Friday, May 29, 2015

Latest artelopes

During my time of being sick two of my last three artelopes that were roaming the badlands made their way home. One of these was a drawing that I was fairly proud of, and even more proud of the results.

My scanner doesn't do this envelope justice. While my stars could still use a little work sometimes. This was one of those drawing that even being simple was one I'm pretty proud of. Even though it all looks red from the scan it is orange. I actually used an orange pen with sparkles in it that just left this envelope sparkling all the way around. The Dynamo for those that don't know are members of the MLS, and so I just went with a large version of the teams logo. Something about the logo just called out to be the artwork for this request. In the end I listened, and it paid off.

Usually I put down wanting schedules with my requests to go with the business card. Judging from the return I failed to do this, and personally it doesn't matter. The reason for this request was a business card, and business cards is what I got.

These are very well done cards by the Dynamo's, and something they should be proud of. From the cards I've been adding lately it seems like alot of teams are stepping up their game when it comes to their business cards. Houston can be added to that list of teams doing this. With this card into the collection only 11 teams remain from the MLS with more requests about to head out soon as the Dynamo's return put a little pep in my step.

My other return came from baseball, and the Midwest League. At the time this was sent out I'd done a fairly decent amount of requests with not many making it back. This left me mentally drained, and unmotivated for drawing. I knew that I needed to get a request sent out to the River Bandits as they are one of the many teams who went through an affiliate change. Looking for ideas this is what I came up with, and it works for the teams name.

Despite being a few years since mailing the team, and thus not knowing what to expect. The River Bandits showed that they haven't lost a step since the last time I sent out a request their direction. Included in the return was three of the schedules above, and a business card with the new affiliate logo on it.

Thanks to this return the Midwest League is now back to fully represented in current status for the business card collection. This puts the count to six leagues current, and 30 teams needing to either be updated, or having an original card added to the collection for baseball. With these two returns I've got the motivation back, and with me starting to be closer to beating this nasty cold. A brand new batch of requests will be worked on over the weekend for teams in baseball, soccer, and lacrosse. Hopefully these can nail down some much needed teams in the collection.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

It Still Hurts To Watch- Sickly Edition

While it is a little tougher to notice this year compared to past years. I have been gone for a full week, and a half. This absence wasn't due to not wanting to write, or lack of post material. No, this was due to me catching the brutal cold going around my neck of the woods. Instead of having a wonderful time playing around I have spent the last week so sick that the thought of writing was the furthest thing from my mind.

Thinking about how to announce my hopeful beating of the worst part of this cold. I thought why not run with the old reliable 'It Still Hurts To Watch'.

If a person was to ask me what my favorite style of card for the pre-collision card I'd have to say ones like the card above. There is something awesome about that close-up shot of the catcher without his mask on. That opportunity to look into the eyes of the catcher as a runner is bearing down on him. Nothing is cooler that seeing that look if you ask me. 

I thought a while back I bought a few of these cards with classic collisions, but this is the only one I can locate. You won't hear any complaints here though as this if you ask me is the perfect card to use as the first classic collision card. You can never go wrong with Jackie as your first collision.

This card sums up the way I have been feeling more than anything. I feel like I got hit hard, and the guy was still laying on me adding to my pain.Hopefully my pain will end, and I can start getting a few more posts up fairly soon.

In all of this there was some good news. While taking it easy I spent tons of time in the hobby room, and got some serious organizing done. The baseball cards are looking better than they have for years. If I can just get over the last little hurdle life ill be so much easier with the cards. I did get that hurdle started though so that is something.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

From The Founder

Not long ago Kevin who was the founder of the online trading group TradingBases sent out a call for some missing Mets cards. On that list was a few cards from 2015 Opening Day that I just so happened to have. So an e-mail was sent to make sure no one had beaten me to the punch. Luckily I was the first, and was able to send Kevin the cards he was looking for. It also gave me a chance to send him a few other cards I'd been saving. I'm terrible sometimes about sending things out until getting a reminder like the original e-mail was.

After getting the e-mail Kevin went straight to work on gathering up a return. What he sent was more fun than any PWE should contain.

First we will start it off with our two friends from the American League. Wally falls under that category of either being inspired by minor league mascots or was the inspiration for them. He's one of those weird looking things that you just can't explain. I bet if I was a Red Sox fan I would know more, and could dazzle you with fun information about Wally, but I can't. As for Captain he's simple to explain, he's a horse.

Closing out the fun, and from the National League is the Braves mascot. He falls under the category of the baseball heads that just look different. To me the whole baseball headed mascot seems a little played out, but with the team name what are you going to do. Maybe at some point they can figure something out more original. Either that, or give him a better look than the one he currently has. I'm just not a fan of the way he currently is.

Thank you so much for all this fun Kevin. Adding three mascot cards into the collection is always a fun day.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

I Can Dream Can't I?

If I was to make a dream list I know one of the things that would be on that list would be living in the Phoenix area during spring training. I mean how awesome would it be to go to spring training games all the time? Get to go, and see all the MLB teams play in a laid back atmosphere. The only downside I could see is would I have enough vacation time to take the days off to see all the games I'd want to?

I see you wondering what is the entire point of all this anyways? Simply put it has to do with my latest PWE from Larry of the great blog My Topps 2008 Set Blog. Larry much like most everyone out there knows that the cat lists schedules as one of his hobbies. Not only does he collect schedules, but his two favorite teams are the Mariners, and Rockies.

This years Rockies schedule was a welcomed change in my opinion. The last couple years these schedules were very close in design. The only difference was the picture was taken from different areas of the field. Seattle has been fairly similar the last few years, but just enough of a change that you don't feel like it's the same schedule.

Larry tossed in a little bonus from the Seattle area to go with the memories of spring. To a Seattle fan this schedule is salt in the wound. Being the only professional basketball in Seattle is a sore subject to the basketball fans in Seattle. Lucky for me I'm both not a huge NBA fan, and if I was Seattle wouldn't be that team.

As for Larry living one of my dreams. I'm not sure about how far on the list living in Arizona would rate. I'm kind of fond of states close to the ocean now. Being able to drive less than two hours, and be at the ocean is a pretty cool thing. Being close to spring training still ranks pretty high though.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Artelopes- Bad Luck Returns

With the cat not sending out any new requests for almost a month. The amount of artelopes out roaming the world has gone to a mere six. All six were sent with the hopes that they would return with business cards inside. Sad to say the three that have made their return lately came back with no business cards, and various amounts of schedules.

Starting the list of three was a request that I honestly had given up on. Sent out over two months ago I gave up on this envelope, and had contacted the team via e-mail. A new request that was strictly for a business card was sent, and came back unsealed. There are so many things I'd like to say about how can you not be smart enough to lick the envelope, but I won't. What I will do is show off the three schedules sent by the team.

The Danger kept their schedules simple this year by doing them small sheet sized. While there are so many negative things you could say. I can't do it as for an arena football team the simple sheet schedule works. If the team was in the Arena Football League then I might feel different, but Nebraska plays in a small league so it works.

Second on the list went to Biloxi of the Double A Southern League. The Shuckers are a new team, and for some reason just seemed a little tough to dream up artwork for. Running low on ideas I decided to keep it simple, and run with the ever popular team logo.

I take it the Shuckers weren't impressed by my work. Only sending one lone schedule, and zero business cards.As for the schedule itself I enjoy what Biloxi did. While the main part isn't mind blowing I think whoever created the inaugural season logo did an excellent job.

El Paso is in their second season in the Pacific League. Wanting to try something a bit different I thought it would look cool to do the Texas flag with the Chihuahua over the star. Adding to things was instead of running with the colored pencils I went with the gel pens. Kind of giving it a new style by not doing ful coloring was all part of the concept.

While the team failed in the business card they did quite well with the schedules. Seven schedules were stuffed into a small envelope that was simply put bulging at the seams. How their return made it back to me without blowing open is beyond belief.

Hopefully the remaining three requests that are out lingering will turn things around. Until then I have these three haunting me.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Duff Really Has The Stuff

When coming up with the title for this post I wasn't sure if it would be lost on people or not. Odds are until I start to explain it a little more even those that do know are possibly lost. It is all a reference to the man who had to be one of my favorite wrestlers in WCW.

During those days I enjoyed the gimmick of the man who wore the tall hat, and cool looking sunglasses. He just looked like he was having a blast, and doing what he loved. Throw in the catchy name of Buff 'The Stuff' Bagwell, and he was just too cool.

While Buff had the stuff there are odds that he didn't have any of this stuff.

The one who did was the man who is always Bleedin' Brown and Gold, and runs by the new name of Duff 'The Stuff'. Sorry Bag's but there is a new sheriff in town, and he always delivers the stuff us bloggers are looking for.

Duff wasn't done with those four schedules. No, he dropped even more stuff on this cat that kept him excited.

From there 'The Stuff' got serious by hitting me with business cards from another team in his area that has been eluding me. Duff doesn't just send any business cards though. No, he sends the cards of the assistant GM, the GM, and their play-by-play broadcaster. How is that for go big or go home?

Included in Duff's fantastic mailer was what has to be my favorite letter ever. The reason is Duff mentioned that he had hoped to have some other form of swag from the team to toss in. It then goes on to talk about how some staff went to spring training, but couldn't get anything. I guess compared to recent affiliates the new affiliate is cheap. Cheap, or not I really appreciate the four business cards from the Kernels.

Once again thanks for the schedules, and business cards Duff. Got some stuff I've had around here for a bit to send your way. Just need to get my act together, and send it out. Until then just know I appreciate the mailer.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Three More Artelopes

Since doing the post about the fantastic cards sent my direction by Marc. Three artelope returns have comes in and, are about to be shown in all their glory.

For the first time ever I sent out a request with the artwork done in pencil, and not colored. The RockCats are the new Double A affiliate of the Rockies starting this year. Due to the name I gave the daughter the opportunity to draw one of the things she likes to do best, music notes. After drawing the notes she just wasn't feeling like coloring them, and told me to do it if it was going to be colored. Personally I feel it is up to the artist to color their work so it was left just the way she did it before being sent out.

From the scan above you can see that the RockCats treated me well.Included in the return was four of the schedules, and one business card to update the collection. Seeing the purple bar across the bottom of the card was pretty cool to see when I first opened the envelope.

Another thing the daughter likes to draw, and probably her favorite is flames. I mentioned doing this drawing as I thought it would just make for a cool look on an envelope. She had never done fire with anything, but her Sharpie's so it did create a small challenge for her. I think she nailed it despite her worries that it would be an epic fail.

The bad news is the Blaze were the ones who epically failed in their return. The one schedule above is all that was in the return. I wouldn't have minded so much if the business card I really need for the collection was included, but no it was just one single solitary schedule.

The Revolution have always been one of my favorite teams to write. They have always been good to me in their returns, and have a logo that I love. In the past I've done some things with the eagle logo, but thought I'd keep it a little simplier, and do the drawing above.

Included in the return was three of the schedules shown above. There was no business card request on this one as the team has sent me a few the past couple years.

Overall I did decent with the three returns. Two of the three sent some great returns, including one of the two with a business card. The one bad return was terrible, and honestly not too surprising. California teams seem to be real stingy with their returns. To get the business cards I currently have from the teams I had to either stop by in person, or pull out my secret trick. Might have to try the trick again later in the summer. Until then I'll just enjoy the schedules these three sent.

Monday, May 4, 2015

I'm Not Sure If They 'Remember The Astrodome'. I Do Though.

Opened in 1965, and a few years before I was ever born. It would be ten or so years into my life before I even knew the Astrodome existed. This was because growing up in my family, sports wasn't anything anyone enjoyed. I was the only family member that enjoyed sports, and so I can't even tell you if anyone in my family knew about the Astrodome.

When I did learn about it I was simply amazed by its awesomeness. As I grew older it still remained as awesome as ever. So filled with awesomeness that whenever we played video games I imagined the game was being played in the Astrodome. I even recall a friend having a computer with a baseball game. Anytime we played the game always had to be played in the legendary Astrodome. This leads us to Marc, and his fantastic blog 'Remember The Astrodome'. Recently Marc had contacted the cat about doing a trade, and I was all for it. How can you not do a trade with a blogger who's blog is named after the Astrodome, and its memory?

While the Colorado Rockies played many a game at the Astrodome. How many players on the 2008 team actually played in the dome is a question I don't know the answer to. An answer that could be researched, but honestly I'm to lazy to research.

Born in 1991, and just over eight years old when the dome had its last baseball game played. One thing I can be sure about is that Zunino never played a game at the dome during his career.

Another player on the list that couldn't have played in the dome due to his age. Wilin was born in 1989, and would have been 10 1/2 when the dome was finished with baseball.

With such a decent sized batch of players you might think one of these fine players made it to the dome for a game. While I can't vouch for their years not in the majors. What I can say is the closest player from all the cards sent by Marc is Albert Pujols. Making his debut at just under a year, and a half after closing Pujols was close. Can you imagine seeing Pujols hit one off the walls of that stadium?

Unless they visited for some sort of mascot event we will say that none of these mascots were ever at the Astrodome.With all the events that go on at some stadiums it wouldn't surprise me if at some point one of these mascots made it there for something. Three of the choices are from the National League where the Astros played during the years of the Astrodome.

What I do know is that Marc not only sent me some sweet cards in our trade. He brought back some fun memories from my childhood. Thank you so much Marc for both.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

#walletcard- Kylecard Goes To The Movies

When we last heard from Kylecard in February he was starting to show some wear on his sides. Lots has changed since then, and it has been why February was his last sighting. Back then I finally got a new credit cards holder for the wallet. Sadly this new holder was much smaller than the old version. Smaller meaning that Kylecard no longer fits in any area of the wallet other than where the cash goes.

With that being his only home in the wallet I will be totally honest here. Putting him in that location wouldn't be a pretty sight. Odds are his survival rate would be very low, and that is just to make it through the month. So poor Kylecard has been sitting here near the computer as sad as the real Kyle has been. The good side is it means Kylecard is still surviving, and staring back at me daily. The downside is he has missed out on three photo ops that I really wanted to share.

Last night I seem to have solved the dilemma of how to get Kylecard in some new photos. In the car we have a spot we toss all our loose change, and now new home to Kylecard. This will work out great now as all I need to do is remember him, and when I believe a photo op is nearby. Kylecard can come out of the car, and join us for the photo. Now with all that out of the way let's get down to business. 

Saturday the wife has been eager to watch a movie, and so off to make the hour long drive we made the trip north.

The reason for this trip taking an hour was as you can see. We headed off to the closest drive-in for a double feature. A drive-in that as far as we know is one of the only two remaining in the state. I even got a crazy look from the wife when I brought out Kylecard for his first adventure picture. She was very understanding though as that is her hand holding him up.

For this art of the post I was going to do the picture of Kylecard in front of the drive-in sign, but we were met by a surprising sight. According to the wife they open at seven, but when we arrived at 6:30 they were already open. So this means no sign picture, and cards related to the movies instead.

(all cards from an internet search. I have a few of these, but to save time just ran with a search instead)

If you are either hiding under a rock, or lost without knowing what is going on in the world. The Avengers was recently released, and the drive-in knew it needed to play it and fast.

Being a drive-in meant we were in for a double feature. Our second showing was to be Cinderella, and was to start at almost midnight. I say was as things were working against us watching the second movie. First is the wife isn't feeling good. She wanted to watch it in the worst way so I had to protect her from herself, and say we needed to leave. Second is the daughter's friend already saw the movie so she was not really interested in a second showing at that time of night. Third is I'm not interested in the movie like the wife, and daughter are. Like the friend I'm even less interested in it starting at midnight, and with the hour drive afterwards I'm at a total loss of interest. 

Odds are if it is still playing next weekend we will go to a regular theater, and watch it then. So not seeing it last night shouldn't be a total loss for my two girls. Who knows if Kylecard will be making his second appearance then or not. Only time will tell when he next pops up.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Lost Files- Clearing The Folder

Every so often the artelope project needs to have the riff-raff cleared out. Unfortunately I've been holding out hope for too long when it comes to these envelopes. Today though I finally admit defeat on these, and move on towards returns that might actually arrive.

The NBA Developmental League was very hit or miss with me this year. This artelope sent to the Reno Bighorns was a miss which was a real bummer. Deciding to use the fact that the team plays in Reno where as we all know gambling is legal. I thought it might be a fun idea to do rolling dice, but with the dots as basketballs. It turned out just as I had hoped, but not with the results. An e-mail was even sent to a member of the staff in hopes that maybe sending a new request might yield results. I guess the team is just to busy as the e-mail went unanswered as well.

From looking at the basketball you can tell this is another unanswered artelope to the NBADL. With how bad my luck was with the league I stopped sending out requests when these two failed to return. I try to send out a couple feeler requests, and see how those go before going a little more full force. If one comes back I will usually toss out another one or two, and see how that runs before getting in too deep.

As per the idea for the artwork on this one. I went with the team logo, but added a bit of a twist. Our design goes with a different style of flames than the ones used by the Skyforce. I say ours as the daughter pulled off the flames being it is one of her favorite things to draw. She likes them so much another fire drawing will hopefully be making an appearance in the returns very soon.

Moving on from the NBADL to the IFL, or better known as the Indoor Football League. Only missing six teams in the league I thought it would be fun to make a run at finishing the league this year. This run made an abrupt stop as three were sent, and zero came home. I might still make a run at the three I didn't mail to as I'm just glutton for punishment. As for the Axemen I thought it would make a great drawing to use two axes as the artwork.

Number two out of the three IFL emptiness is the Storm.The bad news with this artelope is scanning it doesn't do the thing justice. While you can see the grey clouds at the top of the envelope. What you don't see, or have to look real hard for is all the lightning. The pen color I used doesn't show well when scanned, but look real good in person. That was my thought, but maybe the Storm office didn't think so as they never made a return. Much like the Bighorns I sent out an e-mail to the Storm, and fell flat there too.

What you don't see here is the third missing team from the IFL. That is because despite being what I consider a lost. The team did reply to an e-mail, and another specific request for a business card has been sent. That artelope will get its time to shine after the new request makes its anticipated return. The worst part about all these failures is I am now at seven for the year, and close to last years total. Hopefully things will turn around, and the year closes out with a bang.

Friday, May 1, 2015


For the first time in years, and waaaay overdue I got new glasses. The bad news is as I'm getting older so are my eyes. This has led to vision that continues to go downhill.

Things have finally gotten to the point where I had to either get progressive lenses, or carry two pair. Progressive won out, and now comes the adjustment period. Right now it is still driving me crazy to a point, but I'm working through it.

While I'm going nuts there is a silver lining to the new glasses. For the past couple years I honestly have had a brutal time when it comes to the baseball cards, business cards, and pocket schedules. The worst has been those smaller, and smaller numbers that Topps has been putting on their cards. Now thanks to these new glasses I will finally be able to read the numbers without looking for the magnifying glass. Should be fun to once again enjoy the cards they are meant to be enjoyed.I can't wait.