I collect…

What do you collect? What do you collect? Do people’s collections bother/annoy you?

I collect quite a few things actually, and have been trying to cut back a bit in recent years. My main collections are Hard Rock Cafe Bears, miniature Hallmark Ornaments, postcards and pressed pennies. (I also tend to pick up bears from other places I visit if I find them to be cute).

I have visited I think 20 HRCs at this point and have a bear from just about every one, even though some were purchased on ebay at a later date. I am working on updating that list because on my life list is to visit every HRC (although maybe we’ll start with just in the USA) and I also am behind on getting the certificate of authenticity for the bears.  The company that made the bears used to mail them to you, but now you need to print them yourself so I want to try and get a heavier paper to print them on so they somewhat match the older ones that I have.  What I will do with them once I have them all beyond keeping them in an envelope, I don’t know.

Miniature Hallmark Ornaments I have been collecting since I think 1995.  Generally I get them after Christmas when they are on sale (which kind of adds to the fun) but lately they do not have nearly as many as they used to.  Once upon a time they had their own little section with the ornaments (which made it a heck of a lot easier to pick one out) now they are all kind of mixed in.  I used to have a list of what I had (with a few purchases on ebay of ones I really liked or that were in series) but I am not sure if that is still floating around anywhere or not. Just another thing to add to the To-Do list I suppose!

I also collect postcards. I had been buying some for myself and my scrapbook since I was young, but lately I have gotten into postcrossing.com and postcardcafe and have been swapping cards and getting them from all over the place! So much so, I decided to share them on my other blog – postkatie.blogspot.com  where I post at least a card every week day.  It is not done in real-time, though I would like it to be, but I just don’t have time to scan what comes in the mail the day it comes and usually just catch up on the weekends and schedule posts in advance.

And lastly I collect Elongated / Pressed / Squished / Whatever you want to call it pennies. They are the ones you get at touristy places and you put the penny and 50 cents (or sometimes a dollar) and crank out a penny that gets stretched with a design on it.  What you might not realize is that it is a pretty serious hobby (I press all my pennies on pre-82 pennies so that they are more copper than zinc as zinc pennies leaves silver streaks through the design.) There is also a club, The Elongated Collectors and I am on the board since I am the webmaster of www.tecnews.org!  I try to keep the list of what I have up to date on www.pennycollector.com’s trading tool, but I tend to not update it as more pennies come in.  I have been trying to organize my collection and get all that together so that I can try to keep up with things – but every time I say I am going to keep organized I end up not putting a thing away for 2+ years lol.  My favorite ones are from baseball stadiums, though I wish I took better care of those pennies because a few have gone missing from sitting on my desk for too long without properly being put away :/

And I would say no – other people’s collections don’t bother me…

Book Review: Zero Regrets

Last month I was finally able to get around to reading Apolo Ohno’s book – Zero Regrets – after I purchased it at one of his book signings.

The book tells a bit about his childhood and how he grew up raised only by his father.  It goes on about how he was a rebellious child/teen and his father tried to keep him busy doing all sorts of after school activities so he wouldn’t have time to get in trouble – but of course Apolo had no problem finding trouble!

I particularly enjoyed the story Apolo told about how his father brought them to his cottage and left him there until he decided what he wanted to do with his life and give 100% to it.  Did he want to swim? skate? stay in school? do something else?  You’ll have to find out what Apolo did and learned while he was at the cottage alone – and to find out how long he ended up staying there before coming to his decision and calling his dad to let him know (and have him come pick him up)

I had followed Apolo’s career since the 2002 Olympics, so I knew the outcomes of all the races that he had mentioned.  Apolo writing about them really brought me back to watching each of the games – I can remember in 2002 our TV died so we were forced to watch everything on this tiny 19″ screen in the living room. It was interesting to hear (or, read) his perspective of all the races.

I really hope that he competes again in the next winter olympics – but I will also understand if he decides to retire.  Hopefully, he will remain the most decorated Winter Olympian for a long while either way!

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