Thursday, August 22, 2019

Blue Angels, Red Arrows and F-35 Lightning Demo Team

How was your day today? Mine was spectacular! The New York International Air Show is at Stewart Airport in Newburgh. NY this weekend, and I won't be going- for my family to attend would be $750, it's crazy expensive. However, today the Red Arrows and F-35 Lightning Demo team took a flight to the State of Liberty today. The Blue Angels were supposed to join them but cancelled due to plane maintenance so I didn't expect to see them. I was wrong.

My mom and I took a trip to Newburgh, and parked in the Barnes & Noble parking lot. I had recently gotten a gift card for the store, so I figured, that would work well. The B&N in Newburgh is right below the flight path for the long runway at theory, they would go right by us when they returned. That's exactly what happened!
The Red Arrows took one circle around and then landed, but the F-35s did some stunt practicing!

Those little dots in the middle of the image? Those are the F35s. They were high, they were fast, and hard to get a good photo of...but, you know, I managed to.
My favorite photo of the entire day, and I took over 400!

So after they all landed, we went into B&N, then the plan was to head to Roy Rodgers for lunch...but I was already more than an hour past my medicine schedule and my head was pounding, so Arby's, which is much closer, was chosen as lunch. (The fact that you have to drive right past the airport to get there didn't hurt, although it turned out to be a dud- I didn't see any of the Red Arrows, F35s or Blue Angels on the ground.

As we're driving back after lunch, I hear the roar of jet engines over the car. It's an unmistakable sound, and I love that sound, even though it's much louder than anything I usually like.
I look straight up out the roof and what do I see, but the Blue Angels practicing their stunt flying! I have never been happier that our car has a sunroof! We pull back into the same lot, and watch the Blue Angels practice for over an hour.

 My best Blue Angel shot

I know the pictures are not that great...they were moving quickly, and up high- and my camera is not that great, so I did the best I could. Even though my pictures do not compare to how incredibly awesome they were in person, this is something that I will never forget. It's not the first time I've seen stunt flying- I saw a single fighter jet doing stunts at an air show in the mid-1990s- this was the most amazing, spectacular thing I've ever seen involving an airplane...or airplanes.

It's unbelievably awesome to see these pilots, the best of the best from two nations-doing their thing.

I wish I could have captured it on film how great it really was. I'm so thrilled I got to experience it...see it, hear it, even smell it, because they were close enough that I could smell the jet fuel! (a smell I like, by the way)

I also hit 20,000 photos taken on the year today...I blew past my personal record for most photos in a year months ago, and I'm just adding to it all the time. I will never top 2019 in photos.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The first player from my first NHL pack has sort of retired

When I began collecting the NHL officially back in January 2017, a current season pack was not the first I opened...I had found some packs from 2014-15 MVP and one of them ended up being the first pack. The first player was goalie Eddie Lack, and as of right's my only card of him. Earlier this week, he announced that he had taken a coaching job at Arizona State University, essentially ending his playing career...although he's not calling it retirement. He's been struggling with injury for several years and has put his playing career "on hold" for now. If he can regain his health, he's leaving the opportunity open that he may play some more...but history has shown that most players don't come back once they've taken a coaching job. If this truly is the end of his career, it's a stark contrast to the first player out of my first NBA pack, who played for 13 years after I opened that pack. (Sam Cassell). Unfortunately I don't remember who was the first person out of my first NASCAR pack. There's only one left active from my first season, but the possibility does exist that it could have been Morgan Shepherd.

If Eddie Lack is done, he's going to end up being a fairly obscure player. He got into 143 NHL games with four different teams. He last played in the NHL in 2017-18, which was my first full season. He did get over 200 cards so odds are more will join the one I do have at some point. I actually like getting cards of obscure players more than the superstars, to be honest, so I think it's actually pretty cool.

I thought it was an interesting contrast between the two sports where I know who was first, and worthy of a quick post.
2014-15 MVP #193

Monday, August 19, 2019

Surprise #2 finally revealed

I am finally ready to reveal the second surprise I had up my sleeve for the Cardboard History Gallery. I didn't expect it to take as long as it did, but's here! And it's probably going to be my favorite section of the entire website!

This is the last part of the website I plan to reveal. Everything else has either been created or the groundwork has been created. Unlike the Gallery of Hits that was surprise #1, this one I am doing out in the open where anyone can watch me upload as I work, if they so choose.

As you all know if you've been reading my previous postings, cars are everything to me. To me, the Earth doesn't revolve around the sun, it revolves around classic cars. But, health problems prevent me from doing anything with the real I collect cards instead. I have created a listing of Automotive by Brand, where each car brand gets it's own album, like each person does. And there are a lot of them- 158 different brands. (although some of them are the same brand changing names- like each sports team, I'm keeping it to what it was called at the time.) There have been over 2000 automotive brands in the USA alone, so there's a lot of room for expansion.

Unfortunately, most of the brands have only one or two cards, there has not been a truly decent automotive themed card set since 1996, and even that was only Corvettes. Cars were much more popular to see on cards in the past, and while I don't have a lot of them, I'm always looking for more. From my research the earliest automotive set was issued in 1908, although the earliest in my collection is from 1922.

This, like each team and eventually each person, will be uploaded after the first of each month, depending on what I scan. I do have more that needs to be scanned, this is not a complete listing by any means.

I also want to point out that my knowledge of fire trucks is severely lacking, so I had to go by the captions on the cards in many cases. I don't know if they are entirely accurate. If you see a mistake, please point it out to me. Accuracy is important to me and I've done the best I can do with the knowledge I have...but as I said, I don't have a lot.

Chevrolet has an almost insurmountable lead, with 119 cards in it's album at the time of creation. Chevrolet was very supportive of the trading card hobby from 1990-96, with multiple all-Chevrolet large sets issued...and most of mine still awaiting scans. Once I get them scanned Chevrolet will be over 300 cards. No other brand comes close to that many; Ford has 101 cards currently but a higher percentage of my collection of Ford cards is scanned, they will not top 200 cards. No other brands will even hit the 100 mark.

I did not include race cars- those are in the albums for the people who drove the cars in the Auto Racing section. I also did not include motorcycles, but I have been considering adding them in. I have very few motorcycle cards so to do that would take me literally about 3 minutes. I AM including advertising postcards in the project, like the ones I got from the brands themselves at the New York International Auto Show.

In the creation of the albums for uploading, it is the first time that I have ever determined exactly what automotive brands appear in my collection, and how many of each brand I have, I have never known this before, and the Trading Card Database does not provide this information.

With the high number of albums, it will probably take me a few days to get them all uploaded. I'm going to start now but I don't expect to finish them today as it's at the end of my day. And I'm starting from the bottom alphabetically and moving up. So if you hit the link and see the albums starting with lower letters, just stay tuned, because I'll be working on getting them all posted as soon as I can.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

that horrible feeling when you realize you've invalidated 10 years of effort.

Well, I feel like an idiot. In the last post, I mentioned that I was debating sorting my non-sports non-people cards so I could figure out how many base, parallels, inserts, etc. I had. I was trying to decide if I would wait until I finished scanning everything, or do it now.

Well, I decided to do it now. What a mistake that was. Oh sure, getting the cards was easy- for the most part- and sorting them into subject took only about an hour or so. It wasn't until after I had sorted them...multiple times over...that I realized my mistake.

If you remember, back in January, I posted about how my Excel files had been made mostly obsolete thanks to the Cardboard History Gallery. I still plan to type my cards into them eventually, but for now I am labeling the boxes that have not been entered differently than the boxes that have. Except the non-sports cards, with I have kept theory to type them in anyway since so many do not have the standard personal album each athlete gets.

But I forgot. I sorted the cards that had been entered with the cards that hadn't been. Multiple times over. And there is no way I can remember which cards were in this wave.

So, in essence, the Excel file that tracks my entire non-sports card collection- with some 6000+ cards entered, everything I've scanned since 2010...has been essentially made useless. When I realized my mistake, around 4 AM Wednesday morning, I thought some rather unprintable things- things I would never actually say. And thought for a while about how I could fix it.

I can fix it, without having to retype anything. Since I only list cards I've scanned, and I keep track of the cards I've scanned on an Excel chart, ever since my remote hard drive died and took scans with it, it was ostensibly to know what I had to rescan if I lost something again. But in this case, I could sort each month, then simply copy and paste it over. (Honestly, I've been debating doing that with everything).

But...I'm not sure I want to. With the Cardboard History Gallery, the Excel files are, as I said, obsolete. I only ever used them to find a scan, but now that I have the Cardboard History Gallery set up to show everything by person, set or team (for sports) I don't really have to go hunting for anything. I can easily navigate to it. I have not actually pulled up the non-sport list that I messed up and searched for anything...ever, that I can recall. Certainly not since at least January 18th, the last time Excel records it being opened.

Do I really need it? I'm not so sure that I do.

For now...I'm going to do nothing. Nothing about that, anyway. I'm much more interested in the stats that sorting the cards have given me. I was not able to find my Star Wars box. I THINK I've found everything else I've scanned in full, but I'm not 100% sure. I had the foresight to write down exactly which boxes I included in the numbers here, and have it right in the file itself, where I can't miss it, so if I find something later, I can check and see if it was included. Because, while it's present in my memory right now- it won't be for long. I want there to be no question as to whether or not something was listed.

So now, finally, let's look at the raw numbers. This is only for cards that aren't of one specific person, that lived on this Earth at one time or another...I keep a separate count for them.

The first thing I notice is, I need more parallels! In an ideal world for me, the numbers of inserts and parallels would be reversed. Of course, non-sports cards have more than 100 years of existence before the parallel concept was created...and I do have a pretty decent tobacco era collection going. The vast majority of my collection is 1977 and newer though. Promos and samples are huge in non-sports. My entire Sample collection for cards of people- 99% athletes- is only 244. This is almost exactly half that number, which is pretty impressive really. And I know there are more in the Star Wars box that I was not able to find!
The Star Wars numbers are pretty skewed- they are actually my largest section of non-sports cards. The box that went missing is a 900 count, and there may be an 800 count as well that's about half full, if I recall correctly. You'd think it'd be automotive considering how much I go on about cars and car stuff, but there has not been a decent car set since 1996. Star Wars gets multiple sets every year, and when I got back into non-sports hard in 2010, that was what I focused on the most. When I do find that box(es), it'll put Star Wars over 2000 cards scanned.

DC and Marvel together is destined to always be the smallest section. They only issued two sets together- 1995's DC vs. Marvel and 1996's Amalgam. Unfortunately for me, they both came out when I was moving away from non-sports and going sports only. So I don't have many of them....40 total is it. They are all scanned, and I believe they are the only subject I can say that about, although the argument could be made for the Fantasy designation as well. Animals and Music are both close to completion but still have more cards to come. Everything else has lots of cards left to scan. With both people and non-people combined, I have only 6985 non-sports scanned in full, and my collection is over 15,000. I have a lot of them ahead of me. Luckily, it's one of my absolute favorite subjects to scan...even if I don't talk about it as much on here as I do hockey or basketball or NASCAR. It's mostly due to lack of access to new cards. Most of what I prefer to collect is now older, since most modern non-sports sets are TV & Movie, which I have comparatively little interest in. Not that it stops me from collecting them...

History and Military- which some people would probably consider the same topic- both have a ton of cards where I scanned the front, poorly, but not the back, meaning they aren't counted. Military, in particular, has a lot in those boxes....full sets of both Topps and Pro Set Desert Storm, more than 500 cards from just two sets alone, for example. I have so much left to scan, and I'm not complaining, because I truly do enjoy it.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Figuring out exactly how many cards I've scanned

A couple of days ago, I filled up the cases that comprise a "wave" of scanning. Since then, I've been entering them into my Excel charts where I track what I've got of each person.

While I do have a chart of what I have overall for each person, and one for each sport, I've never tied it together and figured out everything...although it turned out to be super easy, since all I had to do was type it up and let Excel do the math. Total time to figure out this information? About 10 minutes spread out over the course of the past week, as I created it before I typed in NASCAR, NHL or NBA for the this wave. Now I wish I had thought to do it sooner- and keep much better records. It would have been so cool if I had done it right, right from the beginning. You can see I got better with the record keeping in 2018. Not a coincidence, as I finished scanning what was needed for the Database in December 2017 and thus had more time to work on my various Excel projects.

I'm glad that I thought to create this at this wave, because it's the wave where I hit the 10 year anniversary in my scanning project. And I'm very clearly now in the home stretch. I hit 70,000 NBA card scanned in this wave, and then some, meaning I "only" have about 21,000 cards left ahead of me. NHL still has a ways to go and NASCAR is only about 2000 away from completion. Non-sport still needs a lot of work because I did not count the cards that are not fully scanned- the ones I did the fronts of, only poorly, back around 2010-11. They won't get counted (or uploaded to the Cardboard History Gallery) until I either fix the scans I made, or, if they are too terrible, rescanned.

This is the first time I've ever figured out how many non-people non-sports cards I've scanned. I thought it would be more. I got this number by going through my scans and adding the total number of files in the albums, then subtracting out the number of cards that were listed as people cards. That's certainly not a foolproof way to do it- I surely lost some scans when my remote hard drive crashed that never had a chance to be put in the right place, and I may have made some mistakes in sorting the fixed vs to be fixed files (scans), so at some point- possibly not soon- I will need to get them all out, sort them, and recount them. I am considering pulling them out and sorting them NOW, but I am not sure I can find them all right now. I am really dubious of the number and want to know what it really is. So...I might be working on that soon. Perhaps as soon as tonight. Or I might wait until I finish scanning everything and sort everything back together. More likely to be done soon, though. If I can find everything...I really do want to do it though, because I would create the usual Base/Parallel/Insert/etc charts that I have for all my people cards and should have created for my non-people cards in the first place. I'll have to see if I can get my brother to help me get them out.

It was also the first time I added up all the other sports, and the other basketball as well- that is, International leagues, CBA and of course the Harlem Globetrotters.

I do still have to enter this entire 15th wave into my overall person chart, but that shouldn't take me all that long, since I don't have to sort anything. Just type the numbers in. I expect that to take me an hour or two, so I should get it done tonight.

I hope I remember to enter the next wave into the chart when I finish it. I finish about 2 waves per year, and I probably won't get another wave ready to be entered until sometime in later winter or spring 2020. Hopefully by writing about it I'll remember.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Sharks Week 2019

From July 28th through August 4th was Shark you know what that's time to post some San Jose Sharks! I have to be honest, I held back on scanning some of these earlier so I could get them into this post..

Hard to believe that Thornton and Marleau have been in the NHL for almost 25% of it's history.
 I'm guessing he got made fun of a lot growing up.

 Can't believe they let him walk.

I scanned a full page of 1991-92 Pro Set just so I could include this card in the post. Not that I wouldn't have scanned them eventually, but doing them now was solely for this post.

My brother bought me a series 1 tin at our local shop, which I think was only my second trip there this year. This was the only Sharks card I needed from the tin.

I probably would have done some more, except that I filled the cases on 7/31, and didn't do any card stuff at all on Saturday, and almost none on Friday. (the 1st is my monthly upload to Fotki)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A sampling of some of the baseball cards from Shane

A while back I posted a really cool hockey card that came from a box that Shane of Shoebox Legends sent me. I promised that someday I would show some of the baseball cards that were in the box as well.

Now, this is just a very small sampling...and may even include cards from a different box, also from Shane, because, while I do have it written down, I didn't actually pull up my notes to make sure. It just didn't seem important to leave out a card or two if it came from a different box, when they are all from the same source and the same topic, you know?

And I've just scratched the surface...I'm a little overwhelmed by life right now so most of what I've gotten since last September or so is socked away for a later date. I do have a plan formulating with them, but I'll reveal more on that at some future date...if I stick with it. I may change my mind...

 2015 Topps was just a great design. So good that I posted both of the cards I scanned from the set, instead of just one.
 I'm assuming that he must have had a bunch of these as the Red Sox are his team.
 1987 Topps Update

 I know these two are both the same set as well, but they are a different design, so I posted them both as well.
 1988 apparently taken during a nuclear blast as he really looks like that on card.
 1987 Donruss. I like the little ball design on the sides.
 I like this design as well. I have been (finally) working on scanning the 2016-17 Donruss NBA set, which pays homage to this design. I like that as well.
 1989 Fleer
 1994 Pinnacle. I actually know someone named Steven Cook, but he has no E on his name.
 1994-95 Fleer Excel, a minor league card.  Why the Emeralds have blue sleeves is unknown to me.
2005 Donruss Team Heroes...a set I had never even heard of before this one came out of the team bag.

 This set is pretty hated in the hobby, and the complaints are logo partially obscured, 3 of the 4 corners of the image lost to computer generated graphics...but in hand, it's not really all that noticeable or distracting, to me.
 I actually like the back of the 1992 Donruss design more than the front.
 I love the 1991 Fleer set. The yellow is so bright and cheerful, it just makes me smile to see it. I do feel like the card back design could have benefitted from swapping the border and info box colors, the yellow on the cardstock used for the back is dulled a little.
 The 1992 Pinnacle design, I'm not a fan of. They used it in hockey too. It's just kind of...meh.
1991 Upper Deck. It's ok but I fail to see the set as groundbreaking, as UD is usually claimed to be...maybe that's just the earlier sets. There's nothing wrong with the card, by any means, it's just not even my favorite 1991 card in this post.

 Food promos are always fun. This one appears to be Panini style, IE, scrubbed of all logos.
 1993 Topps. This design was used in baseball and football but never appeared in hockey or basketball for some reason. I actually like the design better than those used for the NBA or NHL instead.
 This isn't baseball, obviously, but it felt like a good place to fit it in. I like national team cards in the sports I actually collect, but only one or two countries ever get representation. So, it was pretty cool to see six different countries on the six cards from this set that I pulled out of the box.
2019 Topps. This would be a really great design if the names were not backwards. That's just stupid, and it kills the whole thing, in my opinion. Everything else is great.

1984, the year of my birth, was the only year I was missing in my collection from the debut of standard sized cards in 1957 to the 1994 lockout. Shane took care of that, sending me a bunch of them. That's a pretty good collection for somebody who doesn't actively collect the sport, if I don't say so myself!

I missed scanning 2012 Topps and 2007 UD Future Stars, but they will have to wait, as I've filled the cases and it's time for a sorting/Excel chart updating again. I didn't wait to wait any longer to get these posted.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

A visit to a Post card exhibit at a local museum

As you may recall, earlier in this year, I wondered aloud if post cards were part of my card collection, or if they are a separate thing, totally different? It's been on the backburner because I just could not make up my mind, even though I have begun to add some whenever I can-particularly using them in place of trading cards on the various adventures my brother has been taking me on.

Well, I made up my mind today. They DO count. The exhibition I saw today cemented that idea. What pushed me to finally make my decision? The fact that the post cards on display are all local. One of my rarely-discussed on here but high priority in real life interests is architecture. It almost never appears on trading cards. But it does appear on post fact, it's one of the main topics of post cards, at least in my experience. 

Today's exhibit, called "Vintage Views", featured scans of 1500 local post cards and dozens of old photographs, circa 1910, of Poughkeepsie, NY, which is where I tell people I'm from- my actual home town is pretty small and most people have never heard of it. Poughkeepsie used to be a major city, and is still pretty major in my book. 

If I want to have places and things I know- home, essentially- in my card collection, I have to be willing to include post cards. So, that's that. Decision made. 

The Museum that hosted this exhibit was the Clinton Corners Historical Society. It was held in a building built in 1777- the building itself is incredibly awesome...and even has it's own Wikipedia page.. I had never been in Clinton Corners, NY, before today. It's a little bit northeast of Poughkeepsie, and it's not really built up. (That's a great thing). It's mostly farms, separated by swaths of forest and old houses, some of which are spectacular. I never had a reason to go there before. It's a ways away from the roads to get to Lake George, and it's well north of the route taken to get to Connecticut. But I liked the area. After we left, instead of going home the same way, we decided to go left and ended up following the Salt Point Turnpike to it's conclusion, and then just following Route 82 home. The ride, to me, was just about as fun as the museum. I used to go for rides all the time, back in the day. Some were pretty far ranging- one of the most memorable ended up involving three states, for example. But, over time, car problems and health problems had put an end to them. While the health problems are still a concern, and are actually worse now, as I've also noted, I'm tired of getting beaten by my own body. I decided I wanted to see and do things, and just deal with the pain. You've seen the fun things I've been doing, some that I always wanted to do, some I had no idea existed so couldn't possibly want to do-it's a result of that new mindset, of wanting to see and do these things while I'm still able. 

I ended up taking 497 photos on the day, and I won't be posting them all. I will post that give a solid overview of the trip, with a link to my website with the rest. 

The building

A photo of the old railroad station. The tracks in Poughkeepsie lead directly to Grand Central Station in NYC. The building with Feed and Flour on the roof survived, abandoned, until about a decade ago...I remember seeing the faded words and empty window frames every time we went into Poughkeepsie. Although the photo is not dated, this train station was replaced in 1918.

I remember seeing this plant. Was torn down circa 1999. I also have some comic books that were printed here, and I've seen a car that was built here- extremely rare-that has lived in Dutchess County 
it's entire life.

There were too many photos to get each one individually, so most were done in groups of 4 or 6 depending on size. The Smith Brothers cough drops were world famous- even parodied on Popeye cartoons- and were in Poughkeepsie. The location of their factory is now completely overgrown, nothing of the building survives. Vasser Hospital, I owe my life to. Although that building no longer survives, their later building is where I was taken when I came literally 5 minutes short of dying in 2013. I have seen this photo before- there's a copy in the hospital lobby.

 An overview of the photo wall

The Mid-Hudson Bridge- visible in the center left- is the main way I get to the western side of the Hudson River and beyond. Every trip to Lake George, to Toledo, etc, always go across that bridge. It opened in 1925, and connects Poughkeepsie and Highland. A relative of mine was part of the crew that built it- my great-grandmother's brother, to be exact. 

Hmm, I wonder if I can find a working copy of that camera type...

 They have a section of the wall that's made of clear glass or plastic, where you can see the inside of the original wall.
An overview of some of the many post cards on display.

 It was hot today- got up to 93 degrees according to my brother's car- and we saw some cows standing in a pond. It's the second time in my life I've seen a cow or cows taking refuge from the heat in a pond!
 Thought that was a nice photo.
 That church on the top left is about 5 minutes from my house- it's still there. Main Street in Hughsonville is in walking distance from my house. There's no sidewalk and that road is crazy busy these days, so I don't actually walk to it- but if there was a sidewalk, I could, easily.
 That Staatsburg Fire Apparatus is now in the FASNY Fireman's Museum- I saw it in person a couple of weeks back! You can see it at the very end of the aisle in the second photo in my post about it. I didn't choose to post the full photos I took when I made that post.
This is a hand-made dress that was made by a person named Chloe Clinton around 1910! 

 I wish I could have seen the ships plying the Hudson. There are a LOT of cards issued for them. If I ever choose to actually start spending money on hobbies again, I will begin chasing them in earnest.
The Mary Powell is a very famous local ship- she was included in the 1961 Parker Brothers American Heritage Steamboats set, I believe.

I had no idea this was ever around here! 

A rare image of the auto racing held at the Dutchess County Fair in 1908. This appears to be part of a set produced by the Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, which is now known as the Poughkeepsie Journal- and is the second oldest newspaper in the entire USA, having been in continuous production since 1785. Now that I know this set exists, I will begin looking for a copy for my own collection.
Despite being in operation since the 1770s, this cemetery, which is still active, is not very full. There were wooden headstones back in the day that do not survive.
 I was pleasantly surprised to see that an old car had parked right next to my brother while we were in the museum. It's a 1981 Fiat.
 Out here on the Salt Point Turnpike it's mostly farmland.
This photo, which is actually a failed attempt at capturing an old car parked in somebody's driveway, shows the rolling hills and farmlands of Clinton Corners. 

Although it will take several hours, all of the photos I took- 485 after eliminating the blurry ones- will appear on my website HERE. Edit to add: They finally finished uploading at 9:08 PM. it only took a little over two hours, that's actually surprisingly fast.

Oddly enough they did not have any post cards of their historical building available for purchasing.