Monday, December 4, 2023

FINALLY no longer hanging over my head

 I have mentioned it a few times over the years- when my brother gave me my current scanner I went and scanned a bunch of mirror foil and Finest style cards. I do not like editing those scans, they are not fun at all...the term I've used in the past is "soul crushing". I had set them aside to work on when I was sick and didn't want to touch any cards to make new scans, and...guess what, I'm sick again. This is the third time in 2023 I've managed to catch a cold...I'm so ready for 2024. Worse still is that I'll miss my model club Christmas party for the first time ever, since I joined the club in 2009. 

But, with all this time being spent sick, I finally got the scans finished! They have been waiting since 2019, I believe. 

After the last sickness, I had only 10 pages left- 2 of 1994 Finest baseball and 4 each of 1994-95 and 1997-98 Finest basketball. 

over the course of yesterday and today I finished off all 10 pages. I'm so glad they are done and behind me now, no longer hanging over my head like the sword of Damocles. 

Not to say I'm done with the foils and Finests, I have several hundred that require scans still, and I am still adding more to the collection, as in last post. But when you do one or two pages at a time it's a lot more tolerable than seeing over 100 pages looming ahead of you. I didn't pay attention to how many pages it was, or if I did I forgot, but I think it was actually closer to 500 scans, which would be about 250 pages. I know this round covered images 561 to 627, and I know they started in at least the 200s- maybe lower numbered. I wish I had paid more attention to that. 

The next scan I make will be #13997 so that tells you an idea of how long ago these were scanned. Like I said, I think it was 2019. It might have been late 2018. The one thing I would change about this Epson V600 if I could would be that it saves the date the scan was made, it does not. I know the scans were made BEFORE I went to the NY International Auto show in 2019. 

This was the last card cropped and edited. 1997-98 Finest #242. 

Here's an example of the other two sets I mentioned.

Unfortunately some of the 1994-95 Finests have greened. 

I know now that I will not do such a huge batch of scanning like that again. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it turns out it wasn't. Lesson learned. 

Sorry if the writing is a little disjointed in this post. After all I am sick. 

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Why doesn't mine look like that?!?

 Last month my brother and I made a trip down to North Carolina to visit the Winston Cup Museum, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and do some shopping at the Lionel store. Although we did do it in one day last year, we decided it was better to break it up in two days and stop overnight in Virginia. (it's a 12 hour trip one way) While we did that this year, we had some time so we visited the Wal-Mart in Woodstock, Virginia. 

Their Wal-Mart was fully stocked! It went off to the right more that I couldn't get in the photo because of the people checking out whose shopping cart you can see in the right side of the photo. 

I have not seen a retail store this well stocked since...maybe ever? Certainly the 1990s glory days. 

My local Wal-Mart usually has on average 3 blasters. Not three different sets...3 total. No space for hanging packs. it's a disgrace compared to this! The rest of the store was fully stocked and clean, too. Not only that, they restocked between Wednesday on the way down and Sunday morning on the way home. My local Wal-Mart has restocked the NASCAR diecast twice...since the pandemic began. That's not an exaggeration unfortunately. 

Walking through this Wal-Mart was actually fun. I wish it wasn't six hours away. 

Of course, I bought some cards. I was saving money on the way down and nearly broke on the way back after the shopping in Carolina, but I still did OK. 
Unfortunately the current state of cards means the pickings were pretty slim, while there were a lot of sets most of them were not sets I particularly like. 

I got my hands on 2023-24 Upper Deck for the first time..

They upped the price and lowered the total number of cards you get in a blaster, which is a disappointment, but the card design is nice. The bottom border is team specific, which I always like. 

I got a blaster of 2021-22 Ice on the way down and liked it so much I got another on the way back. While the base card above isn't all that spectacular, the parallels really make up for it. 
Orange is nice...
gold is nicer...

but Green is spectacular! Unfortunately the green ones are not the most common, that is Gold, but I still pulled 5 of them, with one pack left to open. (I scan an example of each pack before I open them all, and I have not gotten to that yet even though the trip was now two weeks ago)

I do believe I'll be chasing these parallels on COMC. There are other colors that I didn't get, too. (at least not yet)

Both of the above sets I really like. 

Less liked are Metal Universe...
While it is an improvement over the previous two years which were just mirror foil. Upper Deck really doesn't get the concept of Metal Universe. The 1990s Metal sets were some of my all time favorites, which makes the new version even more disappointing. With that said, I WOULD still buy more from this, the 2022-23 set. I KNOW you can't tell from the scan, but this is Marcus Foligno by the way. These look OK in hand and scan better than I expected. There is also a blue parallel I pulled two of but I have not tried scanning yet. 

Then there's Allure, which is Upper Deck's take on Finest/Prizm. I am not really a fan, these cards are chrome, but they are super slippery, even more so than Prizm, which is hard to believe. You can't stack them, you can't sort them with other cards, you can't store them with other cards, and they are completely made up backgrounds, not real photo, which I don't care for. One blaster is enough for me to spend money on. If I got them as gifts I'd be ok with that, but I won't spend my own money on any more of them. 
My favorite part of the set is the Rainbow insert. A 100 card insert, it's available in 9 different color combination, some of which are extremely rare (two different 1 of 1s). I got three different colors and I'm going to show them all here:
Green and Blue, which is Serially numbered. It's on the back, and I somehow managed to miss that it was numbered both the time I got it, when I wrote it into my paper listing, and again when I wrote it into my Excel listing! I only discovered it when I scanned it. 
Yellow and Green, which is my favorite. My two favorite colors, although I prefer green over yellow. 

and finally red and orange. As an added bonus this is my first card of Phillips, I believe. I can definitely see myself chasing these on COMC as well. 

Because I got these at Wal-Mart, there was a NHL Sheild 2005 parallel in every pack. Different places have different parallels, you could only pull this parallel from blasters sold in Wal-Mart. 

Finally, we have WNBA Prizm. 

shown are a base card and the Prizm parallel. 

I really dislike Prizm. I dislike the fact that this is the ONLY set Panini bothers to produce for the WNBA even more. I think that fact actually prevents me from enjoying these cards.  I actually remember seeing these at my local Wal-Mart, but not buying a blaster because I was waiting for the real set. Not knowing that Panini wouldn't bother to produce a real set. I ended up saving myself three dollars, because this blaster was marked down to $17. Like Allure, I wouldn't turn them down as a gift, but I will not spend any more money on Prizm. I did not yet scan the very generic inserts that are pretty much the same in every Prizm set in every sport every year.

I actually skipped over NBA prizm which they had for sale in the Wal-Mart. It is the first time ever, since I began collecting the NBA, that I skipped getting a set on purpose. Now, I'm not saying I would skip it forever, but money was limited and I had to make choices. I don't like Prizm enough to choose that over a second blaster of Ice.

I DID get a couple hanging packs of Chronicles, which has also been dragged down with Panini's obsession with Prizm technology, but I have not scanned the packs yet so I cannot show what I pulled yet. 

Although I have not scanned them yet, I did get a box of the Star Rookie box set as seen in the bottom of the photo leading off the post. It was down low and I was in too much pain to bend down and pick it out, so my brother grabbed one for me. I ended up pulling an autograph, which is one per case! That hopefully will be shared in an upcoming post...

Maybe it's better this Wal-Mart is 6 hours away from me. Because if I lived closer I would certainly end up spending a lot more money on cards than I do currently...

Friday, December 1, 2023

New People scanned in November 2023

 Look at that, I actually got a monthly upload done on the 1st of the month. I normally do too much scanning in a month for that to be possible, but this month I only did 380 cards in November for some reason...I don't even know why. I went to Carolina but that was only 5 days away. 

Whatever the reason, it made the upload easy. 

49 of the 380 cards was new people, most of them the football people my friend sent me.  Only 16 were people from topics I actually collect. The biggest name, however, is NHL phenom Connor Bedard, who joined the collection in November. 

Even though this is an "easy" upload, it still took me some 14 hours to do...

Tuesday, November 14, 2023


 My plans were to go to the NASCAR Hall of Fame the week after the NASCAR season ended. Then my model club held our show on October 28th. It was a great show, as it always is, but we had a huge turnout from the LIARS- the Long Island Auto Replica Society- and I decided to change my plans, and attend their show this past weekend, instead of skipping it to go to the Hall. 

Wow...I am sure glad I changed those plans! 

It turned out to be my most successful model show ever! I've been attending shows since 2001, and entering since 2002, and this was my first time ever winning a class! My Police Smart car took first in Municipal vehicles! I knew before the awards ceremony I would win something in that class...there were only 4 entries and two were by the same builder, so I knew I would win something by default. 

The other two classes were a complete surprise! The Bobby Hamilton car took third in closed wheel competition, and both of the cars that beat mine were miles better. The 1953 Ford took second in Shelf model, where it's judged just as it sits, the model is not touched. Even more impressive is that it suffered some damage on the trip, with two of the wheels getting broken off. 

I hadn't attended LIARS since 2008, but I am really thrilled I won these awards. I am still in shock, to be honest! Not only that, but the Smart car is the only municipal vehicle I've built! I have plans for more, but they have not come to completion yet. 

That wasn't all! I've mentioned before my project of photodocumenting all the places I've visited by taking a photo of the car's GPS screen. I added 34 new places in my home state, bringing New York to over 500 places documented! 

Ugh, I don't know why but the pictures are not in order. 
Petty car is mine

1/87 diorama

I really liked the paint on this one

winner of the Open wheel competition class
I believe this is the car that won the class I took third in. You can see it was well worth it. 

The paint work on this was incredible! The red spotted car in the background is mine also.

Before going to the show we went to the Freeport Nautical Mile, which I got too exhausted to finish back in 2019. 

Manhattan skyline taken from the Throg's Neck Bridge

There was still some color in the trees.

Me getting my third award, photo by my brother.

Long Island traffic is always unpleasant. 
Saw UBS Arena, home of the Islanders! This is the 5th NHL rink I have seen in person, although I have only been in one...and it had the basketball court set up.

An inlet of Long Island Sound
The Whitestone Bridge
NY Skyline from the Whitestone
Long Island Sound

Giant Pepsi building
Saw a train go by! 
This is actually a drawbridge in the Bronx. (I think). Although I've crossed it several times I've never had to stop for it. I kind of hope I do at some point because I think it would be cool to see. 
It was fully dark by time we got home. There was some light color in the clouds. 

Full Photo gallery from the LIARS show

Full Photo gallery of the trip

Thanks for reading!