Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My scanner is plotting to destroy me

The end of work tonight (or last night for most of you) was a frustrating lesson in what happens when incompetence mixes with unnecessarily complicated technology:

Everyone within a 500-foot radius will pay.

So, with much relief and clinging to a few shreds of sanity, I came home eager to tend to my family of blogs.

Unfortunately, this is the only one that will receive attention. Because my scanner -- my evil, evil scanner -- is trying to finish me off. I mean it is really, really putting a lot of energy into my demise.

For example:

I have just completed scanning the following image ...

... for the 16th time.

Yup, 16 times.

Why would I ever scan the same thing 16 times?

I have no rational explanation. I just like things to be straight. It's a simple request by my way of thinking. Place an object on the scanner. Line it up in a reasonably straight fashion. And, presto, it should emerge on my backlit screen STRAIGHT!

But my scanner won't do this. Because it's plotting to destroy me.

My brain is whimpering quietly to itself because it knows the above image is not straight. But this is the world in which we now must live. A world of crooked images and readers secretly laughing behind our backs. Because my scanner is a conniving bastard.

So, let's ignore scanner cackling in the background and see that image again.

These are cards from the 2004 Topps 100 Years of the World Series insert set that I just declared that I was going to collect earlier this month.

And when I was at the card show last weekend, I just happened across a binder with three pages of the inserts.

They looked beautiful.

I bought nine of them. I don't know why I didn't buy them all. Probably because they didn't have any prices on them (grrrrrrrrrrrrr).

My favorite one is the card of the 1958 World Series program. It's one of the best that there is. Unfortunately it pays tribute to the Yankees, which is a major no-no.

My least favorite one is the 1997 program on the middle left. At some point in the 1970s, Major League Baseball -- or whoever is in charge of producing programs -- decided it would print the World Series programs before the World Series participants were decided. This led to the horribly generic programs that we know today. And it's why the older programs are vastly better.

OK, onto more crooked scans.

This one dealer at the show always has grab bags of vintage cards. Fifty cards for 10 bucks or 20 bucks or whatever. I've purchased several of his grab bags before.

There wasn't much that interested me this time, so I snagged a 1979 bag because it was cheap (8 bucks marked down to 4). I knew there wouldn't be much in there that I needed and I was right. Out of the 50 or so cards, I needed these four. Plus, I have a feeling that I already have the Porter and Foote cards. So I paid 4 bucks for 2 cards.

No wonder my scanner hates me.

More crookedry.

Every time I see a binder full of 1975 Topps, I must check it for upgrades. I am eternally trying to upgrade my already very fine-looking '75 set.

Only this time, I was caught totally off guard by the binder. I didn't even know the dealer had almost a whole set of '75s. So, trying to go by memory, I picked out these six cards as ones I needed to upgrade.

Unfortunately, my memory was calling up my want list from 2008. So only Spillner and Hunt are worthy upgrades. The rest are fancy dupes. But, man, 2008 me is awfully jealous.

I knew this was a dupe already. But I wanted a fancier copy. And -- hey! -- the image is straight! Scanner must have been on a lunch break for this card.

I am forever amazed when I see one of these '64 Topps cards with the back unmarked by cold hard cash. What kid in 1964 looked at instructions to reveal the answer and said, "Nah, it'll ruin the investment"?

The first 1960 Leaf card I've ever owned. I think it's the first one I've ever seen in person.

They are remarkably flimsy. And terribly unprofessional-looking. Yet, thanks to folks like Renatta Galasso, the design is somewhat timeless and one I identify with as the first on-card images I saw of '50s stars like Mantle and Clemente.

1972 high numbers in the bargain bin!

Doesn't get much more thrifty than that. I don't know what I paid for these great character cards -- the dealer was slashing prices on me constantly -- but it couldn't have been more than a buck apiece.

The '72 Traded cards make up one of the greatest subsets ever made.

Final card.

Ol' Coop looks like he just tried to scan a few items.

After showing off the Duke Snider '56 card in the last post, I'll bet some of you thought I could never go back to the less-than-stellar.

Don't you worry. I've never been very picky about my '56s. This card, which was also found in the bargain bin, fits my specifications perfectly. And it had better. After buying that Snider, all I could afford was what people were marking down.

I actually almost bought this card a couple of card shows ago, then put it back, then beat myself up the rest of the day for putting it back. But now I have it for probably less than half the price I would have paid for it the first time.

Sometimes you just have to wait it out.

Which is what I'm doing with my scanner.

Someday, buddy, you're going to expire. A scanner's life expectancy is like 26 months. And I'll be waiting. With a party hat and a noise maker. And a great big sledgehammer.

So just keep on churning out crooked cards. I won't crack that easily.

I'll just need a little talk with my brain first.


  1. I was going to comment on how you couldn't go wrong with a vintage catcher and then you go and blow my mind with a 1956 play at the plate. You sir, know how to start my day off right. Actually, it's ending it right or something.

  2. So much goodness here. I was unaware of that World Series program subset. Looks like something I might like to get, being a pub guy like I am.

    Looks like someone is trying to make Doug Camilli laugh and he's trying not to break up.

    Steve Hamilton=Gomer Pyle.

    1960 Leaf's are so different they are fantastic. You should check out this post on the Topps archive blog from Sunday if you haven't already. You'll see a card you'll love.

    Oh, yeah, almost forgot. Scanners suck... every one of them.

  3. Great pickups! I'm also a big fan of those World Series programs inserts, I've really got to keep an eye out for more of them next time I'm at a show.

    Love the '72 Traded Wise as well.

  4. If you no longer need your ousted Ron Hunt card, go ahead and set it aside for me. I actually have a pretty nice 1975 mini with your name on it that I need to send.

  5. It's already set aside on the official Set Aside Shelf.

  6. Scanners are only supposed to last 26 months? I bought mine specifically to scan cards for my brand new blog. The printer part is totally dead though.

    Also: crookedness bothers me too but the scanner only gets two chances tops. if it's still crooked then the shame is on the scanner.

  7. That figure was arrived at through an informal survey of very irate scanner owners.