Friday, March 10, 2017

I'm Done!

Finally! Tonight I finally finished a project I've been working on - and have been going through periods of putting it off and working hard on it, but usually more of the former than the latter, until this past month.

I've referenced working on a big project a couple of times, and now I will reveal what it is: I have my entire NASCAR card collection posted to the Trading Card Database. I started the project way back on October 5th, 2012. (The Database has this in the stats feature, I didn't remember). That's a long time to be working on something, but this is a pretty big project- I do have some 28,000 different NASCAR cards, after all.

When I first joined the Database I entered my entire collection, and uploaded some front scans that I had made for my own website. I scanned my entire NASCAR collection, but fronts only, from 2009-early 2012. But...I did a really lousy job on it. Pretty much every single card needed some form of correction. I've been working hard on it the past month, and I scanned the backs of, edited the fronts of, and finally posted, about 3000 cards...just in the last month. When I started this big push, I had uploaded 27,000 something racing items...now I'm at 33,629. That's all from cards I've collected over the last 25 years.

I have been saving the "original" files just to see how many I needed to correct and post. I'm sure this number is not accurate, because a. I don't remember if I did any before I started saving the originals and b. Some of the sets were so bad I just outright scanned them anew.

But I had to edit 6,945 scans...at least. I saved them in the original file when I really began to work on it...dated November 11th, 2014. (My scanner creates a file for each day it's used, and I just kept putting the fronts to be edited into it)

Since the second week or so of February, I've been working on this exclusively. At the start, it was going quickly as I developed a system that worked- I would do three "pages" of 9 scans, then get the previously done fronts and edit them, any that had to be rescanned were pushed to the next round of three scans. Originally I feared that the new changes NASCAR made would drive me away from the sport and I was trying to get them done before the Daytona 500. That clearly didn't happen as I am getting ready to watch qualifying for race #3 of the year in just a few moments. But by time the 500 came and went I was fairly close to completion and thought I could get them done in a week. Now, two weeks later, I finally finished. Near the end I was not enjoying it- I just wanted it to be done so I could move back to something more fun, but I pushed through because I was so close to finishing. There are still some cards that have gone missing that I need to locate and scan as well. The last card I had to do:
2007 Stealth #47. One of the few Finest style NASCAR sets. I had to rescan this one, because the original scan I made in the 2009-12 project was so badly skewed that the majority of the red stripe at the bottom was cut off the scan. Of course it had to be a Finest card that needed to be redone, making it require extra effort. I still messed up because the white stripe you see at the bottom is actually part of the card. I'm not sure if it's a design feature or my card is miscut.  I only ever got one pack of this set, too. I also had to do two mirror foils- even worse. One of them was again so skewed that I could not use the scan, and the other one- well, it turns out I never scanned it at all! I discovered at least 2 dozen cards that I somehow missed scanning- and more than half of them were Dale Earnhardt Jr....my all-time favorite driver. I can't explain that one. Since I only went through and picked out the cards that were not yet done to the Database, it makes me wonder what else may have missed being scanned? Eventually, I'll find out. Because even though I've got them all on the Database, finally, they aren't all fully scanned. Eventually, years from now, I will scan the backs of the rest of them that somebody else posted before I had the chance to. But that's a super-low priority, as I have a ton of other cards that have not been scanned at all yet, and they get priority. I may not look through the cards that were done by somebody else again for 5 or more years, which is kind of a weird feeling.

I've always broken my collection down into 4 major categories: NBA, which is by far the largest section, about 50% of whole. NASCAR is the second largest part, and Non-Sports trails NASCAR by thousands of cards. The 4th overall section is "everything else", which was a bit of a catch-all of hockey, baseball, football, other forms of auto racing, multi-sport sets, college sets, and whatever else I have but doesn't fit anywhere else. Now that I am collecting the NHL, I have to break that out into it's own section as well, and split the overview in 5ths instead of quarters. I can't really count the NHL though because I'm just getting into it...the final quarter is almost all done and posted. or at least what I can post. Lots of cards that were posted before I got them still await scans but again, they will wait. I still have the other racing to do, and I have the box within arm's length so I will be working on them soon. Baseball, football, multi-sports and others are done. College basketball is barely touched, because it's my least favorite. Non-Sports is almost done. There are a lot I can't post because I cannot find checklists, but the last that needs to be done are the Power Rangers cards. The fronts are all done but not the backs. They will be targeted soon as well. All that leaves is the NBA, which I'm just past halfway on...but it was going fairly quickly because I've been setting aside for later a lot of sets that I know are complete on the Database.

I am predicting 2021 as the date I finish scanning all the cards that need to be posted to the Database. That doesn't count new additions of course, because that fluctuates and may or may not already be posted- I wouldn't know until I got the cards. I'm not the only one working on it, naturally.

But does all this mean I can jump back in to scanning my NBA cards? (which is something I enjoy MUCH more than fixing my crappy early scans) Not by a long shot. I've been working so hard on the NASCAR project that I have not taken the time to type in any of the new additions I've gotten to my collection in a month...normally I get them typed in no later than the day after I get them.
In this photo (which is crappy because I forgot to turn the flash back on) you can see the large trade I made with SaveDaKid on the same Database, which I posted about in my February trade recap. In the middle of the top row is the package from CommishBob I also posted about quite a while ago now. On the top right is a mailing from Julie @ A Cracked Bat and a Hot Dog, which will get a post. Bottom left- the largest stack- is a mailing from Shoebox Shane,  (who I have not gotten into my email to properly thank yet!) and it's probably about 200 cards, which will also get a post. the bottom right stack is a trade with yet another Trading Card Database member, bevans, which is mostly hockey but includes some vintage NBA as well, as you can tell by the 1973-74 Topps Don Nelson card visible. But wait, there's more! I also got a full 300 count box from yet another Database member, which I forgot to include in the photo...not to mention the cards I got from $30 a Week Robert and the 4 packs I've opened since mid-February.  I'm looking at typing 500 or more cards before I get back to scanning.

I know I have a lot of typing ahead of me- I keep track of the exact order I get each card, even though it serves no real purpose other than my OCD, and I also keep track of which people are in my collection, and I know there are more than a few new people in the hockey stacks. Steve Payne is one of them, in fact!  Plus, of course, I have to enter all of these cards into my collection on the Database, and determine which ones are already posted and which ones I can scan. But I don't mind...doing this kind of stuff is pure happiness for me. I might even get all the typing done tomorrow. it goes very quickly. I'm not going to rush it (don't want any mistakes) but it is a quick process.

I do have to take time out to locate some cards for yet another trade on the Database. The box I thought I had them in turned out to not be where I thought it was so I need to look for it. The fact that most of the boxes look pretty much exactly the same from the outside complicates things a little, but looking through cards is never a problem. (unless I can't find the cards needed for a trade)

Thanks for reading, now I think I will start typing in my Excel chart...or maybe sorting out the other forms of racing to see what needs to be done...scanning cards is a project I hope never ends...

18 comments:

  1. Wow...most impressive! Congrats on finishing....finally! Checkered flag 3.10.17

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  2. Billy, what is your web site?

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    1. EP..check over on the right hand side, under Cardboard Links.

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    2. Thanks. There is no right hand side in Mobile view, so I need to switch to web view to see it I guess.

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    3. That mobile view drives me nuts, I switched it back to web view every time. Now I just use my tablet which doesn't have it.

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  3. Dang Billy, you've been a busy guy. Nice work.

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  4. Very impressive! You have been busy...would love to get all my cards into the Database someday.

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    1. Thanks! It was a lot of work but also fun, for the most part. There's not a lot of non-baseball Japanese cards posted so you would proportionally have more work to do I think.

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  5. I know how great it feels to accomplish a big task as I am pushing through to get my stuff re-sorted after all of these years. There are days I just want to toss it in a box and move on, but I drive through and push myself to finish which I am getting closer.

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    1. I'm very much looking forward to sorting. My NBA collection has not been together since 2003... When I finish scanning everything I will sort them back into sets. By time I am ready the 2003-04 rookies will probably be retired, lol!

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  6. Congrats on the big accomplishment Billy!

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  7. Again unbelievable organization

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    1. Thanks! But it's really easy when the system tells you...I couldn't find any specific card unless it was one I have not put away yet, hah.

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