Monday, July 24, 2017

A card show, my first trip to Ollie's, and a tornado warning

Looking at the date of my last published post, I see that it has been a little over seven weeks since I last posted. Once again I ended up going far longer in between posts than I had intended, in fact this particular post was actually started right after my last one, and then for a myriad of reasons... I just never bothered to finish it (or any other post for that matter).

Much has been going on, most of it being of the not so great variety. So since it's starting to feel like I'm always complaining about this or that, I'm going to do everyone a favor and not start this post off with a bunch of negativity, instead trying to focus on the positive for a change.

It feels a little weird doing a post about a day that occurred almost two months ago now (the last Saturday in May to be exact), as some of details are already becoming a bit hazy with time, but as I said above, I had already started it by adding all the pictures and I really don't want them to go to waste. So...

I found myself once again in need of card supplies right around the time I was moving, but I couldn't justify going to a show and wasting half a day or more on something so frivolous when there was still so much that needed to be done before the actual move. So that was my primary reason for attending this particular show, finding anything of interest would just be an added bonus. Not surprisingly, I ended up with a few things other than the supplies that I had went for.

I'm going switch up for once and start with my two "expensive" purchases:

The majority of my 1970-71 Topps cards are in really great shape, so this Wilt, is now by far the worst card, condition wise, in the set. But since this was the last of the somewhat pricey cards that I needed from the set, the $4 price tag was too low to pass on. I may try to upgrade it at some point, but with continuing increase of vintage basketball card prices, this one might have to do.

No matter how many times I've seen wilt's stats on the back of cards, it never ceases to amaze me to see that 1961-62 stat line.

This card isn't perfect either, but at $3, I thought it was a pretty good deal. I don't know why, but I always enjoy getting the first and last cards form a set out of the way.

Moving on to the cheaper stuff. I was fortunate enough to once again be able to take care of some more needs from a few of the "players of yore" sets that I have been building exclusively through the ten cent boxes:

I know I've mentioned it before, but I don't come across the 2002 Sweet Spot Classics very often, in decent shape that is, so it was really nice to be able to pick up the four shown above.

There is one particular seller that always seems to have a few Broder/fantasy cards sprinkled throughout his dime boxes, and judging by the last couple of shows that I have been to, I am unable to not buy them. I'm not entirely sure how much I actually like these kinds of cards, so thankfully, this time there was only one that ended up coming home with me.

In case anyone is interested, here is the back of the card:

These 2014-15 Donruss swirlorama parallels set me back a quarter a piece.

I'm always down for ten cent 90's refractors.

There was a fellow there who had a ton of 2014-15 Prizm base cards in his dime boxes, so I was able to mark a few off the checklist, most of them being rookies:

Giannis was the only non rookie base card that I got, and the Avery Bradley is a refractor Prizm.

There was a seller that I hadn't seen before, who had a small box of mostly 90's basketball inserts and parallels, and while most of the stuff was a bit overpriced, I did manage to find a couple of things that I considered to be a good deal:
The 1996-97 Topps Hobby Masters inserts are by far one of my favorites from the 90's, so for $1 each, there was no way I was leaving these beauties behind. I have been putting off making some sort of inserts checklist for the longest time, but I think that with the addition of these two, I now have about half of the 30 card set.

I think I've mentioned it before, but if I haven't, I absolutely love me some 1997-98 Bowman's Best Atomic Refractors. I am of the opinion that this particular set was the peak of refractor technology, not that it went downhill after this, but it never got any better either. The above four cards were also a $1 each, which is a price that I definitely can't complain about. I have 24 of these now, and while I'm under no illusions as to ever being able to complete this set, it's still fun trying to acquire as many as I can.

After the card show (and lunch), I finally made it to Ollie's, which is somewhere I have been wanting to go for a long time now. I first heard about Ollie's a number of years ago, but since they don't go any further west than Indiana (I believe), and me living in either Oregon or Washington for my whole life, meant that it would have been a bit of a drive to get to one. But now being in Tennessee, and them just opening a store in Nashville sometime in the last couple of years, means that I finally had a chance to see what all the hype is about. And had I known that the new store was only a couple of miles from the card show, I would have been there much sooner.

For those that aren't familiar with Ollie's, it's basically store full of stuff acquired via closeouts and liquidations. There are items in just about every category that you can think of there. I was trying to think of a way to describe the appearance of the inside of the store, and the only thing that comes to mind would be if you were to cross Big Lots with Costco. I know that description probably only applies to folks on the west coast, but I've never been to anywhere in the Midwest so other than usual suspects (i.e. Target, Walmart, etc.), I have no idea what other kind of stores are there.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the store, and bought quite a few things, but since I don't think anyone cares about seeing crossword books, pva glue, and miscellaneous items, I will stick to the one item that seems blog worthy:

Funko's ReAction toy line seems to be one that people either love or hate, I tend to fall into the love camp. I enjoy the look of most of the figures that I have seen, although the late 70's/early 80's style of the figures doesn't always work, the Buffy and Firefly lines being two that immediately come to mind. The Universal Monsters line is easily my favorite of all that have been made so far, so I was very happy to find this Frankenstein, especially since I didn't already have it. They had about a dozen of this figure only, which is fine, one new one is better than none. You might notice that there are staples holding the bubble to the card, with the ReAction figures being well known for the weak glue used to package them, this isn't all that surprising to see -- but since I'm a package opener, it didn't really matter:

Here he is freed from his plastic prison! Overall I was very pleased with my first trip to Ollie's. For anyone in the South, or on the East Coast that hasn't been before, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

And finally, for what was probably the most interesting thing to happen that day -- that being the tornado watch warning (watch warning, as I've come to learn, means an imminent possibility -- A big thanks to Adam for the correction.)

So we've had some very volatile weather here so far this year, which has made for a lot of thunderstorms. Earlier in the year, there was pretty big threat of tornado's in the Nashville area, with I believe even a small one touching down briefly. Other than a boatload of rain causing minor flooding and some strong winds, I really wasn't effected by that particular threat.

Fast forwarding to the Saturday that has been the focus of this post. The day started off really warm which is usual for this time of year, I think by the time I was heading home around say 1pm or so, it was around 90 degrees with the humidity around 80-90%. The day started off with nary a cloud in the sky, but about halfway home, some really menacing looking clouds started forming, which usually means we were going to be in for a heck of a show (if you enjoy thunderstorms that is).

If I remember right, it started about 6pm with some really impressive dry lightning (meaning thunder and lightning with no rain), and continued to escalate in intensity. Around 8:30, the cell phones in
the household started blaring a shrill alarm (similar to the amber alert noise), which turned out to be a tornado alert which was advising everyone in our immediate area to seek shelter.

Now one of the few good things about this rental house that we are currently living in, is the second floor screened in porch, so not being the sort to take advice from a phone, that was where I headed with video recorder (cell phone) in tow.

After a couple of minutes of recording, the tornado sirens started going off, which was certainly interesting if not noisy. The sirens ended up going for about five or six minutes, and although the thunderstorms continued for a couple of hours with lots ground shaking thunder and lightning, high winds, and lots of rain -- no tornado's ever formed.

I'm sure for the folks that live in tornado country, none of this terribly exciting, but since this was my first time hearing the sirens and all, I thought it was kind of neat. I even spliced together a couple of videos and put it on YouTube, which you can see below. My cell phone doesn't record well in the dark, so the picture isn't great, however I think the sounds of the sirens, rain, and some of the thunder came out really well. Oh, and if you do give it a watch, the sirens start around the 2:30 mark.

Thanks for taking a moment (or two) to look at my page.


  1. Sounds like a very interesting day! The Wilt is great...the refractors are also great! Do you have a list of needs from 2014-15 Prizm? I might have some for you, I recently found a blaster and some hanger packs I bought when the set came out but misplaced. The tornado sounds exciting. We had an F1 touch down about 10 minutes northwest of me, and like you I went out with my camera. All I got was the wall cloud over my house though. I will try and watch your video later, watching NHL now. Expect a YouTube follow from ElCaminoBilly, which is my YouTube account.

    1. Most of my want lists, including the 2014-15 Prizm, are available via pages at the top of the blog. And I've meaning for months now to see what you need from the set, so I can clear out some of the extras I got from that eBay seller a couple of months ago.

      Now that you've reminded me what you're channel name is, I will definitely reciprocate the follow.

    2. I just watched the video...scary stuff! It prompted a memory for me that I will be typing up in a post soon, provided I can find a specific picture. I couldn't figure out how to get to your YouTube page to give you a follow, sorry!

    3. I'm mighty curious to hear about the memory that has been evoked.

      For future reference, all you have to do is start the video, and then click on the YouTube logo at the bottom and it will take you to the site, where you can then easily subscribe to whoever's channel.

  2. Those swirl o rama cards are crazy. Never seen those before. Threats of tornadoes are pretty crazy. I lived in Chicago for 2 years and only really thought I'd see one once but thankfully didn't happen.

    1. They are pretty crazy, I just wish the shiny swirly parts would come through on the scans. One normally doesn't associate Chicago with tornados, I will have to look into that for future reference.

  3. Ollie's is a great place and you got quite the de on that Frankenstein figure.

    Also, tornado watches and warnings are par for the course with major thunderstorms out in the south and midwest. A watch means "conditions are favorable", a warning is when you really need to take cover.

    1. Thanks for the terminology correction, I have edited the post for the sake of accuracy.

  4. Frankenstein is pretty cool. He'd look great standing side by side with The Mummy! Something I do not miss about Texas and my home state of Oklahoma are the storms. The Moore tornado in May of '99 was almost too much for me. It took the lives of 40 or so people, one was a co-worker from the postal service. The tornado missed my house by a mile. Considering the storm was a mile wide, I was more than fortunate. MI weather has been an adjustment. Spring is calm in comparison to all I've ever known. Glad you were in no serious danger.

    1. I do have the Mummy figure, but it's currently packed up, I'm hoping they can meet up in the not too distant future.

      I read a bit about that particular tornado last night, crazy! There are a number of videos on YouTube as well, although I'm guessing you wouldn't want to be reliving it by watching any of them. Being that big, and your house being that close, I would say you were extremely fortunate. One might even say that someone, or something, was on your side that day.

  5. Two of my favorite SP Legendary Cuts designs right there. The '02s look like something you'd see in an old-timey newsreel. I actually have that same Jordan Broder oddball, I'm pretty sure I traded my cousin for it during the short time we simultaneously collected baseball cards.

    1. I hadn't thought about it before, but they do sort of look newsreel-ish. Even if it was only for a short time, I'm envious of your being able to collect and trade cards with a family member, that seems like it would have been very nice.

  6. Lightning kinda freaks me out. Add in the tornado sirens and I definitely would have been freaked out. That Wilt and scoring leaders cards are beautiful. And I'm also in the "love" camp when it comes to the Funko ReAction figures. Although... I love them because of the retro packaging.

    I hope more positive things start popping up in the near future.

    1. I have known more than a few people over the year that have been bothered by thunderstorms, which something I have never understood, but since I have some strange fears, I'm not about to start critiquing those of someone else.

      I too am a big fan of the ReAction packaging, somehow I just forgot to mention it in the post.

  7. We actually had a tornado touch in my area (Northern WV) which is super rare. My phone went off saying to find shelter immediately. Glad it was a false alarm for you.

    I'm a huge fan of the Greats of the Game set. Beautiful cards.

    Ollies is a cool store. The one in my area rarely got baseball cards, but it was perfect for cheap team gear like tshirts and hats. I also purchased a lot of books there.

    1. I can imagine your local news stations got a lot of mileage out of that. Back home in the PNW, there would be a small one touch down every year or two, usually taking out someone's fence or shed -- but all stations would hype it up like an F5 had come through.

      Ugh, I didn't even think to look for cards when I was there, I will have to try and remember next time I go. And, I was really surprised at how large the book section was. I did end up buying three, but they were all for someone else.

  8. Holey moley! I was scared just reading the post! lol
    I would not like those sirens and tornado threats. No way. But i live in earthquake country, so no place is perfect.
    This reminded me of the thunder I heard in Taiwan, right before a typhoon. It was the loudest, deepest, boomiest thunder I ever heard. That was a bit unsettling.

    1. Ugh, earthquakes! That is one of the many things I don't miss about Portland. Every time there was mini tremor anywhere in the area, the local media would start banging the drum about "The Big One" that we were supposedly overdue for. It got really old, really fast.

      A typhoon had to be pretty interesting thing to experience. You don't hear a lot of people visiting Taiwan, so I would be curious to know how you ended up there?