Looking Back – Again

The weirdest things formerly taught in schools

Part Two:

Pluto is a planet

Kids used to be taught that our solar system has nine planets, and that Pluto was the ninth.

They were taught wrong. On August 24, 2006, the icy ball 7.5 billion kilometers away had its status downgraded to “dwarf planet,” courtesy of the International Astronomical Union.

It didn’t have enough gravity to clear its orbit of debris, which is one of the characteristics required to be considered a planet,” says Mary Colson, an eighth-grade teacher.

Darkroom skills

While some schools may for retro reasons offer photography darkroom courses, digital technology has largely killed the need to go into dark rooms and develop film in baths of toxic chemicals. Besides the dangerous chemicals, equipment and supplies for the outdated developing processes are hard to find.

Diagramming sentences

In the days of old, elementary students were taught to diagram sentences, to understand their underlying structure. These parts might include a subject, a verb, an object, adjectives, adverbs and so on. But the system developed by Reed and Kellogg fell out of favor as educators moved away from such regimented methods of analysis to freer forms of expression.

Using blackboards

The old blackboards and chalk first got downgraded by the introduction of computers and now are increasingly replaced by more versatile whiteboards, which can accommodate eye-catching marker colors and even serve as projection screens. Kids no longer have to clap together two chalk erasers to clean them, sending up clouds of particulate.

“Chalk really isn’t good for anything. It gets all over your hands and your clothes,” agrees a fifth-grade teacher in New Haven.

Note-taking

Before there were smartphones to photograph teacher presentations or record their lectures, students had to take notes—that is, on paper with pen. While technology may be more convenient, research shows that students have to pay more attention to what is being said or shown when they take notes, so they learn better.

Civics

Up to the 1960s, it was common to have separate high school civics courses, designed to teach students about community service and the government. But these courses have been slashed with school budgets, leaving the majority of schools civics-free. Some education experts believe that civics courses develop young people’s critical-thinking skills, making them more engaged in public debates and more likely to participate in elections.

Spelling

Apparently some students might have trouble spelling ABC as schools move away from explicit instruction in spelling, perhaps driven by computers and their easy spell-checks.

Writes a literary expert J. Richard Gentry in Psychology Today: “America has moved to a toxic system for delivering spelling instruction in spite of an extensive and evolving body of research showing that direct and explicit spelling instruction is required for students to master the Mechanics of reading and writing.”

Sewing

Teaching sewing skills to girls has become passé, as gender roles have become less strictly defined.  Still, with six in 10 adults unable to sew well or at all, there might be a rationae for both sexes learning to mend tears, and sew on buttons.

“We have shifted away from the anachronistic view that girls should sew as an acquired life skill. Now we would say that boys or girls who want to go into textiles [need to learn certain skills] and we would try not to be gender specific,” says Julie Nugent, chief executive of the Design and Technology Association.

Math drills

Again, calculators, smartphones and personal computers are making serious math drills less common in schools. But many educators push against the idea of always letting machines do the thinking for us, and losing the chance to exercise our mental chops. The benefits of math drills just add up.

Tough gym classes

Chances are, kids’ memories of gym class today are much different than their parents’. In the 1960s there was a push towards high-intensity fitness regimens. Today kids are more likely to be given choices that let them avoid team sports and sweaty workouts. However, with childhood obesity and sedentary lifestyles at an early age becoming an issue, a return to gym-class tough love might be in order.

The Year In Photos

Inspiration strikes – when Inspiration strikes.  This ‘Year,’ will begin and end on March 1.  Hang onto your seats!  Here we go.  The theme will be Chaos And Confusion.  I’ll be Chaos, if you’ll handle the confusion.

March 1/21 – the monthly Costco visit

COVID masks, COVID masks
COVID all the way
(To the tune of Jingle Bells)

March 8 –

We washed the son’s work jacket…. And his 10 year old flip-phone.
Might be the origin of the term “Clean and Jerk

March 15 –

The wife’s last visit to a Physiotherapist, for a pulled back muscle.
My last cold wait outside – here.

March 22

The neighbors’ version of Groundhog Day.  Canadian weather changes quickly in the spring.

March 29

It’s Ours!  It’s Ours!  It’s Ours!
Paid off a 25-year mortgage in just over 17 years.  Can’t decide how to celebrate – McDonalds for a sundae strains the entertainment budget.

April 5

Here we go round the Mulberry bush
Hardly a bush, this young tree was 6’ – as tall as the Grandson – when we planted it five years ago.  The winter’s snows have all disappeared.  Soon I will have to mow my back yard again.

Week of April 12

The daughter and I got some COVID freedom and fresh air when I drove her to a dental appointment.  During the wait, I rewarded myself with a visit to the second-best French fries outlet – on the other side of town.  Finally open for the season at Easter, in a freestanding ex-Dairy Queen building.

W/O April 19

With a great-grandson on the way, the wife went into nesting mode.  She knitted a 36” X 48” crib blanket.  The checkerboard pattern is ‘Wee Bean,’ for our oncoming wee bean.

W/O April 26

Step on a crack – Break your Mother’s back
I’ll set you straight.
A visit to our Chiropractor.  Just another on the long list of our medical specialists.

W/O May 3

Our magnolia bush.  Its blossoms only last a couple of days, but it’s gorgeous while it lasts.  Usually it is completely covered in blooms, but a late-April freeze and snowstorm delayed/killed about half the flowers.

W/O May 10

A shopping trip past the new Google building, erected on the bones of my old auto-parts plant.

W/O May 17

Took the wife and daughter to Podiatrist, in a renovated Century-house.
At least the COVID wait outside was getting warmer.

W/O May 24

A visit to the daughter, held up by the new LRT Street Railway.  It sure holds up a lot of non-PC, car traffic, while it transports a half-dozen eco-friendly hipsters.

W/O May 31

When I finally get past that damned street railroad, this is the daughter’s single-level, handicap townhouse apartment.

W/O June 7

She doesn’t rub me the wrong way.
The ‘Happy Ending’ at our massage therapist is loosened computer-shoulders.
Dolly Parton once said that it cost a lot of money, to look that cheap.
It is fortunate that it’s my retirement benefits package which pays so much, to keep us in good physical shape.

W/O June 14

A free, origami Lotus blossom, picked up at our Multicultural festival, before COVID struck.  It represents peace and tranquility – I need all I can get.

W/O June 21

A trip to our out-of-town Vet, past 1920s Commemorative ‘Pioneer Tower,’ to recall the 1820s arrival of Pennsylvania Dutch/ German immigrants

W/O June 28

The best French fry wagon in town.  Sure looks permanent, for a trailer.  Hello delicious.  Goodbye diet – and I found a new little knife.  See Look Sharp

W/O July 1

To celebrate Canada Day on July 1, the son adopted an immigrant.  It crawled over the remains of Trump’s wall, shouting, “To Hell with Dia de los Muertos, I’m here for the Maple syrup.”

W/O July 8

The replacement building at the nearby Farmers’ Market for the wooden structure that burned, five years ago.

W/O July 15

The nearby branch of the city library.  With up to 5000 total books per day located, moved and curbside delivered, these folks were local heroes, getting me and many others through the lockdown.

W/O July 22

My 1952 print dictionary, which I am giving up for digital.  2000 pages for $20.00 – purchased at a country schoolyard flea-market in 1972, in Mar Ontario – population 4.

July 25

The wife and I finally got our second COVID vaccination.  That’s one infection you don’t need to worry about contracting from me.

W/O Aug. 5

 

Ex-Public Utilities Commission building which handled the 20th Century electrification of Kitchener, and eventually   became the Grandson’s Starbucks.

W/O Aug. 12
*

A lovely, hand-made glass flower that the daughter gave us.  I stuck it in a planter on the back deck.  Storm winds turned it slightly.  The neighbors worried that we’d installed a security camera – facing them.

W/O Aug. 19

I helped the grandson pick up a new chair for his mother, and almost stepped on this cat.
(It was a carved stone cat which we both thought was real  The photo may be added later…. if I can just find it.)  😛

W/O Aug. 26

Perhaps the most boring week of my life – not that I’m complaining.  At my age, boring is good.  The most exciting thing that happened was my newspaper got delivered.

W/O Sept 14


I discovered that my Lilac bush was growing crab-apples, which I could make crab-apple jelly with.

W/O Sept 21

I did it! I lasted long enough to celebrate my 77th birthday.  We voted in a Federal election the day before.  I did not get the present of a new Prime Minister – one who wasn’t a spoiled trust-fund baby.

W/O Oct 11

Canadian Thanksgiving.  COVID restrictions on group size had been relaxed, and all of us had had two vaccine shots.  We were all able to gather for a family meal, with the GREAT-grandson (above) as the honored guest.

W/O Nov. 8

COVID19 is going down for the count.  The Americans let vaccinated Canadians into the country – but the Canadian bureaucrats insisted on a $200 test to get back into Canada. Soon, Galleria and Boulevard Mall, soon.

W/O Nov. 15

Spring has sprung – Fall has fell – and there’s 6 inches of Partly Cloudy on my Canadian deck.  I published this photo a few years ago, but it’s become ritual with this home-owner.  This year’s version is indistinguishable.

W/O Nov. 22

Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history, are doomed to repeat them.
George Santayana

Dec. 2

The relaxation of COVID19 restaurant restrictions allowed us to go to Red Lobster to celebrate our 54th wedding anniversary.

W/O Dec. 5

And the lion shall lie down with the lamb
With our three cats and two dogs, our Vet wonders if they get along with each other.

W/O Dec. 12

Two weeks ago, I took two quarters from a pay phone slot.  Last week I found a dime in a change-counter machine overflow.  This week I found 61 pennies, because the machines are now set to eject them.  15 of them were American – which went in our We’ll get to Detroit for a weekend shopping after COVID, fund.

W/O Dec. 25

At a COVID-permitted family Christmas gathering, I found some strange man holding my GREAT-grandson Rowan back, to keep him from lunging at the camera.

W/O Jan. 3

Well, here’s another fine year we’ve got ourselves into. (Laurel and Hardy – here’s another fine mess) Survive, or submit, it’s up to us to make the best of it.

W/O Jan. 10

We don’t have enough knives in this house, so we adopted yet another, which came back to the son’s plant in an ‘empty’ shipping container.

W/O Jan. 17

To get our third COVID (booster) shot, we had to go downtown, to the recently-ex Regional Municipal Building.  Are more COVID and booster shots still in the future??  Will this never end?

Jan. 31

I think I can.  I think I can.
I thought I could.  I thought I could.
Slow and steady wins the race.
After ten+ years, I published 1500 posts.

W/O Feb. 19

COVID restrictions relaxed – again, just in time to book a reservation to celebrate the wife’s 73rd birthday.  Dining was at half capacity.  Our timing was perfect.  Everyone else found out about it, and the NEXT DAY you couldn’t get a table at gunpoint.  😯

March 1/22

*

So we end the year right where we began it – at Costco – only a little closer to free food samples again.

Thanx for strolling through a year in my life – lotsa good readin’, if ya like pitchers.  I will be purveying prose on Friday.  C U then.  😀

Flash Fiction #247

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

LEFT HANGING

Ah, the joys of being a writer.  At least I’ve identified my Flash Fiction.
Big deal!  We’ve got your number,

I downloaded Rochelle’s photo.
Ho Hum!  After only eight years of practice.

I have a title.
Life imitating art – again.

I have a theme.
Your therapist will be intrigued.

I have a bright, colorful story arc.
Which will not end in a pot of gold!

All I need now is a great finish, a fascinating denouement.  Think, Archon!
We’re sorry!  The inspiration that you are trying to reach is currently binge-watching The Expanse, on Amazon.  Please try again later.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Damned Amateurs – AKA Snowflake Meltdown

OKAY, BOOMER

I recently encountered an MSN article titled, “40 Things That Baby Boomers Think Are Still Cool – But Aren’t.”  It was an amusing little nothing of an article, good only for hanging advertising links onto – as fluffy as RuPaul’s feather boa.

It was apparently composed by some Millennial Snowflake – probably to the sound of great applause.  I thought that only achy, arthritis-afflicted, grumpy old curmudgeons like me would compose such a compilation of complaints.  I figured that the author of this would be too busy, polishing his brand-new, red BMW.  Maybe MSN threw in a gold star for his sticker album, and a participation medal.

Snowflake

Snowflake: Slang A person who is considered to be overly sensitive or too easily offended, especially as a result of believing himself or herself to be unique or special – with the accent on flake.

I don’t know if the author was serious, or if this was just an exercise in being a published author.  There were some things that he ranted about that even I, as an old Boomer, would object to, while others made me think that, even if it were raining gold coins, he’d complain about dents on that BMW.

The list was eclectic and varied.  Among others, he hit on visors, shag carpet, Yahoo, Jell-O salads, fossil fuels, fuzzy toilet seat covers, bar soap, meat loaf, encyclopedias, and malls.

I don’t know what his objection to visors was.  I don’t like wearing hats, but when I was younger, and my hair was black and absorbed solar energy and heat, I wore them to keep my brain from boiling.  (So, that’s what happened!)  Now that it’s as white as the driven snow, all I need is something to protect my eyes.  That’s why God invented Ray-Bans.

I always thought that shag carpeting was a bad idea, and didn’t sign up for Yahoo.  Instead I waited till Google was available for free.  I rather like Jell-O salads – both vegetable, and fruit.  I never miss a chance to scoop some up, the few times we hit a restaurant with a buffet.  It was a cheap food that the wife’s family of nine kids had to endure, so she won’t make any.  I’ll eat it, but I won’t make it.  Like tossed salad, I feel that the enjoyment-to-labor ratio is too low.

I think that ‘fossil fuels’ was just tossed in for virtue signaling.  I don’t know any Boomer who thinks that they’re “cool”, but, until some smart-ass Snowflake comes up with an affordable, reliable alternative…. they’re indispensable.

Fuzzy toilet-seat covers, aside from being a germ-sponge, are a vicious trick, invented by Women’s Lib.  They turn a two-handed job into a three-handed one.  When a guy tries to do what he needs to do, he has to open the front of his pants with one hand, and withdraw (hopefully) a handful with the other.

Fuzzy seat covers placed the center of balance of the lid forward, so that they would not stay up on their own.  There was a lot of shuffling around to the side, and holding the lid up with a knee.  The ones where the lid stayed up for a few seconds, and then came crashing down in mid-stream were the most dangerous.  I almost didn’t have to pay for a vasectomy.

Ah, Millennial instant gratification!  Since I’m not obsessed with Zumba, or Hatha Yoga, I have time to work up a lather with a bar of soap.  I purchased a box of 12, Chinese, musk-scented bars at the Farmers’ Market.  Most of them are secreted in various dresser drawers, helping to make my clothes smell like Not-Me.

I don’t know what the author had against meat-loaf – except that it wasn’t a kale smoothie.  It’s comfort food, and us old fogies need all the comfort that we can get.  The article served to remind me that we had not had meat-loaf in over a month, so I had it on the menu by the end of the week.

The article came on 40 pages that had to be clicked to.  Each one came with a photograph, ‘cuz our old Boomer eyesight ain’t the best anymore, don’tcha know?  Aside from the general, dismissive, know-it-all premise, the two things that irritated me the most were the photos of ‘encyclopedias,’ and ‘malls’

Encyclopedias

I welcomed the electronic advent of Wikipedia.  Google and Bing are my friends.  Paper and ink encyclopedias are archaic anachronisms – antiques, and collectors’ items.  The Internet knows everything – if you can sift out the fake news.  The photo provided for that page seemed to be of a library Rare-Book shelf.  They’re old, and they are hard-cover…. but not one of them is an Encyclopedia.  Bing images provided me with pictures of lots, as I composed this post, including the first, and possibly the best – Encyclopedia Britannica.

Polish Reception

Malls have had their day.  All hail Amazon and E-Bay!  Etail is the wave of the future.  The only thing that malls are good for are the food courts, and the girl-watching – and the air conditioning means that they are wearing far too much clothing.  Someone didn’t work (or think) too hard with these photos.

Since the article is in English and apparently intended for the American – or perhaps Canadian – market, it would seem to be a good idea to get a picture of an English-speaking mall.  Even a cursory examination of the above photo shows that it is of a Polish one.  Recepcja = reception.

I think I pulled a groin muscle, ranting about some young whipper-snapper ranting about old nothings.  I’m gonna rest up for a couple of days.  See you later.  😀

Flash Fiction #198

Moose Meat

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Three men hire a bush-pilot to fly them to a remote moose-hunting lodge, and return a week later.

They shoot a moose, and pack the meat. When the pilot returns, he looks at the extra pile, and tells them that his plane won’t take the additional 1500 pounds.

“Aw c’mon, the guy last year let us.” Grudgingly, he agrees, and begins gaining speed across the lake. Just at the far shore, he lifts off, only to tangle with a tree.

One guy regains consciousness, and says, “Where are we?”

His friend replies, “About a hundred yards farther than last year.”

***

Please excuse me. I couldn’t write anything new, so I hope you don’t mind an old joke. I took one look at that photo, and this was all I could think about.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site, and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

What A Buzz

coffee can

You Know You’re Drinking Too Much Coffee When…

  1. Juan Valdez names his donkey after you.
  2. You grind your coffee beans in your mouth.
  3. The only time you’re standing still is during an earthquake.
  4. You can take a picture of yourself from ten feet away without using
    the timer.
  5. You lick your coffeepot clean.
  6. You spend every vacation visiting “Maxwell House.”
  7. You’re the employee of the month at the local Starbucks and you
    don’t even work there.
  8. Your eyes stay open when you sneeze.
  9. You’re so jittery that people use your hands to blend their
    margaritas.
  10. You can jump-start your car without cables.
  11. All your kids are named “Joe.”
  12. Your only source of nutrition comes from “Sweet & Low.”
  13. You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.
  14. You’ve built a miniature city out of little plastic stirrers.
  15. People get dizzy just watching you.
  16. When you find a penny, you say, “Find a penny, pick it up.
    Sixty-three more, I’ll have a cup.”
  17. The Taster’s Choice couple wants to adopt you.
  18. Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.
  19. You’re so wired, you pick up FM radio.
  20. Your life’s goal is to “amount to a hill of beans.”
  21. Instant coffee takes too long.
  22. When someone says. “How are you?”, you say, “Good to the last drop.”
  23. You want to be cremated just so you can spend the rest of eternity
    in a coffee can.
  24. You go to sleep just so you can wake up and smell the coffee.
  25. You’re offended when people use the word “brew” to mean beer.
  26. You name your cats “Cream” and “Sugar.”
  27. You get drunk just so you can sober up.
  28. Your lips are permanently stuck in the sipping position.
  29. You can outlast the Energizer bunny.
  30. You don’t even wait for the water to boil anymore.
  31. You think being called a “drip” is a compliment.
  32. You don’t tan, you roast.
  33. You can’t even remember your second cup.
  34. You introduce your spouse as your “Coffeemate.”
  35. You think CPR stands for “Coffee Provides Resuscitation.”
  36. You have too much blood in your caffeine system.
  37. The barista asks you how you take your coffee, and you reply, “Very, very seriously!”
  38. You find sleep a weak substitute for coffee.

Flash Fiction # 168

Ali Baba

PHOTO PROMPT © Nathan Sowers grandson of our own Dawn M. Miller

UPON FURTHER REFLECTION

I won’t tell how I came into possession of Ali Baba’s magic lamp.  Let’s just say that I found it before it got lost.

“Oh great, another master, and what will you want?”  Where was the respectful genie from the stories?

First of all, I want a grand mansion.

“Never fear, Master.  I will provide everything you deserve.”

While it appeared spacious, it always felt claustrophobic.  I preferred being outside.  I was doing some decorating.  As I knelt to pick up the new bathroom mirror, I caught the reflection of the real ‘Emperor’s new mansion’ that he felt I deserved.

***

This fanciful Fairy Tale retelling is all the fault of Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site.  Visit there, and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

Fun With Travel

Elvis

Travel Jokes

Las Vegas

I phoned up to buy tickets for an Elvis tribute act.
It was an automated phone system which said:
‘Press 1 for the money / 2 for the show’

Hotel Reception

Two men in full armor walk into a hotel lobby.
One says, “A room for two knights please.”

Snow & Skiing

How does a penguin build its house?
Igloos it together.

Hotel Restaurant

The waiter asked me, “Would you like to hear today’s special?”
“Yes please,” I smiled…
“Today is special.” he replied, then sashayed off.

Swimming Pool 

A man climbs the diving board with a fish.
The pool guard says: “What are you doing with that fish?”
The man replies: “Triple somersault with pike.”

Hotel Gym

Exercise bikes get you nowhere.

Cruise Ship

I’ve been watching a documentary about how they build cruise ships.
It was riveting.

Train Journey

If you see someone doing a crossword today, lean over them and say  7 Up is Lemonade!

Holiday Photos

My camera keeps falling off the strap.
It’s a bit of a loose Canon.

Hotel Garden

Just saw the hotel Gardener crying over his lawnmower.
He is just going through a rough patch!

Airline

Cabin Crew said to me, sir, would you like to have dinner?
Me: What are the options?
Cabin crew: Yes or no.

Egypt

My wife just asked me, “Can we go on a camel?”
I said, “No way….it would take ages to get there on a camel!”

USA Burgers

How did the hamburger introduce his girlfriend?
Meat Patty

 

‘17 A To Z Challenge – T

Challenge2017

letter-t

You just know that a darkness-loving troglodyte like me would be fascinated with being underneath things, and by;

TUNNELS

With tunnels and the like, I am intrigued not merely with the fact that I am under, but what (specifically) is over.

At a place in England, it is necessary for a narrow-boat canal to cross a river. It does so on a multi-arched aqueduct.  It is fascinating to see photos or video of a west-bound river steamer passing directly beneath a south-bound canal boat.

When we had tired of going from Windsor to Detroit, or back, on the big bridge, and driving above ships in the river, I decided to try the tunnel. While it’s a little more distance, back then, the connection to I-75 was quicker and easier.  I never worried about the tunnel collapsing, but it was interesting to think that I might be driving directly under a 1000-foot-long lake freighter.

When we used to go to Niagara Falls, down at the other end of Lake Erie, I took the opportunity to return home via a tunnel under the Welland Canal. It’s possible that I drove under that same freighter from Detroit.

It costs a lot of money to dig a road tunnel, especially through rock. Most of the American Interstate system, at least in the eastern mountains, goes around them.  One exception is I-40, from Knoxville, Tenn. into North Carolina.  There are two tunnels within a few miles – but only if you’re travelling East.  If you’re heading West, at one of the tunnels, the divided highway hangs along the side of the mountain.  Being in the tunnel there, only means that you’re under pine roots and raccoon shit.

Skyline panorama

We came through Pittsburgh one time, following the Interstate down the edge of the river, 30/40 feet higher than the water. I-376 suddenly crosses the river, and plunges into the side of a 150 foot stone cliff on the other side, and doesn’t seem to come up for air until you’re almost into Indiana.

It’s one thing, especially at spaghetti-junction highway interchanges, to be driving underneath other cars or even big transport trucks. On the west side of town, the Conestoga Expressway passes under not only several surface streets, but the main railroad line, so I’ve driven under trains.

To accommodate our new street-railroad system, two of the major, downtown streets have been excavated under the rail line, so I’ve had even more opportunities to drive under trains. A couple of blocks from the daughter’s place, there is an old, shallow underpass, where I’ve often driven under trains.  I try to be sure that, when I drive under something, I can get all the way out the other side.  Despite signs warning of “Low Underpass,” a couple of times a year, THIS happens.

Tunnels

There’s an underpass like this, somewhere in the States, that’s so famous that it has its own website. With a name like ‘elevenfootsix.com’, you can access it and watch live video from a traffic-cam, or access archived footage and photos.

At least twice a week, some big-rig, or local delivery truck like the one above, rips the top off and gets stuck. There must be a Ryder truck-rental agency upstream, because every second truck is a (now-damaged) Ryder.  It’s (almost) amusing to watch RVs swoop under it, but peel off roof-mounted canoes or air-conditioning units.

I have finally driven under an airplane. One day, coming around the Expressway, on a sunny, cloudless day, suddenly I was in a shadow, and then out again.  What was that??  Ah….a 20-passenger commuter plane, heading for the local airport.  But it’s mid-afternoon, and the sun is off to the west, so I wasn’t directly under it, merely in its shadow.

All that changed on my most recent drive to Ottawa, to visit the Grandson. The highway goes past a Canadian Forces Airbase, and there were two big military transport planes angling in for a landing, 45° ahead and to my left.  Can I?  Can I?  I hope!

The first one crossed the highway and went to final approach.  A minute later and a mile further east for me, and lower and nearer for the second….VOOOM!  I went right under him!  When a C-16 cargo plane passes 200 feet above you, there’s no mistake.  The sonic vibrations pounded me and the car.  I could see his nose out the passenger side, while his tail was still on my driver’s side.

Small things do indeed amuse small minds. It’s better than being under suspicion, under investigation, under the influence, under arrest, or under a misapprehension.  What things would you admit to being under?   😕

***

By the way:  Happy New Years guys.  The best of good wishes for the coming year, and thanx for your ongoing company and support.  😀

Coins Of The Realms

SDC10548

My coin collection started innocently and modestly enough, with a few older Canadian coins. Then, as described in my ‘Penny, lira, etc.’ post, I was tricked into collecting foreign coins. Slowly but steadily, over the (many) years, I’ve added coins to both groups, till now I don’t count my coins, so much as weigh them occasionally.

I have almost 600 foreign coins, from over 100 countries around the world, some of which no longer exist, as well as numerous Canadian and American coins. The five binders shown above include Canadian and American coins, as well as bills, and total just over 47 pounds.  I store them on a closet shelf, next to the wall, directly over the support bracket, so as not to collapse it.

SDC10776

Clamshell 2 x 2s come in various sizes, for various coins. They are folded over a coin and stapled shut on three sides, then the unit is inserted in a plastic sheet with 20 pockets.  Soon after I got started, I received some helpful tips from a couple of old collectors/dealers.

CCI_000016

I buy mounting sheets with reinforced holes, because the weight of 20 coins can tear unprotected sheets. If you’re collecting sequentially dated coins, and one always follows the next, they are inserted into the sheets and forever remain there.

If I get another Spanish coin, I might need to now give Portuguese coins their own page for enough room. My coins can move around.  One dealer advised me to trim the bottom corners of the 2 X 2s at 45°, so that they would slide into the tight pockets easier.  Clipped bottoms and unclipped tops seem ‘unfinished’ to me, so I trim all 4 corners, creating little square ‘malls’ among the coins on the sheet.

SDC10740

Staples holding the 2 X 2s closed, protrude in small bulges at the back, causing an already bulky assembly to take up even more room. I have a special pair of pliers, with which I crimp them flat, ensuring smoother insertion and retraction, and less volume.

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The arrangement of my foreign coins in my catalogs resembles a giant M on a world map.  They start at the bottom of South America, work their way up past Panama and the Caribbean, and throw a quick wave at the USA and Canada with a couple of odd/special coins.

They cross the Atlantic, through England, Ireland, Scotland and the Channel Islands, and work their way across Europe. They then dodge the rocket attacks in the Middle East and flow down the body of Africa.  Returning, they trudge eastward through Russia and China, and down through South-East Asia, to Australia and New Zealand.

My foreign coins have taught me much about geography and history. Separate regions are arbitrarily jammed together to form the likes of Czechoslovakia.  Countries are split apart, like Germany, or India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  World economy, and that of individual countries, changes coins from gold and silver, to brass, steel, nickel and copper, all the way down to aluminum.

My little digital camera will not take good photos of individual coins, but I have some bright, flamboyant foreign bills/notes I hope to show you later. To some of you, these are not ‘foreign’, but merely coins of your realm.