Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Meg!

Phew ... Henry slept through the night and is back to his normal self!

Last night I just searched pennies. 4,500 of them turned up thirty-four Wheats, forty-five Canadians, nine US dimes and one French ½ franc (1996). The Wheats were:

1931, 1936(2), 1937, 1940(2), 1941(2), 1942, 1944(7), 1946(3), 1947(2), 1948(2), 1950, 1951, 1952, 1952D(2), 1956D(2), 1957(2), 1957D(2)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

ER Visit #3

Yesterday was a tough day for Henry (and his parents). In the morning Meg took him to his doctor because he had a fever overnight and into the morning. They told her that he had a double ear infection and that she would need to give him a cold bath (think hellish, torture-like experience) to bring the fever down. It didn't work and his fever rose to 106°! Meg then was instructed to bring Henry to the ER. I left work and joined them in the waiting room. His fever went down while we were there, they took a blood sample for tests and gave him an IV. It was a long experience there (it always is). He was much more himself in the evening, but slept terribly. Hope this is over soon! He's got a short amount time to get better for Meg's birthday.

I searched some coins last night and did OK.

2,200 nickels produced eight Canadians (3 Ni), two US dimes, one US penny, one Ecuador 5¢ and one Philippines 5 Centavos (1944). The Philippine coin is a new one for me and is one of the oldest foreign coins I've found. It is in excellent shape, too!

5,250 pennies had twenty-nine Wheats, thirty-five Canadians, one UK 1 penny and one US dime and one Bahamas 1¢. The Wheats were:

1930, 1937(3), 1941(2), 1941D, 1944, 1945S, 1946(2), 1947, 1949, 1952(2), 1952D, 1952S, 1953, 1955(4), 1956, 1956D(2), 1957D(2), 1958D(2)

Found: 1 penny (at Target)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More Sickness

(I wrote this post on January 27th, 2010)

I think most people with kids will tell you winter is hell. Well, they're right. Henry's had a cold for about two weeks now. Ugh. Yesterday he threw up and last night he had a fever. We're hoping today's a lot better. It's tough seeing him tottering around and feeling so achy.

I've searched a lot of coin over the past few nights. Except for the pennies I searched I did OK.

5,060 quarters produced one silver Washington (1964D), eighteen Canadians, one UK 10 pence, two US dimes, seven US nickels and four US pennies. Thankfully a few of the rolls had extra quarters to make up for these lower denomination coins that "snuck" in there.

7,500 dimes had twelve silver Rosies (1947, 1951, 1952D, 1956, 1962, 1963, 3 x 1964, 3 x 1964D), seventeen Canadians, two Bermuda 10¢, one Norway 10 ore (1963) and one US penny. That's one of the best single sitting silver dime scores I've had!

1,600 nickels turned up one dateless Buffalo, one War Time (1945S) and four Canadians (3 Ni).

Lastly (and least) 5,550 pennies yielded three Wheats (1947, 1956D, 1957D), forty Canadians, one Panama 1¢ and one button.

Thanks for the book, Seth!

Found: 2 pennies (1 in Stop & Shop)

Monday, January 25, 2010

This weekend was very tiring for Meg and I. We definitely had some fun times, but we were very busy and more fits from Henry than we would have liked (unfortunately, zero is the only good number for those).

I particularly like thinking about how nice Henry behaved with a friend's newborn infant. He even offered his Monkey to her for comfort. He let Meg hold the baby for about 20 minutes and than told her she was, "done." Driving with Henry to our friends house was also a pleasure as Henry spent most of the ride identifying the colors of signs and cars that we passed.

Another good moment of the weekend was the fun time Henry had at his friend's 2nd birthday party. He got pretty tired running around, climbing and sliding. I never saw that flushed before.

My halves weren't so hot this week. 8,014 of them produced three 90% silver halves (1963D, 2 x 1964), fourteen 40% silver halves (1965, 3 x 1966, 3 x 1967, 6 x 1968D, 1969D) and four proof halves (1978S, 1988S, 1998S, 2000S).

Yesterday during nap time I wrapped up a book I started during the week, The Lost Cities of the Mayas: The Life, Art, and Discoveries of Frederick Catherwood by Fabio Bourbon. The book covers the life of Frederick Catherwood (1799-1854) who with John Lloyd Stephens explored the Mayan ruins of the Yucatan peninsula during two groundbreaking expeditions. Catherwood was the artist of the journeys. The text in this book was pretty poor. It was repetitious and not very informative. Not much is known about Catherwood's personality (no image of him survives) and so Bourbon had little to go on, but what he did include was mostly a rehash of Von Hagen's work (something I read a few weeks back). Oh well, this book is all about the pictures anyway, I suppose. The book is huge, 14" x 10," and is composed almost entirely of gorgeous reproductions of Catherwood's lithographs. It's too bad there weren't direct comparisons to modern photographs within the book, but otherwise I can't complain much about the visuals. I hope Bourbon's three volumes about David Roberts, another 19th century painter I like, have a similar presentation.

Found: 1 penny (outside White Hen Pantry)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Good Tantrums

This week Meg took Henry to the doctor. The doctor told her that tantrums before two years of age are a sign of intelligence. Hmmmm. That doesn't quiet help enough. These have been some trying days.

Besides being very stubborn about wanting certain things, usually to see more of the movie "Cars" or to help in the kitchen (by playing in the sink or on the counter with dried beans and flour), Henry's been learning and saying new words like crazy. His new words include "ring," "paw," "poop," "change" (with this he lays on his back and waits for a change of diaper), "on," "off," "in," "out," "turn," etc. It seems like there's two or three new words a day at this point. It's pretty exciting.

I searched some coin last night. It was so-so. It hasn't been my best week for turning up a lot to search.

2,400 quarters and 750 dimes had just two Canadians.

1,000 nickels produced one Canadian and one Bermuda 5¢.

5,000 pennies had forty-two Wheats, forty-six Canadians, one US dime and one Bahamas 1¢. The Wheats were:

1920, 1929S, 1934(2), 1940(2), 1940D, 1944(4), 1945, 1946, 1948(2), 1949D, 1950, 1950D, 1951(2), 1951D, 1952D, 1953, 1953D(3), 1954D(2), 1955(2), 1955D, 1956(2), 1956D, 1957D(4), 1958(2), 1958D(2)

A couple of days ago I finished reading Angkor and the Khmer Civilization by Michael Coe. It's about the twelfth book in Thames & Hudson's Ancient Peoples and Places series that I've read. Each book is about 200 pages, full of high quality pictures and provides and has an introduction to a particular civilization. I've read some other books by Michael Coe, but those have all been about the Mayan civilization, his primary focus. I've been wanting to read a book the Khmer for some time as I've never fully understood the context of the Angkor ruins. With this book I feel I have a much better sense about these ruins and others like them. I think I'll look into getting a book that is specifically about Angkor in the future. I just haven't settled on which one to buy.

Found: 6 pennies (2 at Costco, 1 at work, 3 at the Mobil Mart), 1 dime (at the Mobil Mart), 1 quarter (outside of work)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just a quick coin update. I haven't turned up much this week, so far.

1,400 quarters yielded one silver Washington (1954) and one Canadian.

250 dimes and 200 nickels had nothing.

600 pennies produced five Wheats (1919, 1927, 1946(2), 1957D), three Canadians and one US dime.

Found: 1 penny (at work)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Things here have been pretty busy at work and so finding a little time to post has been tough. Good times with Henry and Meg, coin searching and reading still go on, however.

This weekend Henry and I spent time at a local kid's play center while Meg took a much needed break and shopped with a friend. Henry has a membership at the place and although I've never been there he's been there a bunch of time. It wasn't that crowded which was good for us. I just don't feel that comfortable yet being a dad and being completely relaxed while playing with Henry in front of people. Henry spent most of our time in his favorite car. He's got one just like it at home, but he likes this one even more. He also played a lot with some water he found, "pond," and a toy cash register. Afterward Henry and I went to Wal-Mart. There I got him two cars from Cars The Movie. He hasn't put them down since.

I did alright with the coins I've searched since my last posting

13 small dollars didn't have anything.

8,000 half dollars had five 90% silver halves (1949, 4 x 1964), eleven 40% silver halves (2 x 1966, 4 x 1967, 3 x 1968D, 2 x 1969D), five proofs (1976S, 1977S, 1992S, 1998S, 2002S) and a commemorative (1989S Bicentennial of the Congress).

2,640 quarters had just one US nickel and three US dimes.

2,400 dimes turned up three Canadians, two US pennies and one Italy 100 Lire.

1,160 nickels had nothing.

10,100 pennies produced fifty-two Wheats, seventy-two Canadians, nine US dimes, one UK penny and a Hong Kong 20¢ (1978). The Hong Kong coin is a new one for me. The Wheats were:

1910, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1938, 1940D, 1941(3), 1942, 1943, 1944(9), 1945(3), 1946(2), 1947, 1948(3), 1950, 1951(3), 1951D(2), 1953, 1953D(3), 1955(2), 1956(2), 1956D(4), 1957(2), 1957D(2), 1958D

A teller also saved me a full envelope of foreign coins. In the batch was fifty-nine Canadian pennies, seven Canadian nickels, seven Canadian dimes, fifteen Canadian quarters, one Canadian dollar, two Euro 5¢, one Bahamas 5¢, one Barbados 25¢, one Philippines 1 piso, two Bermuda 5¢, one UK 10 pence and one French franc. That's $6.39 Canadian!

Found: 5 pennies (2 at Stop & Shop, 1 at Bank of America, 2 at Wal-Mart), 1 quarter (at Wal-Mart)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Last night's coins were OK.

One half wasn't anything.

3,420 quarters turned up seven Canadians, one Bahamas 25¢, two US nickels and a parking token. I recognized the parking token. It is the same type used at Henry's doctor's office.

2,300 dimes had two silver Rosies (1946, 1960D), six Canadians, one UK 5 pence and one US penny.

2,560 nickels yielded one dateless Buffalo, six Canadians (2 Ni), one Bahamas 5¢ and one US penny. Included in the batch was key date Jefferson, the 1938S.

Monday, January 11, 2010

This weekend's halves were so-so. 8,000 of them turned up three 90% silver halves (3 x 1964), thirty-one 40% silver halves (1965, 3 x 1966, 10 x 1967, 8 x 1968D, 9 x 1969D) and four proofs (1973S, 2 x 1979S, 1980S).

I also finished some pennies. 7,200 of them turned up twenty-two Wheats, two hundred four Canadians, six US dimes and one Euro 2¢ (Netherlands). In the batch was also one stamped penny. It has a small shamrock on the front near the date. The Wheats were:

1927, 1935, 1936(3), 1937, 1941, 1944(3), 1945(2), 1947D, 1951D, 1953, 1953D, 1955(2), 1956(2), 1957D, 1958D

On Sunday I finished my first book of 2010, The Darkest Jungle: The True Story of the Darien Expedition and America's Ill-Fated Race to Connect the Seas, by Todd Balf. The book details an 1854 US expedition to northern Columbia to investigate the possibility of a canal (south of the current Panama Canal). The expedition was led by Issac Strain (1821-1857) and attempted to cross the isthmus from the Atlantic side to the Pacific side. They set out in search of a rumored gap between mountains. The gap was found not to exist. The small party's continue descent to the Pacific became a very long trial of disease and starvation as they wrongly followed a river that indirectly led to the Pacific. Strain eventually forged ahead with a few other members of the party and was able to rescue the rest of the party with British help. I found Balf's book pretty readable. The book contains some of the best notes I've come across for such a book. Twenty pages at the end describe, chapter by chapter, the sources he used. Reading these notes really helped me appreciate the excellent job Balf did combining the existing original sources, some modern jungle research and his own Darien hiking experiences.

Found: 5 pennies (1 at Bank of America, 1 at the BBQ restaurant, 2 at Costco, 1 at the doctor's office), 1 dime (at Target)

Friday, January 8, 2010

7,450 pennies turned up thirteen Wheats, four hundred six Canadians, one Euro 2¢ (Portugal) and one US dime. In the mix was a new US variety for me, the 2009 Presidency. The Wheats were:

1935, 1940, 1944, 1946D, 1947, 1950, 1952D, 1953D, 1954D, 1955, 1957D(2), 1958

Let's hope that's the last of the Canadians pennies!!

I also came across a new US quarter, the 2009P Northern Mariana Islands, in change.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

O Canada

Two days ago I got a call from a bank I haven't been to in a while. They told me they had $600 in halves. I asked who had brought them in. "An older customer," they said. That sounded promising so I told them I'd be in the next day. The rolls seem to be from two sources. Two thirds of them are definitely someone's dump coins as they were rewrapped in bank wrappers. The other third is presumably from the older customer. They were marked "REG" (Regular) and "BICI" (Bicentennial). That's not a particular promising sign. I was looking for "SILVER," but alas there weren't any. Fortunately "REG" to this customer included 40% silver coins. In all 1,200 halves produced thirteen 40% silver halves (4 x 1966, 5 x 1967, 3 x 1968D, 1969D).

1,600 nickels had one dateless Buffalo, one War Time (1942S), five Canadians (2 Ni) and one Mexico $20 (1985). That's another new Mexican variety for me!

2,500 pennies turned up twelve Wheats, five hundred fifty-three Canadians and one US dime. This batch had over 20% Canadian! Yikes. I hope the other bunch from the same bank that I haven't searched yet doesn't produce the same. In this batch was a Wheat I had only found once before, the 1937S. This copy is an upgrade. The Wheats were:

1930, 1937S, 1944, 1944S, 1945(2), 1949D, 1955, 1956, 1957D(3)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Last night I did fairly well with a big batch of coin.

100 halves produced one 40% silver half (1968D).

6,000 quarters turned up two silver Washingtons (1957D, 1964), seventeen Canadians, one French franc, one South Korean 100 Won, four US nickels and one Mexican 50 Pesos (1985). The Mexican coin is a new variety for me.

9,500 dimes yielded four silver Rosies (1956, 3 x 1964), seventeen Canadians, one UK 5 pence, seven US pennies, one rubber circle and one Mexican 5 Pesos (1985). That's another new Mexican variety for me, two in one night!

Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 In Review Part 1

Last night I had a slow start to 2010's coin searching, 240 quarters, 150 dimes, 80 nickels and 250 pennies only produced one Canadian penny. Oh well.

Here's 2009 in review, first the books:

As for books, I read twenty-two books in 2009, that's two fewer than 2008. This past year I read way more exploration/adventure books than the year before. I didn't read much else. I also read a lot more books about Asia than I thought I did; so many I had to break them into two categories. This year I hope to read even more original source material, more books about North and South America, more straight non-fiction and hopefully some books about some artists I like. The books were:

Far East Adventure

A Description of the Kingdom of Siam by Engelbert Kaempfer*
Samurai William: The Englishman Who Opened Japan by Giles Milton
River Road to China: The Search for the Source of the Mekong, 1866-73 by Milton E. Osbourne
Mad about the Mekong: Exploration and Empire in South -East Asia by John Keay
Travels in the Central Parts of Indo-China (Siam), Cambodia, and Laos, during the Years 1858, 1859, and 1860 by Henri Mouhot*
Nathaniel's Nutmeg: How One Man's Courage Changed the Course of History by Giles Milton
Kaempfer's Japan: Tokugawa Culture Observed by Engelbert Kaempfer*
The White Headhunter by Nigel Randell

Central Asian Adventure

Aurel Stein: Pioneer of the Silk Road by Annabel Walker
Aurel Stein On the Silk Road by Susan Whitfield
Through a Land of Extremes: The Littledales of Central Asia by Nicholas and Elizabeth Clinch
My Life as an Explorer by Sven Hedin*

African Adventure

White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and North Africa's One Million European Slaves by Giles Milton
Caliban's Shore: The Wreck of the Grosvenor and the Strange Fate of Her Survivors by Stephen Taylor
Two Early Maps of Southern Africa: A Discovery in Sweden by Christer Blomstrand
Lake Ngami, or Explorations and Discoveries during Four Year' Wanderings in the the Wilds of South West Africa by Charles J. Andersson*

American Adventure

Humboldt's Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Epic Journey of Discovery that Changed the Way We See the World by Gerard Helferich
Maya Explorer: John Lloyd Stephens and the Lost Cities of Central America and Yucat√°n by Victor W. Von Hagen
The Lost City of Z : A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann


Odd Tom Coryate: The English Marco Polo by R.E. Pritchard
The Voyage of the Beagle by James Taylor
Coins of England and the United Kingdom 2009 by Philip Skingley

*original source

Found: 1 dime (outside the Shell)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Despite snow, sickness and some screw-ups this weekend was good to us. Things started a bit shaky when we got rejected by two attempts to go to a restaurant on New Year's Eve (I'm not sure what we were thinking.). Our situation improved a lot on New Year's Day. Meg made a great brunch for some friends of ours. I had a great time conversing with some other dads and all the kids played well together, no injuries and not too much craziness. That evening we went out to dinner with my parents. (Taking Henry to a restaurant isn't too bad, when you have four adults to walk him around the place when he gets bored.) On Saturday we shoveled snow, played in the snow, napped and read. Sunday was just about the same.

We sure would have liked to get out of the house more and I hope Meg's able to take Henry somewhere to play today, but despite that I think it was a good start to the year. Usually weekends are more tiring for Meg and I than we would like and are a bit stressful when Henry gets stir-crazy, but once the weekend is past I usually just think of all of the fun times we had and during this weekend there were many. Every weekend with Meg and Henry beats all the weekends I had before I met Meg, even if we don't leave the house!

If you listen carefully in the above video you can hear Henry say, "plane, high."

Here's a photo of Meg Henry took. He was walking around the house taking self-portraits and I somehow convinced him to "put Mommy in the camera" and take this photo.

Above is a shot of Henry playing with a "Momma bus" and a "baby bus." Lately Henry has begun labeling everything small as baby something and everything big as Momma/Dizz something. He also refers to himself as baby now.

The year in coins started out pretty well for me with this week's halves. 8,100 halves turned up eleven 90% silver halves (1918S, 1947D, 1952, 1957D, 1962, 1963, 4 x 1964, 1964D), thirty-one 40% silver halves (2 x 1966, 6 x 1966, 10 x 1967, 8 x 1968D, 4 x 1969D, 1969S) and two proof halves (1969S, 1989S). Finding a new Walker felt pretty good. I hope I find another Barber half. These very worn, old Walkers make it seem like I'm getting close ... if there is such a thing. The 1969S is a decent upgrade to the best example I had found.

I also finished my last book of 2009, The Lost City of Z : A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, by David Grann. I got the book for my birthday and had heard about it on NPR. Exploration books isn't what the author usually writes, but this is a great start. The book is mostly a biography of Percy Fawcett (1867-1925?), a hard driving, British explorer who became obsessed with finding El Dorado deep in the Amazon. (For some unknown reason he labeled his El Dorado, "Z.") Fawcett went missing in 1925 while looking for his "Z" with his son and a family friend. Grann combines this biography with his personal story of research and adventure concerning Fawcett and others ill-fated attempts to find Fawcett. I had a tough time believing in Fawcett's quest, seems unbelievable to me, or that Grann had any hope of finding out what really happened to Fawcett after some 80 years, but otherwise the book is really good; it's exceptionally readable.

Redeemd (2009): $10.45