Where’s Willy

No! That title isn’t for a porno-lite blog post.  There are people and websites that allow you to track the movements of certain currency bills.  I mentioned this a couple of years ago, and it happened again recently.  The son received a 5-dollar bill with whereswilly.com on it.  He graciously donated it to my blog-theme account for the mere fee of….a different 5-dollar bill.

Willy 3

Willy 4

“Willy” is/was Sir Wilfrid (not Wilfred) Laurier, whose stern face graces the Canadian fiver.  The smaller local university began as Waterloo Lutheran University.  As they expanded, and outgrew the religious connection, they took ‘Willy’ as their mascot, and became Wilfrid Laurier University, so that W.L.U. remained W.L.U.  (Saves on paperwork.)

Willy 1

I accessed the website, and entered the bill’s serial number. When I submitted the short report of where I (the son) got it, and its physical condition, I got a webpage which showed where it had originated, and how long/how many miles/kilometers it had been on the road.  If you can read the fine print, Americans are invited to play this game by visiting “Where’s George?”

Willy 2

I was the first one to report this bill since its originator set it loose 174 days, almost six months before. As you can see, (but probably not that map) it began its tattooed journey in a town in Quebec called Listuguj, 1185 KM (750 Mi.) east of here, almost to the end of the Gaspé Peninsula, across the river/bay from New Brunswick.  How and why did it get from there to here?

When I found that it started in a Quebec town, I wondered why it didn’t say, “Ou est Willi?” That was explained when I investigated Listuguj.  I thought that it might have Polish or Czech founders, but it’s actually a treaty M’iq M’aq Indian enclave.

Have any of you got bills like this and/or played this game?

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Eating And Drinking Well

Leftovers

There was a guy who just got out of a really bad
divorce with his wife. One day, he found a
genie’s lamp. The genie came out and said, “Hello
master. I will grant you three wishes but,
whatever you wish for your wife gets double.”

The guy didn’t like that part but he made a wish
anyway. For his first wish, he said, “Genie, I
want a house in Hawaii.” POOF!!! He got one
house, his wife got two. This didn’t make him
happy but, he made his second wish. “Genie, I want
2 billion dollars.” POOF! He got two billion, his
wife four billion. By now, this guy isn’t very
happy. The genie says, “You have one wish left. I
have to remind you, whatever you wish for your
wife gets double.”

The guy says, “Yeah, yeah. I know.”

So the guy thinks real hard and says “I’ve got it!
Genie, beat me half to death!!”

***

Into the neighborhood bar one evening, stomps a strange character. He faces the crowd and yells out, “I’m Big Bill Johnson. I’m new to the area.” He then pounds on the bar, and says, “Barkeep, a Jack and Coke for me, and set up a round for the house. WHEN BIG BILL DRINKS, EVERYBODY DRINKS!”

Well, people are ordering brandy and cognac and champagne. When the fuss dies down, Big Bill knocks back the rest of his glass. He slaps a $5-dollar bill on the bar and shouts, “That there is for my drink. WHEN BIG BILL PAYS, EVERYBODY PAYS.”

***

A cannibal invited a cannibal friend over for
supper one evening. While enjoying the soup, the
friend said, “Your wife sure makes a great soup!”.
The host replied, “Yes, and I’m really going
to miss her.”

***

Two cannibals capture and boil a missionary. After he’s cooked, they pull him out of the big pot and try to decide how to share him. One cannibal says, “Why don’t you start at the bottom, and I’ll start at the top.”

Some time later the ‘head’ cannibal looks down at his friend and asks, “How ya doing?”

His friend replies, “Oh I’m havin’ a ball.”

“You’re eating too fast! Slow down.”

***

With all the new technology regarding fertility recently, a 65-year-old friend of mine was able to give birth. When she was discharged from the hospital and went home, I went to visit.

‘May I see the new baby?’ I asked.
‘Not yet,’ she said. ‘I’ll make coffee and we can talk for a while first.’
Thirty minutes had passed, and I asked, ‘May I see the new baby now?’
‘No, not yet,’ she said.
After another few minutes had elapsed, I asked again, ‘May I see the baby now?’
‘No, not yet,’ replied my friend.
Growing very impatient, I asked, ‘Well, when can I see the baby?’
WHEN HE CRIES!’ she told me.  ‘
When he Cries??’ I demanded. ‘Why do I have to wait until he CRIES?’
BECAUSE I FORGOT WHERE I PUT HIM, OK?!

***

TEENAGERS

Tired of being harassed by your parents?
Act Now!
________________________

Move out! Get a job!
Pay your own damned bills!

Do it soon, while you still know everything.

 

I’m Working On It

office-worker

A young woman had been pounding the pavement in search of a job with no luck. Frustrated, she asked her Dad to look at her résumé.  He didn’t get much farther than the first line of her cover letter before spotting the problem.
“Is it too generic?” she asked.
“I doubt it.” said her father.  “Especially since it’s addressed ‘Dear Sir or Madman.”

***

My friend’s hour-and-a-half commute to work got old quickly – the time spent stuck in traffic was sending him over the edge. So I was happy for him when he found a new job closer to home. “That’s great,” I said.  “What are you doing now?”
“I’m a bus driver.”

***

A secretary liked to yammer on the phone to her friends. One day her boss was going to interrupt her chat to tell her to get back to work, when she looked up at the clock and put an end to the conversation.  “Sorry, I have to hang up now.  It’s time for my break.”

***

Applicants at a company were asked to fill out a questionnaire. Among the things that candidates had to list was their high school, and when they attended.  One prospective employee dutifully wrote the name of his school, followed by the dates attended – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

***

A worker at a new company was annoyed that the company’s automated telephone directory had seriously mangled her last name. She called the person in charge and asked that he fix it. “Sorry,” he said, “All requests must be made by email.”
“Okay,” she said, “just tell me how to email the correct pronunciation of Zuckschwerdt.”

***

Winding his way through the office cubicles, the young boss spotted one of his employees playing a video game on the computer. “Why aren’t you working?” he asked.
The employee had an excellent excuse.  “I didn’t see you coming.”

***

“Good morning.” I said to a co-worker in the parking lot. He mumbled something back, and continued toward the door, obviously distracted.  As we walked, I got close enough to hear what he was muttering to himself.
“It pays the bills. It pays the bill.  It pays the bills.  It pays the bills….”

***

One office manager was a tyrant when it came to keeping the printer area clean. A co-worker printed something, but when he went to pick up the document, it was gone. “You know I throw out anything more than 24 hours old.” the manager told him. “But I just printed it.” my friend insisted.
“Sorry,” she said, “But I’m not in tomorrow.”

***

A business-writing instructor read lots of résumés. Inevitably, he ran across some students with skills no employer could pass up, such as; The young paramedic who makes ‘life-threatening decisions’ every day. A child-care worker who can ‘overlook up to 35 children at one time.’ An entertaining young woman who is ‘flexible enough to perform all manner of positions if the situation gets desperate.’

 

Thoughts On Aging

S6300243

Just some observations on aging;
feel free to ignore if you’re young. 

You know you’re getting older when…

* when TGIF means “thank goodness I’m finished!” because you weren’t actually sure you could MAKE it through the week…

* when you double-book an evening out, not because you have an active social life, but because you forgot to write down your plans so you wouldn’t forget…

* when you watch an 89 yr. old co-worker hobble away and think to yourself, “man, I wish I could still move like that!”

* when your idea of a “perfect moment” involves a foam mattress pad and a cat…

* when “success” for you means the bills got paid on time because A. you managed to put in a full week’s work, and B. you remembered to pay them… (Thank you e-mail reminders)

* when someone asks you if you want to take a walk after work and you literally laugh out loud because you haven’t actually been able to walk after work in years… (especially on Friday!)

Mica - April & May 006

* when your choice of who to wake up with in the morning devolves to non-human species because, frankly, they are a lot less demanding and easier to deal with in the long run… (Mine has mottled fur and golden eyes)…

* when you start choosing food on a menu based on what you can chew, rather than on what actually looks good to eat…

*when the first word of every conversation you have is “what?” Followed immediately by “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear that.”

* when friends and co-workers watch you as walk by, just in case you choose that moment for a “random gravity check”…

* when the music you grew up with (and still love and listen to) is called “classic”…

*when you realize you’d never get through an hour long TV show without that magical rewind button (assuming you can find it, of course!)…

*when you can remember remembering your best friend’s phone number, but now you can’t remember how to look it up…

*when you remember baking your TV dinners in the oven for 35-40 minutes each (“you mean it’s a whole dinner ready in just 45 minutes?  Without using any pans or dishes?!  How cool is that?!”)…

*when you remember the anticipation you used to feel every time the phone rang, wondering who might be calling and if you should answer it.  And the frustration and mystery of not knowing who it was if you didn’t…

*when marketing groups start targeting you for life insurance and retirement homes…

* when panic sets in because you suddenly realize that book club is coming up and you haven’t done the reading yet… (and the fact that you actually wrote the book in question doesn’t help a bit, because you can’t remember what’s in those particular chapters!) and finally…

*when you write a list like this and have to keep checking it to make sure you haven’t repeated yourself…

Of course, in a few more years it probably won’t matter if I keep repeating myself, because I won’t remember to check!

 

Paper Or Plastic?

 

That used to be the question when grocery stores asked how you wanted your purchases packed. Now, here in Canada, it could be the question of how you want your change.

In my Funny Money post of about a year ago, I mentioned that Canada was switching over from paper money, to bills made of polymer plastic.  Working from the Hundred, they’ve finally changed all the bills over, down to the Five, which is the smallest Canadian bill printed, since we replaced the One and Two-Dollar bills with coins several year ago.

Often kidded by Americans about our “Monopoly Money”, I thought they, and perhaps other non-Canadians, might like to see the changes.  These are the most recent, non-plastic 20s, 10s and 5s, first the fronts, and the backs.

SDC10603 SDC10605

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the new polymer versions, again, first fronts, then backs, showing the uneven-shaped clear strip, the security strip, and (hopefully) the holograms.  The first thing I found is that they “talk” to your computer/scanner, and refuse to resolve, to prevent color-copier counterfeiting – after the third try, and checking the computer, and then the scanner.  I finally had to use the digital camera, upload to the computer and hope that they publish.

SDC10599  SDC10600

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At our income levels, hundred-dollar bills don’t enter the house very often, but thanks to a son who lives at home and doesn’t have to rely on government pensions, and the wife’s stash from selling candles, we have the three most recent iterations of the fifty-dollar bill, the ten-year-old, pure-paper version, the modified version with the security strip, and the new, all-polymer edition, bottom to top.

SDC10606

SDC10608

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite some snide, condescending, redneck comments about our cash, Canada doesn’t even come close to having the most flamboyant bills.  I have some very pretty, and colorful, foreign examples with my coin collection.  Perhaps later I could publish pictures of bills from places where it’s a good thing you’re already wearing sunglasses.

Funny Money

Canada has plastic money!  Well, we’re getting plastic bills.  We have joined other countries like Australia in making our bills from polymer.  Things will be different but, with other countries leading the way, problems should be minimal.

The first bill changed over, in 2011, was the $100 note.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually see too many hundreds.  Last spring, the Mint released the new $50 bill.  I’m a little more likely to see a fifty, but I haven’t got a new one yet.  Since these two denominations give the most bang for the buck (see what I did there?) they were the ones most often counterfeited.  While it was technically illegal to do so, there were many businesses which refused to accept the higher denominations.

Finally the Mint has got down to the man on the street, and released the new twenty.  I took $200 from an ATM last Saturday, to go to the farmers market, and got ten of the new bills.  Canada leads the rest of the world in usage of debit cards.  Butchers and bakers inside the market building have card readers, but most produce vendors outside still insist on cash, especially the Mennonites.

The ten and the five will be changed over this next year.  Canada did away with one-dollar, and two-dollar bills some years ago, replacing them with pocket- and hip-destroying coins.  I will wait to see, both from personal experience and general public reaction, just how good an idea this was.  The new bills are 25% more expensive to produce, but are expected to last two and a half times as long.  The Mint also says they are ten times as difficult to counterfeit.

First of all, unlike paper bills, they don’t fold well.  New paper bills are hard and slippery, making them difficult to handle and count.  This slowly changes as the paper fibres are roughened up.  Sadly, this is what makes the bills deteriorate.  The new plastic bills are hard and slippery, but I don’t expect them to ever soften up.  Sales staff are already familiar with their potential problems.  My egg vendor lady admonished me to be sure I handed over just one.  I always stand in front of the surveillance camera at an ATM, and count my bills, before I leave.  I will just continue to do so, to ensure that I get what I paid for.

The new bills have an irregular strip of clear plastic, three-quarters of the way to the right of the bill.  Within this strip are holograms of the Queen’s face, the tower of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, and the value of the bills several times, some reversed, so that it can also be read from the back.  The value of the bills is also in micro-printing on the bills, and there are raised dots for the blind to read in Braille.

The symbol for twenty is six dots, like on dice.  This is repeated three times on the bill.  The conspiracy theory nuts are already out in full force, claiming that the six – six – six arrangement of Braille dots, proves that this is the Devil’s money.  Some of the more gullible and hyper-Christians are refusing to accept it.  All the more for the rest of us.  Let them carry tens.

While I agree with some of the Mint’s decisions, others are more questionable.  They saved money by changing the one and two dollar bills to coins, but ruin our pants and purses.  It’s possible to think you’re low on cash, when you still have twenty or thirty dollars worth of pocket change.

With at least six months notification, almost no establishment modified their bill-readers to accept the new money.  Trains, city transit and hospital parking machines all refuse to accept the new bills until they’ve been reprogrammed.  Way to go, guys.  Thanks for getting out ahead of this problem.

The Mint has stopped stamping out the Canadian penny, but they will remain in circulation for years.  A musical artist in New Brunswick wrote a song to mourn its passing, and put the image of several pennies on his album cover.  The Mint sent him a nasty note telling him that the rights to all images of Canadian money belong to them.  He’d have had to pay usage fees if he sold more than 1200 copies.  The Mint eventually backed down, when the David and Goliath story hit the newspapers.

The Toronto Sun printed a story about council cronyism, where friends were getting two-dollar-a-year leases.  On the cover of a newspaper with a million distribution, they placed the picture of two toonies, the Canadian two-dollar coins.  I wonder whether the Mint had the nerve to send them a letter.

Now there are rumors of the demise of the Canadian nickel, and maybe even the dime.  If they do that, they also want to eliminate the quarter and make twenty-cent pieces.  There’s even talk of a five dollar coin.  I begin to understand why England, having already switched over to decimal coinage, is refusing to accept the Euro.

A penny for my thoughts on Canadian money, or I could just go with my usual fee.