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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

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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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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Pieces of Italy

My wife and I are coming up on a pretty significant day for us and I've joked that it caps off a sequence of special Fridays. 12/25 - Christmas 1/1 - New Year's Day 1/8 - The NGC/PMG Awards announcement 1/15 - Our 5th Wedding Anniversary. One of the things my wife has talked very fondly of the entire time I've known her is her memories of the time they spent in Italy when she was young. I was finishing up putting her father's old coin bag in flips today (I'll have t

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Revenant in European Pocket Change

Living fast and hard as a penny… and other updates.

Sam has been doing well since having the shunt put in but he’s having trouble getting through all his feeds without help. He hasn’t had a brady in days though. We’re trying to see if we might be able to (finally) bring him home, even if it’s with an NG (nasogastric) tube to supplement his feeds. I went to the hospital yesterday to learn how to “install” the tube. I do not know who came up with the idea of using the word “install” to describe threading a tube into an infant’s nose, through his th

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USPS: Keeping those standards high!

Well, I've been wondering when the certificates were going to arrive this year since the plaques are already in - the plaques almost never arrive first. I go to the mailbox with the family this morning and I'm treated to this: All I can do is just sit here and shake my head and think, "Really? For Serious?" I know those folks aren't having the best time right now but... really? Yeah. Technically, NGC didn't stamp "do not bend" on it, but, why else would you ship

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Well, I could definitely see this causing some marital strife if not handled well, but then, I try to be clever.

A few months ago, my wife got this ring light to use when she’s doing her web-based English lessons with Chinese students (13 time zones away). Up to this point she’d been using the modeling lights on some old cheap strobes I had to do her lighting. I went head and got this ring light for her because 1) using the strobes just for the modeling lights is inefficient (they’re power hogs) and 2) the strobes generate a lot of waste heat, which heats up the room and can make her uncomfortable when tea

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Test of Concept With the Ring Light:

I got a little time today where Shandy had both the kids occupied and I decided to get that ring light out and go for it to get some proof of concept shots. I decided to snap some quick shots of something I’ve taken pictures of recently so I can compare the shots I get this way to some recently taken shots done the way I’ve been doing them lately (camera on the floor with an LED on a speedlight). So, I grabbed my 1880 10G. Old photos taken the old way: New Photos taken with the R

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An NGC MS66 Netherlands 1875 10G

I took Shandy and the baby to the airport yesterday for that trip to New York that did end up happening. She was stuck at the airport for 3.5 hours of flight delays with the baby but fortunately the baby slept through most of it and it wasn't too stressful for her. She's in New York with her mom and having a blast. Before I drove her to the airport though I finally decided to pull the trigger on an 1875 Netherlands 10G coin that I'd been looking at. There is no exciting tale of finding

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Bringing them all out.

My mother and step-father paid me a visit today to see me and Ben. My step-father decided to bring out all of the birth year sets we've built and the Texas Commemorative set with them. This was prompted in part by the fact that I'd been getting the coins one or two boxes at a time to try to re-image some of the sets and get pictures of some of the coins I didn't have pictures of. In the process of this I found that it seemed like a few of the upgraded coins hadn't been inserted with their g

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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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Revenant in Family

5 Years

So yesterday was our 5th anniversary - we are over 6 years into the relationship. The 5th anniversary is supposed to be “Wood” so my wife had considered getting me a challenge coin / coin holder make of wood with the idea of putting a coin that relates to us / our relationship in it, but I don’t really have a coin that fits that bill - the closest I had was that Standing Liberty half she got me as an anniversary present last year, and, since it is in a slab, it wouldn’t have worked for this

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Revenant in Gold Eagle

Some coin fun at Renfest today.

My wife and I went to Renfest today, childfree, while her parents had our sons. While there I found a "penny" on the ground only to find that it was some weird, penny-like token with a Jolly-roger on it. I'll see if I can get pictures of it to share later. Later on in the day I was given a 1974 half dollar in change - and I couldn't even tell you the last time that happened. No one ever has half dollars these days. I didn't keep it though. I tossed it into a tip jar later in the day.

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The 63rd Houston Money Show

Shandy took the kids to spend the day with her parents in Deer Park and that left me free to go to this show after Naked Angel put me on to it a few days ago. I debated not going and just spending the day alone at the house – quiet time alone at the house is a valuable thing. The show, while being the “Houston” Money show was also actually in Conroe and it was a 45 mile, 65 minute drive to get to it, which isn’t a trivial commute. Still, I don’t get opportunities like this a lot and I ultim

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We’ll call that an effective ad / offer

About a week ago I got an email from NGC with a coupon code and offer for $10 off any tier of paid membership, which would have made the lowest ($25) level just $15 for a year. I’ve been debating becoming a paid member again for a while as some may be aware from past entries, but this lowered the threshold for doing so enough to get me to go ahead and do it. Honestly, as much time as I spend on here lately, I think it makes sense to support the site / company a little directly, even thoug

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Feeding Daddy’s Money to the Puppy

I’ve made references to a piggy bank in a previous journal but one thing I don’t know if I’ve discussed is what the piggy bank is. The piggy bank is a small dog that has been in my possession since I was around Ben’s age, plus or minus a bit - I was too young to remember. This is one of two piggy banks that I still have from this early period of my life. The other one is metal, but it no longer works as a piggy bank because I lost the door that goes on the bottom of it to keep the coin

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Looks like I’ve won this one: It’s a family thing now

My wife’s parents recently went on a trip to Europe - the Netherlands and parts of Italy / Rome. They asked about ideas of things to bring back for us / Ben. I linked them to the Penny Collector website and brought up the idea of bringing back some elongated cents for Ben’s penny book. They got him a couple of pennies for his book. I’m guessing they used Euro Cent coins for the press because they’re slightly larger than the ones we’ve been getting / making here and they just BARE

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I think I'm over the cliche souvenirs

My wife's mother is offering to take her on a trip with her to New York City in a couple of weeks. This would mean she'd be taking the baby an leaving me at home with the 3 year old for three days. She was asking me if there was anything I'd like her to bring back and the answer was, honestly, no. I went to New York myself when I was 11 and I got a few things from that trip, one or two of which I still have to this day. Those mean more to me than anything that she'd bring back from a t

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A nice "birthday present" from PMG.

I got a nice "birthday present" from PMG today: They featured one of my Zimbabwe note sets! https://www.pmgnotes.com/news/article/7791/PMG-Registry-News/ Granted, it's not actually my birthday, but it's close, and I don't think my birthday had anything to do with the timing of this, but it's fun none-the-less. My actual birthday present also arrived in the mail today, ordered just a few days before I found out this article was coming out - it's a group of new notes for my 2nd doll

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This time I totally bought the label

I know the first rule of collecting in registry-ville is “buy the coin, not the label,” but the coin I got in the mail at the end of this week was all about the label. A 2019, 1/4th oz American Gold Eagle, Early Release, Blue label, graded MS70. In 2007, I bought a MS70 1/4th oz AGE for my 21st birthday. It was my first ever gold purchase, 2 years before I started the 10G set. When Ben was born, I bought a 1/4th oz 2016 AGE in MS70 to celebrate and one day give it to hi

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Unexpectedly Revisiting the Family Mint Sets

About 11 years ago now, during my last year as an undergraduate, I helped by step-father build a group of mint sets - one for all of our birth years. We worked together on it all summer, hunting down coins and mint sets, sifting through mint sets looking for coins that we would later submit ourselves, going to coin shows together. It was a lot of great fun and when it was all said and done we completed most of the sets. The 1958, 1982, and 1983 sets remained unfinished. We were going to try

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Odd purchase

Recently (I think it was Thanksgiving), I was at my mother's house for a holiday and my mother came in and showed me a "coin." It was trying to be a 1795 silver dollar but it was a bad fake. It's the kind of thing that you take one look at and you know it isn't real. Didn't feel right and you know pretty much immediately that it isn't silver and the weight is off. I got to thinking about this again today after looking at yet another post wondering if a similar looking 1795 silver dollar was real

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Looks like the MS65 is coming home to me!

Well, when I made the last entry I was really leaning towards the MS66. By the time I went to bed on Saturday I had pretty much convinced myself that the MS66 was the way to go and that I should bid aggressively to make sure I got that coin. So then why am I writing this, saying that I bid on and won the MS65 tonight and why am I so stinkin’ happy about it that my wife is snickering about it at my expense? Well, my basis for thinking that the MS66 was the way to go was thinking it look

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Revisiting an old project.

I was really excited to collect the presidential dollar series in 2007 and 2008 when they were just starting out. The US History buff in me loved the idea of the set even though they were mostly a naked effort by the US Congress and the US Mint to keep the music playing as the statehood quarters series was winding down (which they did with the America the beautiful quarters). Then, of course, the effort got promptly dropped but not quite entirely forgotten in 2009 when I had to start getting rea

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My son is Houdini. I can't sell this couch now I think.

A couple of months ago I took a buffalo silver round out just to play around with. It goes missing in the living room shortly thereafter, never to be seen again, months later. The other day Ben wants to have "big big monies," so I get out a fake "copy" silver eagle and give him that to play with. I figure, "Whatever, it's not even silver." Shortly thereafter he looses it in / around the couch and I can't find it. He's all bummed about it so, whatever, I give him another one. He looses it ag

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So… Why the Rooster?

Ever since I purchased my 1913 20 Franc French Rooster last year, I’ve been wondering why the French government would have made a coin that so prominently featured this bird. My curiosity was peaked further when I saw the older Winged Freedom design and saw that it also had a rooster on it, although, in that case, the rooster was much smaller and was not a dominant design feature. As it turns out, the answer is pretty easy to find online, but It’s just taken me a year to invest the effort i

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