Thursday, October 27, 2016

Another Batch of Olympic Customs

"It's interesting he has sleep apnea and the first three letters of his last name is NAP!"-John Smoltz

I'm really tired, I really didn't want to do a blog, but I wanted to post some more and knock these out.  Tell me I wasn't the only one who heard this insanely idiotic line from John Smoltz in Game 1 of the World Series.  I thought Harold Reynolds was bad, and before that Tim McCarver, but holy crap that is some major league stretching and terrible announcing from Smoltz there.  I know I shouldn't keep harping on it but these announcers this year are a real snoozefest.  In fact I've almost fell asleep the first two games.  In fact I DID during game one.  I turned my back and closed my eyes (and left the TV on) the moment the Indians hit the 3 run blast to seal up a 6-0 victory.  I'm glad the Cubs tied the series, and hope they can finish it out at Wrigley.

Anyways, because I'm tired, not much talk today, just mostly some scans.

I tried out some action shots on these two with multiple countries.  I would have liked them to turn out better, but I'm not complaining too much.

A couple cards from Germany, and I think they turned out fine.  Fabian is a gymnast but I can't remember how he did.  If I did this entire set of just the United States I would have represented the Men's Gymnastics team better but I didn't so they aren't.  Lisa Altenburg I presume is field hockey and I made it a card because I liked the photo.

I tried out a team photo on this one and it took forever to make.  The photo wasn't cooperating with me and then the font isn't centered so its a card I almost wish I didn't make, but then again how often do you see badminton cards.

These two cards were much easier to make and were done in a snap.  I think both turned out really good.  If I remember right, WWE was interested in signing Sarah Robles to a contract, but I could be wrong.  As for the Chinese ladies, much like most of the other countries, I just hope I spelled their names right.  I try to double check so I'm sure I did.

The last two Upset Alert inserts feature a couple teams.  Nobody really expected the Women's Field Hockey Team of the United States to do anything, but they really made an impression.  The Brazilian Women's Volleyball team did pretty much the same thing knocking off the Americans in front of their home crowd.  i think these cards turned out fine, but if I use the border again it will be much smaller, allowing for a bigger photo.

The Nick Skelton card might have been the easiest card I've made so far.  It probably took less than two minutes and only took that long because I had to add the logos.  The Russian ladies took a bit longer, but only because I tried to make the font and location perfect.  I am not 100% happy with the end result, but I'm happy enough.  I feel bad for not remember what event they competed in, but it was 2 months ago, and I'm pretty much over it at this point.

I always am a sucker with the photos of the athletes holding their country's flag.  It is pretty much the only reason I chose Christian Taylor to be a part of the set.  I still have some Americans to make cards of, but this could be the best one I've made for my home country.

It's time for the last card of the day.  I know this batch didn't feature a really high profile name, but I wanted to save the last batch for some of the real big names.  However this last one caught my eyes at the Olympics and is probably one of only two athletes I was for sure going to include.

If you watch a good amount of Gymnastics, its a surprise if anything leaves you speechless, yet Flavia did just that at the Olympics.  I expected America to steamroll through like usual and expected a couple threats, in fact I hoped there would be because it makes it much better.  When they showed Flavia on the floor exercise and the balance beam I was just in awe.  What she was doing wasn't as great as how flawless she was doing it.  When I decided to make cards, she was the first one I looked up.  I might have gotten a better photo, but I like this one just fine.  I hope to see her compete again in four years.

So that will do it for this batch, I probably have about 2 or so more posts to do to finish them up including an entirely new set I've yet to show.  It's nothing major, but like I said when I started these, I wanted a bit of a challenge.  Since I can't type so well because I'm about to fall asleep, I guess I'll finish there, thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week and weekend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Custom Cards- More From The Olympics

I was thinking today that I should do some sort of custom cards for the World Series.  My take was going to be something along the lines of the movie Major League vs. Rookie Of The Year, or the Indians vs. the Cubs.  Before I thought much beyond that though, I realized I still hadn't completed the Olympics set from a few months back.  So I decided until I finish it, I won't do other custom cards, except on super rare occasions, and even then it will be limited.  So today I spent some time making a new batch of Olympic cards, and once the dust cleared, I still have about 30 or so cards left to make including one whole insert set I haven't even designed yet.  However, I knocked out about 10 or more today, and that was a good start for me, so let's take a gander at what we have.

Let's start with a request I got the last time I posted some of these cards.  One of the comments I got was from Chris who asked if I could do a custom for Sydney McLaughlin who lives in his vicinity.  I was more than happy to do it, but since I didn't know a lot about her I was sure which photo would look best.  I decided on these two photos because of the action of the photos.  I included two copies of the first one in case Chris wants to print a copy and didn't really want my logo on the card.  At any rate, it was fun to work on these, and I also got to make a rare vertical card for this set.

Well, for the most part rare.  A lot of today's cards actually worked better in the vertical format, so I went with it.  This card I think is the lone card representing Colombia, and if there is any light at the end of the tunnel, its another country I have completed.

I apologize for not remembering what sport most of these athletes competed in, but like trying to get a lot of countries, I tried to get a variety of sports as well.  Luckily if you like a card and want to know more about the athletes, you can simply google their name and find out more.  If you search for Mr. Campriani though, his name is actually written as Niccol├│ Campriani.  I couldn't get it to look right with the font I used so I figured I'd just do it the way I did.  On the bright side, I found a site that shows me how to actually write the special characters so I learned something today.

The Niekirk I actually finished right after I showed the last batch, its just been sitting there alone until today.  As for Chad Le Clos, its like I've become a fanboy of his.  I am pretty sure though this is the last card I have for him, though I can't guarantee it.  I saw a commercial a couple days ago for HP I think that did a parody of Le Clos and his pregame warm up where Michael Phelps made that meme-worthy face.  In the commercial Phelps makes that face again and Jim Parsons (Sheldon from Big Bang Theory) comes in and said he should get a HP computer and he wouldn't make that face, more or less.  Then they pan out to see an actor mimicking the Le Clos warm up and Parsons asks Phelps what is he doing.  Phelps responds "I have no idea."  Not a bad commercial, but its not like the Ice T commercial from Geico that makes me want to stop what I'm doing and watch it every time.

I'm not real impressed with the finished product on the Morghan King card.  Something just doesn't feel right about it, but oh well.  I don't know anything about her, but at the time I thought it would make for a good card.  Mo Farah on the other hand I did hear of and I wanted to include a card for him.  I think it turned out better than I hoped, but I wish I didn't have to crop it as much as I did.  Oh well, it could have been worse.

A couple inserts, both the Upset Alert series, and both from the world of Tennis.  The Tennis portion of the Olympics started off very odd with the amount of upsets and the stars who you thought would dominate just puttered.  I like the finished product of these, but I admit I still made the border way too big, and it made for a tougher design for cropping the cards.  When I work on the other insert set I'll have less of a border, but still need to find a good balance to make it different from the base set.

This is the first card I worked on today, and I like how it turned out, aside from spacing issues on the name and country.  I never heard of Ms. Carvalho, but when I scoured for pictured on the first day of the Olympics (or the first week), I came across this photo, and for the hair alone I wanted to make it a card.  Brazil is represented well in this set, but if I found more photos like this they would have been included as well.

Okay, so the star power may not be that big so far, but with a couple more cards, lets change that.

Another vertical card, this time for Carli Lloyd.  It just worked better for the photo, and I think it turned out great.  I didn't watch any soccer in the Olympics, but Carli Lloyd became a household name this year.  It was only fitting to include a card for her.  This might be my favorite card from this batch.

So one card left and its another vertical card for a United States star.  I still have plenty of names to do cards for, but it was time to make one for this track star.

Track and Field and Gymnastics are the two events I love watching in the Olympics.  So already knowing a good amount of the names in track, the hype machine was in overdrive for Allyson Felix.  She's a great athlete and deserves it, so I had no problem with it.  However for these Olympics, I just wasn't into watch the Track portion as much as in past years, and I missed most of the events Allyson competed in.  That being said, I already had a good idea she would get a card in this set.  In fact if I had a list of 20 Americans who would get cards in this set, she would likely been a top 5 name for me to include.  I know I mentioned I didn't want all the big names because I wanted to focus on everybody, but I still needed names people are familiar with.  I hope I didn't disappoint.

So that wraps up another batch of customs.  I will try to work on another batch the next couple weeks, but don't have high hopes.  In the meantime, I still have other things I'm working on, but tonight I need to finish this so I can start watching the World Series.  While I'm happy for both cities and teams after having long droughts in World Series championships, I'm rooting for the Cubs.  Anyways, time to go so thanks for reading and have a great night.

Friday, October 21, 2016

What's In The Box

I was having a crappy day last weekend, and so when I had to go to Walmart to pick up a few things, I though I would check out the cards and see if anything was different.  Something was, but not what I expected.  They moved the sports cards slightly, and I'm actually a bit happier because of it.  It used to be at the end of a long aisle with Pokemon and all that stuff, but they always put that chain up preventing you from going down the aisle.  However it was located right as the sports cards started meaning the only way to look at them was to either look as you first enter the store (if you remember), or swing around past the checkouts before you actually check out which could get looks like you are about to steal a cart full of stuff.  Now because of placement, I can look at the cards just before I checkout, and Its better because that way if I don't have the extra cash for them, I simply don't have to get them.  That is I can look if they aren't using that checkout.  Which they seem to use half the time, but that's a different rant.

Anyways, since its been three weeks since I've last seen their selection, I was a bit excited.  However, nothing really amazed me.  I was about to just pass on them, but in the back of my mind I was thinking how I've been feeling and how crappy stuff has been, and said screw it, I want to open something.

Hmm, 11 packs one being a hobby pack.  I guess with packs costing about 2 bucks a piece at the least these days, this isn't a bad deal for 20 bucks and you get a hobby pack, which is nice since I haven't bought a hobby pack in, well... I can't remember if I ever have.

Interesting bonus cards, I don't figure I'll get any, but who knows.  Before I show the contents, I did have a little shock after looking at the receipt.  On the display shelf it didn't have a price listed, so I assumed it was 20 bucks.  When I looked though, it was only 14 or 15 bucks.  This makes it a little nicer since now these are basically one buck a pack with the hobby pack being around 4-5 bucks, which I assume is about the going rate.  So before opening it I got excited.

POOP!  Look at all those crappy Triple Play packs.  Can I complain about them?  I mean I did figure there would be crappy packs, and if they are dollar packs, these would fit in, but still, I was hoping I was done with those cards.  I wasn't too bothered by the two Topps packs though I've ripped enough already, but still these aren't too bad.  The Babe Ruth packs were new to me, and I never figured I'd buy the box I've seen of them unless they drop to 10-12 bucks, and even then I'd consider it.  But anyways, 4 packs I can handle, and 4 I should keep sealed and give away.

The Draft Picks packs are new to me and I'm a bit torn on because Panini didn't have a license for these cards, but hey, I'll take them over Triple Play any day.  The last pack is the Hobby Pack which is exactly the one shown on the box.  That counts for something right?  Again, unlicensed, but its a Hobby Pack, and who knows, maybe I did pull a Kris Bryant, or a Royals, or someone I've heard of.  11 packs, and like I said, for the buck a pack standpoint, I guess it is fair, but if I bought 11 packs at the same price, none would be Triple Play.

Then I noticed something else inside... a bonus card?  No, it was an Ultra Pro One Touch card holder.  I never had one of these and don't think I've even seen one, so this was pretty cool.  I haven't opened it yet, trying to think of the perfect card to place in it, likely the George Brett Rookie.  It's not a product I would normally buy, but it was really nice to have included.  It didn't mention anything about it in the box, so despite the Triple Play cards, this box I think totally was worth it now.  In fact before opening the packs, I might want to make another trip to get another box.  But alas, I haven't yet, but here's to the weekend.

So what did I get?  Well, let's start with the ones I don't want first, maybe I got some keepers.

Stickers!  I already had the Power Hitter one which I'd bet someones farm (since I don't own one) is supposed to be Albert Pujols, but the others were new to me.  I'm keeping the Verlander since I still like him, and the brick wall one looks cool so that will be kept for now.  I have no desire for the A-Gone, so it will be added to the don't need/want stack that I still need to sort and give to some people.

Some more cards, with a couple more Pujols, the kid one I didn't have, maybe didn't have the other one either.  I think aside from the Alverez I'm keeping the rest.  Though Car-Go may not make the cut if I need room.

So whatever, Triple Play didn't give me high expectations, since I've opened enough to know what I could get.  But the last pack felt different and I was amazed at a card I never heard about or seen before.

Is that a jersey card?  Why yes it is!  I didn't know they included it in the set, but it appears they did.  Now this is awesome on quite a few levels, mainly it makes me feel a little bad for bad mouthing the set so much, but.... BUT! It's an authentic jersey card of a team they can't name and don't identify a player with.  So it could be a Royals jersey, a Cubs jersey, a throwback jersey of a team, or any other team that has a shade of blue, we may never know.  I am a bit lucky though as one is listed on the Trading Card Database and it's pure white.  A WHITE JERSEY CARD!  I can only think of about 30 teams that could be.

Maybe the back will give us a clue about this jersey.

Oh, thanks for the history lesson, but it doesn't help me at all.  Overall though I can't and won't complain about getting the best possible card of the set, and I still have 7 other packs to look at.

What else did I pull in those packs?  See for yourself.

Just like the Pete Rose set, the logos and teams are scrubbed, but overall not a bad set.  Though I will say after opening them I still have no desire to build this set or anything.

A couple more Bambino cards, both inserts, and both not bad.  They look nice.  As for the Topps cards, again, I've seen them before, but glad I pulled the Jeter and the red one.  Not much more to add though.

Nice Solarte card, and a Ryan Howard I may or may not have.  It goes into my collection either way, so it was a good pull.

So with only a couple packs left I'm not let down, but was hoping for a really big wow card, aside from that jersey card.

Am I asking too much?  Maybe, but oh well, I still have a hobby pack and a couple draft picks packs to open which could be gold!

BAM!  A couple Royals (one was in each pack) and some other guys I never heard of.  Though having said that I still like them.  I'm not a big fan of the Chrome or whatever finish, but I do like the design aside from the scrubbing and no team names.  I was happy with these packs.

Time for the Hobby pack.  Can you be overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time?  I mean I really lie this design, one of my favorites in recent memory, but at the same time, I for some reason expected more from a hobby pack.  I know they the designs don't differ from retail and hobby packs, but while I really like the design, I kind of expected more.  The Longevity card though is a really nice insert card.  In fact again, its one of my favorite insert designs in recent memory, aside from a couple Topps sets.  The players themselves I'm not familiar with, but still, I may look into this set a bit more and maybe one day chase down a few more.

There is one other card in the pack which isn't super special in terms of being an insert, but its an insert and of a player I've heard of so that makes it a big one in my book.

DANSBY SWANSON!  I've heard of him, I can dig this.  From what I've been told this is a Blue Crusade insert card, and while not super special or anything, it still reeks of awesomeness in my book.  *Note to self, when running spell check on here, Ebay is still underlined, but the word awesomeness, a word I've never heard of outside of Edge and Christian saying, isn't.  OKAY!

Anyways, overall I will say thinking about how these were all basically dollar packs and a 4 buck hobby pack, I think it was a fair deal even if I didn't get a bunch of packs I wanted.  The Ultra Pro bonus was nice and added value, but I'm not sure if it was in each box or random, so if I buy another I don't expect it again.  The cards themselves were all in line with the buck a pack price, with only a few true standout cards, but again, I can't complain.  I think having weighed all the pros and cons, I have to say this was well worth it.  I plan on getting another one if I get the chance soon.

What makes this a bit sweeter to me is the fact that I was considering getting a Loot Crate sometime, but was hung up on only getting a few packs for 20 bucks plus.  Sure they are hobby packs, but I like this box I got instead.  I'm guaranteed one hobby pack, plus 10 other packs and a possibility of bonus cards or items.  I know Loot Crate includes extras, including using the box itself as storage, but to me this makes more sense, and if I happen to be at Walmart I can get it now without waiting for it to come in the mail.

So that wraps it up for today.  I hope you enjoyed reading this post.  I'm sorry I haven't been replying to the comments, but I'm still trying to figure out why it won't let me reply to individual comments and I don't want to write a super long reply to everyone all at once.  I will say I've been reading them and enjoy them very much.  Thanks for the continued support from the blogging community, and I hope to make more quality posts soon.  Enjoy the weekend, and thanks again for reading.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Let's All Go To The Movies!

I had to make a trip to Walmart today, and it was the first time I've been out of the house more than a few minutes this month.  On the way I decided to stop at Savvy Seconds since its been a few weeks.  They have almost every holiday covered- Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Independence Day, you name it (except Valentine's Day though).  This time didn't seem like much to offer, even the books weren't that great.  However I noticed on the door a sign that said 10 VHS tapes for a buck, or 5 for 50 cents.  Now I don't have a working VCR at the moment, and to be honest, I don't need more VHS tapes, but hey what does it hurt to look.

I found 5 that I decided to get, and I will show them off today.  Actually I found ONE that I wanted and the other 4 I might be interested in if I get a VCR to work.  Let's take a look.

This was the last video I picked.  If I had a better option, I would have gotten it.  But I didn't see a New Kids on The Block VHS and I know enough about the Spice Girls that I didn't need an inside look at the band.  Though if Spice World did come on TV I would possibly watch it.... AGAIN...  As for this one, I might get one view out of it so 10 cents is worth it I think.

I remember the Race to 61 then to 70 and even though I didn't care for either McGwire or Sosa at the time or since, it was another one I think I can get one view out of.  Most of these were sports related just because actual movies for the most part are on DVD so finding these likely out of print tapes are good.  I might be on the search for a couple movies that I never saw on DVD, but otherwise I'll stick to the sports ones.

I never heard of this movie though and its been there a couple months now so I figured why not.  Maybe I'll give a report if I ever get to watch it.

After a second scanning the movies I came across this sealed Nolan Ryan tape  I like a lot about this, especially the Dr. Pepper sponsorship.  I'm not sure if I really want to open it up if I did have a VCR.

So all of these were basically filler, but to be honest, 10 cents a piece isn't a bad deal for them.  It was the last tape I saw that I wanted to get.  Well, the first tape I saw, but for this purpose the last tape.

GLORIOUS!  if a Mizzou VHS tape is ever within my eyesight, I'll take a look.  I have a couple already, but I didn't have this one, so I knew I had to get it.

This team was so memorable to me and finding this made my day after being sick for two weeks then having a couple other things happen recently.  So it brought a smile to my face.  I would have paid 50 cents for this one tape, so the other ones were just icing.

I can't wait to find a working VCR so I can watch it.  I might even try to put it on DVD like I did the other Mizzou VHS tapes I had.

So that wraps it up for today, I need to wrap it up so I can get a couple things done before Scorpion comes on, so thanks for reading and have a great night.