Well, I'm there with cards. And I have been for a while. About a year now. But, I keep doing them...because I have nothing else I can do. My lack of health keeps me from doing other things, that I used to do, and for several months the weather has not cooperated, which does not allow me to work on models, one of the other things I can do...at least for a while, before I get too frustrated. More on that below.
The fact is, I've been doing cards non-stop since the last week of 2011, essentially. I fear I've reached my "saturation point", where it's time to move on to something else, but there is nothing else...so I still do cards.
The Cardboard History Gallery was a breath of fresh air, proverbially, because it allowed me to do something totally different, something I had been wanting to do for a long time. I didn't expect it to make my Excel files superfluous, but it did. I'm at the point now, where I want to work on that, and have it done- still a very long way to go- but I don't really want to put in the work of scanning all the cards that need it.
One thing that is kind of sucking the fun out of scanning is that I've been working on doing to big stacks of sets, where there's no variety; I always knew I preferred scanning a wide variety of set designs, rather than the same set, but I've pulled them up to move past them onto something more fun. I'm kind of questioning if that is the right choice, and once I get past these college cards I found when I was looking for the finests and foils, I may set aside the large swaths of single set scanning and do the boxes of "whatever". Eventually I will get to those cards, but maybe doing them first is not the right choice. I may mix in a page or two from time to time, just for the heck of it.
I've recently made a change in plans about the Cardboard History Gallery, as well. I did the teams first, because that was the most fun to put together- they are all uploaded, except NASCAR, which I will do eventually, still deciding how I want to handle them. Then I started working on each person's album and that is going to take me a while to upload, probably months if not into 2020. By set, I was uploading only what I had scanned in 2019. Everything that I had done previously was going to wait until the end. Now I am thinking that will not be the case- the Gallery tells me when each image was uploaded, and how long ago it's been since the album was updated. If I wait until the end, all the albums will have roughly the same time stamp. If I were to do them all now, I could then see how long ago the album was updated, and have a somewhat accurate idea of when I most recently added to that specific set- because I upload the By Sets sections in real time, I don't wait for the 1st of the next month like I do with teams and people pages. This idea occurred to me when I was creating and uploading the album for 1999-00 Metal. That's a set I completed a while ago, and scanned all of, except for one card that I missed when pulling them out to scan, years ago. So now, the album shows that one card I just recently scanned, and nothing else. If I upload everything else I've done, they will all be in there, and the next time I scan an insert, or add a parallel to my collection, which is rare, they will go in there as well, and automatically be put in proper place numerically.
So I think I've come to a compromise. I will upload everything I've done for a specific set...but only when I scan something new from the set. Any sets that I either don't have anything left to scan for (a few but far between), I will do them at the end.
This will also show me which cards I lost the back scans for when my first remote hard drive crashed on me. I know I lost some backs, but since I store the fronts and backs in a separate place, it would be too hard (really, not hard but time consuming) to figure out what's missing. The By Set albums on Cardboard History Gallery are the only place where I store the fronts and backs together, which would be nice to see all in one place- something I currently do not have.
Now, that probably seems trivial to you. It IS. I'm not denying that. But it gives me a purpose, something to do with my time.
A lot of times I think to myself that I could be doing something more productive with my time and energy. Then I go and stand up and am painfully reminded of why I can't do something more useful. I make a big deal out of all this...even though in the grand scheme of things, it's so not important. Nothing really brings home how...unimportant...until you stop to think about just how little you are compared to the earth.
So it's pretty audacious to believe anything I'm doing, whether in my home, or on the internet, or anywhere else, actually matters. But, like I assume most humans, I can't NOT do what I do. Even though I know that everything I do- literally, everything- will be forgotten in time. (both my main website and the Cardboard History Gallery will disappear if I'm not around to pay the bills on them) I'm still going to do them. Because I can't imagine not doing them.
You may have noticed that I've been doing more "things" and less sitting around writing about cards. That is true, the majority of my posts of late have been about adventures, rather than about cards.
A little secret...I've been living with a deep sense of foreboding for years. Like I'm racing against time to finish what I can, while I can. I've never actually said that before, but I've been feeling it for so long that I can't remember a time not feeling it. It was exacerbated by my health ordeal in 2013, and my mom's in 2014. That messed with my head a little more than I like to admit, and the fact that the last two times I went to see my doctor- he said to me...and I quote, "You're going to die" has certainly made it more palpable. I had always assumed it was just depression but perhaps it's real.
He's been on me a while to get more exercise, to not sit so much. He hasn't quite grasped how much physical pain I'm in, 24/7, because he's focused solely on the diabetes. Every adventure- even the shorter ones- even every car show!- causes me so much pain. I am in agony for days afterwords, where I can't even get up the stairs in my home without extreme difficulty. Where I need help preparing my lunch. I don't really have an enjoyable existence. It's not that I don't want to, it's that I can't physically handle it.
But I'm doing more adventures, more car shows, I'm trying to have an actual life- something I have been unable to do- while I still can. I've known for quite a while that at some point my back will get so bad that I will not be able to walk around my car shows anymore. I became sure of that in 2017 based on some things that happened then. Even though every singe car show I go to, it's like a million tiny swords stabbing at me, that I can't have a classic car of my own; I can't NOT go. I'm fighting through the pain.
I'm not going to be able to have an adventure or go to a car show all the time. Both my physical and mental health are going to prevent me from getting to some. Already have in fact, I have just chosen not to mention it before. But I'm going to try and go to/on as many as I can, while I can. There are some days I just can't force myself to leave the house, (mentally rather than physically) but if the doctor is right...then I want to at least have tried.
And if I can prove him wrong by living a long time...that would be the best. I'd like nothing more than to prove him wrong.
On the topic of the big announcement...I had to stop going to several of the model shows I used to attend due to my health problems. I last attended one in 2010 and one in 2008. Well, as this is posted, thanks to the scheduler...I will be at the RTS Expo Show, which used to be called MassCar. I attended from 2004-2010, so it's been 9 years since I was there. I have kept it a total secret...even though I have been invited every year since I stopped going, I didn't tell them that I was coming this year. By now, they know, and none of them read Cardboard History anyway, so I could have posted it any time, but I have kept it totally secret. It's a 4 1/2 hour ride each way, but the hotel in Taunton is the same, and was the site of the last card show I attended in 2005, before going to one in Connecticut in February and hopefully one yesterday at the time this publishes but tomorrow at the time of writing.
What's more...I'm going to Toledo. One of the key events in the hobby, the Toledo NNL was the originator of that style of show, and it was announced in October that this year's event would be the final, as well as the 40th anniversary show. I attended from 2003 to 2008, and it played a very big role in my life- my family still talks about those trips quite often. They are breaking out all the stops for the final show, and several people who no longer travel long distances to shows are coming out for it...and I guess I'm one of that group. While I've kept MassCar/RTS a secret for months, (over a year, as I planned to go back in 2018, but an ice storm hit that weekend) I have not been keeping this one a secret as long. When I learned that it was the last show, I had pretty much decided within 10 minutes that I had to go. If you click on the "going to Toledo" link you'll see the memory post that the announcement spurred on. I had decided even before I wrote that post that I would be attending in 2019. I've chosen not to keep it a secret because I am going to try and talk a few people into attending as well...and I'm too excited to not talk about it. It's a 15 hour one way drive, but honestly, I'm looking forward to it. I didn't realize how much I missed the open road until I was able to start going back to Lake George again and the ride itself actually made me happy...which is not something I really feel too often. The trip to Toledo, in fact, is the most I've looked forward to anything in a long time.
With all that said...I'm not planning to stop posting. While I am trying to recover enough from one adventure to get ready for the next one, I will be doing cards. Even though I'm facing burnout, I still enjoy it more than I don't. I still have the goal of having my entire collection scanned, and I'm getting close...I'm past the halfway part and I estimate roughly 500 days are required to finish scanning my NBA collection.