It’s Almost Time…

It’s 2010 in most of the world now

And the last decade is all gone

But I have a few more minutes left to go

I’ve already made my peace with this past decade

So all that remains to do

Is watch slowly fade like a lonely ghost

On into the night

As it settles into the past for all eternity

And slowly fades from memory…

Goodbye to 2009

With morning comes 2010

Advertisements

Here’s to New Beginnings!

Or, the Obligatory New Year’s Post.  The Obligatory New Year’s Resolution Post?  Whatev.  Anyway, as I begin writing this, there are nine hours and fifty-six minutes left in the year 2009 (where I’m at anyway).  Was it good to you?  Are you ready to move on?  Are you ready to step boldly into the next decade?  Do you have any resolutions for the coming new year and decade?

This is probably about the first year I’ve ever seriously considered making any resolutions for the coming year.  I was chatting with my friend David from Spain, and he asked me if I had any.  And as it turns out, yes, I kinda do.

So here they are:

First is to just be a little more focused in general.  This will help me in all facets of my life, I think.  Just focus, stick to one thing at a time a little more.  I have the attention span of a guppy (which I assume is really short, as is mine).  If I had a little better focus, I may have done something worthwhile in my life already.  It’s not too late, as sad as it makes me because it feels old to me, who’s emotionally stunted in my very early teens, I am only in my mid-20s.  I think I can still learn to focus, maybe even along those lines, learn some organizational skills.

That leads me to my most tangible goal for the new year.  And that is to accomplish something as a writer.  Finally getting close to 1000 words on something, and I want to get much, MUCH further in the new year.  You know I’ll keep y’all posted on how that goes, though it may slow down my posting at times.

Next, I want to continue to push the limits of my artistic ability.  I’ve gone from thinking I couldn’t draw anthropomorphic characters to having no trepidation at all with them in short order.  I’m still nervous when it comes to coloring and inking, but the fear is subsiding there as well.  So I want to keep moving forward.

That brings me to my next resolution.  I mentioned most of my sketch cards taking damage recently, but I’ve done eight more since they got messed up.  It brought me down for about a day, but I came back strong and have drawn eight more so far this week.  I must keep this attitude up, when it comes to responding to adversity… to deal with it, and keep fighting onward.  It is all one can do, right?

The last resolution came to mind as I started writing this post, and pertains to cards.  Virtually everyone I’ve traded with knows how slow I can be in every part of it, so I really need to be quicker in all facets of trading.  I need to email, and reply to emails faster (I’ll email about trading you that Holliday refractor sooner or later, Mojo!).  I need to send out trades faster (Roll Out the Barrel and Sooz and GSNHoF are waiting, though I need the first two’s addresses… oh and Night Owl, I finally have your stuff ready to send!).  I need my cards to be more organized so I can send out trades faster (I have cards EVERYWHERE, and only a few teams have any semblance of order).  So yeah, even though this might actually be the resolution most likely to fail, it’d do me good to get it right like all the rest.

Those are my long-winded resolutions, what are yours, if you have any?

Oh, and here’s the back of that box topper from last time.  As always, thanks for reading!

Happy New Year! 😉

Eight hours and fifty-three minutes…

The Plan

Sooner or later, I’ve got to reign in my spending habits on cards.  So I came up with a plan, and have already begun to enact it.

You see, there are several boxes that have fallen into my price range recently that I have been wanting for awhile, so I want to tear through them over the first quarter or third of the new year/decade.  After that, I hope to dramatically reduce my monthly card expenditure indefinitely, having satisfied the itch for the specific boxes I’d been wanting.

I have the first two boxes from the list coming in January: 2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History (Finally officially on it’s way!) and 2008 Donruss Threads baseball, as well as two packs of ’06 Playoff Football Playoffs bonus packs (Two for a buck less than just one normally costs?  Well if you insist).

Oh, for those creepy enough to keeping score, what’s wrong with you?  And my price range is less than $50 (not counting shipping).

Here’s the list of stuff that’s fallen I want to pick up:

Baseball

2005 Donruss Champions- They’ve been known to drop just into my range on weekends and during special sales.  The base cards and set in general are pretty odd, but I like these a lot and really need to make up for my only hit being a So Taguchi bat card.

2007 Upper Deck SP Rookie Edition- I don’t know why I want a box of this, I just do.

2008 Donruss Threads

2008 Upper Deck Goudey- Just want a retail box.  I need some more Sports Royalty and Hit Parade of Champions.  Collecting both of those.  Anything else is just icing.

2008 UD Masterpieces- A retail box will suffice with this too, though it appears the hobby boxes have dipped into the mid-$30s…

Some topps Jumbo HTA box (most likely from 2008, but we’ll see)- I don’t think I need to justify this to anyone, even if I end up getting fugly 2008s.

2009 UD A Piece of History

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum- It has enough going for it for me to justify at around $40 a box.  I’m leaning towards this for my January purchase.

Basketball

2008/09 Fleer- I love the ’86-’87 and ’88-’89 parallels.  And four hits per box ain’t bad.  I may be poor, but I do loves me some hits.  The amount and potential for being decent weigh into my purchasing decision.  Notice that most of the boxes I want offer up a whole bunch of hits.  I like them for my PCs and also because I love to be a generous trader.  I’ve come to realize that if I can make someone’s day, it makes me feel every bit as good as the great cards I receive in return… And the hits, they help me do that.

/tangent

I badly want some ’09/’10 topps and/or Upper Deck too, but they are out of my range for the time being.

Wrestling

2007 topps WWE Heritage III- A&G minis, baby!  What more needs to be said?

2008 TriStar TNA iMPACT! Wrestling- Two words: Gail Kim.

Non-Sport

Upper Deck Marvel Masterpieces (probably Series 2)- The quest for more sketch cards!  Plus the base cards & regular inserts tend to be hella tight.

Razor Ink Vault- Okay, these aren’t in my price range either, but damn I really want a box.  I was so close to pre-ordering one at just over $40, but couldn’t pull the trigger, and now they are $50-something.

There ya go… I hope I can knock all that out in four months without having to sell a kidney or something.

Oh, and if y’all are feeling generous, my birthday is February 9th (the big two-five), and I’d really love a box of anything on the list above (especially Donruss Champions or Ink Vault) for the momentous occasion.

Err… that was pathetic and shameless and I’m sorry. m(_ _)m

So that’s the plan.  Focus in and get all the stuff I’ve been wanting that I can afford consistently and relatively quickly so I can cut way back for awhile and save some cashola.  It ain’t rocket science, and there is a major potential flaw if many more boxes I might want fall below $50.  But it’s the best way I can think of to keep things going strong for awhile, but also set a real timetable to buckle down and start saving some money.

Now here’s a pretty picture for reading the whole thing:

Project S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is in effect. Oh yes...

Project S.T.A.L.K.E.R. means Sweeping Through All Lovely BrooKes, Even Relics.  Brooke Morales has been in every year of Benchwarmer since the beginning in 1992, and I intend to collect every card of her.

Hooray for Benchwarmer!  Hooray for Brooke!

Nothing New to Report

Christmas came and went, and it was nice I guess.  Ate so much I thought I was going to explode, went and saw my mom’s crazy family on Saturday, and managed to do seven new sketches in one of my sketchbooks on Christmas and the day after.  The money received for Christmas is about to turn into a box of 2008 Donruss Threads baseball, as I begin to run through the boxes I’ve been wanting to get for awhile that have finally fallen into my price range (will be workin’ on this till spring or so, then I’m hopefully scaling way back).  I having nothing useful for the blog coming out of Christmas though.

I started scanning a bunch of stuff Friday (Secret Santa gift, a few random cards, Fantastic Four Archives break, and a trade with the Great Sports Name Hall of Fame), but was distracted and never finished thanks to RiffTrax of Star Wars.  It was glorious, but I got nothing done afterwards, and I was too worn out to retrieve anything I did get done after getting back to town late last night.  So yeah, I got nuthin’.

No biggie though, just me being lazy.  What is kinda biggie though, is on the way back in to my place last night, I managed to drop the five regular inserts (not the sketch card) I from the FF Archives box AND nearly all of my sketch cards, severely dinging up all the inserts and a few of my sketch cards.  As well, all the sketch cards I dropped suffered at least minor damage (which was all but the very first five I ever did), with a few being pretty much completely ruined.  Needless to say, a lousy end to an otherwise great holiday.  So I’m back at square one with them, and in a somewhat foul mood today.

The fact that my box of ’09 UD A Piece of History still says awaiting payment, even though the payment was sent almost a week-and-a-half ago, that ain’t helping.  I grow annoyed at the universe kicking me in general, but especially on the heels of things going surprisingly right of late.  And in a place where it hurts, like my art and my cards.  You hear me universe?  Find yourself a new buttmonkey.  Go be an asshole to someone else.  I’m done with this crap.

On that note, seeya soon everyone!  Hopefully things will be better next time I get around to posting.

What do you do when you get knocked down?  Get back up and fight harder.

Obligatory Christmas Post

Well, the big day is here.  I hope everyone enjoys their Christmas and the last few days of this tumultuous decade to the fullest.  Time keeps marching on, but always hang on to the good days, the good times, the little things… all life’s victories great and small.  I hope that, not just today, but everyday is worth hanging on to for all of you.  And for today, may you be blessed with many cards.  Hehe..

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone. 🙂

Much love,

~~Lonestarr

Wicked Ortega Trade 2: (Insert Clever Sequel Title Here)

Now attached to the front of a binder...

Lest you think it’s only random packs I’ve gotten crazy awesome cards from packs lately, I present a selection of most of the cards I received in my second trade with Don Wicked Ortega.

Some Cards!

A guy that can hit close to .300 and steal 50+ at an 80% clip?  Why did we get rid of Juan Pierre again?  Aramis, D-Lee (recent official addition), and Big Z are specific player collections, and it’s always nice to get a Marmol.  I think that is only my 4th or so.  Chuck McElroy from any team are welcome cards are welcome.  Soto, where were you last year? We could’ve used you.  We had some bum catching last year that only hit .218!

HAWK, mini Shin-Soo Choo, and off-center Kosuke

Andre Dawson and O-Pee-Chee, two great tastes that go great together!  I need more Shin-Soo Choo, I think he’s gonna be a star one day soon.  That is my second Kosuke black parallel, and they might have both come from Mr. Ortega.  Indeed, he sent me all the Kosukes in this lot in the first trade, so umm… hey fellow Cubs bloggers, I think I should spread the love around.  I have a handful of Cubs dupes from The Don, from both trades, so if you be needin’ any early-’90s Upper Deck or the Fukudome cards, I got ya hookup.  I know I have a small number of extra Ryne Sandbergs from that era as well, so shoot me an email or leave a comment or something, and I’ll send all extras I have (there are a few newer ones too).

Ryno time!

Aside from the Hall of Famer, is future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux when he was young, and George Bell appears to be pointing Paul O’niell in the direction of some no-doubt fine tail.  Also, this trade has brought to my attention severely lacking I am in Mark Grace cards.  He lead the most awesome decade ever in hits!  I gotta get my grubby little mitts on more of him sometime soon, especially shiny ones like that Ultimate Victory.

More good stuff! I think we gots the wrong Jose Reyes though...

Actually, the Ticket to Stardom Fukudome wasn’t in the first trade, because the set wasn’t out yet!  Why do people hate on Artifacts/A Piece of History?  It’s now at or below $40 (not including shipping…) for a hobby box.  I encourage everyone to give it a shot at this way lower price point and see if they still don’t like it.  My box is on the way (or will be if they ever get and/or confirm the payment, was Dave & Adam’s closed the entire week?), and Field of Cards enjoyed his.  Right, what was I saying.  Ooh, look at the pretty Kevin Tapani card… @_@ *droolz* Taste the purple…

Shiny Fonsie!

It’s not as subtle as it’s UD3 ancestors, but it sure is effective.  The old cliche that I’ve been fortunate to rarely need to use holds true here, the scan doesn’t do this card a lick of justice.

Another try at the whole CF of the future thing, a card that made lmao, and... a Yankee?! Wat?

I think I need to start stocking up on Sam Fuld cards.  Well, I need ’em anyway since he’s a Cub, but here’s hoping he’s he real deal.  Anyone got any?  Eventually every Cubs, O’s, and Expos/Nats collector has to get themselves a Chipper rookie someday right?  But I still couldn’t help but have myself a hearty chuckle at getting a future Hall of Famer’s rookie because a guy from my team that didn’t do much happened to share his card.  Igawa?  I’ve dramatically pared down my Asian player wantlist from any and all to about a half dozen + the Chunichi Dragons (WBC I want all of, regardless of country), and he isn’t on it.  But I just wanted the card because it looks really cool.

Alright then, that’s all well & good, but only those that bleed Cubbie blue will think any of that is crazy awesome.  So let’s get CRAZY awesome… Behold!:

topps Dan Haren sketch card!

Isn’t is a beauty?  Gotta love that dreamy stare, lol.  And guess what!

It be a 1/1!

This card is awesome on so many levels.  I’m kind of a wannabe artist, as you know if you’ve been reading for awhile.  And precisely because of this, I collect sketch cards.  But they are very expensive, and thus hard to come by for someone poor like me (Fortunately the great CK Russell thought highly enough of my abilities to agree to an art trade for a personal sketch card from her).  So getting this (only my second at the time, got a third in my Fantastic Four Archives box), is mindblowingly awesome.

I’m so thankful to Alfredo for being willing to trade me this absolutely wicked awesome card.  I still don’t know what to say, because “thank you” doesn’t seem like enough.  Honestly, the whole time until I saw him post what I sent, pleased with the trade, I was fretting that the four or so hits I sent in return weren’t enough.  Granted, I do this with almost every trade I send out, but this was whole other level nervousness.  I said thank you didn’t seem like enough, but it seems that is all there’s left to say.  So from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Alfredo.  Thank you so much…

I am curious about something though.  Can anyone tell me who drew this card?  They got mad skillz. 🙂

Finally, one more thing before I go.  I have more thank yous for everyone who has come by my blog the last few days!  For the first time ever, I received over 100 hits three days straight (today remains to be seen).  It doesn’t seem too long ago that I could barely crack double digits when I posted something, let alone on days that I didn’t, so while I’m sure most of you have long since felt this elation, I’m now starting to feel like maybe I’m actually getting somewhere with this thing.  So thank you everyone, and may you all have the happiest of holidays, no matter what you celebrate, this time of year.

I feel like I won an Oscar, thanking everyone like this… You guys rock!

Retail Hit of the Year!

Finally it is time to post my big retail hit from Walmart.  It comes from 2009 topps Heritage High Numbers, and falls 1:650 packs.  Ladies and gentlemen, behold!:

Gordon Beckham Real One Autograph!

And the back...

I opened the four packs I picked up (this, a topps Chrome, and a couple 206s) in the car on the way back to my place, and I nearly missed this at first.  The only light was from the passing streetlights, so it was hard to see.  I did notice there was something different about the card, but it didn’t click till I got to the next to last card in the pack (a Neftali Feliz rookie).  I went back and looked at it again, my eyes getting big as stared at it.  I managed to stammer in a high than normal, flustered voice, “I think I just pulled a Gordon Beckham autograph…”

It took at least a good minute before I noticed where it says TOPPS CERTIFIED AUTOGRAPH (I had been up around 27 hours straight at that point, so that explains my flakiness during the whole thing), unable to stammer anything but the above, and “Oh jeez” and “Oh my god” for most of the rest of the trip.  You will be happy to know the word mojo never once crossed my lips.  Surprisingly, considering how foul-mouthed I can be, no joyful “holy sh*t!”-type cuss words did either.

Anyway, even now, a week or so later I still geek out whenever I look at it.  It’s one thing to pull an autograph, and another entirely for it to be on-card.  But the fact that it is on-card auto in the style of one of the best looking sets topps has ever produced, that puts it on a whole other level entirely.  This card really is amazing, and I’d think even pulling the lowest-tier guys in the set would make anyone who can appreciate a quality card smile, let alone probably the best guy in the set.

I have been fortunate enough to pull some nice hits out of retail in my lifetime, and this year has been no exception.  Heck, I pulled Joe Mauer & David Beckham jerseys just this fall.  I don’t know what I’ve done to be blessed with good luck of late, but I am always thankful whenever fortune decides to smile upon me.  And so it has…

But now I have a dilemma.  What do I do with this card?  It’s always great to get an unbelievably cool card like this, and I most definitely appreciate this pull, but he isn’t on my team, and I don’t really have any desire to collect him.  I could sell it, to my knowledge, only my ’05 topps Pack Wars A-Rod box topper chip (#’ed /10 red parallel version) has ever sold for more on eBay.  I am way poor, so an influx of cash is always welcome.  I could also try trading it, perhaps I’d even prefer to, but it’s going to take a pretty insane package to pry it away from me.  I dunno, I dunno.  A card like this doesn’t come my way very often.

Until I decide what to do with Mr. Beckham though, I think I will leave it with the cheap White Sox hits I used to occasionally pick up for my dad on eBay.  He’d never accept the card itself, but I think he’d enjoy it being on display with his cards until I finally get around to doing something with it (though he will probably want me to sell it eventually).

As I head out, soliciting more commentary for the eventually upcoming “Collecting for Beginners” post as I go, I will also ask you all what I should do with this Gordon Beckham autograph card.

Wow, what is it with me and hits of dudes named Beckham?  lol…