Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, and more Johnny!

I don't think that I'm telling most regular blog readers anything they don't already know, when I say that Johnny's Trading Spot has been a hotbed of activity for what seems like the better part of a year now. Of course, with nearly daily giveaways going on, that is to be suspected. If there's one thing that blog readers like, it's free cards. And with folks only having to comment on posts the day they go live, it's not that difficult to get qualified for a chance at a 9-card PWE.

In the early days of my blog reading, I was pretty good at being able to comment on posts within a few hours of them dropping, but in recent years I'm almost always 3-7 days behind. As such, I haven't been qualified for many of John's giveaways, maybe 10 (?) out of the 200 (?) that he's done so far. Surprisingly though, out of those 10 (?), I've actually won three. And seeing as how those three arrived quite a few months ago, I'm way overdue in giving proper thanks. Today I'm giving said thanks.

The first envelope was nine-pack of Junior, all of which turned out to be needed.

I rarely look for Junior on my own, so a few of these were new images to me as well, including the Topps Chrome here where 2010 Griffey looks like he ate the Score era version of himself.

Sometime between my first and second wins, John sent a bunch of people envelopes fully of original Wacky Packages for reasons that I can no longer remember. Since I was one of those people, please pardon the slight detour while I show most of those off...

I may not remember why I was included in these mailings, but I do remember when my envelope arrived, if only because I had had the Fruit of the Tomb and Snarlamint cards in my COMC watch list. They were there in the hopes that the person would be running a sale during the Black Friday sale, which at the time, was only days away from starting. I believe this envelope showed up the day before the sale started, which couldn't have been more timely if John had tried.

I even got part of a puzzle, which, when completed, will look like this...

I am not well versed at all in being able to tell the different WP series' apart. As such, these are still sitting in a stack, patiently waiting for me to get the sorting bug.

Back to the contest wins...

The second winning envelope started off with a Junior subset (?) that I wasn't familiar with. I only ever collected Collector's Choice in basketball form back in the 90's, so I'm constantly seeing cards from the baseball and football sets that are new to me. 

I had the silver signature version of both of these, so the images weren't new, but the base version of the cards were.

It seems like I only actively look for a handful of guys anymore, Boog being one of them, so to get three that I didn't have all at once was kind of nice.

It may be sun bleached, but this Reggie Roby auto was still a nice addition to his binder. I'd like to think that this was somebody's prize possession at some point, perhaps out on display for many years, hence the fading, but obviously there's no way to know for sure.

The third and, probably final, winning envelope was made up of nine cards from what appears to have been at least a 20-card Junior subset; which was once again new to me. Like a lot of folks, I miss certain things about cards from the 90's, but one thing that I don't miss is all of the subsets and insert sets that were devoted to a single person. Upper Deck was especially notorious for doing them, but was far from the only guilty party. I doubt that I'll ever go out of my way to complete this one, as a page of them seems like more than enough.

I don't know how he's been able to do it, but I'm sure that I speak for many others when I say thank you to John for running these giveaways. And from myself, thank you again for these four mailings. I'm way behind in trying to send some sort of reciprocal package, but am still slowly working on it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

A little slice of childhood

Alligator is a film that I consider to be staple of my childhood. I can't recall the exact details from the first time I saw it at this point, but do know that it was via a rented video while staying the night at someone's house back in the late 80's. I do recall quite vividly though that the movie was pretty scary to an under 8 year-old me.

It wouldn't be until we got cable in 1993 that I saw it again. By that time, it was being shown quite regularly on the Sci-Fi channel, and would continue to be for the next few years. It was no longer scary at that point, but even so, if you had asked a then 11 year-old Jon, he would've listed it as one of his ten favorite movies (it has since dropped down the ladder a bit, but not as far as you might think).

The films practical effects probably don't hold up to a generation that's been raised on CGI, the shoestring budget is visible in places, and some of the acting is a bit over the top (Henry Silva clearly had fun with his role), but this particular cranky old man wouldn't change a thing. I love everything about the film.

Jaws is often credited with "scaring a nation out of the water". Well, along similar lines, Alligator could be credited with scaring 80's kids away from jumping (or pushing someone else) into unlit swimming pools at night πŸ’€

Robert Forster has many fine credits to his name, but to me he'll always be Detective David Madison, the balding anti-hero that tried, mostly in vain, to warn everyone about the giant Alligator roaming around underneath the streets of Chicago.

I had bid, and lost out on, many copies of this card before finally winning one early last year. I think mine was around $18 shipped, which was a bit of money, but not anywhere near the $30-50 that all of the previous copies ended at that I had bid on. If memory serves, this one ended on a Sunday night, so that may've played a role in my getting it for much less than it had been going for at the time.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Works for me

The television show, Hunter, debuted in September of 1984. I would've been 2 years old at the time. It's entirely possible that I could've been watching it with my mom, or more likely, with my grandpa, that early on, but I don't have any memories going back that far, so I can't say with any certainty either way. I do know though that I had been watching it regularly for at least a few years before it was cancelled in 1991. My memory tells me that it was already in syndication before it ended, thereby allowing me to catch up on all of the earlier episodes, but I can't find anything that says when it went in to syndication (in the old days it was usually after five seasons or 100 episodes, whichever came first) so I might've just been watching the new episodes, and then caught up on the rest later on. Either way, it's one of those shows that feels intertwined with my childhood, and as is often the case with such shows, I have accumulated a few cards that remind of said show; which in this case, amounts to a small Fred Dryer collection.

I have been trying to obtain the above autograph for a couple of years, but could never find one that I considered to be reasonably priced. Well, at least not until earlier last year when I was able to get this one for (I think) around $14 shipped (I'm afraid to look, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they could be had for less now). Previous copies that I had bid on always ended in the $25-30 range, so I was quite pleased to get this one for so much less; and what's more, there was nothing wrong with the card!

In a perfect world, I'd be able to get Fred's autograph on a card of him as Rick Hunter, but I don't see anyone putting out a Hunter set anytime soon, so I had to make due with this one. At least the signature was on-card. 
I'd also really like to get a Stepfanie Kramer (Sgt. Dee Dee McCall😍) autograph to pair up with Fred's, but no official ones exist as of yet; and she doesn't appear to sign requests through the mail. I suppose at this point too, if she did ever actually sign some cards for a set, it would probably be for one of those atrocious Leaf Pop Century sets, which I absolutely loathe! Even for her, I don't think that I could bring myself to buy one of those monstrosities. But then again...