Saturday, February 27, 2021

You said it!

I don't know if anyone's noticed or not, but soccer's popularity in the U.S. seems to be on the increase. It had already been trending upward pre-corona, but that growth has increased ten-fold over the last year or so. It's gotten to the point where people are even paying large sums for soccer cards now. Soccer cards!

No one asked, but for the record, just in case anyone ever did; I don't care how popular it gets, or how valuable the cards become, in my mind the "sport" will always be...

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Rattled by McKay's

I got a lot of stuff to get to here today, so please forgive the lack of buildup. For those that need something though, okay, I got you -- my once a month yearning to go to McKay's (heaven for lovers of all things physical media) came upon me a couple of weeks back , so I made the trip to Knoxville in order to satisfy my desire. Cool? Cool.

I though I'd start with something different for a change. I struck out on toys, I mean they had a bunch, but nothing for me. I did however find this really nifty slammer in one of the two very full fast food premiums bins. I know for a fact that I never saw one of these way back when, and looking around online, it appears that One & Only Toy and Games Inc. only made a couple of pog related items, including at least three different slammers that were packaged like this -- though this is the only one that "rattled". I think that it's partially filled with BB's, or something very similar to, which makes for a fun effect, but would've made for a sh*tty slammer. Something that's shifting it's weight while being thrown down would have been less than ideal, and wouldn't have had the desired effect, i.e. flipped over very many caps. And it may have sucked as far as Pog playing goes, but it does look cool, and I enjoy seeing it hung up on my wall everyday.

I remember being in a Border's (anyone still remember that bookstore?) back in '02 (I had to look inside the book cover to get the year), and coming across this book while I was perusing the new releases. It seemed like such an odd book at the time, but did sound really interesting nonetheless. The new release price was much more than I'll ever spend on a book, so I had to settle for checking it out at the library not too long after. It was an excellent book, very well researched, and I had planned on buying a copy once they started going down, but than the usual happened, I ended up forgetting all about it almost immediately after I had to return it. And it stayed forgotten until sometime around this past Christmas when I came across a reference to it in another book. I started looking for a copy online, but couldn't find one under $7 (not including shipping), so I held off and hoped that I could find a cheaper one the next time I went to McKay's, and I did! $1.50 is heckuva lot better than $7. I've got about 50 pages left to finish my long overdue reread, and I'm happy to report that it's just as good now as it was almost twenty years ago, possibly even better. I don't recommend things very often, but I'd so with this book, or at least I would to any history lovers out there.

I recently spoke of my first experience reading Graham Masterton, which I concluded by saying that I'd have to read something else of his, as I couldn't quite gauge his abilities from that one book, so this was me getting another one of his books to try.

Is it weird for someone who wants absolutely nothing to do with large bodies of water, to get great joy from reading maritime stories? Asking for a friend ;-)

I'm fairly certain that there are no Forever Knight fans reading this, so I won't bore anyone by going on endlessly about it, but will mention that the show was a childhood favorite, and would still make my top 10 favorite shows list. The books started up after the show had ended, and are usually terribly difficult to find, especially for a budget-conscious reader. Finding one that I don't have for 95¢ was pretty cool, of course like a lot of things at this point, nobody remembers the show (or the original television movie), and nobody cares about the books, so there's really no reason for them to still be expensive.

I was more than pleased to find that they had marked down a bunch (100+) of compilations and added them to the bargain CD section (95¢ or less), took me quite awhile to look through them though:

I think I've already discussed these before, but back in the glorious pre-internet days, the Living in Oblivion series was tops among 80's compilations, and used to be rather pricey, key word(s) "used to be". Nowadays they can be had for the price of a song, literally... assuming that that song is a dollar. That's how much it costs to download a song, right? I don't know, I've never downloaded music before, but either way, this was less than a dollar, so if a song costs a dollar, this was less than a song.

Most of the compilations were of the 50's, 60's, and 70's varieties, which is why it took me so long to look through them. This was the only one that I ended up getting though. I have the Charlie Feathers tracks on vinyl, but don't think that I own any of the others, in any format.

It's funny, the 90's were my prime era for music, but as I've gotten  older, I've begun to dislike the music from that era more and more. I think it's mostly just because I've heard a lot of the radio staples too many times at this point, and don't really need to hear a lot of them anymore. Of course there are some exceptions, some of which are contained on this album.

I wasn't of "clubbing" age during the 90's, but I did spend a lot of time in arcades, and this album reminds me of arcades in the late 90's, more specifically, mall arcades in the late 90's. I really, really, miss those days!

Moving on to the bargain ($1.95 or less) DVD/Blu-Ray section...

This was pretty crazy, I was looking at this show last time I was there, and was semi-tempted to pay $6.95 for it, but ultimately end up passing on it. Fast forward a couple of months, and now I find it for $1.95, which was much more my kind of price. Sometimes patience/cheapness does pay off!

I've mentioned in past McKay's posts that they seem to be including a lot more television show seasons in with their bargain stuff than they used to. Normally though they're shows that I'd never watch, and will never watch, but this time there was a few things of interest (Ip Man being the biggest). I don't know if I had ever planned on watching the Hannibal series or not, I mean I certainly heard enough about it, but for $1.95 it's worth trying. I've never been big on the films, well, save for Manhunter, that one was good, so I will not be surprised if I don't end up liking the show.

This is the slightly edited version of Phenomena. I never knew that a retitled cut existed, and having still not watched it (this version that is), I don't know what has been edited out, but I'll pop it in and find out at some point. This was more of a curiosity get than anything.

I hadn't planned to upgrade my Secret of the Ooze video, but some of this stuff is getting so cheap on Blu-Ray, it seems like I'd be losing out by not doing so.

Like with the Turtles above, AOD was just too cheap not to upgrade. I've had both on video for over 25 years now, and both tapes still work as good as the day I got them, and now with me not needing to put any more wear and tear on them, they'll probably still be in great working order when I'm gone.

Quick fun fact regarding AOD: A former longtime friend of mine's uncle was an extra in the film. Unfortunately I can no longer remember which scene he appeared in, or even what he looked like.

That does it for the actual purchases, but I did pick-up a few freebies on my way in, so...

Current YA fiction doesn't usually do much for me, but this one had catchy cover, and sounds like it could potentially be something. I'm in no hurry to read it, but I know that when I do get around to it I'll probably know within like ten pages or so whether or not it'll be to my liking. It just has the kind of feel to it to me.

Aside from the corner wear, I'm kind of surprised that this would've been out in the free boxes, as it seems like the sort of thing that certain people might've paid at least a dollar for. Heck, I don't even have much interest in things pertaining to New York City, and I would've paid a buck for it.

I'll be starting this one after I finish "Salt", hopefully it'll be as good as it sounds.

Not bad haul this time if I do say so myself. What made it even better too was that my mom had given me list of books that she was looking for, and I was able to knock some of those out as well. Oh, and I took in a bunch of stuff for trade again, and the credit from that took care of everything.

It was relatively early when I got done, and still was by the time I got done eating lunch (I always take my own and eat it in the car when I come out), so I decided to make a few more stops on my way home, the first of which was the Book Cellar:

Young Jon used to LOVE these kind of books, and old Jon still buys and reads them to help hang onto what's left of young Jon. Also, it's a Scholastic book from 1965, so I kind of had to have it.

I had no clue that there was an Elementary book series. I was gonna wait until I read it before looking up how many books there were, as I didn't want to have it spoiled by seeing what kind of rating it's received by random internet dipsh*ts (I've gotten to the point where I absolutely loathe reviews and ratings, especially those of the internet variety).

Not shown is the half-a-dozen more books found from my mom's booklist. My two books were added to by these cassettes that I found in the free boxes on my way out. I knew quite a bit of French at one time, but most of it's gone now. I'm hoping that these tapes might help bring a little of it back. As for Dutch and Russian, well, I don't have a great deal of interest in trying to learn either, but if I can learn a few words, or more importantly, learn to recognize a few words when I hear them, than these will have paid for themselves (which isn't hard to do since they were free).

Besides having the time to do so, the other reason I wanted to stop before getting home was because my mom had mentioned needing another bookshelf, and I just had a feeling that if I went to the thrift store that's across the parking lot from the Book Cellar on this day, that I would find one. And you know something, I was right, because I did, and it was a good one too! I also managed to find another little something for myself...

There aren't too many Humphrey Bogart films that I don't own, but this was one of them. Awesome movie for those of you who dig the older stuff, it had been a while since I last saw it, but it still holds up really well, or course most of his stuff does, so it's not like I'm breaking new ground by saying that this one does too.

Much like last time, this turned out to be basically a perfect day for me. Nothing went wrong, and I was able to bring home plenty of cheap entertainment. It's probably a good thing I don't live too close to Knoxville, otherwise I'd be at McKay's multiple times a week, and all you'd see around here is recaps... so I guess it's good thing for you too that I don't live any closer to Knoxville!

Friday, February 19, 2021

When you gotta go, you gotta go

Imagine being selected for the Hall of Fame in your chosen sport, and a card company decides to honor that achievement by producing something with this card number...

Hopefully it was just an oversight, and not an opinion of his worthiness on Upper Deck's part. 

On the positive side though , I guess he should be thankful that it wasn't one of those nickname cards :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

There's no need to feel guilty

Did you ever go through your parents closet when you were a kid? 

Did you you ever sneak into your sister's room and read her diary?

Have you ever gone through someone's medicine cabinet while using their restroom? 

Have you ever gone through your significant others purse/wallet?

Do you go through your co-workers desks?

Have you ever house sat for someone, and spent part of that alone time rifling through everything they own?

If honest, most people would admit to doing at least one of these things in their lifetime. Whether it be simple curiosity, insecurity, the want to learn secrets, lack of trust issues, needing to gain power, or just to see how someone else lives; humans are prone to snooping (to snoop is human?), and will do so for a whole host of reasons.

I can honestly say that I've never done any of the above things, why not I couldn't possibly say for certain. Maybe I learned from an early age that one shouldn't be doing such things? Maybe I learned to respect other people's boundaries at an early age? Maybe I've just never cared what other people are doing when I'm not around? Or maybe... I'M NOT HUMAN... dun dun duuuun! 

Perhaps it's just a combination of all of the above? I certainly remember hearing friends talking about going through their parents closets looking for Christmas presents, and on occasion finding more than they bargained for. And we've all heard shock jocks giving away Papa Roach tickets to the caller who's found the most shocking thing in someone else's house. I''ll listen to such stories in small quantities, but have never been able to relate to them. I think that as a kid I just didn't care enough to snoop, and as an adult, I'm of the mindset that the less I know about most people, the better! Usually the more I learn about someone, the more disappointed I am in them. 

Now with all of that being said, I do have one juicy confession to make... I enjoy going through pockets! I know, I know, but before you judge me too harshly, hear me out. These pockets I speak of aren't just anybody's pockets, they're Julie's pockets, and they're not even real pockets, they're virtual Pockets! And what's more, she encourages the going through of her virtual pockets, and not just by me, but by all of her friends. Also, it's important to point out that those pockets are full of cards, so, you know, a fellow can only resist for so long.

I don't always find quite as many goodies as some of my fellow Pocket searchers, but I do usually come up with a few cards worth claiming...

We led off with Junior swingin' for the fences, and now we've got Junior tracking someone else's long-ball attempt.

I'm not quite as enamored with past greats on current cardboard as I used to be, but there are a few guys that I still don't mind being immortalized on a regular basis, and Lou is one of them. The A&G card is nice, if only because it's easy to date the photo to 1938 thanks to that great '39 World's Fair patch.

Dick Groat is someone that I'm really starting to collect hard (I don't ever have to worry about getting his rookie though), and I hadn't seen his Swell offering before, so this was kind of a must have.

I started collecting Vlad last year, and have stopped doing so this year. He's just got too many darn cards, and I don't need another huge collection of base cards from sets that I don't like (which a lot of his come from). I'll still keep the inserts and parallels, and will probably pick up some more if I ever start going to shows again, but no more base cards... unless they're really good looking like this one!

After finishing up my big sort last year, I found that I had close to half of this Kid Gloves insert set, all of which had been acquired via dime boxes, and because I had so many, I decided to passively try and complete it. And by passively I mean that I won't go out of my to look for them, but will grab them if they present themselves before me like Scott here did.

He might need to be replaced at some point, but until then I'm quite content with this lovely Hostess holding place in my humble, almost never talked about, Dagoberto Campaneris collection.

Remember what I said about Lou, yeah well, it applies to Don too.

Start with Junior, end with Junior, or rather two Juniors... sounds good to me! 2005 Donruss Greats is a set that ha apparently been flying under my radar, for these extras that Julie through in proved to be my introduction to the set. It's pretty neat that they included two of his three stops that year, and maybe they've got him as a White Sock too, I don't know I haven't looked yet. I really like the look of these, my scanner on the other hand didn't seem to care too much for them. They were also scanned out of order, which is bugging me something fierce now, but they've been put in the binder, and I'm not gonna go through the trouble to rescan them in the right order.

Many thanks to Julie for allowing me to be like everyone else and do some snooping, and what's more, for allowing me to do so and not feel guilty about it.