Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

We went trick-or-treating in Chris and Helga's neighborhood tonight, after dinner at their house. Lots of friends on hand, and we formed a pretty big trick-or-treating gang, but we didn't see many other kids out in the neighborhood. It was a beautiful night, just warm enough that you could probably get away with wearing a t-shirt. Our girls are little enough to be real slow pokes, so we lagged behind, except Ed and Loraine and their daughter stayed with us. We went to a half-dozen houses, and it wasn't a quick affair, let me tell you. C & H were wonderful hosts, as always, with great decorations and even better food. It was all very pleasant."Trick or treat!"


Earlier tonight: The Chicken and the Pumpkin

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Call of Cthulhu

(Part 1) Friday evening I drove up to Dan and Amy’s in Florence for a “Call of Cthulhu” game. Dan ran the game, using the Savage Worlds game system. There were seven players, plus Dan.

I arrived with a full stomach, but that didn’t keep me from eating some of Amy’s truly fine chili and homemade bread rolls. There was also a large jar of candy corn and peanuts which, when eaten together, taste almost exactly like a Payday candy bar. Also, dark chocolate peanut M&Ms. And corn chips.

Dan passed out pre-generated characters for each of us. I took the role of Fr. Angus Duddlesworth, founder of a runaway shelter. The year was 1983. A CD player near the game table played music of the early 80s until we got tired of it.

Game synopsis, in short: I read in the paper that the teen boys who had been staying at the shelter were horribly murdered in the night, and all the girls were missing. The boys had been ripped to shreds.

I hurried down to the crime scene. The door was guarded by two officers. One of those lads was a good Catholic, and I talked my way past. He accompanied me, but soon had to run back out: Inside was unimaginable carnage. The bodies had already been taken to the coroner’s office, but the gore was everywhere. Officer McCarthy could not stomach it and went back outside to retch.

I steeled myself with prayer and tried to understand what had happened. I saw no sign of forced entry, until I noticed the basement door. I appeared as if something had forced it open from within. Had someone been locked in the basement?

I no sooner saw this than Sgt. Brian Willis arrived on the scene. He was irate that I was walking about the premises, and hurriedly showed me outside. As he questioned me, a reporter –whose name I never learned—showed up, as did a man named Dr. Connick. Sgt. Willis began to realize that his two officers, one nearly incapacitated from nausea and distress, were inadequate to secure the building.

I searched the building’s exterior and found nothing of note. By the time I was done, I found Dr. Connick and the reporter discussing the matter with a woman named Jodi, who was looking for her missing god daughter, one of the teens from my shelter. A man named Randy was there, too, as well as a teen named Jimmy, a young man who had stayed in the shelter previously and who was looking for his girlfriend Sharon.

With Sgt. Willis intent on keeping us in the dark, we retired to a nearby eatery. Dr. Connick told me that he had been at the coroner’s office, where in one of the bodies had been found a large fish scale. The reported said that there had been a history of girls missing from this area, going back fifty years, and that unidentified, eviscerated bodies sometimes wash ashore. The police, it seemed to us, were not acting quickly enough to find the missing girls.

Jodi worked out some plan to distract Sgt. Willis. She may have done something to make him hold a press conference. I’m not sure. At any rate, were were able to sneak back in the back door of the shelter.

In the basement we found that the iron sewer cover was opened. Equipped with flashlights, we began exploring. Jimmy spotted a strange trail of slime starting at the rungs we had descended, so we opted to follow that.

After quite a bit of walking down the main passage, we found rough stairs leading downward, straight through the bedrock to another series of tunnels.

There, we found a circular room with a pool in the center. I saw what I first took to be a person swimming in the water there, but it lunged from the water and attacked us. It was a horrendous fish-man, like a beast from a horror movie! Jodi killed it with a shotgun blast. I do not know who this woman is, but I’m glad she was with us.

The doctor examined the corpse. We all fervently hoped that it was a man in a rubber costume, but it was not so. It was some mutant or horrid hybrid.

As were struggled to come to terms with this awfulness, Sgt. Willis and one of his officers arrived. They had been pursuing us, and had heard the shotgun.

We explained the situation, and he told us that we must leave. However, he recognized that this was a matter beyond any with which he had dealt before, and knew that he could not force us. Jimmy, at the least, was uncontrollable in this eagerness to save his girlfriend. We continued down another tunnel, desperate to find the missing innocents.

Horror of horrors! We found a tremendous cavern in which dozens of the horrid fish-men were holding blasphemous rites with insane chants. A giant golden altar, flanked by huge fishman statues, stood next to a pool. As we watched, three of the teen girls were led to the altar.

(To be continued.)


Last night I had the idea to go see a movie with Kim. Originally, I’d been thinking that I’d like to see the 3-D version of “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” but there weren’t showtimes that seemed very agreeable. On a whim, I scanned the rest of the showclock, and noticed a listing for a movie called “Once,” which the Courier-Journal gave four stars. It was at the Village 8, the “cheap theaters.” That’s good, because I’m cheap.

I had never heard of this movie, and looked up a few more reviews for it. The critics loved it. It sounded interesting, so we went.

I won’t describe the film; you can find plenty of reviews. I’ll just say that I thought it was a true little joy of a cinematic experience and I’m really, really glad I saw it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wood rot

I had taken today off to go with Kim and the girls up to Huber's Family Farm, or whatever it's called. We were going to look for pumpkins, and go through the corn maze, and admire the gourd selection, and watch apples being turned into cider, and whatever else they do there.

Those plans fell through, however. The heavy rains earlier this week poured through the window of our family room: The water drips from the top of the window pain, having entered the wall through a seam in the roof. Today, a building contractor that Kim's dad knows, and a window guy that the contractor knows, came out to investigate the situation.

It's pretty bad, but I guess it could be worse. It turns out the drip guard above the gutter over the window doesn't reach far enough under the shingles. The roof has a slight flaw there, allowing water to pool under the shingles just at the edge, next to the gutter. It there seeps (or, in some cases, pours) down through the wall.

We also discovered that some of the wood inside the wall under that window (and likely above that window, too) is thoroughly rotten.

It will take quite a bit of repair. A gutter and siding guy that the contractor knows is supposed to come out early next week to look at it.

I called State Farm, and they said they only cover it if it's an accident, as opposed to a maintenance issue (in other words, they cover a lightning strike or tree limb damage, but not rotten wood from a leak.)

We may be able to save a hundred dollars or more if we take down and put up the gutter ourselves, which would be a 3-person job with three extension ladders, but that seems do-able. Even so, it'll be at least a thousand dollars, I'm sure.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

totally loaded, I suppose

I had many dreams last night. In one, I was a werewolf, but not really: It was sort of a game. Read that as dream ambiguity. I ran after friends and family members to scare them. Kim and someone else pinned me to the ground and tranquilized me with something they injected into my arms, in the same places I get my allergy shots. We were all laughing.

In another dream, or possibly a continuation of the same one, a bunch of large owls flew down. They were brown and white barn owls, I think. One landed on my arm. It was sort of threatening due to its size and sharp talons and beak, but it wasn’t attacking. Then it became a beautiful woman in an owl costume.

There were other dreams, I think, involving car chases and art. I woke up thinking about ink, wonderful inks of black and brown, all varieties, waiting for me to draw or paint with them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Big Lunch

Today for lunch I am eating the largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich ever made in the history of the world. It is 4 ¾ x 7 inches, more than 1 ½ inches tall, and weighs 9.9 ounces.

Post-lunch update: It was delicious.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I worked on my first batch of walnut ink this weekend. I took photos along the way, so I’ll post a step-by-step outline of the process. I’m not entirely happy with the results, but I’m happy enough that I’ll use what I have.

I’ll be making more, I think, and tweaking the process.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Pan's Labyrinth"

I finished watching “Pan’s Labyrinth” a couple of nights ago. Almost all of my DVD watching is a multiple-night affair. This movie was spread out over five days, in three different viewing sessions. It’s really the only way I can watch a movie without staying up way too late or abdicating my responsibilities as husband, father, and homeowner. I’ve found that it lessens a movie’s impact.

Perhaps it lessened the impact of this movie. But, wow. I sure wish I’d seen it at the theater. Some viewers may have very legitimate reasons for not liking this movie. It is art, after all, and all response to art is subjective. Perhaps it seems too violent, or too fantastic, or too gloomy. Perhaps you hate anything touching on fantasy. Perhaps you hate subtitles.

Surely, though, one must recognize that this movie is masterfully assembled from the finest quality ingredients. Everything about it, I thought, was dead-on. Fortunately, I liked the ingredients, too. I could handle the violence, I like fantasy, I don’t mind subtitles.

So, wow. Best movie I’ve seen in years.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ghostly encounters #2

I used to work for the county District Court Archives, which had offices on the first floor and basement of the former county jail, downtown. At some point in the past, the jail was renovated into office space for the district courts, county attorneys, and other county agencies.

It was nicely renovated, but the construction was still old brick and limestone blocks. Catty-corner to the Hall of Justice, the building held thousands and thousands of records relating to various court cases going back to the 19th Century, and saw all kinds of traffic during the day. Lawyers, cops, private investigators, criminals of all stripe, and the mentally ill all paraded through, providing me with interesting anecdotes.

The records I worked with were a mix of district and circuit cases. The circuit cases were generally more interesting, and often more grisly. Those were the cases the dealt with more serious crimes, like murder, rape, and arson. A couple of the rooms had been used for storage of evidence, although not much evidence was around at the time I worked there. Just a few odds-and-ends. Just knowing the room I was in had recently held murder weapons was enough to add to the atmosphere.

I recall my boss and others saying that a prisoner had hanged himself in the area our offices were, and that one of our storage rooms had been solitary confinement. Where the parking garage is now, there had been a courtyard, where there had been hangings.

All this made the building sort of a creepy place to be at night, when the doors were locked and hardly anyone was around. I worked there in the evening for a while, and there nights when the time was up and I was out of there with a pretty solid case of the creeps.

By eight o’clock at night, there were few people in the building. Often it may have been just me and the security guard, who had a booth by the front door, far out of earshot. I listened to the radio and tried to keep from my head thoughts of the frustrated, irate, disappointed, or just downright strange people I’d met earlier in the day, perhaps skulking around outside the building, looking for unlocked doors. Or hiding in the restrooms or under the stairs.

A friend and co-worker related this story, similar in a way to my Mountain Dew story: He was in the farthest corner of the archives room at the end of the hall in the basement, filing circuit court cases (those are the ones that dealt with, for instance, murder. Photos included.) The case files were kept in heavy cardboard bankers boxes, stacked on metal shelves four or five high. The boxes lined the walls of the room and also filled a free-standing set of shelves in the middle of the room.

After filing a load of cases, he walked around the room making sure all the drawers were closed. He shut a few drawers, walked around to the other side of the room, and shut a few more. Then he turned to leave, looked back, and saw that a couple of the boxes he shut were open again.

Weirded out, he almost flipped the lights off and slammed the door with the intention of just getting the heck out of there. Instead, though, he stopped himself and forced himself the think calmly about it. There had to be a good reason the heavy cardboard drawers had dragged themselves back open, right?

After thinking about it a bit, and then messing with the drawers, he realized that when he had slammed shut the box drawers on one side of the island of shelves, the backs of the drawers had bumped against the backs of the drawers on the other side, bouncing them back open.

Rational explanations aside, it was still a damn creepy place to work.

My ghostly encounter #1

Just about ten years ago, at another place I used to work, I had a supernatural experience. Not really. But the experience was one that I remember as funny and, for a few seconds, slightly startling.

I was sitting in the otherwise empty breakroom, having polished off my lunch and the last of my can of Mountain Dew, and reading a magazine. My lunch break was nearly over.

Without warning, my can of Mountain Dew slid noiselessly and smoothly from one side of the table to the other.

My reaction, for a couple of seconds, was to sit slack-jawed, the hair on my neck prickling upward. Then I looked around to see if anyone else was around. I didn’t see anyone.

After another couple of moments of consideration, I formed a theory about what had happened, experimented, and solved the mystery to my satisfaction. We’ll play “Encyclopedia Brown” and see if one of my thousands of readers can guess. Here’s another clue: This happened during the summer.

More Ghost Fiction

Here’s another ghost story, one that I recall reading many years ago. I suppose I read it somewhere between sixth and eighth grade, and I found it memorable enough that the plot and the title stuck with me (I had the title slightly wrong: I thought the phrase was the “Watery Ghost” instead of “Water Ghost.”) It was in a collection of short stories I checked out of the school library.

The Water Ghost of Harrowby Hall

Aluminum cans

I guess I could have posted this a couple of days ago during the blogosphere’s environmentalist Action Day, but I only thought of it just now.

Last week I decided to save aluminum cans. Normally I throw them in the recycling bin at home. Now, though, I’m making an extra effort to seek them out. I keep a cardboard box under my desk at work, and pick up the ones I find around the office. In addition, I’m keeping a bag in my car for when I find them as I’m sashaying about town. Soon, I’ll procure a bin of some sort for my office’s break room.

I’ll save the cans for a while and then cash them in. I figure after a year, I’ll be able to afford a hundred –dollar coin! Or maybe a tube of cobalt violet oil paint!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I don’t believe in the supernatural, but I love ghost stories in spite of--or perhaps because of--this. Here's one of my favorites:How Fear Departed From The Long Gallery.
In the spirit of Halloween, here isThe
Straight Dope on the curse on MacBeth

Caufield's Halloween Parade 2008

I didn’t take any photos of the Halloween parade, though I could have taken twenty. I refuse to write twenty thousand words, however.

There was a pretty good crowd there, more than last year, and the weather was nicer—a slightly cool with no wind. The street was lined with families, many of whom were in costumes.

The thing I love about this parade is that it’s such an amateur affair. There was not even anything as fancily practiced as a high school marching band. It’s campy, silly, cute, and weird.

My favorites were the JCPS librarians. There were about fifteen of them, dressed as witches in striped pointy hats, but still looking very much like school librarians. They were pushing library carts and occasionally spinning in maneuvers to music blaring from a boom box.

There were a couple of costumed Girl Scout troops riding in decorated pickup trucks, hurling tootsie rolls at spectators. Several of the area seasonal haunted house attractions had marchers or decorated vehicles (plenty of hearses), as did a few other area businesses. The Korsair Charities Flying Fezzes drove a street-bound helicopter which had bats suspended from its slowly rotating rotors.

In my opinion, some of the imagery is too strong for little kids. Some of the costumes are frightening, and some of the marchers menaced the crowd with chain saws. (Although I enjoy it as silly fun in parade context, this sort of gory slasher stuff has always been a very non-essential ingredient in my enjoyment of Halloween. I love the spooky and the creepy, but the out-and-out violent and gory is off-putting.) Despite this, there were plenty of small children among the spectators, and I didn’t see any of them run shrieking in fear. Which surprised me.

I’ll plan to go again next year.

I have recommenced working on my own costume. I don’t know if I’ll have it done by the 31st. I need to pick a deadline prior to the 31st; maybe the 26th. I am taking photos of the work-in-progress.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A ten-minute shrieking fit, during which she was placed in her room, ended with Erin asleep face-down in her doorway. It's like Marlin Perkins popped her with a dart.
On the "Mombasa Express," the old VW bus that kids can play on, at the zoo: I just thought Jill looked really cute in this picture.

An old landscape

This is a landscape I painted at Riverview Park in 2002. It's about 40x30 inches, on a panel. I've sent it across the country, and I sure hope it gets there in one piece. I tried to take some nice pictures of it before I boxed it up, and this is what I got. Five shots with an awful glare, and one shot that's all yellow. Just try to picture this in your head as being somewhere between the two.

I really thought I had the glare worked out. I took the picture at an 80 degree angle to the window. What the heck? I'm sure Candy is rolling her eyes.

I just realized that the opening sentence of the preceding post makes it sound like I find my wife and children uninteresting. That's not the case at all. I could go on at length about the cute things that Erin and Jill say, and the wonderful things that Kim does. But, really, I know that everyone who reads this blog (hi, NSA!) are only interested in Slovakian coins, growing watermelons, and landscape paintings.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Although I feel like I rarely have anything going on in my life worth blogging about, I find that if I go for four of five days without posting, I have stored away in my mind too many things I want to comment on and don't have the time or energyt to write about them. Even though they are just little things.

I went to the First Friday trolley hop downtown on the fifth. I saw some good stuff. One gallery had a couple of violinists playing; their music filled the small space, and it was beautiful.

Swanson Reed Contemporary had an exhibit by Louisville artist Ted Bressoud. Mr. Bressoud has cut up paper money (ones, tens, twenties, hundreds...) and arranged the pieces into crosses. He says in his artist statement "Making a religious icon out of money was, at once, destroying what I worshipped and deitizing it." The results were, I found, fairly simple in their elegance, pleasing to the eye, and provocative.

Another highlight was David Schuster's studio and gallery at 211 South Clay Street. His paintings are very approachable. They are realistic without being photographic, they're colorful and vivid, and they display a love of both drawing and paint application. He paints the way I want to paint. He also seems like a very nice guy and I enjoyed my brief conversation with him. His work is a lot of fun to look at, and I recommend a visit to his gallery space to anyone who's visiting galleries downtown.

Other weekend highlights that I hope I get some time to post about: I harvested some bamboo from alongside Interstate 71, and cut some of it down into dip pens. I greatly enjoyed Erin's soccer game on Sunday, and it wasn't even miserably hot, although the thermometer said it was. Last night we had dinner with the Gilberts, and had the privilege to enjoy a visit from Shagufta, who regaled us with fascinating tales from the last dozen years of her life.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Kyrill & Methodius

St. Kyrill, or Cyril, invented the Cyrillic alphabet. He and his brother, St. Methodius, are considered patron saints of Europe. They were born in Thessaloniki, Greece in the 9th Century, and converted a lot of Slavs.

There you go.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Erin the builder & destroyer

Here's a Slovakian coin I bought at the coin show. I thought it was sort of pretty; that's a nice design. Those two fellas are St. Kyrill and St. Methodius. I'll have to look them up.

Saw in its final stages

My workspace in the dining room.

Finished saw

The Wine Tasting

Saturday evening’s wine tasting party was a lot of fun. Each of the twelve guests was to bring a bottle of wine under $10. I didn’t know until immediately beforehand that we were also supposed to dress up like our bottles of wine, but I think I looked smartly TV wine commercial-like in my green jeans, black T-shirt, and tan sport jacket.

Kim and I brought a bottle of malbec and a bottle of strawberry wine from a Kentucky winery.

Disclaimer: I don’t know anything about wine. I don’t know a malbec from a zinfandel from a merlot, except that I think all zinfandels are white. And, actually, I think I might have had enough merlots over the past decade that I might be able to guess if it’s a merlot if I haven’t been told. I swear, though, Saturday was the first time in my life I ever heard the word “malbec.”

Laura wrapped each bottle of wine in a paper bag and numbered it, so that we could only go by the numbers, not the labels. Then we were seated outside on the porch. It was a beautiful evening. Pat and Laura had a long table with candelabras, and place settings. There was a fire in the yard. It was very dark.

Chris G. was dressed as a butcher, Loraine as a gaucho (gaucha? Gauchita?), Chris S. like a Kentucky Colonel. Helga was in her tango outfit. Ed wore a long wig and a sleek black dress that showed off his tattoos. Everyone else was dress strikingly, also.

We all had scorecards, passed around the bottles as we dined on salads, bruschetta, rolls, and these awesome hors d’oeuvres consisting of almond-stuffed figs wrapped in prosciutto. (Hmm. My spell check function wants to change “prosciutto” to “prostitute.”)

There was a main course of chicken, pork, noodles, and vegetables, but I had very little, as Kim and I had just eaten. All the food I had was excellent.

The two wines that we brought fared well, getting generally favorable comments. The strawberry wine was mild and sweet, and the malbec was decent and somewhat interesting, though not a favorite. The greatest commotion was over an elderberry wine that Aaron brought, with the opinion seeming to run from “Hoo, what is this crap?” to “Wow! Undrinkable!” My comment: “Like a pack of Smarties dissolved in Alka-Seltzer.” Although the beverage was dislikable (really, it might not be bad poured over vanilla ice cream), I must give thanks to Aaron for providing great entertainment.

After a tiramisu dessert, we all sat around the fire and chatted. Then Kim and I had to go home to relieve our baby sitters, who were asleep on the sofas.

Monday, October 01, 2007

And now, your weekend update

Weekend synopsis:


Coin show, already mentioned.

Dinner with the Sparkses at Wendy’s, just for the fun of it.

D&D at Brent’s house. We started at about 9 p.m., and stopped at 1:15 a.m. David brought bourbon. At the end, I accelerated game time to get the chronology of in-game events up to about where I wanted them to be. Now, though, I have a list of things I really need to get together before the next game night. I need to get a map of the island of Thanos and the ruined city of Marding. I need to work on weapon enchantment options and prices. I need to complete details of another location they may end up very soon, and another location they may go.


Up with Jillian at 6:15, after a somewhat more than 4 hours of sleep. I spent a couple hours ruing my Dungeon Master status. Jillian was in a really good mood, though, and very cute.

Kim ran errands and worked much of the day. I played with the girls and cleaned. Cleaning in our house is like using a small plastic shovel to clear a long driveway during a moderate snowstorm. One may take a small step back and see the progress made, but another step back reveals that the task is overwhelmingly big and that the work that’s been done will be swallowed up again quickly. That’s why it’s best to focus on little areas. I used the dirt devil on the upholstered glider-rocker and parts of the family room carpet. I took some old toys out to the garage. I cleared off parts of the kitchen counters. Erin and I made fudge.

Mom and Dad came over to watch the girls while Kim and I had a date night. Bless my mom and dad! They do so much for us, as do Kim’s parents. We had a great night. After dinner at Rocky’s, we went to Pat and Laura’s for a wine tasting party.


After we worked at church, we went to Erin’s soccer game. Those games are a hoot. The weather was much nicer than last week, although the sun was still hot. It’s fun seeing the three-year-olds watch the ball roll past… Sometimes it even bounces off their shins, and they don’t move.

I played with Erin and Jill in the back yard, which is where we also had dinner, despite the mosquitoes. I pulled some of the gourds off the fence. I think some of them will be cured soon.

I went to bed at a reasonable hour.

Coin Show

Last weekend’s annual Fall coin show seemed to be a success. I don’t know how things were on Saturday, but Friday went well, for the time I was there. I worked from the time it opened, at 10:00 a.m., until 1:00 p.m., at the front table. We handed out name tags to dealers, prompted visitors to put on name badges, and sold raffle tickets.

There were about fifty dealers and eighty tables, and the venue was spacious. I could have spent much more time and money if I’d had either. As it was, I spent 1 ½ hours and $20.

I had to return in the afternoon after work to take back one of the coins I purchased, for I became convinced that it was a counterfeit. I wish I’d taken a picture of it so that I could show people what I was talking about. I was a little excited when I first found it: In one dealer’s binder of world coins, he had a couple of pages of 18th and 19th Century reales and half-reales. I’ve been looking for such a coin from the 1730s, because that’s the kind of coin that would have been in common usage in the Colonies when the first Tablers came over during that decade. I spotted a 1737 half-real for $18.95, and the dealer said he’d let me have it for $15. It wasn’t in great shape, but that was a good price, so I purchased it.

When I got back to work I looked at it a few times, and became troubled. The more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that this was a replica. Finally, I became sure that it wasn’t just a fake, it was a poorly done fake that screamed “I suck.”

The details on the coin were poor. There was metal between the bars on many of the letters. Importantly, there were bubble-like raised nodules of metal, which is what would occur if the coin were cast in a mold that had bubble-holes in it that had formed when the mold-making material had set. Most damning, there was a broken flange of metal protruding from the top edge of the coin from where the metal had been poured into the mold.

At least, this is what my eyes told me. (For anyone reading this who doesn’t know, all those hints of the coin being cast in a mold are important because legit coins are not cast in molds.)

I took the coin back, explained to the dealer my concern, and handed it to him. He looked at it with his loupe and mentioned something about the quality of the coins at that time varying considerably, and then he gave me my money back. So I have no problem with this dealer, except that I think it was a seriously problematic coin that he himself should have caught. There were a few other world coins I bought from him that I’m satisfied with.

The best deal of the day: In found a 1960 Franklin half in nice shape marked with a price tag for $10.00, and a 1971 Eisenhower dollar that was sort of worn, marked at $2.00. However, both of these were in a bin marked “half off,” making the Franklin half = $5.00 and the Ike dollar = $1.00. I thought, “A dollar for a dollar? I’ll bite.” I took both of them over to the dealer, and he said, “I’ll just take five for both.” So, essentially I got the Franklin for $4.00, which is significantly below today’s bullion value for the silver in the coin.