Fail.

 

Just when I think I’m back in, they pull me out. On January 2nd, my computer got attacked, for all intents and purposes, was destroyed. Fortunately, I was able to get my parents old computer a few days later, to get me by until I can get myself a new computer. After a few more days, I was finally able to get back online. The reason it took so long… may have been accidentally self-inflicted, but that’s neither here nor there.

So I was all ready to jump back into blogging regularly after finally getting back online (something like 11 or 12 days ago at this point), when I discovered that all the old scans of mine leftover on this computer, and the more recent ones I saved the emails to… I can’t edit them into smaller chunks on this computer. Not in any way that I can remember anyway. So I’m still not back yet I guess, and won’t be for at least a little while longer. I saw a pretty good computer (with glorious hi-def monitor included!) that I can afford by February if it or something like it is still available at that price, or deity of your choosing-willing, less.

But cards?! It’ll be a loooong time before I can afford anything very meaningful on that front again. A couple cheap packs here & there perhaps, and maybe I can squeeze in a group break or two, and the rare (yet somehow disgustingly not rare enough) visit to eBay, but I’m cutting my card spending by at least half. Video games have been loudly calling my name again, so I’m looking at a PS3, and I could use a laptop too. In other words, the ol’ budget’s gonna be tighter than an analogy I’m too distracted to make. Fortunately, I still have loads of cards to get rid of, and will still have way too many even after all the trades I’ve let my end down on for way too long are at long last taken care of.

As far as the blog goes, I’m not back, but I’m not entirely gone either. I have something like a three post buffer from before my old computer got torn a new one, and just enough edited down to size scans handy for a couple more if I get a minute. You’ll start seeing all that jazz soon. Until then, I’m Pro Bowl Shufflin’ outta here.

To Hawaii and beyond!

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Odds & Ends + A Bonus Rant!

I’m still here I guess.  Been busy with the sketch cards & was sick all day yesterday.  Looks like we’ve run out of time on the group break, to get it done on opening day at least.  If the six or seven who’ve shown interest still want to do it sometime though, I’ll keep the option to do one open until we do get enough people who want in, however long that may take.

And I haven’t forgotten about any trades or people I still have to send cards too.  I’ll get on that sooner or later, I swear.  Baseball Dad and part 1 (because I forgot to put the McGriff sketch card in it, so there will be a second package with that & translucents & the Rich Hill joisey etc) of the Great Sports Name Hall of Fame‘s stuff is as good as on it’s way and maybe I can just devote an entire day to trying to all the others together whenever I take a day off from card drawing and am not otherwise distracted.

To reference the maybe still vaguely relevant to things Yu-Gi-Oh!, my heart just hasn’t been in the cards lately.

«~•°•°•°•≈Warning, I feel a rant coming on…≈•°•°•°•~»

I’ve almost sworn off ripping new stuff (with two possible minor exceptions later in the year) due to that now infamous patronizing bullshit press release by MLB, and distaste for a topps exclusive (if not topps itself, jury’s out) in general.  topps has never done it for me.  I think I’ve preferred pretty much every other brand that came and went in the past thirty years over topps.  Maybe even Pacific!  And frankly I don’t give a rats ass about topps’ history and tradition, that they so enjoy shoving down our throats.

Look, I loves me some real vintage cards of all kinds.  I love that I get them in trades once-in-a-while and would pick more of them up on my own if I had access to decent (or any) card shows or shops around here.  I happen to have a sweet tooth for history in general, it truly fascinates me.  But something rings hollow about topps’ hanging their hat pretty much entirely on their history, and the history of others whom they’ve acquired the rights to (206, Allen & Ginter, and Bowman going wabac).  It’s like topps has nothing but history (and shitty gimmicks, though I don’t personally mind those) to offer.  And I, like probably most that grew up and started collecting in the 1990s or later, have no real connection to that.  My very first cards weren’t even made by topps (seven packs of 1991 Upper Deck on my 7th birthday)!

Maybe topps really doesn’t have anything else to offer.  Aside from the surprisingly decent flagship, the only good stuff they did in 2009 were the usual suspects Chrome and Allen & Ginter, the latter decidedly retro and the former has been around for about 15 years (their A&G brand is no rookie either, starting in 2006).  Heritage was only notable because it pulled a good year design-wise in 1960 (and because I pulled a Gordon Beckham auto from retail).  topps206 was an uninspired ripoff of the A&G formula (though I guess the A&G formula got it’s start in the original 206 sets from topps from 2002-2003, but A&G perfected it, so the point stands).

And despite Upper Deck’s releases never really rising above mediocre in 2009 and usually falling well short of even that, topps still managed to put out probably the two worst reviewed sets of the entire year in Ticket to Stardom (with it’s wonderfully nonsensical tickets and little overall bang for the buck) and Unique (I can think of about ten reasons it sucks just off the top of my head).  And it’s pretty well known that topps’ high end is… wait, let me put this in a way that topps will understand: utt erc rap.

So yeah, maybe they’ve got nothing more to offer, though I’m starting to think topps was never anything special to begin with.  Sorta the McDonald’s to all the exciting and interesting companies that came and went from 1981 until 2009.  Just a tepid, mediocre product with name recognition and the “tradition” and “heritage” that comes with being around the longest.

I’m sorry, but I don’t have the connection to look back at topps’ history with the rose colored glasses of nostalgia.  And I can’t look at topps offerings with anything other than disdain if they insist on shoving history down my throat and every attempt at something new is riddled with crippling flaws or just plain uninspired.

I’m not even going to delve into topps’ laughable cluelessness when it comes to the marketing towards kids & whatnot.  Another rant for another time, perhaps.

But I will close by saying this: If we’re going by current companies that make the best quality cards, then neither topps OR Upper Deck really deserve an MLB license, let alone an exclusive.  Upper Deck’s baseball had been on the decline for at least a couple years before losing their license and I think I miiiight have mentioned above that topps could use a good kick in the pants to shake the perpetual creative mediocrity and stupid nostalgia kick they’re on.

Honestly MLB, since the decision to even let an exclusive happen in the first place is ultimately on your shortsighted and archaic-thinking head, I’d take Tristar, In The Game, and good lord even Panini over topps (and Upper Deck for that matter) right now.  Even their average stuff is better and more importantly, more FUN, than all but very best of what topps has to offer (well, Panini is still a work in progress, but showing improvement).  You should be begging them to make cards for you.  So fuck the confusion noise, because I don’t give a damn.  It’s not a good time to be a baseball card collector.  Period.

Rant mode off.