Friday, December 30, 2016

Not one of my better purchases

Before I get to the topic at hand, I wanted to quickly mention that even though I don't expect much to come from it, I have begun the process of finally putting up some want lists. And by "begun the process", I mean I have at least created the pages for them at the top of the blog. I figure if I add a little bit each day, it might take me a month or so to complete, but since it's taken me a year plus to even get this far, what's another month. Now back to your regularly scheduled post:

A couple of weeks ago, while checking the card aisle at Walmart, I saw something new on the shelves in the form of a blaster called "Buzzer Beater". With the box advertising six hobby packs, plus one exclusive pack of the -oh so pretty- 2013-14 Prizm blue, white, and red wave Prizms, I was very tempted, but ultimately was able to walk away without lessening any of my paper folding money ... least until another trip to Walmart last week, where unfortunately for me, those brightly colored Prizms pictured on the front were speaking, they were saying "Forget the night, live with us in forests of azure". And since your reading this post, titled as it is, it should be fairly obvious by now that after this second encounter, I was no longer able to resist their siren song.

So let's take a look at the contents of this box that bewitched me so:

And here was the rub! The box promises six hobby packs (plus the bonus pack), which as you can see, is true. The problem is that you get five packs of 2013-14 Panini (no cutting edge name?) and one pack of 2013-14 Panini Prizm. Maybe it's just me, but I thought there would be a bit more variety. Had I known otherwise, this box would have stayed behind and I would be $20 richer.

Starting with my temptress:

I'm a bit surprised with the 2013-14 Prizm being as popular as it was, and still is, that Panini would still have any of these blue, white, and red wave prizms left to put in boxes three years after their release. With the ever increasing fervor to acquire all things Giannis from this set, I would imagine these boxes are selling pretty well. And if I were to be honest, that was part of my motivation in buying this box too. Howard and Lillard were showing on the front and back of the cellophane pack, and no offense to young Mr. Olynyk, but he doesn't make for a great mystery middle card. These three might not be the best possible cards to get, but it is nice to finally get a couple of these blue, white, and red's.

On the off chance someone out there has never seen the difference between these blue, white, and red wave prizms and the red, white, and blue mosaics that were exclusive to rack packs, here you go:

I realize this side-by-side comparison would have been better by using the same person, but since I didn't have a Howard, Lillard, or Olynyk in mosaic form, I figured this Kevin Martin was close enough in pose to use for this hastily constructed example.

I might as well start the actual packs with the lone offering of  Prizm:

This is one of those rare instances where it would have been better to have a retail pack instead of the hobby, as you have a much better chance for parallels in the retail. At least I needed five out of the six cards in this pack, including the Vince Carter Dominance insert.

As for the five packs of just regular old 2013 Panini, the design isn't bad, but overall it just doesn't really do anything for me. If I had to pick out a few personal highlights, I guess I would go with these:

It's always fun too, when two of the packs were almost identical in contents.

The five packs yielded the following four inserts:

Oh, and I managed to get an autograph as well:

Demarre Carroll, woo (wait for it) hoo!  I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that a mediocre player would possess such a mediocre signature. Still better than another base card I suppose.

So to sum up this box, I ended up with a whole three cards that I actually wanted, and those three cards could have been had for less than $5.

Unless you're suffering from a serious case of Giannis fever, I wouldn't recommend buying one of these boxes at full price. Heck, I might not even recommend purchasing one at half price, unless you're really fond of those 2013-14 Panini (seriously Panini, what's with the no name on those?) cards.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Nothing Says "Merry Christmas" like...

...Bourbon honey!

I am in no way a "foodie", in fact I'm probably near the other end of the spectrum, more of the eat because I have to sort. That being said, I really enjoy honey. It seems like in almost two years since I moved to Tennessee I have tried almost twice as many different kinds than I had in all my years previously. I can honestly say that until I received this jar as a gift today, I was completely unaware that there was such a thing as bourbon honey. And after having ate some on chicken for dinner tonight I believe this particular seller should put the bourbon first on the list of ingredients! Definitely an interesting taste.

Being Christmas, there were a few more presents to be had:

Sorry for the bad pictures, they were taken rather hastily and under less than ideal lighting conditions.

Two books on airships make for a very happy Jon! These might be covered more in depth in a future post.

Books about airships AND tobacco cards, that is certainly more than I deserve. But since it was Christmas, I can almost always expect some geek stuff:

I have officially run out of room for action figures, but that's no excuse to stop getting them.

Even though I'm sort of indifferent to receiving greeting cards, but I did enjoy this one:

And if that wasn't enough, this day still had much more to offer than just good tidings and cheer:

I don't what the weather was like where you were today, but we were fortunate enough to have 70 degrees and mostly sunny skies, so since it was raining yesterday and is supposed to be raining for the next couple of days, what else is one to do on such a nice day...

 ...why, go for a two hour afternoon hike in the woods of course.

It may not be what most folks normally do on Christmas, but I certainly wouldn't mind if this marks the start of a new tradition.

This might have been one of the all around better days for me in quite some time. I certainly hope everyone else was able to have just as pleasant of a day, if not better, than I did.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Season's Greetings From The Past

Last week I went to the antique mall that I have posted about on three previous occasions now, which you can see here, here, and here.  If you're the sort that enjoys miscellaneous old paper ephemera, this place is an absolute treasure trove. Having not been there for about six months or so, I found plenty of new (or, rather old) things of interest, and then proceeded to purchase quite a few of said things.

A much longer post covering all the newly acquired stuff will be forthcoming within the next few weeks, but seeing how it's Christmas Eve and all, I thought I might show the one item that ties in to this weekend:

I was like a moth to this card, what with it's embossed and semi foiled center image, double weight paper, and a rough cut right side. For $1, I couldn't resist.

Since I don't think the above cell phone camera image does the card justice, I made a few more attempts:

 This one was with the flash on. It's not great, but at least it shows the blue foil part of the image a little bit.

 And that is a scan, which didn't turn out too bad at all. Aren't obsessive compulsive tendencies grand?

Moving to the inside which still has a gold sheet of some kind of blotter paper.

For those that might have a little trouble reading that, the contents are as follows:

                                                                           Christmas, 1930
Dear Margaret Bregger,
I am working hard at the University. The sixteen and seventeen year old freshmen are much speedier than I, but they don't appreciate their opportunities as much.

How are you? I never think of you without also thinking of your wild flower garden. Now it is safe under a blanket of snow.
                                                                   Sincerely yours,
                                                                   Ellen B. Laurin

The last name of the sender appears to me to be "Laurin", but I'm not entirely sure about that yet as I haven't come up with any positive results from internet searches.

The receiver of this lovely card, Margaret Bregger, might have been the Margaret C. Bregger (age 35ish) that was living in Ramsey, Minnesota in 1930 --- according to a 1930 Census report on At some point in the future when I have more free time, I fully intend on doing some more thorough researching.

So I will wrap (pun?) this one up by wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, and to those of the Jewish faith, Happy Chanukah!

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

TTM Triumph #35: Byron Scott

Here's a nice recent success from a former coach of the year, and winner of three championships with the Showtime era Lakers, Byron Scott:

This is another one that I didn't think would be coming back as I had the misfortune of sending my request to him just like a week or so before he was let go as the head coach of the Lakers. But just one day shy of a year from the send date, it came back successfully with a nice big signature to boot.

As always, many thanks go out to Mr. Scott.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

After Black Friday Box #4: 2013 Panini Cooperstown

Welcome to the fourth and final installment of my post Black Friday box series. The 2013 Panini Cooperstown featured today is yet another product that I had never opened anything from previous to this purchase. Possessing only had a handful of singles and a couple of the parallels found in dime boxes, I was very much looking forward to finding out what this box had to offer (spoiler alert: I wasn't disappointed).

Like the 2012 edition featured yesterday, I have not yet seen how close I came to completing the set (minus the SP's), so I can't really give any insight regarding the collation at this time.

So let's get this started with a few of my base favorites:

The two promised color short prints:

I have to admit that I think the SP's in the 2012 set look about 1,000 times better than these 2013's, but there's only 10 of them (there was 20 in the 2012 edition) and they seem to be relatively easy to find, and cheap in price. So even though I'm not too crazy about them, they don't really have any significant impact on my overall thoughts regarding the set.

I was completely unaware that there were box toppers to be had in the 2013 set:

 Two different kinds are possible, one being a felt pennant that looks like it could have come from the 2012 Golden Age, and the other a large serial numbered die-cut of the Lumberjacks inserts which you will see in just a second.

 Since I'm already having to collect the Golden Age Pennants, I wasn't to keen on having to collect anymore, so I'm pretty happy that I got one of these instead. Plus I'm of the mindset that these just look cooler overall. And I certainly could have done much worse than Mr. Joe Tinker, that's for sure.

There are a lot of inserts in this year's edition again, but thankfully not nearly as many as there were in the 2012 line. In an attempt to shorten this post a little, only few of the different sets will be shown:

 Easily my favorite of the insert sets are the Lumberjacks, the wood grain feel of the cards is just awesome. I don't know how I've never seen any of these at a card show before, otherwise I would have had quite a few by now. Needless to say, I will now be on the lookout for Lumberjacks (there's a statement that could certainly be misconstrued).

 I really liked getting one of these Colgan's discs in every pack, it was something fun and different. In my box I got only one duplicate out of the 24 total discs. I had seen these on the blogs before, but like with the Lumberjacks, I have never found any at the shows. I will definitely be working on a set of these too.

Time for some shine:

#'d to /499

#'d to /399

#'d to /299
 I don't know why, but as I get older, I keep liking shiny parallels more and more...and these have all kinds of shine to them. I like too, that I was able to get both Satchel Paige and Nellie Fox in green and red.

And finally, my autograph:

 Jim Bunning: 9 time all-star, hurler of both a perfect game and an immaculate inning. And for just for good measure, a former U.S. senator. This was an autograph that I was very happy to add to my collection.

That's a wrap on the boxes. Overall I think they were pretty darn good, and I am glad I decided to splurge a little bit. My COMC stuff arrived this past Saturday, so I shouldn't have any trouble coming up with blog material for quite some time.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Monday, December 19, 2016

After Black Friday Box #3: 2012 Panini Cooperstown

Unlike the two previous boxes of Golden Age, I had never even opened a single pack of this product before. In fact, prior to this box, I only had a couple of singles that came courtesy of Nick, plus a couple of parallels that I have been able to find in dime boxes --- Oh, and one of the colorized short prints (also found in a dime box), which at the time was purchased by me, not even knowing that it was a short print. A case of ignorant bliss I suppose.

I haven't had the time to see how close I came to completing the base set yet (minus the SP's), but I'm guessing with the overabundance of inserts (see below), that I'm still in need of quite a few.

As per usual, a few of my favorites:

My two short prints:

I think the colorization done on these SP's looks really good, much better than the 2013 edition (next post). On a side note, I seem to be acquiring a lot of different Eddie Plank cards lately, not that I'm complaining, I'm just sayin'.

Now for the inserts, which as I mentioned above, might be a little too plentiful...and this is from someone who likes inserts. But when you're talking about a five card pack, and about 1/3 of the packs had two inserts in them, that's when it gets to be a bit much.

Also, a few of the insert sets seem to be a unnecessary or puzzling. Case in point are the Village inserts (not shown) which consist of contemporary shots in and around the town of Cooperstown itself. For a set that focuses entirely on the past, and more often than not...the distant past, I just don't understand why there is a set focusing on current images of the town. In keeping with the overall theme, they should have done a series of cards focusing on imagery from around the time the Hall of Fame museum opened, or even better yet, pre museum shots of the town.

That being said, there were plenty of the inserts that I did enjoy:

You can really tell the difference in the personalities of these two guys, just by looking at the side-by-side photo comparison.

These "Induction Year" cards come one per box and have some kind of wood veneer on the surface. Certainly no complaints in getting Ted Williams.

The "Voices of Summer" cards were such a great idea for an insert set, I just wish they would have done more.

These are by far my favorite inserts from this set. I think even non baseball fans would be able to appreciate these cards. They certainly could have made more of these as well.

I think I might try and complete this Bronze History set, counting the two I already had, that's 5 down and only 95 to go.

Moving on to the parallels:

If I had my way, you would get a few more than three of these crystal collection parallels per box, as it certainly wouldn't be hard to swap out a few of the inserts for a few more of these. In the picture I took it almost looks like three different types of parallels du to the lighting (or lack thereof). I even decided to scan these three to see if they would come out any better:

Honestly I don't really know if that looks any better or not. I guess it's up to you as the reader/viewer to decide.

And finally, my autograph:

Red Schoendienst might not be the biggest name on the checklist of signers, but I have absolutely no complaints about getting the signature of a fellow who has five rings and ten all-star game appearances to his name. And as an added plus, I didn't already own an autograph of his yet.

That's it on yet another box, tune in next time for the fourth and final installment, which will be a box of 2013 Panini Cooperstown.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.