Friday, October 20, 2006

It's all about the Toms

I can start spending the $2 bills. I finally got that $2 stamp from Stamp Connection. No one has commented on it, yet. I’m just waiting, though.

I’ve noticed that when I spend the $2 bills, they get put under the cash tray. This has happened twice with my current batch of bills. Once was at Publix and again at McDonalds.

I think this for two reasons. First, there’s no place for it in the cash tray. $2 bills seem to be used so infrequently, why bother? Second, many people probably want the bills for themselves. I actually had this happen tonight at a convenience store. As I was leaving, I saw the guy behind the counter reaching for his wallet, presumably to put some singles in the register.

I haven’t been spending a lot of the bills at once and I’ve been selective about where I spend them. People get freaked out when I spend it and I can’t be sure most people will know that they’re real. I’ve heard rumors of people refusing them, but most of the people I’ve given them to seem to be fine with them. They’re more surprised that I’m so willing to give them up. (The guy at the convenience store even asked if I had more.)

In any event, I have yet to get a hit on a $2 bill. I wonder how long it will be…

Monday, October 09, 2006

Of ones and twos...

It’s odd how $2 bills seem to be rare, but really aren’t. At least, I don’t think they’re as rare as everyone seems to think. It’s just that people seem to hoard them and banks rarely have them. I actually managed to get about 35 of them, mostly from a Bank of America. I’m saving the four of them that are series 1976. I actually entered them all in Where’s George and plan on spending the ones from later series.

It’s funny the responses I get when I spend them. I had the chance to spend two at a local McDonald’s. The guy behind the counter thought I was crazy because they were so rare. I told them that you could walk into any bank and ask for them, as evidenced by the fact that I was carrying so many. They’ll probably have one or two if any, but I do occasionally get luck and find a bunch of them. (I’d say that this happens around five per cent of the time.)

I actually just ordered a stamp from Stamp Connection for $2 bills. I’m holding off on spending the rest of the bills until it arrives. I do feel a little bad about marking and spending the bills, but I can always get more and I believe that they’re still being printed.

left side right side

In other bill news, I found a $1 bill with the serial number printed off center. It’s not as obvious on the right side, but you really notice it on the left, where the district number overlaps with the signature of the Treasurer of the United States. The bill was entered, but not marked. From what I’m told, it’s not worth much above face value, but I think it’s interesting.

If I find any more, I’ll post pictures. That’s all for now.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I’ve been without a convenient library branch for a while. Prior to Hurricane Wilma, I used to go to the branch by Aventura Mall. Sure, I had the one downtown, but there’s not much for me to do downtown now that I’m no longer going to Miami-Dade College’s downtown campus. The only other county library branch accessible to me was the one by the mall.

Since the hurricane, the county had a bookmobile (basically, a small library on wheels) parked in front of the building. I actually never went in there because it looked way too cramped and consolidated. I was also told that it was basically to reserve books and to pick up those books once they came in. (Since I never went in there, I can’t say if this is true.)

A week or two ago, the branch was relocated to Aventura City Hall. (You can see the article here.) If you drive, this isn’t a big deal. However, I don’t drive. I had a sense of where the city hall is in relationship to the mall. All I had to do was figure out how to get there.

One day, while going to the mall with my mother, I saw that there was a road going under the causeway that separated the mall from the city hall. There was a sidewalk going under the bridge; the only question was whether or not it went by the city hall. Today, I found out.

The good news is that it does. The bad news is that I first have to check in to the city hall before I can get to the library. This meant giving a security guard my photo ID and waiting for him to take a picture of me so he could print out a pass. When I went up to the library, they only had 1,200 square feet available to them. The books were limited, but they did have available a larger than usual selection of DVDs. (I managed to walk past the CDs twice.)

I asked, and it turns out that the library will reopen in about two years. They have to tear down the existing structure (which hasn’t been done yet) so that they can build a new structure. It was about time to redo the library, anyway. I think the old building is older than I am. It’s been there for as long as I can remember.

In any event, I’ve got pictures of another glow-in-the-dark jellybean. This time, it’s not as transparent. Above are pictures of the bean, both on and off the mouse. Apparently, this isn’t something reserved for the lemon-lime flavor of the bean. I’m curious to see more. (I still haven’t gotten a mixed-flavor bag yet.)

I also decided to try something with some old boxes of Ice Breakers Ice Cubes gum. I call it “Gumhenge”. I’ve been thinking of things to do that look like Stonehenge. This is one of the things I’ve thought of. More ideas may be forthcoming as I both think of them and find the means by which to do and photograph them.