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Showing posts from May, 2013

No waiting

As a small-town consumer who frequents big-box establishments, there is no more welcome statement than this:

"Register X is open. No waiting."

Prepare for the inevitable stampede. As a former checkout clerk, I would say only, "Register X is open." I'd leave out the "no waiting" because I knew what it did to people. I didn't want to be responsible for trampled beings.

But this is evidence that one of the major annoyances of childhood never ever goes away. We hate waiting.

Two of the most frustrating obstacles for me as a kid were things that cost money (I had no money) and things that required waiting (I had no patience). So you can imagine what baseball cards on cereal boxes did to me.

Frosted Flakes -- this box shows the very first Kellogg's 3-D cards I ever obtained from 1977 -- would promise you a single card inside, which would touch off a battle for ownership among my brothers. The rest of the cards you could get IF you cut out the order…

I need a beer

I do not drink as much beer as I once did. I would never call myself a beer connoisseur -- talk of making your own beer, the breweries you've discovered, or other esoteric ruminations about hops and barley bore me completely -- but I enjoy a good brew.

Today, though, I can mostly confine beer-imbibing to one of two categories.

1) It's summertime and I'm off.
2) I'm exhausted and the world has decided "night owl is the enemy."

Today it's in the high 70s, rather humid, and I've got a busy workload tonight. None of this really falls into category 1) or 2), but for some reason -- perhaps the nine zillion beer commercials that I've watched during all of my baseball viewing has finally gotten to me -- I can't stop thinking about a beverage.

In short, I need a beer.

Here's the problem. There's no beer in the house. And with the budget cutbacks continuing for another week, I can't be buying any without there being ... um ... repercussions…

C.A.: 1976 SSPC Mickey Vernon

(Welcome to the last Cardboard Appreciation before the great vote-off to determine the third card that will enter the Cardboard Appreciation Hall of Fame. Beginning next week, I will be asking for your votes and propping up polls on the sidebar. I might have to change the template a little bit to accommodate the polls, but it's the small price to pay for blog votage! (voteage?) And now, one more Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 185th in a series):


I am pretty pleased to be working on the 1979 Topps set. It signals my final step in acquiring all of the Topps sets from my childhood (1974-79). What a proud moment that will be when I obtain that last '79 card, whatever it may be.

But it will also be a sad moment. The real reason that I am collecting -- the most satisfaction I get out of collecting -- is to unearth those first memories of baseball, captured on cardboard, from the mid-1970s. Sure, my quest will continue with the '82 Topps set and probably '81 and/or '…

Things that keep me up all morning

The schedule that I keep is one I have known for years. It suits me. Through all the jobs I have worked, not one has been 9-to-5. I sometimes think of what it would be like to work a 9-to-5 job, but more often I am grateful that I don't.

Because I am not operating 9-to-5/Monday-through-Friday, commonly held truths/sayings/ideas lose their meaning on me. A couple of them are downright annoying.

One of them just recently passed. Here it is:

"While you are barbecuing/picnicking/at the beach/etc., take a few moments to remember why you have the day off."

I understand the sentiments of this Memorial Day "lecture," and I think it's important to reflect on those who have lost their lives for our country, but here's the thing, and again, thanks for reminding me about what the day is for although I already know why it's here and have been aware of it for some 40-plus years now, but ... I DON'T HAVE THE DAY OFF!!!!!

Thank you for reminding me again that …

99

The arrival of Hyun-Jin Ryu as a member of the Dodgers signaled another threshold moment in L.A. uniform numerology.

His choice of No. 99 marked the second time that a Dodger has worn that number while on a major league roster. No longer an uproarious one-and-done 2008 Mannywood dream, Ryu has taken 99 from Manny Ramirez and fashioned it with his own Far East style.


So far, Ryu, tonight's starter, and Ramirez are the only Dodgers to wear the final number before venturing into triple digits (They have 99 problems but their number ain't one).

But that started me thinking about the progression of the uniform number through Dodger history.


Wearing a number in the 90s is a phenomenon of the last 15 years for L.A. Aside from Ryu and Ramirez, reliever Joe Beimel wore No. 97, and Pirates/Jays cast-off Jacob Brumfield wore No. 94 in 1999.

The 80s numerals are a virtual wasteland with only Rick Wilkins, who played catcher for the Dodgers for all of three games, wearing No. 89 in 1999.