Friday, June 30, 2023

Unexpected card maildays are the best card maildays

 I have not been very active lately, either in writing my own posts or commenting on other people's posts, but the blogosphere has not forgotten about me. In the month of June I got three unexpected maildays and while I don't have them prepared enough to give them proper coverage, I wanted to at least get something up and say thank you to them! 

First up was a mailing from Chris, The Collector, who sent me some samplings from our local teams and some future members of local teams
Next came one from Kenny from Torren' Up Cards, and while there is a great selection here that's not all of them- some of them got sorted into my collection, back when I thought I would actually be able to get all these scanned and posted before the month ended...
and then just this week I was zapped again! The majority of both mailings was National Hockey Card Day stuff, which is much appreciated by me. 

Thanks again to both Chris and Kenny! 

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

The Stanley Cup Champions!

 Last night, the Vegas Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup Championship! This is a pretty big deal, as the teams I'm rooting for usually never win the championship in any of the sports I follow.  But it's more than that, I actually am an NHL fan because of the Golden Knights! 

I'm sure I've shared this story before, but here it is again. 

Way back in 2016, when the team name and logo was announced, there was a thread on the Trading Card Database talking about the new logo, but not showing it. I remembered that I got the NHL Network so I put it on to see it, after the discussion- completely negative, as usual- mentioned that it was ancient themed, which is a major passion of mine. I had to see it. Well, I put it on sometime in the morning the next day, and On the Fly was repeating. I saw the logo, but I saw SO much more. I got was quick, it was complete, I was an NHL and hockey fan from that day forward. I think I watched On the Fly repeating three times that day. Later that night, I found a local game on- all three of the teams that I get local broadcasts for played that night, and I don't remember which one it was that I saw. I know I didn't see the whole game. I was watching in secret at that point. Only in my room with my  headphones on. I wanted to be sure it was going to be something I was going to stick with before I told my family. I kept watching in secret for the remainder of the 2016 calender year, and the start of  2017, but I couldn't keep it a secret much longer, it was taking up more and more of the thoughts and due to my health-based schedule, I was starting to miss stuff I wanted to watch when I was eating with my family, so in mid-January, I announced I was a hockey fan right here on Cardboard History, with a post humorously titled "Cardboard History on Ice". 

The very next day, I began actively collecting hockey cards. If you've been reading my writings for a while, you may have noticed that hockey now takes up the majority of my collecting posts. I've been heavily collecting, and learning the history of the sport through cards. I still have a LOT to learn, of course, but now I feel like I actually know some things and can carry on a real conversation about the sport. I am approaching 30,000 different cards and expect to hit that mark by the time the 2023-24 season starts. (I could probably get there right now if I went through everything I have stashed away, sent to me by friends in the hobby)

Of course, I started watching before the Knights began playing, and in that half a season I watched the Rangers took top spot for me...but I will ALWAYS be a Golden Knights supporter due to their essential role in getting me into my new passion. It always works out well for me because they play in the Pacific time zone, so when the east coast games end I would usually switch to them on Center Ice. They are right there at the top for me. 

Of course, my watching of hockey and the awesomeness of the sport itself soon got my mom hooked on hockey as well, and she is also a Knights fan...even if not as much since they ditched Marc-Andre we are both very happy to see them hoisting the Stanley Cup last night! Just for fun, here is my favorite Knights card of each of the players who raised the Cup last night, if I have them: 

Starting with the 6 original Golden Knights that remain on the team, Jonathan Marchessault was literally a bribe by the Panthers to take Reilly Smith, something I'm sure they are regretting now!

This was the very first Golden Knights card I ever got! 

Next comes the only Captain in team history...

now the rest of the skaters in alphabetical order. I have NO cards at all for Paul Cotter, Brayden Pachal, 

No Knights card yet for several players

Several skaters played for the team earlier in the season but were not on the playoff roster: 
Pavel Dorofyev, Byron Froese, Daniil Miromanov, Sheldon Rempal and Jonas Rondjberg either do not appear in my collection yet.


Jake Leschyshyn played with the Knights earlier in the season before being claimed on waivers by the Rangers, making him I believe the first player to play for my two favorite teams in the same season. 

The Knights had a pretty crazy goalie situation this season. Robin Lehner, who was supposed to be the starter, missed the entire season after surgery. 
Logan Thompson started the season, even becoming an all-star in his first full season...
with Laurent Brossoit backing him up. I amazingly don't have any cards of him, or at least not scanned. After they both went down with injury, Jiri Patera was called up and he also doesn't have any cards. Then they had to make two trades at the trade deadline, bringing in...

Adin Hill, who started the season as the third string goaling on the Sharks, would be in net for the majority of the playoffs, with only Laurent Brossiot appearing in any other playoff games. All but Patera did come out and take their skate with the Stanley Cup which was cool to see. 

I've actually ordered a Stanley Cup Champions T-Shirt for the Knights, which will only be my second hockey shirt. If I remember, I'll post it when it arrives. 
This is a hockey high I'm going to be riding for quite a long time! 

Friday, June 2, 2023

The Longest Road Trip Ever (Part 2)

 In Part 1, I wrote about my brother and I's trip out to Utah. In this part 2, I will document the ride home, which included another of my "bucket list" places to visit. 

We left Salt Lake City after the GSL, heading south
Was surprised to see a micro version of Mount Rushmore in Utah

Mountains were nice
Interesting how on this mountain the different sides are different colors.
A cave...this was probably a mine.
We stopped at a rest area and this train went by. It played a horn for me and a couple other people standing there which I thought I recorded but I hit the wrong button and missed it...still sad about that.
Whole lot of nothing in southern Utah.
Heading towards Moab
Wow, that's really horrible.
We didn't go there.
This made me laugh.
We went to Moab Giants, which is a very cool dinosaur museum in Moab, Utah.

Actual dinosaur footprint compared to my foot

This is about 10 feet tall

Panorama from the roof

pretending to be eaten by t-rex head

Now back on the road to Moab

A horse watching traffic

Downtown Moab

An arch, note there are people standing in it

That rock outcropping looks like a foot

Not a lot of water in the southwest

I know nothing about jewelry but I sure liked this one on the hotel TV!

The next day saw us leave Utah
we ended up dipping back up into Colorado
Then New Mexico, and Arizona.

And then all 4 at once! 

They just left a wrecked 18-wheeler in the median
I'm not super fond of New Mexico. There's not a lot to see, the roads are in poor condition, and what is there is generally not fun to look at. 
The black stuff is the Grants Lava Field, the result of a volcanic eruption 3000 years ago. Some of it looks heavily weathered and some look like it's from yesterday. The area has had human inhabitation for 10,000 years at least so this wasn't all that long ago in the grand scheme of things.
a large dreamcatcher in the town of Grants
We were on Route 66! The most famous road in America. 

Much of New Mexico looked like this.

Albuquerque, which I mostly slept through

This is a gas station
Metal sculptures.

Vaughn, New Mexico is the saddest, most depressing town I've ever been to. It looks like it would have been cool back in the 1950s, but it's so far away from anywhere and there's nothing in the general area to draw people there. The closest town is literally 96 miles away. I know that because that's the town we were going to.

Sunset over the desert.
The lights of Roswell! 
There was so little light pollution I was actually able to capture stars with my smart phone camera. 

I have been fascinated with Roswell ever since I was a little kid, I've always wanted to go we did, even though it was about 4 hours out of the way. It was worth it.
This store was awesome.

This was the most fun place in Roswell, also unfortunately one of the smallest. 

We found a cool Rock store, too.

Lots of old trucks in Roswell
This is the furthest south I've ever been. 

A roadrunner
UFO shaped McDonald's at night
alien lamp post
We also went to the UFO Museum & Research Center but I was a little disappointed there. It was mostly about UFO themed TV shows. I was hoping for more on the actual unexplained stuff. The gift shop was probably the best part of that actually.  The day in Roswell was pretty much the only sunny day we had the entire trip...and it reached 100 degrees that afternoon.
The next day we left Roswell and headed east. Read the sign! 
Portales is actually a pretty cool town.
Classic Southwest town

Everything's bigger in Texas...except the welcome sign, which was tiny, I never though I would ever be in Texas, but we crossed the Panhandle and even had lunch in Amarillo. 
Lots of trains in Texas panhandle.
Deaf Smith county is named after a person known as Deaf Smith. 
Then we went to Oklahoma.

In Oklahoma we started to see grass and trees again. 
That dust is from an 18 wheeler on a dirt road.
This is Yukon, Oklahoma. Note the sky...we were driving into a storm that would stay with us the rest of the trip and would lead to some of the worst rain I've ever driven in. 

Oklahoma City Thunder billboard. 

The next day we drove out of OKC at just the right time- a tornado touched down just outside the city that night. 
Some sort of sculpture. 
Vintage aircraft along the highway

Then we went into Arkansas

I had no idea it was national Travel and Tourism Week while we were on the biggest travel tour of our lives. 
Bass Reeves is the great-grandfather of Ryan Reaves of the NHL! 

A hot dog man in a truck

We ended up going through some back roads in Arkansas during a major rainstorm.

Man, I do NOT envy that construction worker.  Believe it or not, the rain would get worse the next day. We ended the day in Illinois.

The last new state for my trip was Kentucky, and this is Louisville.

We saw the Red Baron Pizza factory

Cincinnati was cool

And then the rain came back....
then left again, but not too far...
and then came back even harder than before. 

It actually was raining so hard I was too tense to take photos, which is pretty much the opposite of normal. I don't have anything from the worst rain. 

Eventually, we drove past the rain and made it to Pennsylvania. 
The final day of the trip, we drove to Pittsburgh...
Note the rain is back...and the cobblestone road.

PPG Paints Arena

in Pittsburgh we went to the Heinz Museum, which is really really cool. Here's a bunch of pictures. I couldn't do all of it, health just wouldn't allow it. There's this much and I missed entire floors of the museum. 

This statue is actually a scene from Lake George, NY, my favorite place in the world!

Jimmy Stewart's WWII uniform jacket

The glass exhibit was one of my favorites.

This is from Mr. Rogers' Neighboorhood

They have two floors of Sports Memorabilia, and they have cards! 

Game worn equipment from Marc-Andre Fleury.

After that, finally, we went home!