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9:47 a.m. - November 30, 2006
You Can Keep Your Marxist Ways, Because It's Only Just A Phase
It was another thrilling night of adventure in Chalet Smed last night.

I didnít feel well after work (damn Cheez-It Thins and Skittles) and took a nap. Liz was feeling pretty sub-par as well, and really, we had no energy. So soon after we watched a TiVoed SVU (Two things: A Ė Itís not as interesting when heís not UnStabler. B Ė If Benson and Stabler do it Iím going to fly to wherever Dick Wolf is and punch him in the groin) Liz went to bed.

Our computer was acting all janky (for some reason itís very slow like thereís a program open all the time Ė yet all thatís really going on is the system idle process) so I watched some of the Purdue game andÖ

Öwait for itÖ

Ögot my collection of state quarters and made sure that I had all of them.

Our house is a bit of a mess with some projects going on, and for a while I had misplaced my little container that has one of each state quarter in them. (For those of you outside the US, the US Mint is minting five unique quarters a year, and the back has something that commemorates one of the States of the Union. This is the eighth year theyíve done it, and only two more years to go. Hereís more info in case you are bored silly.)

So I found the container, and some other quarters I had stashed around and went to see if I was missing any, or had any duplicates in the container.

Sure enough, I had 39 of them, with the only one I donít have being South Dakota, which was just released.

So then I went to the kitchen and looked at our two small baskets Ė both of which contained such things as screws, keys, collar stays, a cuff link (I canít find the other) and change.

There was plenty of change in those baskets. So, Mr. OCD went to work here. First, I got all of the silver change out of each basket, then I put all of the pennies in one basket and put the various and sundry small accoutrements in the other basket.

The pennies will go into Katieís ducky bank at some point, as weíre starting to teach her about money. But I combined the nickels, dimes and quarters with the extra quarters from the state quarter container, and counted it.

I had $9.55 in change. Wow.

(Oh, I also had $0.55 Canadian. Hey Elgan, can I get something at Tim Hortonís for that??)

This morning, I went to my car and looked at where I stash the change. Sometimes I have a lot in there, and then I whittle it down over a few weeks by paying for small purchases all in change, or providing exact change for lunch. (This always causes consternation at Wendyís, because they are efficient here and have the change ready for you if you pay with a ten or something, so when you give them $10.38 for your $6.38 lunch they have to take the coins they had in their hand already, put them back in the drawer, then take your coins, count them, and put them in the drawer. Tough noogies, I want me some folding money!)

In my car I had $5.05 in change.

So overall, on my desk right now, there is $14.60 in change. Lord knows how many pennies are at home.

It doesnít seem like spare change now, does it? I mean, you can do a lot with $14.60. And the funny thing is, it doesnít seem like itís real money, does it? Itís not paper money, itís change. And yes, I suppose I should probably save it up for a poker game or something, but still, itís the concept. I could go to the store and get a couple of steaks, or a halfway OK bottle of wine, and not think Iím spending any REAL money.

Sure you may get some evil looks, but you know, itís legal tender!

It just gave me something to think about. Now, Iím no miser (heavens no) but once in a while I get concerned about money. But I donít give two shakes about the change in the house.

I used to care, though, when I was a kid. I had a bank that was shaped like a Tootsie Roll. My parents got that for me Ė and originally it was full of Tootsie Rolls, but then it could be used as a bank.

My Dad put all of his pennies in that bank, and then, when it was full, we went to the bank and I handed the Tootsie Roll bank to the teller. She went to a neat machine that counted up the pennies, and then we put that money in my savings account.

You know, back when banks did stuff like that. Some of you younginís may scratch your head Ė but no banks actually counted the change for you and encouraged you to SAVE money! Wow, what a concept.

Now, though, I just callously unload my pockets of change if I hadnít already put it in the compartment of my car that holds change, and not care that thereís a decent amount already in the house and you could go buy SOMETHING with it.

Because, you know, you have to spend money, right?

Anyway, I guess the point is that you have hidden treasure everywhere in life. And ahoy, matey, Iíve got $14.60.

Oh, and the other point is that sometimes I lead a life on the edge, as you can see. As I was counting the coins I was teetering on the precipice of life and death.

Well, figuratively. I actually was standing in our kitchen listening to my iPod. But in my heart and soul I was teetering.


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