OK, so… (Part II of II)

Alright, so…the future.

I don’t think I’ve gotten into this here yet (it’s possible that I have, but a search for “50th birthday” didn’t turn anything up), but sometime in the past few years, I started to think, for a variety of reasons (space, money, no kids, the amount of time I have left to truly enjoy what I have and get the rest to people who will, the obstacles that a pandemic has thrown in the way of collecting things, and other reasons I’m just not thinking of at the moment), about winding down my collecting by my 50th birthday, which is coming up in a little less than a year now.

Now, I have been buying things or having things bought for me since I was a very young child, and I’ve actually been collecting them since the late 1970s (I have some toys, comics, and even a couple of records that have survived my early childhood; I started on cards with the 1980 Topps set, so cards are definitely a 1980s concern), so I’m not foolish enough to think I’ll stop buying new things, or never go back and buy any older things.

However, this idea of completism…finishing sets of cards, runs of comic books, series of toys, and so forth? That, I’d like to wrap up as much as possible, as soon as possible, as most of the things I’m still doing it with are older now, and getting expensive, hard to find, or both.

Without the ability to browse stores, yard sales, flea markets and hobby-based shows, for the reasons discussed in Part I, it can be a real drag trying to do this, too.

I’d like to eventually just do what I see regular folks who casually enjoy, and casually collect things do, where they see something they like, and they just pick up that thing, without worrying so much about its broader context, how many other things they’ll now have to consider owning, and all that nonsense that’s pretty formally ruled my life since I started reading The Daily Planet in the back of DC Comics as a very young kid, and looking at the card backs on action figure packaging.

I’ve actually made a lot of headway on finishing things up before the deadline, and I am gaining perspective on what I’ll realistically be able to do in the next year without substantial help from people, as well as perspective on how much space I’ll need to store what I don’t have yet.

It just feels like it’s time, or way past time, to stop chasing and start enjoying, or trying to enjoy, anyway. I don’t know if I’ll succeed, but I’d like to try.

As for what I think this’ll do to even a very regularly updated version of this site? Honestly, given the backlog of virtually everything I have to deal with, I could probably write entries regularly for the rest of a long life without buying anything new or running out of things to talk about.

As far as posting goes, as I re-activate this site, or try to, I do, once again, have to re-silo everything I post about, because I exist online in more than just this space. I find that it is very hard to get the few of you who read this site to visit the other spaces, though, which makes me think that some of you only love me for my trading cards (and gosh, are you going to be disappointed as I gradually sunset, or at least pause, that collection, particularly the sports part of it) that you used to mostly read about when I was in the heyday of posting to this site’s predecessor, which is like a decade ago now.

Again, while it is an incomplete resource (mainly because not everywhere I post is public-facing), the ‘tree should help you find some of the rest of that, and you could also always reach out and ask me where everything else is (I am the last person on Earth who enjoys long personal emails).

I think that should do it, for the moment. I wrote a lot tonight, so I’ll let y’all catch up, and start thinking some more about What’s Next. Hopefully, at least some of you will be along for the ride, whatever shape it may take from here.

Oh, one more thing: please subscribe or re-subscribe, if you want notifications of these posts by email. When I wasn’t looking, stuff on my subscriber list got weird, so I had to nuke it. There were not many of you on it, but you got at least one email from me today, so you’re hopefully aware that I’m active again. There’s a form at the top right. Thanks!

OK, so… (Part I of II)

…let’s first see where we left off, and then, in Part II (I’m getting bold here, and making the assumption that I’ll write a Part II), we’ll see what there is to talk about now.

Some stuff left hanging in my last few posts:

Twitter: I still have my accounts there (basically in the interest in protecting usernames from getting taken by squatters and becoming Nazi spam), and I do read y’all when I can, but I have not been responding, nor have I been posting anything new of my own since I think 2 weeks after my last post here, when That Other Asshole took over. We’re still waiting to see where everyone ends up, which is tough when venture capital is trying to tear apart anything with mass appeal, and people don’t want to go to the smaller sites because “their friends aren’t all there”. (There’s also the small matter of a lot of the smaller sites being run by people who have no idea what they’re doing, but that’s another story.) The public or semi-public places where I can be easily found and reached are in the ‘tree.

Renovation stuff: bedroom done (pics coming soon), study is still a work in progress, but getting closer. I can reach all of my bubble gum cards and all of my comics at the same time now, so that’s a huge step up there, but now I have to figure out where everything I had to move out of the way to make that possible should go.

Cards I’ve gotten this year, and set-building: I’ve stuck to my guns on no Fanatics-designed Topps sets so far. I actually haven’t gotten a single 2023 Topps or Panini/Donruss card yet. Near as I can tell, The Last Card of 2022 was that Pro Debut Bo Jackson insert, and The First Card of 2023 was a photo finish, as I got a 1977 Kellogg’s Dock Ellis the same day as I got my ’22 Topps Update set, which should be the last new, complete set I end up with until 2029 Topps Heritage comes out. Otherwise, I’ve mostly been working on my Dock Ellis player collection, with 6 new additions in total this year, and I did finally pick off a ’72 Topps Steve Garvey, which is on its way to me.

In looking at current eBay and COMC prices, there are no bargains anymore, none at all, and with my health being what it is, I don’t have the resources I used to for finding things outside of my house, since I don’t browse anywhere anymore. That takes a LOT of the fun out of card collecting. I’m not saying that getting stuff on eBay, especially in spots when I run into a rare deal, isn’t fun, but everyone with any manufactured collectible of the post-WWII era has been treating their stashes like the second coming of Beanie Babies, because, frankly, people are desperate and hurting right now, so they’re looking to get top dollar for absolutely everything at all times. I’m also not saying that trading isn’t fun, and we’ll be circling back to that in a bit.

But…imagine for a second, for those of you who do, for whatever your reasons, feel safe casually leaving your homes these days, if you could no longer browse your local card shop, yard sales, flea markets, card shows, Target, etc. safely, and think about how much harder and more expensive it’d be to continue collecting trading cards. And yes, while on most days, trading cards are the least of my worries in this regard, that’s the position that the rest of you have forced a great many disabled and otherwise high-risk people into, by pretending that COVID is over because you’re bored with the plague and want to go to Applebee’s and lick each other’s faces. It’s not over, no matter what commercial realtors have made the President of the United States tell you, or what bullshit the eugenicists at the CDC are trying to feed y’all. Keep masking up, keep getting vaccinated, please give the non-essential travel and recreation a rest for a good while (and have an honest idea of what “non-essential” entails), and please be more considerate of your fellow human beings. Oh, and before you try, when I hear people tell me “you can’t keep people in their houses forever”, do you know what I hear them saying? I hear them saying that they no longer think of disabled people and people at higher risk of death from COVID as people.

(Hey, you asked me to start posting again!)

So, assuming I haven’t driven off what I generally find to be a relatively conservative audience from my following in one hobby by begging for my life (and, seriously, if reading any of this makes you angry, please re-assess your priorities in life), yes, I’m going to be looking into trading soon, because it’s the only real chance I have of finishing the sets I’m trying to, and because I need to make space in my house for other things. I have tens of thousands of cards in my “doubles pile”, and will be adding more even without having finds, as I’m starting to come to the conclusion that I’m less interested in finishing some sets, and have less of a chance of finishing them, than I did when I started building them. There are also players I used to collect that I don’t collect anymore, so there’s some big stashes of that kinda stuff. I updated my priorities a bit in the sidebar, and my big card want list (which did recently shrink by 10 pages, because I took a bunch of sets off that I hadn’t gotten a new card from in over 5 years) is current. Feel free to reach out, especially if we haven’t talked in a while. I may or may not be on a certain Discord which may or may not exist, or at least whose existence may or may not be public knowledge, so feel free to reach out there if you know what I’m talking about, as well.

I also have a few trades in progress that I need to circle back to before I start making new ones, but I just managed to finish getting the card boxes where I need them to be on Monday, for some perspective on how all of that has been going. I will get ahold of you ASAP, for reals.

Onto toys, I still owe y’all some pictures, which in this case, may break your brains, but I got a few more Mego-scale figures this week (Alice Cooper, Nathan Grantham from Creepshow and Reverse-Flash, all by Mego), and I have a few more coming (Tura Satana, no, really, Tura Satana, along with Deadman and the Super Friends version of Hawkman from Figures Toy Company).

Comics would definitely break your brain. Let’s skip comics for now. We’ll get back to ’em, though.

Video games, I’ve mostly been playing Stardew Valley, though I got Space Invaders Forever earlier this week, and that’s a lot of fun. I haven’t been playing a lot of games that were actually developed for Playstation 5 on my Playstation 5, which is, from what I understand, a relatively common experience. Go figure!

Haven’t bought a ton of new music of late (The Hypnogogue by The Church being the most recent CD, I think, and this beauty being my most recent vinyl of any kind), but I’m listening to plenty, and keeping up with new albums, too).

Tons of TV and movies. Too many to get into here, too. I never finished posting the October movie list from 2022, so here’s all of it:


October 1st: Return of the Living Dead (1985) plus Return of the Living Dead II (1988) (bonus)
October 2nd: Saloum (2022)
October 3rd: Frankenstein (1931) plus Orphan: First Kill (2022) (bonus)
October 5th: Mad God (2021)
October 7th: House/Hausu (1977) plus Werewolf by Night (2022) (bonus)
October 8th: The Craft (1996)
October 10th: Maximum Overdrive (1986) plus The World’s End (2013) (bonus)
October 11th: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) plus May (2003) (bonus)
October 12th: Häxan (1922)
October 14th: The Amityville Horror (1979)
October 15th: Hellraiser (2022) plus Army of Darkness (1992) (bonus)
October 16th: The Omen (1976) plus A Trip To The Moon (1902) and The Meg (2018) as bonuses.
October 17th: C.H.U.D. (1984)
October 20th: The Exorcist (1973)
October 22nd: Bingo Hell (2021)
October 23rd: Terror Train (1980) plus Prom Night (1980) and The Fog (1980) as bonuses.
October 24th: Carrie (1976)
October 25th: The Babadook (2014)
October 26th: The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)
October 28th: Forbidden Planet (1956) plus The Hidden (1987) (bonus)
October 29th: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) plus The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951), The Stepford Wives (1975), Zombi 2 (1979) and The Stuff (1985) as bonuses
October 30th: The Wicker Man (1973) and Phantom of the Paradise (1974) (bonus)
October 31st: Nosferatu (1922), plus Wendell and Wild (2022), Shadow of the Vampire (2000), the The Legend of Sleepy Hollow segment of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) and It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) as bonuses

In short, we killed it last year, absolutely killed it. It is my intention to purposely avoid trying to “beat” 2022 this year, because that makes it far less fun and way more like work, but we covered a ton of ground. Our consensus favorites, aside from the films discussed here, were probably Hellraiser, C.H.U.D., Bingo Hell, The Fog, The Hidden, The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Stepford Wives, Zombi 2, The Stuff, The Wicker Man and Shadow of the Vampire.

Another thing I did sneak in, sorta related, was watching every one of George A. Romero’s Dead movies recently, either re-watches or first-time viewings. I’ve seen the first 2 films a billion times, but hadn’t seen Day of the Dead or Land of the Dead since either first came out, and I’d never seen Diary of the Dead or Survival of the Dead, which are both better movies than the reviews would suggest, even if they’re smaller-scale movies (which means George probably had fun making them).

Like I said, a ton of TV (though I’m stalled on a few of my “big” series watches like Dark Shadows, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and Cheers) and movies, and I’ve finally got my TV set up the way I’d like it to be. I ditched Google TV as an OS (de-lousing my set as much as I possibly could on that front), and I’m using a 2022 Roku Ultra to run everything now. This set-up is only a week old, but it’s so much better. Google TV is an only-sorta-functional nightmare (keeping sound synced, in particular, is the worst) with a terrible user interface. If you like the picture or sound quality of a particular set, but find that it runs Google TV, please, get a Roku or something. Honestly, having a Roku that does 4K and has an Ethernet port now is the best television viewing experience in terms of comfort, familiarity and ease-of-use that I’ve had since before cable went digital. It feels like a television again, rather than a computer monitor with some half-functional apps. Highest recommendation.

I ran out of steam typing all of that, so I’m going to try to split this into 2 parts (talking about “the future” more in Part II). Stay tuned for that, and yes, eventually, I will post some pictures and scan some things. Maybe I’ll even add categories to one of these posts! (I’m probably way too tired to run this site the way I used to, though.)

Looking through other “recent” posts (gosh, that’s a laugh), I definitely left some other threads hanging, so over time, I want to try and figure all of that out, too.

In the meantime, I hope this post finds you well, and in a perfect world, there should be another post soon.

(Still) Still Alive


Those of you who follow me on teh Twittahs already know that I’m still kickin’ around, and hopefully, I haven’t worried the rest of you much.

Weird times still, of course, and not great ones. I hope you’re all doing OK. If we haven’t talked in a while, feel free to fill me in on stuff in the comments (those of you who I talk to regularly can do that too, if you like, but good or bad, I know about at least some of what’s up with you already).

Keeping busy with a bunch of my hobbies, and eventually, you’ll hear about stuff and see pictures. We’re doing a bunch of renovation stuff in my house, though, so it’s gonna be another minute.

On the trading card front (how most of you who are still following me started following me), I’m still pretty likely done with set-building on new Topps cards, though I went 2 factory sets deeper than I was planning to (I’ve got ’21 and ’22), because the ’22 design is the last one that Fanatics had no input on or influence over. (I’ll probably grab an Update set at the end of the month, too, but that should be the last of it until I move the goalposts again.) I was weak and grabbed (and overpaid for) one of those ’60 Topps design Pro Debut Bo Jackson Memphis Chicks cards, because come on, but that’s probably gonna be about the extent of new card purchases, basically “Ooh, that’s pretty, FINE, I’ll get it”.

I finished Brooklyn Dodgers team sets for ’53 Bowman Black and White, ’54 Bowman and ’55 Bowman since we spoke last, and I’m close (if down to the tough ones: Koufax, Drysdale and the team card) on ’57 Topps Dodgers, too. I’ve put together an entire album of all of the Senior Professional Baseball Association sets, which was fun. I’m working on the master set of Pro Set Superstars MusiCards and Yo! MTV Raps cards, and I’m close there (and need to get back to Gavin about that). I’ve been working more on non-sports of late than anything.

Toys, I got…a few more…Mego-scale figures, and some other things. You’ll see soon, hopefully.

Comics, ditto. I’m close to done buying new big-two-companies comics, though, too. I’m buying maybe a third of what I was a few years ago. I have enough to read for a while, and I don’t like how they handle their properties anymore.

Video games, I’ve got a Playstation 5 which I enjoy but don’t play often enough (Stray is amazing, though, so good, I beat the game twice in a row the night I got it), a Retro Freak which I enjoy but also don’t play enough, and I’ve beefed up my Atari 2600 collection a bunch (even replacing Swordquest: Waterworld and Mr. Do’s Castle, which I’d gotten rid of ages ago).

I’ve filled in my CD collection a bunch (the biggest things are probably completing the Siouxsie and the Banshees and Skinny Puppy studio album collections and the Bobbie Gentry box set), but haven’t done a ton with vinyl since it became much, much more dangerous for me to crate-dig.

I’ve been framing posters. After my bedroom’s painted and the rest of my house is sorted a bit more, I’ll show y’all what I’ve got.

I got some more musical instruments which I need to use more often.

I’m watching a ton of movies and TV. I watched 513 out of 514 episodes of Peyton Place (episode 390 is quasi-lost media at the moment), and it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in both very good and very bad ways. I’m working on 3 other series right now, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Cheers and Dark Shadows. We’re in the middle of our annual October movie thing in my house, though we’re not watching a movie tonight because there’s some painting going on in the living room.

So far:

October 1st: Return of the Living Dead (1985) plus Return of the Living Dead II (1988) (bonus)
October 2nd: Saloum (2022)
October 3rd: Frankenstein (1931) plus Orphan: First Kill (2022) (bonus)
October 5th: Mad God (2021)
October 7th: House/Hausu (1977) plus Werewolf by Night (2022) (bonus)
October 8th: The Craft (1996)
October 10th: Maximum Overdrive (1986) plus The World’s End (2013) (bonus)
October 11th: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) plus May (2003) (bonus)
October 12th: Häxan (1922)
Of these, my highest recommendations go to Saloum, Frankenstein, Mad God and Häxan on film-making quality, but basically everything except May, which hasn’t aged well at all, was fun or redeemable in its own ways. Some were definitely re-re-re-watches, mostly the bonus ones.

No pictures again, and not many links (Y’all know how to look stuff up…be curious and enterprising!) but I think that’s enough to let y’all know I continue to exist. I don’t know how often I’ll update here, but I’ll try to get a post with pics in before the end of the year. I’m way more prolific here, but “here” requires an invite because the public and quasi-public Internet is kind of a drag these days. Feel free to ask for one.

Hey, I’m still alive.

I hope y’all are well, too.

Given what my last post here looked like, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that I’ve been overwhelmed with life stuff since I wrote it. I have managed to fit my hobbies in somewhat over the past 5 months or so, and I’ve even scanned a few things here and there with the intention of posting about them (I have gotten some really cool stuff lately, and I still owe everyone the Negro Leagues Legends card set post or posts, which everything is scanned for), but it hasn’t happened yet.

Part of this, mind you, also has to do with the fact that my main newsletter (which used to be at Substack, but Substack harbors and subsidizes the work of all sorts of truly terrible people, so I didn’t want my newsletter there anymore) has been chugging along at my other website. I’m not writing daily at the moment, like I did from September-February, but I am starting to write with a bit more frequency again. It’s private and invite-only, but also free (unlike a lot of these newsletter ne’er-do-wells), and covers mostly pop culture and my personal life. (A little bit of hobby stuff has leaked in, but I’m really not cheating on y’all that much with the newsletter.)

If you’re interested in reading it (subject to approval; everyone reading it is someone I’ve had some extended contact with either in-person or online, and I’d like to continue to keep it that close-knit, though there are definitely some of you here that I think would enjoy it, and would qualify for being on the other side of the wall), email me (including your preferred email address for receiving newsletters and preferred username for the comment section/archives), and if I know who you are and feel comfortable inviting you in, I’ll hook you up.

I’ve actually given some thought to taking this site private, as I did with my other one to make the newsletter out of it, but for reasons related to my energy level alone, that probably won’t happen for a while, if it does at all. Yes, it would be an inconvenience to people who just wanna read the thing if I did it, but I’ve also come to the conclusion over the past few years that public life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, so I’m finding myself more and more inclined to do my writing and Internet socializing in slightly more private settings. I got rid of Facebook and Instagram, I locked my Twitter accounts, and, as mentioned, I even made my main website private.

Honestly, it’s working out well for me, I think. I’m able to concentrate better on what I need to do (which has been important, because holy crap have I “needed to do” a lot these past few months), and when I talk to people I know (email’s been my preferred method, though I also have a private Discord server or two that I frequent), I’ve been having fuller, less surface conversations. It’s been a meaningful and positive change.

With that said, again, if I do put this site behind a wall and make it Newsletter #2, it probably won’t be for a while (my guess would be this coming winter), so you have time to enjoy my extremely infrequent posts, which tend to be more about this site than the topics this site was built for, these days, before it happens.

I do have some other site business, related to what this site’s actually about, to discuss, though! I am also posting to note that Highest Priority Card Set Want Lists, Highest Priority Comic Set Want Lists, and Baseball Card Flagship Sets Progress Report have been updated for the first time in over a year, and that, while I haven’t been able to add many cards to my trade pile (which means there are only about 70,000 available for trade in it), and I only have about half a small box of comics that I’d consider to be “available for trade”, I am fully vaccinated and comfortable making recreational trips to the post office again for the first time since last August (And really, the couple of trips I made last summer? I shouldn’t have.), so if you are interested in doing The Trades, let me know.

That should about do it for now. Again, I hope y’all are hangin’ in there, staying safe, and enjoying what you can.