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About this journal

This journal was originally to record my thoughts on collecting and building my Netherlands Wilhelm III Gold 10 Gulden Set and other projects like  my modern silver bullion NCLT sets. When it got started in the summer of 2007 I was single, in my early 20's, and working on my B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering. Starting in 2016, with my marriage and the birth of my first son, Benjamin, much of my writing has focused on raising my sons to have a love of collecting coins and exonumia and discussing how my collecting occurs in the context of my marriage and life overall.

Entries in this journal

What I would be doing if I still didn’t have kids…

There are days when I really wish this was still the summer of 2006 and I could spend an entire week searching rolls of pennies looking for things to put in my Whitman folders or looking through rolls of dimes and quarters looking to see if there might be any old silver ones in there like I see other people talking about on Facebook and Reddit. There are times lately when I wish I had the chance to try to beat the personal record I set for myself when I made a 19.5 inch tall column of pennies th

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Well, that happened.

A number of months ago, when surprised, I just said, "Well, that happened," and Ben latched onto it and started using the phrase. Sometimes he would look to me when something happened and say, "Was that a thing that happened?" "Yup." We live in Houston as most of you who read this know and apparently, from my coworkers, news of our misery the week of President's day has been a topic even in the UK and Europe. Our water was in and out from Monday to about Thursday the 18th - but even wh

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We may yet buy a house this month...

So we (finally) got an appraisal back on the house. It was supposed to be delivered Tuesday and we were assured it always comes in on or before the due date and... the appraiser missed due date... This ends a 3-week saga that led us to leave the lender we'd been planning to use for someone else local because they were not getting the appraisal scheduled, weren't interested in doing anything to move the process forward and we were in danger of missing our closing date over it. We'd been all

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We made an offer on a house on 4/20! ... and now we wait.

We put in an offer on a house on 4/20! We started negotiating on 4/19 but the seller didn't accept until 4/20 and that's when we put in the bid contract - which is the only thing that matters under Texas law. We're still waiting on confirmation that they have signed it to put the house under contract after most of yesterday was lost to hashing out a minor issue in the draft of the contract we signed and submitted on 4/20, so we re-signed and resubmitted yesterday and... fingers cr

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The Zoo reminding him of some things and renewing interest.

Ben has been off for Spring break all week and Shandy took him back to the zoo.  While he was there, he asked for this "gold" "tiger" (Lion) coin, which she got for him, and she said Ben was showing some interest in the penny crushers again, but she hadn't brought pennies and quarters so they couldn't do that. The elongated cent albums kind of dropped out a couple of years ago when COVID hit and we stopped going anywhere, including the zoo, so we weren't getting any pennies. I guess we'll n

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The Queen's Beasts continue... Ben making out like a bandit

I haven't been posting to this journal as much lately because my focus has been on my Zimbabwe note set the last 2-3 weeks and so I've been posting over on the PMG side - go look if you actually want to see me ramble about that hyperinflation set some more. I think I mentioned this before but I recently convinced my wife to let me violate the normal limits on my budget and use part of that Stimulus check to buy some of the coins I needed for my queen's beast sets - the last 2 Yales I needed

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The joys of the junk box... it goes beyond coin collecting.

I took Ben to that game store today while Shandy and the baby were napping to kill some time while we were waiting for the sellers to finally vacate the new house - it was the last day of the leaseback and they were clearly unprepared and determined to drag things out all day. We didn't get the keys until 8:30 PM after telling us 5PM and cussed me out and left the house dirty when I challenged him on it, but we won't dwell there. I don't want this to be about that. Anyway... There was a bin

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The first shunt revision

Well, when I was posting last time Sam was napping and we were getting ready to take him to Urgent Care hoping all the grabbing of his head and crankiness was an ear ache. It wasn't an ear ache. We had a shunt revision today and it looks like his shunt catheter, which we already knew had shifted, had nearly completely failed and it wasn't draining fluid and pressure effectively. He should hopefully be discharged tomorrow for a 1-2 week light recovery. We're told he "beat the odds"

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The 500L lots and wanting to look at the gold

The other day over the weekend I decided to finally pull those 500 Lire coins I'd ordered out and look at them to see if I'd gotten anything good / promising. I'd been wanting to look at these for a while knowing it would be kind of shot-in-the-dark and I might have something good or I might have gotten nothing. I thought I'd sit down and look while Shandy napped with Sam and Ben watched TV. But, somewhat to my surprise, Ben took notice and wanted to look at them with me and was asking if t

Testing the capacity of an NGC Label and completing the move.

I've been talking and thinking about starting a set of the Innovation Dollars to show the boys as they get older and a seller on eBay gave me an offer for this after I watched it so I decided to bite. After shipping it cost me $20. At that price it just becomes fun impulse buy at a stressful time. I thought it was worth it to begin the journey of about 50 coins with this one. I think I will make a set of these, but in the near term I think my focus will be adding a few more presidents to that ol

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Taking my shiny right out of my hands, but getting away with it for being cute.

Following up on my last post, just  for fun. I'd left the 2018 American Innovation coin on my dresser. I picked it up and was going to take it to join the other coins. Sam was in the room and it caught his eye and he demanded that I hand it over. He proceeded to walk around with it, wave it around and look at it. I think this is one of those times when you just have to say "what the heck," and let them have it. Worst case scenario is he manages to break something I couldn't break

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Survived that weekend...

Well, we got the negative Covid test from my Nephew late Friday, but by then my wife and Sam were already at the ER because Sam gave us the scare of our lives when he stopped talking and we were worried he might be having seizures or some other issue and might have shunt failure. Two nights at the hospital later, short on a lot of sleep, we came back home on Sunday after a day of observation saying, "we'll watch for now, move up some of his other tests and appointments and see if we see any more

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Starting work on PawPaw's coins

Some of the 2x2s I ordered came in today and Ben wanted to play with them not really understanding what they were so I agreed to work with him with them when Sam was napping. We sat down with the bag of coins from PawPaw and the staplers and tried to put some in the 2x2s. He lost interest quickly. He still struggles with the stapler. He's young. He doesn't get it fully. I'm easily more interested in these than he is, but maybe that'll change with time. He's four. I still need to remember th

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Some Updates… That escalated quickly... very quickly.

Sam’s intensive therapy is over. Yay! His last day was actually the Thursday I posted about getting the plaque in the mail. Three weeks of stress and crying and having a generally unhappy 2-year-old can end – but it was for his own good, and he did great. He’s supposed to continue to wear a cast and restrict his left hand one day a week and one meal a day to continue the development of motor skills with his right hand, but that hopefully won’t be as contentious. Shandy and I both got the fi

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So we wait...

Well, no grades yesterday. So that’s three weeks almost / 13 working days in “Grading/Encapsulation/Imaging” without getting grades back. When the submission arrived on 6/7/21 or 6/8/21 the listed turnaround was 49 working days and the coins have now been at NGC for 65 or 66 working days as of Monday. And I really don’t care if the turnaround now is 85 working days - it was 49 when mine arrived, it was 49 for over a month of the time they’ve been there, and it was only later raised to 61, and we

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So that was definitely for him.

Yesterday was the Bday. I finally found out what Ben's present for me was and it was swords... a set of 6 foam swords. Which he has had great fun running around with and playing with, including with his mother while I'm working. I'm so glad that those are mine. Clearly. They don't hurt when you get hit with them though so I guess that is a form of gift. A form of one... My in-laws gifted me an Uncirc 2020 SAE, which is nice - after some recent discussions here though and current silver pri

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Parents 20 years ago didn't have to deal with this nonsense...

Off-topic but... Some days it begins to feel like a game of "What has my 4 year old managed to get me charged for this time?" A couple of months ago he managed to get us signed up to Amazon Music for a month. Last month he managed to upgrade my Netflix account to "Premium" - so now we can have 3 screens going at once instead of 2 - and it costs me $3 more a month. I was just looking at one of the credit card bills, seeing a 5 dollar charge and thinking, "Oh no... What did he

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Not just marking time...

I posted on 1/12/2019 about winning the 2018 Journal award and mentioned that, pretty much at the same time as I found out about that, that I'd gotten a paper accepted for publication. I didn't really go into this at the time but it was a paper co-authored with my graduate advisor - who passed away on September 11, 2018. He's the person I decided to name Sam after. I didn't know it at the time but I posted that entry exactly 1 month before Sam's surprise early birth - the "first published" date

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My Wife Just Used the ANA Money Museum to Tempt Me...

She loves to travel and she desperately wants to get out and take a trip somewhere and is brainstorming all of these ideas about where to go and what to do when this is over. She's looking at taking a vacation for a long weekend to Colorado. In the middle of her research she figured out that the ANA Money Museum is in Colorado and she's trying to use a day there to tempt me into getting excited and agreeing to the idea. Does she know me too well or think I sell too cheap? That is the q

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It's that time of year again...

My birthday is coming up. I never would have thought we'd still be isolating and limiting our contact with people for 6 months and I'd be looking forward to a birthday in isolation but... here we are. This also means it's another one of those moments where my wife starts trying to figure out how she can give me a nice surprise without me knowing what it is or outright picking it myself. So I've been updating my Amazon wishlist for her and others in my family because I know they check it.

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It comes to a head: The 2nd revision

To borrow phrasing from my wife, Somethings have been odd with Samuel for a while. After getting a fast MRI (which had been delayed by him getting sick the day before the scan) the doctor wasn’t convinced by those results but was concerned by our observations of his behavior and wanted a CT. After getting a CT this morning, they told us to turn back around and come to the ER. We suspect a clog / slow failure – all four ventricle spaces have enlarged; some have nearly doubled. But they’re just go

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I have a coin for that...

My wife somewhat randomly brought up about a week ago that she and I are both "Tigers" - We were both born in the year of the Tiger for the Chinese Zodiac - 1986 specifically. She teaches English to Chinese kids and what brought this up was some parents had been asking other teachers if their young child was a "pig," meaning born in 2019, which was the year of the pig, which Samuel is, as it happens. So this got her curious and she looked up what we were and what Ben and Sam were and what t

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Haunting my childhood with my Son

The move has brought us back closer to Shandy's Parents and to mine, but it has also brought me back to being close to an old game store i used to go to as a high schooler, some 16-17 years ago. Ben has been missing going to the game store by the old house - we were lucky in that it was only half a mile or so from home - so today I took him to the old card and game store I went to all those years ago. It wasn't like going to the other store used to be - in this case its still 10 miles and a

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Happy Father's Day

I know quite a few of us that frequent this place are also fathers. Shandy let me sleep in this morning and, when I got up, she had the boys in Star Wars shirts saying "I am your Son" and one for me that says "I am your Father." I mentioned elsewhere that I had an ebay auction ending late last night. I followed my practice of putting in my best number and going to bed. It so happened that, when I put in my best bid, i was winning it but my bid was maxed out and if anyone else had bid

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Got the award / plaque, now to the Post Office?

A couple of weeks ago now I received the award I'd referenced previously. In true 2020 fashion I got to receive a professional award in a Punisher tshirt and sweatpants. Because the organization wanted good pictures with the newsletter we had to re-do this in a suit and I got the whole family in on it. As the corresponding (and surviving) author, both plaques were sent to me and its my task to mail the other plaque(s) to the other author(s), or, in my case, to his family.

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