I gave an Alaska quarter to Peter Myers at the Green Party of Santa Clara County meeting in October of '08.

When I first heard that Hawaii was the only State in the USA with no straight line borders, I immediately thought of this song. It's on the live Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young album titled Four Way Street. It's hard to listen to that  record without hearing echoes of the Vietnam War. Of the States in the USA, Hawaii is the second that is younger than I am. This contrasts with Barak Obama, who is the first President-Elect that is younger than I am. The mysterious incantation on the coin is Hawaiian, and it translates to "the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness." I vividly remember meeting Keiko Bonk, the first Green Party member elected to partisan office in the USA. She was (and is) a Hawaiian, and her mandate was to fight excessive condo development along the beaches.

I had thought the state quarters program ended last year. Surprise! The territories and possessions of the USA demanded representation and Congress relented. It started with DC, the oldest one. Five other ones are coming out this year: Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Needless to say, of these the District of Columbia is the only one on North America. This is the only year of the program (to date) that six different quarter designs are planned.

Fred gave me this coin last April 25. He said it came in his junk mail. I've not seen another one like it.

I found the coin in the Green Party change jar at the end of the GREEN Club Earth Day thing at Santa Clara University. It's the new reverse of the Sacajawea dollar.  This one has the "2009 D" and the "E PLURIBUS UNUM" on the edge, the way they do it for the Presidential dollars.

I'm not aware of another US circulating coin with Spanish on it. In case you were wondering, "Isla del Encanto" means something like "Isle of Enchantment".

I can't say "I've never heard of these places", but I don't know much about them. I've met a couple of people from Guam. One was a guy down the hall in my college days. The slogan on the Guam quarter means "Guam - Land of the Chamorro." The Chamorro are a large ethnic group there. I feel even less connected to American Samoa. Maybe I've ridden on the bus with Samoan's or something. The slogan on the the American Samoan quarter means "Samoa, God is First." I got both slogan definitions from the U. S. Mint website.

As if there hadn't been enough change in the change over the last decade, I've learned that over the next decade they plan to almost double the number of different designs floating around in the change. I saw a press release saying that every state and territory is going to have a quarter design commemorating one of its state parks. The third one will commemorate California's Yosemite. For more information on that, please click here.

I was surprised to learn that there is actually a place in the USA where the Republican and Democratic Parties don't dominate every race all the time! Bravo for the Northern Mariana Islands! Thanks also to the Jan 2010 issue of Ballot Access News for sharing both of the above tidbits with me. Sad to say, this is the last of the quarters representing States and Territories of the USA.

I found out this coin exists from the US Mint website. Click here to see that page. Haudenosaunee is an Iriquos word. I don't know much more about it than that. I found the Gandhi quote in my mail, on the back of a piece from the Organic Consumers Association of Finland, MN. I send them a few bucks every now and then, just because their stuff is great reading.

I'm convinced those "worms" are bribes from the plant for birds or whomever to help spread seeds. They look real until you notice they don't move. They taste just like the rest of the pepper, sweet and good. Real worms would have moved under their own power. I added the spoon full of liberty to give you as sense of the size of the tableau.

I've noticed that chickens vote with their feet, voices, and beaks just like the rest of us.

It was a long time after this coin came out that I realized it was the only state quarter that featured somebody farming an indigenous crop (maple trees, the guy is tapping these while the sap is running [usually that's boiled down to maple syrup or maple sugar]) in what could be a sustainable manner. I say "could be" because you don't see any fossil fuel use, but it wouldn't surprise me if there was a tractor or pickup truck just outside the frame of the picture. There are many other quarters with crops on them, but none that tell that kind of story.

That land of lakes princess looks like a Minnesotan to me, but she is mainstream packaging from Safeway. A lot of that brand's product really comes from somewhere in California. That's why the California in the picture is easy to read.

Stickers are part of that "show me your politics" thing. When I'm going past a parked car, or one is at a light in my field of view, I check out the sticker collection. I prefer the messages that are easy to read and easy to get at least on one or two levels. When it says something I like to hear I feel connected to the driver. If it alienates me, I'm just glad to know where whomever is coming from. Check out my virtual car by clicking here.

When I got back from my trip to Virginia for my sister's daughters wedding, these were interesting things in my kit. I like the nickel because it's the only coin I got during the trip with redwood trees in the art. The one cent coin I'd not seen before the trip, but I picked up quite a few of them at various places along the way for some reason. It's like they are flooding into the change all over the USA right now. The Brazilian pin I got from a young woman who had collected it at a science fair. She traded it for one of my "MEND YOUR FUELISH WAYS" stickers on the light rail, just as I was starting my trip. The book in the background is rare in my collection, in that the whole thing boils down to an explanation of what the seven words on the lettuce tie mean. I got through the whole thing on the trip. A fascinating read.