Friday, October 25, 2019

Sometimes you win, and sometimes...

If you saw Wednesday's post, then you've already seen the best thing to come from my stop at the Book Cellar last week. If you're reading this post, well, let's just say that things don't always go as planned. Sometimes you find something that you think is going to be awesome, and it is -- while other times you're left wondering how you could've misjudged said thing so badly (Spoiler alert: 3/5 of the items in this post fit into the latter category).

I found this in the science fiction section, which might seem a little weird, but they don't have a science/nature section per se, so science fiction was probably the closest they could get. The book is a little chewy (literally), and I knew that I was going to already be familiar with some of what was in here, but I saw "anti-comet pills", and decided that I couldn't live without it -- have I ever told you that my decision making skills are a tad wonked up? I was already reading a book (When the Game was Black and White), but I had to know what was what with those anti-comet pills, so I started in on this one too. Without going in to much detail (I'm a bit short on time at the moment), I'll just say that the book was a bit of a letdown, and I found the author's snarkiness to be rather annoying -- if I didn't know any better, I would swore that it was written my modern hipster! It was bad enough to make me stop reading about halfway through, and it's definitely a book that I won't be coming back to.

I love that even in 2019 I'm still finding videos of films that I've never heard of, perfect example: Where the Heart Is. I don't know how a film with Dabney Coleman, Joanna Cassidy, and Uma Thurman could've flown under my radar for so long, but it did, and apparently the video has as well -- which is kind of amazing, because if I think it about it, whether it was when they were new, or now that they're used and on the extreme edge of the secondary market, I've basically been going places to look at videos my whole life.

I was really looking forward to this one, so much so that I decided to watch it the night I got it, at least that was the plan. After putting the tape in and sitting down, I quickly realized that something was amiss, the tape was playing, but nothing was happening. After staring at the blue screen for a few seconds, I fast forwarded the tape a bit, and still nothing. I knew that there wasn't anything wrong with the television or VCR, so I got back up and popped the tape out, and it didn't take long for me to figure out what the problem was... somebody had cut the actual tape! I know that it had to have been cut, because the actual tape doesn't break like that, heck, it doesn't ever break period. And even if one were to break, it wouldn't occur in a perfectly symmetrical straight line, only scissors are gonna do that. In all of my years buying videos, I've never encountered this before, and I've never had any reason to check for such a thing before buying before either, I always just make sure that the right video is in the box, and then just check the overall condition of video itself (I've found mold growing inside the cassette before). I don't think this one incident will make me start checking on the status of the actual tape, but even at fifty cents it was still disappointing to have happen, especially since I really wanted to see the movie. Now I just have to hope that I stumble across another copy sooner or later.

I'm not fan of Stephen King's books, and the films/mini-series' that are based on his works are very hit and miss with me, but I'm still willing the give most of them a chance (the films, not the books), such was the case with The Tommyknockers. I can remember when this mini-series first aired, I didn't watch it at the time, and all of these years later I can't recall why I didn't, but it's been on my to see list for a while now. Since the total run time is a shade under three hours, I had planned on watching it over two nights... turns out though that I only ended up needing one night to watch it!

And no, I didn't decide to binge watch the series (I don't binge on anything), it just wasn't very interesting. I gave it an hour and change, was bored by what I was seeing, and with the prospect of still over another hour to go, I just decided that I had seen enough and called it a night. I don't mind buying something like this and finding that I can't finish it, especially knowing that it was bought for less than it could've been rented, provided there were still places to rent videos of course.

A few months ago I was perusing the DVD aisles at Walmart and came across one of those 4-in-1 movie packs, with one of the films being King Ralph. After realizing that it had been forever and a day since the last time I saw it, I was seriously considering buying the set, but the other three films weren't anything that I would care to watch, and $5 just for King Ralph seemed like a bit much, so I left it behind. Looks like a few months of waiting ended up saving me $4.50 (plus tax), now I'm just hoping that it'll have held up since the last time I saw it.

Harry and the Hendersons is another film that I haven't seen in a really (really) long time, probably close to thirty years long! I can remember a time when it seemed like the movie was on every single weekend, KPTV I believe, this would've been around 1990, and we didn't have cable at the time, so the options were somewhat limited -- although looking back, I think what was available on those six television channels was still better than what you'd get if you had cable/satellite today. I know I watched a bit of the television series too, but I don't think it ever caught on with me. I know they tried, but the series just couldn't seem to capture the charm of the original film.

Given how some of these purchases turned out, I'm glad that I only had $7 to spend on this particular day, as things could've ended up considerably worse had I had more money to play with. But bad purchases do occur from time to time, after all it can't always be sunshine and lollipops, the trick is of course not to dwell on them, which I don't, because I'm fortunate enough to find a lot of cool sh*t on a fairly regular basis, so a couple of cheap duds aren't gonna bother me none.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A long way from home

Thanks to last month's card show, I haven't had much play money this month, which is fine, because I knew that this is what would result in my going, and I still went anyway!

The good news is though that I've had very little want to go anywhere this month, at least as far as extracurricular activities go, so the lack of money hasn't been much of an issue. I've had enough to send out a few packages to some fellow bloggers, so no complaints from me.

My lack of interest in going anywhere has been heavily influenced by the weather, it's cooled off considerably (booooo!), and some of the vegetation has started dying, which means that I can now venture into the woods with a much less chance of running into any venomous snakes -- don't have to worry about ticks anymore either! So knowing that, if the choice comes down to me spending my free time out at some brick and mortar store, or putzing around in the wood for a couple of hours, putzin's gone win out 99.9 times out of a hundred.

That being said, like everyone else I do have to go get groceries from time to time - and because I'm already out - be tempted to stop in at a nearby establishment or two. This is exactly what happened last week when I had to go out and restock the cupboards, but before doing so, made a slight detour to the Book Cellar (the only used bookstore anywhere near me).

It had been a few months since I had last been, and there had been quite a bit of turnover during that time, so I ended up spending almost an hour there looking around. As per usual, I hit up the videos and DVD's first, before making my way back to the history section -- I do look elsewhere as well, but those are the two biggie's.

I did end up bringing home a few things, but today I wanted to focus on one book in particular, the less interesting stuff will be covered in Friday's post (how's that for a tease?).

As mentioned, when looking for books (at least at this store), I always go to the history section first, I don't usually find much of interest, but I still do it anyway. It only took a moment or so to realize that this time might be different though, as one of the books on the top shelf was noticeably different from the rest (I should a picture in the store). Sandwiched in between the usual WWII and Roman history books, was this beauty, who's aged spine really stood out from the more modern dust jackets. I could also see that it wasn't going to be an ex-library book, which depending on how it's marked inside, can make an already interesting looking book just that much more so.

The real surprise though, came when I cracked open the book...

... woot? For those that don't know, I'm from Oregon, and up until about five years ago had lived there (and in WA for a few years) my entire life. And while this isn't the first time that I've found a thing that originated in Oregon since moving to Tennessee, it never ceases to amaze me every time I do.

Just look at that lovely Library Commission stamp, as well as the "Withdrawn from Oregon State Library" handstamp.

Opposite the title page is the first of about a dozen plates, taking a photograph of a photograph doesn't always work out so well, but I did my best. The book is copyrighted 1898, so one could assume that the photos were taken within a few years of it's copyright.

I don't think that anybody reading this is going to care about the table of contents, but I took the time to photograph them...

... so I'm certainly gonna take a few seconds to show them!

I was tempted to photograph all of the plates, but ended up just doing a few, sort of a Whitman's sampler if you will.

Does this not look like heaven?

I've never been, but I'm guessing that Shanghai doesn't look like this anymore.

The last page and the inside of the back cover had one last surprise in store for me (or for whoever else would've bought it).

I absolutely love seeing the dates that an old library book was checked out, love the mending stamp as well.

Finding that the book still had it's tray card was pretty neat too.

And just in case anyone cares about the fine print, here you go!

I'd love to know how this book came to be here, but I don't think it would be possible to find that out. AND I'd really like to know where this traveling library was located, might have to try and do some internet sleuthing, even though I know that I'll probably just end up with the same results as most of searches yield...bupkis!

As for the book itself, I'm currently reading two other books, and have the next couple already lined up, so I can't tell you anything about it yet -- although if I didn't think that it was going to be good, I wouldn't have bought it (that's a lie, I would've bought any book with this kind of provenance).

It might sound a bit silly, but I truly believe that I was destined to find this book, not only because of where it's from, but because the fates also clearly knew of this month's finances, which is why they made sure to see that it would be affordable by me... it was only two dollars!

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Pack Sampling: 1990-91 Upper Deck hockey

I was trying to avoid doing two pack opening posts in a row, but I've been pretty lazy blog wise this past week, so you're getting another pack opening post. I promise that I won't do three in a row though... at least not at this time!

Today's pack is yet another one that I picked up for a quarter at ye olde "copy/print/card" shop a few months ago. As many of you already know, I'm not very well versed in hockey, and this is now only the second pack of hockey cards that I've ever opened, so be sure to take everything that you read in this post with a grain of salt -- because it's entirely possible that some of factoids are wrong, they were found on the internet after all.

There were a few different $0.25 hockey packs to choose from, I ended up going with this one mostly just because I hadn't recalled ever seeing any cards from this set, although upon opening it I did quickly realize that I have in fact seen this set on the blogs many times before. I was also sort of hoping to land a hologram, I didn't really care who it was of, I just wanted one. So, did I get one? Well, you'll just have to continue scrolling down to find out, won't you?

Even though as mentioned, I had seen these before, but I never noticed that the half border was color matching. It's kind of interesting that Upper Deck chose to do this with their inaugural hockey set, as they didn't do it on any of their other debut sets at the time.

Looking at Kirk's Wikipedia page, I think his career can be summed up by saying that he was drafted by the Devils in '84, had a lot of early success, two teams and nine years later won a Stanley cup, then spent the next five years being a sulky bitch, before finally deciding to class it up, which allowed him to wind down his career with some dignity.

Glen made it to the Stanley Cup Finals four times during his career, twice as a Bruin, and twice as a Hurricane. He was on the losing side the first three times, but finally got to hoist the cup on his fourth try in 2006. He was also a Portland Winter Hawk way back when, so that's kind of interesting, at least to me.

Doug Bodger? I don't know of a Doug Bodger, but I do know of one...

Hey, a name I actually recognize! Doug spent his entire 14-year career with the Rangers, won the Stanley Cup in 1994, and is a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

I'm not one to normally cast aspersions on the physical appearance of others, but when I first saw this card (before I saw the name), I thought that I was looking at a lady ice hockey player -- the angle of the photograph certainly didn't do poor David any favors.

Petr was the first Czech player to log 1,000 games in the NHL.

Apparently this pack was loaded with guys who have won Stanley Cup's, Bruce doing so with New Jersey in 1995.

Taking a look at one of the backs, their typical for early Upper Deck, even down to them using a photo that was far superior to the one that was chosen for the front.

Chris is currently MIA (and I'm not being facetious this time), he's been disappeared for over a month and a half now, and isn't replying to emails -- maybe the power of a Whaler being shown on a blog will be enough to bring him back to us!

Like Glen Wesley, Martin played in four Stanley Cup Finals during his career (even played in one of them alongside Glen), and he too was only on the winning side during one of those four appearances, that being his first attempt with Edmonton back in 1990.

Gord is short for Gordon, with him being from Canada, I briefly thought that his parents might've actually saddled with just, Gord!

If I sent this card to Doug for a TTM request, would that be considered sending something via Smail mail? :)

Well, as you can see there was no hologram to be had this time, but nevertheless, it was still a fun pack to open. Speaking of packs, am I the only one who still gets a great deal of satisfaction from the actual act of opening these early Upper Deck thick-foil wrappers? Just the sound they make when being opened, I mean even after all of these years, I can't get enough of that sound! Plus you can really wad these wrappers up into quite the tight little ball, I remember having battles with friends when I was wee lad, it was always surprising how much sting those foil balls could produce (especially if multiple wrappers were wadded up together) when making contact with bare skin. Anyways, I could probably talk about these wrappers indefinitely, but I'm sure some of you have other things to do today, so I'll just cut the post off here.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Pack Sampling: 1990 Score football

I bought a LOT of 1990 Score when it was new. I bought a LOT of 1990 Score a few years later when it was less new. And now after almost thirty years I'm still buying 1990 Score, although this time it was just one pack, and I wouldn't have done so if the price tag hadn't been twenty-five cents.

Now that a couple of decades have passed, I find myself looking at this set with very little affinity, the '89 set still holds up pretty well, this one... not so much! But a quarter is a small price to pay for a blog post (not that I'm lacking for material mind you), and if I'm lucky, I'll get a few keepers out of the deal.

With 16 cards (plus a trivia card) in this pack, it might be good idea to go to the bathroom before reading any further, because it's going to take a few minutes to get through this one.

Jason was a member Super Bowl XXVI winning Redskins team, that might not seem very interesting at the moment, but just wait until we get to the end of the pack, then you might think otherwise.

Just two cards in, and we've hit our first HOF'er, huzzah! Was third on the all-time sacks list when he retired, but has since dropped into a tie at ninth with John Randle -- and the two of them will likely fall to 10th by seasons end, as Terrell Suggs is only a sack and a half behind them.

In 1989, Keith set a single season record with 18 sacks by a defensive tackle, a record which held until 2018 when Aaron Donald recorded 20.5 sacks (that was good enough to lead the NFL as well).

 Standard Score football back for the era.

At this point, Hassan is probably best remembered for his want to chop.

Kevin holds the record for most points scored in Georgia (Bulldogs) history, and is second all-time in the SEC in points scored. Was the first, and still only, kicker to ever be elected to the college football hall of fame.

I hated finding trivia cards in packs when I was a kid, all these years later, and I'm still not overly fond of them. But for the sake of fun, here's the question:

Cue the final Jeopardy music...

Time to put your pens down... let's see how you did!

Did you get it right? I did not, but then again, sports trivia has never been a specialty of mine (unless wrestling counts as a sport), so I'm neither surprised or upset about guessing wrong.

Apparently Jim went from laying fools out, to lawyering.

Mark spent his entire 11-year career with the Packers, and led the team in tackles for the four of those.

I just recently used Mel here to make my first physical custom card. It didn't turn out good enough to want to show off, but at least it proved proof of concept, so it wasn't a total wash.

1990 would be Greg's last season, although Score was late to the party, as he spent it with the Raiders, not the Rams.

Not gonna lie, up to this point, the pack hasn't been too terribly exciting, but things are looking up now that we've hit the subset section of the pack!

The subsets are where this set shines, I mean just look at how good this card still looks! And as an extra added bonus, my Barry came with some extra ink (bottom border) on it, so I'm just gonna go ahead and call this an eBay 1/1... and only serious offers will be replied to :)

There's a joke here about Phil's head being in the clouds, but it's just not coming to me at the moment.

Hmm, nothing too exciting about Robert's six-year career, but I do see though that he was born in Dodge City (KS), which is mildly interesting, at least to me.

I know it's been talked about more than once on the blogs, but it's funny how you quickly you can begin to associate a player with a particular blog/blogger, in Ralf's case, I can no longer see him without thinking about Jason from Hoarding Cardboard.

Remember how the first guy out of the pack was a member of the Redskins Super Bowl XXVI winning team, well, here we are on the last card, and it's of another fellow who was on that team too... interesting?

So was this the best pack ever? Probably not, but it certainly could've been worse, I did end up with four keepers (Butler, Dent, Sanders, and The Magic Man), which was better than nothing. I don't think I need any more packs of 1990 Score though, and hopefully I can remember that the next time I'm going through a bin of $0.25 packs.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.