Thursday, December 15, 2016

Everyone has a plan, until they get hit with a foot of snow

One of my favorite quotes was said by that known literary poet, that erudite intellectual of the ring, Mike Tyson.

Iron Mike once said "everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth" and ain't that the truth. I experienced this just last night. The "punch in the mouth" was the foot of snow piling up sideways outside of my place of work in a matter of hours.

You see, where I live gets snow -- snow worth mentioning on the national news. Perhaps you saw us on your television this morning. Maybe you saw the CBS weather guy, standing next to a snow-covered holiday display in the center of Adams, N.Y. Then they aired an interview with a snowplow driver, who plows roads in my county. And they interviewed my county's sheriff. And they ended it like they always end it, " ... and more is on the way."

It snows where I live at a rate that no larger city (besides Buffalo) could handle. I've seen snow all my life, but I've never seen snow like I've seen since I decided to reside in two different Great Lakes communities the last 30 years. I've woken up to two feet of snow several times and thanked God it wasn't four.

Last night, the snow started coming down somewhere in the afternoon. It wasn't too much. Maybe 2 or 3 inches. But we knew more was on the way. I went to work and the lake effect snow started moving into town. I made a bold move to go home for dinner but the snow had stopped. A half hour later I went back and the snow had ramped up ... and stayed ramped.

We received a foot of snow in maybe four hours. For those of you who have never been in a lake effect storm, the scariest part, other than driving in it and not being able to see (this is not hyperbole, you cannot see beyond the windshield), is the fact that the snow is coming down -- usually sideways -- at the rate and intensity that rain comes down. Freakish.

There's the radar from at some point around late afternoon. I live in the darkest part. I wish I could have saved a screen shot of the weatherunderground radar from 9 p.m. Imagine a huge, angry blue cone streaming off the lake in a northeast direction and not stopping until it reaches the state border three hours away.

Like almost everyone who lives here, I am used to this. It's a way of life every winter. No big deal.

So I'm there inside my cozy work building, knowing that when I leave I'll have to clear a foot off my car and hoping I can get out of the parking lot because the plows won't come through there until 5 a.m., when I start wandering the blogs. (All local sports were canceled, we had a little free time).

Lately on the blogs, the Walmart exclusive holiday boxes have been popping up and they were on display last night. These are the gimmicky parallels of the 2016 design that I enjoy so much. The smoke effect is replaced with snowflake art.

Normally, I jump on whatever holiday box Topps is issuing. It's a fun diversion from all the Christmas shopping. But I had no problems avoiding it this year because ... it's 2016 Topps. Of course. Why would I want that?

I even said so on one of the holiday box blog posts last night.

And that was 100 percent the way I was feeling at the time. I had stayed away easily with nothing nagging me saying "buy! buy!"

But then something happened later that night. It must have been that fourth tour around my car at 1 a.m. trying to dig out.

I got punched in the mouth.

"Hey!" I thought. "Where does it snow more than almost anywhere else? More than New England? More than Chicago? More than NYC? ... Duh, the North Country! (This is what we call our area, it's so well-established that my newspaper lowercases "north country").

"If there are any people who should have cards with snowflakes on them it's people who live here!"

I keep inventing more reasons to buy cards, don't I?

But I really don't have guilt over this. I think after last night -- the blasted snowplow on my street dumped a bunch of snow bolders in front of only my driveway, so I had to dig out of that mess before I could get in my house for the night -- I deserve a card with a snowflake on it.

Also, I was finishing up my Christmas shopping early today -- that's right, finished -- and when you're buying a bunch of stuff in a flurry, the cards just end up in the cart with everything else. It's a shopping avalanche. Happens all the time.

The only issue is, of course, I really needed only one card with a snowflake on it. And some Dodgers with snowflakes on it. But Topps doesn't let you do that. You have to buy the whole damn box. And now I have more cards of 2016 Topps than actual 2016 Topps, except there are snowflakes.

Those are the snowy vertical highlights.

Those are the snowy horizontal highlights.

I like this card particularly because it looks Ozuna is catching snowflakes.

And this one looks like they're dumping a bunch of snow on Matt Andriese's head.

It's a nice departure from reality. One of the ludicrous things about these cards is IT DOESN'T SNOW AT BASEBALL GAMES. They don't let you play baseball in the snow. If it snows, they call the game and don't come back until it stops. You might as well photoshop a mass shark attack onto cards. Same deal. Baseball games would not happen under a shark attack.

But, whatever, because I did quite well on Dodgers. I don't know how many Dodgers are in this set (I've seen the Reddick card already and I assume Kershaw and Seager are included), but six is an excellent start and will prevent me from caring about any missing cards for a long time.

These are the "metallic snowflake" parallels of the parallels. They're five to a box. Honestly this first-grade glitter project of Topps is not easy to detect. I totally missed two of these when opening the packs and ended up having to rub my finger across every card to find the missing ones.

And, as everyone knows by now, there is a relic/autograph in every box. I've yet to see an autograph. Here is my relic.

That's not too bad.

I rooted hard for Corey Kluber in the World Series, just because winning three games in one World Series is the standard for pitching greatness. And I love pitching greatness. It didn't turn out but it's still a nice pull.

The roads are all plowed now and the wind has died down just a little. I did a bit more shoveling today but, like I mentioned, a foot on the ground overnight is little more than a minor inconvenience.

Like having 2016 Topps in my house.

I probably will be trading off my snowflakes to regular team-collecting partners who want them, or anyone trying to complete this set.

Like I said, I really only wanted one of these cards, to represent where I'm from.

But when you get punched in the mouth, things happen.

Subject-verb agreement aside, I still apparently haven't seen enough snow.


  1. You know, you just came up with the plot of the next Sharknado movie...

    I kind of want to experience lake effect snow. (At least once anyway) I used to love snow...until a few years ago when with two storms we lost power for five days. I hate that more than you hate 2016 Topps.

  2. Night Owl - I enjoy your writing much more than seeing a pretty card pictures. This one is a classic, notwithstanding the subject-verb issue.

  3. Yeah, I'm a Canadian that is glad that I don't have to deal with your lake effect snow! I've been known to fly out of Syracuse, and it is always a gamble crossing the border and driving down through Watertown to get there. Only had one really bad night getting there to fly to San Diego for a football game. Good thing we gave ourselves tons of time to get there.

    As for snow and baseball, I'm pretty sure that I've played in a fall game where a few flakes fell. Those are the days you don't want to be using an aluminum bat.

    1. I'm a Canadian who lived on the North Shore of Lake Superior for my childhood.. lol We'd get some wicked storms off the lake.

      Even still I would rather take the winters I had there than the snow/rain dampness of Southern Ontario..

  4. Seager and Kersh do have cards.

    I have never seen real snow in-person. I envy you.

  5. I knew you wouldn't be able to resist the Holiday boxes for long! Looks like me and you got almost the exact same box. I pulled about 90 percent of those base cards you showed.

  6. So..let me get this..Topps gathered their 2016 set and photoshoped some snowflakes on the cards and start sellign it!?
    Because the cards were not croweded enough, here!, have it all covered in snowflakes. In some of the cards it's a miracle you still can see the player =P

  7. If anybody deserves a snowflake ca d it's you. We get plenty but don't have to deal with the lake affect.. Although as I'm writing this its 1 degrees our .

  8. Man, reading this makes me miss the winters in NY from my younger days. I've definitely got a dupe Seager that I can send your way and I'll check on other Dodgers you may have missed. Sadly, I've decided to build the set. Three boxes in and still no complete set...

  9. I get plenty of snow in my area, but nothing like that. You have more patience than me. I think after a few years I would have went south.

    Could you hold that McCutchen for me?

  10. I've been kind of a grinch the past few days... but this post made me step back and appreciate the 55 degree weather and cold rain. I like the snow every now and then... when I'm snowboarding in Tahoe. But not sure I want to shovel snow on a daily basis.

  11. Yep.. Canadian from Northwestern Ontario right along Lake Superior. I know all about it..
    That said, I would be another one these snowflake cards would be natural for..

    I'm sure the 1977 Toronto Blue Jays would like to argue the point about baseball not being played in the snow.. lol

  12. According to @tradingcarddb there are 11 Dodgers in the Holiday set. Urias, Kershaw, Thompson, Pederson, Reddick, Seager, Madea, Puig, Gonzalez, Strippling, and Jansen.

  13. I hope your having fun in New York today.

    Fyi... I wore shorts today and drove around with the windows down.

  14. I'm gonna have to buck the trend and say that, just as much as I hated the 2016 flagship design, I LOVE the holiday design. Sure, everybody's all "It's the same design, blockhead!" But it's not. As weird as it sounds, the snowflakes make sense to me where the smoke did not. Some of the cards are subtly different, which you don't notice until they're side-by-side. That's kinda cool. Makes me feel like I'm not buying nuthin' for nuthin'. Relatively inexpensive (it's all relative). Guaranteed hit (I got an autographed relic numbered o 3! Sure, it's of someone I have no idea who the heck he is...but numbered to 3!). And the set's relatively easy to put together (bought 2 boxes...I think that's all I bought...maybe it was 3...and I'm just one card shy of the set...which is actually a shame because I'd love to buy another box, but can't justify it chasing one card that might not be in it to begin with). By the way, Target got a whole different product (some chromey thing that doesn't interest me in the least). If you've got card #145 of the snowflake cards, I'll gladly take it off your hands.

    As for Sharknado, I've been pitching "Sharknado Christmas" for years. Nobody listens to me.