Sunday, September 19, 2021

Hockey is typed! Modeling Update!

 Very early on September 19th I finished typing all the hockey and checking it into my Excel project. While NASCAR ended up being under-listed by more than 350 cards, my hockey totals were off in the wrong direction- I have 416 LESS NHL than my records showed....and although I did reclassify some cards to "other sports", and I had some multi-sport cards mislabeled as hockey cards, that comes out to less than 100 cards, certainly not enough to make up the difference in totals. 

Most likely, I either couldn't read my own handwriting, or I transposed two numbers, for example typing 250 instead of 205. (I chose that number because I found a card where I did that exact thing with the card number)

Hockey went MUCH quicker than NASCAR did, and not just because I have less of them...I had already begun tracking the exact order I got each card before I began collecting hockey, so most of them I was able to copy and paste from one file to another. It still took a bit of effort, but instead of taking a day per year, I blew through 1991-92 through 2020-21 in three days time. Unfortunately hockey is the only aspect of my collection that will play a major role in...most of the NBA and Non-sports cards were added to my collection long before I started keeping track of the exact order I got the cards in 2014. 

I took a two-week break to work on models, or else hockey would have been done sooner...or maybe not, because I only hit on the copy and paste idea on the 16th, so I would have been spending more time the other way. 

In that two week time I completed some 18 1/64 builds and 2 1/24 builds. And I would have completed 7 more 1/64 builds, but I misplaced the parts for them. I actually tried something new, where I saved a bunch of them and did final assembly on a whole batch at once. It led to me clearcoating 25 cars in a single day. That, however, was an experiment I won't do again as it was too difficult to keep track of everything, thus the 7 almost completed. And this is with using ziplock bags to keep track of things, it didn't help as much as I thought it would. 

However, that's focusing more on the negative...I did complete 20 builds in that time! It brought my 1/64 builds up to 55 on the year, which is far-and-away my all-time record in a year, and not only is the quantity up, so is the quality. I'm turning out the best work of my life, now that I've figured out all the things I was doing wrong. 

Here's the second batch of 25 builds for the year:

They are, from left to right:
2005 Erin Crocker, a rare ARCA car. I've had the decals since the car actually raced and I kept putting it off to save the body for Cup builds. Finally, I said enough, time to build it.

2000 Todd Bodine. A one-race only car, but sponsored by I Love NY, so I had to do it!  

1992 Ken Schrader. This is a simple conversion, I only had to apply the Kodiak decals

1992 Rick Mast, similar but I had to remove some of the fake stuff they put on the car

1994 Ken Schrader, same as above

2000 Scott Wimmer. Funny story on this car. He was scheduled to run it in the ARCA race in the 2000 season finale, but the qualifying got rained out. So, since the cars back then were interchangeable, they ran it through Cup inspection, it passed, and he qualified for and raced in the Cup race.

2013 Scott Riggs. One of the full time teams that was not made, and my goal is to make all of them. The orange should be neon, but the decal printer can't handle that. My first build from 2013.

1962 Bill Wimble, I made a huge mistake on this car. I reversed which build was a 1961 Pontiac and which was a 1962. I caught the 1962-on-61 build before I decaled it, but I didn't catch it on this one. My first build from 1962 season, even if on the wrong body. 

2015 Michael Annett. Another full time Cup team and my first build from 2015.

2017 Cole Whitt, another full time Cup team and my first build from 2017. Noticing a theme? This was the team's most common scheme so the one I chose to replicate.

2020 Gray Gaulding, another full time Cup team and my first build from 2020. Even though I have a somewhat strained relationship with Panini I still absolutely HAD to build their Cup car, choosing this paint scheme among the many they ran. 

1966 Lee Roy Yarbrough. This is a build I actually started before I left the hobby in 2013, and resurrected when I got back into building. I last touched it probably in 2011.

1994 AJ Foyt. Foyt made his final Cup start in this car, in the 1994 Brickyard 400. He would DNQ for the next couple of years but his legendary driving career, at least the NASCAR portion, came to an end right here.

1999 Kenny Irwin Flames. This car ran one race, at Phoenix in 1999. I got the decals so of course I built it, and this is a complex 4-color paint scheme with a fade. I didn't have the skills to finish this when I first started it, and I probably last touched the build in 2010. I had the skills now of course. 

1989 Kyle Petty. One of the three paint schemes Petty ran in 89, the first year of Sabco Racing, but my favorite...and the only one that was not made in 1/64. I don't paint neon very often but I love the way this one came out. Both this one and the Irwin car were made with decals produced by the guy that ran off with my money in 2007, so they were completely irreplaceable, luckily I didn't have any disasters with them.

1989 Jim Sauter. Not a full time team but still a car to build

1986 Clark Dwyer. This car never actually raced, it DNQd it's only attempt, the 1986 Daytona 500. I couldn't even find a photo of it, but I know it was a Buddy Arrington backup car so I matched his as best I could. This is the only #76 car available to build in scale and was absolutely needed for my NASCAR by the Numbers Project, one of a handful of rare numbers that have only one car possible to build currently. 

1951 Frank Mundy, my first NASCAR Studebaker! Won't be my last...

1999 Boris Said. You may think this looks familiar, I built the #58 version last year.
There's also a #23 version that looks exactly the same, also driven by Boris Said, but it's from the next year and on a different body. I don't have those decals yet. They do exist.

The same scheme was also run as the #84 on a Pontiac body in the Busch series would could be made by combining the 58 and 14 sets, but that would be a lot of money to spend for a Busch car because I'd have to buy more sets of both the 58 and 14- I used up what I had.

2013 Scott Speed- yet another full time team I had to build. This is also the first #95 build I've ever done. 

2009 Terry Labonte, pretty rare when I have to build a Hall of Famer but Terry was at the end of his career here and his unsponsored cars never got made. Terry drove this car 5 times in 2009 with a best finish of 33rd at the Brickyard 400. 

1995 John Andretti Early season. John started the year with an all-white car before switching to a purple car mid-season. This team used something like 7 different paint schemes that year, not counting the special "It's a Girl" version to celebrate the birth of John's daughter, one of the early special paint schemes. No, they just couldn't pick how they wanted the car to look. There are three different hood variations, two different purple car versions and 2 hood variations for one of the purple cars. The late season purple car was made in scale but the white early season car wasn't, so of course I did. 

2015 Brett Moffitt. A full-season team although they didn't have a full-season sponsor, this was the most common. Moffitt won Cup Rookie of the Year in this car.

2007 Kertus Davis. A rare Busch series build. In fact, looking at the upload dates of the photos on my Fotki, the last time I built a Busch car or an ARCA car were BOTH in 2007! Interestingly enough, I had the decals for both of these cars in hand when those last ones were built...I've been making an effort to work on the stuff that's been sitting and waiting for a long time. 

1988 Various. This team used 7 different drivers during the 1988 season: Joe Ruttman for 9 races, Brad Teague for 8, Jim Sauter for 4, Lee Faulk and Butch Miller for 2 and Donnie Allison and Johnny Rutherford for 1 each. It was the final career Cup start for both Allison and Rutherford. Rutherford is the only driver to win a Cup race in a car #13, which he did in his first career start, the 6th and most recent driver to do so, and he did it in February 1963. It was his only career win in Cup. The decals didn't provide a driver name, and I wouldn't have included one anyway- with that many different drivers I wouldn't pick one. Two of Faulk's three career Cup starts came in this car, his only other start was in a #32 from the same team that looked exactly alike other than the number. 

I already have 5 builds complete for the next batch of 25...and I fully expect to hit 75 builds completed this year. Everything is going right the first time, and it's leading to lots of completed builds. I have actually been building so well that I'm running low on donors to build on! 

I'm approaching a major milestone in my building, as well....I'm rapidly closing in on 300 cars built. I'm at 293 completed right now, and I have about 10 ready for decals. There's zero question I will hit that milestone this year...probably even this month. 

Speaking of milestones, I did hit a major one this past week as well...I got my 6000th different 1/64 NASCAR diecast (and yes, that counts my 293 that I've built). It's taken me 29 years to hit that milestone, but it's a pretty big deal! This was car #6000. (I hit 5000 in 2007)
It's Daniel Hemric's car from the 2019 Daytona 500. It's the first car of his in my collection. 

Here are the two plastic models I finished...or close enough. I managed to lose the driver names for the #43, also John Andretti.

I actually did most of the work on these last year but then didn't touch them again until last month. Both are 1-race only cars, from the 1999 Brickyard 400. They celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Petty family in NASCAR, and they are the same color, they didn't photograph well. Neither driver had a great race. John Andretti finished 37th in the 43 car, while Kyle Petty in the 44 crashed out and finished 41st in a 43 car field. Neither build is perfect but I'm glad they are both done. You can see a MAJOR flaw on the 43 car's hood, the gold stripe is supposed to go under the STP logo on the hood. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

September 11th adventure

 September 11th, 2021 was the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City. When I got up that morning, I knew I would be ending my day with my town's memorial service, and I knew I would be going to New Jersey...but I didn't know I'd be seeing the Manhattan Skyline from a whole new perspective that day! 

Since the Manhattan Skyline is so impressive, and likely will be the favorite part of this adventure, I'm just going to lead off with the four best photos. 

All of these were taken from New Jersey, and you can clearly see such landmarks as the Freedom Tower and the Empire State Building! 

Even though I've seen the Manhattan skyline in person before, and even walked around down there, (which is still hard to fathom) seeing the skyline in person never disappoints, it's always spectacular. The last picture is actually as we are driving towards it in New Jersey. 

OK, now to detail the adventure...
Since I've been updating it, here's the progress on the toll booths at the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge
We stopped at the Ramapo Rest Area for lunch, and this bird hopped up on the bench next to me. He wouldn't leave until he got a french fry, and seeing birds flying around carrying french fries and being chased by other birds seeking fries is hilarious! It turned out to be one of our favorite parts of the trip! 

Welcome to New Jersey

I really hate driving in New Jersey! All these crazy loops because you can't make a simple left turn. 
Here's the reason we had to go to New Jersey that day! After not seeing a showcar since 2008, I've now seen two in just under two months. 

Me with the show car. You can see the little stand full of Hero cards, which I got as well. Been a long time since I got a new one of them in person! 
The fire truck was obviously heading to Manhattan for the 20th anniversary ceremonies.
Just driving around New Jersey

I messed up the spacing, but the picture above this one is the Meadowlands! Where the Nets and Devils used to play! The Jets and Giants and some soccer team play there now. The second picture, I have no idea what that building is, but that's the largest satellite dish I've ever seen. From a distance we both thought it was a ferris wheel! 

We ended up on the very start of I-80! I-80 is one of the more important roads in the entire country, running from coast to coast. It starts in New Jersey, right here, and goes all the way to California. If you stayed on it, you'd go right over the Golden Gate Bridge. I've now been on I-80 in 5 states- New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. 
This is a photo of the actual start of I-80
Back in New York
Old building
Duck in the pond at the Newburgh exit of I-87
At 7 PM we went to Meiser Park to attend my home town's September 11th Memorial. It lasted for an hour. There is a flag in the part for every person killed that day. 

Everyone got glow sticks.

Here are a couple of pictures from a few days before when my Mom and I stopped by to see the flags. 

This bench is in honor of the Wappingers Falls resident who was killed at the Pentagon. My Mom had him in her cub scout pack back in the day. 

Mom actually appears in this picture

This one was taken from the gazebo seen in the photos. 

It was a bit of a somber ceremony but there were also uplifting things about it too. I'm glad I went. 

There are a few photo albums from this day on my website (they also have the GPS on my phone turned on so you can check and see exactly where in New Jersey I took these) : 

I also added 46 new places to my Places I've Been Project, 25 in New Jersey and 21 in New York. I actually hit my 500th place photographed in that project, which happened to be Undercliff Junction in New Jersey. I had only two places photo documented in the state beforehand, so that was a big boost. I expected that I would get a lot of places when I went to the NNL East model car show, but the pandemic prevented that show from happening in 2020 and 2021. 

Please note that in the New York picture I missed adding one to the screenshot.


Thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Adirondack Nationals 2021

 This past weekend was a pretty busy one...I'm going to get two posts out of it. On Friday, my brother took off from work and we headed up to Lake George for the Adirondack Nationals. As you may recall from previous years, the Nationals are my favorite day of the year. I was pretty depressed thinking I wouldn't actually be going this year...we didn't stay in town, so I figured we would just drive by and I'd get whatever I could out the windows of the car. On the ride up we talked about how the temperature was absolutely perfect, 65 degrees, which is ideal. And of course it would be the year we weren't going to walk around the show. 

Well, I'm sure you've figured out by now that's not exactly what happened. When we got into town, it was the least crowded we had ever seen during the Nationals. You could actually see through the people and see the cars in the show! But, even more, we got a parking spot- even though it required my brother to walk almost a mile to the show after dropping me off (I couldn't do that physically AND do the show). And so, I did get to do the show! Not only that, I ended up doing the entire show, not just a portion. Normally I am not physically capable of walking the entire show before my health gives out but the temperature is usually much hotter, and you all know I've mentioned my troubles in the heat. It was the perfect storm, as they say, and I had a ton of fun at the show! Here's some highlights from the show...certainly not all the photos, considering I took over 1300 that day! 

This was what we saw when we first got into town shortly before noon, and it was quite a surprise as it's usually bumper to bumper cars by this point already.
Looking into the show when at the red light...we decided we'd be fools to pass up this opportunity, so my brother dropped me off and went to park.
I stood watching the cars go by until he came back and that was pretty enjoyable in and of itself..
Although I don't care for the rat rod style this is certainly unique
First El Camino of the day! And it's a 1970, one of my absolute favorite El Caminos.
1972 Ford Ranchero
I pity the fool who doesn't get to go to the Adirondack Nationals
Multiple generations of Mustangs
1960 Impala
This used to be a 1968-72 Chevrolet truck
This year was the Year of the Javelin. Every year there's one kind of car that shows up in large numbers, larger than usual, and this year it was Javelins. I counted 7 of them. The usual number at the show? 2 or less.
Some cars cruise that aren't in great shape. If they are running, they cruise. 
First thing I see when we pay and go into the show itself is a 1964 El Camino! 
I really love old Pontiacs, and this is a 1937.
Instead of trying to get every single car in a single photo like I usually do, I took more group shots this year. I also (generally) didn't wait for people to walk away before I got my picture. Getting car show pictures without people in them is actually quite a challenge, and normally I take efforts to get just the cars. Not this year. 
1931 Packard! Not many Full Classics come to this show, and this one is unrestored.
Cars with the Lake in the background
A Blue Chevelle with the Lake behind it- this photo is posted specifically for my Mom.
A 1959 Edsel wagon! There hasn't been an Edsel at the Nationals since 2016, and there were TWO this year! Yes, the other is upcoming.

I really, really like this photo.
The red paint on this was really nice.
A fitting car for the weekend. (These photos were all taken September 10th)
Clear red hood ornament!
A color change Corvette!
A 1971 Torino in metallic green

1963 Studebaker Avanti

Here's the  second Edsel, which is almost completely factory stock. The only deviation from stock is that the paint was pearl. The color on them originally was solid, I believe. I took multiple pictures of each Edsel. This was my favorite car in the entire show. While I love El Caminos the most, I had already seen every one I saw at the show. This is the first time I had seen either of these Edsels.

An Essex, a rarer brand. This is only the third I've ever seen. And it's possible the first one was this same car, I don't remember. Sadly, I've never seen a stock one.

1972 El Camino. Parks in the same spot every year. I photograph it every year. Love. 
1940 Ford
There were three cars under car covers at the show...first time I've seen that. 

1951 Mercury with a 50s vibe
Noticing a theme here...
1948 Anglia
Big 70s Lincoln, very nicely maintained. (Note the owner cleaning it in the photo)

A 1939 LaSalle. Rare sight. LaSalle was the companion brand to Cadillac, and second most popular of GM's companion brands, but it didn't make it past WWII. I've only seen a handful. In case you are wondering, Pontiac was the most successful brand, in fact it proved so popular it supplanted Oakland, the brand it spun off of, and lasted until 2009. I've never even seen two of GM's companion brands, Marquette and Viking, neither of which survived the 1920s, in person. 
And another El Camino! 
Dave and Charity Kindig from the tv show "Bitchin' Rides" were the guests. I didn't want to wait on the line, but I did take this picture of them. My brother and I were in the background when he got the group shot of everyone waving so we may end up on his TV show anyway! They came in from Utah! 

There are not many bright pink cars on the car show scene.

A Cordoba! My dad was a lifelong mechanic and a Cordoba is one of only a few cars he gave up on and got rid of. 

Love that green

I like the license plate
Nice to see a traditional hot rod rather than a modern trend.

Now in the lower lot, another El Camino! This one is a 1969.
1965 Pontiac Grand Prix
Studebaker truck
I just couldn't bear all this excitement!
1964 Dodge van
1959 Chevrolet Nomad
1990 Ford Bronco II. This was actually not part of the show, as the year cutoff is 1979. This was owned by a vendor, and she said she was getting more comments on her truck than the stuff she was selling! 
77 Pinto wagon. You can go years without seeing a Pinto, yet I've seen two within the past few weeks.
Some of the automobilia for sale. If I had the space....
I sat on a bench while my brother went back to get the car. I took some photos of cars as they went by, but I liked this photo more to represent that part of the trip. 
After getting back in the car, we drove through town once and saw lots more cars...
Including another El Camino! 

You never know what you will see in town...
It was a lot more crowded on the way out...
They had the northbound lanes blocked down to one, which caused a massive traffic jam, as you can see here. 
On the way back, we planned to do one of the Places I've Been rides, covering Route 9 from Lake George to home. However, it was getting too dark, so we only did Lake George to Saratoga. This is in Glens Falls.
Cool Insuring Arena, home of the Adirondack Thunder
It's a good thing we pushed off that adventure for a later time, because it got dark before we got home.
Here the sun had just gone down behind the mountain.
Colorful sky at sunset. 

And that was the best day of the year. The Adirondack Nationals is ALWAYS my favorite day of the year, and this year was no different...and in fact a little better than usual because of the fact that going to it was an actual surprise, and the temperature was perfect! There's been years where it was over 100 degrees, which is just brutal. There was one year where I was totally exhausted after 45 minutes. We got there just after noon and left just after 4 PM. The temperature plays a huge role, and this year's weather was perfect. Granted, it's now Tuesday, and this happened Friday, and I'm still hurting, but it was worth it. 

You can see all my pictures from the show here:  Adirondack Nationals 2021

Thanks for reading!