Monday, March 8, 2021


 Falling behind on blogging sucks for many reasons, one of the biggest is showing off new items you've acquired.  As I was looking at some folders earlier I realized I never showed off my Christmas gifts and more recently my birthday gifts.  So better late than never I guess.  I didn't get any cards, but that was fine because I haven't been working on cards much lately and hopefully the middle part of the year I'll have time to go through my collection and start working on it again.  However I did get a random mix of other items, some even sports related, and I think you might enjoy them.  I know I did.  So let's dig in and since I have the most recent stuff more handy, I'll show off my birthday gifts first.

The first card is from my friend Jason and his family.  Jason always gets me great gifts and this year was no exception, even the card is awesome.  I think photoshop hats on animals is the new thing for cards as I've seen 4-5 cards like that including the one with the cats on the last scan, which my sister got me.  I've always liked cats, so I liked that card as well.  The middle two cards my mom got me.  I enjoy them very much too, even though I did point out I believe I gave her the Mizzou card.  We laughed about that, so it was all good.  Whenever I get a card for my birthday or holiday, I usually display them for a while.  At Christmas I worked on a project I'll show later, and it makes me appreciate the cards and the people who sent them more.

Moving on to the gifts, the first item I guess wasn't technically a birthday gift, but still a gift nonetheless.  One I initially declined at first.  A couple weeks prior, my sister told me that my brother in law got a PS5 and they had an extra PS4.  She offered it to me if I wanted.  On the surface I really did kind of want it, but at first I declined.  My sister and brother in law have given my mom and I a lot in the past year and I didn't want them to give me something that they could at least make a little money on.  After we talked though, I thought about it more, and I did kind of want it.  I have an Xbox 360, but I think its on its last legs.  I don't game a lot, but when I get in moods, I do like to play for a while.  So when she called back a couple days later I asked if they still had it, and they did.  She brought it down about a week after my birthday, and so I've been testing it out often since then.  I found a couple free games to download, one a pinball game which I enjoy, the other is a game somewhat like Sim City called Big City Stories or something.  It's fun but reminds me of those old games of Facebook where you accumulate stuff and after a while of inactivity it maxes out and you don't get anymore stuff until you log back in.  For instance, I make in game money and energy even when I don't play, but once it maxes out I don't make anymore until I use some of it.  So I have to check back in every few hours.  Its still a fun game though.

As for other games, well, I told Jason I was getting a PS4, and well, I should have kept my mouth shut, lol.  Thankfully I didn't and he found what he could get me.

One trip to Gamestop later and I had some games.  I enjoy sports games more than shooting games (though I do enjoy them from time to time also), so all three of these were a nice way to break in the system for me.  I haven't played them all that much (reason why in a minute), but I have played them some.  I'm not someone that needs the newest version of a sports game to enjoy it, so even though they aren't current year, they are still good.  Madden 18 has Patrick Mahomes as a rookie, so that's all I need.  I've only played some of the storyline in the game so far and no actual games, but I'm sure it won't be too different from the last Madden game I had which was Madden 25 which came out in 2013 I think.

The NBA game I've played a little of a game or two, but I haven't explored it much yet.  It's about 3 years newer than the last one I had for the 360, and while I'm not great at that one, I think with time I'll get better at it.

As for the MLB game, this will be 6 or 7 years newer than the last one I had, mainly because Xbox didn't have a MLB game (at least a good one) since that time.  MLB The Show is exclusive to the Playstation, and this version is perfect.  The team that won the World Series the year prior was the Kansas City Royals, and the collecting aspect of the Ultimate Team or whatever is called is based off the 2016 Topps cards, one of my favorite most recent sets.  I played one game while it taught me, and I won 34-0.  I think I learned it pretty quickly.  Salvador Perez was 5 for 6 with 4 home runs.  I'm sure soon enough I'll get back to playing it, especially once the MLB season begins.

He also managed to get a couple brand new games, and I've been enjoying them too.  One thing about the PS4 I didn't realize is the games and updates take up a lot of space.  I thought it would be just for the action games, but even with 5-6 games on the system, the 500GB hard drive is near half full.  I don't think it will ever get full at least not for a while because there aren't too many games I see myself getting anytime soon, but still it took a while for updates and installing the games, so I did each one first so it took a day or two to fully start enjoying all I could do.  Plus I had to remember my Playstation account which for some reason I did have already.  Maybe one day I'll do PS Now or one of their other subscription services, but I'm good for now.

Soccer can be a fun game, especially if you take the time to learn the controls and not get frustrated.  I will admit I haven't spent much time on this game yet.  This game is about 12 years newer than my last soccer game, and I think it might be a steep learning curve, but on the bright side, there are a ton of teams to choose from.  I will likely stick to MLS, but in the last few years I have rooted for Manchester City on and off, so it will be fun playing as a European League team.  I think it said it had over 170 teams on it.  No wonder the game and update take up a lot of space.  All I played was while it was installing (which is a nice feature), so soon I should try more of it out.

The main reason I haven't played many of the games is because of WWE 2K20.  When it was released it was panned by almost everyone.  Even today not many have nice things to say about it.  However I have enjoyed it very much.  It is the newest WWE game (aside for the cartoony one I think called Battleground) and the newest one I have since WWE 2K12, though I did play 2K16 when it came out.  I am still learning this game, but have already downloaded some good community creations of wrestlers not in the game (still hope someone makes a better version of Shotzi Blackheart and figure out a couple more AEW guys to get), and even created and uploaded a couple of my own (I made a couple from scratch, one called Mr. Nightmare, and another a female called Reaper).  Most of my time has been spent on the storyline mode which I'm about halfway through.  It's starting to get a bit tougher, but I think I can beat it.  I never really care about beating games as long as I enjoy them, so even if I don't I can still do the Universe mode, which I will start once I learn a few more things.  It took about 4 days to figure out how to kick out of pin attempts.  I'm sure the game still has bugs, but I haven't had any trouble with it so far, and that's good enough for me.

Overall I'm still learning all the games and the PS4, but the only drawback so far has been its made me want to put off stuff I should be working one.  For now at least I'm balancing stuff pretty good (hey I even managed to do more blogs this month than I have all year).  It also allows me to let my 360 rest for a while.  I'll still play it because sometimes I need my Saints Row fix (at least until I get GTA 5 on PS4).  I'm so happy I got the system and the games, I can't think everyone enough.

That wasn't all Jason gave me though.  He is a bargain hunter, and I only wish I could find the kind of deals he does.  You would think 5 games was more than enough, but it wasn't, though I'm not complaining.

He got me a couple movies that I had seen at Dollar Tree but didn't grab.  I haven't had the chance to check them out yet, but my goal this year is to start watching more movies and also converting them to my computer, so I hope to check them out soon.  He also got me something to enjoy while watching the movies.

I chuckled when I saw he got me these.  I've always enjoyed Cracker Jack and I mentioned the reason I laughed was because a couple months prior my mom and I did this:

My mom and I have been working on puzzles a lot this last year.  This might be one of my favorites we've done.  The last couple she has mostly worked on alone (it takes away from my PS4 time, lol).  Though I plan on working on a few more as we are a little stockpiled on them right now.

Speaking of puzzles, Jason also managed to get me some puzzles back during Christmas.  I have to remember everything he got me because it was quite a bit so I hope I don't forget it.

These are an interesting concept for puzzles.  The idea is you get an app for your phone and you listen to relaxing music while working on the puzzle.  It also gives you and approximate time to take to finish it, which it didn't take that long at all.  I didn't do the app but just working on the puzzles were relaxing.  They were very nice puzzles, and I preferred listening to my own music while working on them (can't remember what I listened to, might have been Switchfoot).

In addition he also got me more stuff.

The two postcards are from the 70's not long after the Stadiums were built.  I believe he got them from the seller that had the photos from the stadium I posted last year.  He also gave me more photos too, but I didn't take pictures or scan them yet.  Maybe at some point I will.

The cardboard sign intrigued me, I asked if it was from the stadium, and he told me it was.  Not from Kansas City though, it was the sign for the visitor's locker room at Cleveland, which I believe was Municipal Stadium, which was demolished in 1996 after the Indians moved to Jacobs Field.  I need to find a nice place to hang it, for now its on my overcrowded shelf.  Hopefully I work on that later today.

I may not have took pictures of everything he gave, I know he also got my mom a box of chocolates as well.

I may have forgot to photograph other gifts I got too, that is one of the drawbacks of stockpiling and not doing regular blogs.  I do have a couple more gifts to show, then I think I'll show some Christmas stuff to wrap it up and to clean up my folders some.

So for Christmas I got this Blu Ray movie.  It was at the Dollar Tree and I picked it out, but my mom and I each grabbed a couple items so we'd have something to exchange at Christmas.  What I didn't know though is when I wasn't looking, she also slipped in this magnet as well.  It caught me off guard and it almost made me cry.  She knows I don't give out a lot of hugs, but I felt a nice big hug was warranted.

So overall I think I've gotten some great gifts the last couple of months.  I mentioned at the beginning a project I worked on at Christmas, and I'll show that and a couple more Christmas photos before I wrap things up...WRAP... THINGS UP!

The first two pictures are the projects I worked on.  When I was in school we had to do science projects and show them off during the science fair.  I'm sure many others had to do the same, but today I think the boards they use are either styrofoam or some kind of other material.  We used pieces of plywood and some hinges.  One of them is still in good shape and I want to use for a future project, but the other was in storage and has seen better days.  We had a bunch of old wrapping paper and I wanted to do something for Christmas.  I then had an idea of putting old Christmas cards on the boards that were made to look nicer with the wrapping paper.  We don't save every Christmas card, but still quite a few.  About 20 or so fit on one board and since we only had a few others I decided not to put them on another board.  Maybe next year I'll do it.  The other board still looked pretty so it was sort of a backdrop for the Christmas scenes around the house.  I think this is the most I've decorated in years, and I actually had fun doing it.  Next is a couple puzzles that we worked on around the holidays, and I hope we find more with a Christmas theme and we can do them the entire month of December next year.  I've always enjoyed doing puzzles, but the last couple years it has really calmed me down and I've enjoyed it much more.  That is unless they are hard to finish or the pieces are missing or small or even ones that don't really connect, then I lose interest.  Maybe that's why I haven't worked on the last two because the previous two frustrated me.  I'll jump in on the next one.

Next is a cardboard cat picture that we've had forever.  We had another one I think too but I'm not sure what happened to it.  We haven't displayed this one in years, but I liked seeing it hung on the closest door.  The deer sign I think we picked up at Dollar Tree last year.  Originally on our outside door, the peephole is usually covered so we hung it inside this year.

Next is something I was so happy to display.  My sister found the Kermit and I finally had the complete set of Muppet Babies and was proud to show them off.  Part of me want to display them the whole year, but I think it adds to the season just showing them off for a month or two.  It also makes me appreciate not only the stuffed toys more but also the journey to getting them.

The last picture is some solar things you place in windows and the move around.  The thing it they are really noisy, so we only display them away from the sun.  At certain points in the day they still get sunlight and move, and that's good enough.

The snowman is one of the oldest Christmas decorations I might have (aside from the cardboard cats and a couple other items).  I won it from my church in 2001 or so and have it on display every year.  Afterwards it is placed nicely in a bag in storage (at the apartment) until the next year.  It makes me think of all my church family whenever I look at it.

Next is a display of most of the rest of the Christmas decorations.  It is a bit jumbled together, but I think it looks good.  If you look on the left you will see Perry The Platypus as a snowman, which is a tree ornament.

Lastly is something I did this year for the first time.  While cleaning a couple months prior we found a book that had never been used and had cutouts in it.  My mom didn't want it, and I didn't have a desire to do anything with it, but decided to hold onto it.  Then around Thanksgiving I was bored, and aside from watching the 1970's classic Bad News Bears I needed something to do.  I remembered that book, and decided to put some of the village together.  I don't like messing with glue, so instead I use scotch tape to make most of the village.  I liked it so much that when we took everything down, I decided to keep most of it and will display it again next year.  It's sitting on one of my 5000 count card boxes, but next year it will likely be on a dry erase board I have to make it look like an icy snow setting.

So with that, this post comes to a close.  I enjoyed each and every gift I was given, and will likely be playing more of those games soon.  In the meantime, I'm also happy I cleared up some more files, and hope to post a little more often.  The biggest challenge is getting in the mood to do it, but the weather is starting to get better and usually when I'm more active my downtime I like to do stuff too, so maybe I will blog more.  I have some more Savvy Loot posts to do, and I even have some cards to show off too.  I was waiting on one to arrive, but I had to request a refund for it since it has been almost a month.  Luckily I got refunded without a hassle, but I'm still in pursuit of a Rafiki card from The Lion King (mainly because Robert Guillaume doesn't have a proper trading card).  I think I'll get it sooner than later.  Down the line I might request a shipment from COMC, and should have around 50 or so cards there too.  I should have other stuff to post too, and might even rant and rave or even bring back a couple old features as well.

At any rate thanks so much for reading and I hope everyone has a great week.  I hope to clean up the storage unit a bit and maybe even post some Youtube videos.  At the least work on some more VHS tapes.  The moldy ones in the last post I threw out, but I still found one that was okay and got some good commercials from.  If I get the chance I might even tackle some more cards too, we'll see.


  1. My newest systems are an original XBox, and a PS2. I'd love to get something a little more contemporary, but it seems like everything is so complicated now. Between all of the downloads, patches, updates, etc., I just don't think that I could figure it all out. I just want to put a game in and play, I'm too old for all of that other stuff.

    Your wrapping paper walls were a really good idea, and they look pretty awesome too!

    Congratulations on completing your Muppet Babies set. I've had those since they originally came out, and bring them out every year for Christmas.

    I'm real big on puzzles too, especially the larger ones (I rarely bother with anything under 1,000 pieces). And there's almost nothing worse than spending hours/days working on one, only to find out right at the end that you're missing a piece.

    Another fun post today. Hopefully you'll be able to keep the blogging interest going :)

    1. Thanks. Yeah I'm realizing I'm at the age where technology has passed me by, I didn't hook up the PS4 for about a day and a half because I wanted to read how to set it up and how to do the downloads and all that. Its easy to do, and luckily I was able to play the games immediately while it downloaded updates (which I don't think I even needed if I don't get online). I loved the PS2 and still have a few games for it but never break it out. I do have my NES nearby and will play that on occasion. Maybe I'll do a post on that and my favorite games to play.

      I think if I post something every few days I'll get back in the groove, otherwise I think I'll sit idle and it will be weeks between posts again. At least I have a few ideas now and a little motivation to keep writing. I feel like I'm not burnt out from it anymore, that's the biggest thing.