Saturday, December 31, 2011

Vacation is nice...

I'm enjoying my time off, but I'm going through blog withdrawal. I've tried to read a few of your posts, but the wife is having none of it. I'll be reading through three days worth when I get back on Monday.

One thing I've realized on this break is how much I miss blogging. I know it's only been a few days, but I do miss it already. I thought about stopping altogether a couple different times this year and now I realize how hard it would be to walk away.

I'm looking forward to reading your year end posts when I get back.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My son's loaded Update Blaster

I bought my son one Update Blaster for Christmas. Let's just say that I made sure it was "loaded". He opened it and was opening the first pack when I slipped 7 extra Diamond Giveaway codes and one extra pack to the bottom of the stack. He never realized I did it and just thought he got "extra" lucky. At that point he still needed 14 rings to get to the magic number of 45 for the special edition Diamond Giveaway set.

There weren't any Legend SPs or overly exciting Sparklies in the box. He did get two packs of the Target Red parallels, but even he would rather have a regular pack. His manu-patch, which I mentioned yesterday, didn't thrill him too much.

It was Al Kaline, I believe the same one I used in a contest earlier this year.

The extra pack I slipped into his blaster was one that I got in a Value Box. It was as hard as a brick and I felt pretty sure it had a hit in it so I saved it for him.

It did have a hit. It was this Paul Konerko All Star Workout Jersey Sparkle Edition #58/60. He was pretty happy although he didn't know much about Konerko.

He pulled one code from the blaster plus the 7 extras I slipped in while he wasn't looking. He's too new to the collecting game to realize that I jury rigged the contents, but that's ok. I'm sure he wouldn't mind. Counting the 4 codes from the other two blasters, that gave him a total of 12 codes to enter. Overall, I'd say he did pretty good with his codes considering he didn't get a Die-Cut. As a matter of fact, he hasn't gotten even one die-cut which is a little weird I think. Here, in reverse order of year, not the order redeemed, are the best cards he unlocked with his 12 codes.

1976 Jim Wynn--I had to tell him that I'd never heard of Wynn either, even though he has that cool All-Star star.

Sweet...Alou! 1973 edition. He knows I'm working on the '73 set so he said this one was for me. Good kid. Must be the great parenting.

1971 Denny Doyle. He looks like one of my college professors. Sorry, that's all I have for Mr. Doyle.

This one goes (or will go) right into the Senators collection. It's a very nice 1970 Topps A.L. ERA Leaders card. I told him Dick Bosman used to be a pitching coach for the Rangers, and Jim Palmer used to sell underwear (I told him the other stuff too) and Mike Cuellar would only take the ball back from Brooks Robinson. Read it here if you don't believe me.

Ummmm, Expos Rookies, vintage 1969. Hey, it's Vintage so we're happy.

1969 Duane Josephson. You know this card is going in the catcher binder. Yes sir.

Sweet burlap goodness in the form of a 1968 Willie Davis. Willie has a funny Texas Ranger story too. Read it here if you're so inclined.

This was actually the first card he unlocked. It also happened to be the oldest. It's a very uninspiring 1961 Jerry Staley. Nothing personal, but it's just not a great shot. It is however, 50 years old, so that is cool.

After some wheeling and dealing, we managed to trade his duplicate rings and he now has 43 rings. He needs two more to get that set. If anyone has a code or two they are willing to trade, let me know. You don't even have to mail the cards. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I didn't get cards for Christmas, but my kids did

**I'm on vacation the next three days. I've got a couple of posts scheduled and may make an impromtu post if I get the sudden desire to share something. One of my favorite parts of the blogosphere, leaving comments on YOUR posts, may also be sporadic to non-existent.**

It's well documented around here that my oldest son is the card collector in training in my house. My youngest is more into the Muppets and Harry Potter and that's just fine. That didn't stop Grandpa from buying each of them a blaster of Topps Update for Christmas. I bought my oldest son a blaster of Update too, but I'll show you that one tomorrow.

We'll kick it off with the true collector's blaster. My oldest wasn't too thrilled with the Manupatch he pulled in the blaster I bought for him. He looked at the checklist and said he would like to get the Nolan Ryan patch card. Well, he saved the "special" pack for last and this is what he found.

I have to say he was rather excited to see Nolan slide out of the pack. This is what makes collecing with him so much fun. I'm old and jaded and while I'd be happy to get Nolan Ryan, I'd still feel like it was just another manu-patch card. He didn't care. He just knew that he'd been hoping for a certain card and he GOT it. That was fun for both of us.

He also pulled three code cards from his 10 packs. I'll show his "results" from that tomorrow as well.

My non-collecting son did ok with his blaster. At least as far as his dad is concerned. He only managed to pull one code, which he promptly and charitably donated to his brother's quest for 45 rings.

He pulled one of the Blue Hope Diamond Parallels.

Unfortunately it was from the now-hated (ok, despised) Cardinals. Jon Jay, #29/60. He reacted pretty much the way I expected. "Huh, ok. There sure are a lot of packs in this box." He got tired of opening packs pretty quick. I'm thinking if I bought him a box of Harry Potter cards, he would be a little more enthusiastic.

He didn't care much for his manu-patch card either, but I was glad to see it.

Carlton Fisk. I love the 1954 Red Sox logo, but I'm not entirely sure why it was paired up with Pudge. That's Topps for you. Still, I managed to make a little "trade" for a couple of Josh Hamilton cards and this now resides in my Fisk collection.

Tomorrow I'll show the best cards from my oldest son's "loaded" Update blaster. It's worth a read if you have a minute to spare. Have a great day everyone!

Monday, December 26, 2011

I can't wait to "show" off what I got

Unfortunately, it'll have to wait until tomorrow. I didn't get a chance to set it up yesterday after going to three different houses.

My oldest did get a loaded blaster of Update. He got another blaster he hasn't opened yet and as of right now he's on 7 rings short of the needed 45 to get the Special Edition Set. If anyone has a code or two for trade, let me know.

I'm working the last couple hours of a double shift with another on the way tomorrow so I hope I can get a regular post up for tomorrow. On the bright side, I have three days off coming up later this week, so it's not all work and no play for me.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Blogosphere!

I hope everyone has a safe and blessed Christmas and remembers the true meaning behind the holiday!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Just a flesh wound

Many thanks to all of you who left such nice comments yesterday. My son's surgery went well and by the time we got home he was up and walking around on crutches like nothing happened. Basically, it all amounted to nothing but a flesh wound.

I'm sure it'll be sore for a bit and he's got about 6 weeks until the holes in the bones fill in, but he's well on his way to a full recovery.

Thanks again everyone.

I'll be back on Monday unless I can sneak a post in before then. Everyone have a very Merry Christmas this year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Going under the knife

It's time for a little off-season surgery.

You might remember my son breaking his leg in a Little League game back in April. Well, right about now, they should be wheeling him back for surgery to remove the four screws they used to put his tibia back together. The break was right at the growth plate and the screws have to be removed so they won't inhibit his growth.

If you're the praying sort, send one up for him today. The doctor feels like the leg is completely healed and that's a good sign. Three or four days in a walking boot and six weeks for the holes in the bone to fill in and he should be better than ever.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Green with envy

I recently bought a small lot of cards from a guy on the Blowout forums. Three green refractor parallels from 2011 Heritage were in the lot. I don't think I ever had any of these in hand before and they are really nice cards. I'm digging the super refractory backgrounds. The three that I received are below.

Michael Cuddyer, Twins

Xavier Nady, Diamondbacks

Alexei Ramirez, White Sox

If anyone has any Rangers from this set they are willing to trade, let me know. These three are available for trade.

The addiction to shiny to continues...

Does the Pursuit of Liquor mean I have a problem?

If it does, I might just have a problem.

A couple of weeks ago, John of Pursuit of Red Sox posted some Topps Update that made it's way to merry old England. I happened to mention my affinity for all things shiny and lo and behold, John was kind enough to send me an early Christmas gift. A gift for which I will reciprocate of course.

Normally I save the best card in a package for last. This time, in trying to keep the tie-in with the title of the post, I thought I would show you the Liquor I mentioned.

Someone pour me a shot of Bob Gibson please. That's one smooth Liquorfractor. It goes down nice and easy, but if you crowd the glass, it'll burn a bit.

This very nice 2011 Heritage Hamilton will be going for another TTM attempt this Spring. I think Josh's scribble will look nice on this one.

That my friends, is the answer to the question, "How do you throw a knuckleball?" Charlie Hough was already 41 when this 1989 Bowman card hit the shelves. I'm 41 and I think it would sweet to still be playing in the Majors at this age. Or any age for that matter.

John, thanks a bunch. Now that I have your address, I'll get this package out to you.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A whirling Darvish

So let me get this straight.

You won't give this guy $75 million over 5 years. Yes, I know he wanted to play in SoCal.

But you'll pay $51.7 million JUST to negotiate the POSSIBILTY to give this guy $60-80 million over 5 years.

I understand the skills Darvish possesses are supposedly off the charts. Against Japanese league players.

I'm nervous. Very nervous. Mostly because the Rangers once gave this guy $65 million over 5 years.

I know, different country and different abilities. I'm still nervous.

At least they aren't sitting back watching the Angels make all the big splashes this off season.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Blog Bat Around: PATP Style

I'm a child. Denying it won't change it. Maybe you've been around a baby who's upset and whiny and the parents whip out a shiny set of keys and boom, the baby is happy and preoccupied. That's me.

The only difference is I get all ga-ga over shiny cards.

Most of my favorites this year are of the shiny variety.

2011 Topps Diamond Parallels....check.

2011 Topps Chrome Atomic Refractor...check.

2011 Topps Chrome Black Refractor...check.

I wouldn't want you to think I can be had soley for cheap shiny baubles. I have depth my friend.

I love Diamonds too. Diamond Die Cuts that is. I was able to put together the entire 8 card Texas Rangers set of die cuts from the Diamond Giveaway site.

Like many others, I liked Gypsy Queen too. The base cards were just so-so, but they are great for autos. Unfortunately I only ended up with a couple of blasters before it all disappeared. I did get some nice cards in a couple of group breaks so it all worked out.

2011 Heritage was pretty nice too. Like GQ, it makes for good TTM requests. The design grew on me and although I'm looking forward to 2012, I'll really be looking forward to 2014 when Heritage will be covering the 1965 set.

Those were my favorites from 2012.

As for the vomiting can mark me down for most anything that has Bowman on it. I don't prospect so I don't get it, but I still need the Rangers every year and that annoys the tar out of me.

4 Years Gone

I still miss you dad. I'm glad we got to spend so much time together before you left. I cherish those memories more than any from my childhood.

Tell someone you love that you love them today.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Drying out

I came home from work Friday only to discover my water heater decided it was time to retire.

The thing about water heaters is they don't announce their retirements ahead of time. There isn't any farewell tour around the league where other teams give the water heater a celebratory gift. No, they just start leaking water all over the place, in this case, my garage.

Nothing was ruined other than my savings account. I had planned a trip to the post office Friday afternoon, but that didn't happen. I'll be trying again on Monday so if you're expecting something from me, it should go out tomorrow.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

One more slice of Pie

While doing a little searching for those American Pie cards I mentioned yesterday, I discovered some interesting "memorabilia" cards that are available this time around.

Long time followers might remember a post I did about this 2001 American Pie relic I pulled from a pack.

Topps has reached into the JFK bag again for the 2011 version of AP.

This one is a little creepy to me. I could almost walk to the grassy knoll from my office and get my own piece of "history", but I guess this card would round out my JFK Pie collection. It's really the other three cards in this subset that I want the most.

The Statue of Liberty was closed immediately after the attacks of 9/11 and remained closed to the public until May of 2009. Now only 240 people per day are permitted to climb the steps to the crown. The Statue was closed on October 29, 2011 for a year-long renovation. This "relic" could have come from one of the past renovations. I have a feeling it will turn to dust like my Berlin Wall relic did.

I'm a history major and my interest in primarily in U.S. history so this Lewis and Clark relic is cool. I haven't seen what it says on the back of the card so that could be a scoop of dirt and gravel from the smoking area outside Topps back door.

My favorite card in the subset (I only found these four on the 'bay) is this Gettysburg card. It is my humble opinion that the Civil War is the most fascinating part of U.S. history. I'm interested in what the card back says about this "relic". I sure hope it's not more of that broken office desk from the Topps warehouse.

If anyone gets one of these three cards and wants to move it, let me know.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Have you seen my man card?

I've bashed American Pie enough.

Now I hang my head in shame and tell you I'm looking for the Susan Lucci relic and auto cards.

My wife is/was a big fan of All My Children.

I'll also be looking for any cards of Lucille Ball that might be in the set. My wife has a fairly nice I Love Lucy collection. I think there is one base Lucy and a Walk of Fame insert as well as a Walk of Fame Star Patch. I figure with my collection habits, the least I could do is pick up some things she would like.

Michael from Sports Syzygy mentioned something about the Muppets cards in my last post and how it might be a bit creepy if there was a "relic" Muppets card. That would be so cool and I'd have to get one for my son.

It's hard to say goodbye

According to the Blogger help section, the maximum number of blogs you can follow is 300. I was sitting at 250 and every time I tried to follow someone new, I would click follow and they wouldn't show up in my blog roll or on my dashboard. I don't know if it's a glitch with blogger or maybe they've set the new max at 250, but I decided it was time to clear out some space for the new guys.

I didn't want to do it, but I stopped following everyone on my list who hadn't had a post in at least a year. Two of the blogs I stopped following hadn't posted in over two years. All total, I let 33 blogs go.

It was tough. I almost cried like that baby.

I always hope the guys (or gals) who stop posting will come back. As a matter of fact, Shellie over at The Middle Child posted yesterday for first time in 7 months. It was nice to see her post and I hope she's back at it. She's a Rockies collector by the way. Drop her a comment and give her a little encouragement.

We all need a little encouragement from time to time.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Do you feel a draft?

I recently participated in a draft break held by Derek aka Tomahawk Chopping - Cardboard & More. It was my first draft break and now I'm sorry I missed out on the one going on right now at Cardboard Heaven.

The draft was 30 rounds deep and only cost $15. I ended up with the 4th pick in the first round and here are my first three picks.

You can't go wrong starting off with a 2011 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Ian Kinsler #62/150. Not if you're a Rangers fan you can't.

Round two found me picking a 2011 Lineage Joe Mauer Stand-Up insert. I might have reached a bit, but I didn't want to lose out on this one since I don't plan on buying any more Lineage.

My third pick of the draft was this nice 2011 Heritage Chrome Refractor Nelson Cruz #392/562. I think this is my first Chrome Refractor from this year's Heritage so I had to spend a high draft pick on it. It was worth it. I picked up a number of other nice cards in the following rounds. Many of them aren't even Rangers so they'll be included in future trades.

The last two rounds were for an auto and a relic. I had the 7th pick in the auto draft and got the auto I most wanted from the group.

I chose this hideous scribble by Ben Revere from 2011 Topps Chrome. It's on card and it's from second favorite team, so that's why I chose it.

I had the first pick in the relic round and chose a card I figured was easily tradeable for a Ranger relic.

This is a 2006 UD Artifacts Derek Jeter jersey #83/325. Sure it's a plain gray swatch, but it's major Jeter MOJO!

Seriously though, I had a load of fun doing this draft. I picked up a bunch of Diamond Anniversary cards and plenty of nice Rangers. Many thanks to Derek for a great draft break. I know those things must be a lot of work.

What did I just do? Revisited edition.

Yesterday I did a quick post from the Target parking lot. You might have seen the horrible UPC barcode card I pulled from the Topps American Pie blaster I bought. All I could think about on the way home was how I should have purchased a discounted blaster of Obak for $11.99.

Don't get me wrong. Not every single card in the box was hideous. I'll pass on the Jim Henson and Muppet Show cards to my youngest son. I got a foil parallel of Jimi Hendrix that is pretty psychadelic. I actually thought this card was a nice one.

Vincent Price is cool AND creepy at the same time. I think the "lady" in the background may actually be the sister of Joe DeSa.

That's about all the nice I can muster up for this product. How about we look at a trio of awfulness. A little "Cardboard Depreciation" if you will.

Do we really need a card highlighting the FDA approving the use of birth control pills? I think not, yet here it is in all it's black and white glory.

This is the epitome of ridiculousness. I don't even think Beardy would approve of this card.

Wow. Just wow. That is awful. Did Bill Gates actually give his permission for Topps to use that photo?

Hey, I got a Big Pussy relic! Never, not in a million years, did I think I'd ever type that sentence. Topps didn't see fit to put Vincent Pastore's Sopranos nickname on the back of this relic card. I considered using it in the title of my post, but I just couldn't do it. I know I could have gotten a few thousand extra hits if I had used it. The card looks creased in the pic, but it's not.

I did get a somewhat tough pull in the blaster. The spotlight parallels are 1:47 packs and I got a Gary Cooper #14/76. Unfortunately, I forgot to scan (photograph) it.

I won't be buying any more of these cards. It's just not my cup of tea, but if you like it, more power to you. Especially if you're the Daily Dimwit and your wife likes these cards. Anything that gets a wife interested in cards can't be all bad.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Making my son's day

How do you make the day of an 11 year old boy who is counting every second until Christmas break?

Do you let him open a Christmas present early?

No, you do not.

Do you get him that Iphone he's been begging for the last 2 months?

Absolutely not.

I'll tell you what you do. You send him to the mailbox, that's what you do. Because maybe, just maybe, he'll come back with an envelope with his own handwriting on it and it will have something like this inside.

He sent three cards to Josh Hamilton in late May and he got all three back. Only one was signed, but he was so excited. It made a rather gloomy day so much better.

Thanks Josh. You sure made his day.