Sunday, September 29, 2019

Did you ever stop to just appreciate the scanning process?

Scanning has become a routine for me. I do it so much, that I don't really even have to think about it...I just do it. 
But sometimes I stop and think about how cool it actually is. Really, it's kind of amazing. We can hold something in our hands and look at, but with one press of a button, you can take what you are looking at and put it onto your computer, blow it up to see the small details larger, even build a database of your entire collection- like I have been for the past 10 years. No matter how big or small, you can make it so you have access to your entire collection no matter where you are or where they are. 

That's just a great thing. 

Even though the technologies used on the card doesn't always work well for scanning (looking at you, mirror foils and Chrome style cards!) it's still amazing. 

And not something I would ever have imagined being able to do when I first started collecting...of course, when I began, having a computer at all, or the internet, were concepts I had simply never even thought of because, while they did exist (I think), were so far "out there" that they didn't enter into my life at all. 

Even though it's a nice day out, I'm mentally in a bit of a fog due to health problems leading to lack of sleep so I'm not working on models- have to be fully with it to do that- so I'm scanning cards for the first time in a while, and just had my train of thought go down that path...have not written much lately so decided to get a post out of it. 

Since it's kind of a light post, here's a scan I made today.
an orange parallel from 18-19 Status.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Two career milestones! Cars, not cards.

I hit two major milestones this past week or so, but I didn't realize it until Tuesday night.

The first, is that I photographed my 200th automotive brand, which I did at the Hemmings Concours in Lake George, NY on September 15th...I think. I have some question about the accuracy of that. I've photographed a couple cars that I am sure I have, yet weren't on the list, and I discovered an error where one brand was listed twice. So...I THINK I hit that mark at the Concours. I'm not entirely sure.

If my records are correct...and I'm less and less sure they are...this was my 200th brand.

Waverly...a brand I've never even heard of before. (My knowledge of pre-WWI cars is severely lacking). You may recognize the owner's name...he also became the first Olympian I've ever spoken to that day as well. Unfortunately he doesn't have any cards. Does have a Wikipedia page though.

You can see all the Hemmings Concours pictures here, on my website: 2019 Hemmings Concours d'Elegance

As my records stand now, I'm at 205 photographed brands. I'm working on a project to find that out for sure right now. As I did with my Cardboard History project, I'm copy and pasting all my car photography, and sorting them into albums by brand. I think it's going to take me a year to accomplish, but my passion for everything automotive means I'm giving it a lot of attention, but it's still a massive amount of work. And it's showing me that I need to pay more attention to things besides Chevrolets and Fords, which I knew would be the most...but I didn't realize how little I had of some of the Mopar brands in particular.

My second major milestone: 2019 is now the year I've attended the most car shows ever in. I'm currently at 32 shows attended. My old record is 29, set last year. I went to 18 in 2017, no more than 5 in any year previous. My doctor has been on me to get more exercise...I'm choosing to do that by walking around car shows. And it is working. Although it's not taking the weight down, my blood sugar numbers are better now than they have been since I began checking them several times a day In 2013. I can only hope that eventually it will all come together and I can actually say I'm making an improvement on my health. It would be nice to not have everything be getting worse all the time, something I've never experienced. I still have a couple more shows lined up for the year, too.  In fact, I'm scheduling this post for 4:30 PM, meaning I may actually be at a car show when it goes live, depending on how motivated I get...unlikely, as I have a doctor's appointment in the morning that I am dreading. Nothing works better to bring up even a little cheer than a car show, so I will go no matter how bad I'm feeling.

Bonus Milestone: I finally completed an AMT 1959 El Camino! The 1959 El Camino is one of my all-time favorite cars, ever. They are rare, but there has been one for sale at the Adirondack Nationals for the past three years. I based my model on it. Not an exact match, and not perfect, but the AMT 1959 El Camino kit has fought me a lot over the years. This is the 4th copy I've attempted to build.
It truly feels good to have completed one, finally.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Sumo on Ice

A while back, Ryan of SumoMenkoMan fame sent me a box of sealed hockey packs...which I didn't get a chance to write about due to various things. Then, a few weeks ago now, he sent me a box of various hockey cards! The loose cards apparently came from his visit with Fuji, so I'll just thank them both here. Since I'm finally getting scanning again, I've been able to get some of them scanned, so I can finally post about them...since I'm so backlogged, and since I've only opened a couple of packs from the bounty he sent, I'm combining them into one post.

First, the box of packs:

At least a couple of these are sets not present in my collection...every single one of them is a set I've never opened a single pack from! Wow! I've only opened two of the packs so far...the rest are still sitting next to me, waiting for their turn. (and waiting for me to scan them- I need to do that before I open them).
Every one of them had a price tag, which I carefully removed...and stuck to the box. (for lack of any place better to stick them)

As if that wasn't cool enough, a few weeks later- I'm a little scatterbrained on exactly when he sent the box of packs, since I didn't count them until I opened them, not when I got the box- another surprise box shows up, this time containing loose cards in a plastic case and more packs, this time 2017-18 BBM B.League Japanese basketball cards! I showed the back of them already, so I'll post a front here since I forgot to before.

Of the cards he sent, I got a bunch of new ones, and even a couple sets I didn't have previously...including one that he sent me a pack of but I hadn't opened yet!

Here are just a couple of the many highlights:
 My first card from 1999-00 Topps Chrome, the hockey version!

 My first card from this year's McDonald's set
 My first base card from 2011-12 SP Authentic
 I don't have much from 2004-05 season, the lockout year.
 This Throwbacks set is awesome. He sent me two, bringing my grand total from the set to three cards.

 My records show I have another card from this set, but I don't remember the design at all. I still have a lot left to scan though.

I just like the design of the 2000-02 Stadium Club set for NHL. I like this more than the NBA design of the same year, which I also like.
Yes, I started thinking the Grease theme song after getting this one...
Here's the promised B.League front. I think I might like the 2017-18 set more than 2016-17, as it is team color coded, something I always like. The only cards I have in my collection from the set came from the packs he sent me, which I didn't count, but was at least 5 from each series. (or half, as BBM calls them)

Thanks again Ryan, and sorry it took me so long to get a thank-you post written! It's been well over a month now, I need to work on being better at thanking people in a timely manner. I know I thanked you in a direct message, but that's poor blogger etiquette on my part. There's so much more I could post, but don't want to hold up the post any longer.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Lake George Card recap part 3: Overview, cards at the car show

This year's Adirondack Nationals was, by far, my favorite car show ever. I accomplished something I never thought possible- but it was set in stone as my favorite even before the show officially began. Why? Because I got to go for a ride in a 1972 El Camino! I had never even had a chance to sit in an El Camino before, let alone go for a ride in one. It set the bar for best show ever, and this year has been a really good year for shows to begin with! (In this year alone, I've gotten to go for a ride in a 1913 Ford Model T, a 1945 WWII Jeep, and the 1972 El Camino, and I got to sit in a 1955 Chevrolet!) The show season is winding down, but this year is going to be very tough to beat.

Then the show actually started, and I accomplished something...I should say, WE accomplished something, that I never thought possible. Between my brother and I we photographed every single car in the show on Friday. I never thought that would ever happen, the Nationals are just so big. They are the second largest show in New York state, and in the top 5 in size in the entire Northeast. I've always known, at the Nationals, that I can't hope to get every car, just take what looks good to me- or what good photos I could get. (it's actually hard to get decent photos some times- the cars are close together and there's usually people milling about, including car owners in folding chairs next to/in front of the cars). I had been talking with my brother beforehand and we came up with the plan to get every car. And we did it. I took more than 2400 photographs over the course of the week, and my brother took 836, just of the car show alone. One of the things that makes the Adirondack Nationals so unique, and so interesting, is that the show goes on long before it officially starts. It starts Thursday, and runs through Saturday. We got into town Monday and there were already a few dozen classics in and around town. And there's really two shows going on at once- the cars in the show itself, and the cars on the street, which is everything post-1979 and anyone who waited too late to get a registration. You can't see all of both (especially as the cars on the street are always cruising) but we set our sights on the show on Friday, and got it done. I'm not going to post a whole lot of photos- I know most of my readers are not really car folks...but I will post some, and the link to all of them on my website here:
Adirondack Nationals 2019 

 This is the El Camino I got to go for a ride in. I saw 24 different El Caminos in town, the all-time record, and I know there was at least one more I didn't see, because I saw a picture of it online.
 I actually spent some time at night in town, something I don't really do too often. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, it gets a little too crazy and rowdy for me, and way too crowded. But on Tuesday night, when this is from, it's fun.
 This won Best of Show. I understand completely.
 This was the rarest car in the show...a Rockne. Yes, named after the football coach, it was a companion brand to Studebaker, and lasted only three years in the early 1930s. It's only the second one I've ever seen. The first was in the Studebaker National Museum. I would prefer to see something so rare stock, but at least this was tastefully done. To tell you how big this show is, it's got 4 years of registration stickers on the window, and this was my first time seeing it...
 Loved the green on this. It was deep and sparkly in person.
This is Saturday afternoon, and it's not even the peak of the crowd, that would be Saturday night. And this isn't even in the main part of town. I took it at 42x optical zoom.

On Saturday, we went back to the show (You pay once and can get in all three days) and went to Fort William Henry, which I was too sore to do on Friday.
I did a little more of the car show, but I was pretty much worn out at this point, so not much.
I did manage to find three cards in the vendor area, though.

Two cards from 1953-54 Topps World on Wheels, not sure why Topps reversed the name on the Talbot-Lago.
and the highlight for me, a card from 1970 Monogram! In '70, they included some cards in some of the Tom Daniel kits, and they are not easy to find. I've been a fan of Tom Daniel since...I don't know when....1994 I suppose, when Hot Wheels celebrated their 25th Anniversary and reissued some of their original designs from 1968. I later found out many of them were based off model kits, which I began building reissues of in 2000. So, I've been wanting them for a while...this is the first I've seen in person. Interestingly, Monogram issued a series of cards in 2000, which are also pretty scarce, but luckily I was building models by then so I was able to get some of them first hand. There's a chance that some of them are still hiding in a model box in my storage unit, too. Yes, I know this one is beat up, and water damaged, but considering how long I've been chasing after these...I'm going to take it and be happy. The dealer had some late 60s automotive postcards as well but they were in a little too rough shape for the price he was asking to bring them home.

One of the cooler parts of the trip is that I got to meet Bogi and Faye from All Girls Garage. That is one of my favorite shows on TV, it's only a half hour but they accomplish so much, in such a short time...and they do it in a straight forward way, with lots of confidence, competence, and no fake drama. I went in a fan, but after meeting them, I left even MORE of a fan.
I didn't know too much about Faye- on the left- because she just joined the show this season. I've been watching Bogi now for 2 years, since I got the channel. They were both great to talk to, and just cool people all around. Both own their own garages, which is highly impressive!

They signed my poster, which is going to be tough to store well, and I went back and they gladly signed the back of one of my buisness cards.

On the way home, we went to Hillbilly Golf in Fort Ann. This is a miniature golf course with two 18-hole circuits. One is around New York, the other is Hillbilly/farm themed. It's a lot of fun. We discovered it in 1997 on the ride to Vermont, and played it a few times...but my health doesn't really allow me to play miniature golf anymore. I really miss it. My brother volunteered to set and retrieve the balls for me, which is the only way I was able to do any of it at all. We did both sides. I can't remember for sure the last time we went, but it was a long time ago. So long ago that it predates us getting a digital camera, and we got that in 2003! It's still as fun and awesome as I remember it being.
 The bear statue, wearing a straw  hat with corncob pipe, which they used to sell and I still have mine- is holding an ice cream cone because they also sell that. I wasn't able to have any though.
 They still have the World Trade Center part of their Puttin' Through New York section.
 The 18th and final hole is Hockey in New York, with a somewhat crudely drawn cartoon Mike Richter. (meant more to be funny)
 They also have a map of hockey teams in NY, although it's of some dubious accuracy...they have the Rangers in Port Jervis, the Islanders in Yonkers...and Long Island is rather oddly shaped, too! But, they have a lot of humor built in to the place, so maybe that's by design.
 The Hillbilly Holes section is pure humor and Americana. The flower bearing skunk's tail goes up and down, which you are supposed to get the ball through.
 The goal is to get the ball in the hole in the outhouse...I was not successful but my brother was! I actually went into the outhouse and had my mom take a picture...I gotta get her to post that.
 On the way home, we were treated to a colorful sunset. This is exit #19 on the NYS Thruway, which puts it right around Kingston.
 I love seeing the lights on the cars at night...the moon is peeking out from behind the clouds on the upper left as well.
By time we got to Poughkeepsie, it was fully dark.

Here are my pictures from the trip overall: Lake George 2019
And here are my pictures from Hillbilly Golf

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Lake George Card recap part 2: Accidentally finding a new hobby shop!

If you've been reading this for a while you know I take pictures...of everything. While it's true that I enjoy it, I also have a health-related terrible memory and anything that doesn't get documented gets forgotten, which is why I try to document everything. I recently commented to my family that I didn't have a single photo taken in Vermont- the only state I had been to that didn't have even a single photo taken in. I had only been to Vermont once, in 1997. We went to a mall in Rutland, and that's pretty much all I remember. So, we decided to go to Vermont this trip. While on the way, we were driving along, looking at the things in that area, where we had never been before, as we went a different way in '97.

We happened to spot a new card shop, so we had to stop! I got his business card, but I've misplaced it, already. (it was a week ago today as I type this, and it's already gone...sigh). Luckily, I thought to take a picture of his signs.
Inside the shop, which I don't have photos of, is nice and bright. It's not particularly large, but it's not cramped either. He has more baseball than anything else, which is to be expected, but he had other things too, and I managed to pick up a couple singles, and a couple of packs, as well. The first thing I found is actually headed to another blogger, to see if it can crack his frankenset, but I got these for myself:
From 2017-18 Select, I chose this one because it had a piece of the camo jersey, which is generally only worn two times each season.
The 2012-13 Hoops set is my favorite Panini era set, and Bernard James is a military veteran, can't go wrong there. I have no expectations of ever completing the autograph set, but I've got 5 of them now...294 to go, hah.

I had to get this Christmas card...too cool. The first year of the NBA Christmas Jersey program was just the regular jersey with the snowflake behind the NBA logo. In later years they had fully designed, special one-time Christmas jerseys, but they stopped doing them now, unfortunately. Still, I couldn't let this card stay behind.

I only picked up one hockey single...
It was a little higher than I like to go on a single card- $12, I'm such a cheapskate- but that jersey piece was just too cool. I knew I would regret it if I left it behind, much like the Lundqvist I showed in the previous post, so I just got it.

Mindful of how much money I had already spent on the trip, (if only I had gotten there sooner on the trip, I could have gotten more!) I wrapped it up with four packs, two each of 2019-20 MVP, and 2018-19 Revolution Chinese New Year. After my debacle with the case of them last year, there was no way I was going to even buy a box of them again, but a couple packs, I could do.
The MVP was what I was really interested in, first cards of the new season! Always an occasion to look forward to.

I know that there is a pretty high likelihood that these will be the only packs of these sets I ever open, and I sure did enjoy them. The MVP set features actual photos with some computer generated borders, and the Revolution set is just a player cutout over a totally computer generated backdrop...normally something I hate, but with the technology on these, I actually overlook that.

 My first card of the new season!
 I always pull Morgan Reilly from my first pack of a hockey set. I would say he's in roughly my first pack of 90% of all the sets I've opened packs of. Wonder how long it'll be before his Hurricanes cards start showing up in first packs? Probably UD series 2 from this year, if all goes to form.
 I was lucky enough to pull card #1 from my first pack. Rare, but I like when I can get card #1s.

I like how MVP has a pronunciation guide on the back. Some of the player's names don't match how they are spelled to how they are said, so it is helpful. This name is not, but it's where I learned how to pronounce Dustin Byfuglien's name for example.

MVP is not using a gold/brown theme this year, a new look...I like it. I'm hoping I will be able to get a factory set again this year, they did it for the first time last year, and have already solicited it again for 2019-20.

 Moving to Revolution, here's the first base card I got from the packs. Actually my second card from the set- I got the LeBron because they swapped it in to the team set, which I bought at the NBA store specifically to get that one card. The color panels are team keyed.
 I got only one rookie in my two packs, luckily it's a local team.
Each pack contains a Chinese New Year parallel, which features red foil and a different pattern in the background.
 I saw when I was entering my first pack onto the Trading Card Database that this year there are Chinese New Year parallels, last year when I did the case there was not. I was surprised by that. I was even more surprised when I pulled a Green out of my second pack, and saw that it was serially numbered to 88!
The back of the cards are very pastel. Kind of like an Easter Egg coloring factory blew up on them. Very typical Panini style back. I'm not saying I dislike them, just...interesting color pattern.

I plan to do both sets on A Pack to Be Named Later, if they aren't already done, within the week.

It was a good visit to the shop, I hope he lasts a long time. I am looking forward to going back, and getting more cards. I'll probably go more for packs as I don't have anywhere local to get single hobby packs from anything...but I will surely be checking the single cards as well. I wish that I was closer, because I'd be going a lot more often...but with a three hour drive one way, I won't be able to get there more than one or two times a year, unfortunately.

I should mention that the shop is in Hudson Falls, not Lake George, but everything in that area is referred to as the Lake George trip and has been my entire life.