JOHN REGITKO’S NUMISMATIC EH-BULLETIN
A free electronic publication about the weird, unusual, entertaining and funny stuff about coin collecting and money generally. Most of the articles will be funny, some might make you think…but above all, most will be a complete waste of your time.

Volume 1, Number 3 – April 18, 2008

INTRODUCTION
A total of 2,631 people are on the mailing list for this bulletin. Since I issued my first one a week ago, just 9 people have asked to be removed. I hope the rest of you will see some humour in some of what I publish. Thank you for sharing some “fun” with me.

And remember, you are always free to reprint all or parts in your local club bulletins or on your Website. Until such time as I create my own website, you cannot link to me to view back issues. If you are new to these bulletins and you wish all back-issues, please e-mail me at coinman@look.ca and I will send them to you.


MY OPENING SHOT
I don’t understand how the Canadian Revenue and Taxation Department people obtained a court order to force eBay to turn over records about thousands and thousands of Canadians who did business through eBay. You know, the company we love to hate but do business with. Subpoenas are not handed out by judges on a whim, but require specifics and just cause.

To me, the request by the tax people looks like nothing more than a fishing expedition for which, surely, no warrant should have been obtained. If Revenue Canada were to request specific information on a specific client that pays taxes in Canada, then I fully agree that they have a right to receive the information if there is a question whether or not all income has been declared and all taxes paid.

What am I missing?


SPOTLIGHT ON LETTERS
From Chuck Moore: “An ‘A’ for ‘Eh’ Bulletin Number One!” (Chuck is the President of Charles Moore Numismatic Auctions, Immediate Past-President of the C.N.A. and Chairman of the C.N.A. Past-Presidents Committee) - Thanks for the positive comment. It is really appreciated coming from such a well-known numismatist and auctioneer extraordinaire.

From Dany Rothfeld: “What a surprise! I came back from our Michigan State Coin Show in Detroit, and saw your article waiting for me. It was about time! I wondered what happened to you. It is really good to hear again from you. (Dany is a Board of Director of the MSNS) - I got a lot of work done, including preparing for my column in Canadian Coin News (www.canadiancoinnews.ca) which will start in their next issue and gathering material for these Eh-Bulletins.

From Michael Madesker: “EHnjoyed your Eh-Bulletin. Heck, I have even had the honour to be mentioned!” (Michael is a long-time stamp collector who has received every Canadian philatelic award and some international ones) – As long as I know people are enjoying it, it is my intention to keep pumping them out.

From Jim Bulmer: “Cute Bulletin thingy. I am in Nebraska and I get the Bibliomania Bulletin too. It is mostly all information. I would like to hear some Canadian coin news and happenings. And like the Biblio thing, perhaps some newsworthy articles by some of your buddies and write-ins. Just thoughts. Best to you, and Great Job!!” - The idea of these Eh-Bulletins, when you get right down to it, is not to educate, but to entertain. For my money, I suggest that the best thing available on Canadian coin news is the bi-weekly “Canadian Coin News.” Subscription rates are available at www.canadiancoinnews.com

From “Moon Coin Club” (Have written him asking for his name): “A call came into a coin shop and the caller said he had a old coin and wanted to know what it was worth. The dealer asked him what kind of coin it was. “A 1946 U.S. nickel,” replied the caller. “Well,” the dealer said, “we really don’t consider that old and valuable.” The caller, somewhat surprised, asked how old it had to be to be worth something. The dealer replied that they had coins 2000 years old that they sold for $20. After a few moments of silence, the caller said “American?”

From Mark Holton: “What a great tonic for a wet weekend! The reference to Columbus reminds me of the ancient joke, of Christopher Columbus himself giving his crews a pep-talk before sailing off to discover the New World. ‘Men,’ he says, ‘we don’t know where we’re going. When we get there, we won’t know where we are. When we get back, we won’t know where we’ve been. But don’t worry, it’s being paid for with public funds.’ Keep up the good work.” (Mark is a past-president of the Prince Edward Island Numismatic Association and author of numerous articles) - Sounds like a typical Canadian joke about our welfare state that is the envy of the world.

From Elliot Bassin: - “Great to see you back doing a bulletin. I look forward to receiving many more.” I look forward to sending many more, however, it would be appreciated if a lot of the people receiving them would make a contribution from time-to-time. If you come across anything humorous or unusual, forward it to me and let me decide if it is “worthy” of inclusion.

From Terry Johnson: “Welcome back! I am glad to receive your new newsletter. I thought you may have cashed in all of your coins and gone to Florida.” - That’s what I was going to do, but my wife wanted to come with me so I thought, what the heck, I may as well stay home.

From (Name of Dealer Withheld): “I just do not have time for this.” - No problem, you have been removed, but if the reason you specified is legitimate, you must be one heck of a busy person. Either your numismatic business is doing so well, or else you must work harder to make a go of it. Either way, I hope you enjoy other things that make life worth living.

From Jerome Fourre: “Glad to see you back in the saddle! Keep them coming.” (Jerome is the editor of “The Collector,” official newsletter of the Canadian Tire Coupon Collectors Club) - Thank you to everyone else that has sent me an e-mail about my new venture. I simply can’t publish them all.


SPOTLIGHT ON BULLETIN NAME
In last Friday’s bulletin, I asked you to suggest a name for these bulletins. Based on my experience, I am surprised that I actually received any responses. Here they are:

From Mike Metras: “Like your eh-bulletin! Perhaps this shortened name, Eh-Bull, would be closer to the content. I’ve had some odd things show up in my e-mail box in the past ten years. This is among them. But I enjoyed the break and the time you spent on it. Thanks.” Mike, you caught onto the spirit of these bulletins. I love the name. It is not only catchy, but also describes the contents very well. I liked yours the best, something about my upbringing in sales to do with “truth in advertising.” Incidentally, I went and looked around your websites, www.WalkingWithAwareness.com and www.WorksAndWords.com and I note that you also maintain websites for three coin clubs. Good for you.

From Dany Rothfeld: Regarding your question, how about “JR’s Eh Bulletin” or “RegEh Bulletin.” My preference is your first one, because “RegEh Bulletin” is not as straight forward for new subscribers or net surfers to understand.

I am pleased to reward both Mike and Dany for their submissions with a six-month subscription to Canadian Coin News.

However, I am prejudiced. I still like my original name as it identities right on the first line who the Eh-Bulletin is coming from, so unless I get a deluge of e-mails to the contrary, I will stick with that for a while. Once you see a few more issues, however, you might all feel that “Eh-Bull” describes the contents much better.


SPOTLIGHT ON FUN
Colin Bruce of Krause Publications (www.krause.com) and I have been e-mailing back and forth for a couple of years. He has sent me some great stuff that I will be using here from time-to-time. Here is one that he recently sent me:

A brain waker-upper for today! Bet you can’t get 100% on the first try! This is pretty neat! See how you do with the colors! It takes an average of 5 tries to get to 100%. Follow the directions! It’s harder than it seems. www.humorsphere.com/fun/8787/colortest.swf

I hate to admit it, but on my first try, I got 38 percent and was told it was a “below average score,” while the second try got me 50 percent. I did manage to get 100 percent the third try. I think I will quit while I am ahead.


SPOTLIGHT ON STUPID CRIMINALS
What a way to get your city’s name in the news!

A man in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has been arrested for trying to pass a blurry counterfeit $100 bill in a strip club there. There was some blurring of the ink on the bill that police allege that the man, 32-year-old David Eugene Hayes, attempted to use. Police said that they also found methamphetamine on him.

Authorities also received another report of counterfeit money in Sioux Falls. A clerk at a convenience store there accepted a fake $20 bill. The person who passed the bogus bill got away. That bill was also of poor quality.

There have been several instances recently of counterfeit money being passed in Sioux Falls that made headlines. Go to www.dumbcrooks.com/2007/09/

SPOTLIGHT ON CASHLESS SOCIETY
The cashless society is coming to North America. No, not the discontinuance of money and the closing of the Royal Canadian Mint and the U.S. Mint.

It’s the cashless Monopoly game. First introduced in England and Australia, the new edition uses credit cards and a card scanner instead of Monopoly money.

That Monopoly money you have in your exonumia collection might finally we worth something. At the rate it’s going, maybe Parker Brothers figures people can use their U.S. bills instead.


SPOTLIGHT ON STUPID ROBBERS
Two masked robbers tried to hold up a cashless credit union bank at gunpoint in California. They burst into the ‘bank’ at Benicia with weapons drawn and shouted at employees to hand over the money, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The robbers apparently had no idea they attempted to rob a credit union that immediately deposits its money, making it impossible for anyone to access it.

SPOTLIGHT ON INNOVATIVE THIEVES
Thieves recently used a stolen forklift to steal an ATM machine from a Dacula, Georgia bank. Officers responding to a 4:40 a.m. alarm call from a Wachovia branch discovered that at least two suspects had hot-wired a large forklift from a nearby construction site. The thieves drove the forklift over a fence to the bank, then used it to lift the ATM from its foundation and place it into the bed of a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. One suspect ran away as officers arrived, while a second suspect drove away in the truck containing the ATM and an undisclosed amount of cash. Both suspects got away.

Also recently, thieves used a front-end loader stolen from a construction site to rip two ATMs from their moorings at the Bank of America branch in Dacula, Georgia. Another front-end loader was used to remove the ATM from outside the Bank of America branch in Marietta, Georgia.

Last December, Georgia police departments reported at least four ATM thefts in which the suspects used stolen construction equipment or other vehicles to crash through the front doors of Walgreens stores. That rash of thefts ended when Walgreens officials began removing cash from the machines at night.

You might want to insert your own joke here about the speed of a pickup truck with a heavy ATM machine that got away, verses the speed of Georgia police who couldn’t catch them.

I think that Georgia should lock up their construction equipment!


SPOTLIGHT ON NUMBERS
$15 million – Amount won by 15 accountants from Burlington, Ontario, after playing the same numbers in the Lotto 6/49 lottery for the past 8 years. They will not have to come up with some “creative accounting” to get out of paying income tax on the winnings, however, since there is no tax on lottery winnings in Canada.

$10,000 – amount of cheque given by an Exton, PA army veteran to a dumbfounded Salvation Army volunteer at a mall, in remembrance of getting free coffee and doughnuts from the Salvation Army decades ago. I would do the same if Tim Hortons had given me free coffee over the years. At the rate I drink, I would actually save money if I donated $10,000.

$40,000 - amount officers say a balding Toronto-area man with a French accent has cashed in fraudulent cheques after opening up fake bank accounts. It is guys like him who are going to get the rules changed where the banks will wait for your cheque to “clear” before giving you the cash. It’s a matter of penalizing every honest person because of a few crooked ones.

$430,000 - amount each of 1,850 people won in the Spanish Christmas lottery. Now isn’t that better than one person winning the whole $79,550,000 like regularly happens with prizes won in the U.S. and Canada?

$1,000 - the amount a 21-year-old driver was fined for killing another man while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. Oh, yes, in case you think our criminal system is too lenient, he also spent 7 days in jail. Seven Days!!! Now I know how much value our courts place on someone’s life.

$45.6 million - amount for the legal bills paid for by the Canadian government to a group of attorneys who represent residential school victims. What makes this double newsworthy is the fact that while the victims must continue to wait before they see a penny, the payout by the government to the lawyers was the largest legal bill in Canadian history.

$100,000 - amount spent on Christmas presents by Katie Holmes, wife of Tom Cruise, on her family. Tom received a $30,000 watch from her. I just hope my wife doesn’t throw that in my face after giving her that GPS unit that I wanted, or the set of tools last year.

$400,000 - amount inherited by 3 dogs, along with a house, after their owner died in Maryland. If that is what is called a Dog’s Life, I’ll have some.

$330,000 - amount paid out on an insurance policy to the wife of John Darwin who vanished while kayaking in 2002. What would you do now if you worked for the insurance company and you discovered that he showed up at a London policy station claiming he had amnesia and can’t remember what happened to him? I guess the photos of him and his wife living it up in Panama a year earlier should help jog his memory. The couple is charged with faking the tragedy to collect on the insurance.

SPOTLIGHT ON LOTTERIES
I don’t know when he had time to drive the bus, but Leszek Wojcik, a bus driver in Slupsk, Poland, was fired for sending 38,000 text messages on his company cell phone trying to win a contest jackpot.

While the cell phones supplied to city bus drivers are supposed to be limited to 15 zlotys ($5) per month, Wojcik ran up a tab of some 94,000 zlotys ($34,000) with his text messages. He sent an average of 1,200 text messages a day, each costing 2.40 zlotys ($0.86). All because he wanted to buy a car with his possible winnings.

Incidentally, he spent 94,000 zlotys ($34,000) to win 100,000 zlotys ($36,000). But all he got for his trouble was a place in the unemployment line.

SPOTLIGHT ON COUNTERFEITING
An Italian court ordered the animated bird Tweety, along with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy, to testify in a counterfeiting case.

In what lawyers believe was a clerical error worthy of a Looney Tunes cartoon, a court in Naples sent a summons to the characters ordering them to appear at a trial. The court summons cites Titti, Paperino, Paperina, Topolino, the Italian names for the characters, as damaged parties in the criminal trial of a Chinese man accused of counterfeiting products of Disney and Warner Brothers.

Instead of naming only the companies and their legal representatives, clerks also wrote in the witness list the names of the cartoons that decorated the toys and gadgets the man had reproduced, said Fiorenza Sorotto, vice president of Disney Company Italia. “Unfortunately they cannot show up, as they are residents of Disneyland,” Sorotto joked in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

What would happen if the characters are prosecuted for failing to appear? If I was in charge of Disney, I would have the costumed characters appear as ordered. Let the prosecuting attorney explain it to the judge.


SPOTLIGHT ON CREDIT CARDS
Frank Van Buren, a Manhattan accountant, found himself flooded with plastic recently when ExxonMobil credit cards just kept on coming and coming and coming.

Van Buren, who says he’s carried ExxonMobil’s gas card for his business for 17 years, had ordered two copies because his card was expiring. He got the cards he requested – then two boxes containing 1000 each. He said it took hours to shred the cards, which all carried his name and account number. “How could you send me 2,000 cards by mistake?” Van Buren said he asked customer service representatives.

Van Buren asked for a credit for the time spent cutting up the cards, and Exxon reportedly offered $25. Heck, I’ll pay $25 if I could get just one of these cards for my collection.


SPOTLIGHT ON BARGAINS
Coin collector Dick Dunn was telling me that not so long ago his daughter’s boyfriend needed to get to a funeral when he was visiting out-of-town. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a jacket to accompany his pants, so he went to the local Goodwill outlet and saw a jacket that was exactly his size. He bought it for $8.00.

Later, he reached into one of the pockets and pulled out a small folded piece of paper. When he looked at it, he saw it was a $50.00 bill.

SPOTLIGHT ON DEAL OR NO DEAL
When you tune into “Deal or No Deal,” you will hear two familiar phrases. After a person knocks out the $1 million or other top prizes, the contestants quite regularly will say: “That’s okay, that’s okay.” Let me tell you something: it’s not okay when the offer goes from $189,000 to something like $79,000, then $29,000 when another large number is knocked out.

The other comment you will hear is: “It’s not about the money; it’s about family and friends!” When you’re at home, it’s about family and friends. But when you are on Deal or No Deal once in a lifetime, it’s about the money!

Note to the prompter guy on the show who tells the audience when to applaud: Why do you have the audience and the models that stand there holding the 26 cases applaud whenever the contestants pick a case number? They could be applauding the elimination of the $1 million top prize. Shouldn’t they wait to see if a low amount is eliminated to applaud? And worse, after a huge number is eliminated, the audience also applauds.


SPOTLIGHT ON STUPID CRIMINALS
Five Toronto-area residents face 135 fraud-related charges in an alleged real estate scam that sold parking spaces as condos to innocent investors. Bankers, developers, a lawyer and real estate agents allegedly worked together to defraud TD Bank of $3.8 million in bogus mortgage loans.

Police claim two brothers enticed their victims to invest in two condominiums. The brothers had victims fill out a mortgage application but didn’t ask for any money upfront, waiving the down payment. Bank employees who were allegedly in on the scam made sure the mortgage loans sailed through. Then the suspects kept the cash.

The thieves were apparently selling parking and storage spaces, not condos, for about $300,000 each. Unsuspecting investors were promised a cut of profits when the properties sold. But they never got a penny.

How did the bank employees that were allegedly in on the scheme ever expected to get away with it?

My take on it is that, with the price of properties in downtown Toronto, $300,000 for a parking space sounds about right.


SPOTLIGHT ON ATTENDING COIN SHOWS
Three collectors travelled to an out-of town coin show and checked into the hotel. The man behind the desk told them that the cost of the room was $300. Each man paid $100. A while later the hotel clerk realized the room was only $250.

So he sent the bellboy to the room with $50. On the way, the bellboy couldn’t figure out how to split $50 evenly. So he gave each man $10 and kept the other $20 for himself.

This meant that the three men each paid $90 for the room, which is a total of $270. Add the $20 that the bellboy kept and it equals $290.

Where did the other $10 go? Answers to coinman@look.ca.

I am trying to get you more involved, so here is what I am going to do: All correct answers received by this coming Friday at Noon will be placed in a draw for a 6-month subscription (new or renewal) to Canadian Coin News. Not only will all correct answers be eligible, but any funny answers that I receive and publish. If you send me some additional funny stuff worthy of publication, I’ll add on additional entry in the draw.


SPOTLIGHT ON STATISTICS
A recent survey showed that 100 percent of coin collectors have used magnifying glasses.

What I don’t understand is why collectors simply don’t just buy new ones. The price of a used one can’t be that much cheaper.

Hey, if you don’t get the humour, reread it.


SPOTLIGHT ON BANK ROBBERS
A young bank robber has held up nine branches in the last year and continues to evade police, wearing a large baseball cap each time to shield his face from cameras. The man first robbed a Bank of Montreal location last October. Since then, a man with a similar description has robbed eight banks in and around Toronto.

The man is described as being between the ages of 18 and 25, about 5 foot 5 inches to 5 foot 8 inches tall, with an average build. He wears a large baseball cap, often a black one with a white Los Angeles Dodgers logo.

So, if you know or see a short young person who is a Dodgers fan, call police! Based on that description provided by police, I anticipate that the police in L.A. are going to get about 100,000 calls in the next hour.


SPOTLIGHT ON TERMINOLOGY
The 20-cent piece had a nickname of a “double dime.” In view of the way the value of the U.S. dollar is heading, if someone were to name the U.S. 20-cent piece today, it would be called…a Canadian dollar.

Boy, I just know that I am going to get letters from the Americans on this one.


SPOTLIGHT ON HUMOUR
Tony Hine sent me the following about “A Year in the Life of a Blonde.” To be politically correct, I must point out that if you are a blonde reading this, don’t worry, he is only talking about his own wife, okay?

- January: Took new scarf back to store because it was too tight.
- February: Got fired from pharmacy job for failing to print labels. Helloooo....bottles won’t fit in typewriters.
- March: Got really excited... finished jigsaw puzzle in 6 months ... box said “2-4 years.”
- April: Trapped on escalator for hours..... power went out.
- May: Tried to make Kool-Aid..... wrong instructions.... 8 cups of water won’t fit into those little packets.
- June: Wanted to go water skiing .... but couldn’t find a lake with a slope.
- July: Lost breast-stroke swimming competition! The other swimmers cheated, they used their arms.
- August: Got locked out of my car in rain storm. The inside of the car got all wet because the convertible top was open.
- September: The capital of California is “C”..... right?
- October: Hate M & M’s...... they are so hard to peel.
- November: Baked turkey for 9 days..... instructions said one hour per pound and I weigh 216.
- December: Couldn’t call 911..... duh..... there’s no “eleven” button on the stupid phone.


SPOTLIGHT ON BEING CANADIAN
Here is another way of telling the difference between a Canadian and an American:

An American, a Scot and a Canadian were in a terrible car accident. They were all brought to the same emergency room, but all three of them died before they arrived. Just as they were about to put the toe tag on the American, he stirred and opened his eyes. Astonished, the doctors and nurses present asked him what happened.

”Well,” said the American, “I remember the crash, and then there was a beautiful light, and then the Canadian and the Scot and I were standing at the gates of heaven. St. Peter approached us and said that we were all too young to die, and that for a donation of $100, we could return to the earth. So of course, I pulled out my wallet and gave him the $100, and the next thing I knew I was back here.”

”That’s amazing!” said one of the doctors, “But what happened to the other two?”

“Last I saw them,” replied the American, “the Scot was haggling over the price and the Canadian was waiting for the government to pay for his.”


CLOSING COMMENT
“E-mail has become the 21st century’s interpersonal coward’s device of choice,” states the Wall Street Journal. “The continuing proliferation of e-mails from colleagues is expected to rise from the current average of 160 messages a day to 200 by decade’s end, the management of which is forecast to consume 41 percent of recipients’ time by that point.”

Other than questioning the time it will take to go through your e-mail (I mean, 41 percent of your time means 9 hours a day even if you only consider your waking hours), these Eh-Bulletins are doing their small part in helping the Wall Street Journal achieve the statistical objective.

Another survey, by Deloitte and Basex, estimated that the value of loss of productivity due to junk e-mails is $588 billion, with 35 million e-mails sent each day, wiping out two hours of work per white collar worker and 28 billion hours a year.

The Institute for Business Technology says the average office worker spends 9 hours handling e-mails each week, and reports that 45 percent of 1,000 people surveyed received at least 50 per day, many of them checking them compulsively every time their computer “dinged.”

The Virginia Labor Studies Centre says the average white collar worker gets 100 e-mails or more daily, even with dozens spammed out.

Regardless which statistic is closer to the truth, I am doing my part to live up to the expectations of all research companies, by sending these Eh-Bulletins to 2.631 addresses.

Until the next time…

John Regitko
Your Eh-Mail Bulletin Editor

For submissions of material for publication or to be removed from this Eh-Bulletin: coinman@look.ca. These Eh-Bulletins may be copied, in whole or in part, in club bulletins, either in print or on their Internet websites, if proper credit is given, including my e-mail address.