Bob Walk The Plank Trade

I’m not over losing Ernie, and probably won’t be anytime soon.  But all you can really do for the departed is keep on living.  The show must go on, as it were.  So I’m back today with a trade post.  I’ve found a few new trading partners since my return and subsequent frequent bumming around the ol’ blogosphere.  Thus is the arrival of my first cards from a trade enacted after the start of 2015, courtesy of Bob Walk The Plank.  Let’s see what we’ve got!

Shiny minis & die-cuts! Me gusta!

Shiny minis & die-cuts! Me gusta!

First up, the two I’m for sure keeping.  Love the Dual-ing Die-Cuts from this past year’s BowChro.  I have conflicting emotions about the minis, but they do make for a nice cheap blingy addition to a Single Page collection (more on that and the rest of the new look happening here in my next post).

Miscellaneous Cubbie hits (and a prospect)..

Miscellaneous Cubbie hits (and a prospect)..

Finally some random Cubs.  The McNeil prospect will definitely make the miscellaneous binder, and Daryle Ward has a good shot as well.  Fuld and Prior (much as I like the card) will probably be sent along to others for things that are a better fit for my collection, but they’re much appreciated all the same.  I’m still waiting for something on COMC that will be arriving in my February shipment, but I’ll be sure to send back a nice array of Pirates & things in return once it’s here. 🙂

I’m not sure what my Blogger blogroll status is at the moment, but if anyone is getting this, thanks for stopping by!

The Road to WrestleMania has begun!

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Chavez Ravining Trade

Today, we have the second of the trades from the tale end of 2014, this a much smaller swap with Chavez Ravining.  USPS ate my tracking code, but he assured me the cards I sent arrived.  So let us have a looksie at what came in return, shall we?

Yelich & Darvish GQ White Frames, Bowman Keenan Allen relic, Future Stars Nomah gold /99..

Yelich & Darvish GQ White Frames, Bowman Keenan Allen relic, Future Stars Nomah gold /99..

Like I said, just a small trade.  Sweet cards though.  I think this Yelich is good enough for my Single page collection of him.  Darvish is a full player collection now, so I just outright needed that one.  The Keenan Allen is meant for someone else, but heck if I can remember who it is at the moment.  Nomar is from the infamous disaster that is the 2007 UD Future Stars.  Shame it was so poorly conceived, because the parallels and inserts & stuff look fantastic.

Guess that’s it for this one.  Thanks for stopping by!

Play on, playa!

Pack War Trade

At the end of 2014 I sent out close to 1.5 lbs of cards to Pack War.  I’d been desperate to move some of that stuff for ages, and fortunately it seemed to have found its mark quite well.  So now, I present the return.

Valor & Triple Threads..

Valor & Triple Threads..

Valor looks great.  I dunno about Marshall & courage going together, but that parallel is #’ed /399.  I like the way the Triple Threads kind of pop out of an actual background.

Chrome RCs, crazy shiny TD, '98 StarQuest..

Chrome RCs, crazy shiny TD, ’98 StarQuest..

For real though, even with the protector, you can see your own reflection in the silver parts of that wonderful Terrell Davis insert.  Unless you’re a vampire, in which case… *runs away*

...

*cautiously returns* Is… Is the vampire dude gone?  Okay… *deep breath*  Where was I?  Oh yeah.

I’m happy to have some of the year’s best rookies in Watkins, Bortles, & Beckham Jr.  I don’t chase RCs from any other sport near as hard as baseball, but I do like getting them when I can. 😉

Then we have these StarQuest.  But they are no ordinary StarQuest, oh no!  For when you flip them over, you reveal…

Tadaaaaahhhh!

Tadaaaaahhhh!

…They are also RookQuest!  Two of the finest to ever lace ’em up at that.  Such connections they have.  Can you imagine if they had put Ryan Leaf and Yatil Green on the back of Elway & Rice?  That would’ve been embarrassing.  And now Peyton and his giant forehead of doom is playing for ol’ horseface.  Even better.  I’m not high I swear.  MOVING ON.

'Nique Jamfest Artist Proof..

‘Nique Jamfest Artist Proof..

Here’s the lone basketball card in the package, and the obligatory “doesn’t scan well/looks way better in person” card, a Pinnacle Jamfest Artist Proof of Dominique Wilkins.

Baseball Rookies!

Baseball Rookies!

Like I said, I’m always down for RCs of baseball stars, even when I have more than one, ala Mr. Posey here.  I have three of him now: Flagship Topps, Bowman Platinum, and this here A&G.  Or, and speaking of being high, in Ricky Williams’ case, baseball RCs of football stars.  Alleged egotistical weirdo Alex Rodriguez and 2005 World Series MVP Jermaine Dye round out the rookie card scan.

Ichiros, Big Hurts, & Rynos (oh my)..

Ichiros, Big Hurts, & Rynos (oh my)..

Coming down the home stretch, starting with a pair of low numbered (but not really) black parallels of Ichiro Suzuki from the infamous disaster that was Topps Moments & Milestones.  I like to think of it as the Showgirls of card sets, because I imagine its existence had to have ruined a few careers.  Next up a pair each of north and south side’s most recently retired Hall of Famers, including a nifty Jiffy Pop disk that’s just sliiiightly too big for its own good.

You'd think his lack of depth perception would cause problems playing baseball, and you'd be right!

You’d think his lack of depth perception would cause problems playing baseball, and you’d be right!

And that’s all for this trade.  Thanks, Shawn!  Hope we can do it again sometime.  And *points at screen and winks cheekily* thank YOU for stopping by.

It was fun.  Oh my…

What the Future Holds…

I guess I better get to the 2015 round of resolutions I cannot possibly keep while we’re still in the afterglow of a new year’s dawning.

Collection Goals

15 trades- I think I got close enough to my goal of a dozen last year not be entirely disappointed in myself, so let’s up the ante.  I already have two that are slowly coming together, one with longtime frequent trading partner Shot Not Taken and another with Baseball Card Breakdown.  I’ve also pulled out some odds & ends for a few other bloggers, and I’ll start sending out emails to the lucky(?) perspective trading partners soon.  I also reserve the right to add the two I got in just under the gun in 2014 if they get me over the hump at the end of the year, since their actual arrivals did and/or will take place in 2015. 😛

Finish the following Single Page Sensations- I am over halfway done on almost all of the following, so I’d like to finish as many as possible.

Cubs: Albert Almora (5/9), Javier Baez (8/9), Kris Bryant (7/9), Tyler Colvin (6/9), Ron Santo (6/9)

Other Baseball: Dick Allen (6/9), Roberto Alomar (7/9), Albert Bell (7/9), Carlos Santana (6/9)

Bears: Charles Tillman (6/9)

Basketball: Luol Deng (7/9)

Wrestling: Victoria/Tara (7/9)

BenchWarmer: BenchWarmer model (none over 3/9)

Baseball Sets: 2011 Topps Legend Variations (6/9), 2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Legend Variations (8/9), 2012 Topps Museum Collection “Canvas Collection” Baseball (8/9), 2014 Topps Museum Collection “Canvas Collection” Baseball (6/9 if I keep Strasburg)

Football Sets: 2013 Topps Museum Collection “Canvas Collection” Football (8/9)

Add 2 new licensed and 5 new personal Raven sketch cards- The former are crazy expensive for a B-list team character and there just aren’t a whole lot of either to go around.  I think these are pretty reasonable numbers to strive for though.

Finish both the licensed and PSC DC Comics miscellaneous Single Page Sensations- I am starting the year at 4/9 licensed and 3/9 PSC.

Complete any other sketch card Single Page Sensation- Lots to choose from, but I’m over halfway done on but a very few.

Blog Goals

Write 80 new posts- Again, we’ll up the ante a juuuust a smidge from 2014.  I did a good job of posting with a fair degree of regularity when I was actually here and posting in the year gone by, so I think I can average a little better than 1.5 posts per week in the year to come.  I’m not going to make any requirements on the number of non #collect-focused things this time though.  I feel that was a small contributor in falling off the map so early last year.  I’m stupid (not true, but I am very, very lazy), so I’m going to keep it simple.

Art Goals

Complete 50 new sketch cards- I managed 38/50 last year (1 side of that weird Marvel two card puzzle was completed).  That was close enough to not feel too much shame, especially in light of how much I managed to draw in total.  Still, this isn’t close enough to up the ante, so I will give the same number a good go again in 2015.  Paul Molitor (repurposed) and Boromir of Gondor (artist tile) are the first two in the queue.

100 total new works- I’m pretty sure I coasted past this number last year, and if you consider the multiple pictures on single pages as individual works, then I did even better.  Everything was unofficial, however.

Finish 30 old sketch cards- I barely finished any old cards in 2014, and I don’t feel like I did a very good job on what I did do, so I’m making this a point of emphasis in the new year.  I’m off to a good start, having already finished seven oldies on January 2nd (also colored most of two others).  I’m also happy to report my coloring seems to be back to nearly as strong as it was at the height of my powers a couple years ago.

You can keep track of my 2015 art progress HERE.

Writing Goals

Finish a first draft of any novel idea- I barely got anywhere on anything last year, and while I’d like to say a more stable computer situation would have helped, I’m not so sure…  There can be no excuses this year though.  I just bought the one I’m currently writing from a month ago, and I hope to have a laptop, and the additional mobility that entails, to go with it by spring.

Meryl Davis Autograph!

Here is your reward for sticking around to the bitter end: Please enjoy my best pull of 2014, a Meryl Davis autograph! ♥

Aaaand that’s all for this post I guess.  There are plenty of other things I’d like to accomplish in 2015, but these are the most pressing and/or well-defined.  A bit simpler than last year, and I’m sure I’ve probably broken a couple resolutions already, but thanks for stopping by!

Until our next…

2014 Final Tally

I had a different post planned for today, but it didn’t pan out so well.  So instead, I’m gonna look at my goals from the beginning of the year and see how things panned out (with intermittent pictures to fight the boredom).  I’m sure this will end well… >.>;

Finish Fergie Jenkins Career Run– Not quite.  Still no ’68 or anything from ’70s off-brand sets.  I think the league leaders from the ’70s and almost everything from the ’80s are taken care of though.

Progress was made..

Progress was made..

Get Ryno’s other RCs– Nope.  The only other ’83 Sandberg I landed this year was his Topps sticker.  We’ll call it his 5th RC in the same way Billy Preston is considered the 5th Beatle.  He was absolutely the reason the group held together near the end of their run, and a complete run of Ryno RCs is not complete without his Topps sticker.

Complete 12 Trades– I don’t think I quite made it, but the two I got myself into at the end of the year might have gotten me into double digits, which is honestly better than I was expecting.  I will try to get better at posting my trades in the coming year.

A couple biggies found their way to me via trade, including a Jerry Rice RC!

A couple biggies found their way to me via trade, including a pretty decent condition Jerry Rice RC!

Complete Three Sets– Failed.  Hard.  I abandoned like half my set page over the course of the year, though I don’t think any of the trio I mentioned as likely candidates in the original post were officially abandoned.  But I still ended up with nothing from them.

The only set I made any progress on.  And I only just broke the 30 mark after Christmas..

The only set I made any progress on, and I only finally just broke the 30-card mark after Christmas..

Complete the Following Single Page Sensations

2011 Topps Legend Variations– Nope.  Don’t think I added a single one.  Made a little headway on 2009 Update though.

'09 Reggie Update..

’09 Reggie Update..

2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Legend Variations– I picked up Harmon Killebrew and Paul Molitor.  Only one more needed!

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cuts– YES!  The Winfield Single Page was decommissioned again (for the third or fourth time in my blogging career), and he returned to fill his old hole in the page.  The final piece came when I decommissioned my Adrian Beltre page, and the Diamond Die-Cut I had of the future Hall of Famer completed the page.

2012 Bowman Chrome Legends in the Making Die-Cuts– Yes, and then I abandoned the page and decided to only keep a couple.

2012 Topps Finest Faces of the Franchise– Same as above.  What I don’t want is available for everything I’ve abandoned over the past year.  Inquire and acquire within.

2013 Museum Collection Canvas Collection– Yaharr, this was so easy I was even able to replace a few I decided I didn’t like as much.  RA Dickey, Tom Seaver, and whoever the other one was are available for sale or trade.

As an aside, I’m still at 8/9 on 2012 and, pending shipment, 5/9 on 2014.  I am also at 8/9 on the 2013 football version.  I’d be finished already, but I’m holding out hope for a Deion Sanders to get close to the $0.60-1.38 range I paid for the rest that I picked up over the second half of the year.  Aikman & Andre Johnson were on the low end, Russell Wilson & Megatron were the most expensive.

Victoria/Tara– Nope.  Was too busy going overboard and accidentally turning Gail Kim into a full collection (2 new autos and two #’ed cards and a several early base cards cards).

Oops..

Oops..

Luol Deng– Nothing.  Completely forgot about him, aside from that weird sleazy racist scouting report brouhaha during the offseason.

Carlos Santana– I’m still three short.  Four if the sweet Topps Tribute WBC patch #’ed /35 I picked up for around $3.40 doesn’t fit in a binder page.  My other addition to his page was a sub (if just barely)-$10 Bowman Platinum printing plate.  An expensive addition for one of my less important pages, but it was there, and still relatively cheap for an at least borderline superstar player.

This is one of those scans don't do the card justice cards..

This is one of those scans don’t do the card justice cards..

Any five others– Unbelievably, this is a yes.  It was almost entirely stuff either I eventually abandoned (2012 & ’13 Dynamic Die-Cuts, Rod Carew also available FT), decided to go back to the drawing board on later (Robbie Alomar), just pared down to a single page (Randy Moss), or eventually overdid to the point they are full collections now (Darvish, Jorge Soler, and the above mentioned Gail Kim) but I think I actually did this.  Pending shipment, Javier Baez and 1975 Topps Minis (George Foster and Dock Ellis are the final additions) pages will also be complete for the time being.  Winner-winner, sexy sinner!

Complete any two Sketch Card pages– Yeah, pretty much.  They ended up not quite being what I originally expected, but I have a full page of She-Hulks and a full page of Women of Marvel 2 sketch cards.

Sketch Cards!

Sketch Cards!

Add 10 more key RCs– Blew this one away.  A single trade almost did the deed by itself, and a later eBay lot purchase would have easily done it on its own.  I even landed three of the biggies I listed: Nomah, Gwynn (’83 Fleer), &  Boggs sorta (also a Topps Sticker).

Key RCs was easily the most successful pursuit of the year..

Key RCs was easily the most successful pursuit of the year..

Complete five more trifectas– I didn’t make them a priority.  I think I managed a couple though.  Brandon Phillips and Alshon Jeffykins were completed this year, I think.  Maybe three if Booker T counts, since I might be in possession of his oldest card now.

It's the oldest WCW set, post Booker T's 1993 debut that I know of, so maybe it counts as his RC?

It’s the oldest WCW set, post Booker T’s 1993 debut that I know of, so maybe it counts as his RC?

30 new 1960 Topps– Abandoned set.  Everything but Vic Power, because that was my first ever vintage card, is available.  Even Gil, Maz, & the high number commons, if you bring it with your trade offers.

Break 100 cards with another player– Surprisingly, it was Nomar Garciaparra, because I bought a ginormous 200+ card lot of him on eBay.

Pay off old debts– Completed one, added one.  My original package for the dude on twitter never turned up, so I’ll have to go with a replacement package in the coming year.  Meh, I should’ve done better. :/

Now onto the blog, where things get even dicier than the cards themselves.  I started off strong, then posted pretty much nothing for at least nine months for no good reason, then ended with a nice little flurry.  And even though I added nothing else, my art got a good a percentage of focus, so I’m not terribly disappointed by my effort during the small fraction of time I was actually here.  Now if I could just find some focus to actually hang around all year.

What about me in real life?  I never did hit the gym, and it’s just been the past several weeks that I started running with any degree of regularity again, but this godforsaken place I live made it so I was going out and walking constantly all year long.  Eating healthier has still been spotty at best (in fact I was in stomach distress from overdoing it on probably the most unhealthy regional brand of potato chips you can buy as I was typing this, which is why it’s going up Sunday morning instead of Saturday morning), but I am still maintaining my weight.

Finish old sketch cards– Not many.  Mostly just the more recent of my old stuff, and I’m staying on top of newer work as well as can be expected.

30 realistic portraits– I don’t know for sure, but I feel like I have to be very close on this.  I managed to do a couple in the early morning hours before I had to do stuff just in the past few days, and I think I have at least one more in me in the waning days of this year.

50 new sketch cards– I expect to be around 40 by the time the year is out.  My arting is up significantly overall even if 50 sketch cards won’t happen though.  I think I probably drew somewhere between 100-125 things total this year.

Decent effort, kid..

Decent effort, kid..

Finish first draft of novel– I failed so miserably at writing this year.  To be fair to this and my lack of blogging most of the year, my computer situation was in serious flux the entire year, and I was too broke to do anything about it.  I was also leaving constantly due to noise.  However, there was more than enough downtime that I should’ve been able to do plenty of both.  So while there were mitigating circumstances, my first sentence still stands: I failed so miserably at writing this year.

Lynna Sage from something I'm writing, currently under the working title Nexus Eternum..

Concept sketching went better than expected though..

Travel– Nope.  I’ve never been this ridiculously tight on money so constantly for an entire year before.  Not hopeful for 2015 either.  My money will be likely be at least as tight, though more focused on the things I need to get on with my life rather than things that I want or are necessary for an immediate specific purpose/moment.

Watch more anime– Only marginally more successful than the other things on the list.  Mostly just Space Dandy, a couple random movies, and a little hentai.

The Space Dandy gang are so disappointed in my lack of anime viewing..

The Space Dandy gang are so disappointed in my lack of anime viewing..

More video games– Again, only just a slight uptick in activity.  A lot of it was done in the week & a half I went without a computer in late November/early December.

So there you have it.  I’m still a mostly useless wreck of a human being, but I can point out things that are actually improvements over years gone by.  That should give you an idea how hopelessly broken I’ve been, the incremental improvements I’ve made, and the many, many light years I still have to go before I could ever be considered functional in any meaningful way.

That’s it for now.  Here’s to a better 2015!  Thanks for stopping by.

We have come to terms…

Shot Taken

The Orange Goblin..

The Orange Goblin..

Finally pulled the trigger on another trade with my most frequent trading partner, Shot Not Taken!  Lot to get to, so with relatively minimal textual commentary clutter and just pure card porn, here is what came my way.  Roll that beautiful bean footage:

Assorted Bowman and a couple Ernies..

Assorted Bowman and a couple Ernies..

This Kree-Skrull War puzzle was an unexpected surprise. :)

This Kree-Skrull War puzzle was an unexpected surprise. 🙂

One Little Corner..

One Little Corner..

Space is the place…

Martial Mastery..

Martial Mastery..

And of course, minis!

And of course, minis!

Triple Threat..

Triple Threat..

Best of WWE..

Best of WWE..

It is kinda hard to tell, but that Booker T base card is actually a bronze parallel.  The normal foil logo on the base cards is red.

According to my wantlist, I actually still needed this base card!

According to my wantlist, I actually still needed this base card!

Hall of Famer & Superb Owl champion, Roger Staubach!

Hall of Famer & Superb Owl-winning QB, Roger Staubach!

Angelina Love-o-graph..

Angelina Love-o-graph..

Roger & Angelina were consolation for a card I inquired about that wasn’t available.  I’ve been wanting an Angelina Love auto for awhile now though, & Staubach will be made available for trade.  He should net me a nice return and turn this into a technical three-way deal, if one comes along.

Very seriously considering adding Kane to Single Page Sensations..

Very seriously considering adding Kane to Single Page Sensations..

Trouty Mays Lava Flow!

Trouty Mays Lava Flow!

This card is so much more gorgeous in person.  So much so that I decided to acquire a full page of Panini’s Black Friday Lava Flow parallels.  This goes on the Trout page, but I’ve already acquired Bryce Harper and Kevin Durant for the Lava Flow page.  So just a heads up that I’m looking to trade for some more if anyone in the blogosphere has any.

What appears to be black on this is actually bronze-ish foil.  Scanners are fickle mistresses..

What appears to be black on this is actually bronze-ish foil. Scanners are fickle mistresses..

I also picked up a Nomah RC shortly after this arrived.  Now if I could just trade for or find a good looking sub-$15 to buy (well, when I’m not completely broke again) for a possibly all-time record speed trifecta acquiring.

Finally got a Rizzo hit!

Finally got a Rizzo hit! 😀

Awesome way to close this post.  And that be that.  Even my attempt at sparse commentary turns out to be not all that sparse.  Thanks again for being a prime time trading partner, Ray!

Until our next…

A Trade Post?!

Ryno!

Ryno!

Yes indeed… Having successfully fished for artistic complements, now we’re going to do an actual, honest-to-goodness trade post.  I’m no good at getting these up even when I trade regularly, but here goes.

These come to us from Brad’s Blog.  Let’s have a look!

Old timey baseball mans..

Old timey-ish Cubby baseball mans..

New...timier...Cubby baseball...mans?

Mostly…new…timier…Cubby…baseball…mans?

The big fellas..

The big fellas..

Love dat Ichiro, although I’m unsure where exactly they pulled the black swatch from (the undershirt?).  But anyway, this is only my second relic of him even though I’ve collected him basically since I started blogging in back in the long long ago of 2008.  The manupatch is one Topps’ better efforts since they started doing them, in my never humble opinion.  The ® being on the patch itself also greatly amuses me for some reason.  And the Chris Sale is #’ed /50 and is a fantastic addition to my newly reinstated Single Page dedicated to him.

Seeing as this will basically be the first time I have managed to get out during daylight hours since it dipped below zero for three days straight a couple weeks ago, my end of this deal finally going to go out today.  It was supposed be out immediately before that stretch of frozen hellscapedness, but I didn’t make it out until like 8pm that Sunday, and my sleep cycle has been super broken ever since.  I am still a wreck of a human being, in case you were wondering.  But I did throw something extra I remembered I had that will hopefully make the wait a little more worthwhile.

That’s all I got for now.  A few other trades are being prepped for February, & I might be able slip one more small one into this month.  Who knows what happens next?

The Shadow knows…