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.

go-muhammad-ali

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! 😉

86 T WC 01:13 Work

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?

86 T WC 01:14 Media 2

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.

86 T WC 01:17 blow dry

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.

Rickey goes to Powells

…but only to browse…

I like love books, especially those big books with lots of images.  The books with eye candy, great graphic layouts and really cool images.  Sometimes I even read the words that are printed in the books…but that takes more time…so it doesn’t happen as much.  One of the great things about working downtown is being close to Powells, one of the greater things about working at the office I work is having Powells right across the street…like, i can see if from my desk across the street…well, not at my new desk, but at desks that i’ve sat in before.  Powells is a great place to stroll around after lunch and see what’s out or what’s on sale for that month.  Most of my visits are just visits and not purchase visits…you know, to get inspired.  I need that as an architect, visual inspiration!

So, Rickey and I went to the art+architecture section which is in a much better spot with the revised layout.  they always had a layout table there, but the one that’s in now is much larger and better for laying out books, but this visit wasn’t about laying out books, it was about finding photo ops for wallet card Rickey!  The first stop…was…wowza…Not really sure what’s going on here, but hey, Rickey thought it was cool.

86 T WC 01:08 1

Rickey is all about helping and lending a helping hand.  Sometimes the greatest of the greats need some inspiration, like LeCorbusier.  It’s not easy being an architectural genius and making ribbon windows and pilotis look magical all the time…but Rickey is there to lend a smile and a wave a wand of confidence!

86 T WC 01:08 2

Rickey likes space.  I liked Interstellar.  So this was appropriate for the moment.  This book was pretty cool actually.  Lots of great images of different space suits and equipment from a fashion perspective.

86 T WC 01:08 3

My favorite architect is Peter Zumthor.  You kids in LA are about to be blessed with his renovation and complete reworking of how LACMA is being laid out.  Before the wifey and I got married, i convinced her to visit a thermal spa in Switzerland, which really didn’t take much arm twisting.  Anyways, the Therme Vals is a spectacular place to visit if you ever find yourself near Zurich.  Rickey likes it lots.

86 T WC 01:08 4

At this point, Rickey wanted to see photos of Rickey’s greatness.  Rickey likes him some Rickey…and Donny Baseball.

86 T WC 01:08 5

But most of all, Rickey likes it when Rickey sets records.  Unbreakable records.  Rickey is also pretty fond of this jersey.

86 T WC 01:08 6

Wallet card Rickey has a hot date tonight.

Rickey visits Target

First day back at work and the first day of toting a baseball card in my pocket all day long.  This is a fantastic way to start the year…in order to save some money around our house, the wife and i have been diligently packing our lunches on a daily basis.  Typically i hate left overs, but i hate not having money either…that really sucks, like really really sucks.  I also really hate staying in the office all day long so it’s a double whammy for me.  My solution has been to eat quickly, not stomach cramping quickly, but fast enough to make a nice little walk around downtown P-Town for 30-45 minutes to look at people and things.  It’s also a great time to hit up the Target for few random requirements like lithium batteries and cliff bars.  These are both vital to me staying active and healthy.  The battery for the bike speedometer and the cliff bars to keep me from donking off mid-day.  Today was special though.  It was a chance for wallet Rickey to see the world…unfortunately i was in a rush today so we didn’t spend too much time with the photo shoot, but needless to say, Rickey likes transformers…you can’t wipe that smile off his face.

86 T WC 01:05 1

See, he has a huge smile…it’s so great to see Rickey being Rickey in the toy aisle.  Rickey will be making a trek to the record shop tomorrow afternoon and just might make an appearance at Whole Foods.  It’s a big day for Rickey, so he needs to get some rest…his corners are rounding out.  It’s time for a nap.

86 T WC 01:05 2

2014 Topps S1 – Packs 5 and 6

I’m now 6 packs deep and haven’t pulled a big hit…but I’m going to show you what i’ve got anyways.  Because I know you all love to see some scans of base cards and stuff.

Donny Baseball was one of my favorite players growing up, not Rickey Henderson favorite, but way ahead of whomever was third at the time…maybe Nolan Ryan or George Brett?  Mattingly was always an elusive pull or me.  I never got his card in the packs I bought during the 1985 and 1986 seasons.  I got a whole bunch of 1987 Topps though…damn that set was so overproduced.  I think I had about 4 complete sets that year due to everyone in my family buying me boxes from Sam’s.  Mattingly seemed destined for the Hall of Fame and put up phenomenal numbers especially with a healthy Rickey Henderson hitting in front of him.  Seeing this young skinny photo of Donny baseball brings back some great memories of being a young collector.  I appreciate Topps pulling old stock photos of baseballs legends and the players that were really good.  It keeps the older kids connected and provides a great lesson for the kids that are starting to collect.

14 TO Don Mattingly 50 years of the Draft

Topps has also provided the kids with a look at their previous card designs, which is also a very good thing in my mind.  Although, i’m not sure if copying the late 80’s and early 90’s is the way to go.  Best to make up for it by making these babies die cut.

14 TO Clayton Kershaw 1989 Mini Die Cut

Here are some Power Player cards that have powerful players on them.  Yadi would like to salute you and Giancarlo is getting a Marlin cortisone shot to the knee…sorry…I couldn’t think of anything else to add to these cards.  It’s a parallel that could have been more parallel-y in my mind.  I guess changing the border color has been done a million times.  Maybe if they edited out the backgrounds…I don’t know, crap.  I actually didn’t notice these were Power Player cards at first pass.  My oversight was corrected when I realized that these ‘base’ cards should not have been in the middle of the pack.  I’m sleuthy!

14 TO Molina Stanton Power Players

Love the Mo cards.  Love the bottom one the most though.  Such a great baseball moment.

14 TO Mariano Rivera

The next two cards are last because they deserve to be last.

Although the back of Melky’s card doesn’t suggest anything about PED as Night Owl had suggested it should.  I find it telling that Topps decided to quote A-Rod with the very insightful “He’s a big, big, big-time player.”  That’s three bigs.  I would have gone with he’s a big, bigger, biggest time player but that wouldn’t make much sense either.  Don’t do drugs kids, especially if they are to be inserted with needles.

14 TO Melky Cabrera

Lastly.  This guy.  The finger pointer.  Topps was smart enough to not drop any photos of him with eye black.  I’m finding it difficult to justify writing what I feel about his homophobic eye black last year.  He seemed to play it off as ignorance and something that wasn’t a big deal.

14 TO Yunel Escobar

But, I’m an adult and I know words can be filled with hate and bad intentions.  My dilemma though, is that I’m a die hard Redskins fan.  Another term that has been deemed as hateful or oppressive.  It’s an unfair position for me to be ok with one derogatory term but not with another.  It doesn’t really matter if one is worse, if the words offend someone than it’s an offensive term…besides, what’s with finger pointing at the cameraman?  Who does that?

 

2014 Topps S1 – Packs 3 and 4

Ok, here are some of the highlights from packs 3 and 4.  Nothing overly exciting or notable so this is mostly a post about what I got rather than “HOLY CRAP!! LOOK AT WHAT I GOT!”

In the previous post I pulled two Jean Segura Inserts and whattayaknow, in the third pack, I pulled another!  How many The Future is Now cards does this kid have?  Oh yeah, in the fourth pack I got the Future Stars version of Mr. Segura.  Here is a side by side comparison of the base bandit with eye black and without eye black.  Run Jean Run!

14 TO Jean Segura Future is Now

The next couple of pairings come with mixed feelings.

I love Jeet and think this could be the last season we see him in a  major league uniform.  I guess it’s going to depend on how he can recover and produce in the revamped Yankee lineup.  It’s going to be a whole different world without #2 at short…here’s hoping he has a great season and we get to see him pick it for another year or two…or three.  It will make his gift baskets so much more valuable, especially his balls that he gives to the ladies.  His scan partner is A-Rod.  I’m really glad he won’t be on the field this season.  I’ve mentioned many times in the past that I can’t stand the kid and hope he never rocks the pinstripes again.  Such a self-absorbed, neon orange chump.

14 TO Jeter ARod

These guys are the future for the Yankees rivals.  Bogaerts and Machado are going to be great players for so many years…oh…so…many…years.  Those Machado ears though.  Kinda with Xander was a Yankee…that’s my problem with the Yankees organization, they just don’t ever seem to develop major league talent.  They have tons of guys that have the potential, but it never works out for them.  Xander picked up some great experience in the World Series last year…good for him…

14 TO Machado Bogaerts

Up here in Portland as in many other cities throughout our beautiful country.  Beards have taken over. Along with beards, you have facial hair of many types, like curly mustaches.  I’ve never been a fan of facial hair and do my best to keep my face clear of facial hair other than the times I’m too lazy to shave.  One thing I would never do though, is sculpt my facial pubes in the same manner as Mr. New House.  It’s just way too much time sculpting and crafting in front of the mirror.  We have lots of guys with handlebar staches in this great town I live in and they are the only guys I will order an old fashioned from.  They are the ones who know how to make them properly.  Not with all that muddled fruit crap.  Just whiskey, bitters, sugar cube an orange slice and cherry.  Any bartender that muddles the fruit and turns your drink into a pink liquor concoction should not be trusted…and will more than likely not have a handlebar mustache.

14 TO Carlos Villanueva

Here is the hits part of our program.

First up.  Elvis Andrus.  A great glove and a mediocre bat.  So here is a bat card with a picture of him throwing a ball.  Nice photo/object coordination.

14 TO Elvis Andrus Bat Relic

Next.  Matty Alou.  One of the 83 Alou’s (actually, I think it’s just 4) that have played Major League Baseball.  It’s a buyback, which means now that it is stamped nobody will buy it back.  At least Topps went smaller with their foil stamp logo.

14 TO Matty Alou 1963 Buyback

2014 Topps S1 – Packs 1 and 2

I’ve always been a little slow and therefore have been late to various things in my life.  So i’ve developed a mentality of sitting and waiting for other people to do something before I go.  It allows me time to think of what I want to do or can provide…since 2014 Topps has been out for a couple of weeks I’m going to show you what I got as well as give you a piece of my mind! 🙂

I know some folks don’t like the Topps flagship or are upset with their exclusive MLB license.  You won’t get any of that vibe over here though, I’m all in for the Topps flagship.  To the parallels and inserts, I say…”I don’t care” or “I choose to ignore you”.  I say that to the cards.  Take them out of the center of the packs and put them aside.  Sift through the base cards first and them make my way to the “hits” part of the program.  You should probably also know that I always eat muffins by starting from the bottom and working my way up.  I like to save the best for last.  Gives me something to look forward to.

On to the card judgement.

Topps has come back with the white border cards and personally i’d like to see a different color border, or possibly a full bleed.  I know this isn’t anything groundbreaking but a little variation would be great for the borders.  I’d like to se a card from each year and know that there was more than just a slight variation of the previous years designs…something bigger like the changes in card designs from 85 to 86 to 87.  Basically I want a fresh and new design each year.  The photos though, those are great.  Lots of action photos from what i’ve seen so far and great shots of men leaping in to walls.

14 TO Victorino Heyward

One of the things that Topps has done with their photos is select the image that makes you stop…and look…and think…why this photo?  The Crisp card has appeared all over the blogosphere and it now appears here.  That afro is straight up Oaktown.  If rappers had baseball cards, this would be the exact same image that Boots Riley from The Coupe would have.  Big Ass Afro and a clean pair of mutten chops piercing out of each cheek, shoulders back doing the Bernie lean.

14 TO Coco Crisp

Besides the cool images, you get the obligatory post game celebration photo.  The gatorade bath.  Now, this would make a much better football card.  In fact, I think Topps should have one football head coach card next year and it should be Pete Carroll getting an orange bath after the Super Bowl and it should be card number 48.  That’s a free one for you Topps people, run with it.  This Dozier card though…it reeks of gimmick that folks complain about.  Dozier…remind me of the Souls of Mischief lyric…’Maintain composure, hit dosia, pick a booga, don’t be shook up, i got the hook up.’

14 TO Brian Dozier

TWO OAKLAND RAP REFERENCES in one blog post!

This kid.  Love this kid.

14 TO Bryce Harper

One last base card before i show a couple of the ‘Hits’.  The Kendrys Morales card.  This card should never have been made unless it was a Mariners team card.  In this modern world of high price cameras and digital media at every turn, how can you have a card of a player that only shows his back.  AND THE BACK IS OUT OF FOCUS!!!  Seriously??!!??!  The only guy that’s really in focus is Felix Hernandez.  Not Morales!  The moral of this card is that team celebrations are good and should only be shared as a team card.  Really bad decision on this one.

14 TO Kendrys Morales

Mini’s.  Die Cuts.  I love both and that’s what you get this year!  Some 1989 design mini with various border colors that are die cut!  Yes please!  Sign me up for that.  AND I get a Lou Gehrig.  Such a lucky boy I am.

14 TO Lou Gehrig 1989 Mini

This next pair of cards came in my first two packs and I started to think I had a Segura Hot Box.  Guess you will have to wait and see…I’m not trying to tease you, I have no idea either as i’ve only opened two packs.

14 TO Jean Segura The Future Is Now

Be on the lookout for the following 8 packs America.  I can only hope that I get more blurry cards of guys backs.

Happy Birthday Rickey and Merry Christmas

Today is the 55th birthday of my childhood idol.  Rickey Nelson Henley Henderson.

Rickey Henderson 1a

The Man of Steal.  He was the all time stolen base leader and the greatest leadoff hitter of all time.  I can’t think of any position or spot in a lineup where you can say that about a baseball player and not get twenty other names from twenty other people.  Maybe it’s a bold statement, but I don’t think there really is an argument for his greatness at the leadoff position.  Fielding…eh…not the greatest.

Rickey Henderson 7

He was the reason I became a Yankee fan (but still secretly love the A’s) and the reason why I wear #24 any chance I get.  Whenever people asked me in a confused manner, “Why are you a Yankees fan?”  They are only more confused after I tell them because of Rickey Henderson…I’m a very loyal fan and hitched my wagon to the Yanks in 1985.  I was 9 and there was no going back as far as I was concerned.

Hall Of Fame Baseball

He was also the reason I fell in love with baseball and insisted on stealing as many bases as i could in little league.  I also stole them by sliding head first.  The coaches never liked it, but the one time I went in feet first I rolled my ankle and got a nasty strawberry…never jammed my wrist sliding head first thank you very much!

Rickey Henderson 5

He may not have been the greatest teammate of all time and maybe he was a little self absorbed…or aloof 🙂 But he is a Hall of Famer and remains my all time favorite athlete.

Rickey Henderson 4

This will always be my favorite card.  I purchased this with $12 of my allowance money from the West Avenue Card Shop in San Antonio, Texas over the summer of 1986.  Funny story about the West Ave. Card Shop…a few years after I purchased this card along with many others through the years, they were busted for buying and selling large amounts of cocaine.  I guess they were using the card shop as a way to launder their drug money…and here I just thought they had bad allergies with all the sniffing and wiping of their noses.  They were just coke-heads.

80 TO Rickey Henderson Rookie

Happy Birthday Rickey Henderson as I’m sure you are reading this wonderful post about you on your day of birth that you share with baby Jesus.  I hope everyone out there has a wonderful Christmas!  Stay safe and keep collecting!

Rickey Henderson 3