We already covered that I somehow managed to do this, right?
How about this?
Toward the end of the flea market season, at the regular table of a coin dealer that I don’t usually spend a lot of time at, I spotted a bin of non-sports tobacco cards, and, when I glanced a little closer, almost immediately spotted the Arthur Wardle artwork. (I’ve wanted to get some of his cards for the longest time.) After a bunch of digging, I ended up with a near-complete set in great shape for a pretty reasonable price. Every card you see here except the Polar Bear card (which is the first I’ve gotten around to grabbing from eBay and, if it isn’t obvious right now, is not in the excellent condition these other cards are) is from that one lot.
My want list for these:
20 African Elephant
21 Indian Elephant
23 Common Fox
Television seasons binge-watched in September 2019 (2): Fleabag Seasons 1 and 2 (I accidentally watched it all in one sitting. I found it to be relatably problematic, if that makes sense.)
I will get through the rest of 2019, y’all, though in the past few weeks, the year summary and the goals for 2020 have become very different things. Stay tuned.
1. I hope you’re all well, and stay that way. If I haven’t heard from you in a while, or even if I have, drop a line in the comments or via email, when you can. I think it’s pretty important to keep in touch right now.
2. I will be finishing My Year In Hobbies 2019 relatively soon. I plan on not leaving the house for a while, if I can help it, so it shouldn’t be that hard to make time for.
3. I’d say that we’re still looking for teams for my fantasy baseball leagues, but there kinda might not be sports for a while, so feel free to apply, but who the hell knows?
4. I plan on killing some time at Heck if the sudden downtime allows for it, and have also been playing No Man’s Sky on PS4 again of late (email if you want to meet up).
5. If you’d like to get notified when this site updates, there’s an email subscription form in the top right hand corner (or, on mobile, wherever this blasted unresponsive WordPress theme puts it, until I redo the layout). It’s relatively low-traffic, and will keep you in the loop, if you’re not one of the 3 people who are subscribed to my RSS feed.
That’s it for now. If I think of more, I can always post again (and annoy the email subscribers).
It took me weeks on either purchase, but I finally bought some 2020 cards.
By now, you’ve seen ’em all, and they’re really nothing to write home about visually, so I’m not gonna scan ’em. No, really. I can tell you that my Series One gets were much better than my Heritage ones. I got Vlad, Acuna, Paddack, a bunch of other rookies and stars, the Clemente 35th Anniversary card, Greinke and Josh Bell in my Turkey Reds, and 2 Vlad insert set cards in Series One. I got a Don Sutton Baseball Flashbacks insert in the Heritage box. No high numbers, no players I collect, not much in the way of interesting-to-me rookies or stars. The Heritage cards look a *little* better in person, but not that much. The photography’s almost painfully generic, which I’ve seen other people complaining about more than the font issues. I just don’t get how you can take a sure thing like ’71 Topps and screw it up. Biggest disappointment of a Heritage set since 2012 (and that one was just me not liking the base design/card stock), and I got a crappy box of it, to boot.
On the Series One front, if you’re looking for the following inserts, they’re available for trade:
Decade’s Next Kyle Tucker 14
Turkey Red Willson Contreras 19
Turkey Red Justin Verlander 38
Turkey Red Blake Snell 85
Turkey Red Chrome Jacob deGrom 65
Decades’ Best Tony Gwynn 56
Decades’ Best Chrome Phil Niekro 40 (How often has Phil Niekro been on a Chrome card of any kind?)
High priority will be given to anyone offering up these cards from the 2020 Topps 35th Anniversary insert set (not building the set, just want these singles): 8-9, 14, 19-23, 38, 48, 51, 53, 55-56, 61, 64-65, 70, 72-73, 77, 79, 83, 88, 96-98, 100
I probably won’t buy too much more, if any more, of either of these. If you’re looking to get some old cards for some new cards and have a bunch of doubles (or the 35th Anniversary stuff I’m looking for), get ahold of me, and we should be able to do some trades, at least on the Series One. I honestly shouldn’t trade doubles of cards I like for 2020 Heritage. It is REALLY disappointing stuff.
Before anyone asks, I’m keeping the Vlad Jr. tin, to put my weed in or something. (No, I don’t actually smoke weed. I’m an old square. It’d be a cool box to keep your weed in, though, if you do that. Not that I’m recommending that anyone do drugs. You have Hollywood to do that for you, or the TikTok, if you’re one of the youngsters.)
Also, and I don’t think I’m alone here this weekend, but I ran into the 2020 Series One tins in both stores I went to tonight, one of which was a Target, so I’m not sure if they’re as hard-to-get as people tried to make them out to be, initially, and they’re obviously not Walmart exclusives. I didn’t run into any Prizm basketball, though, so that’s probably really sold out everywhere.
So, yeah, it’s that time of year again. We had a long-time owner bow out because he’s not watching much baseball or playing fantasy sports these days, and were kinda lookin’ for some more people to begin with, so we’re up for adding 1-3 expansion teams to this, and another thing we’re working on, which you’ll read about below.
A few details not listed in the above image:
1. We’re a dynasty keeper league. For the past 5 years, we’ve actually let people keep their entire rosters (it wasn’t a hard requirement, but people could keep up to 25 players), but this year, we’ve dialed that back to letting people keep up to 20 of their players.
2. We’re probably not going with Batters Grounded Into Double Plays as a pitching category this year, but it’s there right now because it’s been a category for about a decade, and because we haven’t decided on a new one yet.
3. After this season’s over, we may be moving this league to Fantrax, as they give leagues year-round access to their keeper leagues, and, even more importantly, the league message boards. I left Facebook recently, which means that right now, this league doesn’t have a true year-round community forum. I’ve been testing Fantrax for that, and it works pretty solidly, but it’s tough to get people to adopt, as some of us have been on Yahoo for over 2 decades. We’ll always be sentimental about Yahoo, and may stick around, but the feature set has gotten more and more limited and broken over the years, so we’re at least considering a permanent move at this time.
4. So, in addition to the Yahoo league this year (and you don’t have to be in both leagues; it’d be fine if we had some new, different owners in each), we’re going to draft a new, non-keeper (at least as of right now) league from scratch on Fantrax, too. We’ve got the same 9 owners over there, most of the same settings (Fantrax has Inherited Runners Stranded as an available pitching category, which we’re using instead of GIDP there) and we’re drafting the same night (March 21st), right after we each draft our 5 players on Yahoo.
As for the league’s history, this is our 19th season, largely with the same crew of owners (2 of us have played every season, and about half the league’s owners date back to the mid-2000s). We switch team names a fair deal during the season, but aside from that, we’re relatively stable and well-behaved in our old age.
If you’d like to join either league, feel free to comment, or drop me an email, and we’ll talk about it!
After spending my summer watching New Japan Pro-Wrestling, I jumped at the opportunity to see a show live when they announced their Fighting Spirit Unleashed U.S. tour.
I made it to the first night, which was labelled as being in Boston, but was actually in Lowell, MA at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.
Not only that, I got to meet a few of the wrestlers! Here I am with Lance Archer, who did the first of what would be a couple surprise meet-and-greets in the lobby of the venue.
After I met Lance, I headed up to my seat, and was talking to the people in my section, when one of them casually mentioned that Tomohiro Ishii was also taking pictures and signing things for people downstairs, in a part of the venue that I didn’t make it over to.
You have never seen someone with bad knees and equally bad feet traverse two flights of stairs quicker.
Those of you who don’t care about pro wrestling, or who are unfamiliar or uninterested in NJPW might not get why I ran, so I’ll do my best here, above and beyond what you’d read at the Wikipedia entry, or see in that so-fast-it’s-blurry GIF of him and Shibata: Tomohiro Ishii is maybe the toughest, most shit-talkingest, punch way above his weight class badass in the world. He’s a billed height of 5’7″, but built like a tank, impossibly strong (I’ve seen him throw around Bad Luck Fale, who’s around 400 pounds), deceptively fast, and fearless. Due to the scripted nature of pro wrestling, he doesn’t win the big matches quite as often as many of us feel he should, but I can guarantee you that everyone he’s in those matches with walks away feeling like they got their ass kicked, and with their self-esteem pretty wounded by the demoralizing things they’ve had him say about them, but probably strangely proud and grateful for the experience. My Japanese isn’t good enough to pick up on all of what he says, and Chris Charlton, the resident Japanese translator on the English broadcast team, doesn’t repeat some of what he says, for what I assume are obvious reasons. He’s one of the people who the wrestlers themselves tend to stop and watch, because he’s great at his craft (he can carry just about anyone to a very good to great match), seemingly able to turn off his pain response at will, and also incredibly entertaining.
I also met TJP outside before the show, as he’d come outside to meet up with a super-fan of his, then ended up talking and posing for pictures with what seemed like about 100 people before he found her. I didn’t get a picture with him, but I did get to say hi for a minute, and he liked my Orange Cassidy shirt.
All of the wrestlers I met were totally cool to me and everyone I saw them spend time with. Not a shocker, as, generally speaking, when I’ve met pro wrestlers, they’ve been solid citizens.
As my seats were pretty far back, I didn’t get many pictures (I also wanted to watch the show without pretending to be a photographer), and the ones I got were not great (it was tough to balance the dark arena/bright wrestling ring thing, clearly), but I figured I’d give those of you who are familiar with NJPW one shot that should give you an idea of the star power at this show.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, a pretty strong case can be made at this point for Kazuchika Okada being the best professional wrestler who’s ever lived. Hiroshi Tanahashi‘s really not far behind him, and carried New Japan for many years. Kota Ibushi has singles wins over both of them (though he fell short in his match vs. Okada at Wrestle Kingdom last month), and he still has a good chance of catching up to both of them. EVIL is also an awesome, and still very steadily improving wrestler with a great gimmick (think of him sort of like a Japanese version of The Undertaker) who’s a member of New Japan’s most popular stable of wrestlers, Los Ingobernables de Japon. If the people in this picture weren’t enough, LIJ’s leader, Tetsuya Naito (who beat “Switchblade” Jay White for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, then beat Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship on consecutive nights, becoming a double champion on this level for the first time in NJPW’s history at Wrestle Kingdom) and EVIL’s partner SANADA (who many feel is a future IWGP champion, and is also one of the best wrestlers in the world right now) were both in the match, as well. (Oh, and “Red Shoes” Unno is more or less the present-day god of refereeing.)
Full results for the night are here, and it was a great night. Along with the main event, Lance Archer vs. Ren Narita, and Tomohiro Ishii and Amazing Red vs. BUSHI and Shingo Takagi (which Ishii did win) were my favorite matches of the night.