Someone Else’s Collection

I have a good friend who loves to visit auctions, estate sales, and the like. I’ve told him in the past to keep any eye out for any cards. He’s picked me up the occasional pile of ’87 Topps, but a couple weeks ago he stumbled across someone else’s collection. There were several boxes, a complete set of 1992 Donruss, and a few binders. He sent the whole thing my way and I’ve just started to dig into it.


Random Pickups – Early Summer

Saying “Early Summer” just seems easier than “stuff from the last three months that I’ve neglected to mention before now and that never really fit with anything else”. Yeah, “Early Summer” it is.

These are all from April, May and June, and mostly from ebay. Any of the non-Sox cards are always up for trade. There were quite a few that I picked up as combined shipping extras after bidding on stuff for myself.


Hitting Brockets

On my desktop there is a folder. A folder called “Blog Cards”, into which I dump all my scans. There are currently 74 items in said folder, all waiting to be talked about. Some are common, some are random, some are just too awesome to stay unmentioned any longer. Those include the latest editions to my Brock Holt collection.
Let’s pause for a moment and appreciate the human highlight reel this kid is…



It’s been nearly a month since my last post and things haven’t gotten any better. In most ways, they’ve gotten worse. My job woes continue and there’s likely no resolution until at least July. Three different companies with three different people claiming to be my new boss are pulling me in three different directions and I’ve yet to get a formal offer letter from any of them. So, in all honesty, my motivation for working hard for any of them seems rather low. Why throw 80 hours at a project that I’ll get cut from. I’m more focused on just trying to not make any of them angry until I figure out where I’m going to land. My office, the actual one I’m sitting in, might get moved to another floor and or removed all together and I’ll work from home. It all depends on how much money the company wants to shave off it’s budget. We have huge equipment in here (44″ Epson roll printer, 40″ flatbed scanners, 48″ vinyl cutter, etc. etc). Its not like any of this stuff will fit in a cubical. Keeping an office for this stuff actually makes logistical sense, so, of course, that sense will be ignored by everyone in upper management. I’ll be lucky if I’m working out of the loading dock this time next month.

There’s also a lot going on on a personal level. My parents are still living with us, despite insistence that “June” is a hard deadline for them leaving. That’s creating a lot of stress. It’s not that I want to kick them out, but I just don’t see any movement or motivation from them. They need to be working towards some sort of goal and, most importantly, working a day job. I’ve yet to see evidence of either.

Freelance work has slowed down after a busy spring. I’ve got two projects on my plate and I’m waiting on checks from both of them. My big “going to make my summer” gig fell through for budget reasons on the client’s end and it looks like it won’t be happening all together. That was going to literally fund my hobbies well into Christmas.

Baseball card wise, which is why most of you are here, I’m completely unimpressed with most of the current offerings. I bought a Bowman team set and now I’m just sitting on my hands waiting for Ginter. I loath Archives, I’m not buying the super over-priced Tier 1, and I’ve finished most everything else. I bought a Bowman blaster last weekend because I couldn’t find anything else to even consider. My Targets/WMs aren’t stocking Panini products at all and I’m not sinking any money into that black hole called Heritage. So, basically, I’m waiting for something interesting, and I’m not wasting any more until then. Smart for the wallet, bad for the tradebait.

I did receive a couple PWEs, which I appreciate more than anything. You fellow collectors are awesome awesome and thank you for thinking of me. They’ll be posted on their own, it’s only fair.

Video games are also depressing. E3 is next week and we’ll get to hear about all the great games we won’t be playing until next year, meanwhile the only thing worth even looking at this summer is WatchDogs which is still only getting mediocre reviews. Hell, I’m still playing Black Flag which was a birthday gift 7 months ago. If that’s not depressing, I don’t know what is.

My wallet is empty, my car is making a funny noise, my parents are driving me nuts, my job is downsizing, and life is stressful. The only thing trending upwards these days is my blood pressure.

In case you’re still reading at this point, my primary focus is on finishing my new portfolio site and polishing my resume and linkedin profile, just in case. I’m going to be throwing lots of time towards my portfolio site, so posts here might still be few and far between. Rest assured, I haven’t given up, far from it. I haven’t abandoned this site in 13 years and I’m not about to start now. We all go through seasons in life, and right now, it’s a Winter, despite what the temperature outside may be.


Completely Swamped

If you’re wondering why posting has been all over the place, it’s just due to a busy schedule. I’ve got so much on my plate at the moment that I think I need a second small salad plate just for the extras. Maybe a desert plate as well. And a couple dinner rolls. And a coffee. Cream and sugar.

Crap. Now I’m hungry.

The point is there’s just a ton of stuff going on.

A quick survey though: If I said “hey, I’ve got some random cards from the 80′s/90′s, anyone want them?”, how many of you would raise your hands? Cause…umm… that sort of happened…


Double PWE’d

A couple days ago I was graced by not one but two PWE’s from my buddy Pat over at the Hot Corner.


PWE #1 had a trio of 2010 Topps. The Captain, Jonny Lester and Jeremy Hermida, who if I’m not mistaken, is playing for the Brewers these days.


PWE #2 kicked it up a notch. Pat sent a long a nifty 2008 Tristar Ryan Kalish refractor (they call them “reflectors”) and a purple parallel Jamie Callahan from Bowman. I didn’t have either one of these.


Last but not least, he finishes off the package with a blue sparkly Ortiz from Opening Day. That’s my kind of parallel.

Awesome cards Pat, thanks!!!

Random Gypsy Queens

Right up front I should mention that not only did I purchase a master team set this year, I also purchased a mini set AND a complete 1-300 set. So, yeah, I cheated quite a bit. The prices were just too good. The master team set (including SPs and inserts) was $6.99, the mini set was $3.99 and the complete base set was just $19. For the same price as a blaster and a rack pack, I’m done. Honestly, I couldn’t pass that up.

That being said, I still couldn’t stay away from the card isle this month. I made 2 random Target trips with the family and bought 3 blasters. $60 worth and I didn’t get 1/3 of the entire set or any of my team. That pretty much puts the nail in the retail coffin as far as I’m concerned. Opening packs IS fun, but not “wasting $60 worth” fun. I’ll still do it every once in a while, but I promised myself I would not go crazy with retail this year and this just re-enforces it.


How to: Gypsy Queen

Alright Photoshop warriors, it’s tutorial time. A couple pre-requisites for this one. PS CS4 and above required for this one. I believe it was CS4 that added some of the HDR options we’ll be using. I’m using CS6, but 4 and 5 should be more than sufficient. Also, right off the bat, you’re going to need a really large source file. If you’re looking to use a 200k screen grab of your favorite player, you’re going to have a bad time, but more on this in a minute.

Alright, let’s outline what we’re trying to do: We’re trying to recreate the photo effect used on Topps Gypsy Queen baseball cards. I would describe this effect as High Dynamic Range coupled with copious amounts of grain. It’s just surreal enough to have an almost painterly look to it.


Custom Gypsy Queens

Today I have a teaser. I wanted to duplicate the HDR-ish effect of Gypsy Queen card photos and I think I came pretty close. Here’s a preview of the effect, and a side-by-side comparison with an actual real card. Tomorrow, I’ll show you how to actually do it.