Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is my wife's birthday! Happy Birthday, Meg! Now that Henry is around such celebrations are a lot of fun. There is so much to celebrate and so much can happen in a year these days. It's fun buying cards for Meg (and others) from Henry. I can't wait until we are at the store together deciding on gifts.

Last night I just searched a big bunch of pennies. The results were not so hot. 10,000 pennies yielded fourteen Wheats, sixty-six Canadians, two US dimes, two Bermuda 1¢, two UK pennies and one plastic toy penny. My Wheat find rate for January has been way down. It is almost half my usual average. Could a big Wheat hoard be just around the corner? The Wheats were:

1909, 1936, 1937(2), 1941, 1944(2), 1946, 1948, 1950D, 1951, 1952, 1956(2)

Found: 1 foreign coin (an Irish penny at Burger King ... very strange)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Broke the Streak

After some a nice play time and dinner with Meg and Henry I searched some coin.

Two halves didn't turn up anything

1,640 quarters broke me out of my silver-less quarter streak. Let's hope I'm in a good groove. The coins produced one silver Washington (1942), five Canadians and one US nickel.

1,950 dimes yielded just three Canadians and three US pennies. Usually this source produces some silver dimes, but not this time.

1,760 nickels were also just so-so. In them I found four Canadians and two US dimes.

The pennies got better as I continued to search. 8,150 pennies turned up twenty-seven Wheats, fifty-eight Canadians, ten US dimes, one Barbados 1¢ and one Bahamas 1¢. The Wheats were:

1918, 1935, 1937, 1940, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1946(2), 1947(2), 1948, 1951D, 1952, 1952D(2), 1953, 1955(3), 1955D, 1956(2), 1957D(2), 1958D

Found: 5 pennies (2 at Stop & Shop, 1 at Home Depot, 1 outside the Mobil, 1 at work)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Good Start

Yesterday my week started off pretty good. A teller saved me two silver coins, a 1947 dime and a 1963D quarter. The quarter was a new variety for me. Unfortunately the silver stopped there. The coin searching I did at home didn't produce much.

Twenty half dollars didn't produce anything.

3,600 quarters turned up just three Canadians and one UK 10 pence (1995). These four foreign coins all came in the last roll I opened.

3,550 dimes yielded six Canadians and one UK 5 pence (1990).

Lastly, 2,320 nickels turned up four Canadians, one US dime and one Australian 5¢ (1988).

Hopefully the pennies I got produce better results.

The day was definitely not a lost cause, however, as I saw Henry "walk" for the first time. He took three steps for me!

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

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Day at the Museum

Today Henry and I went to a museum. It was his first trip to a museum, and it was a real one, too! It wasn't a children's museum or a science museum, but an actual history museum. OK, they have a great playroom there. His cousins discovered it months ago and today he and I joined my parents, his aunt and his cousin there for some fun time. Meg stayed home and got a nice break. Here's some pictures of the experience.

Here's Henry in armor!

Henry spent a lot of time being carried by his grandpa and looking up at the lights and ceiling fans. If there was a museum dedicated to light fixtures and ceiling fans he'd be in heave. Maybe we should spend some more time in that department at our local Home Depot!

My father, Evan and I all tried out some helmets while we were at the museum. They were reproductions, but we still had to wear white gloves.

Here's a picture of the camera setup I made. It's supporting our old camera, which is much heavier and bigger than our new one. I'm working my way through a lot of coins. I've got most of my noteworthy halves and pennies photographed so far. Unfortunately I've found out that the best lighting is sunlight, something I don't see much of at home. I'll have to wait until next weekend to make more progress.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Four Keepers

Sometimes I'm way over optimistic about what I can get done in certain period of time (generally this happens at home, not at work). Today was one of those days. The goals were to go to Home Depot, go to Target, dump coins at one bank, pick up more at another bank, make a camera stand and do some more bathroom work.

Henry and I set out early. Meg was getting a haircut so we went to Home Depot. We didn't make it to Target. He had fun at Home Depot, but his patience was wearing thin so we didn't make it to Target. I don't know how Meg gets as many errands done with him as she does. He's great in the store, but get into and out of the car can be very tough.

Here's Henry in Home Depot. Unfortunately I didn't have the automatic focus feature on.

While he napped I did my bank runs and began work on my camera stand. The first idea for camera stand didn't work, so when he got up we went back to Home Depot to get some other materials. My second idea worked, but by the time it was done and after I cleaned out our tool closet and broke up some ice there was no time to start any bathroom work.

The above is a picture of Henry with one of Meg's grocery bags on his head. He put it on there himself while she was putting the groceries away.

I searched coin during some downtime today. The results stunk.

Twenty-seven small dollars didn't produce anything.

8,002 half dollars turned up one 40% silver half (1967), one proof half (1978S) and two mint set halves (2004D, 2006D).

Here's the best coin picture I've take so far. It's the lone silver coin I found today. I used my homemade stand to take it. I'll take some pictures of the stand tomorrow and experiment more with focusing the camera. I've got a lot more coins to take pictures of.

Found: 5 pennies (1 at Walgreens, 1 outside Bank of America ATM, 2 at Costco, 1 at Home Depot), 2 quarters (1 at Sovereign Bank, 1 at Home Depot)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

First Steps!

Yesterday Meg called me in the afternoon to tell me Henry had just taken his first steps! She managed to entice into walking by offering him a cheese flavored rice crisp. He had been having a lot of fun pushing his little wagon around the house for the past few days, so we thought this moment might be soon. I can't wait to see it myself. Meg better guard those snacks. Now he's onto them!

He also seems to be feeling a bit better.

Last night I just searched some pennies. 5,000 of them produced twenty Wheats, forty Canadians, one US dime and one Panama 1¢. The Wheats were:

1935, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1944(4), 1944S, 1946(2), 1948, 1949, 1952D, 1953D, 1954D, 1956, 1956D, 1957, 1957D

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ear Infection

Yesterday Henry was still pretty sick. Meg took him to the doctor in the afternoon and they determined that he had an ear infection. He's on some anti-biotics now. I hope today he starts to feel better. It's been a long ordeal for everyone, especially Meg and Henry. They're pretty sick of being inside and not being able to see anyone.

My coin hunting experience was:

I searched forty-one small dollars and four half dollars. They didn't produce anything.

1,680 quarters turned up just two Canadians. I'm still looking for my first silver quarter of the year.

I had better luck with the dimes. 5,300 of them yielded five silver Rosies (1947, 1956, 2 x 1964, 1964D), eight Canadians and one UK 5 pence (2003).

The nickels were so-so. I searched 3,000 of them and found one War Time (1944P) and four Canadians (3Ni).

Found: 1 penny (at Stop & Shop)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Review

During Henry's naps this weekend I read a book, The White Headhunter, by Nigel Randell. Meg and I were so exhausted from watching a sick little Henry, that neither of us did too much this weekend. Unfortunately he's still sick and Meg is now home alone with him.

The book is good and is well written, especially for a first time writer, but it has one really weird thing about it. The first half of the book, 150 pages or so, is the story of Jack Renton a European who was fully indoctrinated into Melanesian society and the later half felt a lot like filler and concerned the area's experience with "civilization." It was as if the author finished one story and decided that the book was long enough so kept writing.

Jack Renton was a young Scotsman who in 1868 was shanghaied (drugged and thrown unwillingly thrown on a ship) in San Fransisco by his landlord. He and three others ditched this ship on one island and made an ill-fated attempt to make it to another island. They washed up on the short of a South Pacific island known for cannibalism. Jack was bought by a local cheif and was adopted by the local culture. He was rescued eight years later by a recruiter's ship. After arriving in Australia he was interviewed by newspapermen for a serialized telling of his story. The author used this story, some local oral histories about him and knowledge about the culture to tell his tale.

How much of the local culture he adopted is debatable. Jack was vague about some of his experiences on the island, but the oral histories suggested that he was a very respected warrior. He even brought back a necklace with the teeth of at least nine humans and a war club back to Scotland. He claimed these were other people's property. After being rescued he spent the rest of his short life working for the Australian government to ensure that ships recruiting island laborers did so humanely. On one such trip he was killed and eaten by natives.

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

Sunday, January 18, 2009

No Baptism

Today was supposed to be Henry's Baptism. His having a bad cold, his grandpa's not feeling so well, and some more snow all made it a good idea to postpone the event. We were able to go to the practice yesterday, however, so we're all ready. We hope Henry gets better soon. He sounds horrible today.

Yesterday even though he was sick he still managed to enjoy the squirrels outside through the windows and read some. Today he has been watching the snow fall.

Last night while getting ready for bed with his mom he played with his namesake, a stuffed animal I had when I was a kid, named Henry.

I searched some coin over the past few days.

Three large dollars and twenty-four small dollars didn't turn up anything.

8,012 half dollars produced three 90% silver halves (1957, 2 x 1964), seven 40% silver halves (1965, 1966, 2 x 1967, 1968D, 2 x 1969D), two proof halves (1986S Statue of Liberty Commemorative, 1989S) and four mint set halves (3 x 2005D, 2008D). Those three 90's are the first ones I've found this year. Now I only need six more Franklins for my album! One of the mint set halves, the 2005D, has a sticker on one side that is the reverse of the Minnesota quarter. As for the Commemorative, that's the third one I've found of that type and the second this year! They minted a bunch of them and they're clad so I'm not surprised too much. It's fun to get them.

Found: 37 pennies (31 outside Hess, 1 at work, 2 outside McDonald's, 1 at the Sovereign Bank, 1 at Bank of America, 1 outside the Doughnut Inn), 2 dimes (1 at work, 1 at the Sovereign Bank)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tiny Dancer

Henry has one new development that I've been forgetting to blog about ... his dancing. He does a pretty good knee bend these days. Usually he does it while holding onto something with one hand and waving his other, pole dancing, but he also does it while holding onto something with two hands, squats. Meg tells me he is more inclined to do it if there is music playing. I'll have to try and get him to do it this evening.

Last night and this morning I searched 10,000 pennies. They turned up forty-six Wheats, 102 Canadians (this is an estimate, I mistakenly forgot to count them), one US dime, one Bahamas 1¢ and one Bermuda 1¢. The Wheats were:

1920, 1927, 1929, 1935, 1937, 1940(2), 1941, 1944(3), 1945, 1946(6), 1947(2), 1948(2), 1949, 1950(2), 1951D, 1952, 1952D, 1953(2), 1953D, 1956(2), 1956D, 1957(2), 1957D(3), 1958(2), 1958D(4)

Found: 4 pennies (at work), 2 dimes (1 at work, 1 outside Burger King)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Big Batch

Last night I started working my way through a big batch of coins. It was a good way to distract myself from my scratchy throat. Things seem to be a little better today, but it looks as though Meg might be beginning to feel sick.

3,360 quarters turned up eight Canadians and three US dimes.

1,500 dimes yielded one silver Rosie (1958D), two Canadians, one Barbados 10¢ (1980) and one UK 5 pence (2003).

The nickels were OK as well. 1,200 nickels produced one War Time (1945P) and eight Canadians (3 Ni).

5,000 pennies turned up nineteen Wheats, thirty-four Canadians and four US dimes. I got "close" with one of the pennies. The Wheats were:

1926, 1929, 1929S, 1940, 1941(2), 1942D, 1944(2), 1945(2), 1949, 1950, 1953D, 1953S, 1956, 1956D(2), 1957D

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dada's Home

Last night I had my best yet welcome home from Henry. He hasn't started saying "Momma" or "Dada" in a way that definitely linked to us, but he does know what they mean. When Meg tells him, "Dada's home!" He reacts appropriately and starts looking for me (if he hasn't heard me come in). His greeting was the highlight of my day yesterday.

At night I searched some coin.

160 quarters and 200 dimes didn't produce anything.

4,160 nickels yielded sixteen Canadians, five US pennies, one MBTA token (still worth $1.25), one Panama 5 Centesimos (1970) and one Spanish 1 Peseta (1947). The Spanish coin is a first for me. The batch also turned up a key date Jefferson, the 1955.

(The above image was taken with a friend's camera. Meg and I are getting a new camera and I wanted to test out the macro ability on a camera similar to one we're thinking of getting.)

1,100 pennies turned up seven Wheats, nine Canadians, two US dimes and one Irish 1 penny (1995). The Wheats were:

1942, 1944(2), 1954S, 1956, 1957D(2)

Monday, January 12, 2009

British Penny

This weekend Meg, Henry and I went to my in-laws. We went for a visit and so that we could attend Meg's grandmother's 80th birthday party. We had a good time. We didn't feel very rushed at all and so had plenty of time to talk to everyone. Henry did very well to. He's getting much better at sleeping well at his grandparents. We also got to go out on a date on Saturday night. We had dinner without Henry and then went to a movie, Gran Torino.

I've decided to read primary source material when it is readily available and interests me. While away I wrapped up reading the first such book, A Description of the Kingdom of Siam by Engelbert Kaempfer. The book is a reprint of the first three chapters of a 1727 translation of his manuscript on Japan, The history of Japan : giving an account of the ancient and present state and government of that empire ... of the chronology and succession of the emperors ... together with a description of the kingdom of Siam. (They had a way with titles back then!) On his way to Japan with the Dutch East India Company in 1690 Kaempfer, their physician, visited Siam (Thailand) for two months. While there he kept copious notes and drawings in hopes of publishing the material. He was not able to publish the material before he died, but a later translator of his work sourced his notes to supplement his manuscript on Japan. I found it enlightening to read the original work. The book is small, just 100 pages, and came its own box.

After shoveling snow I searched some coin.

Forty-one small dollars didn't produce anything.

8,004 half dollars turned up thirteen 40% silver halves (1965, 1966, 4 x 1967, 2 x 1968D, 5 x 1969D), two proof halves (1983S, 2008S), thirteen mint set halves (2 x 2003P, 3 x 2005P, 5 x 2005D, 2006P, 2 x 2007D) and a British penny (1929). The 2008S is now the newest proof I've found. It's in good shape and cleaned up nicely with some Windex. The British penny is a first for me. I've read about others finding them. I was excited to find it, but my example has chipped rims and lots of green crud on the bottom half. It's sandwiched inbetween two halfs of a potato right now in hopes of cleaning off the crud. Here's a picture of the type.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'll Take It!

Yesterday Henry and Meg had a big day. It left them both pretty tired. In the morning Meg went to a meeting that had babysitting available. What a great idea! Henry spent 1½ hours playing under the supervision of someone at the facility. He liked their toys a lot and Meg appreciated the relief. In the afternoon they went to a play center with his aunt and cousins. It sounded like fun. I'm sorry I missed it.

I did a bit of coin roll hunting in the evening. I didn't find too much, but it was well worth the effort.

240 quarters and 500 dimes turned up just five Canadian dimes.

860 nickels yielded one War Time (1944P).

800 pennies yielded just two Wheats (1918S, 1941), four Canadians and one Taiwan 1 Yuan. The Wheats have been slight, but who cares when you find a new one so soon into the new year, right? That 1918S is a keeper for me and looks good in my album. Now there are only four pennies with mintages over and near 30 million that I haven't found, 1928D, 1930D, 1934D, 1936D.

Found: 6 pennies (2 outside Costco, 4 at Stop & Shop)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Neat Bills

Yesterday while picking up some coins I found two old $10 bills. They are both from 1950 and are Federal Reserve Notes (Silver Certificates would have been cooler). I saw the teller give another to the lady in front of me, but I was happy to snag two.

After I put Henry to bed I searched some coin.

One small dollar and 1,000 quarters didn't have anything special.

The dimes were far better, however. 2,600 dimes produced three silver Rosies (1950, 1952, 1962D), ten Canadians, one Bermuda 10¢, one Polish 20 Groszy and, strangely, seven Netherlands 25¢. The silver dimes are the first 90% silver coins I've found in rolls this year.

1,440 nickels turned up one War Time (1945P), six Canadians (3 Ni), one US dime and an Ecuador 5 centavos. I also found a key date Jefferson, the 1938S. Urgh! It was not a 1938D. :(

2,000 pennies yielded sixteen Wheats, eighteen Canadians, one US dime, one Russian 10 Kopek and a plastic toy penny. The Wheats were:

1925, 1927, 1941(2), 1946, 1948(2), 1952D, 1953D(2), 1955, 1957, 1957D(3), 1958D

Found: 1 dime (at Stop & Shop)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Fortuitous Night

Last night I had some good luck. After cashing in some tybottles and cans at a liquor store I walked over (50 feet) to a nearby grocery store's recycling machines to see if I could find any Coke caps. Boy did I! I found $4.80 in cans and bottles and forty-three Coke caps (equal to five free 20 ounce Cokes). Someone had left a whole cart load there because the grocery store's machines were broken, but didn't realize that the liquor store had the same machines just next door. Oh well.

I also searched some quarters. 4,000 quarters produced nine Canadians, one US nickel, one UK 10 pence and one Hungary 10 Forint. That's a new foreign type for me and a new country.

My final redemption numbers for 2008 are now in. The total was slightly down from last year.

Found: 2 pennies (at Shaw's), 1 dime (at Supercuts), 1 quarter (at Sovereign Bank), 1 foreign coin (a Canadian penny at Sovereign Bank)

Redeemed (2008): $6.45

Redeemed (2009): $4.75

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wheels of the Bus

On Sunday Meg taught Henry his latest trick. He can now do the "Wheels of the Bus" move. The move is very cute and also could be used as a dance move. His way of doing it is a bit haphazard, but he's definitely trying and he has fun doing it. Like the clapping action he learned a few weeks ago, he does his wheels bit at random points throughout the day. We are both very proud of this feat.

I continued my 2009 coin roll hunting last night. I'm still working on my 2008 CRH total review, and so I won't be updating my lifetime CRH chart until all of the totals are corrected.

Last night I searched 500 dimes, but they didn't produce anything.

I also looked through 4,120 nickels and in them I found two War Times (1943P, 1945S) and six Canadians. In the batch was one key date Jefferson, the 1950.

1,050 pennies yieled two Wheats (1953D, 1954D) and eight Canadians.

My best find of the day came from the rejects of the coin counting machine. A woman was cashing in a big load of Starbucks tips and let me buy her two rejected coins for 35¢. One of the coins was a silver Rosie (1963D) and the other was a proof quarter (1985S). The proof quarter is my first clad one and only my second proof quarter ever (I found a silver 2002S Indiana quarter in rejects last year)!

This morning I finished reading a book I started last week, Caliban's Shore: The Wreck of the Grosvenor and the Strange Fate of Her Survivors by Stephen Taylor. I read it quickly as I enjoyed it quite a bit. The book covers the shipwreck of the Grosvenor, a British trading vessel of the late 1700's, on the eastern coast of South Africa. Of the 125 people who made it to shore only thirteen were eventually rescued. Most of the people died on the long walk south to the Dutch settlements. The story received much fame in Britain because the passengers included several wealthy women who were rumored to be captured and enslaved by the local tribesmen. Taylor based his telling of the story of the story on several interrogation transcripts of the survivors and on a lost and later found survivor memoir. To supplement these sketchy sources Taylor devotes about 50 pages to the introduction of the crew and passengers and another 100 pages at the end reflecting on the lives of the survivors and the mythology of the tale itself.

Found: 4 pennies (at Papa Gino's), 1 nickel (at Sovereign Bank), 1 dime (at Papa Gino's)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2nd Haircut

Today I brought Henry to Snip-its for his second haircut. This was his first haircut in a salon. He definitely needed it as his hair was getting out of control. At the salon he was very amused with the antics of the other kids running about. When his time came he sat down very well and let me buckle him in without a problem. For most of the cut he behaved well. He didn't like the clippers or the water spray very much. I was reminded of some of my experiences in the tub with him. He now looks a little older and lot more like his older cousin.

I did some coin roll hunting, the first of 2009, during the past two days.

I searched sixty-three small dollars, but didn't find anything.

I also looked through 8,025 half dollars. They produced ten 40% silver halves (1965, 2 x 1966, 6 x 1968D, 1969D), seven proofs (1973S, 1985S, 1998S, 2 x 2000S, 2001S, 2006S) , one hundred fifty-six mint set halves (2 x 2002P, 2 x 2003P, 5 x 2003D, 41 x 2004P, 33 x 2004D, 3 x 2005P, 20 x 2005D, 5 x 2006P, 10 x 2006D, 23 x 2007P, 12 x 2007D, 2008P, 2 x 2008D) and a 1986S Statue of Liberty Commemorative. I was a bit bummed to start off the year with so little silver, but at least I wasn't totally skunked and finding one of the remaining proofs I need was pretty sweet. The Statue of Liberty Commemorative was the second one I've found. It was a thrill to find another. I'm not sure what I'll do with all of those mint set halves.

3,160 quarters turned up just six Canadians and one Philippines 1 Piso.

1,300 dimes produced fifty-one Canadians. I actually found a whole roll of Canadian dimes. That's a first for me. There wasn't anything special in them, but it was unique.

In 1,120 nickels I found three Canadians (3 Ni).

I searched just 350 pennies. In them was one Wheat (1953) and two Canadians.

Found: 1 penny (outside Snip-its), 1 quarter (outside Babies 'R Us)

Friday, January 2, 2009

2009 is here! I think it will be a big year for our family. This should be the year that Henry learns to walk and talk. I can't wait to hear him say "Mommy" and "Daddy." His first birthday party should be a lot of fun.

We didn't do too much for New Year's Eve, but we did enjoy some Chinese take-out. On New Year's Eve day Meg took Henry out sledding for the first time (He also brushed his teeth for the first time a bit back). I wanted to take him out again yesterday, but it was just too cold.

I've been compiling some more year-end reports. Unfortunately while doing so I noticed my big coin roll hunting chart on the right is messed up. :( I've had to go over all of my past postings and and count up everything again. Hopefully it is fixed by Monday.

Happy New Year everyone!

Found (2008): 3 pennies (at Stop & Shop)

Found (2009): 4 pennies (1 at the GAP, 3 at Sovereign Bank), 1 foreign coin (a Canadian quarter at Sovereign Bank)