Slight Changes

Slight Changes

In case you were reading the site over the past couple days and were wondering what on earth was going on, fear not. I’m just doing some spring cleaning. I’ve been using a wordpress builder theme/plugin combo for quite a while now and while it was easy and quick for building pages, I never fully embraced it for blogging. It’s a few extra steps, some extra configuration, and the standard editor had worked well for the past 10 years, so why mess with a good thing.

Well, as you might have guessed with the last post being more “magazine” looking, I’m trying to build more interesting posts while actually taking the design of the content into consideration as well.

You probably don’t care, and I didn’t expect you to. These changes are mostly for me.

The new look around here.

That also means a few structural changes as well. The blog and homepage are now one. Before they were separate pages but I was redirecting homepage traffic to the blog page anyway. Now the homepage features a blog-grid with “card” style post excerpts and “featured images”.

Blog posts will now be full-width and without a sidebar. All those links are now in the page footer.

This also means that old posts might look slightly different. I have no intention of going back and reformatting 4000+ posts. Old posts will have a sidebar like before.

I might also using a variety of post styles at any given time. For example, this post doesn’t feature a large header graphic like yesterdays, only a simple title. Both are options now, and I like the flexibility.

Anyway, pardon the dust while I rearrange a bit.

If you’re reading this is a feed reader, you probably didn’t notice any changes in the first place.

DIY Refractors – A Quasi Tutorial

DIY Refractors – A Quasi Tutorial

ARTS & CRAFTS

DIY Refractors

A quasi-tutorial

Matt “Doc” Perry, Creative Idiot, Texas

June 13th, 2017

I had seriously considered not publishing this at all. Part of me feels like it’s the trading card equivalent of magicians secrets. In the wrong hands, you could use these notes to create fake cards and to scam people out of real money.

That was a major concern, but I’m a creative person, and by nature I enjoy sharing with people. My enjoyment in creating something overrides my hesitations about people using this for nefarious purposes. Much like guns can be used for good, they can also be used for evil, and in much the same way so can knowledge. I don’t mean to make this sound ridiculously grandiose. It’s not. They’re little pieces of plastic and cardboard. However, in researching all this, I found a very purposeful and distinct “we don’t talk about this” among the card community, especially among people who create custom cards. No one wanted to discuss this. I couldn’t decide whether people were simply keeping it for themselves, or if in some altruistic way they thought they were preventing fraud in the card community. I don’t want to dismiss the later, but I also don’t agree with keeping secrets in what is essentially an art project.

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The Price Was Wright

The Price Was Wright

I really enjoy watching knuckleball pitchers in general. So when Steven Wright joined the Red Sox a couple years ago I was excited. I knew he was one of only a few pitchers actively throwing a knuckleball. Actually, I think at the moment it’s just two, Wright and R.A. Dickey. Regardless, the card industry took it’s sweet time making any Wright cards. He had a 2006 appearance in Bowman products (RC in Chrome, auto in Sterling and a base card in Bowman Heritage), but that was it. Three cards (and some parallels) in just that one year.

He was traded to the Sox in 2011, had appeared in several games, but was never on a card until last year. 2016 Heritage High Numbered was his first Red Sox card. Appearing in the All-Star game last year finally bumped him up into card checklist status and his first Sox/Topps autos appeared in Topps Tribute over the winter. Unfortunately for Steven, 2017 didn’t start off well and he just underwent knee surgery. His season is done, but the silver lining for card collectors is that his card prices are at an all time low. I was able to pick up four awesome autographs for less than $10 total.

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Rediscovery

Rediscovery

I don’t pretend to know how everyone else stores cards, I’m sure everyone has their own system. For me, since my primary goal is year-to-year team sets, I use binders and pages, and that seems to work out fine. It also means that binders get the majority of my attention. As a result, that also means I don’t put “hits” in said binders. I have “shoebox” style monster boxes instead. I’ve filled up three of them (the 3000 card variety) so far with random Red Sox cards… with little to no organization, unfortunately. I was putting some cards in one of the boxes and realized I was dealing with this…

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Various Customs

Various Customs

I’ve been having fun lately with my customs. It started as a way to create cards for sets that should have existed. Missing players, deeper rosters, that sort of thing. Not every set can have 700 cards, but my imaginary additions can fill in the gaps. Then it sort of evolved into this exercise of creativity whenever I was lacking it. My day job is that of a web designer, but I’m only actually “designing” a new site every few months. The rest of the time is the actual building of a site, adding content, manipulating text, changing code, adding links, that sort of thing. So, while editing CSS all day can be rewarding within a finished product, it doesn’t really get the creative juices flowing. There’s only so many times I can spec “Raleway, 15pt, #2A2A2A” before it gets redundant.

Every once in a while, I need to take a break and do something creative. I think it’s a good exercise for just about anyone. Even if it’s not creative, strictly speaking, everyone should find a little time to do something they enjoy.

So, once a month or so, I’ve been working on custom cards. I also realized I hadn’t shown any (except my Fire redesign) since the 2016 Olympics cards. Enjoy, and click the previews to enlarge!

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