Sunday, November 29, 2020

Can't Believe I Did That

*takes a sip of freshly brewed coffee. Mmmm that first sip tingles the tongue and awakens the body like nothing else can. Today is going to be a good day.*

Back in August, I made a mistake. I did the one thing I told myself I wouldn't do, I bought off from a flipper. It goes against everything I believe in, but I was in desperate times of needing something to open. I needed to itch the fix. With no wax retail in months and my father not finding anything to trade to me, this was the last resort. 

I felt like I had sold my soul to the devil.

At that time I really wanted to open some Prestige. Its a favorite of mine and something I had opened every year of since its production in the 90's.

My break today of 2020 Prestige, may my soul burn forever, is a Mega Box. A Mega Box has 40 cards and includes 2 autographs. There are 10 cards per pack and 4 packs per box. 
The base set is a simple design as always. This years edition features 300 base cards with 200 being veterans and 100 being rookies.

You find quite a few rookies in every Mega, at least for mine. Some of the lesser known players are actually Sp's in the base set and are 20x tougher to find than the top rookies. Some names to keep an eye out on are,  Antonio Gandy-Golden, Laviska Shenault Jr and Zack Baun.

Found some Love, but the way is Rodgers is playing it may be some time before he hits the field.

And found Justin Herbert who at the time I didn't think would be playing as well as he is.

*takes a another sip of coffee, not that I haven't been sipping the whole time but didn't want you to wonder. Moving onto the parallels*

There are always a good group of parallels to find in Prestige. For 2020 you can find the following for veterans,
BASE XTRA POINTS PARALLELS: Green, Blue, Red /249, Purple /100, Gold /75, Orange /50, Platinum /25, Black 1/1, and Printing Plates 1/1.

The rookies have different parallels which are,
ROOKIES XTRA POINTS PARALLELS: Green, Red /399, Blue /299, Purple /100, Gold /75, Orange /50, Platinum /25, Black 1/1, and Printing Plates 1/1.
Here is gold as you can see by the gold foil on the base.

Sweet! PC pull of a purple parallel /100 of Saquon

*takes another sip before moving onto inserts*

Power House! Saquon is just that when he is healthy. There are 20 cards in this insert set to collect.

Highlight Reel has 20 cards to collect. I pulled Kupp and Jacobs.

Old School has most of those legendary names you have heard in NFL history with 30 to collect.

Impressions has 20 cards of players who made the most impact for their teams immediately

*my hits are next. Always such a risk buying something like this especially when you pay above retail for it. But, here we go...sips coffee aggressively trying not to slurp it everywhere*

My first autograph was as I expected...
Who in the Sam Hill is Jaylon Johnson...oh look a defensive player as well...ugh.

The next pull though...
Not too shabby at all! Ozzie Newsome autograph /5 with HOF inscription. I won't complain about that one.

*feels good about this break. Smiles behind the mug and notices that the cup is empty. So grabbed another cup to finish up this post*

The break I would give an A+ on. Low numbered HOF autograph, Herbert rookie, two PC hits. Can't argue with this kind of success on a retail box break.

Since this one time purchase in August, I haven't ever bought from a flipper again. I simply can't support those who clean off shelves and mark it up. The more any of us buy from them, the more they will continue to do that. So let's take a stand.

Considering most of my 2020 has been spent not opening that much, especially the last few months, I finally realized I can survive without ripping that much anymore. Until at least this hobby comes back down to earth again.

However, if they start clearing off shelves of coffee, then we will have a problem.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

My Biggest Accomplishment

*burns tongue on first sip of coffee. Didn't expect that but will move forward with this post feeling a little numb on the tongue. It's not like I am using talk to text for thissssssss ssssorrry*

2020 has been a year full of..........I will let you fill in that blank. So I decided early on this year when life hands you don't take them you go chase your own lemons to make lemonade. In other words, despite what is being thrown at you, beat those challenges and chase your dreams.

And that's what I did.

*takes a sip this time not feeling whether it burned my tongue or not and gets ready for the big reveal*

My life story can be put into writing or you could say I have been writing for my entire life story. From graded school stories of horror, to high school comedies to later-in-life blogging about pictures of men on cardboard (that doesn't sound right), I have never put down the pen or keyboard. I love to tell stories, see reactions from those stories and practice the art of writing on a continual basis.

One of my biggest dreams in life is to be published. For many years that dream has been to write a non fiction book, but as life has gone on its shown I just don't have the to sit down just yet for that. However, that doesn't mean that dream is dead, it's just taking a nap. 

Does that mean my dream of being published couldn't become a reality? No. Not at all.

With so much going on this year, I worked really hard to achieve my dream quicker. I came to realize not only am I not getting any younger to keep pushing off my main goal, but with a pandemic going on, who knows what life or how life will move forward. If I didn't try now, I may never or may never have the chance to.

That's what led me to wanting to write an article for Beckett. It would get me published and I get to write about sport cards. Can it get any better?

After making a few contacts with Beckett, I finally found the guy I needed to speak to. I proposed a few ideas that were shot down quickly but I didn't give up. Finally I sent an idea that was approved to move forward with, the idea was based on rules, similar to those of Gibbs from NCIS, of not leaving the last pack behind. 

The next step was to sit down and work on my craft. In order for it to be my best work, I knew I would have to write like I do on here. In the back of my mind also; I knew because the idea was accepted, that it didn't mean it would be printed if the piece didn't come out perfect. I would have to get extra help to accompany me to my dream.

So I had my good long time friend, fellow NY Giants fan, teacher, and Author himself, @StephenJFurlong take a look over my article and send me suggestions and corrections to the piece. Without his suggestions on some parts of the article, I am not sure if it would have made publication or not.

With that now being said, you know it got accepted and was printed.

After a long grueling 6 months of corrections and waiting time to hear when it would be published, here is my article in the December Beckett Sport Card Monthly,

(though blacked out name because it's on a blog, I promise you it's me!)


I am in awe. Those are my words printed in a nation wide magazine. I still cannot believe it. So much so I bought extra copies of course.

*takes a gulp of coffee, thinks that the morning has moved on enough now for some breakfast. What would be a great celebratory breakfast with so many options out there?*

The only disappointing part of the article, which was the ending and my favorite part, was edited out without notice, which I will share on here for you guys,

"Just don't make the biggest mistake and break the unwritten rule of the hobby. Don't be the Fernando Tatis Jr of the hobby. You know, taking a trip to target and buying three blasters of the latest-hottest product only to forget that you were supposed to pick up that last supper ingredient for your wife who is waiting for you at the door when you get home. That could lead to some real police work or, at least the very least, a Gibbs slap to the head"

Please let me know what you guys think of this alternate ending when you have a chance to grab your issue of December Beckett Sports Card Monthly to read it or try to read it through this blog.

Thanks to Stephen again for the assist on editing.

*takes another happy sip with toaster strudel toasting*

If there is a dream you are chasing, don't let it elude you any longer.
The sun is up on another day, today is the day you will chase it and accomplish that dream. 2020 can't stop you, only you can stop you. Go grab those lemons and make some sweet-sweet lemonade. I know I am sipping on it, well that and coffee of course.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

A New Start

*pours a fresh hot cup and sits down to type*
It's been well over a month since I last made an entry on here. Don't worry though, I haven't missed out on coffee that long.

I did miss out on something though, my laptop computer.

It was a cold, clear morning when I was about to sit down and make an entry on here. I went to hit the power button on my laptop and it wouldn't turn on. So I thought it must have a dead battery so I plugged it in. Noticeably-immediately, the charge light did not appear. That's when I knew there was bad news to be had. My computer had kicked the bucket....assumingly.

My next step was to text a family friend who was a computer guru and I told him of my issue. He was pretty sure it was the charger jack which was a pain to repair and could be very costly. Probably more than buying a new laptop if you had to hire a repairman. Luckily for me though, I dropped it off to him to take a peek at since he can take computers apart and put them together as a hobby of his. 

That was however over three weeks ago. 

I knew it would be awhile before he could possibly tackle the issue, he works full time and owns multiple apartment buildings he need to tend to, and that it may not be fixable even when he does take a look at it. 

In the meantime, all I had was my wife's computer she used during nursing school and a chromebook that has been kicking around for years.

*takes a sip, a chug, another sip, and chugged the first cup. Remembering back to using those wasn't an easy memory*

The Chromebook for some reason or another wouldn't connect to the internet in my house. It kept popping up the message that I was out of range though sitting in my living room right below where the dish comes in at. It didn't matter how many times I restarted it the same message popped up. The thing with Chromebooks are they are useless without internet connection.

Then there was my wife's nursing school computer that was used and abused from her years of schooling. It was like handing an elderly person with a cane and one eye a note and having them walk a mile to deliver it to a friend just to get one page to open. On top of that, when I went to upload my photos to the already pain-in-the-rear new blogger it turned everything sideways which was torture as I had to hand crop and turn every one of them. Posts that would take fifteen minutes stretched out to two hours....each.

*takes a sip of new cup of coffee, thinks about breakfast while doing so*

I was stuck. It wasn't as easy as just buying a new computer and calling it a day. First off, new computers were expensive and secondly, I am old school. It took me until after late 2010's before I started using a non flip phone if that tells you anything about me.

Then there was the thought of firing up ole reliable Mr. Desky. I used this desktop computer from the time my wife and I met until way after she had bought me that laptop that died just now. This desktop was used in the beginning of my hobby social media experience and blogging. I refused to give it up despite having a brand new laptop sitting right next to it, but overtime I decided it was easier to carry a laptop everywhere then having to be stuck at the one desk. 

I will be honest though, I still held onto this desktop just in case and stored it downstairs.

As I said on here already, I am old school. I don't replace old things with new things that easily. Tear in my pants, that's fine it's not that bad and they are still wearable. Hole in the heel of my sock, turn it around and still use it. Shoe bottom falling off, nothing a little duct tape can't fix. Hole in the armpit of my winter coat, that's fine it will help keep the pits dry. It's all good.

Then there is also the case of "they sure don't make things like they used to" and I have proof of that. My wife and I had a washer and dryer we used for 10 years when we first got together. Since then in the last five years especially, we have replaced the washer and dryer two to three times each. EACH. Which by the way, don't buy Samsung washer and dryers and this wasn't needed to be sponsored to be said.

So I always say "why replace something that isn't broken?" and that was how I felt about the desktop computer when my wife bought the laptop for me with good intentions. It just took me a few years to use it and when I finally got used to it, touchscreen and all, I really enjoyed using it.

But, here I am at the crossroads again. Do I really want to try and learn a new computer? Do I go back to ole reliable? Sit around and hope my old one gets fixed (in this case duct tape can't help it)?

That's when two days ago my answer came in the mail.

*finally decided on breakfast,
these delicious Apple Turnovers should hit the spot. I just hate waiting for them but at least I have some more of this post to go, and edit, and the oven is preheated*

In the mail was a good sized box which had my wife's name on it and as I always do, I give her the packages and try not to ask any questions. That's how you keep a happy marriage. I returned back to cooking/preparing supper up until she called me into the other room again. This time she wanted to show me what was in the package and what was in there was exciting for sure. She had bought me a new computer for Christmas from Black Friday ad!

I think she could see my frustrations with using the two we had and she knows how passionate I am about blogging and collecting so it was the perfect gift. She also realized she couldn't wait to give it to me as she got it purposely for me to use now.

Getting a new computer was great news at this point despite knowing finding cards under the tree now was unlikely this year. That's okay though, I got a computer I can use to talk about cards and it was simple and nice at the same time. Not a lot of hoops and yo-yos to learn.

Yesterday I teased a picture of it on Twitter stating that #CardsOverCoffee has returned and since you are reading this, it has!

*takes another sip of coffee*

I must apologize there were no cards in this post, I just thought an explanation of where I have been since my last post on here was a good idea. We can now head back into card discussions again and hopefully have more new posts soon.

In the meantime, I am going to enjoy my breakfast, check out more of this computer and get ready for my day.

*takes another sip*
I can't though end this post without showing off another Instagram photo I took of my former laptop. It will be missed with all of the memories I have with it and on it. If it can't be fixed, I must take the hard drive out as there are tons of family photos and other documents I need off from it. Which will require my computer friend guru's help as I only know how to use a computer for typing.

Now it's time to make new memories with Big Red, my name for this laptop. With a keyboard in front of me and coffee by my side who knows what or how far I can go again.

*takes a bite of apple turnover, sip of coffee and completes the first post/memory using the new laptop. New memory made*