Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Collections

Do you collect anything (I don't mean Social Security checks or dust). I mean, do you, or have you ever built a collection? I'm thinking stamps, coins, out-of-state license plates, baseball cards, Barbie dolls, knives, state quarters and so on? I either have or know someone who has collected these items. There are lots more, and many being created daily (just look for Franklin Mint).

You can collect first impressions. I think of this here in November because it's about time to play, "find the first license plate sticker from next year." That means I'm looking for a 2013 sticker, since the sticker marks the expiration of your car registration. My cars all wear 2012s now. I'm hoping that someone with a January plate (in California, everyone gets a month sticker too, so the registration process is spread out all year) has already sent their money to the DMV and diligently pasted their new sticker in place. The stickers are different colors each year, so there's a minor wager between me and my older son about what color the new year's sticker will be.

I used to play the "find the sticker" game with my sons when they were kids--attaching a small prize to the first sighting. I've done this game with the first new penny too, but the U.S. Mint has been dragging its feet at the stamping plant the last few years and it can get to mid-year before one shows up. This was especially fascinating and frustrating in 2009 and 2010, when the penny got a new back (reverse) design for the first time in half a century. There were four Lincoln commemorative designs in 2009, one permanent change in 2010.

There's the car-finding game, too, when you try to spot a new model out on the road for the first time. I've played that game since the 1964 models came out, when my dad and I entertained ourselves this way. Yes, I'm still doing it today, and with two hours of commuting a day I have plenty of opportunity.

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