It's January 1 and most of the things that people do on January 1, I don't do.
I don't watch parades or college football. I don't make goals or start new diet plans. I don't curl up in a corner and moan with a hangover.
Mostly what I do is organize and file cards.
This is the season for that. I usually start putting away the previous year's cards in November or December. I got a late start this year so I'm still doing that now. I'm in the middle of filing 2017 Topps flagship with Update, Allen & Ginter and Heritage still on the horizon. Everything else has been filed and stored.
When I file cards I first record them in my favorite archaic filing system, an ancient Microsoft Works Spreadsheet that will likely die with this computer. I don't like the fact that I am risking the disappearance of my filing system, but I am already about two-thirds of the way into finishing it and I don't want to restart now.
My fear in recording cards online is along the lines of what happened to Zistle. If the site disappears or stops working then now what? I like relying on myself when it comes to my cards. I've often thought about adding part of my collection to Trading Card Database, maybe something like my non-baseball cards. That way if anything happened, it wouldn't be quite as crushing.
So anyway, what is my very dated system for filing my cards?
It's pretty simple and rather boring. I have basic notations for each kind of card.
I grabbed a card that I just filed. This is a base card from a flagship set. These are the easiest cards to note and file. For Teoscar Hernandez's 2017 Topps flagship card, I simply note ...
... next to his name and I'm done.
This is the way just about all flagship sets are noted, regardless of manufacturer.
For Fleer it's: 84F or whatever year we're discussing. Just put an "F" at the end.
For Donruss it's: 88D.
For Upper Deck it's: 93U
For Score it's 89S
The '90s started complicating things, but early on it wasn't too difficult. For Pacific and Pinnacle, it's:
95Pin or 95Pac
But subsets need special notation. And spin-off sets (like Fleer boxed sets) need special listing, too. And, of course, all those inserts complicate recording as well.
This one is pretty straightforward. It's a subset in 2017 Topps for various league leaders. Masahiro Tanaka's card would read:
That's two lower-case Ls for "league leader" subset. Any subset or insert set gets a lower-case notation.
I differentiate a card company's various brands with a capitalized abbreviation within parentheses. The above Earl Weaver 2012 Cooperstown card from Panini looks like this:
I'm always looking to further abbreviate notations because the longer the listing, the bigger pain it is to update the spreadsheet. So, often I'm tempted to write: "12Pan(C)," but then I get concerned that Panini will put out another "C" set and create mass confusion on my spreadsheet (as if anyone besides myself will look at it).
The biggest pain-in-the-butt cards are the further subsets of subsets cards. Think parallels of inserts for example. There are reasons why items such as this should be abolished and one of them is the havoc it creates in my filing system.
This one isn't too bad. It's a simple insert from Panini Cooperstown. So it is listed as:
(2012 Panini Cooperstown High Praise insert).
This Randy Johnson insert from 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes is a bit more complicated.
(2013 Panini Hometown Heroes City Hall insert, black border parallel)
See how much modern card-making has complicated our lives?
Card back variations are pretty lengthy as well.
This fine specimen from 2011 that resides in my frankenset mini-binder reads:
(2011 Topps Allen and Ginter mini parallel with Allen & Ginter back variation)
This makes for pretty tedious updating, but it's what I've got.
And I do know up to this point that I have 51,941 different cards recorded (with many more to go).
Since I don't work in a profession that makes regular use of filing via computer (such as accounting or programming), I don't have the knowledge of how to make even my outdated filing system work for me.
But at this time of year I keep pressing on in hopes I can get it all finished and somehow transfer the entire thing to something more current in as smooth a process as possible.
Or maybe I should delete the whole thing and start from scratch on Trading Card Database.