Thursday, November 27, 2014

Oh The Irony

When planning on doing this post I didn't originally know that the subject of this post would be playing. Now that I do know it helps in making things a little more relevant here.

Continuing my two days of clearing out the unreturned artelopes. We have today's winner, and opponents of the Dallas Cowboys.

Gone for almost three months now. The Eagles seem to be collecting stamps this year as they are on most schedule collectors wantlists. Mine seems to now be one of those in their new collection.

The idea for this was the team helmet with the eagle wing. While it doesn't look too terrible, I had hoped for it to turn out better when I drew it. More than anything I hoped the results would be better. Maybe a business cards into the collection, and crossing Philadelphia off the wants. In the end it just wasn't meant to be so I guess it's time to move on.

Oh, Yeah!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Guess I'm Not Bowl Eligible

With Thursday being Thanksgiving here in the United States. I figured over the next few days I will keep things simple, and just clear my files of the five envelopes that haven't been returned, and odds are at this point won't be getting returned.

Sent just under two months ago, and still gone. When I send out requests that are strictly for business cards, and something like a college bowl game. They have always made their way back within the month or they aren't coming back. I've held out hope for too long now so its time.

When it comes to my bowl game artelopes I keep it simple. Unless I can come up with something that is real close to the actual bowl games logo. I just stick with putting the games logo on the envelope. For this I kept that trend, and just added the address under the logo.

For this artedlope I did modify the logo a touch.The football is usually kept empty so to change it up I put the address inside the football. I slightly modified the mountains which in the giant scheme of things is a small thing.

When it comes to bowl games I think my odds on a return are running at fifty-fifty if not worse. I will still keep trying to add bowl games into the business card collection. Just the rate at which I attempt them will continue to be very rare as my returns are rare. I'd rather spend my time, and stamps in other areas where the return rates are much more favorable. Even if I don't get business cards from some of the professional leagues. They send schedules which gives me something to show for my time, effort, and stamps.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nicasio To Dodgers

While I was sitting here writing about the extension the Mariners gave to Kyle Seager. Another deal that affected my player collection was being completed as well. That being Juan Nicasio to the Dodgers for either the famous player to be named later or cash. What this means in simple terms is the Rockies were done with Nicasio, and the Dodgers thought why not take a shot at a cheap costing player.

For all parties this is a great move that even though I'm not a Dodgers fan I like. For the Rockies they are moving on from a player that has just never reached the potential the team believed he has. For the Dodgers they can either try him out as a fifth starter, and see if that potential ever shows. If that doesn't work they can do as Colorado was, and put him in the bullpen. Nicasio gets the chance to leave the Colorado air, and see if he can put together a decent career finally, so it's a win for him as well.

I'm glad to see Nicasio getting this shot as while I have been collecting his cards. He did get the short end of the straw during his tenure in Colorado. Brought up due to circumstances from double A Tulsa. He was never truly given the chance to fully develop as he was the best prospect in the minors at the time. Injuries to the starting staff, and trades by the front office of starting pitching forced the young arm into action. It would have been interesting to see how he would have done if given the proper time in the minors. Maybe now being part of the Dodgers great pitching staff we will get to see some of that talent shine through.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Seager Signs Extension

As most people have heard already. Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager has signed a seven year deal with the club. Included in the deal is a club option for an eighth season.

Add me to the list of people that are thrilled to see Seager get this deal. Seattle has a roster full of blaring holes with Cano, and Seager being the most solid everyday players. I've commented a few times in the past on this very blog about hoping the team would keep Seager around long term. This deal makes that happen for the next seven years atleast. With Seager now signed hopefully the team can now move on to filling more of the teams huge holes.

First base, and the corner outfielders being the biggest holes. Finally giving up on Justin Smoak the team site list Logan Morrison, and Willie Bloomquist as the two players at first base. Neither player instills confidence for fans on getting much production from that position. Throw in that Morrison missed a large amount of games in 2014, and you are stuck with Bloomquist. A player who is nothing more than a utility player as the teams first baseman. Not exactly the best situation for the team in 2015. Hopefully the team will find someone out there, or a prospect will step up. If not it will be a long season of mediocrity at the position.

With how bad the first base position looks the outfield corners is even worse. In left field you have Ackley who is hit or miss constantly. When he is on top of his game the man is incredible. Problem is those times are few, and far between.The bright side is Seattle is rumored to be in on the Justin Upton possible move. Adding Upton would be an incredibly large upgrade to the position.

In right is Logan Morrison, and Michael Saunders. The same Morrison that the team is relying on to play first base. What that leaves is a very disgruntled Saunders for the majority of playing time. Not long ago the team called out Saunders for what they believe is a poor work ethic. All this could be leading to Saunders being traded if that is even possible. Personally I feel his value is probably as low as ever, and will be just a thrown in piece of another trade. That is if any other team out there is even interested in him. To say right field is a mess would be an understatement.

The best news of all now though is Seager will be a Mariner for seven more years.

More Business

I know these aren't my more popular posts when they are posted. The thing is that since getting the hobby room is mostly completed. I have been pushing hard on getting the three hobbies organized. Part of that process is getting these type posts done, and the cards put in their place.

Just this weekend all the schedules for trading have been put in boxes. Now all that remains is going through them, and doing the tedious project of putting them on the new blog site. Things have been going so well that my unlisted traders shoe box is at its lowest level since I bought it seven years ago. That doesn't mean they are all listed yet as odds are this will take a month or two before being completed. It just means I am now set to hopefully work on it at a faster pace than normal.

Another thing that has been getting done, but still has some work is the business cards. Until the big schedule swap last month, and a big business card trade through the mail. The business cards were fairly close to being organized. Now there is a stack of around one hundred cards waiting to be put in their place. Most should be easy, but a few will require some research.

I've been so focused on the schedules that the business cards have been pushed back. After another PWE from Jay who was the big trade. I'm glad that the stack still needs some work.

The best news of all is Jay hit me with an NHL team that was missing, and a missing minor league hockey team. When an envelope starts out with those kind of odds you know things are looking up.

The first two are a big question mark, but the Pirates one is new. Three out of five isn't a bad start for this batch of cards.

Jay finished things off with two more missing cards from the collection. Business cards that are related to college's are very slim in my collection. So adding a card this cool from Army was a sweet deal.

To say that Jay nailed it with this PWE would be an understatement. With how tough it has been in adding business cards from the major sports teams. Adding the Columbus Blue Jackets card is huge.Trading business cards with other collectors is tougher than it seems. Being able to add all the cards Jay sent in his two returns, and helping out his collection. This has to possibly rate as the best business card exchange I've done in the 13 years I've been collecting sports team business cards. Hopefully we will be able to work something out again in the future.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's Not 2008 Topps, But I Like It

Larry who writes the blog 'My 2008 Topps Set Blog' recently dropped one of the famous PWE's on the cat. Contained within wasn't any 2008 Topps cards, but other items that are always welcomed at the cat house.

Every time someone like Larry sends me a schedule that is a couple years old I can't help, but wonder. Did he once collect schedules? Does he know another schedule collector he picks them up for, and saves a few for future trading? I ask, because some very unexpected schedules have found their way to me from some unexpected sources.

Newer schedules are always appreciated just as much as the older stuff around here. The wild part about these spring training schedules are you really have to pay attention to the year. They don't seem to put a whole lot of thought into their designs.

The Diamondbacks, and Rockies follow that same trend. They atleast change the angle of the picture they use for the stadium at the bottom. It's not much of a difference as I've mistaken different years schedules in the past.

Not everything was schedule related in this fun little PWE. Larry mixed it up with a card as well.

I had to save the card until last as it just hurt to much. Seeing it reminded me that there was no racing on television today. No fast cars running around an oval track at high speeds. No fights after the race to talk about all week. Just NFL football, and the chance to think about the college games we watched on Saturday.

Even with the sad reminder Larry. Thank you so much for the schedules, and card. They are very much appreciated.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Presents From Santa Raz

Just recently it was revealed to the cat that one of our fellow bloggers is a celebrity. That blogger hails from the great blog 'The Raz Card Blog'. While most of us know him as Chris he hides a secret that I just recently learned of. That secret is he is a distant relative of this man.

How distant I am unable to tell you. Maybe one day Santa Raz will share with all of us in the blogger world. What I do know is some of his trade secrets. Those secrets are how I discovered Chris was hiding something from all of us.

What I learned is how Chris makes his deliveries. The method he uses is why I was the first to put his charade all together. Unlike his relative that goes with the sled, and reindeer on one day in December. Chris uses this system to deliver his presents throughout the year,

Using this method has helped him disguise the fact he's related to the more well known Santa Clause. Then you throw in last, but not least his stockings. While we all know Clause uses the more decorated, and actual stocking shaped stockings. Raz goes with another method that helps disguise his identity.

That is right kiddos. Santa Raz uses bubble mailers so no one will suspect his true identity.

Now that I have shared the a small sampling of the evidence I give to you the real evidence.

To the few that actually see my NASCAR related posts it's no secret that we are huge Kyle Busch fans here at the cat house. From reading Chris' blog I also know he has a Busch fan in his house. So thank you for wrestling this beauty from said fan.

These next two cards I know were the ideas of Chris' staff.

I know this because they might be the least obvious cards in the batch.

Zunino is one of those secret players I collect. The few guys that I am still on the fence on whether or not I want to go full force on their cards. What you can't see is both cards are shiny, and Zunino is numbered 117/199. The other thing you can't see, and will be dealt with in a series of posts next month. What my collecting status will be with Mike Zunino cards.

Gonzalez comes from what is actually my favorite team. While this blog seems to be filled with Mariners quite a bit. That is due to them being the second favorite team, and the logistics of us living in the Northwest. In my heart I am more of a Rockies fan, and love adding this Gonzales into the batch.

From there I learned that I must have been more than good this year. I must have made Santa Raz's awesome list.

All green, red, and shiny in one single card. This has to be by far the coolest Mike Trout card currently in the collection. Any time I can add a tougher than usual Trout card into the collection I get excited. To get one that has all the bells, and whistles this card has is truly awesome.

When I first saw this card I almost got up, and started dancing I was so excited. Little did I know Chris was just warming up.

Two more very shiny, and just as sweet Kyle Seager cards. As I saw these two cards the feet started even getting closer to dancing. What I didn't know is Raz was just starting to get serious with this gift.

Being a Rockies fan I have to collect atleast one or two players on the team. Going away from the obvious Troy Tulowitzki collecting. Rosario was one of the guys I chose to collect. Personally it was a great choice as I think he has some sweet looking cards.

Lying beneath these two cards were three cards that had me so excited that I wanted to dance, but couldn't. I just ended up sitting here with the mouth gaping open, wanting to do something, but was unable to know what it was. Simply put, I was so stunned that I didn't know what to do.

Let's start with the top card, and very cool looking Heritage patch card. I love the classic look of this card, and the patch just adds to that awesomeness.

While some people aren't fans of the Donruss stuff due to the licensing thing. I am a big fan of the stuff they put out this year. The purple border on the Rosario card just adds to the coolness factor with this card. The nutty thing about this card is not that it's a 'Press Proof' numbered  114/199. The nutty thing is I don't believe I have this card in 'Non-Press Proof' form.

The final card Chris sent blew my mind. The blue looking Rosario card is the cyan printing plate numbered 1 of 1. I never imagined in a million years that any portion of the baseball card collection would contain a 1 of 1. Not only being able to add this into the collection, but have it be from another blogger blew me away.

Chris you are a legend in my world. I could spend weeks trying to thank you, and it wouldn't do justice to how thrilled I was to get all these cards. Hopefully this crazy post shows some of that to you, and everyone out there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Still Down, and Out Artelopes

Tuesday's post mentioned about how I have been feeling down, and out with a cold. While writing the post I was hopeful that things were making a turn for the better. They might be doing just that, but the cold still seems to be holding on. Since I want to write something, but just can't get my brain focused enough t do the two big posts I have planned. What you are getting today is another day of me hoping this cold final bows out, and a half-hearted post of two artelope returns.

The Monsters are one of the very few hockey teams I actually collect schedules from. Honestly they are the one minor league team I have been the most consistent in trying to get each year.

Before starting the artelopes project the Monsters were missing from my business card collection. Now in its second year I have gotten a second business card. To me that feels like a success.

I thought being the Nets are a basketball team why not go with a ball through a net. A little something new in the design department seemed fitting.

Unfortunately the team only sent three schedules, and not the business card I was looking for. Like NFL, and NHL teams the NBA teams are tough additions. Maybe soon I'll attempt a couple more teams, and will have better luck with those teams.

Unlike Tuesday where I was hopeful to be feeling better. I feel pretty drained right now, and am looking to just survive the week at work. Then spend the weekend working on feeling better. Until then who knows how, or when posts will come.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Caught A Cold

A couple days into our recent vacation I started to feel the early stages of a cold coming on. Lasting through the remainder of our vacation. I finally lost the fight on Thursday night while sitting at home.

Not feeling the best all weekend, but pumping orange juice into me. Monday night I started to feel better, but today will be the true test. After having a little over a week off having a blast work is calling again.

Using my warped mind, and some cards that came in from Ron of TradingBases. I got to thinking about how much better I'd be feeling if cards were medicine. I could start the heeling process by taking two of these.

Two Tex cards is way better than two cold pills, or a drink of the nasty cold medicine. Either way these two  go down way better than any of that other medicine.

Adding a Rosario into the process would be just as helpful as anything. See the guy laying down on the ground in the card. Hopefully a card this cool would knock my cold out as well. What I do know is I felt like that player on the ground. So much that I spent most of my Saturday, and Sunday sleeping.

Nolan would be the blanket you are buried under most of your time sick. That blazing fastball had to make the hitter feel a little warm as it passed by.

The scary thing is once I see this posted on Tuesday I'm going to be wondering what the heck. It will show more than anything why I probably shouldn't write while sick, and tired at the same time. Either way there is no going back now.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

University of Utah Utes

For some strange reason the artelopes project has been running kind of slow. Within the last two months I sent out nine envelopes, and until picking up the held mail on Friday. Only one of the nine had made their way back home. Things changed on Friday, but not by much as only one return was waiting inside the rather small batch.

I thought it would be cool to go with a portion of the school's logo. When I did the artwork at the time I was kind of torn on my opinion of it. Looking at it now I'm pleased with the final result, and thrilled with what it yielded.

The original request was for football schedules, and a business card. When it was sent I was hoping that it wasn't to late for the football schedules. As you can see from the scan above, not only did I get football. I am going to be saving another two stamps by not having to write for basketball schedules.

These are the two things I was most excited about in the entire return. There is already a business card for the Utes in my college sports collection. That card was from the time frame they were in the Mountain West.  Since making the jump over to the PAC12 I have traded for Utah schedules, and not written the team. Now the collection has the two designs the college is using since joining the PAC12.

These two were fun little additions into the mix that were a huge surprise. The smaller is a tattoo that odds are will end up on the daughter at some point. The big red card talks about where the Utes got their name. I'm going to add the card into my Utah schedule collection while putting the schedules away.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

No Catchy Title Here

Before going on our journey to So Cal there were two mailers that came in. The first of these was an expected package full of pocket schedules.

Coming from fellow TradingBases member Mark. These beauties arrived a couple days before our exit out of town. Problem was I couldn't come up with a catchy title for the post. From there things went downhill in a hurry when it came to thanking Mark.

Without a title I was lost. A poor soul sitting at a keyboard, but lost at what I should say. Thinking about how I could dream something up before we left town. As you can see by the fact that this post is after the trip. The catchy title never came, and honestly still hasn't showed up.

Problem is Mark deserves something to show how much these schedules are appreciated. He needs to know that these all arrived safe, and sound. Not out roaming the world lost, and looking to arrive at their destination.

So here I am still without that title, but thanking Mark for a sweet package of schedules. It's a little late in its timing, but hopefully still effective in its message. Hopefully next time the catchy title will come to me, and the wait won't be as long for a thank you.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Cat Returns

What a trip! I was going to say the room was awesome, but I think the wife said it was more of a condo or something like that. What I do know is it had two full bedrooms, a living room, dining room, and full kitchen. We were at Disneyland so the kitchen's only use was drinking glasses for water, and microwave to reheat a snack the others got while I was at the park. Could have done both of those in a regular room honestly.

While I don't have any pictures of the condo/suite, or whatever you'd call it. What I do have is this photo from the balcony of our room.

I believe they call that Grizzly Peak, and it is one of the more obvious formations inside Disney's California Adventure. From our room we could look directly down, and see Discovery Trail.

 A hard look to the right, and we could see World of Color, and attempted to watch it one night from the balcony. Problem was you could hear it quite well, but seeing the pictures on the water was a no-go. This was a bummer as one night they were working on the Christmas version, and while we got to hear most of it we didn't get to see it. Kind of a sneak preview on a show that I think started the same night that we left. Would have loved to see it, but I guess you can't win them all.

Our park days were as expected with the crowds at almost peak levels. We still got tons done in the way of rides, but not so much in my favorite part of pictures. I got a fair amount of pictures of the Christmas displays, and loved the Carsland stuff.

The problem came in the form of lines for all the characters, and Photopass photgraphers. Much like ourselves, it seems tons of other people want pictures in front of the Christmas Trees, and displays. Add in a fifteen year old who would rather spend her entire trip doing nothing, but rides and skipping the pictures. So pictures of us on vacation isn't as large of a batch to choose from.

We did get to do the two things though that I wanted most on this trip. The first was to finally see the 'Nightmare Before Christmas' overlay they do on Haunted Mansion.

The second was to get a photo with Jack Skellington, and Sally.

Check, and check.

 Skellington was an awesome experience as they didn't just snap a picture, and send you on your way. The two interacted with each group before doing the photo. The daughter had on her Olaf t-shirt, and he talked about how much he liked Olaf's brother. Said they could use a people eating snowman in Halloween land.
Once things start to get back in order I'll have to pick out one of the pictures, and put it in the Jack Skellington frame I found a few months back at the thrift store. Then comes the adventure of making room in the hobby room to show it off. Hopefully I'm up for the challenge in the near future. Don't want this to be one of those things I put off, and put off until it either never gets done or takes two years.

There was so much to see, and do in the way of Christmas stuff. That is probably the thing we enjoyed the most about this entire trip. Showing the pictures I have is just tip of the iceberg in the way of decorations. Every day more started appearing which only added to the experience. What is the most nuts in my opinion about all the decorations. They didn't officially kick off the Christmas season until the day we were leaving. So odds are more stuff went up that we didn't even get to see. It has definitely put me in the Christmas spirit.

In the end I was glad we went, but it is nice to be back home, and relaxing for the next four days before going back to work. All the rushing around begins to wear on you towards the end, and being able to wind back down will feel great. The worst part is we left some beautiful weather in California. The first two days were insanely hot, but the remainder were perfect. Cloud cover with that not to hot, and not to cold feeling you love to have. In Portland we arrived to it snowing, and icy roads which we managed to maneuver through just fine. Now at home it's raining, and we've had to crank the heat on, but it is good to be back.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It Still Hurts To Watch 8

As has been the ritual anytime I will be away from blogging for more than a few days. The ever popular 'It Still Hurts To Watch' makes its blogging appearance. Throw in that I am accumulating quite the stack of cards for these posts. Why not give the blogging world another one of these fun little posts.

Honestly I'd love to have something either wise or funny to say, but I don't. What I do have is the first of three cards that feature the ever popular play at the plate.

Great job by Martin in blocking the plate, and getting the out on this card. Amazingly they put the stop on plays like this in 2014, and the card is a 2014 card.

Not the best final card I've shown in all these posts. I honestly can't even confirm that this card represents a play at the plate. The dust all flying through the air, and the fact he is crossing home got this card into the pile.

On a side not of interest. This is the first card I have done in all the posts that shows the back of the card. There are a few more in the pile, but Al Martin can now say he got to be the first.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ernie "Big Cat" Ladd

Since we are currently on vacation I am breaking out a few of the old stand by type posts to get through this time. One of those has been the cat nicknames post I've only done three times. What that means is today we are adding a fourth to that list in the name of.

(image from an internet search)
Starting off his career as a standout player during his time in high school. Ladd received a scholarship to Grambling State as a basketball player.  
While I can't find any stats for his basketball career I did see the man player Defensive Lineman on the football team as well. His time playing for the school left a lasting impression as he was selected by the both the Chicago Bears of the NFL, and the San Diego Chargers from the AFL.

Deciding to go with the AFL choice in the Chargers. Ladd came into the league, and dominated from the start. Being one of the biggest, and strongest men to ever play professional football. During his short time with the Chargers, Ladd helped lead the team to four AFL Championship games in his five years.

The relationship ended fast though as Ladd, and the Chargers front office had constant problems with each other. Making an agreement with the Chargers to take a pay cut, and become a free agent at seasons end in 1965. Once the season ended both sides didn't go quietly as the AFL Commissioner ruled in Ladd's favor. Signing with the Oilers for one year then moving on to the Chiefs the following season.

When Ladd's football career ended up being cut short due to a knee injury he turned to professional wrestling. Starting of a short run as a fan favorite, Ladd's true calling was as a heel. In the 70's Ladd quickly became one of the top heels due to his arrogant behavior towards the good guys. Sticking around until 1986 when his knee injuries final forced his retirement.

Sadly Mr. Ladd was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003, and died in 2007.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Been A Busy Week

To say this past week has been a busy one would be an understatement. If you are one of the few that reads my NASCAR race update it would be slightly obvious as I didn't do that post Sunday. Throw in that all except for the cards from 'Bob Walk The Plank' blogger Matthew. My posts have been a little off this week.

All this is because we have been preparing for a trip to.

We are a little extra excited about this trip, and have been going nuts trying to get things ready. Not only for ourselves, but for the wife's friend who will be watching the house, and dog. I won't go into details, but I keep calling this the dream trip. The reason is we will be getting to stay at a Disney hotel which is something we've never imagined possible. I think we will enjoy ourselves to the max being we aren't sure when the next trip will be as this trip wasn't supposed to happen.

Now onto the main reason for this post. More than anything there is another blogger out there who I can't leave hanging before we leave. Chris who runs  'The Raz Card Blog' sent out a mailer my direction. I can't go away, and not let him know it arrived in all its glory.. So, more than anything my point of this entire post is to let Chris know that I got said mailer. Once we return, and my head is a little more clearer it will be getting a full write up. So for right now all I can say Chris is thank you so much. To everyone else I say go to Chris' blog, and hit him up for a trade or just stop in, and read his stuff. He does a great job, and is one of the blogs I constantly visit.