Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A special Match the Song title: The Collector's Alt-Rock Mix

I won a contest over at The Collector's blog that was centered around my favorite kind of music, alternative rock.

The best part of my victory is I finally was able to get something out of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. For the last 30 years, I seem to be the only person who cannot grasp the RHCP's appeal. In fact, if I ever dared speak of my disinterest in the band, especially in the late '90s, I would be showered with derision. Sorry, sole arbiters of what's musically cool, they just don't do it for me.

But my guess of what song would be ranked No. 2 on The Collector's local radio station's countdown of the greatest 92 alternative rock songs was "Under the Bridge" by the RHCP because my goodness every station, TV music channel, etc., likes to overplay that song like it cures cancer by the note.

In typical, RHCP fan-boy fashion, the station's voters actually put "Under the Bridge" at No. 1, ahead of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," which is ridiculous, but it still won me a mix CD from The Collector. Thanks Anthony Kiedis, Flea, etc., you have been useful. Finally.

Mixed CDs seem a little silly in this era of streamed music all the time. I have access to just about whatever song I want through whichever service I want. But I come from an era of taping songs off the radio with one of those '70s cassette players, so I still appreciate mixed tapes/CDs as a source for new-to-me music. And I was excited to get Chris' CD in the mail.

I made a couple of specific requests for Chris, but in general I just threw some bands and musical preferences at him and let his tastes be his guide. I figured I'd turn this into a Match the Song title exercise, in which I try to find a card for each song.

There are 20 songs on the CD and in true alternative fashion, many of the songs are almost impossible to decipher. So you're going to see some weird connections made. But that's the fun of the alternative scene. This ain't Katy Perry.

Match the Song Title: "The Collector's Alt-Rock Mix"

Track 1: No One Sleeps When I'm Awake - The Sounds: I've been interested in The Sounds, an indie Swedish band, ever since they released "Dying to Say This To You" and particularly the single "Song With a Mission," in 2006. I remember wandering through the Target music section looking for the CD even though nobody bought CDs, not even in 2006. I just had to have that CD. Somehow I held off, but a lot of their stuff is now in my digital library and the song "Great Day," an exquisitely, aching and beautiful modern-day tale, is my favorite song of the past year even though it was released in 2013. Anyway (this is going to a long post, can't you tell?), "No One Sleeps When I'm Awake" is off their "Crossing The Rubicon" CD and a song I didn't already own. It's about how when someone is ailing, physically or mentally, it affects everyone around them. This resonates with me very much. There's no card for that, so I went with one of the greatest named minor league teams of all-time, the Nashville Sounds.

Track 2: An Honest Mistake - The Bravery: The Bravery, although they were formed in the last 20 years and are from the U.S. (upstate New York, in fact), do a good job of sounding like British alt-rockers from 25 years ago. I find their songs appealing, including this one. But I didn't go with the song title for this one either. I just think it's cool that Steve Avery pitched for the Braves. He's a "Bravery"!

Track 3: Is It Any Wonder - Keane: I don't consider Keane alternative. In fact, when I first read the song title on the track list Chris sent, I mixed them up with "The Fray," a band that I find whiny and insipid. Overall, I think alternative music died around 2000. Whenever Napster came around, that's when "the alternative" ceased to exist. Alternative music rose because of radio programming and music video programming. That music was the alternative to Michael Jackson or Madonna or whatever was playing on mainstream stations. When people stopped listening to music on radio and TV and downloaded their own songs, everything became alternative. So, anyway, "Is It Any Wonder," I believe is about confusion about a home country's politics. But let's go with the person the band was named after, former World Series manager Johnny Keane (I'm joking).

Track 4: Precious - Depeche Mode: I was big into Depeche Mode around '84 when few people outside of England knew them. Their appeal waned for me, but a song like "Precious," released in 2005, takes me right back to the mid-80s. Precious is about divorce and the collateral damage. When I think of baseball players divorcing, I think of that heartwarming situation of John Lackey divorcing his wife while she was battling breast cancer. And then Lackey having a fit after the news got out, like he shouldn't have to go through that. Yeah, yeah, you do, John.

Track 5: Slunk - The Smashing Pumpkins: While others got into Nirvana and Pearl Jam in the early '90s, I got into Smashing Pumpkins. Siamese Dream, in particular. Since I own most of their mid-to-late '90s stuff, I requested something earlier. Chris went waaay early, selecting something off the Pumpkins' 1991 EP, "Lull". The song rocks, although there isn't a lot to it. Definitely not enough to get a card out of it. Instead I thought about how dramatically the music scene changed in the early '90s. It kind of correlates with the baseball card scene at that time. At the start of the decade, you're getting stuff like 1990 Donruss and a few years later Pinnacle's covering everything in gold.

Track 6: Youth Against Facism - Sonic Youth: I once owned the Sonic Youth cassette, "Dirty," which features "Youth Against Facism". It's one of the few songs on that LP that I found semi-pleasant (an odd term to attach to Sonic Youth). I try to be open-minded when it comes to music but Sonic Youth just sounds like noise to me. Also, with the a song title like that, you can guess what the comments on the video are like, most likely from a bunch of people who weren't alive when this song was created. As always, don't read the comments.

Track 7: Burden In My Hand - Soundgarden: When people argue over the greatest "grunge band," I can't dispute anyone who says it's Soundgarden. Chris Cornell was an absolute master. The best from that era. I didn't buy much music from that genre. One Pearl Jam CD. Nothing from Nirvana. Nothing from Alice In Chains. But Cornell I followed from Soundgarden to Audioslave. If it's not the overplayed "Black Hole Sun," I will listen. "Burden In My Hand" is about the realization that you've done something terrible and you're lying in the dirt wondering how to get out of it. Let's just say that's where I was last summer when I realized I still hadn't completed the 2018 Heritage Dodgers set (still a couple blasted high numbers left) and I can't continue like this anymore.

Track 8: Snakecharmer - Doyle Bramhall II: Ha, ha, this song ain't alternative. This was a special request as I was way into this song when I won the contest. Doyle Bramhall II is a blues rocker who has worked with people like Eric Clapton and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Anyone watch videos by Rick Beato, the music producer turned youtube music god? Beato turned me on to the insane drumming in Snakecharmer and I was hooked. As for the card, did you know that Jhoulys Chacin owned the Diamondbacks last year while pitching for the Brewers (sorry I don't have a Chacin Brewers card)? They batted like .100 against him. I don't know how Chacin did it last year. I don't expect it to continue.

Track 9: Suedehead - Morrissey: That Morrissey and his cryptic lyrics. "You had to sneak in my room, just to read my diary." I remember this song as it was during all the freaking out about The Smiths breaking up. This was Morrissey's first post-Smiths single. It's impossible to find a card to go with this song (did you know "Suedehead" is a spin-off term for skinhead? Sheesh). So let's go with this nugget: Morrissey's video for Suedehead was filmed in Fairmont, Indiana, the hometown of James Dean. If Dean sold sausages, he'd be "Jimmy Dean," and he'd issue cards like this. Cool oddball but kind of ruins the '50s rebel image, huh?

Track 10: A Forest - The Cure: Going early, early, early Cure with this song. I believe it's the first Cure song to ever chart. And that right there in front of Juan Rios is a forest -- a forest of bats.

Track 11: Let Them In - PVRIS: The newest band on this CD, I think PVRIS has been around for only five years or so. I like rock bands fronted by female singers a lot, so I gave this band a long leash. Lynn Gunn has a terrific voice and I love how she uses it. But mostly what I see when I look at videos of them is how I could be all of their fathers. So, so, young. Gunn is four years older than my daughter. "Let Them In" is pretty cool, but in general, I put them in that category of music I call "Despair Rock." Everything is mournful and moody and all the videos are in black and white and the singer sounds like she's 5 seconds from throwing herself off a cliff. This has been going on in rock music for more than a decade. Is anyone ever going to make happy music again? (I do like it when PVRIS plays up the electronica/funk-filled aspect. "What's Wrong" is terrific). So, ANYWAY, the song is about not being able to get rid of something/someone that was once a big part of your life. I've used this card analogy before, but the Mets are still paying Bobby Bonilla's salary.

Track 12: Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) - Pet Shop Boys: Old school! The Original Alternative Music! I have this song on a CD somewhere. I imagine the lyrics for this song: "you've got the brawn, I've got the brains" are uttered by Scott Boras to Bryce Harper almost every day.

Track 13: Ceremony - New Order: A favorite, favorite band from college days. "Ceremony" is a holdover from New Order's Joy Division beginnings. It's often called a transition song between the two bands and always carries the shadow of the suicide by Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. So there's a "carrying on" aspect of the song. I guess that's what you do when you're Dave Roberts and your team has lost back-to-back World Series. It seems a little ridiculous to keep playing, but that's what you gotta do.

Track 14: Speed the Collapse - Metric: Metric's tunes and Emily Haines' voice appeal to me. I loaded up on many of their tunes a couple of years ago and keep adding. Their 2018 album, "Art of Doubt," rules and is my favorite from the entire year. "Speed the Collapse," is from 2012's "Synthetica," another cool one. The title reminds me of what the Mariners' front office is doing to the team: speeding the collapse. 100 losses in 2019? Seems likely. Poor King Felix.

Track 15: Girl Afraid - The Smiths: More Morrissey lyrics. Relationships. Gender stuff. Everyone's miserable. How about a guy named Smith? Not only just Smith, but Will Smith. Did his parents ever watch Fresh Prince of Bel Air? Any of those Men In Black movies? Could've named him Billy. Then he'd have to counter only that '70s Orioles infielder who couldn't hit a lick.

Track 16: Enough Space - Foo Fighters: Love some Foo Fighters. Were they ever alternative? Flat-out rockers to me with all those goofy videos. Dave Grohl is genius. "Enough Space" is from the late '90s "The Colour and the Shape" album. To merge it with a card, I read it as "Enough Space?", as in these stupid 2005 Donruss Classics cards. Is that Enough Space on the right side of the card???

ENOUGH SPACE????? That's just a travesty. Although rather mesmerizing.

Track 17: President Gas - The Psychedelic Furs: Richard Butler's voice sounds like home. Such a big part of my college soundtrack. "President Gas" is an indictment of the political system. Some have said the song was specifically ripping President Reagan, who was in power at the time of the song, and they probably were. But the lyrics say: "He comes in from the left sometimes, he comes in from the right." I prefer that interpretation. Politics is pointless and putting all your beliefs in one party, no matter which one, I will never understand.

Track 18: Lazy Eye - Silversun Pickups: The only song on the mix CD, outside of "Opportunities" that I owned already. "Lazy Eye" was an early digital download, one of the first. Nice song to get absorbed in for six minutes. Rather than offend anyone with a lazy eye, I though I'd go with this fantastic Jim Fregosi card with the pickup in the background. I don't have this card yet. I most definitely will.

Track 19: Mine For Life - The Sounds: Awesome, two songs from The Sounds. This song is from their U.S. debut, "Living in America". Lead singer Maja Iversson and the band are often compared to Blondie and Missing Persons and termed "new wave," and those are all ingredients for my undying devotion. For "Mine For Life," I thought of a card that would be mine for life. Well that would be a 1975 Topps card, mini version, of my all-time favorite player, autographed by my favorite player. Why would I ever give that up?

Track 20: "Sappy" - Nirvana. Chris selected a rare tune by Nirvana that didn't appear on their albums but was on an AIDS charity record as a hidden track. Even the title is in dispute as it's often referred to as ""Verse Chorus Verse". I'm sure that's how Nirvana would want it if they found out that "Sappy" is causing Michael Bolton to be associated with them. Every one of Michael Bolton's songs is sappy.

And that's where the needle comes off the record.

This was great fun. I have a few new tunes that I'll play over and over. Even though just about everyone's playlist these days is a mixed CD, it's still cool to be able to pop this in the car and play away. And discovering new songs is always a hoot.

Chris also sent a smattering of cards with the CD, including two cards for my 1985 Fleer completion quest:

I probably should have worked one of these into the Match the Song title.

Thanks to the three of you who got through this whole thing. Maybe you found a song or two you like, too. Except for you RHCP fans. But don't worry. I'm sure they're playing "Under the Bridge" somewhere right now.

Monday, January 21, 2019

My first experience as a magazine writer

I'm probably making a bigger deal about my appearance in Beckett's vintage magazine than some feel it warrants.

Who cares, right? Nobody reads magazines anymore. It's not like it's Time or Sports Illustrated. Some old set from the '70s? You just have yourself that little party, old man.

OK, I will. For me, from an early age, the folks whose names appeared as the bylines in magazines were even more fascinating and mysterious than the people they were chronicling. I saw pictures of the people being featured. I read their thoughts and learned their backgrounds. I knew stuff about them. The person writing it? I didn't know one thing about them.

I read a lot of magazines as a youngster and into my teenage years and then in college. Time. Sports Illustrated. Inside Sports. Baseball Digest. Baseball Magazine. Life. Newsweek. The New Yorker. Mad. Cracked. Rolling Stone. Spin. National Geographic. Ranger Rick. Sesame Street Magazine. People. Us. TV Guide. Reader's Digest. The Saturday Evening Post. Billboard. U.S. News and World Report. Yankee. Highlights. The Sporting News. Baseball Card Magazine.

In most cases, I noticed the writer of the articles I read. I wondered what that was like, being a magazine writer. What was it like writing long-form articles? Having your words presented in an appealing fashion through photos or graphic design? That added weight to your words that a glossy, bound publication offered?

I wondered all of that.

So, why not give people somewhat of a view of what it's like?

Now, as far as magazines go, I'm just a freelance writer with one article under my belt. There are probably more to come but it's still very early. I'm not William Nack or Steve Rushin. But come on, this will be fun.

First off, I'd never get this gig without the blog. I've been writing it for awhile and I have an audience. Also, it's because of bloggers that the article -- an account of the 1976 SSPC baseball set -- even exists. Former blogger Ryan Cracknell, who works at Beckett, turned the editorial director on to the possibility of me writing for the magazine back in August. Also, the SSPC cards that accompany the article are, for the most part, images of ones in my collection. And those cards came directly from blogger Scott Crawford, who had an SSPC set to trade.

Also, the most work for this article involved research. Truthfully, there isn't a lot of information out there about the SSPC set. I am fortunate that I knew a lot about it already, but I had to scrape and scrounge for information. Some of that info came from card bloggers that I know. I hope they aren't too disappointed that I made sure I confirmed their info with a second source.

Mostly what got me through completion of the article is a love for the set. It is one of my all-time favorites. Probably in the top 10 (hey, that's a future blog post). I can't help but write a lot of words about a set that I love. And writing it was like writing another blog post.

That's another great part of writing for magazines. They're not holding you to 18 inches, like at a newspaper.

So, I was contacted by Mike Payne, the editorial director at Beckett Vintage Collector, and he told me what he was looking for, and fortunately, I knew exactly what he meant. I wrote the story late in September and submitted it in early October. Sending the images was next and that was a bit tricky as I didn't know that magazines require much better quality photographs. But I figured out how to send those and I sent more than he needed. Here are some cards I sent that didn't make the article:

Some of the images used with the article actually aren't part of the '76 SSPC set. SSPC gets confusing because it issued other sets around the same time with a design that looks exactly like the '76 SSPC set. For example, the Lou Piniella card that's shown with the article is actually from the SSPC New York Yankees team set issued in '75, I believe. The only cards I sent for the story were from the main '76 SSPC set.

I received my pay for the story shortly after submitting it, so I figured I'd see the article in print at some point. But I had no idea when it would show because -- here's an embarrassing admission -- I had never seen Beckett Vintage Collector before. I've never been a Beckett subscriber, I quit Baseball Card Magazine before Beckett even took it over.

So I didn't know how often the magazine was issued and initially assumed it would just show up the month after I wrote it. That's a magazine-writing newbie for ya. No idea.

Once I got a handle on the magazine's publishing cycle, I figured it'd appear in the early part of 2019. But I was guessing at some point in February. So I was shocked when Nick from Dime Boxes announced last Thursday that he had found the magazine and the story within while stocking shelves.

Like I mentioned earlier, I found the magazine the next day while on a road trip. My wife and I stopped at a Barnes and Noble in a Syracuse suburb. Every time I walk into a Barnes and Noble I want to spend the next eight hours there and I curse my town's inability to support a bookstore.

I walked immediately to the magazine back wall. Anyone who has been in a Barnes and Noble probably knows that many of them devote a length of wall to magazines. This particular one, however, is one of the biggest I've ever seen. You would never know that the magazine industry is struggling mightily by looking at that thing. I've never seen so many magazines in one place.

Looking for the Beckett Vintage magazine was like hunting for a book in the library without knowing the subject or the author. I tried the hobby section. But all I saw were knitting magazines (it's bizarre how many of those there are). I tried the sports section. But I was overloaded by fantasy sports magazines. I started to think they didn't carry it.

But then I saw it. It was down below, at knee level, next to the Beckett Baseball issues. My heart leapt. My wife immediately grabbed two. I grabbed one and looked for the table of contents. There is no table of contents. So then I just started leafing through the pages until I got to the middle. Page 64. My article. Pure Fun.

All of my thoughts from childhood of what the magazine story would look like when I wrote it rushed forward. This was for you, 10-year-old boy who used to create his own magazines with paper stapled together.

I grabbed another copy. Between the two of us, we had four copies. I left two behind. Then -- because I'm a collector sometimes obsessed with condition -- I put one of the magazines back, because it had a dented corner and took a different one.

After buying some drinks (the amount of time people take to place their drink order at a bookstore is obscene. Why is it so involved?), we paid for the copies ($9.99 each, magazines are a lot more expensive than I remember!), and the clerk didn't even ask me why I was buying four copies.

I spent the next hour-plus driving home in the best mood. Once home, I combed my story for stupid mistakes or wording. I found a couple things, mostly because I'm a writer and we critique ourselves all the time. But I was surprised to see that there was very little -- if any -- editing of my story. I'm going to chalk that up to it being perfect copy (ha!), but I'm not used to that at all. In newspaper land, even the cleanest copy is usually tweaked.

I know some people have issues with Beckett magazine, and I understand where they're coming from. Some of their collecting philosophies, etc., are not mine. For example, I would never get a card graded. Ever. Back in the early days of this blog I railed about Beckett's reputation somewhat, like a lot of bloggers did then. However, I've scaled back on stuff like that, and the Vintage Collector magazine is a different animal to me. Plus, I think with the recent history of other bloggers writing for Beckett, such as Ben at Cardboard Icons and Sooz and Ryan, there are other blogger-friendly viewpoints coming from that space. And, with the addition of little ol' night owl, I could add yet another brand new viewpoint to Beckett.

The magazine actually looks very interesting. It reminds me of the days of Baseball Card Magazine. Long, detailed stories about different sports collecting topics. I'm going to enjoy reading the other articles in it.

The whole experience was a thrill and, yes, I'm ready to do it again. I'm going to offer up some story ideas and hopefully one will be chosen for the next article I write. I'm pretty damn excited to get paid to write about baseball cards, in a magazine that is shipped all across the country.

So, that's my first experience as a magazine writer.

And for once, you know a little more about the person whose byline is on the article than just that person's name.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Let's talk football

Normally, I don't let the seasons dictate what I discuss. I'm primarily a baseball guy and a baseball card collector and it seems ridiculous to me to stop talking about such things just because we're in the offseason. I can't turn my love on and off like that.

However ...

There's almost two feet of snow on the ground, thanks to the storm that cut through the Northeast the last day or so, and there are two supposedly significant football games on the television. I can hear words like "Brees" and "play-action" and "THAT'S PASS INTERFERENCE!" These are not baseball words. And I'm freezing. It's practically silly to discuss baseball today.

Fortunately, I have some football cards I need to post. Remember Jonathan? That guy who sent me the big box of cards? You though I was done with that big box? You think I ask too many questions? OK, I'll be quiet now and show some cards:

Jonathan sent a whole bunch of Score Bills from that beautiful time when I was covering the team and cards were bright and simple.

I like Score's designs a lot, for the most part (don't get excited '92 baseball, still don't like you). And it's good to finally own these readily available cards.

This is during the heart of the Bills' Super Bowl years. Good and bad memories. Good and bad cards. I will never appreciate Ultra the way a lot of collectors do. But, yes, give me some lavender and aqua.

The late '90s football cards I just can't get into. Moving on ...

This is more recent stuff. Panini has now taken over the Score design. I like the look of the Panini-Score cards although sometimes I think Panini's designs don't give Score enough credit. For instance that Spiller card: Score wasn't that fascinated with geometric designs.

A second collector also sent me some football cards recently. John, who is raiderjoe_FO on Twitter, joined in the trend of sending me cards of a team whose season has been over for a long time.

Those are some '90s notables.

This is one of my favorite Bills players to collect. I know Shady isn't the greatest of characters, but I like his cards a lot.

Now, we are talking. LOOK AT THESE.

It's interesting how I have barely a concept of the 1980 Topps football set -- I collected precious few football cards in the '80s -- but the instant I look at it, I feel at home. Those photos, that kind of design is what cards should look like to me. That's why I love early '80s football and hockey. Even though I didn't collect it, it looks like what I collected in the '70s. They are friendly cards. Comforting cards. This might be an entire post in the future.

Three more old-school players on old-school designs. Love them.

However, the centerpiece of the package involved the football set that I hold above all others.

More 1977 Topps greatness for the set quest. These are all needs. I don't know many of the players, but I know the design, and that's about all that matters. That, and the great names, like Dexter Bussey.

Much to address from this scan. Ken Anderson was a favorite when I was a kid. Do you remember the pre-striped Bengals helmets? Their helmets simply read "Bengals," but that was a headache for Topps because it was forced to airbrush the words off each helmet and now every Bengals player looks like a Browns player and that won't do for either the Bengals or the Browns.

Also, I would collect today's football cards if they featured oxygen masks.

More '77 greatness. Punters in action. Giants in action. Jeris White giving his best Diff'rent Strokes "What you talkin' 'bout, Willis" stare.

My favorite football card in the entire package is at the upper left. I owned that Harvey Martin card during the peak of my Cowboys-rooting days. I loved that card and the Golden Richards cards equally. Neither could match my appreciation for the Drew Pearson card though. Still need that one.

Even with all that football talk, I still can't finish a post without throwing in a little baseball. That's because RaiderJoe also sent a few Dodgers cards.

Modern-looking stuff. That's my first look up-close at the 2018 Gallery set. The "artist proof" thing means nothing to me. The design is OK, not feeling it much.

That's a 2018 Archives card I need.

That's the last card I need from the 2018 National Baseball Card Day team set.

And that -- well, that, is plain phenomenal.

That is a vintage Wacky Packages sticker, from 1980. This is the first time I've received a vintage Wacky Pack sticker in a trade package. I could not be more pleased.

I collected the first few Wacky Packages editions as a kid. They are the best parody stickers/cards ever made. I would love to collect them again and maybe I will. This just might be the sticker that sends me in that direction.

OK, that's about it. I'm off to boo Tom Brady. See you when the Super Bowl finalists are decided.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The right time

It's amazing how many times I remind others in my life with the oft-repeated, terribly cliched mantra, "one step at time"/"one day at a time."

Yes, these words have been spoken so many times that they lack meaning. But you cannot remove the truth from them. The best way to keep from getting overwhelmed, preventing your brain from switching into overdrive, that anxiety from hitting panic level, is to pull back and focus on "what's next" and only "what's next."

For instance, I found out Thursday evening that the Beckett Vintage publication with my article was out on newsstands and had been delivered to subscribers' homes. I could feel the urge rise within me: FIND A COPY NOW!

One step at a time. This isn't the right time.

I had a long drive ahead of me on Friday. The desire to hunt for the magazine at every potential stop along the way was strong. Instead, I took a deep breath and calculated the best chance for success. On the way back, I could take a slight detour to a Barnes and Noble in Syracuse and looked for the magazine. That's where I found the copy above. And then I bought three more copies. I'll write more later, but the point is I was willing to take one step at a time. If I had to wait a week to see the publication live, then I would have waited. You know how many years I've wanted to write for a magazine? A week won't kill me.

Where does this patience come from?

Well, it hasn't been easy. But there are two major points in my life that have helped me.

First, I work at a daily newspaper.

For seven days a week, 365 days a year, more than 25 years, I have helped create a paper for the news rack, the front steps, the bird cage. Many of those days and years, it has been my mission to produce the sports section for that paper.

Because there are many elements that go into producing a daily sports section, I am required to think about that daily task alone. I can't think about Saturday's paper when I'm working on Friday's paper. Friday's paper takes all of my energy. I need to take it one paper at a time.

Second, I collect cards.

Specifically, I collect sets. Large sets. Old-school sets and old-school collecting.

Do you know how much patience is required to collect a 700-card set, to not be tempted to buy the whole set at once? To know that collecting a set that size could take months and collecting a vintage set that size could take years?

I accept that. I appreciate that. One step at a time. I'll get there. It's about the journey. You've heard that phrase a few too many times, too, right? But that one contains truth, too.


I received these three cards from P-Town Tom of Waiting Til Next Year recently. The two Fleer cards go toward my 1981 Fleer set, which is down to the final few wants.

The Yaz card is miscut. I knew that before Tom sent it. It's pretty much a space-filler card for me, and if I wasn't a long-time set collector, if I had a little less patience, that might bother me, and I'd run right out and order a more-centered Yaz immediately.

I'm not doing that. Because I have the mentality of a set collector. The right moment will come. The right card will come. Both will arrive together.

P-Town's envelope is just one of many piling up on my desk. It's a bit aggravating that I can't get to all of them in a timely manner. But what is timely? A preconceived idea of time created by my brain. I don't need to post those envelopes a week after I get them, or a month or whatever. I will post them when the time is right. I'll get there. One step forward at a time.

The same deal with cards I need to send out. That side of the desk is an even greater disaster. I'm starting to get concerned that I am going to forget to send cards to people. But that's the anxiety-addled part of my brain, not the patient part. I know I'll get to those packages all in good time.

The same goes for all my other collecting duties. Answering emails. Posting promised series and countdowns. Filing and organizing cards. I am confident that they will be completed when the time is right.

Here is the right time for one of those:

I have written two posts recently that bloggers have turned into Blog Bat-Arounds, and I mentioned, for at least one of them, that I'd promote those posts.

The first are The Reminiscence Bump posts. Those make for some good reading. Here are the blogs that have written their own reminiscence bump posts. I may have forgotten some, so if I did, please let me know in the comments and I'll update this post:

cards as I see them

Baseball Cards Come to Life!

The Chronicles of Fuji


The Collector

Baseball Card Breakdown

The Collective Mind

Nine Pockets

Also, a few bloggers have spun off from my Thinking Exercise post and figured out which player from each team springs to their mind first. Here are the ones I've seen so far:

Tony's Sports Pub

The Chronicles of Fuji

The Raz Card Blog

The Collector

So, there. I've gotten a few things done with this post, just like I knew I would ... eventually. I was just waiting for the right time.

One step at a time.