In the grand scheme of things, writing a blog about cards, scanning cards (and other stuff) and even collecting cards, is not really all that important. It doesn't make the outside world a better place.
But it - usually - provides and escape from the pain of the real world, something normally fun to take your mind off your troubles.
And troubles I've got. Aside from all the horrible stuff going on in the world which doesn't affect me personally, but is troubling anyway- which I will not comment on beyond this (the blog is supposed to be fun, remember) I am in pain 24/7/365. And I have been now for more than half my life.
I'm not a particularly happy person- you may not get that from reading my posts - but it's hard to be happy when you feel terrible all the time.
Collecting cards is supposed to be fun. Usually, it is. This week, it has not been. I am now on day #10 of attempting to recover my scans, photos and files. I still have several days of recovering ahead of me, and that's not even counting having to relabel every scan, as the program I used to recover them did not save file names. It also didn't save the many folders I had sorted everything into- all my pictures, scans etc. got dumped into one giant folder, which had more than 302,000 photos in it!
Ever since I got my digital camera in 2003, I've been photographing anything and everything. So much so that I've picked up the nickname "The Mad Documenter" Now, though, I had to go through every single one of my photos trying to find my scans that were not backed up anywhere but the usb drive. And it have to wonder...is it worth it? Nobody cares about my photography except for me. I can tell, definitively, because my website, which I have maintained since 2004, tells me exactly how many times my images have been looked at.
Quite a few have been up for over a year with a grand total of zero views.
It's made me question if it is even worth doing what I do...and that's not even taking into account that when my life eventually ends...it'll all disappear. Fotki is something I pay for, every year- quite a bit actually, $96 a year to be totally accurate- and when you stop paying, it disappears. I have no heirs to carry on my work, or even just to maintain it - and no prospects, either, as it's been very long time since I've been able to attract attention of the female kind.
That's hopefully going to be a long way off, but...I've already come within 5 minutes of dying. The future is not set in stone. Health related stuff has already forced me to give up: Driving, my NASCAR diecast collection, dreams of being an archeologist, dreams of being a race car driver, being able to breathe when it's more than 75 degrees out, etc. Walking. (sometimes) Oh yeah, not to mention being able to collect cards like I once did.
On the other hand, say I stop photographing everything, stop working towards scanning my entire collection...then what? I spend most of my time working on documenting my collection, IE, scanning cards, with the occasional photograph thrown in- I still have quite a few action figures left to be photographed. The rest of my time is spent reading, and I've already pretty much finished the history section at my local library.
And some of my reading pursuits have been ended in ways I am not particularly fond of. As I've mentioned in the past, I had my first DC Comic read to me at 5 days old, and I've been reading comics ever since. However, DC's leadership is sorely lacking, and they have thrown out their entire history, and are currently telling horrible stories that are not anywhere near worth reading. On July 1st the monthly comic order arrived, and in it was the last DC Comic I will be getting for the foreseeable future. I never imagined a life without DC Comics, but they lost me by producing nothing worth reading, year after year.
Star Wars is in a similar vein. My earliest memory of anything is watching Empire Strikes Back, but Disney bought it, threw away the entire history, and began publishing/producing, to put it bluntly, crap. 2016 is going to be the first year of my life- I'm 32, or will be in October- where I don't watch a single Star Wars movie. Again, something I never thought would ever happen. I still read a couple of the Star Wars comics, but the best one- Darth Vader- was just cancelled, with issue #25 being the final installment. (it hasn't come out yet, but it's been pre-ordered). That leaves me with one ongoing Star Wars comic series to read, and since I'm not really enjoying it...I could see myself walk away from it, as well. I can't bring myself to do that yet, but I can envision it happening.
I never imagined a life without DC Comics or Star Wars- and yet, outside circumstances I have no control over have parsed them from my life, or darn close to it.
I will keep working at recovering my stuff, but it takes a long time...and some of it is corrupted, taken down by a faulty "My Passport" brand remote hard drive. Unfortunately, the one and apparently only Excel file I lost was the stats page for my comic collection, one of the very few that had information on it that was only there, and so, since it's gone, is lost forever.
You'd think I'd have known better than to trust having a single copy of something. I lost my entire NBA collection stats when a floppy disk went bad on me circa 2005-not once, but twice, which was such a huge loss that it contributed to my leaving the NBA from 2006-12.
I don't know how long it will take to recover everything I can recover- it took more than 5 hours to move 1,907 NASCAR card scans earlier tonight- but I will keep working on it.
I am glad, though, that I was able to recover so much that I have. It would have been such a crushing blow to lose everything that I am not sure if I would have bothered, or just given up. I may not actually be able to recover everything, I probably won't know what had been scanned but not yet uploaded to the Database until I finish scanning every card in my collection, and then go through each set to see what's missing- something I think won't happen until 2021 at the earliest, however, probably much later, as I originally estimated in 2009 that I would finish in 2015 and I'm only at halfway on my NBA collection. Estimating is not my strong suit.
Still, though, I have to wonder...I've had, in the time I've been doing stuff on the computer:
- 1 remote hard drive
- 2 or more floppy disks
- 1 actual hard drive
- at least 3 flash drives (don't remember, maybe more)
- 1 camera
- 2 SD memory cards for cameras
- 1 Jeep
While we are on the subject of Why?....Why do card companies include the player's weight on sports cards? Does ANYONE care about this? Has anyone ever cared about this? Height, I understand, at least for the NBA- you can usually tell what position a player plays based on his height- but weight? I've never met anybody who cared about this. In fact, in more than 15 years kicking around card based websites on the internet, and more than a decade of card shows before that, I've never heard anyone even MENTION it, with the single exception of somebody making fun of Charles Barkley and Oliver Miller once.
Since I don't want to post two consecutive posts without a picture, here's another "why"...why did I think it was a good idea to put this many cards on a fold up card table? (note that it's bending in the middle!) Not really too visible in the picture but trust me- it was.
I still use that same table, in fact, it's been where I have had my computer since 2003 when I got my own. I'm sitting at it right now to type up this post. It still has a couple hundred cards on it pretty much every day, although now it's just small stacks of waiting to be scanned (usually)
And I still have not finished any of the three model kits below the table.
That's enough whining and philosophy. Next post will be back to actually talking about cards.