Sunday, December 30, 2018

Spreading the word

I hadn't planned on posting again until the new year, but I've seen two things in the last couple of days (don't worry, they're good things) that I thought might be of some interest to a few of you.

1) Andy (bbcardz), the proprietor of Stadium Fantasium, is running a contest, and not just any contest, no, this is his first contest, and I'd like it to be a successful one for him. He is offering an incentive for helping to promote it, but I'm not mentioning it because of that (I won't accept anything for mentioning it) -- you see, Andy was kind enough to participate in this year's Secret Santa, so I figure this the least that I can do to show my appreciation to him for joining in.

The contest (technically it's three contests) is related to the upcoming Rose Bowl, all you have to do is basically throw out a couple of guesses involving point totals, and that's it. There's plenty of prizes to choose from, so there's probably something for everyone. There's not a ton of time left to enter, so if' you're interested, you might want to get on it soon than later.

2) Ryan (SumoMenkoMan), the mastermind behind the blog that is Japanese Sumo Wrestling Cards and Menko, started interviewing fellow card bloggers early this year, and has just mentioned that, after just a couple of interviews, he has now run out of people to interview? I for one, don't believe it, there are dozens and dozens of us bloggers out there, probably even more than I know of, most of whom would probably love to be interviewed (think of it as a way to promote your blog), so it must just be that not enough people know about the series, which is why I wanted to bring it to your attention.

I feel a little weird about giving someone's email address out, even if they themselves have already put it out there publicly, so if you're interested in being interviewed (you know you are), just click on the above link to Ryan's latest post and scroll down the comments section to find his email address.

Okay, that's all I've got for now, so I guess I'll be talking to all of you again next year :-)

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, December 28, 2018

A quick recap of Christmas

Over the last couple of years I've made it a habit of recapping Christmases, namely the gifts that were received, since I'm assuming that's what most people want to see. This year's recap will be slightly different in that I'm not going to be showing everything, nor will I be going into any great details about any of the particular items. There's no real reason for this, other than I just didn't want this to be one of my usual unintentionally long rambly posts, hopefully it'll still be worth a scroll though.

This year was pretty much identical to the previous two year's, open presents/celebrate my mom's birthday in the morning, have lunch, and then go for a hike in the afternoon. After many of years of doing things on different schedules, this recent trend has really been quite nice, and in my mind, has made for the perfect way to celebrate my mom's birthday/Christmas.

If you've been with me for the last couple of years, seeing that I got a new pair of slippers for Christmas shouldn't be too surprising, this is a tradition that has been going on for the last fifteen years or so... one that I hope never ends! Slippers and I seem to have a love/hate relationship, I love them, and they reward my love by starting to fall apart sometime during the summer, and this year was no exception:

Usually by the time Christmas rolls around both slippers are being held together by duct tape, this year though was a bit of an anomaly, in that the left slipper was able to stay intact (mostly). The right slipper however, did what they always do, thank goodness for the tape, otherwise I would've been walking around for the last couple of months with about 1/3 of the bottom missing :)

I have an awful lot of Peanuts ornaments, most, if not all of them, have been given to me by my mom. Every time I think that there can't possibly be anymore out there, she finds another one -- and full disclosure, this was the third different one that she has gotten me this year, I was given the other two about a month ago.

I may be an old man, but I still get plenty of toys for Christmas (although this is the only one that I took a picture of).

Since my picture kind of sucks, and I haven't taken him out of the box yet (I will), here's a picture of the Mutant Spawn that I swiped from Google.

Even as a kid I rarely got cards for Christmas, I mean I probably could have got some had I asked for them, but I never did, my Christmas lists were always made up of nothing but toys and video games. It's only been in the last couple of years that I've started receiving cards, usually just in the form of a single or two, which is alright, but even as an adult I still don't really want any cards for Christmas -- that being said, this rack pack of 2015 Prizm football should be a fun open.

This is like fifth year in a row now that my mom has been able to add to my very humble little library of airship books. It'll probably be awhile before I get to it, but this should make for a very good read. As a slightly extra added bonus, this copy is signed by the author, which doesn't matter too much to me, but I guess it's still kind of neat.

I don't know if anyone not named Billy will care or not, but here's the synopsis anyway.

The presents were great, but it's the Christmas hike that I was looking forward to the most, and it did not disappoint... not that I thought it would though.

Three Christmases ago, right after opening presents, my mom just out of the blue suggested going for a hike later in the afternoon, seeing as how it is her birthday -- and I'm almost always up for romping around in the woods -- I certainly wasn't going to say no. Whether she knew it or not at the time, a new tradition was being started, another one that I hope never ends!

We never go anywhere fancy, sure, it would be nice to go somewhere with breathtaking views and all that, but neither me nor my mom is interested in driving in hour or two to get to such a location, so we keep it local.

It was about 40 degrees with sun and blue sky, s maybe other than it being few degrees warmer, we really couldn't have asked for a better day to be out.

My young inner self is was trying to convince me to climb up on the downed trees and walk across them, older real me had to be the voice of reason and remind young me that we still have broken toe that hasn't fully healed after almost three months, and that if something got broke were we (me and my inner self) to fall off of said tree, who knows if it'' ever properly heal.

This is why I don't need to travel anywhere fancy to hike, because I can be impressed, and awed by nature things just about anywhere. It's kind of hard to tell, but that little bit of white showing on the bottom lower right of this stone is a tiny piece of quartz. I thought that the moss pattern was pretty neat too. I'm not gonna lie, I wanted to take this home, but it probably weighed around twenty pounds, and I didn't want to have to carry it around for the rest of the afternoon (we weren't even halfway done yet).

Here's what happens when you try to take a picture with the sun shining practically right in your face. The picture didn't turn out as I had hoped, but I still kind of like it.

Remember what I said about being impressed by nature things just about anywhere? Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about, this elm has pushed up, and around, a fairly large piece of stone (it's all one piece), and it was pretty darn cool to see.

Overall we spent 2 1/2 hours traversing I don't know how many miles, saw some neat stuff, got plenty of fresh air, and got plenty of exercise, one can't really ask for too much more than that on any given day, let alone Christmas day. I very much hope that everyone else had as good of a day as I did, and got to spend some quality time with their family... as I certainly did!

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

A not so Secret Santa

Matt had mentioned in the past, that the most awkward thing about hosting the Secret Santa, was telling whoever drew your name that they did in fact draw your name, by doing so, your basically telling someone that they have to buy you something, and you know something... he wasn't wrong!

It may have been even more awkward for me this year, because I had to tell Nick, of Dime Boxes fame, that he had drawn my name for the second year in a row. I don't know what the odds of that happening are, especially since I wasn't the one doing the randomizing last year, but it did happen. Nick took the news in stride, as I expected him too, but it still didn't make sending the email any less easy.

Nick and I have exchanged cards a few times now over the last couple of years, so I knew that what ever was sent, would end up being good, and I was right.

The package started with a pair of big names from the 1973 Kellogg's set, aka the best Kellogg's set (yep, I said it), and much needed hall of famer from the '76 Hostess, which btw is the only Hostess set that I'm still working on. Both of these sets have been slow going, as I never see them at shows, and COMC rarely has any reasonably priced copies that I need.

I've been chasing the 2011 Legends Parallels quite a bit as of late, so this Paul O'Neil was a nice surprise. The Hitman Hearns Bread for Energy was even more appreciated, in fact when I went to cross it off the checklist I noticed that once this was removed I was down to needing just one more to complete the ten-card set, a quick jaunt over to COMC revealed that the last card, Norm Cash, was on sale, so I'm to report that this insert set is now officially in the books.

I still haven't decided if I'm going to revive my buybacks frankenset or not, I wonder if this is Nick's way of saying that I should? And if I'm not mistaken, this is the first TCMA Baseball's Greatest that I've added to those sets since last year's Secret Santa package from Nick. The guy that I was buying these from at the card show, hasn't been there in quite some time, so trying to complete the sets (cheaply) has become considerably more difficult.

While probably not the "best" card in the package, this '61 Topps Billy Muffett would rank as my personal favorite. If anyone's seen my newest tab at the top of the blog, you might have noticed that I'm looking for multiple copies of this card, why? Well, I don't exactly know! You see, I only just saw this card for the first time a couple of months ago while working on the COMC Challenges, and when I did it was love at first sight.

I don't exactly know why I like it so much, I mean Mr. Muffett didn't do anything overly special during his MLB tenure, and he never played for the Portland Beavers, which is a trait that has become quite appealing to me over the last few months. And it certainly isn't the appearance of the old Yankee stadium in the background, heck, that's shown in like half the cards from the '61 set alone. So like I said, I don't know what the appeal is, I just know that I want as many as I can get -- you'll see what I mean when I start getting to my COMC stuff.

I should also note that as per usual, I had to go and take the picture before taking the wax stain off, one of these days I'll remember to start doing the other way around.

It must be getting close to Christmas, because it's not everyday that someone sends you a vintage Willie Mays! I keep going back and forth as to whether or not I want to work on the 1972 Topps set.
I do love the set, and I've probably got half of it, but I just don't know if trying to complete the other half is even financially doable anymore -- even if I don't though, at least I now have another cool vintage Mays to join the couple of other old cards of his that I have.

It seems like it's been forever and a day since I was last able to cross a card off of my 1960 Fleer checklist, George doesn't look too happy about it, but I was!  And I'm not positive of this, so don't go and quote me on it, but I believe that this might have been the first card to show Mr. Sisler as a Brave, if that is indeed the case, I wonder if one could refer to it as his Braves rookie?

All of these were great, and really were more than enough, but Nick being Nick, he had to go and toss in some extras. And when I say extras, I'm talking about 60-70 more cards. There was easily two posts worth of stuff, but since I'm so behind with posts right now, I've decided to go the best of route, or, if you prefer, the Whitman's Sampler route:

I guess these would be classified as the miscellaneous section of the extras. Got a little bit of everything in here, I needed the Hornsby for my set, the Marichal Deckle is pretty neat, and there's even an Ichiro disc -- speaking of Ichiro...

Counting the disc, there were 19 Ichiro's in this package, all but the DeLong looking one were new to me, and even with that one I don't mind having a duplicate (or two). Nick didn't say as much, but with him being an Ichiro collector, I have to assume that these were all duplicates.

A few more Ichiro's, these being of the, shiny but rendered less so by the scanner, variety. Having not seen it before, I was impressed by the niftiness of the Gold Label card.

Some more odds and ends. Sometime in the upcoming year I plan on doing a post about my collection of minor league cards, I say collection, but it's really just a couple of hundred cards in a monster box -- the only question is, will I be discussing my finally getting around to organizing it, or will it end up being a massive giveaway post?

It wouldn't be a proper package from Nick without a large contingent of old-timers, all of these ended up being new to me, so I'm certainly not complaining.

And here's some old-timers with fancy borders. The 2005 Donruss Greats is apparently yet another one of the players of yore sets from the mid-2000's that I missed during my hiatus from card collecting.

Imagewise, the scanner really did a number on these two, no matter though, they look really great in person. Both will be nice additions to my newly created team binders, the Randle features a great action shot, and I believe that this is my first card of The Bird.

And finally, some more vintage in the form of a needed '62 Post card, and a rarely seen in person by me, 1970 Fleer Laughlin, featuring the once (in)famous Philadelphia Athletics $100,000 Infield (times have certainly changed).

Nick, thank you so much for the cards, and for being such a good sport about drawing my name... again! As much as I enjoy receiving packages from you, I do very much hope that someone else gets to benefit from your generosity next year, for your sake, and theirs.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

P.S. Thanks to Nick for unknowingly providing the title for this post as well!

Friday, December 21, 2018

An unplanned Secret Santa update

I didn't think that I would have to do anymore Secret Santa posts until the wrap-up, but apparently I was wrong!

I have received a few emails in the last couple of days from people who haven't received their gifts yet, and wanting to know if I know whether or not their Santa has sent out their package yet -- apparently this is a thing that I didn't know was going to be a thing before I volunteered to host this year.

So I just thought I'd do a quick post to ask any of our participants who haven't received a package yet, to email me (jtef82@gmail), and conversely, if your a participant, and for whatever reason you haven't sent your gift out yet, to please let me know.

There haven't been any real problems yet (that I know of), so hopefully this will now be the last update until the wrap-up, which will be posted sometime in early January.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Nerd heaven

As mentioned in the last post, I went to Knoxville last week, the main purpose of this trip was to try and find something at Target that my mom had been looking for, but couldn't find on their website and wasn't up for going herself.

I hit the two Target's that are relatively close together, no luck on finding said item, which was sort of expected, so it's not the end of the world or anything, but t wasn't a total waste of time though, as I did have a bit of an ulterior motive in mind when I volunteered to go.

You see, one of those Target's is a mere 2.2 miles (according to the GPS) from McKay's, and even though I really didn't have any extra money to spend that day, I have however accrued quite a bit of store credit there, plus it's been about two months since my last visit... and in my mind that's about two months too long!

For anyone who doesn't live in the area, and hasn't seen any of my previous posts, McKay's is a like mecca for all things entertainment: action figures/toys, books, CD's, comics, DVD's, vinyl, video games, etc., if you can think of it, they probably have it (or have had it at one time).

Normally I'm a save the best for last sort of guy, but in this instance I couldn't resist showing my favorite find, which was also my last find, of the day, first.

I always save looking around upstairs for last, that's where all the comics and music are. Usually there isn't a lot of people up there by the time I make my way up the stairs, but not this time, no, between the employees putting out a s*** ton of new/old records, and the group of twenty something's that were confusing the store for a library by sitting around reading graphic novels, it was quite crowded up there... which is not good for my social anxiety.

Anyway, I always go to the couple of magazine boxes first, they've had a handful of issues of things like Fangoria and Rue Morgue the last couple of times that I've been there, but this time they actually had a divider sticking up that said "horror magazines". Oh the excitement!

This new section had about a dozen issues each of Creepy and Eerie, nothing too terribly old, but still, this felt like the first time in forever that I had come across any Warren publication in the wild. All were priced at $5, and most were a little rough conditionwise, so that price was a little prohibitive, otherwise I might've got them all. Instead I just went with this Eerie #78 (Oct '76), because it looked like it was going to make for the best read (I wasn't wrong), and plus I knew that didn't already have it, which is not something that I could definitively say about some of the other issues. [note to self: It's time to make a list already]

I kind of wanted to do a whole post just on that magazine alone, but knowing that it would probably draw less attention than this post, I will refrain from doing so. The rest of my purchases were of the DVD variety, all from the $1.95 or less section, which seemed to be especially well stocked this time -- heck, there were even entire television seasons (most were still sealed) among the offerings, unfortunately they were all sitcom's, so I wasn't able to take advantage of those great deals (I'm not a sitcom person). But, I still found a few things of interest, and if you happen to be so inclined:

I have a strong affinity for television movies from the 70's and 80's, well, at least the one's that aren't of overly dramatic/sappy variety. This version of The Murders in the Rue Morgue from '86 fits the bill nicely, even if Val Kilmer was a tad miscast (I'm being generous when I use the word "tad").

I've owned a couple of copies of Die Hard on video over the years, and had no plans to get it on DVD, but it's kind of hard to resist when you find a 2-disc special edition that sold for $20 when new (SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO!), for just 95 cents. I'm assuming that everyone knows what this movie is about, so I'm just showing all of the special features instead.

I am such a sucker for these discs, although the one's I usually get aren't of the TV Guide variety. I've never been a Red Skelton fan, so I will be skipping that episode, but the other five shows will provide almost two hours worth of entertainment, all for just a quarter!

Here's another 25 cent DVD. I've probably seen this special before, but for a quarter I'll watch it again.

They had a whole mess of these TV Guide discs this time, I watched two different people pick this up, look at it, and then put it back before I could get to it -- when I did finally get to it, I picked up, looked at it, and then put it in my basket! I already have the entire Sherlock Holmes series, but the rest of these particular episodes will be new to me.

I'm always a sucker for these multi-movie packs too, it's really hard to pass up the opportunity to get eight films for just 95 cents. I would've bought Prom Night or Below for that price alone (probably not Demonic Toys though), so the other five movies that I haven't seen just end up being a bonus -- although I don't know if I'll ever be able to bring myself to watch a movie called Evil Bong.

With this, I now have the complete Dracula 2000 trilogy on DVD. These are not good movies by any stretch of the imagination, and I would never recommend them to anyone, with that being said... I enjoy the heck out of this series!

This was one of those, it's probably not going to be very good (at least I didn't think it would be when I watched the trailer a couple of years ago), but it's too cheap not to try, kind of movies. Plus, it's got Famke Jannsen in it, so...

There is absolutely nothing original about The Arrival, but I used to watch it almost every time it was on television, so for less than a buck I thought it might be time to finally get a copy of it. Never seen the sequel, and don't know what to expect. 

I don't recall why exactly, but it seems like there was a renewed interest in all things Bermuda triangle back in the early 2000's, which spawned multiple films, as well as a television mini-series. I saw most of them at the time, but somehow The Lost Voyage managed to fly under my radar, so me coming across this DVD was the first I was hearing about it. It's got a good cast, so fingers crossed that it doesn't disappoint.

As per usual, McKay's did not let me down, I was able to walk away with ten DVD's (15 movies & 16 television episodes), as well as a really bitchin magazine, all for less than $16 in credit -- I don't know how anybody else feels about it, but I would call that a solid outing, and one that I wouldn't mind duplicating on all of my future trips to the store.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.