Tuesday, November 30, 2010

MOvember 2010 -- Final Update

Today is the final day of MOvember, which meant that I finally shaved off my mustache.  Moments later, the month-long kiss-embargo which had been imposed by The Wife was rescinded, which was nice.  Very nice indeed.

Before I shaved off the 'stache, I had the wife snap a couple of pics.  And I'm not sure which is tougher, growing a mustache or trying to get a decent photo of the damn thing.

I call this one "Winter Guy."

On a side note, I got both the hat and coat at Old Navy recently.  Both were on uber-sale.  The hat has a Hamm's Premium Beer patch on the front (which I love) and the coat is the warmest coat I've ever owned (the combination of down-feathers and synthetic fabric work wonders in the frigid Nebraska winter air).

This next picture is titled "If I could grow a mustache as well as I can grow a nose, I'd be Tom Selleck".

I also thought of naming the above picture "Pointing at a $350 Mustache."  That's right, my family and friends love me enough (or feel enough pity on me) that they donated $350 toward prostate and testicular cancer research because I grew a lousy mustache.  What I lack in mustache-growing ability, I make up with the greatest family and friends on earth.

This next picture is probably my favorite.  I call it "Puzzled in Black & White".

Everyone who was kind enough to make a donation this MOvember will be receiving their own copy of this wonderful picture (unless they would prefer one of the others, which I'll gladly send their way) along with a thank you note as my way of saying thanks for donating.

The Wife and I spent the past month trying to think of a way to top last year's end-of-MOvember photo shoot, but we realized that we'd never be able to do so, so the above pictures are what we settled upon.  I'm a little disappointed that we were less creative this year, but I'm still very pleased that all of this year's photos of my MO were enhancement-free (i.e. I used no mascara or mustache dye.  It's all natural, baby.).

Thanks again to all who donated.  And if you've been waiting to see the final results of my mustache growing adventure before you donating, I'm sure the MOvember people would be happy to accept your money.  Please GO HERE to make a donation.

Once again, this year I raised $350.00, which exceeded my personal goal by $50.00.

Team MOrthern Colorado raised $492.00 which helped contribute to the $5 million plus that MOvember participants in the US collected.  Who knew that something as simple as a mustache could raise so much awareness and money?

Thanks again for your support this past month and the countdown to MOvember 2011 has officially begun.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

MOvember 2010 -- Week 3 Update

Does anyone know if the FBI ever got around to catching this fella?

If not, I may want to choose my outfits very, very, VERY wisely from here on out.

Thus far, I've raised $300 for prostate and testicular cancer research this MOvember, and Team MOrthern Colorado has raised $422. 

But worry not, there is still plenty of time to donate if you would care to do so.  Just go HERE. Thanks for your support.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Autograph Pickups

I'm a bit behind on posts about my Luke Hochevar collection, so here are some recently (which means I got them anytime within the past 7 months) acquired autograph cards.

First up is a 2008 SP Legendary Cuts Future Legends Signature card which is serial numbered 69/99.  I really like this card because it is one of the few on-card autographs I have.  Most of the others are sticker autos.

Next is a 2008 UD Premier Rookie Signature card serial numbered 206/299.  This autograph is on a sticker (the outline of which you can see on the card).  It's not the biggest problem in the world, but on-card autographs just look so much crisper and cleaner. 
Next we have a 2009 Topps Career Best Autograph.  This is one of the handful of autograph cards that I have which isn't serial numbered. 

This 2008 SPx Rookie Signatures is another of the non-serial numbered autograph cards in my collection.

This may be one of my favorite autograph cards in my collection.  This is a 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Stroke of Genius card.  Here are some of the great aspects of this card:
  • On-card autograph
  • Eye-pleasing card design.  I like the "Stroke of Genius" logo and font.
  • The picture is an "action" picture.
  • This card has great texture.  It has a "canvas" feel to it, because the "Masterpiece" series of cards is supposed to remind the collector of a masterpiece painting.
All in all, a well designed and executed card.

The final card is a 2009 Triple Threads Emerald card, serial numbered 9/10.  The Triple Thread series catches a lot of flack in the card collecting community, but I don't hate the design as much as other people.  One of my favorite aspects of this particular card is the multi-colored jersey section.  More often than not, the jerseys are all the same color.  But not mine.  Mine has a white jersey swatch, a red jersey swatch (although I'm at a loss as to where on a KC Royals jersey there is red material), and the "CK" section appears to be the jersey label.  Pretty sweet, in my humble opinion.

Recently, my Hochevar collection hit the 150-card mark.  Not too bad considering I've only been actively collecting his cards for the past seven or eight months.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Joey Pos

Before I get to the reason for this post, I want to make a couple of admissions. 

First, I am not a very good writer.  (The fact that I've rewritten this post about a dozen times would be proof enough of this fact, at least in my mind.)  It's not that I don't enjoy writing, I do.  But when I sit down at my computer to compose a blog post, I get often get frustrated that the thoughts bouncing around in my skull do not end up coming out as I want them when I attempt to put them to paper (or in a blog post).  And that bugs me and often keeps me from posting as often as I'd like to my blog.

Second, of the nearly 4000 songs in my iTunes library, I do not own one single Bruce Springsteen song.  I love classic rock, but have never found Bruce's music to be enjoyable. 

So when I read an essay such as this, by my favorite blogger, Joe Posnanski, I am both inspired and depressed.  Reading this post makes me wish I had one-tenth the writing ability of Joe, but knowing I never will write this well is quite depressing.  At the same time, I am inspired to keep trying to reach the bar that Joe has set so very high. 

Joe is a guy who can take a topic with which I have no interest and keep me interested.  I am jealous of his gift, yet am so very glad that he shares it with his readers.  I have no idea how the guy can make me cry with a topic as simple as a Bruce Springsteen song, but I am so very thankful that he did.

(And I may have to give Bruce another chance and buy one of his cds.)

SONG:  "The Promise" by Bruce Springsteen

CARD:  2010 Allen and Ginter Mini Luke Hochevar Yellow Printing Plate, serial numbered 1/1

Monday, November 15, 2010

MOvember Update: Mustaches That Inspire Me

Week Two of MOvember is in the books, and I'm pleased as punch with the results.

Team MOrthern Colorado has raised over $400 for prostate and testicular cancer research.  We are almost half-way to our goal of $1000 for our team, which is good.  Hopefully, as the mustaches are beginning to take shape, many people will become inspired to donate.  If you would like to help our team reach our goal by making a donation, please go HERE.  Every dollar counts and every dollar is important.

Relatively speaking, my MO is coming in quite nicely.  When I first participated in MOvember four years ago, I didn't have this much growth for the entire month.  In fact, back then, most people couldn't see the mustache until Thanksgiving.  Not so this year.  This year it has some nice color and texture.  See for yourself.

Which brings me to this week's Update Topic:  Mustaches That Inspire Me.

These are the men and mustaches that have inspired me to take up this quest to grow a soup strainer. 

  • Charlie Chaplin 
  • Ron Burgundy 
  • Freddie Mercury 
  • Helen Thomas 
  • Giraldo Rivera 
  • Craig "The Walrus" Stadler
  • Mike Ditka 
  • Borat
  • SNL's "Super Fans" (you know, "Da Bears!") 
  • Graucho Marx 
  • Tom Sellek 
  • Rollie Fingers 
  • Gene Shallot 
  • Mike "Fluff" Cowan
  • Hulk Hogan 
  • Alex Trebek
10)  Cowboy, poet, and humorist Baxter Black

9)  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band era Beatles

8)  Consumer reporter, investigative journalist, author, libertarian columnist, and television news-magazine anchor John Stossel

7)  Theoretical physicist, philosopher, and author Albert Einstein

6)  Gunfighter, lawman, and gambler Wild Bill Hickok

5)  Late 80s and early 90s baseball players.
(Picture borrowed from my favorite baseball card blog Night Owl's Cards). 

4) Radio personality Bob Kevoian  (Incidentally, Bob's mustache was born on June 18, 1969)

3) Detective Dan Stark from television's "The Good Guys"

2)  From the Pawnee Parks and Recreation Department, Ron Swanson

1)  Postal worker, former volunteer fire department Chief, mechanic and handyman, woodworker and carpenter, youth basketball and baseball coach, church leader, hunter and fisherman, outdoorsman, golfer, photographer, and, most importantly, my Dad.

I hope to one day be able to grow half the mustaches that these men have grown.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two videos and a card.

My brain has been in a bit of a funk and I haven't been able to finish a written blog post for over a week.  I have a half dozen unfinished rough drafts sitting on my blog-desktop that remain unposted because I can't seem to find the motivation or passion to finish them.

So, I thought I would get up a post that is less wordy and more picturey and soundy.

First, a cat video.

Second, a music video.

And, finally, a picture of a recent trading card purchase.

This card is a 2007 Bowman Sterling Duel Autograph of Luke Hochevar and David Price, serial numbered 83/275.

Monday, November 8, 2010

MOvember Monday Update: Week 1

I've been growing my 'stache for a little over a week and I've got to say that I'm relatively pleased with the results thus far.  I can remember the first year I participated in MOvember, back in 2007, and most people didn't know I was growing a mustache until the third week.  Pretty lame. 

But this year, I've had a few coworkers comment on my growth within the first week of growth, which I will consider a small victory.


 Another victory is that the above picture was taken without the performance-enhancing techniques (i.e. mascara on the lip whiskers). 

And, probably the biggest victory of all, I reached my personal fund-raising goal of $300 within the first week of MOvember.  I have the most generous group of friends and family.  I would like to thank my Wife, my Mom, my Mother-in-Law, my cousin Darcey, and my aunt Linda for their donations.  You guys are the greatest. 

If you would like to donate to my mustache (and to prostate and testicular cancer research), please go HERE.  My team, MOrthern Colorado, has a goal to raise $1000, so while I've reached my personal goal, I'd still like to get my team to our goal. 

Thank you for your continued support in this journey to raise awareness for men's health.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Using words to prey on people's ignorance is fun.

I saw this video over at Althouse's blog.


SONG:  "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby.  I didn't go out today, but we are now in November, which everyone knows is the start of the Christmas Season, so I'm assuming they have started playing Christmas music in stores to get shoppers in the holiday mood.  I thought I'd get in on the fun. 


CARD:  2006 Just Minors Duel Signature Luke Hochevar/Dexter Fowler, serial numbered 2/2.

I was able to use some of the money from the sale of my Strasburg Printing Plate to fund the purchase of this card.  I was super excited to find this card on eBay, since it has the autograph of the two players that I'm currently collecting.  I was also glad that the seller accepted an offer that was 1/3 less than their listed asking price.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gonna try to win me some cards

I stumbled into this "contest" at one of the card collecting blogs I read.  I love when bloggers offer up free cards as incentive to get more people reading their blog.  In this case Georgia Mindset has offered a free hobby box for anyone who will follow their blog and will give a shout out about the contest. 

Well, Georgia Mindset, your plan has worked perfectly.  I am now following your blog and have added you to my daily-read list.  Thanks for the contest and I hope to be the lucky winner.

And the nice thing is, any other bloggers who are interested can enter the contest as well.  Just head over to the Georgia Mindset website for more details.


CARD OF THE DAY:  2010 Topps T206 "3-Card Mini". 
I love the ToppsVault store on eBay.  They put out unique (and often times, 1/1) trading card memorabilia on a daily basis and their starting bid prices are quite reasonable.  I've picked up three unique Luke Hochevar cards for my collection from them.   Two of them are labeled 1/1 and all of them have "blank backs".  This particular card is of three T206 mini cards, but they haven't been cut apart.  Also, this card has a "blank back" which makes it interesting and unique (at least to me).

Thursday, October 28, 2010

1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner

When I was a kid, I strictly collected basketball cards.  Every once in a while I'd buy a pack or two of baseball or football cards, but my true passion was collecting basketball cards.  And, more specifically, I collected the cards of current players.  

This was for a few reasons.  First, I lived 90+ minutes away from the nearest card shop, which meant that I had little to no access to previously released cards.  Second, it was cheaper and more fun to try to pull my favorite player's card from a pack.  Also, by constantly buying packs of cards, I had a nice stockpile of cards to use as trade-bait with my friends.  Third, vintage cards were too expensive for a kid to try and collect.  The best I could hope for was to find some old cards in my grandparent's basement, and that never happened, unfortunately.  In all the years I collected as a kid, I cannot remember ever buying an individual card.  I always felt that I could get more bang for my buck by playing the lottery of ripping packs of cards.

Yet, as a modern-day basketball card collecting kid, I still knew of the legend of the 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner baseball card.  This card was the first "short-printed" card of importance.  For one reason or another, very few Honus Wagner cards were printed for this series, with some estimating that as few as 200 cards were produced.

Fast forward 80 years to when I was a kid, and these rare cards of a famous and important baseball player were the most highly coveted cards in the industry.  Whenever I was thumbing through a Beckett Magazine for updates on the value of my modern cards, I would always check out the vintage cards to see how valuable they were, and this card always took the cake. 

Today the news spread like wild-fire throughout the card collecting world that another one of these cards had surfaced and was up for auction.  Apparently a man had one of these cards in his safety deposit box since the 1930s and left it to his sister, a nun living in Virginia, after he died.  Current bidding for the card is currently at $180,000, even though the card is in less than mint condition. 

Sadly, I was born many years too late to have my card collection increase in value like past generations have enjoyed (damn "Junk Card" era).  But it's cards like the 1909-11 Honus Wagner T206 that make this hobby so much fun. 

And cards like the Honus Wagner are one of the main reasons why I love tracking down cards that are serial numbered 1/1.  I love knowing that I am the only person in the entire universe with that particular card.  If I can't own a piece of history by shelling out thousands of dollars for a vintage card, then I'll make my own history by owning a unique modern-day card (like the one below), which makes me very happy indeed.

SONG:  "Hometown Glory" by Adele

CARD:  2010 Topps T206 Bronze "Blank Back" Luke Hochevar, serial numbered 1/1

MOVEMBER:  In the past two days I've received $150.00 in donations, which means that I'm halfway to meeting my personal goal of $300, and MOvember hasn't even started yet.  I couldn't be happier.  Thanks to my wife, my mom, and my cousin Darcey for their donations.  You guys are the greatest!