Friday, January 30, 2015

Finding A New Love

After ending the relationship with the three player collections I was left with two options. Those options were stay at the new list of players, or look into adding more players into the mix. The decision was easy with both Colorado, and Seattle having some new youth on their rosters. There are two players in-particular that in 2014 peaked my interest in adding them to the player collections.

Mike Zunino
Being we live in the Northwest we get all the Mariners games on television. Watching all those games, and getting to see Zunino play all year made me a fan. Mike does need lots of work at the plate, and will hopefully start to get it under control this upcoming year. His 22 home runs shows he has some of the much needed power the Mariners are looking for.

Zunino will be a tricky collection for me though as a terrible year from the young catcher could derail the collection just as fast as it started. Keeping that in mind I plan on sticking with cards I can get on the cheap. Avoiding any autos, patches, or anything else that will leave me too invested in Zunino.

 Nolan Arenado
Time for some serious honesty here. I don't know Arenado as well as I should for a player I'm going to be collecting. My knowledge of the young third baseman is that he plays third for the Colorado Rockies. By the end of 2015 all that should be changed as I'm looking forward to not only seeing more Arenado cards. I'm looking forward to learning more about the player who will hopefully be playing the position for many years to come.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Its Not You, Its Me!

We've all heard that phrase in our lives before. Some have heard it for the wrong reason, and some have just heard the phrase. Luckily for me I am one of those that just heard the phrase.

The big question is why would the cat bring this all up? That reason is I am in the process of tuning up the player collections.The process entails eliminating those players that I've just lost interest in. Today those few players will be getting the bad news that they are no longer wanted for the cat's collection.

Juan Nicasio
When I first got back into collecting baseball cards there was something I wanted to do. That was to collect a player from my two favorite teams. Being I always wanted to pitch when I was younger. One of those players ended up being Juan Nicasio.

Now after holding out hope for a few years that Nicasio would turn it around, and finally reach his potential. Then came a very rough 2014, and the loss of all hope from me. While I still for some strange reason picked up his cards when I came across them. My desire to continue started to waiver, and finally died during this off season. Nothing against the Dodgers, but his trade to the team as a possible middle-reliever or fifth starter was the final straw. It's tough to convince myself to pick up his cards while I'd lost interest when he was on the Rockies, and even harder now that he's in LA. So rather than keep up with the insanity I'm ending this relationship now.

Justin Smoak
Another of those players that I've been losing interest in for awhile. Smoak might get a new chance at life since being let go by Seattle, and now landing in Toronto. The problem is that before all this was announced my interest in Justin was long gone. The few cards I was able to find of him were already removed from the binder, and a new player has stepped in.

Mark Teixeira
Out of the players that I'm moving on from this is the one that might hurt the most. Tex's cards were making their way into a binder before I had even admitted that I was back into baseball cards. I had joined the online trading group, and was trying to get rid of cards, and build some old sets at the same time. During that time the Tex collection started as something else to try, and help give people something else to send my direction. The collection continued to grow despite him joining my much disliked team the Yankees. Then came all the injuries that Tex has suffered lately. It was during this time that I was slowly wondering why I kept adding cards.

Now with the season over, and me being able to sit back. I started to assess whether or not I wanted to continue the craziness. The answer came in a big resounding no! All that needs to be done now is to figure out what I want to do with the cards, and other pieces that make up the collection. Some I know are cards I am missing from sets that I'm currently building. Other will probably end up in the hands of fellow collectors who collect players from the teams he's been on.

While it might be some work to disassemble these collections. In the end I think it will be refreshing to spend more time collecting players that still interest me.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Better Late Than Never

Back in September of 2014 I had sent out an artelope to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The request was sent with the hopes of adding their business card into the NFL part of the collection. Included was the usual request for a few pocket schedules that I could use for trading.

Time went on, and just over two months later in November I gave up on the Eagles. No other collectors were getting returns from the team so at the time it felt like a safe bet. That was until last Thursday when a huge flat manilla envelope addressed from the Eagles showed up in the mailbox.

While there was no business card or schedules inside. This picture on photo stock paper, and the size of a full sheet of paper was inside. What I'm going to do with this picture is a mystery being I'm not an Eagles fan.

Holding the photo was this cool looking folder. Still not being an Eagles fan, this thing is cool enough that I'm going to try, and find some use for it. Maybe throwing some stickers or something from other football teams on it. Who knows what its fate is, but it will find some use.

Not exactly what I had hoped for when writing the team, but I will take it. Overall the Eagles did a great job in sending these two sweet looking items. If I had to get a return that doesn't have the business card I'd like to get. What was sent in this envelope would be that.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Everything's Coming Up Rosario

Honestly not everything came up from the recent package that Chris who runs the fantastic blog The Raz Card Blog  sent my way. It makes for a great post title though so I'm running with it.

No one has done more for my Rosario collection than Raz. In 2014 he was instrumental in the completion of the goal I had of adding ten nectar items into the collection. While I didn't do any goals for the year, Raz is staying true to form in adding more nectar to the Rosario's

The beauty above is numbered 122/620. What the significance of 620 is has been lost on me as it just seems like a strange number to pick. Even with the strange numbering I am thrilled to claim Rosario as my own.

Closing out the Rosario's was this sweet patch card with the purple stripe. I've seen cards like this one before, and for some reason just never pulled the trigger. Now thanks to Raz I won't need to think about it ever again.

Sadly 2015 might be the last time we get to see cards like this for Wilin. Word coming out of Colorado is the Rockies are planning on trying Wilin at first or in the outfield this year. Hopefully the move works out for him at first base, but it will mean missing out on the sweet catcher pictured cards.

Showing he wasn't a one trick pony Raz hit me with some of the famous Mannatawket cards he recently acquired.

When these first showed up I was surprised that Chris would let some of these leave his hands. Then just this morning he featured a post, and mentioned how he acquired a full set, and some extra's. It all made sense after reading the post. Thanks to some blogger generosity I can now say I have eight cards from the set.

As with every package you have ever sent my way Chris you nailed it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Artelopes- Buffalo Bandits

Still going through what has become a break of sorts from regular writing. Once again I am hitting you all with another of the famous artelopes.

Sent recently to the Buffalo Bandits who play in the National Lacrosse League. For those who don't know about the NLL. The league is an indoor lacrosse league with nine teams currently playing. The 2015 season is in full swing, and runs into May. If you have a local team its well worth checking out a game.

The results were exactly what I was hoping for when sending out the request.

Containing four of the usual add in of pocket schedules. Buffalo did a good job with the design for the schedule. More than anything the team filled the one thing I was looking for more than anything when I sent the request.

Keeping the streak alive of great returns so far this year. Buffalo put the needs for NLL business cards down to six teams. The going will be tough as three are Canadian, one I can't find an address for, one is coming via trade, and the last I've been trying for without luck the last few years. With any luck maybe I'll be able to atleast half the list this year.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Artelopes- Grand Rapids Drive

If all goes as planned there will be a ton of artelopes leaving the cat house in 2015. So far the few returns that have come back were everything I could hope for. That is the good news, the bad news is counting this return I have only gotten back three of the ten sent out. Hopefully more of those will start making their way home. Until then we have the third one of the year to return for your viewing pleasure.

When I did this one my brain was starting to get a little weak for ideas. Wanting to get something out to the Drive I decided to go with a simple huge DRIVE written on the envelope. Trying to keep things a little more interesting, and related to the sport the team represents. I went with a basketball as the dot on the "i". In the end I think it turned out great for what the idea was, and the results were just as great.

Contained within was two of these 2014-2015 schedules. That wasn't even the best thing inside.

My second business card for the year, and coincidentally second one for the NBA Developmental League. Not a bad way to start the year off by getting two business cards in the first three returns. As I've said before, if this keeps up 2015 will be an awesome year for the business card collection.

Currently I am still missing ten teams from the NBA Developmental League. Three of the missing artelopes are for teams in the league. Another two are ready for mailing, and the remaining will be prepared soon. If luck is on my side the league will be crossed of the wants by the end of February.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Atleast I Can Say I Tried

Not long ago another fellow collector from the group TradingBases contacted me about some cards. The man was Roland, and was someone who I don't believe I have ever exchanged cards with. Roland emailed to let me know that he was sending my final three cards from the Triple Play, Action Baseball subset.

All I could think of from here is to thank Roland for the final three cards, and allowing me to cross these off the wantlist.

The problem is I'm not going down like that. No I'm a blogger, and we do more than just say thank you, and move on. A small paragraph, and showing the three cards just doesn't do it in the cat's world. So in honor of completing the set we are going to play the game contained within one of the extra 15 cards from the same set that Roland sent as well.

Digging into the group I decided to go with California Angels versus Seattle Mariners. With none other than the great Ken Griffey Jr. pictured on the front.

Opening up the inside the scorecard put the Mariners as the home team so California bats first. Should have done a scan before scratching, but that would have made sense so I forgot.

Now a reminder of the rules to the game that matter. They have more listed, but for me these aren't important.
1. Game is three innings
2. Each player gets three outs per inning.
3. Highest score at the end of three innings wins.

Top of the first, and California goes first. After the California half of the inning lets see where we are.

Sadly after over twenty years of waiting to find out we won't get to know who wins. My first scratch was the box third row over, and fourth one down. If you can tell it just scratched down to the paper, and yielded no results. Wanting to see if it would scratch at all I attempted with most of the second row over at once. Didn't go down to the paper because I didn't need to. I could tell that it just wasn't going to work. As the title says atleast I can say I tried.

Thank to Roland's generosity I can say there was one winner from all of this, and that winner is me. Hopefully once I give his wants a look over I can find some sort of return, and we can both end as winners in this deal.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chicago Blackhawks Artelope

At the start of December through the first few days of this month. I sent out a total of ten brand new artelopes with requests for schedules, and business cards. While I put schedules in the request, in all honesty the goal is business cards. With my NHL wants down to ten teams who seem to be holding out in sending a card. Three of the artelopes went to NHL team in hopes of dropping down the wants.

Sending this little beauty out at the same time as the returned request from the San Jose Sharks, and still missing Anaheim Ducks.

My thinking was just doing the feathers part of the logo would be much cooler looking than the full on logo.Personally I felt at the time it looked better, and am still pleased that I went this route.

The first thought was to do the feathers on the far right, but I've done that design before with the Utah Utes, and it was fairly recent. So scrapping that idea I went with what you see above.

As for the results of this fine artelope.

Six schedules just like these were in the return. For a schedule return, six is a really good to see when you open the envelope up. The bummer part is I was hoping more for the business card than the schedules. I won't complain too much though.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

i've Been A Bad Kitty

Since starting off the year with a bang the last week things went south in a hurry. Only making one post during the middle of the week. Sadly it isn't because of not having something to post about. It was due to both being drained after work, and spending time collection organizing.

Doing all this has kind of been a double-edged sword. While organizing, and enjoying our collections is the point of collecting. All this has meant I am now long overdue on a much deserved thank you to fellow TradingBases member, and founder Kevin. The craziest part of all this is not doing this post actually slows down the organizing.

Being one of those that doesn't put cards away until after the post is written. It gets kind of hard to put these beauties sent by Kevin away in my 2008 Documentary, Rockies cards.

Not only is it tough to add these sweet mascot cards into their binder. It becomes extra tough to keep up with a personal goal I set of keeping all my wants, and traders updated constantly. I mean how can I cross these off the list if I leave them sitting in their bubble mailer?  

Hardest of them all is showing off the cards that came in the pack of Golden Age, Kevin added to the mailer. I was excited about the Harlem Globetrotter mini the most. Growing up I just loved watching their special when they showed it. I even watched it this year to show you how much I enjoy them.

All these sweet cards from Kevin showed up right around the first of the year. I'd love to be able to say I was a bad kitty, and promise to do better. Problem is that I was playing with the hobbies, and I can't say any of that, and believe it.

Weeks like this might even be a little more frequent for a bit honestly. At times I get into a groove, and will focus on one thing until it is done. Currently it has been doing things in the hobby room with the hobbies. Hopefully it will continue on into the spring as we have a garage in need of some serious cleaning. I'll just have to work on managing my time a little better. Something that I've been needing to do for awhile now, and am constantly trying to work on.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Catching My Limit

When I was a kid fishing was something we did all summer long. So much that it wasn't uncommon for us to wake up early in the morning, grab our supplies, and bikes. Then head off either up the mountains to the river, or down the road to the local lake. Our preference was for the river as the fishing was better, and the fish were more likely to be wild. If we did the river we'd take our supplies to cook the fish as well most times. Going to the lake meant we'd have to bring them home, and do a campfire at the friends house. Other than the pain of getting the fish home on our bikes it was a better experience overall. Corn on the cob, or something else worthwhile would be included. At the river it was simply fish, and nothing else.

I mention all this as TJ from The Junior Junkie dropped a load of Trout in my mailbox.

Where I grew up rainbow trout was the available fish. So when I opened the PWE sent by TJ it brought back the memories of going fishing all summer long.

Amazing as it sounds there were some similarities between the cards sent by TJ, and the fish we used to catch. Take these cards for instance.

These might be the easiest of all fish to catch. The ones that almost sit in their hole begging you to drop a line into the water so they can jump on it. Even being the easiest to catch I never was able to catch the top card.

This is the new fish that was just planted in the lake within the last week. Sometimes it is an easy catch, but sometimes it is tougher to catch than you would have expected. Luckily for me TJ caught this one, and sent it my direction. I was never any good fishing during the times the lake was freshly stocked. That luck still continues today as it took TJ catching it for me.

All three of these are those fish that are a little tougher to catch. The slightly bigger fish that will make a tastier meal if we can only catch it. Sometimes these are caught easier than expected, but most times they take a little more work than the smaller fish.

Finally we come to the toughest of the fish in this lot. This is that one we all know where it can be found. Problem is it takes a little more work than the previous fish as you have to continually go back. It's very rare that you catch it on your first trip, but going back over a time frame of days, or even weeks. Sooner or later the fish gets caught, and for me this is that day..

TJ wasn't done with the bucket of Trout's. Included inside was another card I've seen posted a few times, but haven't added into my collection.

TJ really nailed it with this surprise package. Now I( just need to get myself to send out the stuff I've been thinking about sending his direction.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The First Artelope Return of 2015

Much like they used to post about the first baby born of the new year. I am here sharing with you the news of my first artelope return for 2015. Coming in on Friday the 2nd, and a quick turn around as it was under two weeks since being sent out. I had sent out the following artwork between Christmas, and New Year's.

Thinking it would be fun to somehow incorporate the team logo with the sport. The idea of putting the spur coming out of a basketball instead of a boot was born. While my what a basketball really looks like needs a little work I was pleased with the end result. Obviously the Spurs front office was impressed as well being I got the following goodies.

Five of the teams pocket schedules for the 2014-2015 season.

One business card, and the real reason for the request.

If my first return of 2015 is any sort of an indication of things to come. This will be a fantastic year for the artelopes.

For those that don't know about the Austin Spurs. The Spurs are the NBA Developmental League team affiliated with the San Antonio Spurs. Previously using the name Austin Toros, the team did a re-branding to the Spurs for this season. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Its Wallet Card- I Make My Pick

Defgav who runs the blog Baseball Card Breakdown threw out the idea of picking a card, and putting it in your wallet for the year. Then to add a little fun into the deal he offered up some rules for a game he is calling 'A Game of Wallet Card'. Wanting to up the ante Defgav will be offering up a prize for the best picture of your card. The prize is still to be determined as he wants to see how far this game will go.

Personally I don't really care so much about the prize. I am just a sucker for games like this that get the blogging universe involved as a whole. Things like this game just adds to the entire blogging experience if you ask me.

While most have commented on his post with their chosen card. I for one can't make it just that simple. Defgav did put in the post that you needed to post the coolest photo's of your card on your blog. So in keeping with the idea, and the opportunity for a fairly thought free post. I mean, who doesn't love the idea of writing a post where you didn't have to dream up the starting point? With all the thinking we normally do on what to write about on a daily basis. I'll admit that when a freebie comes along I'm going to jump on it.

Now before I start to bore you to death let's see the chosen card shall we?

Before giving my reason for choosing the card as Defgav said it should be a card you enjoy seeing. I will start by saying that while my wallet doesn't look as bad as the one on the top of this posting. I have quite a few things in it, and can be pretty tough on some things in it. So if I'm not able to fit it in the planned spot poor Kyle won't stand a chance. Hopefully he fits as it would be a shame for Kyle to not make it though the year.

Now why did the cat choose this card? While I wish I had some awesome explanation like a few others. The entire seeing this card concept inspires me, but honestly had nothing to do with my choice. Being deep like that would be so cool, but sorry I'm too simple minded for that. My reasoning is I wanted to do something a little different than the baseball cards most are doing.

Wanting to do the different thing I thought why not our favorite driver Kyle Busch, and I loved the colors on this specific card. More than anything the photographer in me wanted a card that I thought would look good in pictures. While you can't see it in the scan, hopefully it will show in any pictures. The majority of the card has a sweet silver look to it that shows real nice with the black.  

What to expect when it comes to the game, and this card. My goal will be to do a post once a month, and if I remember the first of every month. Some posts might be a potpourri of pictures from the cards adventures. Other, and probably the most frequent will be a showing off how Kyle is doing at this point in the year. Hopefully I'll have some sort of flow to the posts, and how I want to do them. Could take a few months before I get that flow.

If you haven't already decided to participate in Defgav's game I urge you to join in what should be a fun year long event. Go visit this link, and leave a comment that you are participating. I look forward to not only seeing the cards everyone has chosen, but the pictures, and how the posts are written. Should be a good time for everyone so go, and join in on the fun.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Looking Ahead To 2015

For 2015 I have decided to move away from the goals, or resolution idea. My plan is to just enjoy the collecting once again, and at years end recap how the year was in collecting. The fun part about doing this is when the recap comes I will be able to share all three hobbies. Doing the goals, or resolution meant going more into depth on the non baseball card hobbies never happened. I have been enjoying all three since starting this blog, and thus want to share all three.

What I would like to do though is do a sort of look ahead to some things you can expect from the cat for the 2015 year. All these are ideas floating around my head that I'm not going to beat myself up on if they aren't done. There won't be any rating how I did at the end of the year. Actually it will be quite the opposite, as I will be tooting my horn on what I did accomplish.

Baseball Cards-
 One of my first plans this year is to redo the player collections. Currently there are four players listed on the side link as guys I collect. Anyone who has been around the site knows that not only are there the four, but I have the secret guys that aren't listed. One of the things I plan on doing real soon is tightening up the player collections list. This will entail adding some guys on the list that aren't currently there, and erasing one off the list. All this should be happening this very month as I have a series of three posts I've had planned for probably a month now.

Gone will be the secret player collections. If I collect a player they will be on the list, and will be someone I'm looking for cards of. This should help me fine tune the players I collect. There have been times I pick up some cards of a player, and I'm not sure if I want to collect more or not. Now before I add any other cards I can look at the player collections, and decide if I want to add the new guy into the mix.

Another idea I'm toying with, and honestly need to get done is a wantlist for the favorite players cards. Currently all I have is a list of the players I collect. From there its a crap-shoot on whether, or not I need a certain card. Right now all except the Nolan Ryan collection is fairly small, and can be done with some work. There isn't a set time on how long it will take to get these lists done, but I'd like to get something done.

Last is my purchasing of cards this year. Halfway through the year my pack buying came to a total stop, and singles were what I bought. Much like some of the other bloggers who are slowing down their pack buying. My plan is to go exactly the same direction, and run with singles. Yes, there will be times when I cave in, and buy a pack or two of cards. What I'm hoping to do is limit those times, and just buy the cards I want instead. Why spend ten bucks on two jumbo packs at a big box store for a bunch of cards I'm not interested in? That same ten dollars could buy me something like a prism Trout, or a Rosario relic, or possibly even a Seager auto. Possibly even a combination of those cards that I'd appreciate more than the 70 something unwanted commons.

These have been a fun little project for me, and hopefully something other out there enjoy seeing. Until now these have always contained some form of the team logo in the drawing. This year I'd like to sway away from that attitude at times, and have more fun with them. If I can use the logo in some form on the envelope then I will go with it. Currently there are six waiting to return home, and three of those didn't contain the teams logo in any form. It was fun to run with an idea where I wasn't tied into using the teams logo.

Business Cards-
Hopefully by using the artelopes, and the newly updated wantlists for each sport. I can nail down some of the missing teams for all the sports, and update the baseball teams that all changed affiliates, logos, or any other changes the team made this off-season. My main plan for this year is to a much better job of keeping up with the changes in all the sports. Until doing the new lists recently I had fallen behind in keeping up with the wants for all the teams.

Sadly this was costly as there are a bunch of teams in the NBA Developmental, and Arena Football that have disappeared. Missing out on all those teams is a lost opportunity that I will never be able to get back. All I can do now is make an attempt to write teams ASAP so I have no regrets when a team does go defunct.

Pocket Schedules- 
This is another area where the artelopes help. I have a very limited amount of teams I collect pocket schedules from in college, football, and hockey. Baseball is my big sport, and I need to stay on top of it. Not only have I been failing in writing for business cards from teams. I have done very poorly staying on top of writing the teams I collect schedules from. These should be the first teams that get written, and then move on to requests for business cards from there. Now if I can just stay focused enough to do just that.

Much like with the business cards collection. I recently did the total overhaul of my traders, and wants for all schedules. This year I need to stay on top of all that hard work by adding the traders right after doing the posting here. The wants need to be listed before the season for a sport starts, and kept up during that sports season. There are so many cover, and sponsor variations for some teams that I need to stay on top of.

The Prowling Cat's Hobby Madness-
It seems like there are so many things going on here at the cat house when it comes to the hobbies. Adding the new blog in October seems like piling on. Yes, and no would be my answer to that. The idea for the blog more than anything is to actually help with keeping the business cards, and schedules under control. The old site where they were at before October made keeping up more of a chore. Using this new blog will hopefully help me stay on top of everything easier than in the past. If all goes right this might make things less hectic than they have been.

One thing I plan on attempting with Hobbies Madness is a post a day streak for the year. These aren't going to be anything spectacular as this blog is where everything happens. The idea is to post either a schedule, or a business card every day in 2015. These won't be some gigantic write up, but just a simple something to go along with the card, or schedule. More of a show-off for non baseball card goodies.

If you are one of those that enjoy seeing either business cards, schedules, or anything else that doesn't blend into my main blog here. Go to the site, and bookmark it, follow, or whatever else it is you do to remember your blogs. It should be a fun year of seeing the other odds, and ends you normally don't see on the baseball card blogs. If you'd like to share something of your own feel free to hit me up as I'm open to anything when it comes to this blog.

More than anything go, and check out the site to help me with the sports team business card collection. I don't care if you don't see your local team on my wantlists for business cards, or schedules there. Teams will change their business cards quite often, and these get missed. Due to this I'll take any business card for a team you send my direction as you never know.

Now that I've gone on long enough, and possibly even bored a few people. Hopefully you all have a great year, and accomplish everything you are hoping for. I personally feel like this will be a great year not just for baseball cards, but business cards, and pocket schedules at the cat house. I wish you all the luck in your hobby, or hobbies for 2015. You know I will be following along, and enjoying all the great blogging going on out there.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Bloggolutions- Year End (part 2)

The second five goals that I had set for myself weren't as much card related as the first five. You won't see any add this many cards into the collection goals here. What you will see are the other things that I felt needed some attention. Mostly these were self improving goals that I had to improve on.

6- Continue to improve my artwork for the artelopes
I personally made some huge gains in not only the artwork on these. The ideas at times were much better than anything I ever imagined. During the year I drew some ideas up that I wouldn't have dared when this first started. One of the things that has been a big help is the daughter barely if ever contributed. When I dreamed up the idea to do these she was all for it. Then things slowed as she just doesn't want to do any. I've even offered to let her do some original ideas unrelated to the team. Yet she has still been cold to doing any of the drawing. I had five request for her with free reign, and ended up doing four of them myself. The fifth I'm waiting on as it is for a team with a snake logo, and she wants to draw it in the worst way. 

Considering where my skills were in 2013, and how they are today. I'm giving myself a 7 for this goal as there were times I had trouble dreaming an idea up, and went simple. In 2015 I'm hoping to keep the forward progress in not only my drawing, but the ideas. 

 7-  Show more blogging love
The idea for this goal was to leave comments on other blogs.The amount I had set aside was 52 comments, or just one per week. My main downfall with this one, and still is. I will read blogs in both the morning before going to work, and in the afternoon after work. There have been many a time I read a great post in the morning, but didn't have the time to reply before leaving. Instead of commenting like I had planned it would get tossed aside, and never get done. If I'd have went back, and done those comments this goal would have been done easily. 
Something to keep in mind for this goal. I didn't count any comments that were pertaining to contest entries. All these were letting the blogger know that their post reached me. While I did do 39 comments, and am giving myself an 8 due to the 39 comments. I think on a certain level I failed, and will continue to work on doing better in 2015. I enjoy getting comments more than anything as personally it says your post spoke to someone. There are so many factors on visits to one post that I don't put alot into post visits. What means something to me is when your post touched someone so much that they had to let you know. A simple nice cards can say much more than you think. I failed at times to share that feeling with another writer, and need to get better about not failing at that.

   8- Get all three of my hobbies organized
While my posts at the end of the year slowed way down. The one thing that did get worked on was the organization of the three hobbies. Helping to make all this happen was the new hobby room.

Baseball cards- I managed to get these more organized than they have been in years. There are still some strides that need to be made for a full on organization. What I did get done more than anything is making sure all cards this year were put into their respective place. Included in all this were Nolan Ryan cards that have been sitting in a box for a few years, and are now at home in the Ryan binder. Some sets that weren't in binders are now home to binders. Considering what things looked like at the start of 2014 the baseball portion is a huge success.

Business cards- Starting the year off I had a huge stack that needed to be put in the binder for their respective sport. In December all those were where they belonged, and was a complete deal. Next was getting my wantlists for all the different sports up to date. It had been a couple years since I sat down, and did every sport. An example is the NBA Developmental wants was filled with teams that had been defunct for a couple years, and missing the new teams. Sports business cards weren't the only updating that needed done. I had a bunch of my other categories with cards sitting in a stack that needed to be put in the binders. Those were all completed, and made crossing business cards off the organization list.

Pocket schedules- Going into the year I hadn't been adding the newer stuff that was missing on the wants. In 2013 I had some teams that I never wrote for schedules. Adding business cards that were missing became more of a focus, and the teams I collected schedules from were missed. This year I did a much better job of refocusing on not just getting the schedules for my teams, but adding some missing business cards. Due to not writing as usual the lists needed updated as did the adding of newer schedules that hadn't been put in binders. Another, and much trickier part was getting every single trader out of the shoe box of unknown. To do this I had to go through, and put them in with the other traders for the team, and work from there. Much like the other hobbies this was a complete success.

 9- Continue to improve my writing
This is my constant working on goal. As a blogger I should be attempting to improve my writing every day. Last year I had a series of things that needed work. This year was more of a general just keep improving. Hopefully you all out there feel I did that.

 10- Double the amount of blogs listed on my blog list
If there was ever a goal that should be simple to complete this is that goal. My reason for this goal was just as simple in theory. There are blogs out there that aren't listed on the Sports Card Blogroll. Instead of just running across these blog every so often. I wanted to get the blogs on my blog list so I could find them every day.

When I started the year the list stood at 23 blogs which meant I needed to add 23 new ones to double up. Yes, I reached this goal slowly over the course of the year. I do believe there are some blogs out there that don't get noticed like they should. If you have one to share I'd be happy to check it out, and add it to the list.

So how did I do for the year?

Even with goals that were tougher than the 2013 ones I did better. Honestly I'm surprised at how well I did when it comes to accomplishing all ten goals. Yes, there are a few that I could have done better with, and possibly hit the 90 mark, but 85 is very respectable.
Looking forward to 2015, and the goals department. I have some things I'm hoping to accomplish, but you won't see an actual bloggolutions for the year. I'm going to be joining the revolution of people who will let their collections dictate itself. I will be doing a post with some things I'm hoping to do for the year. None of those will be set in stone things like I have done these last two years. So look for these in the near future if you are interested int hat type of stuff.

2014 Bloggolutions- Year End (part 1)

With the year coming to an end, and a few of these already popping up. It's time to get the results for my 2014 bloggolutions.

This year I added difficulty to some of the carry over goals. Some of the new goals had a little more of a difficult feeling to them also. My goal was to make these things that would take focus for the entire year not just short term. In 2013 I was so new to blogging that some goals were easier than I thought they would be. Keeping those goals in mind I went harder this year, and as you will see still did quite well. I might have even done better this year with those much tougher goals.

Due to these goals I did a much better job of keeping track of things. This is why you see the part 1 in the post title. I'd like to go more in-depth, and share my notes in these two posts. So without further ado lets get into it shall we?

1- Make over 240 posts for the year.
This was a much tougher than I thought it would be goal. Three months into the year I was ten posts up on the twenty per month I thought it would take. Then came April, and the wife's car wreck. From there my posts started taking a sharp decline, and next thing you know I was behind schedule. From there I once again started another come back, and made up some of the lost ground.

December was the final nail in the coffin for me coming up short. Yes, I could have cranked out some posts, and made it happen. I was a mere 21 posts away, but just couldn't get myself to do it. Something in me just wasn't motivated enough to put out the required posts, and thus I fell short of the 240 mark. 

In the end my biggest problem is I go through writing spurts. One month ideas are flowing like crazy, and I'm writing almost daily. The next month the ideas either dry up, or I just don't feel like following through on ideas. What I learned more than anything is my breaking point seems to be somewhere between the 215, and 230 post point. While I will continue writing as normal in 2015 this gives you an idea of what you can expect for the year. As for how I did with this goal.

2- Finish 10 sets or subsets of baseball cards.
While I didn't accomplish the ten sets I believe that I did fairly well. Especially when you consider my prediction at the start of the year. That being most of the completed sets wouldn't be from my lists that were currently needing less than five cards. Amazingly not one of the completed sets came from that list. If you would have told me I'd complete the amount I did, and not one would be from the less than five I'd have thought no way. Well, it happened!

Starting off the first half of the year I had four sets crossed off the list. They were 2013 Opening Day set, 2010 Upper Deck Ballparks, 2013 Chasing the Dream subset, and 2013 Gypsy Queen Collisions subset. Not a bad start to the year as a couple of those went down easier than I expected.

From there things slowed a bit as the second half saw two huge sets bite the dust. 2013 Topps flagship series 1 and 2 were the victims. These two had huge wantlists, and went down in one giant swoop. After this the set completions stopped, but some others took hits. 

Yes, I got six set, and subsets completed for the year. If you ask me this was a huge success as it wasn't just better than I honestly expected to do. Other sets I have been trudging along on for years are getting closer. Hopefully 2015 will be the year I can finally cross some of those off the list.

  3- Add Rosario, and Trout nectar to the collection
 First off for those that don't know about this goal. Nectar is the slightly more expensive items. Basically this consists of auto's, patches, bobblehead's, and anything else tougher to find than the basic flagship cards.

When I set this goal I thought it was going to be near impossible. I also was realistic, and knew most of these would be Wilin Rosario items. Mike Trout is such a huge superstar that anything from his I added were going to be a bonus. True to my prediction, Rosario dominated this goal.

Things started better than I ever expected in the first half. I was able to add the following four items into the collection. Mike Trout McFarlane figure, Rosario Future patch, Rosario Gypsy Queen patch, and a 2014 Rosario Museum auto, and patch. Talk about starting off with a bang.

Little did I know that those cards, and figure would be minor league compared to what was coming. Sputtering along, and adding a Rosario 2013 Golden Moments auto, Rosario Making His Mark patch, and a Trout 2014 Bowman prizm.That is when Chris from the awesome blog The Raz Card Blog dropped a mailer on me. This might be the greatest mailer I have, and ever will receive again. Inside were four cards that not only pushed me past my goal of ten. These cards left me stunned, and still as I write this have those same results. Trout 2014 Donruss Dominators prizm, Rosario 2012 Bowman cyan printing plate, Rosario 2014 Donruss Press Proof, and Rosario 2014 Heritage patch.

When the smoke had cleared eleven items were added. I was pleasantly surprised at the fact three of them were for Mike Trout. This was the amount for him I had hoped for at most, and so hitting it was a nice addition.

4- Complete 52 trades of baseball cards.
Possibly one of the more important goals I set for the year. One of the many reasons I do this whole blogging thing is to trade with other collectors. I knew going in that 52 was going to be very tough for me, and quite the stretch goal. Yes, I could probably do it easily if I just sent a PWE to people over, and over throughout the year. That wasn't the way I wanted to attempt reaching this goal. I wanted it to be a mixture of both, and let the chips fall where they may for the year.

One thing I was is pretty consistent when it came to this. Before July 1st I had sent out 23 batches of cards. after that date I mailed out another 20 for a grand total of 43 trades sent out. There were a couple more that I had planned on doing, but they have gotten held up. I will try to get these sent out sometime this month to their new homes. While I didn't accomplish the goal I don't feel that I did all that bad in where it ended up.

 5- Add 40 cards into the Rosario, and Trout collections
Going into the year this was another goal that I had a feeling on how it would end. Not if I would add the amount of cards planned, but that a majority of the cards added would be for Mike Trout. When the smoke had cleared I was right on with most the cards being for Trout. Most sets are putting out so many cards for him, and only one or two for Wilin Rosario. I knew it was a no-brainer that most the cards I got would be of the Mike Trout variety. I did have my doubts on the number though as I wasn't sure if I could find 40 cards for the two. The cards from the nectar goal wouldn't be counted or it might have been much easier.

Amazingly I hit the nail right on the head. Added to the Rosario, and Trout collections were 40 new cards. Mike Trout topped the additions with 31 new cards for the year. It was an almost even split of amount added each half of the year. The first half saw 16 come in, and the second half 15. As for Rosario I added a respectable 9 cards with a split of 6, and 3.

There you have it. The rundown of the first five goals I had set for 2014. The 43 out of 50 is right around what I had hoped for when setting these goals up. If I could have done just a sliver better on the sending out cards front it would have been a dream.