Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2019

Tis the season

I read today that Black Friday as we know it -- the Friday after Thanksgiving -- isn't really a thing anymore. Several stores kicked off "Black Friday" prices back in October, people have been shopping online for cheaper Christmas prices for weeks, and crowds apparently aren't as frantic as they once were on the traditional Black Friday. That figures, because yesterday, for the first time ever, I participated in COMC's Black Friday sale. There are several posts on this blog where I mention that I don't do the online Black Friday sales because I either don't have the money at this time of year (buying gifts for others, you know) or because I'm just not that together with buying when deals are happening. I want what I want when I want it, and a Black Friday sale isn't going to help me if I like something on April 23rd. But I just happened to have some extra cash this time of year for like the first time ever. I was able to brace myself to

Giving thanks for bloggers

This is my address book with the addresses of people who have traded cards with me through the mail. I bought it maybe three months into my blogging career when I realized that you didn't just blog about cards but you actually blogged about cards that people sent you, too. It's definitely an old-school way to file addresses. But then this is an old-school hobby and I'm still a guy who thinks if I put critical information on the computer without a physical backup, I'm going to lose everything. I never got around to getting the addresses on some sort of word document so the address book has all kinds of updates and cross-outs and ... well, it's a disaster, basically. You people move, a LOT. However, I consider this book a tribute, a tribute to everyone who has ever sent me cards. And although not everyone in this book has a blog (or had a blog), it is also a tribute to blogging and trading through the blogs. Lately I've seen people gravitate toward Trad

One card in a PWE means everything

Even though the PWE has become much more prevalent in card exchanges through the mail -- who can afford postage prices anymore -- I still see a bit of attitude about it from time to time. Mostly this is in reference to ebay sellers and their lame packaging. Those complainers have a point sometimes. But other times I look at it and think, "it's a plain, white envelope. That's perfectly legitimate for one card." PWE's can pack a surprising punch. Also, there's something meaningful about a PWE that other packaging doesn't possess: "Here's something that I found just for you -- one card -- and I just had to send it." I received three such PWE's recently. One of them contained the card above. It came from R.C. , who got in on Topps' online 3-D promotion before the cards sold out. The 3-D effect is almost impossible to show on a scan, and I don't do gifs, but, trust me, it's quite effective. It has an updated Sportflics

Brush with greatness: Bobby Valentine

When I first started this blog, I was searching for content. I didn't want the blog to be "look what I got" all the time, and besides, I didn't have all that many cards to boast about twice a day (I still can't believe I was posting twice a day). I decided one interesting series might be to relay the various encounters I had with major league baseball players. As a newspaper journalist, I had run into one or two, although I had never been an MLB beat writer or anything. I started the "Brush With Greatness" series and started posting those rapid fire, at least one a month for a couple of years. Then I ran out of those MLB subjects and started writing about interviews with athletes from other sports. Then I ran out of those and the series basically died. Or so I thought. Life is weird. You probably know that. Two days after my John Wockenfuss story appeared in the paper, I received a call at the office from a former high school and college bas

Football takes over

I used to take Thanksgiving week off from work. This was my ritual for years, an entire two full decades practically. I'm no longer comfortable doing that. Within the last few years, there have been two developments in my job that have made vacations at this time of the year almost impossible. 1. Basketball season starts earlier 2. Football season ends later Come on, high school sports, rein it in. I now spend the Thanksgiving period working on the special high school basketball preview section. Out of all of the seasonal sports preview sections we produce, the basketball one is always the most rushed and hectic, thanks to the aforementioned Thanksgiving holiday and high school football's refusal to let go. The rest of my week will be occupied by the very demanding football. Our area high school football teams continue to perform better and better in state play. Once, and for many years, high school football season ended in my area around the first weekend o