Mile High Hogs

When i travel to a new destination I like to pick up a few packs or a blaster from the local Target or Wal-Mart.  It’s kind of a souvenir.  A souvenir that matters to me and hand a greater level of value than a cheesy shirt (although i love an odd shirt now and again…).  The cards serve as a little reminder of the town I was in, an artifact from a past vacation.  In the past, the trips have been via automobile and the cards were a little easier to handle since i could always see where they were and keep them safe and sound.  The last couple of trips though have been via airplane…the friendly skies!  When traveling, i’m always concerned about the safety and security of the cards and tend to open them up when i get home.  Not this time though, i wanted to join the mile high club!  Well, i wanted my cards to join the mile high club…of sorts.  So i did it on a plane earlier this week!

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Since we card people don’t like damaged cards, getting these guys on the plane safely was a bit of an emotional journey for me.  Going through security and boarding a plane is difficult enough!  My first concern was the lovely TSA folks that can be a little handsy with people and peoples stuff.  The only thing worse than the disinterested cashier man-handling (woman-handling…? person-handling…?) the cards and dropping them 18″ to the bottom of a plastic bag is definitely getting them through TSA.  They pick up bags and boldly ask “THIS RED ONE YOURS SIR!”, why, yes.  The red bag that i was about to grab is mine…definitely my bag.  The surly looks that follow…them, not me…i’m nice.  Half the battle has been fought, but the war has not been won.  I still need to get these unprotected packs boarded and loaded on a flying tube with an ever increasing shortage of personal stowing space.  Done deal.  Packs located gently on my fold away tray until i am told to hide my fold away tray.  See the photo above (and now below) that was after we reached our cruising altitude…so no foul there although my phone was not in airplane mode.

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Normally when i’m opening a pack of cards i like to have space to lay them out and sort them as i go through the cards.  Kinda particular about those sorts of things, you know.  It’s nice to have a little layout space and a clean surface to boot.  In hindsight this plan would have been better if i had a more sturdy box to put them in afterwards.  Enough with the long winded build up.  Here is what was pulled.

Tyler Glasnow – Pittsburgh Pirates | Alex Bergman – Houston Astros

Dee Gordon – Miami Marlins | Cole Hamels – Texas Rangers

Brian McCann – New York Yankees | Tyler White – Houston Astros

Kenta Maeda – Los Angeles Dodgers | Gleyber Torres – New York Yankees

Javier Guerra – San Diego Padres | Jorge Mateo – New York Yankees

Kolby Allard – Atlanta Braves | Lucius Fox – San Francisco Giants

Not a bad pack, no real jaw droppers.  I do like the three Yankee cards and the Alex Bergman is nice as well as the Maeda card.  They all have a nice little shine to them as well.  My wife, sitting in the miserable middle seat (love ya babe!) was particularly fascinated by the shiny-ness of these cards which the cabin lighting made a little extra sexy!  Here’s pack two!

JP Crawford – Philadelphia Phillies | Austin Meadows – Pittsburgh Pirates

Raul Mondesi Jr. – Kansas City Royals | Byron Buxton – Minnesota Twins

Eddie Rosario – Minnesota Twins | Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds

Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals | Billy McKinney – Chicago Cubs

Tyler O’Neill – Seattle Mariners | Conner Greene – Toronto Blue Jays

Brady Aiken – Cleveland Indians | Francis Martes – Houston Astros

Each of the cards made it home safe and sound, no dings, no dents, no errors.  Twenty Four shiny cards to sit and wait on now…will they become stars or not…!

So there you go.  That was the very first time i’ve ever busted a pack on a plane, in the air above the United States of America.  Hope you enjoyed the show!

***BIG PIMPIN***

Now it’s time to do some contest pimpin’ for Collector’s Crack and his annual NFL playoff contest!

Almost the Easiest Super Bowl Contest on the Web

Since i don’t have to deal with the emotions of having my team in it this year, i’m free to pick a SB matchup that will hopefully be closer to reality…and so should you!  So, hit that link and sign up!  But first, in honor of CB’s contest i thought i’d post a couple of videos in line with all the pimpin’.  First is one of my favorite UGK songs and the other is an interesting documentary on Pimp C that i haven’t quite gotten through yet.  It’s by Mass Appeal, so you can’t really go wrong though.

A new Wallet Card

As the year comes to a grinding halt, life slows down a bit, but ironically gets busy in other areas.  Although i was off work, my schedule was quite packed each day.  Luckily, I was able to spend some ample amount of quality time with my boy.  He’s been a lot of fun this holiday although he’s incredibly exhausting at times…we’ve had some fun and were able to enjoy some more snow yesterday!  I also decided to take a break from posting the past few days so i could focus my attention of the family and just relaxing, it’s not every month you get this much time off from work without feeling guilty.  I’ve been a master of sleeping and eating too…way too much sleeping and eating…way too much…

As i logged back in to the blog a couple days ago, i thought it was time to update my banner a bit and update a couple other things with the blog…still working on it, but getting there…and to be honest, i’m in no real rush.  Although, i’d like to get my checklists posted so i have something to keep track of when i’m out at a show or some random shop.  Today, I initially had high hopes of writing all about the great holiday trip and a few cards i picked up over that time, but the Redskins loss to the stupid Giants and elimination from the playoffs all but zapped my writing energy.  So, i decided to keep it short and post the last day of Wallet Card Art Monk and introduce the new Wallet Card for 2017!

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As you can see, Wallet Card Monk took a beating all year.  Although he didn’t get out as much as Wallet Card Henderson, he did manage to get out more than the previous versions of wallet cards.  If memory serves me correct, this is my 7th year of toting a wallet card around.  One thing i like to do with the wallet card is rotate the card every month or so in order to keep the edge damage somewhat consistent…gives it that nice aged treatment and something that i’ve earned through my years of diligent wallet card-ing.  I also do what i can to keep the card dry.  WC Monk ended up in my back pack during some wet bike rides to work a few days earlier last year, but held up pretty well i’d say.  I love the layering of card damage that occurs with each year, you can see it at the bottom of the card image below.

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As per annual retirement of the card, WC Monk will be loaded in to a penny sleeve and top loader for the safest of keeping for years to come.  The irony of beating a card to pieces for a year and then treating it like it’s the most valuable card in my possession is always enjoyable…it’s kinda cool to see the liberally used cards treated delicately at the end of their lives.  One day, I should post the previous versions side by side just for the fun of it.  I should dig those guys up…!!??!?!?

Trying to decide what card to go with this year was much tougher than normal.  I was thinking of something outside the box and going with a player that isn’t quite in my personal collection list, like Troy Tulowitzki or Trea Turner.  Maybe going with Tim Raines in hopes of him finally getting elected to the HOF or carry Tim Duncan around for a year.  I’ve never had a basketball card for a wallet card…I also thought i should go with my favorite card of 2016, the Willie Mays Stadium Club card.  If i had a double of that card, i may have run with it, but it was just too nice and thick and shiny to cary in my money clip.  Not to mention, i’m kinda limited to what i can pack in that clip before it gets overloaded…i have so much money, you know!  I wasn’t really feeling any of those ideas.  On a random trip to the card shop on Saturday I stumbled across this guy for a buck.

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Pretty, pretty, pretty…Nice little insert for my toting around this year eh?  Beautiful shot of Jeet with all the accoutrements that a modern baseball player needs when he’s at the plate.  That smile.  The pinstripes. The black and white image.  Done deal!  Here’s Jeters’ backside for those in to that sort of thing.  I agree that this is definitely a trading card of quality.  Top notch!  Can’t wait to beat the crap out of it this year.

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Here’s an image of Jeter and Monk side by side.  Old and haggard vs. Fresh and New.  Give it 12 months and the roles will be shifted a bit.

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Jeters’ face represents how i feel about the Yankees coming in to the 2017 season and Monks’ face is a direct representation of how i feel after every Redskins season…for the past 20+ years.  Frustration and disdain for another disappointing season…football man, football.

So, now that the decision has been made, Mr. Derek Jeter finds his way in to his new home.  Now, with a money clip i tend to keep the card in my front right pocket…so, if you plan to pickpocket me there’s your bit of a head start.  This also does a little bit to keep the card straight through the year rather than shaping to the curvature of my bum.

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I hope you all had a great holiday, Christmas and New Years, and that your favorite teams win all their games and that the Clemson Tigers finally gets a National Championship after 36 years of waiting.

Fresh of the family visit, i wanted to share a video of the group Winchester Rebels that my brother in law, Barry, was/is in.  (He’s the drummer).  Whether or not this music is your cup ‘o tea, please give it a listen.  It’s a pretty rockin’ tune.

 

Lazer face

That Redskins game today…jeezus man…my heart is still pounding.  Not sure what kind of run those guys have in them this year, but they have to be able to play better defense if they want to even make the playoffs this year.  Currently on the outside looking in…the part that kills me with all of this is that i have to cheer for the Cowboys to win the rest of their games to help my teams chances…#HTTR!

Tying up a nice little wooden bow on the Gypsy Oak artwork, i also picked up a couple of the laser cut / wood engraved baseball card replicas.  These are really cool pieces of carved plywood showing the selected player in their reproduced 1955 or 1956 Topps issue.  Each piece is roughly 3/16″ and the same size as a typical baseball card.  They are really light and have a somewhat rough texture to them, but feel perfect in the hand.  A very cool and original piece of artwork that i’m super happy to have.

The first card is the Mickey Mantle.  I wasn’t going to purchase another one, but felt that if i just got the Mantle card i may regret not getting the other one i had my eye on.  The Mantle card is pretty lovely and reflects the beautiful version of the 1956 card.  I stole an image from the internets of what the original card looks like vs. the copy of the wood card below.  One day, i will own that Mantle card…i just know it!

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See!  Identical…except for all the dudes in the stands with white t-shirts…it’s dead-nuts.

The other card that i wasn’t planning to get, but had a difficult time passing on was the Roberto Clemente.  Clemente is one of those guys that i’d love to collect and have a sweet collection of his original cards…in due time…here is his version of the 1955 Topps reproduced image.

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Last image is one that was a bit of a surprise…not a card that i had ordered or given any idea to ordering especially since i didn’t even see it on the website.  Either way, when someone forwards you a Sandy Koufax card of any kind…for free, you are generally happy about it…maybe even ecstatic.  Here is the image of the reproduced version in the 1955 Topps format.  Enjoy!

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I was hoping to pick up a Rickey Henderson at some point from Gypsy Oak, but don’t think he’s made one yet…or i’ve missed the boat on it…?  I’ll keep an eye out in the future just in case.

So tonight is a big night for me.  I’m going to a show of one of my childhood favorites, i’ve been a longtime fan of his music and was super excited when i saw that he was coming to Portland.  The last time I saw this guy live and in person i was a 12 year old pre-teen child in San Antonio.  That show was pretty epic and one of my all time favorites…still have vivid memories of that awesome night almost 30 years later.  I will wait to spill the beans on who it is in my next post and hope to have some shots from the show…in the meantime, here’s another completely random video that has nothing to do with anything. Hope you guys had a great weekend and a great week ahead!

 

Cabin fever + Homeless shelters + Art

The ice has thawed and the snow is melting…today was the first day that we were able to get out of the house and venture around a bit.  It was much needed after a day and a half together you need a break from your home, you know?  I was super excited to check out a couple of things in our city and show our kid his beautiful city.  The big item on my checklist today was a visit to something my new office has been a part of the past few months, the Partners on Dwelling (POD) initiative of Portland.

In a very tiny nutshell, it’s a plan that was set in place with city leaders/visionaries, Portland State University and a handful of architects in town to build very simple, easily constructible housing prototypes for the homeless population in our town.  Now, this is by no means meant to cure all the ills that are attached to homelessness…but to hopefully fill some kind of void in many peoples lives.  I know there are a ton of political and personal issues associated with this subject and i’m not going to get into that debate…what i wanted to show you though was some exceptional work done by my very talented office.  Now, keep in mind this project was designed and built by my coworkers with the goal of fabricating everything for $2,000 or less.  I’m not sure that was completely achieved, but what the folks at my office created was awesome…in my opinion…as well as a certain 4 years old.  Here is some background on Cabin A from my office…and some images from the visit today.

Funny story, my kid discovered the door lock and waited until the cabin was empty and locked himself in…he couldn’t really get into any trouble, it was just…you know…embarrassing a little, but hey you laugh and move on!  That’s my boss looking and laughing at my offspring…luckily the boss is a good guy.

There was a lot of great work done by everyone today, but in my opinion…this was by far the best as it had the smallest footprint, maximized material limitations and was most likely the closest to the $2,000 target.  Regardless, all the work was definitely a best foot forward for helping those that need help…and shelter.

Stepping off my soap box now.

I don’t have any cards to show today, but rather some art that i’ve picked up from Gypsy Oak over the past couple of months.  I think most you are following him on twitter @gypsyoak and maybe have stopped by his Gypsy Oak website to pick up a couple items of your own…if you haven’t, i would highly recommend it.  The pieces that he has available are great and not too expensive for the common man…:).  Here are a few that i wanted to share with you guys.

A couple Yankee greats…i’ve always had a fascination with Lou Gehrig…one of my friends passed away from ALS a few years ago…so i’ve felt more drawn to the history of the Iron Horse.  The Joe DiMaggio image is just fantastic.

Now…I’m a baseball fan.  A fan of all generations and all levels of greatness.  Being a Yankee fan, i can appreciate the absolute greatness of Ted Williams and the icons career.  Willie Mays is just fantastic and in my humble opinion, the greatest all around player of all time.

Here are a couple more legends as i step further back in baseball time with a couple fantastic images of Honus Wagner and Walter Johnson.  These 4×6 images are really fantastic and he’s constantly producing new work.

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I couldn’t not get Ali…

Rickey’s Week

Rickey had a great week, not an epic week or amazing, but it was pretty eventful for the wallet card.  Rickey as wallet card is a little shy and doesn’t like to come out too often, but when he does, he makes quite an impression.  We are working on that though…there were a couple of moments when Rickey didn’t want to be seen with nice old fashioned that was ordered for his photographic purposes…but hey, everyone has their own thing.

After a wonderful weekend, Rickey had to make his way to work on Monday…a little weary and lacking energy to do much of anything.  But Rickey is a fighter and did some great things at work.  You may notice some other paraphernalia on the desk, the two RGIII’s are from Collector’s Crack from a trade a few months ago.  The Ganesh was a gift from an old friend that was brought back from India and i think may not be working too well being that close to Robert’s ligaments…maybe next year I will shift it up a bit.  There is also a tiny and outdated photo of our little family along with my vitamin jars.  I’m big on those raw, whole food vitamins.  Gotta stay healthy and alert! 😉

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Rickey got to go on a field trip to my latest completed middle school project.  He really liked it!  We were doing the photo shoot with a fantastic local architectural photographer and i had to set up some of the staging.  Rickey had some thoughts on staging, but they fell on deaf ears.  Rickey don’t like deaf ears…but he does like the media center…and those roses, pretty dope eh?

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86 T WC 01:14 Rose 2

Rickey ended the week with a wonderful date night and dinner with some wonderful friends.  We hit up a couple bars on NW 23rd and had a great time catching up with the group.  It was a bittersweet meeting though as we found out one of our great friends that both work at Nike are being relocated to Amsterdam.  They will be leaving soon and will be greatly missed.  We hope to make a visit in the next two years to see them, but who knows.  Either way it was great to see the crew again.

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We should really clean our mirrors…

What will we have in store for Rickey this week?

Rickey’s weekend

Rickey went out for dinner on Saturday night…he went to one of his favorite places, Ataula.  It’s a tiny Spanish Tapas place near 23rd and close to downtown.  The wife and I love, love, love this place and have many great meals here.  Most of the time we get to meet up with friends and have a few tapas and a pitcher of Sangria while watching the chef, Jose Chesa, prepare the amazing meals as well as the bartenders mixing up some fantastic drinks. The atmosphere is really cool and family oriented (not really kid friendly though, at least not ours).  The chef came to Portland from Barcelona with his wife a few years and slowly built up his place and it’s become one of the more popular Tapas bars in our area.

The visit also gave Rickey a chance to see what’s up in the wonderful world of culinary delights for Portland.  One quick look at the menu and he is already pointing to my staple, Tortilla de Patata.  I know it’s kind of cliche, but man i love potatoes and eggs.  Love them…and so does Rickey.  Just look at that smile!  He also loved the Albondigas which is nearly impossible to not order.  It’s a meatball with beef and pork.  WTF!

86 T WC 01:10 Ataula Menu

Rickey wasn’t drinking today, but the wife and I sure as hell were!  Our bill is mostly glasses of Sangria.  They won’t let us get our own pitcher unless we have a third party and i was like…hello…have you seen wallet card Rickey!  Didn’t work.

By the time our first plates came through, i was one drink in and losing focus…i’ve become a lightweight apparently.  Not ashamed or proud of that, just a comment on the evenings events.  The quickness with which I downed my first glass may reflect on the poor image quality of the croquetas, but trust me, these fried balls of cod was amazing.  I found myself cutting them in to little pieces so i could make them last longer.  I always find myself trying to convince my wife to let me have half of one of her balls…there’s a joke there somewhere…

86 T WC 01:10 Croquetas

Rickey will have some new adventures coming up soon…just you wait and see.  Tune in for the next adventures in #walletcard Rickey!

Pre-Christmas LCS visit

I had a great holiday break and was able to get a couple of weeks off from work.  That also meant that I had the kid with me most of those two weeks and had to plan fun adventures for him.  The first and most funnest adventure I could possibly think of was taking him to the LCS down the street.  Seriously, what kid wouldn’t want to visit a card shop with expensive pieces of cardboard, wooden bats and autographed baseballs…seriously…The adventure was a bit of a mis step on my part, but Rick was fantastic with him running around the store, plus we got there so early that nobody was in the shop.  That was a great way to keep my level of embarrassment down to a minimum.  The kid did manage to get in to some trouble, but overall was fantastic and most important, he did not break anything.  Well, nothing that I noticed.  Haven’t been back since.

Rick has always been generous with me and offers up a few free items each time I go in.  Nothing major, but free is always cool.  This time though, the free card went to the little kid and it was a very nice Derek Jeter card from 2008.  Our kid actually looked at the card in sort of confused/excited sort of way.  He tends to keep away from my cards since i’m very protective of them.  Not to mention he’s managed to wreak havoc on a couple of them already.

08 TA Derek Jeter

During the slightly chaotic visit i was able to pick up a couple Redskin rookie cards…which, are unfortunately no longer Redskins.  Lache is a practice squad Panther last i checked, which is cool.  I like the Panthers and hope he gets a chance to shine next season.  He is crazy fast and quick but couldn’t seem to make the team this year.  If the Redskins have one area of decent depth, it’s at running back.

14 BO Lache Seastrunk

 

14 PP Lache Seastrunk

I also picked up the Cody Hoffman rookie card from Prizm.  I thought this kid would make the practice squad this year but was off and on and I believe he was cut just after a few weeks in to the season for good.  Not sure if he will pick up somewhere else, but I could use this card for the team set!

14 PP Cody Hoffman

During the visit we also managed to finagle a few junk wax packs of 1991 Pacific and 1990 Donruss baseball.  Cards which Rick was more than happy to just let us have.  I’m sure he would not have minded us taking a few more for the road…maybe next time.