Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year everyone!

We had a pretty good long weekend at our house. First up it was Christmas, Pt. II at my in-law's house. We had a nice day visiting everyone, exchanging gifts and eating on Saturday. I've got a year's supply of adventure/disaster books! On Sunday we visited some more relatives (not Henry's finest moment) and drove back home. At home we were greeted by nine inches of snow that had fallen on our driveway and walkways. We parked on the street, dashed inside holding the kids and began the cleanup. Using my father's old snow blower - now my new snow blower I made short work of the snow! That machine might be my best gift of the season. Already I've saved myself 3-4 hours from two storms.

On Monday we had a good time at Nana and Grandpa's showing off Henry's new plasma car thing and eating a special New Year's Eve dinner Meg made for us. Nobody stayed up for the new year in our house (although perhaps Hazel sort of did, because she's been sleeping so poorly for days). On New Year's Day we took the kids sledding at a local park with a small hill. We had a blast. Both Henry and Hazel did really well. This was their first time being sent off by themselves. So well I find it tough to believe. Henry tumbled over a few times, but laughed it off with no problems and carried his sled back to the top of the hill with no complaints. I had tons of fun pushing down hill with pushes of "100," than "110" and "111" (I'm not sure what unit of measure Henry used for these push strength requests). He and I even went down the hill a couple of times together. Hazel slid down in her little red sled kind of slowly, but fast enough for her and then waiting patiently for Meg and I to pull her back up. Hazel will definitely appreciate a new faster sled sometime soon. Henry told me he'll be ready for a bigger hill when he's five.

Here's some pictures.

Here's a small circuit Henry set up all by himself (with Hazel assisting).

I also don't want to forget several exchanges we had with the kids.

One morning I was trying to explain to Hazel that both Mommy and Daddy had two names. She told me, "Baby has two names." "Oh yeah," I said. "I show you." She then picked up her doll and showed me Baby's neck where it is etched, "Made in China."

While reading a new train book with Meg one night Henry asked what the stuffed buffalo heads were in the book. Meg said, "some buffalo heads." Henry said, "those buffalo heads are pretend. Little kids think they are real, but they're not."

I have decided to make some usual New Year's resolutions for myself. One, give up caffeine, and two, eat better. Hopefully those can last until Lent when I'll try to recommit myself to these promises. The biggest change for this year will be coins. I've decided to retire from coin roll hunting and pursue another hobby. It's been a good 5½ run. It was a difficult decision to make initially as there are some coins I wish I would've found. If only I could have found the 1938D Wheat penny! Once I got it in my head I wanted to spend time doing something else, however, it was tough to justify spending time going through so many rolls for not much gain. I actually feel quite relieved not to spend so much time picking up and getting rid of the coin and orchestrating everything in my head.

I'll probably sum things up in a blog post soon, but until then I did some quick spreadsheet calculations this morning and came up with the following numbers from my 5½ year search effort:

Total Coins: 11,483,793
Total Dollar Amount: $1,978,511.75
Total Weight*: 127,750.68 pounds or 63.875 tons

(* I ignored the small fraction of coins that weren't the standard clad weight coins and multiplied the total number of each denomination by the clad weight, except for pennies. For pennies I used a weight of 2.620, which factored in 20% of the older coin weight.)

8,000 half dollars produced ten 40% silver halves (1965, 2 x 1967, 5 x 1968D, 2 x 1969D) and six proof halves (1971S, 1973S, 1977S, 1978S, 2 x 1979S).

8,750 pennies turned up ninety-eight Wheats, one hundred ten Canadians, two Euro 2¢, one Bermuda 1¢, one Zambia 1¢, one Canadian dime, twenty-six US dimes and one US nickel.

1917S, 1929, 1929S, 1930, 1934, 1935, 1936(2), 1938, 1939(2)