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