Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Other Things

Hey all. I hope you're having an awesome Summer. 
The sewingmachinegal and I are soaking up the heat and really having fun.
You might remember a while back I began the process of selling off my collection. It was a tough decision, but has been really rewarding (financially and mentally).
I have given away thousands of cards to the neighbor kids as well. I like seeing the looks on their faces as they get new cards. I was that kid once.
I still miss ripping into a pack.

With the money made from selling cards, we took a road trip to the U.P. of Michigan. We loaded the bikes onto the Vue, and hit the road.
 The scenery was beautiful. The air pure.
This is the place we stayed in for three of the days. I took a couple hours and sketched the cabin we stayed in.
 We stayed at a cabin that had kayaks. Fun! 
 We went on a 7.5 mile hike along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
 Because I'm a big kid, I had to launch something off the 200 foot cliffs.
We had lot's of views like this.
Which way?
She's good with a compass.
 The golf was spectacular. My score was not.
 Another Summer activity was taking our old lady to the beach.
I miss the brotherhood with my collector friends.
I hope you all are finding gems to add to your collections.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Holy Grail

Hey everyone. I hope you're all well and finding gems of sports cards in your packs.
I was checking out my local online edition this evening, and came across an article about an old Mayo football card. I thought, "I gotta share this with my peeps."
Here is a link to the story.
Basically, a guy found an old football card in an old family photo album. I used to keep cards in photo albums when I was a kid. The card that held the honorary first page spot?
Surprised it was not a Lion? Well let me explain. When I was a kid, the Lions sucked. Bad. They didn't have a star. They were not on T.V. often. My kid brother was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and they were on T.V. a lot. Two games a year against the Oilers, and I became a huge Earl Campbell fan. His punishing style was a thrill to watch. Some day, some future family member of mine will find an old card album of mine. In the first 9-pocket page will be my holy grail. The 1979 Topps #390 Earl rookie card. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Be Patient

If you'll remember, the last big set I was pursuing was the 70-something card 2010 Topps Magic relics set where all cards were numbered /25. I only needed one card, or so I thought, to complete the set. The one card that I really needed was the Dez Bryant. Cowboy collectors are like Pack and Steeler fans. They are ruthless overspending collectors. I had only ever seen two Dez's. One was in the collection of a guy in Arizona. He is building the set, and would not part with it. The other was from an old ebay auction I came across from early 2011. The winner of that card never returned my messages inquiring about it.
That brings me to today. On a little shelf above my desk is a 2010 Topps Magic relic that I never sold on eBay as I was selling off the set. Just for laughs and a little curiosity, I did a completed listings search for the Dez Bryant card. To my surprise, one sold last week for $19.99. A few months ago, I would have easily paid $50 for it, maybe more.
I still have not found the missing 7 relics.
The sewingmachinegal and I had an awesome weekend in Chi-Town shopping, fine dining, and catching 7Horse in concert.
I don't regret selling off the set. I'm just letting all you rare set collectors know that it's OK to be patient. Your card will eventually surface.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Out of the Blue

What's this? A blog post from the sewingmachineguy? Yes. I miss writing a bit. And I miss you guys.
Things are pretty good here in Michigan. The Tigers are slamming every opponent and are in first pla... wait... (runs to newspaper to check standings). Well, not exactly. My team is in a bit of disarray. In 2nd place. With Prince, it was supposed to be a cakewalk. We've been through the whole getting rid of Brandon Inge saga (yes, we had drama getting rid of the 3rd string second baseman), and now have the Delmon Young drunken rant issue to deal with. Crappy defense will doom the Tigers.
I have watched exactly ZERO minutes of NBA play-off basketball. The league is fixed. It has lost me, totally. As long as the Miami loses, I care. I only give a crap about your sport if your anointed super team loses. Not enough to watch though.
My softball season started two weeks ago. We lost 10-4. I played ok. Not good enough for my standards. Booted a couple three grounders. I always like it when old farts say "a couple three". 
On the sports card hobby collecting front; it's been minimal. I bought a rack-pack of Gypsy Queen. I really liked the release last year, and was kinda hoping for a Griffey Jr. card. I tore in at work, and nothing hit me as, "AWESOME! I gotta get more of these!". The cards are on a small shelf by my desk. Maybe I will bring them home and scan them and write about them. Ooooh how I can't wait to write about my Roy Oswalt mini (tongue firmly planted in cheek).
I have sold a bunch of stuff on eBay. I have given away a bunch of stuff. I have a shit-load of stuff to get rid of. Really, shit-load is the best way to describe it. It's boxes and boxes of mostly valueless bits of cardboard. Do I really need this 1980 Kip Young? No. I am not saying I don't value in some way some of the cards in my collection, it's just that there is so much meaningless stuff. I continue to find joy in minimizing and not hoarding. With the extra cabbage generated I have; helped a friend pay a bill, knocked down my credit card bill substantially, made plans to hit Chi-town for the weekend, bought the sewingmachinegal a bouquet of Gerbera Daisies, golfed 9 holes with two old friends, and put some in the savings account.
A few weeks ago, I got a nice envelope from GCRL. We didn't have a trade worked out per se, I had sent him a card and he sent over a cool couple of cards.
 This Tanalizer features a bible verse and auto. John 14:6 ~ Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."
That pretty much sums it up. The life. I have turned over my life to Christ. I am getting baptized May 20th. 
This is a 1958 Tigers team card. Cool.
Then, this week, totally out-of-the-blue, I got this.
Keep Being Awesome. Three simple words with lots of meaning to me. It means that the path I am on, the light that I am shining on the people around me, it all means something.
As you can see, the Elias Howe (sewing machine inventor) card is small. For comparison, here it is side by side with Yankee outfielder Mariano Rivera.
2007 Heritage Short Print Yellow Letters (Let me know if you want it. It's yours)
Thanks guys. Thanks for remembering me. It's random acts of kindness that keep us motivated when it seems like life is getting us down.
Catch you all later.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Loving Life

Hey everyone.
I have been seeing images of 2012 Heritage on various blogs, and the colorful design is great.
I was at Target today. I bought one loose pack. One. There was a time, not too long ago, when a Blaster box would have ended up in the cart. I just wanted to have that anticipatory rush of opening a pack. It was fun.
First up is a sticker of Mauer. The back of the sticker says, "Place all-stars on books, walls, bikes, anything!" The sewingmachinegal wouldn't like a Mauer sticker on the wall of the living room to much. I hope Mauer has a bounce-back season. I nabbed him on my fantasy team.

 Putz. I like saying his name. Putz.
 Lester faces Verlander on Thursday in the opener of the 2012 season. The reigning Cy Young and MVP award winner is looking great in spring work, and should pick right back up where he left off.
 Love the cartoons on the backs. The black ink on yellow paper is very easy to read. Nice going Topps.
That pack of cards cost me $3.19. I have not looked at a checklist, but I don't think I have a short print or anything magnificent. It doesn't much matter. The thrill of opening a pack is still there for me.
Since I have been on a baseball card spending freeze, and at the same time, selling tons of stuff on eBay, I have had extra cabbage for things like this...
I picked up 4 of these 6 1/2" Pioneer 2-ways for the new Vue. I bought them from Crutchfield. If you have not bought from them, I highly recommend it. The speakers came with a bunch of freebies including instal instructions complete with photo's of a Vue. One of my employees is a 20-something techy nerd. He had them all installed within an hour.
As you can see, the old stock speakers were shot. 
What song to play first? I needed something that would really show off the new range.
Here's what I went with.

Tomorrow morning I am going to play nine holes of golf.
The sewingmachinegal, sewingmachinedaughter and I ran a 5k a couple weekends ago.
I went to a different church this morning to hear my wife's Uncle Chuck preach the good news and report about his visit to Cuba. It was a fascinating story. Maybe I will go into detail about his story on my blog someday.
I have a fantasy baseball team drafted. Cano, Granderson, Ellsbury, Halladay, A-Roid, Konerko, Avila, Mauer, Cuddyer, Nelson Cruz, Beckett, and more.
We're having everyone over next Sunday to celebrate the resurrected Christ, and chow down on ham and cheezy potatoes.
I hope you all are doing well.
Peace, your friend, Larry the smg

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The CBS Video About Cards

In case you missed it, the CBS Sunday Morning Show piece on baseball cards.

I take exception with the statement, "kids don't care." When I give cards to my neighbor kids, they eat it up. Kids care about what adults care about.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Stuff I Did Today

Hey everyone. I have been kind of missing this old blog, so I thought I would throw out some randomness for you.
The weather today was spectacular. Sunny and 60. I took the sewingmachinedog for a long walk. Then we played fetch in the backyard. She will do anything for a little nibblet of cheddar cheese. She's getting up there in years, but a round of fetch brings out her puppy-ish side.
I went to a bible study with my dude's at church. Getting into the scriptures with 10 or so other guys is refreshing. Unearthing the meanings behind the words is exciting to me.
I made dinner for the sewingmachinegal. It was a simple meal consisting of hard boiled eggs (sliced and seasoned), a fresh avocado sprinkled with lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil, and a dash of kosher salt, some cheese and crackers, fresh cut carrots, and a splash of Rex-Goliath Pinot Noir. We sat together and just enjoyed the food and drink. No t.v. Just the new Newsboys cd playing quietly on the hi-fi. You'll have to ask your Dad what a hi-fi is.
Riding home from my Mom and Dads last evening, I smelled a burnt rubber or burnt plasticy smell coming from the new Saturn Vue. While stopped at a light, I saw a wisp of smoke rise from the steering column. "Oh crap! Not my new ride!", I thought. When I got home, I hit the dope light to see if I could spot anything that might be burning. It was too dark to see anything, but the turn signal lever was hot. Not warm, hot. I drove the vehicle to work today. One of my workers is a bit of a shade tree mechanic, and in no time, he had the steering column cover off, and the turn signal/headlight control module out of the car. "Here is your problem. [points to a loose wire and some fried wire]. I ran to AutoZone and bought a new one. My guy snapped it in, and voila, no smoldering steering column. What a relief that it was a small relatively easy fix.
I sifted through one of my old boxes of cards tonight. Not really looking for anything special, just something to add to this post. I found this card.
Now I remember why I liked collecting cards as a kid. And I suppose, why I still like it.
Peace, Larry the smg

Friday, March 9, 2012

The New Ride

That's the new ride. 2003 Saturn Vue 5-speed stick. As I don't do a lot of off-roading, the 4 wheel drive was not much of a concern. This gets 25 to 30 mpg, and with the gas prices the way they are, that's a good thing.

I have, after much prayerful deliberation, begun to sell off bunches of cards from my collection. The added cash flow has allowed the sewingmachinegal and I to invest in this ride. Yes, looking at binder of old cards is rewarding occasionally. Not nearly as rewarding as seeing the misses smile hugely at the sight of this blue beauty.

I am seeing things more clearly now. Gods blessings should not be taken for granted.

Friday, March 2, 2012


Back about 7 weeks ago, while playing a game of H.O.R.S.E. with my buddy, I did this to my ankle. Go ahead and chuckle, a pre-game injury while warming up with H.O.R.S.E. is funny.
That nastiness is an avulsion fracture with severe sprain. Ouch!
After 7 weeks or so, and much of it wearing this lovely accessory...
I was able to secure the appendage enough last night...
To do this... It's only 40 seconds or so. That's me at the end stroking a three. Feels darn good to be back. Not 100% by any means, but back.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Times Change

You may or may not have noticed my lack of posting this year. A few weeks ago, I was lamenting about my spending on cards. I have since then bought some 2012 Topps baseball cards. After getting tons of doubles, triples, and a few quadruples, I gave up buying more. I enjoyed the initial feeling of ripping open the packs, but the lonely stack of cards was just a big fat nothing to me after that. I also experienced the frustration of misplacing valuable cards. I have sifted through thousands of cards, and still can't find the Magic relics. I am not "feeling it" with collecting right now. It seems gluttonous to me. If someone took a look in my card cave, they would probably say I am ; a hoarder, unorganized, messy, nerdy, wasting money, and clinging to old crap like it will be worth millions someday. I couldn't argue. The thought that keeps rattling around in my dome was inspired by a blurb here.
I need a car, we need siding and windows on the house, there are other things that need my attention and my cabbage right now.
I am currently unloading a bunch of stuff I love. The Magic's will soon be listed too. If there's something you've seen here on my blog that you want, let me know.
I've given this much thought and prayer. It feels a bit like a defeat, but it's the right thing for me to do at this time.