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Wrapping up 2016...



Didn't quite go how I'd hoped but it could have been a lot worse.

Tragically in mid-September the downturn in the price of oil hit home and I got laid off with about a dozen other people at the company I worked with. The company had about 90 employees so in context laying off a dozen people is a pretty big deal. It wasn't the end of the world. We'd known for a while that it could happen so we'd been reducing expenses and trying to build savings and there's always unemployment while that lasts so we haven't had to worry too much about paying bills but it put an immediate stop to all coin buying.

I worry that I sound like I'm whining, especially excessively in that I haven't had to sell anything and probably won't, but it was frustrating to realize that all my plans and goals for building certain sets just weren't going to happen -- at least for a while. Man, first the doctorate leaving me no time and no money and now unemployment and a kid leaving me with no money and no time. Does it ever feel like it's just never going to be easy? Ah well. As I said, it could be a lot worse and I'm well aware of it. I am.

It hasn't been all bad though. My wife started looking for work again the same day I was laid off and she's landed her dream job, working in her desired field for the first time since getting her masters. It'll be with a larger system with lots of advancement potential for her in the next 3-7 years and she's excited to hit the ground running and build the career she's always wanted. I'm glad that she's going to have that but I'll admit that I wish it hadn't been timed like this because I was laid off. We both wanted her to get a little more time to stay home with our son.

I've mostly avoided this place for the last 4 months because I usually don't like teasing or tempting myself with things I know I can't indulge in for the time being, but I like checking to see who won the best presented set, journal authors and such so I decided to come back.

I'm happy to see that I managed to stay in the top spot in a couple of important sets to me even though I wasn't able to build them the way I wanted and there's always hope for 2017, once I'm back to work.

In the meantime I've gotten a lot of time with my son, seen him start to crawl, and a few more milestones. I've continued my weight loss efforts as a form of self-improvement project. I was down about 30 pounds from my start (40 from my highest) when I was laid off. Now I'm down about 65 pounds from my starting point after a little less than 7 months. I've gone from wearing tight 2XL shorts and shirts to wearing larges as I raid clearance bins for nice looking tshirts that I can score for under $10 so I don't always walk around wearing old shirts that are starting to look like man-dresses.

On a collecting note though, one of the few things I have gotten away with buying lately (using some money I was given as a Christmas and birthday present): I'm working on building some sets of the new Queen's Beast series -- the silver ones; I'd love to collect the gold coins but even before I was laid off I didn't have that much disposable income. I'm hoping to build 5 sets of the 2 ounce silver coins -- one for me, one for my wife, and one for each of the 3 children we're hoping to have in the end. I've managed to pick up 5 lions (2016). I have 2 griffins (2017). I'm not in a hurry on the griffins because I know the mint will keep producing them to meet demand until they start making the 2018 coin in November, so no need to rush. I really like the look of this series and I'm really excited to see all the designs when they're done. I am wondering though what's going to happen to the obverse if the queen dies before 2025 (seems likely). Anyone have an answer on that front? I haven't been able to find an answer anywhere. It'd be so odd to have the QB series end with her son or grandson on the reverse when the whole series is about Elizabeth II.

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