six Wheats, fifty Canadians, one Bermuda 1¢ and one Bahamas 1¢. The Wheats were:

1939, 1941, 1942, 1944, 1944S, 1945, 1946(4), 1947, 1950D, 1953, 1955, 1956(5), 1957(2), 1957D(4), 1958D

Found: 1 penny (at the Tiger Mart)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Last night I worked my way through more of the penny drive pennies. 7,550 of them produced forty-eight Wheats (including one Steelie) and seventy-four Canadians. The Wheats were:

1913, 1915, 1924, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1941S, 1942, 1943, 1944(2), 1945(4), 1945D, 1946(5), 1947(3), 1949S, 1950(2), 1950D(2), 1951D(2), 1952, 1952D92), 1954D, 1955(3), 1956(2), 1956D, 1957(2), 1957D, 1958D(3)

Found: 2 pennies (1 at the doctor's office, 1 at Burger King), 2 dimes (at the doctor's office)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I did OK with last night's coins.

4,240 quarters produced one silver Washington (1964D), nine Canadians, one Dominican Republic 25 Centavos, one Bahamas 25¢, two US nickels and one US penny.

250 dimes had one silver Rosie (1964).

240 nickels had just a Bermuda 5¢.

3,900 pennies turned up twenty-one Wheats, thirty-five Canadians and one US dime. The Wheats were:

1929, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1944(4), 1945(2), 1945D, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1953(2), 1955D, 1956, 1956D, 1957D

Found: 4 pennies (2 at Home Depot, 1 at Costco, 1 at BJ's)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Last night I heard a lot of good words from Henry; "light" and "knock" are two I remember. He seems to be repeating words we say to him with greater frequency now. We had more good times chasing him around upstairs again too. He can sure get silly!

While picking up coins yesterday I got two 40% silver halves (1967, 1968D) that a teller saved for me. I didn't pick up too many coins, except for pennies.

920 quarters produced just one Canadian.

450 dimes turned up one silver Rosie (1962D) and four Canadians.

280 nickels had two Canadians.

8,050 pennies rounded up forty Wheats, fifty-nine Canadians, one Barbados 1¢, one Bahamas 1¢, one UK penny and one US dime. Most of these pennies came from one big box of pennies that was turned in because of a penny drive. I've got two other such boxes to search sometime this week. The Wheats were:

1937(2), 1940, 1944(9), 1944S, 1945(2), 1946(2), 1947, 1948(2), 1949, 1950D, 1951, 1951S, 1952, 1952D, 1953, 1953D, 1955, 1956D(4), 1957(3), 1957D(3), 1958D(2)

Found: 4 pennies (2 at Home Depot, 1 at McDonald's, 1 at Stop & Shop), 1 dime (at McDonald's)

Monday, November 16, 2009


Besides some terrible nap wake ups for Henry (lots of fussy, crying and writhing) and Meg not feeling so well we had a really good weekend. I had a lot of fun taking Henry around for rainy day errands on Saturday (the best thing we picked up was a free Thomas & Friends catalog). On Sunday we all went to local living history museum and had a great time. They have a terrific playroom there which I hadn't seen, lots of animals, plenty of gears and wheels and some historical stuff for Meg and I to look at. The setting of the village is 1830's New England and it just happens to fit perfectly with a book I'm reading.

Here are some pictures.

Above is a dinner plate Meg made for Henry last week.

Henry taking his stuffed pigs into the barn. The door is just his size.

Henry and Meg having a tea party.

Henry making a funny face in his costume.

Henry playing with the laundry line.

Henry and some other kids petting sheep.

Henry in the tub.

Found: 2 pennies (1 outside Old Navy and 1 inside Old Navy)

Henry in the vegetable garden.

I didn't do so well with my halves this week. 8,000 of them turned up just three 90% silver halves (1953D, 2 x 1964), nine 40% silver halves (3 x 1966, 1967, 2 x 1968D, 3 x 1969D) and sixteen proof halves (1971S, 1976S, 1977S, 1986S, 1989S, 1991S, 1992S, 1994S, 2 x 1999S, 2000S, 2002S, 2 x 2003S, 2 x 2005S).

Found: 2 pennies (both at the mall, one Henry picked up)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Meg and I had another fun night with Henry. He's been in a really good mood during the past three evenings. When I've gotten home he's run to the door to greet me and immediately grabbed my hand to take me playing. After supper we've had a lot fun playing "chase Henry" with him. Henry has also begun to understand colors. He now says "pink" and blue" consistently and occasionally says "yellow." He understands a few more colors.

I only searched pennies last night. 3,200 pennies produced twenty-four Wheats, twenty-six Canadians, one US dime and a Liberia 1¢ (1975). That's the first coin from Liberia for me and only the fourth African country I now have a coin from (found anyway). The Wheats were:

1937(3), 1939S, 1942, 1944(2), 1945, 1946(2), 1947, 1948D, 1949, 1950, 1950D, 1951D, 1955, 1956D(2), 1957, 1957D(2), 1958D

Above is the proof version of the coin I found. Mine isn't a proof, but this gives some idea of what the coin I found looks like.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Last night I had another good night searching coins.

3,360 quarters produced one proof quarter (1999S GA), three Canadians, five US nickels, two US pennies and one Bermuda 25¢. That's the second proof quarter I've found in two days! This one is a new one and in decent shape. I guess I'm getting better at spotting the extra thick rim of proof quarters. I also found a 2009P American Samoa quarter.

3,000 dimes turned up two silvers (1945, 1961D), seven Canadians, one Bermuda 10¢, one British Caribbean Territories 10¢ (1956) and one US penny. The 1961D dime is a beauty. It looks brand new.

1,200 nickels had five Canadians (2 Ni) and one US penny. In the batch I also found a pretty good clipped nickel and one of the Canadians was a really nice looking plated steel 1944 war nickel.

3,800 pennies yielded twelve Wheats, thirty Canadians, three US dimes and a Euro 2¢ (Germany, 2003). The Wheats were:

1916, 1920, 1945, 1947, 1950D, 1951D(2), 1952, 1952d, 1953D, 1955, 1958D

Found: 3 pennies (2 outside Walgreens, 1 in Stop & Shop)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One To Go!

Yesterday was a good day for us. The weather was great, Henry behaved excellently and I did really well with my coins.

7,840 quarters produced sixteen Canadians, three US nickels, two UK 10 pence, one East Carribean States 25¢, one Barbados 25¢ and one Cayman Islands 25¢. One of the Canadians was an 80% silver coin, a 1942. Also in the mix was a proof quarter, 1999S DE. Unfortunately I already had that proof quarter, but it was still good to find another one. The Barbados 25¢ is a new type for me.

1,850 dimes yielded five silver dimes (1944, 1948D, 1949D, 1951, 1962D), two Bermuda 10¢, one Canadian, one East Carribean States 10¢ and one UK 5 pence.

1,320 nickels turned up one War Time (1945P), two Canadians, one US dime and a US penny. In the batch were two US nickel varieties I needed, the 1938D and the 2009P. It's been since December of 2007 since I've found a new Jefferson variety (not counting new ones)!!! Now I only have one more to find to complete my album, the 1943D.

2,550 pennies rounded up twenty-four Wheats, twenty Canadians and one US dime. The Wheats were:

1920, 1924, 1929D, 1939(2), 1940D(2), 1941, 1942, 1944(2), 1948S, 1950, 1950D, 1951(2), 1951D, 1952D(2), 1953, 1955, 1955D, 1958, 1958D

That's only the second 1929D I've found. I was also surprised to find two 1940D's in one night as that coin took a while for me to find.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Thursday I got home from California. To get home I took my rental to the airport, rode the monorail to the terminal, flew in a plane, rode a bus to the train station, took a train and then was picked up by Meg and Henry at the train station. Whoah! It felt great to see them both again. I was tired, but it didn't matter at all. We even had a little family fun raking leaves before I put my stuff inside the house.

I did well with some coins I searched this weekend.

15 small dollars produced one Canadian dollar. In the dollars was a new variety I needed, 2009P James Polk.

8,000 half dollars turned up forty-eight 90% silver halves (19??S, 1935, 1936S, 1937, 1941D, 4 x 1942, 1942S, 5 x 1943, 1944, 2 x 1945, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1952D, 1953D, 1954D, 1957D, 1958D, 1959D, 1960D, 1961D, 1962, 5 x 1963, 3 x 1963D, 10 x 1964) twenty-five 40% silver halves (1965, 2 x 1966, 6 x 1967, 10 x 1968D, 6 x 1969D) and fifteen proofs (1972S, 1974S, 1976S, 3 x 1979S, 1984S, 1985S, 2 x 1987S, 1988S, 2 x 1990S, 1992S, 1994S). The 1984S is the last clad proof I needed! (Except for the 2009S, which I consider too new to count at this point.) I still have a lot of silver proofs to go. I'm especially eager to find the 1976S 40% silver proof half.

160 quarter and 250 dimes didn't yield anything.

1,300 pennies had ten Wheats, fourteen Canadians and two US dimes. The Wheats were:

1940, 1941, 1944, 1946(2), 1947D, 1956(3), 1956D

Yesterday I completed a two volume work, Travels in the Central Parts of Indo-China (Siam), Cambodia, and Laos, during the Years 1858, 1859, and 1860, by Henri Mouhot (1826-1861). Mouhot was a French citizen who explored Indo-China in the middle of the 19th century with funds from British patrons. He died as the result of fever caught in the jungle in 1861. After his death his servants brought his journals, manuscripts and specimens to Bangkok where they eventually found their way to Europe. His brother posthumously compiled these two volumes from his journals and correspondence. The reprint I read was produced by Elibron. (The cover curled a bit too easily, but the prints within the book are very sharp.) Mouhot traveled cheaply and usually by himself with a few servants. Before his death he was able to capture an abundance of insects and birds and make many keen observations about the people he met and the landscapes he encountered. He's most famous for "discovering" the ruins of Angkor (they were always known, but Mouhot popularized them in the West). Mouhot also inspired the subsequent Mekong Expedition.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Notes from California

For the past few days I have been in California attending a programming conference. The conference was helpful, but my trip was supposed to be a whole lot more fun because Meg was planning on joining me. On Monday I screwed up big time and caused us to miss our flight. I don't know what I was thinking when I decided on the time we needed to leave the house. I'm not sure I was really thinking at all. We then waited three hours for another flight. We got on that plane, but before take off we were removed from the plane. I can't really explain it; we had boarding passes. It was really stressful and meant we'd have to wait seven more hours before we left. Meg decided to stay home at that point. It was the right decision as our the time we would get to spend together was greatly shortened. It was a tough decision.

On my previous trips to California I had more time to source, search and dump coins and so this year I just couldn't get through as much. I did, however, have one good bank find. One of the last banks I visited had a whole bunch of mint set rolls (these were sold directly by the mint and can usually be sold on E-Bay for a premium). I found five Sacagawea mint set rolls (2002D, 2004D, 2005D, 2 x unknown) and five half dollar mint set rolls (2003P, 2 x 2003D, 2005D, 2006D).

91 large dollars and 116 half dollars only produced one 40% silver half (1968D).

I also came across three Presidential dollar coins I hadn't found before, 2008D Van Buren, 2009D William Henry Harrison and 2009D James Polk. I couldn't find any rolls of 2009D John Tyler. I found a single one, but I spent it by mistake! Ugh.

I rounded up 32,050 pennies and in them I found ninety-six Wheats, thirty Canadians, eleven US dimes, one Bahamas 1¢ and one plastic penny. In the mix I found a new variety, the 2009D Professional Life. I also came across a nice blank planchet (I'll have to weigh it when I get home to see if it's 95% copper penny or a copper plated penny. The Wheats were:

1913, 1940S, 1942(3), 1942D, 1944(5), 1944D, 1944S(4), 1945(3), 1946(2), 1946D(3), 1946S(2), 1949S(3), 1950(2), 1950S, 1951S(3), 1952S(5), 1953D, 1953S(4), 1954S, 1955(2), 1956(5), 1956D(13), 1957(2), 1957D(12), 1958, 1958D(12)

Found: 27 pennies (15 at Mollie Stones), 1 nickel (at Mollie Stones), 6 dime (1 in my rental car), 1 quarter (at the airport)

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Yesterday was Henry's second Halloween. In the morning we went to a party with Meg's mom friends and Henry's little buddies. It was timed perfectly for naps and the kids did pretty well together, although they didn't want to pose for group photograph. In the evening we brought Henry out trick-or-treating with his two cousins. Henry only went to six houses, but had a lot of fun. His behavior was better than I could have ever imagined. Meg and I were very proud of him.

This week's halves were very poor. 8,000 of them produced two 40% silver halves (1967, 1968D), one proof half (1971S) and one commemorative (1989S Bicentennial of the Congress). Finding the new commemorative helped things out a lot. I've found the circulation strike version of that coin before, but this is the first time I've found the proof type. 767,897 were minted.

Found: 4 pennies (1 at Home Depot, 1 at CVS, 2 at Target), 1 nickel (at Target)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Last night's coins were so-so.

37 large dollars, 13 small dollars and 96 halves didn't produce anything.

3,240 quarters turned up one Canadian, one US dime, one US nickel and an Austrian 5 Schilling.

500 dimes and 280 nickels yielded just one key date Jefferson, the 1949S.

2,650 pennies produced seventeen Wheats, nineteen Canadians and one Euro 2¢ (Ireland, 2003). The Wheats were:

1917, 1940, 1944, 1945, 1946(4), 1947D, 1947S, 1948, 1950, 1952D(2), 1957, 1957D, 1958

Found: 1 penny (at Stop & Shop), 2 dimes (at Stop & Shop) and 1 quarter (at Stop & Shop)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Words

New words seem to be coming pretty steadily from Henry. Last night I he pointed to a few flags in a book and said, "flag." It was a bit difficult to discern, but if I paid attention closely I could hear all the letters in his pronunciation. Henry's also said "outside" and "cookie" lately.

In addition to saying new words he's also been "counting." Now when we ask him how many of a particular item he sees he often points to each instance and "counts" by utter some sound. I think he's just gotten used to us pointing and courting off the various things in his books.

Last night's pennies treated me very well. 6,450 of them turned up thirty-two Wheats, fifty-six Canadians, two US dimes and one UK penny. In this batch was a new Wheat variety for me, the 1928S! 17,266,000 were minted. I also got another clipped penny and a penny with JFK's portrait stamped into it. The Wheats were:

1913, 1928S, 1929, 1936, 1937, 1940, 1941(2), 1942, 1944(2), 1944D, 1945, 1945S, 1948, 1950, 1951(2), 1953, 1953D(2), 1955(3), 1956(2), 1956D(2), 1957, 1957D(2), 1958D

This morning I finished reading another book, Lake Ngami, or Explorations and Discoveries during Four Year' Wanderings in the the Wilds of South West Africa, by Charles J. Andersson (1827-1867). The book was originally published in 1856. The copy I have is a reprint done by Rediscovery Books in 2006. The facsimile is pretty good, except that the prints are clearer on Google Books and the map is printed so small as to be almost unusable.

The narrative details expedition Andersson made with Francis Galton to explore what is now Namibia. Their goal was to reach Lake Ngami. Most of the journey was completed by riding oxen and was done on the cheap. Galton went home to England before the completion of their goal and Andersson continued and completed the quest. Sadly, when Lake Ngami was reached the results were a bit disappointing.

The book like a lot of narratives from this era is lengthy (530+ pages). Andersson has personal writing style that was easy to read once I got used to the mid-19th century wording and included many stories about the peoples and wildlife of the area that I enjoyed. The many prints throughout the book are fantastic. The cover of the reprint gives some idea of the others. I'm looking forward to reading Andersson's two other books about his African travels and one day reading Galton's book on the first half of this expedition (I was able to find a map from Galton's book online and that was very helpful to have while reading the first half of this book).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Just a quick coin update ...

7 halves didn't have anything.

1,800 quarters produced five Canadians and one US nickel.

1,950 dimes yielded one silver Rosie (1964D) and seven Canadians.

960 nickels turned up one Canadian.

5,000 pennies rounded up thirty Wheats, thirty-two Canadians and one US dime. In the mix was a penny that had the state of Missourri stamped on the obverse of it. The Wheats were:

1941(3), 1944(5), 1945(2), 1946(4), 1950, 1950D, 1951S, 1952(2), 1952D, 1953D, 1956, 1956D(2), 1957(2), 1957D(3), 1958D

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Whole Lotta Nothing

12,000 quarters yielded three Canadians, two Bermuda 25¢, one UK 10 pence and one washer.

150 dimes, 40 nickels and 100 pennies turned up one Wheat (1944).

Found: 1 nickel (at Wendy's)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Enjoying the Fall

Today despite Henry being a little sick still Meg and I got to enjoy the nice season. We didn't want him near other kids so we decided to spend the day outside at the nearby botanical garden. We had a lot fun just being outside together and at this time of the year the place is beautiful.

At the bank on Friday things started pretty well for me, a teller saved me a silver dime (1958D). My boxes didn't look so good with no silver showing, but in the end I did alright. 8,020 halves had three 90% silver halves (1939D, 1964, 1964D) and twenty-nine 40% silver halves (2 x 1965, 3 x 1966, 7 x 1967, 12 x 1968D, 5 x 1969D). The new variety made the batch for me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yesterday was Meg and I's third anniversary. We didn't celebrate it too much as Henry had a fever and needed some extra TLC. He did well in the morning and had a lot of fun with his friends at a botanical garden, but in the afternoon in evening he was a bit cranky, not too bad though. This morning he's doing better.

Last night I did pretty well with my coins.

17 small dollars and 47 half dollars turned up two 90% silver halves (1964, 1964D) and five 40% silver halves (1966, 1967, 2 x 1967, 1969D).

2,200 quarters had three Canadians, two US nickels, one US penny, one US dime and a religious medal (is it a sin to deposit one of these for 25¢?). The rolls were mostly solid rolls of one particular state quarter or another. I hate going through such rolls. This time I got a bit lucky with them and found $2.75 in extra quarters.

880 nickels turned up a Buffalo (1936), nine Canadians (2 Ni), one Bahamas 5¢ and one Netherland Antilles 25¢ (1977). That's the first Buffalo I've found since August and the first dated one I've found since June! The Netherland Antilles coin was a new type for me. In the mix was also one key date Jefferson, the 1939S.

1,250 pennies yielded five Wheats and twelve Canadians. In the bunch was a new penny for me, the 2009 Professional Life variety. The Wheats were:

1946, 1952D, 1956, 1956D, 1957

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Here are some pictures we've taken recently.

Meg took this photo yesterday. In it Henry is coming out of his new fort which has a tunnel and a "building." He was a bit disappointed when he first got it because based on the box he thought he was getting a car, but he has since warmed up to it.

Here are the three cousins enjoying their common interest, fire trucks, in our kitchen. I wasn't going to even try to get everyone to look at the camera at once. We had everyone over for my mother's birthday this weekend.

I got these flowers for Meg last week, but Henry didn't seem to know that.

Henry and his potty!

Last night and the night before I searched a bunch of coin.

7,120 quarters broke me out of my no silver streak. In them I found one silver Washington (1964), nine Canadians (including a 1968, 50% silver) and one US nickel.

3,350 dimes yielded eight Canadians (including a 1963, 80% silver), one East Carribean States 10¢, a UK 5 pence and a Bermuda 10¢.

2,800 nickels turned up three Canadians (2 Ni), one Singapore 20¢ and one US dime.

In 3,300 pennies I found eleven Wheats, twenty-one Canadians and one dime. In these was also one clipped penny. The Wheats were:

1937, 1941, 1944(2), 1944D, 1946(2), 1949, 1956D, 1957D, 1958

Found: 1 penny (outside a Tiger Mart)