The Last Post…and a farewell to a Villain

This year has finally come to an end.  An unforgiving parallel universe of a year where wrong was right and low was even further lower than we could all imagine.  Maybe it was the end of a bad dream, the kind of nightmare where you’re about to crash into a concrete wall, screeching brakes being hammered to the floor, arms off the wheel to cover your eyes, barreling towards the wall and nanoseconds before impact you wake up.  Sweating.  Shaking.  Breathing heavily.  Saying to yourself, “what the hell just happened!”  The nightmare has ended…for now, but is it really over?  What will ’21 bring for us?  I would love to see an overcorrection from the wrong to the right and some goodness be brought to everyone.  More generosity and kindness.  Less judgement and crassness towards others.  Can we live our lives in a manner that we want to without condescension?  I sure hope so. 

I love this hobby, I love it dearly.  It brings me great joy.  In a world where I have marginal control over things, I can control my collection. 

It’s there when I need it to regroup emotionally…I’m a highly anxious person. 

It’s there when I’ve had a rough day and need to zone out…I worry too much about others opinions.

It’s there when I need a new organizing project and get an idea in the middle of the night…I got some OCD too.

Our hobby is fantastic.  A lot has changed about it this past year. 

I hope it keeps evolving. 

I hope the people that are new are welcomed with open arms.

I hope the new people take some history lessons and learn about our hobby.

I hope we let people collect what and how they want to collect.

For 2021, I will be more involved in helping to make this hobby great.  Reaching out to bloggers, twitter folks, flippers, old-school collectors and the new ones as well.  I plan to buy more from my LCS than eBay, but I also plan to sell more on eBay.  I want to find a happy middle where I can enjoy the hobby without feeling like I am going to strangle myself financially.  Creating a net zero cost of cards is the ultimate goal, not sure how that will get done.  The architecture and build portion of the world is attempting to reduce carbon emissions significantly with the 2030 challenge, but this is nothing like that. 

I just want to have fun with these pieces of cardboard and card stock and shiny whatever the hell they are materials.  I hope you do too!

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With the end of the year usually comes collecting or personal goals.  I’m not going to list anything, I think that’s mostly been covered by the manifesto above.  So, instead, I’d like to take the time to update the annual wallet card and take a look back. 

I started carrying a card in my wallet quite a few years ago.  It was a way to always keep the hobby with me wherever I went.  Every once in a while the card would be exposed to other people and it would start a conversation, or maybe just some ridicule from some colleagues…architects can be a judgmental group, ya know?

At some point along the way, I’ve lost a few cards…but here’s what I’ve got since I started the blog.

2020: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees 1999 Pacific Paramount, card #162

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2019: Dale Murphy, Atlanta Braves 1987 Topps, card #490

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2018: Joe Gibbs, Washington Redskins 1992 Pro Set, card #90

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2017: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees 2014 Gypsy Queen, card #N174-DJ

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2016: Art Monk, Washington Redskins 1985 Topps, card # 185

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2015: Rickey Henderson, New York Yankees 1986 Topps, card #500

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2014: Joe Gibbs, Washington Redskins 1990 Pro Set, card #333

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2013: Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers 1991 Topps Archives, card #1

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AND NOW, FOR TWO-THOUSAND TWENTY ONE!  THE NEW WALLET CARD IS (drumroll…)

2021: Santana Moss, Washington Redskins 2006 Topps, card #245

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I know, I know…I can hear the clapping through the keyboard!

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OK, so when I woke up this morning I was thinking about the best video I could share with you all today.  Something fun and positive and light-hearted to ring the new year in.  I was getting distracted during the day and everything was getting away from me.  When I sat down to start writing I first jumped on twitter to get an update on this mad world we’re living in…and my heart sank when I saw that MF Doom has passed away…shit shit shit shit.  He was one of my favorite MC’s…crazy entertaining and a tremendous wordsmith.  Lots of double entendre’s and just some good ol’ hip hop metaphors.  At this point, I’m not sure what took his life as he was only 49 (4 years older than me).  The one thing that can make me smile is that he actually passed away on Halloween of this year.  That’s gotta be the most MF Doom thing ever.  For the uninitiated, he was wore a ‘gladiator’ mask and was well known for skipping out on shows but still having someone perform for him…the mask helped with that endeavor.  Not sure of the reason for keeping his passing quiet for two months, but that’s none of my business really.  If you have the time, please take a listen to the video below of his collaboration with the producer Madlib for the quintessential MC and producer hip hop album.  It’s a classic. 

MADVILLAIN – MADVILLAINY

Also, check out his earlier work with KMD as Zev Love X and music from his other aliases; King Geedorah, King Ghidra, Viktor Vaughn, Metal Fingers, King Dumile and Metal Face.  He also did some work with 3rd Bass back in the day…enjoy.  Have a Happy New Year, hug your loved one, tell them you love them and stay safe out there.

-Cardboard Hogs!   

Sons and Fathers

Being an adult is a tough thing to be at times.  It’s a never ending commitment to things you never dreamed of as a child; bills, responsibilities to loved ones as well as our contemporaries can be incredibly daunting at times.  Overwhelming even.  When you add children to the mix it becomes even more difficult.  Prior to becoming a father, i had a very specific image of what having a child would be like…and to be honest, it’s nothing like what i thought.  It is far more difficult than i could have ever imagined.  Getting things done the way i want them or even when i want them is close to impossible.  Over the past few months or so, i’ve learned to let things go.  I had to.  My expectations were not realistic or fair for an incredibly curious toddler.  His young developing mind was discovering a world he needed to experience…in his very own way.  Once i was able to grasp that seemingly simple concept, i was able to become a better father and enjoy the simple moments in life that later become memories we never forget…

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The snow we’ve had in town last night and today was one of those moments to stop and let go of being an adult…although i had to make sure my kid didn’t hurt himself :).  One of my recent posts was a reflection of a fond memory as a kid, the big San Antonio snow storm.  Keeping that in mind, my goal was to make this day off of work and “adulting” as much fun as i could.  Not to break an arm patting myself, but i thing we got it done today and made some awesome memories!

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When i started out on this post i had an idea to show a few cards from the Bowman Draft jumbo box i bought before Christmas.  The theme of the first post would be about sons of former MLB players and their fathers, but i wanted to shed a little personal experience since we had so much fun.  So, for those excited to see some cards that i pulled take a look below…and i promise the hits will be exhibited in the next post!

As i opened the packs, i continued to see names that i recalled from my younger days as a collector…first thought was HOLY CRAP! I’m getting old!!  I remember thinking, damn i’m old when a guy i remember as a rookie retired, or made the Hall of Fame…but now these guys have raised baseball players and kept the name in the family business.

I’ve always wondered what it would have been like to be the son of a professional athlete.  Most of us had idols and a child, and i would imagine most of our idols were professional athletes vs. musicians or actors…or doctors and scientists i guess.  My father had no special talents, nor did he have much of a presence in my life as a kid…which i would imagine is somewhat similar for these guys that made it to their 1st Bowman cards.  The baseball season is long and there is a significant amount of travel each season.  Being a parent is truly a 24 hour job.  Really makes me think how amazing their mothers were…not sure they were as amazing as mine was though. 🙂

I hope to have my son share in my passion for baseball one day.  Not sure if it will happen or not…it’s not something i ever want to force on him, it needs to be his decision, and i’m sure he will make the right decision…:)

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Not sure how many readers out there have kids, if you do, i hope you can understand the sentiments that i’ve shared here today.  It’s a little more personal than i normally like to get, but i felt like it was worthy…thank you for your time to read today.

Here are a few more images from our day…along with a zen like dog photo and a couple pictures of Derek Jeter standing next to a snow buried ruler.

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Have a great night and give your family a hug!  We’re gonna need each other to get through the next four years of this new Trump nation.

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and a song for the day…kinda reminded me of being a kid and going on road trips with my mom each summer…or to visit my father.

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.

 

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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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!

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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…

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

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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

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Wallet card Rickey has a hot date tonight.