Sunday, October 18, 2020

Pink is the new orange

I'm not sure why October always ends up being so busy for me, but it does, and this year has been no exception. It seems like the days are just go, go, go, then come night time, I'm too tired to get anything done... especially blog posts!

I always have tons of ideas for Halloween related posts, but rarely get around to doing more than 2 or 3 of them, and this year has been no exception! Looking at my draft folders, I see that I've got 6 Halloween themed posts started, but at the rate I'm going, will probably only end up getting to 2 of them, 3 if I'm lucky.

One of the 3 posts that I've managed to finish this month was a 1-card pink themed post to try and help Brian spread the word about his annual Save Second Base event. It was nice to be able to try and spread the word (even though pretty much every one already knows about it), but it wasn't what you'd call a great post (1-card posts rarely are), a fact which I acknowledged in the post, and said that I'd try to do one more for him (and his cause), something with a little more eye candy if you will. Well, I had a spare hour earlier in the week, and found myself possessing the want to look through some cards, more specifically, to look for some 'pink' cards. 

I ended up finding enough for a top ten post, of sorts. It's probably more like "Here's ten pink cards that I own and am showing in no particular order, half of which have already been featured on the blog at some point". It should be noted too that I didn't even need to look through any of my baseball player collections (barely touched the football ones either) to reach my goal of ten cards, so hopefully since it's for a good cause, all of you 'baseball or bust' types will still stick around 'til the end (commenting wouldn't be a bad idea either, especially since each one equals a $1 donation from Brian).

So without further ado, here's ten 'pink' cards that I own, and very much like...

1971-72 Topps #48
The '71 basketball set has a number of notable pink cards in it, especially since it's the background color for both the Lakers and the Pacers (among other teams), so you've got all-time greats like Wilt, West, and Baylor representing pink for the Lakers; and rookies of guys like Roger Brown, Mel Daniels, and Billy Keller on the Pacers side. And yet, my favorite pink card from the set is this Em Bryant. Pink aside, it's one of my favorite cards from the set, period! I'll even take it a step further and say that it's one of the quintessential 1970's basketball cards, at least from an aesthetic standpoint. Disagree? Prove me wrong!

2012 Panini Black Friday - Panini Collection Progressions (magenta)
You had to know that there was going to be a Progressions in here, right? Biz is my favorite of the rainbows that I'm trying to build, I've got 3 of the 4, and no, I can remember which one that I need off the top of my head (it's not like your sitting on one of these anyway).

2018 BBM True Heart autograph
I hate the thought of ranking things that people have sent me over the years, and would never do so, but still, I sometimes find myself reminiscing about the package that RAZ sent me a few years ago, it truly was that good. This Mochi Miyagi (no relation to Mr.) auto was one of the many great items in there.

P.S. RAZ, if you see this post, please come back to us. I know that you're on Twitter, but it isn't the same.. not even close!

2014 Cryptozoic Adventure Time Holiday Foil #HE-01
Did you watch Adventure Time? No? You should, it was a great show. It's not too late either, it still holds up, and will continue to do so for quite some time. These Holiday Foils were exclusive to the retail blister packs a bunch of years back. I couldn't find any of them in stores, so I bought a big lot of packs on eBay, maybe 10-15 packs, and since each blister pack (which contained two retail packs btw) had one of these foils on top of the packs, I ended up with a huge stack of them. For those that don't know, the show was set in a post apocalyptic world, where many traditions have been lost (big surprise, right), including Christmas. This card is from their two-part Christmas episode (Holly Jolly Secrets), in which the back story of one of the main characters is finally revealed, and Christmas is "re-created" (rediscovered ?), albeit in a slightly different manner than most of us are accustomed to. The episode had all kinds of heart, and is still very popular amongst the shows fans. The card has all kinds of heart too, even though it's foil-y goodness has been rendered null-and-void by the scanner.

1969 Topps #34
Other than Shawn Kemp's 1990-91 Fleer RC, I don't think that any other card has been shown on the blog more times than Merlin's Topps RC (not his true RC, but the 'geniuses' over at Beckett don't acknowledge that), so who am I to get in the way of a good cause, and not show it again :)

1957 Topps Hit Stars #80
Cyd Charisse has very few trading cards, don't ask me why though. If I was in charge, she'd have many. I freely admit to having a long standing crush on her, so I may be a bit biased.

See, I couldn't help it! Although, this photo does fit the theme that Brian's October posts tend to follow, so I'm just playing along, nothing else. It would make no sense for me to do so, but I've thought of doing a top 10 most attractive actresses/entertainers post before. If I ever did (I won't), Cyd Charisse would easily make that list.

1972-73 Topps #32
Is this a stretch as far as pink cards go? I probably wouldn't have used this one had I not seen an eBay listing for a copy the other day (during an unrelated search). Rookie cards seem to have gotten big again, and this one appears to have gone up in price a bit since I bought mine 5-6 years ago. Unrelated, can we refer to those as the 'good old days' yet?

2013 Panini Golden Age #DDG
This ones a bit of stretch, as it's more of a red card, but Ellie Mae is wearing a pink shirt, and does have pink ribbons in her hair, so? This is one of my favorite autographs from the Golden Age sets, so anytime I can find an excuse to show it, I'm going to. I watched a couple of episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies this past week, and while it's not my favorite program ever, I do enjoy a few episodes here and there.

1985 Topps WWF Stickers #3
Watch out ladies, Brother Bruti is on the prowl!

I haven't been a wrestling fan for quite some time now, and don't collect anything wrestling related anymore either, but the '85 Topps set, as well as the subsequent '85 O-Pee-Chee series 2 set, were amongst the few things that I held out back when I sold my wrestling collection. As far as wrestling cards go, those were the tops for me, it's been downhill ever since.

1984 Topps MOTU Stickers #20
Masters of the Universe has gotten big again too, and I'm thinking that it's like the tenth time that it's done so now? It's cool that so many people are into the various re-hashings, but I only care about the original. The new stuff just doesn't appeal to me, but of course I could say the same thing about everything from my childhood that's been reimagined in recent years, it all feels second rate, and I choose to have no part of it.

If by chance you haven't seen what Brian has been doing, I would highly encourage you to do so. He's doing lots of  good things, raising lots of money, and bringing awareness to a terrible disease. His dedication to the cause is very admirable, and he deserves all of the accolades that he has been getting.


Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Bringing light to a dark and stormy weekend

I don't know what the weather's like where you are, but I hope it's better than it is here right now.

We're getting the a$$ end of some hurricane this weekend, so there's been rain, rain, and more rain. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear I was back in the good ol' PNW. It's not very often that I'm stuck inside for a whole weekend, but that's how it's looking like it's going to be. With this in mind, I might as well use part of my Saturday morning to get a long, picture heavy post out of the way.

My mailbox has been getting a lot of action as of late (lucky mailbox 😉), most of which has been thanks to fellow bloggers, but I've also made a few small purchases in the past couple of weeks too (had to spend that $0.11 in eBay Bucks), so I've had a lot of cards piling up, many of whom were needing to be scanned (joy!).

Bo Knows Menacing
Kevin, aka The Diamond King, recently did one of his Diamond Nine giveaways, and even though there was a bunch of "hot" young players up for grabs, I just wanted the old Bo that was being offered. I don't think I've ever owned a card from the '94 Upper Deck SP set before, it's a good looking set, which I'm assuming is like the basketball version, in that there was a die-cut parallel in every pack, if so, I'll have to look for the parallel of this card at some point. 

Thanks for the card, and for doing the giveaway, Kevin! I've finally got a package ready for you, which will be headed out either Tuesday or Wednesday morning.

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My time spent on eBay has been very limited so far this year. Now that everyone's collecting investing in every single item that's come out in the last 40 years, eBay just isn't very fun anymore. I spend maybe an hour a month looking at cards, and maybe another hour looking at non-card stuffs (mostly toys), but rarely find anything worth getting excited over, especially when I know that whatever it is will be way out of my price range within hours of me finding it. That being said, I did find something (I can't remember what it is now) that caught my eye recently, and after clicking on the sellers other items, found a bunch of other items that caught my eyes (all three of them!).

thatsportscardguy had a whole mess of *Set Break* auctions going, most of which were of the football variety. All the listings said *Set Break*, but I think it was mostly just big names and rookies from various sets that were being *Broke*. I remember being blown away by the look of the inaugural Action Packed set back in 1990, to young me they looked like just about the fanciest trading cards that had ever been. The packs were kind of expensive, so I never got too many of them, but have always liked the set. Now, thirty years later, I've just learned that they did a 30-card test set in 1989, which is what the three cards above are from. The set is made up of Da Bears, Giants, and Redskins; and other than the numbering, appears to be exactly the same as what would come out a year later. I tried to get Art Monk too, but wasn't successful in that attempt.

I had never seen, or heard of, 1990's MSA Superstars set. I don't know how it was distributed, or how many cards are in the set (nor do I care), but I saw a couple of guys I wanted, and got two out of the three (Bo Jackson just wasn't meant to be this time).

A good portion of the '86 Topps set was being offered. If memory serves, I went for Ronnie Lott, Dan Hampton, Steve McMichael, Vance Johnson, Dennis Smith, and Howie Long; Howie was the only one that I got. No complaints though, at least it's another card that I don't have to look for anymore.

These six cards set me back $2.47, and the shipping was free. I have no idea what good deals are anymore, but I'm content with the purchase. The cards were well packaged, and were as described, so if you were ever so inclined, I would recommend buying from this seller.

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Some of you might recall that I did an anniversary Free Stuff Friday a couple of weeks ago, and one of the claimers was a fellow called David, who I hadn't seen around here before (or at least not one who had commented before), but was still glad to have participate. Other than some of my most frequent exchange partners, most people who claim stuff don't ever send anything in return, which is fine, since I don't care about that, I'm only mentioning it because, David, a first time claimer, surprised me by sending something in return. These three Reggie's weren't needed, but are appreciated nonetheless. I have a few copies of each of these now, and certainly don't mind adding more to the hoard, especially the '89 Pro Set and '91 Fleer, which by the way, is the best looking card from that set -- it's a well known fact, don't try to argue it.

Thank you for the Reggie's, David! A few more copies, and I'll have a full page of two of these :)

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You can't get much for 25 cents online these days (could you really ever though?), but through absolutely no diligence on my part, I came across, and won, a glorified dime box card for $0.23, with free shipping! ross4cards was running a bunch of those $0.01 start price auctions (with free shipping), you know, the kind that often end for less than the price of a stamp, and leave you wondering why someone would list things to lose money (looks like they've since smartened up, and are now listing things with a $0.99 start price). I can't remember when I got it, but I do have Cliff's 1994-95 Choice Gold Signature sitting in my COMC account right now, so it was nice to be able to add to the "rainbow" by picking up this cheap Silver. Without looking, I'm not sure if I have the base card, or any of the foreign releases, but the golds are always the hardest to find, so with that one out of the way, I'm not really too worried about the rest, I can get the rest whenever.

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Like with Kevin, I owe Kerry, he of Cards on Cards, quite a bit right now. So when he did his last FSF, I didn't want to claim anything, and I tried really hard not to do so, the problem was though, he had some really cool cards up for grabs, and the ones that I liked were not getting claimed. So, against my better judgment, I sent him a message and asked if he could hold hem aside, provided no one else was interested in them. Kerry being Kerry, didn't care that I was already in his debt, and immediately took the cards out of circulation.

I'd say that I was surprised that these three inserts remained unclaimed, but there's only a handful of football card collectors amongst the bloggers, so I'm really not. I had never seen the '92 All-Pro's before, and I don't if it's because I had never seen one in person before, or if it's just that Fleer used that different of a printing process to make them, but they've got a really unique look to them. The middle section almost seems translucent, but not, if that makes any sense.

This gold Warren Moon went unclaimed as well. I think I appreciate the Topps Golds a lot more now than when they were new. Of course back then I was always working on the sets, so the one per pack parallels meant that I was potentially getting one less card for the base set. The golds would be relegated to the back of the binder, and their set was never even close to getting finished.

A couple of extra cards were tossed in with the freebies, the first of which was a very shiny PINK King Felix. I'm not overly fond of Panini's Donruss cards, but it's a card I didn't have, and probably wouldn't have bought on my own, or in other words... the perfect kind of free card!

Bo seems to be in a lot of modern sets, which is a good thing, especially for someone like myself who doesn't really know of the current players (this is by choice). And is it just me, or does Topps seem to be doing an awful lot of numbers related inserts these days? Every time I see one, I just think that someone couldn't come with a new idea, so they just did another number themed insert set to pad out the size of the overall release.

Thanks for the cards, Kerry! I'm about halfway done with putting together a package for you, which I'm hoping to be completely done with sometime in the next couple of weeks.

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Sometime during my two-month hiatus this past summer, Bo, the lover of all things old behind, Baseball Cards Come to Life!, ran a Free Stuff Friday. Being on hiatus, and only paying cursory attention to the blogs at the time, I missed it. I can't remember who it was now, but it was someone who didn't miss the giveaway, posted about their claims, one of which was a 1980 Topps Fred Dryer. This post I read, and left a comment something along the lines of "I would've been all over that Dryer had I seen it". Apparently Bo saw this comment, and went out of his way to retroactively include me into his giveaway, by sending a sextet of '80 Topps, including another copy of the missed Dryer.

A needed, and very much appreciated Lyle Alzado was also tossed in, as well a nifty Cliff Branch, who I've been thinking about adding to the list of player collections.

The A-team was impressive, but the B-team here isn't too shabby either, all of whom are familiar names, with Joe making prank phone calls being my favorite.

Thanks for the great group of cards, Bo! This was a surprise mailing at it's finest.

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I'd also like to point out that I've recently received cards from Jim (gcrl) and Julie as well, but those will be part of larger individual posts (I have a backlog of cards to show from both of them). 

And as far as purchases go, I have one more small card order that did on eBay, which is currently hung up in some sorting center somewhere, and my biggest purchase of the year, in terms of the coolness factor, just arrived a couple of days ago. It's not card related, so most people reading this won't care about it in the least, but I was pretty excited. I'll need a day with some good sunlight so that I can a bunch of detailed pictures, so I don't know when I'll be able to that post, but in the meantime, I will provide one small clue, by saying that it's from one of the more well known 80's toy lines, a toy line who's figures were rather diminutive in size, but made up for it with their bulk :)


Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Blog posts + pink cards = cash donation

I'm pretty sure that everyone knows about it by now, but in case you've been living under a bed, Brian, aka Collecting Cutch, is doing his annual Save Second Base event, and is already nearly a week into it!

This yearly event has become quite popular amongst the bloggers, which is a good thing, since it generates breast cancer awareness, and raises money for the cause as well. Oh, and there's usually prizes too, pink prizes. Who doesn't like a good pink prize every now and again? And if that isn't enough to earn your support, Brian's daily posts throughout the month just so happen to feature plenty of buxom young women, which I'm sure has had absolutely nothing to do with the ever increasing attention that this event has garnered :)

Money is usually earned from comments on his October posts, which he's still doing this year, but Brian's also added another way for people to generate money for donations (out of his pocket btw), that being by other bloggers doing posts that feature pink cards. Not only will the posts themselves earn money, but each comment on said posts will raise money as well. Not surprisingly, plenty of bloggers have already answered the call (you're all awesome!). I'm a little late to the party (I hate to use that term, but I'm tired and can't think of another word), but do just so happen to have a pink(ish) card that's been sitting in a scan folder for almost a year now...

This 2012 Panini Black Friday Kobe Bryant magenta (it's close enough to pink) Progressions probably would have never made it onto the blog had Brian not challenged all of us to get involved by showcasing pink cards this year. I mean it's a cool enough card and all, and is limited to just five copies, but I got it like two years ago (COMC), and now that so much time has passed, I don't really have anything interesting to say about it. I was never a huge fan of his, and only bought it because it was cheap, and I have a thing for the Progressions. Well, and I already had the black one, so I was thinking of going for the rainbow, but I'm pretty sure the cyan and yellow would now be out of my price range. His cards have gone up quite a bit over the last two years thanks to his passing. The Rona hasn't helped matters either.

I've been terribly busy lately, and it's looking like I will continue to be so over the coming weeks, but if I can find the time (and the want), I'll seek out some more pink cards, and see if I can put together a top ten list, or something else that'll make up for this lackluster offering.

Before bouncing, I'm gonna ask everyone to indulge me for another moment while I climb up on my apple crate. Breast cancer has become big business in recent decades. Food companies profit from it. Non-profit organizations profit from it. Sports leagues profit from it. Businesses that you wouldn't think would be profiting from it, are profiting from it. And sure, most of them to give large sums to the cause, but not nearly as large of sums as their earning from it. I'll even take it a step further, and say that the majority of these profiteers don't give a damn about breast cancer, or any other cancer for that matter. If they did, we'd have months dedicated to childhood cancers, because let's be honest, there are no worse forms of cancer than those that affect children. Basically all I'm saying is that you should be careful, and do some research, before donating to any organization, or purchasing anyone's pink products. There are a lot of non-profit groups out there who have little to no accountability. Some use donations to lobby politicians for non-cancer related agendas. Others are run by people who think it's acceptable pay themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in salary, all of which comes out of the donation coffer. And as mentioned, there are more than a few that leave absolutely no paper trail, so it's a complete mystery as to what their spending everyone's contributions on. As for all the ubiquitous pink merchandise that's being pushed each year, be careful with that too. Many companies see their stock increase upwards of 40% during October thanks to sales from their pink items, but often only end up donating 10% or less of that newfound revenue. So, technically you are helping the cause by buying those products, but you're also increasing the portfolios of other as well. Only you can decide whether it's worth it or not. My opinions on this subject are strong (be thankful I didn't go even deeper into the rabbit hole), and honestly, are unshakable. And while it might sound like I'm down on donating to worthy causes, I'm not. I fully believe in, and participate in, donating to charities. There's just a lot of damn shady people out there, who have absolutely no moral objection to profiting from the misery of others, and I just so happen to have absolutely no moral objection to calling out those kind of people, and doing everything that I can to prevent them from cashing in on the generous nature that most people possess.

Okay, I'm stepping down now. So go support Brian's efforts, and if you can afford to donate, go find a reputable charity, whose books are open to public viewing, and do so!


Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Waxy wonders... minus the wax!

Show me a person who says that they don't like free stuff, and I'll show you a liar!

Whether it's free samples at the grocery store, or a free tire rotation from your local mechanic, or even free ebooks on Amazon; humans just like free stuff. [Although, I've never been one to eat free food from grocery stores, but that's just me not trusting the cleanliness of the person handing it out]

Bloggers, and blog readers, certainly like free stuff. There's absolutely no doubt about that. It's a fact that's been proven over and over again. This works out well too, since bloggers are also fairly well known for their generosity, which can take many forms, but probably the most common two are A) Sending out cards with no strings attached to fellow bloggers, and B) Hosting some sort of contest or giveaway on their blog. And when it comes to the latter, there are no shortage of ways for free cards to end up in the hands of others, some, like my self, prefer the simple (but very effective),and less creative "Here's a bunch of free stuff for whoever wants it". While others like, Jeff, from Wax Pack Wonders, prefer to get more creative, which is why you have things like his Pick 3 giveaway.

For those that haven't seen it, there's three categories made up of twenty or so baseball names, and if you're one of the first five(?) people to show up, you get to pick a name in each category, which nets you three free cards from each of those three names. It's a pretty easy concept, but quite clever in it's execution.

I've only participated once (you gotta get there quick), and it's been a few months now since I did so, meaning that the details are a bit hazy, and I don't remember what the three categories were. And sure, I could go back and see what they were, but that would be cheating, so instead I'm going to try and figure them out based on my picks. Sound good? [Hopefully you said yes, because I'm gonna do it anyway, I was just hoping that we would be on the same page]

Category #1: HOF's (or possibly just players of yore)

I have a small Luke Appling collection going, and all three of these were new to me, so the first pick worked out well. I say that these "three" were new to me, but there's kind of only two here, given that Panini apparently only has one picture on file of Luke. Like most of the modern Topps baseball sets, I can't tell the Diamond Kings sets apart from any other year, they just all look the same to me. It's also not one of my favorite products either, so that probably doesn't help either. With the cards having been put away many months ago, I don't know what year it is, but from an aesthetic standpoint, I like the middle design more than the right.

Category #2: Former All-Stars (or possibly a$$holes of yore)

I never saw him play, and I'm a tad too young to have seen him manage, but for some reason I still find myself drawn to Billy Martin. He was a prick when he played, and when he managed, and normally I'm put off by such people, but his antics are just so legendary. I want to read the stories, I want to see the videos (when applicable), and I want to collect his cards! I have a few from his playing days, but none as a manager, so this turned out to be another solid pick.

Category #3: Future HOF's 

I was 3 for 3, as all of these were new as well. For some reason I never thought to see if Ichiro was in any of the Tek sets, apparently he was, although don't ask me the name of the pattern, because I have no clue, all I know is that it's just a neat card. The one on the top right is one of those "Cards That Somebody In Your Household May Have Thrown Out" kind of reprints, which aren't my favorite thing, but at least it's shiny. Astute observers may have noticed that there's four Ichiro's here, yay you if you did, 'cuz you'd be correct. I don't know why I got more than three, although if I had to guess, I'd say it probably has something to do with that blogger generosity that I was talking about earlier. No matter the reason, I'm not gonna be complaining about getting an extra Ichiro, or in this case, two extra Ichiro's...

Even though this one is on my list of cards that I can never have too many copies of, I never expect to receive any, it's just not one that I think many people will come across in their travels, and if they do, who's going to remember that someone, who they've never met btw, is hoarding it? 

It was neat to receive this very unexpected card for multiple reasons, one of which, and probably the most exciting for me, was that it...

... completed a page! So pretty! I love seeing pages full of the same card like this, it sort of feels like I've accomplished something, granted, it's something that most collectors don't understand (or appreciate), but in my world it's something; which is all that really matters (don't let anyone tell you how to collect, kids).

A thousand and one thanks to, Jeff, for the great envelope. Lots of fun cards, and nary a drop of wax on a single one of them!


Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Outgoing mail // Making friends in unlikely places

First off, I'm happy to report that Operation: Send Out Free Stuff, is fully underway, as all but three claims from last Friday's post were mailed out yesterday morning. Of the three that weren't sent, one will be added to a larger package, and the other two are destined for our neighbor to the North. I thought I had a few more of those Canada global stamps, but apparently I didn't, so those two envelopes will have to wait until Friday or Saturday, when I will be in the vicinity of a post office again. Thanks again to everyone who participated.


Despite it still being a little early to do so, I ventured out into the woods this past Sunday to do some bottle hunting, and after having not done so for over six months, I gotta say... it was really nice!

Tick season has passed, and with the weather starting to cool off (much faster than I would like), snakes (of the venomous variety) are becoming less of a threat, but running in to them is still a possibility, especially in areas where they can soak up sun. Knowing the risk, I decided to, well, risk it anyway. The urge to get back out there was just too much.

I didn't get too crazy though, I just went to an area that I know very well, it's one that I've been to many times over the last couple of years. The creek was relatively low (to my knees or less), so to minimize the chance of encountering any unfriendly serpents, I traveled via the water for most of the way, only going on land to go around some deep pools.

I'm sure that most of you already know this, but you really can't go anywhere on this planet without encountering human refuse, and this area is no different. Of course this is an area the floods multiple times a year, which is part of the reason that it's such a good spot to look for bottles (the sediment is always being stirred up), but it also makes for a garbage catch-all. Since I'm all too familiar with this fact, I always bring a couple of plastic grocery bags with me, and try to pick up as much trash as possible. It was while venturing up on land to pick up a plastic Gatorade bottle, that I encountered the fellow above [Note: I didn't turn this cutie over to see what sex they were, but for the sake of ease, will continue to refer to them as 'him'].


This is an Eastern Box Turtle, they are not rare, and supposedly are quite common in Tennessee, but this guy just so happens to be the first living one that I've seen. I've found probably half a dozen empty, and often sun bleached, shells over the last five years or so, but up until Sunday, hadn't been fortunate enough to find one with it's occupant still inside.

My encountering him was just fluke too, if I hadn't gone ashore to get that bottle, then decided to look around for any other garbage, more specifically on the other side of a pile of branches/logs (flood pile), I wouldn't have seen him, cause that's where he was, basking in the sun on the other side of that pile.

This angle makes him look like he's only got one eye, but I can assure you that both were present.
I've encountered a number of other turtles/tortoises in recent years, but as mentioned, I hadn't seen one of these, and because of that, I never looked into the peculiars of their species; but now have.

Apparently the species is now listed as 'vulnerable', as are quite a few other turtle species around the world. The Eastern Box turtles are very slow, which makes it very difficult for them to successfully cross roads, and also makes them susceptible to farming equipment as well. They're a slow breeding species too, only laying 1-9 eggs a year (when they can find a mate), and with so few eggs, the odds of babies reaching adulthood is drastically reduced. But like most vulnerable and endangered species around the world these days, the biggest threat is China, yeah that China, the one who's systematically raping the planet, and either ignoring, or paying off, any and all opposition.

For all intensive purposes, China has wiped out their entire turtle population, and is now doing the same to everyone else's. Although for once the biggest threat isn't coming from a bunch of limp-d*cked businessmen attempting to regain their 'vigor' through the consumption of an endangered species, no, instead it's China's booming exotic pet trade that's behind the decline. There are poachers around the world who are looking to satisfy China's need for exotic animals, and unfortunately the U.S. is no exception. We've got quite the black market here, and one of their biggest "sellers" is turtles. Seeing as how very few people care about such things, this problem is likely to continue to get worse, and will probably continue to go unchecked (for the most part) until it's too late. [Note: Normally I'd apologize to anyone who's 'offended' by my anti-Chinese rhetoric, but this one instance where I won't, as this is one of the few things that gets under my skin, and I honestly don't give two sh*ts about the people who are bothered by it]

I hadn't planned on ever mentioning it here, but since I'm talking about turtles, I might as well tell one other quick story as well.

I think it was on a night back in June, where I was going down to check the mail kind of late, it was still light, but the mail was just being checked later than normal. Anyway, I was almost to the road when I noticed something that stood out considerably when compared to the gravel in the driveway. It was clearly a baby turtle, and from the angle it was at on the rocks, I thought it was dead, possibly run over by me earlier in the day. Thankfully my near-instant heartache over the possibility of having accidently run over a baby turtle was quickly alleviated when it started moving as I got closer.

There was no water in the direction that it was headed, and with darkness approaching, the odds were slim that it would survive the night, what with all of the four-footed buggers (raccoons, opossums, etc.) that come out of the woods at night. Heck, it was minor miracle that the baby hadn't already been picked off by a crow or blue jay. The nearest bit of water was the creek on the other side of the front yard, but at the time, that water was much too deep for this little thing, and I wasn't about to head into the woods right before dark, so there was really only one thing to do, find something to keep him (see, I did it again) overnight, and then find a spot to release him the next day.

I rarely throw anything away, so making a quick enclosure proved to be rather easy, I just grabbed an clear plastic vegetable drawer from an old refrigerator, went to the waterway in the backyard - which was dried up at the time - got some small pea gravel, a couple of bigger flat rocks, arranged them accordingly, and added water. It turned out to be a nice little setup for something that was thrown together in just a couple of minutes, it had everything a baby turtle could want (minus the freedom), a deeper spot to swim, and rocks that tapered up to a little land area. I didn't think to take any pictures at the time, but I've since cleaned everything and have it stored away just in case this ever happens again, and of course if it does, I will definitely take pictures.

After putting the baby in it's temporary enclosure, the only other thing to do was to try and find some food, especially since there was no way of knowing how long it had been traveling, or how long it had been since it last ate. The only thing that could be found on such short notice were some small wood grubs. Apparently those were acceptable though, as the baby ate a couple of them right away.

I fed the baby again in the morning, who at this point, wasn't too happy about it's enclosure, he was actively trying to swim through the wall. Seeing as how it was smack in the middle of snake and tick season, I wasn't too keen on going into the woods (I usually don't go in them during the summer), but the baby had to be put somewhere where the water wasn't too deep, and wasn't fast moving, and there's only one spot like that within walking distance, so I put on my knee boots, and set off around 9am to release him (it was a day off).

Like this past weekend, in an effort to minimize my chances of running into any snakes, I traveled mostly by water. It took about twenty minutes to get there, and when I did, the baby couldn't get out of the transport bucket quick enough, but before it could, I had to get one picture...


Now I ask you, how adorable is that? Size-wise, I'd say that he was smaller than a silver dollar, but was easily twice as active. I knew what kind of turtle this was at the time, but have since forgotten, and Google is proving to be of no help at all right now, so until I figure it out again, I'm just gonna say that it's a turtle, of the cute as a button variety. 

The same photo, but now zoomed in.
A few seconds after this picture was taken, he was gone, swam off towards, and then under some vegetation. I stayed for a minutes afterwards, long enough to see him come up once for air, and then I headed home. And I'm not going to lie, even though I don't own any pets, nor do I want to own any pets, I sure miss this little guy, even more so now that I'm thinking about him again.


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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

For Asgard!

It's not everyday that see you an athlete triumphantly holding up the head of a slain giant.

A belated, but very hearty, congratulations goes out to Vance Johnson on his victory; one would  imagine that Odin must've been quite pleased with this outcome.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Pack Sampling: 2020 Topps Series 2 baseball (Dollar Tree packs)

  
Before jumping into today's post, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who stopped by on Friday (and Saturday), I'm very grateful to you for doing so. Now that that's out of the way...

I couldn't tell you why exactly, but ever since the Rona started up, my trips to the Dollar Tree have increased ten-fold. Coincidentally, me purchasing cheap crap in recent months has also increased ten-fold. Whether or not today's item falls under the "cheap crap" header will be left up to you to decide, because I don't really know.

I've been hitting up the Dollar Tree, or as the kids call it, the DT, at least once week for months now, and sometimes even twice a week. This is due partly to me finally figuring out which day the new items get put out (it's Tuesday at this particular location), as well as the fact that it was one of the few places that was open there during quarantine. Everything's been opened back up for months now, and yet I still keep going. I think at this point it's more about it having become a habit more than anything else.

It must've been about two weeks ago now that I stopped in on a Monday, then found myself headed in that direction again on Wednesday, and figured that I might as well stop and see if anything new had been put out the day before. There had been a few things put out, but the only one that you'll care about is the baseball cards. In the card area that had had only Fortnite cards (they've been there pretty much all year) two days before, now had a feeder box (I believe that's what they're called) of 2020 Topps series 2. I don't know how many packs come in those things, but there was only about seven of them left, meaning that quite a few had sold in a very short amount of time. I bought three.

It's no secret that I don't care much for current sports happenings, I don't watch games, and only read the occasional recap (I do see plenty of whiny tweets though). I only really care about a couple of current athletes, and that's primarily because I like them as people, more so than because of whatever they're doing in their chosen sport. And unless it's loaded with past greats, I rarely have any interest current card sets. You might be asking yourself then why I would bother buying three packs of something that'd probably end up having nothing of interest to me in them? Easy, I did it for you... and the blog!

A lot of people have been rather upset over the inability to find retail cards since we got the Rona, so the thought was that maybe I'd get lucky and pull three packs worth of good stuff to send out to any, and all, interested parties. And even though I'm not hurting for blog content, $3 is a small price to pay for some different, i.e. contemporary, material. And it might even bring a few new people to the blog, though they'd probably be annoyed at how I'm going to cover this contemporary material, and then rage quit the blog :)

Now that I've typed your ear off, let's see what was in these packs... 

Pack #1:


And just as I thought, I have no idea who any of these kids are. There's probably someone out there yelling at the screen "HOW CAN YOU NOT WHO DREW F'N STECKENRIDER IS?!?!".  There is a rookie in the pack, and "collectors" are all about the rookies these days. Current wisdom says that I should send it in to be graded immediately and then take to the Twitter to brag about my subs(?). Conversely, current Jon wisdom says that it would make much more sense to just send it to Adam (provided he wants young Mr. Nuñez of course), and be done with it. 

The 2020 design has, I'm sure been dissected ad nauseam, so I'll just say that I don't particularly like it, and leave it at that. I'm not feeling the weird angles. 

In recent years, most DT packs usually have an exclusive yellow parallel in each pack, but these don't mention anything about that on the wrapper, and as you can see, clearly don't have any exclusive yellow (or any other color) parallels, they're just regular old 5-card packs.

Pack #2


Hey, I recognize two guys from this pack, Cain and Wong (wasn't that the name of the Rizzoli & Isles spin-off?), and have even seen them play!

Having not owned a lot of Topps in recent years, I was pleasantly surprised to see all of the minor league stats on the back of Victor Reyes' card. I thought that they had stopped doing minor league stats at some point, but maybe not. Looks like Victor's been around too, hopefully he's still in the bigs making the most of his opportunity, that small sampling there from 2019 certainly looked promising (this is where a normal blogger would look up his current stats and provide them for the reader, unfortunately for you, this particular blogger doesn't care enough to do so).

Pack #3


Aaaaand... we're back to five guys that I haven't heard of. I believe this is what you call a Rockies hot pack, in fact 20% of this 3-pack break was Rockies! Is Griffin Canning really a future star? Pitchers seem awfully soft these days, and not very durable. No offense to Griffin, but I don't think that it would be wise to invest in his future starness.

That was pretty exciting, huh? So would these be considered to be good packs? Or are these just the modern equivalent of "junk" wax? I'm leaning towards the latter. They were fun to open though, most things are, but I do have 15 cards here that are needing new homes. Some of these are will be sort of spoken for already, or at least certain people will get the option of first refusal (Adam - Rockies, Kerry - Cardinals, etc.), but they'll still be some leftovers. And I think that it's Tom who collects empty packs, or at least those with Angels on them, so at least one of the wrappers will be set aside for him (if he wants it).

Speaking of "junk" wax, as some bonus content, I stopped in at the printing/copy/card shop down in town yesterday, and left with less money, and a couple of boxes of cards that I really didn't need...

As I said on Twitter, at $6.50 apiece, I just couldn't walk away from them. Oh, and on the subject of Twitter, how is it that a tweet featuring these boxes ends up being the most popular thing that I've done on that site all year? Granted I rarely tweet anymore, not that I ever did a lot of it in the past anyway, but still, my blog post plugs get almost no attention (the ones that I actually remember to plug on there), yet everyone loses their collective minds over these crap boxes. Must be the appeal of the potential Elite's, but even then, I didn't realize that those had gotten so popular with the masses. I wonder if this is just another example of me not knowing what's going on with the current state of collecting?


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