Sunday, February 28, 2010

Song of the Week - Thou Shalt Always Kill by Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

I have 9,228 songs on iTunes. This is one of them.

Another daily podcast song, this time from radio station KPEX. Words to live by.

Thou shalt not steal if there is a direct victim.
Thou shalt not worship Pop Idols or follow Lostprophets.
Thou shalt not take the names of Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, Johnny Hartman, Desmond Decker, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or Syd Barrett in vain.
Thou shalt not think that any male over the age of 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a paedophile. Some people are just nice.
Thou shalt not read NME.
Thou shalt not stop liking a band just because they've become popular.
Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry.
Thou shalt not judge a book by its cover.
Thou shalt not judge Lethal Weapon by Danny Glover.
Thou shalt not buy Coca-Cola products.
Thou shalt not buy Nestle products.
Thou shalt not go into the woods with your boyfriend's best friend, take drugs and cheat on him.
Thou shalt not fall in love so easily.
Thou shalt not use poetry, art or music to get into girls' pants. Use it to get into their heads.
Thou shalt not watch Hollyoaks.
Thou shalt not attend an open mic and leave as soon as you've done your shitty little poem or song you self-righteous prick.
Thou shalt not return to the same club or bar week in, week out just 'cause you once saw a girl there that you fancied that you're never gonna fucking talk to anyway.

Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were.
The Beatles: Were just a band.
Led Zepplin: Just a band.
The Beach Boys: Just a band.
The Sex Pistols: Just a band.
The Clash: Just a band.
Crass: Just a band.
Minor Threat: Just a band.
The Cure: Were just a band.
The Smiths: Just a band.
Nirvana: Just a band.
The Pixies: Just a band.
Oasis: Just a band.
Radiohead: Just a band.
Bloc Party: Just a band.
The Arctic Monkeys: Just a band.
The Next Big Thing... JUST A BAND.

Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-English speaking countries as to those that occur in English speaking countries.
Thou shalt remember that guns, bitches and bling were never part of the four elements and never will be.
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music, thou shalt not make repetitive generic music, thou shalt not make repetitive generic music, thou shalt not make repetitive generic music.
Thou shalt not pimp my ride.
Thou shalt not scream if you wanna go faster.
Thou shalt not move to the sound of the wickedness.
Thou shalt not make some noise for Detroit.
When I say "Hey" thou shalt not say "Ho".
When I say "Hip" thou shalt not say "Hop".
When I say, he say, she say, we say, make some noise - kill me.

Ah, I forgot where I was, hang on

Thou shalt not quote me happy.
Thou shalt not shake it like a polaroid picture.
Thou shalt not wish your girlfriend was a freak like me.
Thou shalt spell the word "Pheonix" P-H-E-O-N-I-X not P-H-O-E-N-I-X, regardless of what the Oxford English Dictionary tells you.
Thou shalt not express your shock at the fact that Sharon got off with Brad at a club last night by saying "Is it".
Thou shalt think for yourselves.

And thou shalt always...
Thou shalt always kill!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Quest for 1998 - Part 1

Last year I set out with a collecting goal of getting to 200 unique cards for 1996. I needed about 50 cards to accomplish the goal. Along the way I made a series of posts of all the different 1996 cards that I owned. I never did complete that series because I got bored with it. And I never showed any of the new cards I had acquired. I did reach my goal, making it to 203 of the 307 different cards (base sets, parallels and inserts) issued in 1996. My goal this year is to reach 200 1998 cards (there were 588 different cards issued in 1998). I need 41 new cards. And instead of trying to show every 1998 card I own, I'll just post the new cards I acquire.

1998 Aurora Pennant Fever Silver #12 Wade Boggs
This was a 50-card insert to 1998 Aurora. The Pennant Fever insert set came in 5 flavors, regular, red, copper (numbered to 20), platinum blue (numbered to 100) and silver (numbered to 250). I already had the regular and the red. The other two are going to be tough to get.
This set was produced by Pacific and this was the inaugural year for the Aurora set. If you look closely to the bottom left of the back of the card (click on the image to get a larger picture), you will see that that the Aurora set is not authorized by Major League Baseball. Pacific had been producing cards under an MLB license since at least 1991, and would continue to until 2001. For some reason, this particular set was not authorized. 1999 Aurora was authorized.

1998 Bowman Minor League MVP's #6 Derek Jeter
This 11-card set was inserted 1 in 12 packs in Bowman. The card has a Dufex background. Of all the many different finishes that have been used on baseball cards, Dufex is my least favorite. I don't like the appearance that much and the cards tend to really show off fingerprints. And they generally don't scan well, although this one did.
According to the back, Jeter was voted MVP of the 1994 Florida State League. The back of the card has a very low glossy finish.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

1991 Topps Babe Ruth

On October 6, 1991, NBC aired the TV biopic Babe Ruth. I have absolutely no recollection of this event. You can read about it on IMBD. I saw these cards on another blogger's site and then found the set on eBay. Topps produced these cards using the same design layout as their regular 1991 release. I don't know how they were distributedStephen Lang played Babe Ruth. If the name looks familiar to you, he played Col. Quaritch, the gung-ho alien destroyer in Avatar.
On the back it says "Stephen Lang stars as baseball's greatest hero in the NBC Movie BABE RUTH."
Bruce Weitz plays Yankees manager Miller Huggins. The back notes that Weitz played on the 1954 Little League World Championship Team from Norwalk, CT. He currently plays a regular character, Anthony Zacchara, on General Hospital.
Lisa Zane's recent work includes a regular role on a British TV show called Biker Mice From Mars. IMDB describes the plot as "Martian Mice, who ride motorcycles, crash land on Earth and help fight against the Catatonians". I wonder if this is available on DVD.
Jacob Ruppert, the owner of the Yankees was responsible for buying the Babe from the Red Sox for $125,000. There's not much to say about Donald Moffat. He's had some other TV work and now, at 70 years of age, may be retired.
Neil McDonough currently plays Dave Williams on Desperate Housewives.
Rod Carew helped Lang, who is right-handed, to bat left-handed for the movie.
On the back of the card it says "And who better to play the immortal Ty Cobb than Rose, the man who surpassed Cobb (4,191 hits) as baseball's all-time most prolific hitter (4,256 hits)". Who indeed? This is one of the last baseball cards that Rose will appear on.
"And, while they often clashed in the early '20s, it was the respect that Huggins ultimately won from Ruth that turned the '27 Yankees into baseball's greatest team".
"Every time Babe swung the bat it was all or nothing at all," says Stephen Lang. I'm not sure that's completely accurate since the Babe had a career .342 batting average.
On the back it says "Did Babe call his shot? You decide."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Yea, Spring Training has started!

In 2006, I was lucky enough to go to some spring training games in Florida with a very good friend. We're hoping to go back but just haven't been able to get it together. Maybe next year.

I took a lot of pictures during that trip. If I had been blogging then, I'd have had enough material for months worth of posts. I don't look at the photos much but I have my computer set up to pull stored images off the hard drive and show them as desktop backgrounds. This picture came up the other day. Click on any of the images to see a larger view.It's a game between the Astros and Phillies at the Phillies ball park. It shows a pop foul going into the front of the stands down along third base. Lets break it down. Here's the center of the photo.
You can't actually see the ball but it must be just in front of the Astro #86. Notice that there is no name on his shirt and the high number. He's not a guy who's expected to make the team. Why is there a guy in a Phillie's uniform with a glove there? I was there and I don't remember. Notice the big guy in the blue shirt. He looks like the only person in the front row prepared with a glove but his glove hand doesn't appear to be any where near where the ball must be coming down. And notice the girl on the right in the green and white striped top cringing away from the ball, much to the delight of the guy standing next to her. Hopefully that's her boyfriend or husband not just some creep. Here is the area to the left of the ball.
There's a woman with a glove but not making much of an effort. Next to her is another woman without a glove making a similar effort. You've got to stand up if you hope to catch a foul ball. There are two women between them and the ball looking like a dead fish has been tossed to them. And what about that guy near the back in the white shirt? Something else clearly has his attention. To the far right we have...
...a ball girl who looks like she's afraid she'll break a nail if she gets any closer to the action. What's with the guy in the second row with his hand on the hat of a guy in the front row? A little further to the right in the second row appears to be the Unabomber. And behind him is a another person engrossed with something other than a foul ball falling near her.
A little further back in the stands is this guy without a shirt. It was a pretty nice day in Florida for catching some rays. No need to spoil it by trying to catch a foul ball.
Finally, here are some people in the back rows of the shot. The guy standing up has a glove but he can only shout encouragement to the people down front. The guy to his right also has a glove. He's also wearing a Cardinals shirt. I'd criticize him but I wore a Phillies shirt to every game we went to, regardless of who was playing.

Monday, February 22, 2010

1995 Leaf Great Gloves

This is a nice insert set in 1995 Series 2 Leaf. I recently bought the whole set at my local card shop. I mainly bought it because the top card is a Jeff Bagwell card I didn't have. As it turns out, 14 of the 16 cards are players I collect and I only had one of them, the Ripken. I know that a number of the current collectors who are out there blogging gave up on collecting in the 1990s. Here's something you missed.The cards feature a glossy front and back, no-bleed printing and gold foil on the front, including the player name (in script), the team name and the card logo. One complaint is that the script used for the player name is pretty small and hard to read.
The back features a second photo of the player playing defense. The players 1994 defensive stats are also given with a little blurb about the player's defensive powers.

Roberto Alomar
Barry Bonds
Wade Boggs
Andres Galarraga
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Marquis Grissom
Kenny Lofton
Barry Larkin
Don Mattingly
Greg Maddux
Kirby Puckett
Ozzie Smith
Cal Ripken, Jr.
Matt Williams
Ivan Rodriguez

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Song of the Week - Rock and Roll Queen by The Subways

I have 9,235 songs on iTunes. This is one of them.

I got this song as a free Song of the Week from iTunes in 2005. I don't know really anything about the band but it's a good song. Wikipedia describes The Subways as a British alternative rock band. If you want to know more about them click here.

I sometimes like to post the lyrics of the songs I pick but it you can't figure out the lyrics of this song, maybe you should just go back to bed.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

2009 Topps Tribute

Topps Tribute is a set I never see for sale anywhere so it's not a set I think about much. I have on occasion purchased cards from this set from eBay. So it was nice when I received an unexpected package from a baseball card friend with these two cards.
The cards are pretty think and have a shiny refractive finish (which didn't scan too well on the Schmidt card). Ryne Sandberg cards as a Phillie are pretty rare. Sandberg is a Hall of Famer who was a 20th round draft pick of the Phillies in 1978. He played 13 games for the Phillies in 1981 before being traded with Larry Bowa to the Cubs for Ivan DeJesus. He did not appear in any 1981 update sets or any 1982 sets as a Phillie. Besides this card, I have two other post-career cards featuring Sandberg as a Phillie. These are a 1994 Topps Traded card (part of a subset tribute set, you may remember than Ryne retired in 1994 only to come back in 1996) and a 2005 Upper Deck Classics Star Retro Rookies card.

Thanks Max!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday Night at the Movies - Percy Jackson and the Olympians The Lightening Thief

There is a whole series of books about Percy Jackson, 'half boy and half god'. Unbeknown to us mere mortals, the randy old Greek gods are still coming down to earth to impregnate humans or get impregnated by humans. My daughter has just started reading these. The books are aimed at the same demographic that liked Harry Potter. The series may even be structured somewhat like Harry Potter. Poor Percy doesn't know his father is Poseidon, and seems quite normal except for his ability to sit at the bottom of the school pool for up to 7 minutes.
The movie had it's good points and the kids were pretty good. Again like Harry Potter, it features a trio of kids (2 boys and a girl) who get into and out of trouble because of their powers. I've seen all the Harry Potter movies, although I have not read, and have no intention of reading the books. My main problem with the first Harry Potter movie was that there wasn't enough story there. It was pretty much all exposition. And it helps to understand all of the Harry Potter movies if you've read the books. That's probably the case for most movies made from books however. In Percy Jackson, my main problem is that there isn't enough exposition. They could have cut down on some of the big set pieces (like the battle with the hydra) and spent a bit more time on why Percy was suspected of stealing Zeus' thunderbolt, and why Zeus left it laying around so some kid could steal it. These sorts of things don't bother my wife or daughter and they loved the movie. Your kids won't be bothered by those plot holes either so take them if they haven't already made you. You'll be entertained but don't think too much about the underlying logic.

There was some outcry against Harry Potter because of witchcraft and general paganism. I haven't heard anything along those lines about this movie. You can hardly get any more pagan than Greek gods.

Monday, February 15, 2010

2009 Bowman Draft Prospects Printing Plate

I think these printing plate 1 of 1 inserts are pretty cool, but since the odds of actually pulling one from a pack are so high, I don't pay much attention to them. I actually did pull one once, a 2006 Fleer Tradition Threads Printing Plate. This was a printing plate for a relic card. I had bought a hobby box of Fleer Tradition that year.

I was poking around on eBay a few weeks ago looking for Phillies cards from the 20o9 Bowman Draft Picks set. I had bought a blaster box and didn't get a single Phillie. There may have only been one Phillie in the set which I found and bought. But in the process of looking I found this:

2009 Bowman Draft Prospects Printing Plates Black #72 Brian MoranI don't see printing plates for sale often and on a whim I decided to bid and got it for the opening bid. With postage, only $6.87. I didn't really pay attention to the player name but when it came I found that I had this:

2009 Bowman Draft Prospects #72 Brian Moran
I guess it's possible that this card was printed with the printing plate I now own. From what little I know about off-set printing, I know that the printing plates don't last forever. Can they get a whole set of cards done with one set of plates? I think this is a pretty good picture.

Even better, I also had this from my blaster:

2009 Bowman Draft Prospects Orange Refractors #72 Brian Moran
It's numbered 5/25 so it's a pretty good pull for a blaster. So I'm glad I bought the plate. I hope I don't feel compelled to find all of Moran's cards from 2009. Probably not.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Song of the Week - White Bird by It's A Beautiful Day

I have 9, 201 songs on iTunes. This is one of them.

It's a Beautiful Day was a short-lived band which put out two albums around 1970. The driving force behind the band was David and Linda LaFlamme. Their first album, released in 1969 was named simply It's a Beautiful Day and was a beautiful piece of work. It got a lot of airplay in Philadelphia back in the days when there was a thriving progressive radio presence there, mainly radio station WMMR.
Although I loved this album, for whatever reason, I never bought a copy. Then the band broke up, the LaFlammes got divorced and, due to ownership problems from the divorce, the album when out of print and disappeared from the stores. I finally was able to locate a used copy at a used record shop in the late 1980s. I recently found that the album is available on iTunes and bought it. It's just as good as I remember it. Here is probably the most popular song on the record.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

For sure one thing I didn't expect was to win an award for this blog, but it looks like I did. Isn't it lovely?This is apparently a viral award that's been circulating around the internet for over a year. It was awarded to be by Gilligan, over at Retrospace. The idea is that if you get this award, you're supposed to pass it on to 10 other blogs. Maybe it's more like a chain mail award than a viral award. I promise that nothing evil will befall you if you don't pass it along. I'm not say that nothing evil will ever happen to you, just that it won't be my fault. Right now the award is spreading through the retro blogosphere, so I'll get it going through the baseball card blogosphere. I have no idea how I'm supposed to tell anyone that I've given them the award except to hope they read about it on my blog. That's how I found out I won it by reading Retrospace. So here are my picks in no particular order. If you're not familiar with them I urge you to check them out.

White Sox Cards

Who Are The Ad Wizards Who Came Up With THAT One?

This is not a joke

Pop Sensation

Dinged Corners

Night Owl Cards

Cardboard Junkie

Thorzul Will Rule

A Cardboard Problem

If Charlie Parker Was A Gunslinger, There'd Be A Whole Lot of Dead Copycats

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thursday Night at the Movies - Edge Of Darkness

Mel Gibson hasn't been in a major movie since 2002's Signs. He's directed two controversial movies since then (Apocalypto and The Passion of Christ), and been in the news for other reasons, so it's good to see him acting again. Most of this movie is a suspenseful thriller. Gibson plays Boston police detective Tom Craven. His 20-something daughter comes to visit him. It's apparent that they've not seen each other too frequently recently but we never learn why. And pretty much before we can learn anything about their relationship, she gets shotgunned down in his doorway. It was a bit shocking to see this even though we knew from the trailers that she was going to get killed. Craven spends most of the rest of the movie trying to reconnect with his daughter and trying to find her killer. Although the Boston PD thinks he was the target, he is sure he wasn't. Gibson is pretty good in this but the last 10 minutes of the film turn into a revenge fantasy which maybe I should have expected but was disappointed in. After the poster come spoilers.Although we know that the daughter is going to get killed, we didn't know from the trailers that something is seriously wrong with her. She's throwing up in Craven's kitchen sink while waiting for dinner and having spontaneous nose bleeds. In fact, they are on their way to the hospital when she is killed. It turns out that she worked for a defense contractor which was involved in some shady business. This business isn't really explained very well. The government is somehow involved but we're never sure if it's some black op being run by the CIA or just some rouge government people. Ultimately it doesn't matter. The daughter was closing in on their secret and planning to expose them. So they poisoned her with some radioactive material. Her boss, after the shooting, explains to his shadowy government overlords, that her contamination would be traced back to her disregarding safety procedures at work. OK, that's suspicious but why gun her done after setting this up? Is it because the thought she was going to tell her father? Didn't they think she might tell someone what she was up to? This is a big plot hole.

Eventually they poison Craven as well. Hey, it worked so well the first time why not do it again? They would claim that he got contaminated by him. Except they forgot that they left a bottle of radioactive milk in her apartment. As Craven starts to stagger around he gets his gun and starts to kill anyone involved. Everyone who had a speaking part in this movie, except for Craven's fellow police officers, dies in the last 10 minutes. Pretty much no chance for a sequel.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Card Show Finds Part 6 - Roy Oswalt cards

I think I've gotten about all the posts from the Tristar card show that I'm going to get after this. I got a plastic box containing 35 Roy Oswalt cards from one of the dealers for $7.00. That works out to 20 cents/card. Since most of these cards are higher end cards, I think I did pretty good. I took a quick look at them and figured there were enough there that I needed. In fact, I needed 18 of them, just over half. If anyone want's to trade for Oswalts, let me know. I'm not going to do much more than just present these cards. They are all from 2002-2007. If you were away from card collecting during that time, you missed what was probably the most prolific period of card production ever. I don't think we'll see anything like it anytime soon.

2002 Bowman's Best #83My first card from this set.

2003 Absolute Memorabilia #23
Another first.

2003 Fleer Authentix #72

2003 Hot Prospects #42
Oswalt wasn't a prospect anymore in 2003, but neither were most of the players featured in this set from Fleer.

2003 Splendid Splinters #46

2004 Donruss Elite Extra Edition #108
I also picked up the non-extra edition card. It looks exactly like this except it doesn't say Extra Edition on it. Just one of the ways the card companies (especially Donruss) got you to spend more money.

2004 Donruss World Series #84

2004 Leather & Lumber #64

2004 SP Authentic #29

2004 Studio #93
I was always partial to the Studio set. This year the cards featured the player posed against a backdrop of their team's city skyline.

2004 Throwback Threads #89

2004 Upper Deck Etchings #33
This is only the second of these I have. The other is fellow Astro Roger Clemens.

2005 Donruss #211

2005 Leaf Certified Materials #60

2005 Studio #138
Also set against Houston's skyline, just like last year.

2005 Zenith #47

2006 Topps #575
You'd think I'd have all the Astros Topps cards, wouldn't you? But apparently, I didn't.

2007 Fleer #44
A once proud brand reduced by Upper Deck to this bland design.