What a day! Our Camp Fire club traveled down to DC and took a tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the place that prints money. It was extremely interesting. First we watched a little movie about how the process works, then we went behind the scenes on a cat-walk and watched the whole process. We couldn’t photograph anything on the tour. With the threat of having a federal police officer confiscate my camera it wasn’t even a temptation, though I certainly wish I could have documented it for my photo books.
It was quite a sight to see hundreds of hundred dollar bills (the new hundreds will be blue toned!) on the printer, and bricks of money that probably totaled in the millions. Can you imagine the security checks the employees must go through? The last set of guys were sitting in their room, fanning out stacks of hundreds to make sure they were all regular. All that money, and none of it yours! Wasn’t there a movie with Katie Holmes and Queen Latifah stealing money for the BEP?
Have you ever seen a bill that has a star in the serial number? The very last step of the money making process is having a human being manual thumb through a stack of bills and make sure it is static–there shouldn’t be any movement like when you flip through a children’s book meant to mimic a cartoon. The bills have the serial numbers stamped on and are done if they can pass this manual spot check (even though they’ve been through a thorough electronic check). If the stack fails, it is shredded and then substitute bills have to be made for those serial numbers. The substitute bills will have the star on them.
We took the metro down, with some of our friends. Our friend has a four year old little boy, so she was a little freaked about keeping him safe. Naturally she didn’t want him running ahead or getting out of her grip in the big city. He is a lot like Erik was and likes to run. Erik just REFUSED to listen to me. He was doing things that I would probably have let him do if we weren’t with a four year old and needed to all be on the same page about staying together and not wandering up the road. It was so maddening. He just completely REFUSED to stop or obey me. I swear I was ready to rip my arm off and beat him about the head on the metro platform. I ended up grabbing his hood and using it like a leash. A very, very short leash.
It was really embarrassing to be “that” mother, pulling my kid close and scream-whispering dire threats in his ear with an ugly, angry face. I hate my angry face. I look scary. He has lost TV, computer and DS privileges for a week. I don’t know who is being punished more. Now I’ll have him in my face all week, talking non-stop. I love the boy more than anything, and he is probably a little too spoiled, but he sure can work my nerves.
It was freezing out (18F) and we got lost on the way back to the metro. They had big signs out from the inauguration so we decided to follow the signs instead of going back to the stop we started at. Huge, huge mistake. We never did find the stop they were trying to direct us to, but the kids enjoyed walking past the mall and seeing some more of the sights, even if we all were freezing. I was very glad I found my long johns from my days in Sweden.
We were watching Max and Ruby on the way home (kill me now; I can’t stand that show and we’ve been watching it in the car for three weeks) and Grandma made a double fudge chocolate pie. Erik wanted to try his hand at pie making and I wanted him to stop badgering me so I set him to work. Oh, people, this pie is soooooooo disgusting. Erik made the crust by himself. It was his first ever attempt at a pie crust and he did not have a light touch. I’m proud of him for trying it (even though he had no idea that most people will never make a homemade pie crust in their entire life!) and I’m sure some day he will be a fabulous pie maker. But that someday is waaaaaay in the future. We put in a layer of chocolate chip/sweetened condensed milk fudge and a layer of pudding made from a box. Boxed pudding is one of the most disgusting things ever. Why did I even have it in my cupboard? Of course, he liked it because he could make it by himself. I don’t think he could have made homemade pudding on the stove. It requires too much constant stirring. At least this way I won’t be tempted to sneak a slice of this pie.
I shouldn’t talk bad about his food, I guess. It’s not like I told him it was not to my tastes. I told him it was great and he was very, very proud of his handiwork. He’s so high energy he might make a great chef someday. Except he really needs to do something where he makes good money. I’m thinking lawyer, he’s so fond of arguing.
And now it is waaaaaay past my bedtime and I’m super tired (toddler decided to scream and lay on me from 5:30 till we just got out of bed at 7:30). It is going to be hard to go back to the real world after a four day weekend!