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Thursday, November 19, 2009

And now for something completely different...

This is totally off topic but I have to voice a complaint. This isn't about cards or sports or anything even remotely related to either but it's my blog and I will cry if I want to.

I have a routine. Most people I know, whether they admit it or not, also have some kind of routine. My routine in the morning is simple. After I get into my truck and head off to work, I take the same route, usually hit the same traffic lights, and most of the time, see the same drivers as I pass by. Once I get within about 2 miles of my office, there is a Speedway (which is a chain gas station for those of you not familiar) that I stop at every morning to fill my giant 64 oz. insulated cup with Mountain Dew or sometimes Diet Mountain Dew if the MD is empty. Either way, it gets filled with some sort of caffeine fueled explosion.

As I said, I drive a truck; a Ford F-150 longbed that I have had for almost 8 years. I love my truck and have refused to give it up on numerous occasions. But that is besides the point. Each morning when I arrive at Speedway, I park in the same spot, two from the end on the west side of the building. The parking here is parallel with the gas pumps under the canopy. When I go inside, I see the same employees, the same customers, the same product. As I said before, it is a routine.

However, this morning was different. There was a Jeep Grand Cherokee parked in my spot. Ok, I won't panic. I will just park in the spot next to it. It's fine. I notice the driver is sitting in her seat working on a laptop as I make my way to the door. Everything else proceeds as normal until I exit the building to leave. The Laptop Lady is still there. There is also now two cars at the pumps behind me. Now, being a gas station, I can't fault the patrons filling up their vehicles. But what is that lady still doing there? She has her coffee. She has her donut or Hostess product. Pull out!! Leave!!! Because...I can't back out now!! This isn't your personal office space.

I know the standard back-up routine is a three point turn. Well how about an eight point turn? That's right...EIGHT!! And they were all tiny little movement. Forward, backward, forward, backward, etc. On the sixth turn, the Laptop Lady had the nerve to turn her head around to see what was going on behind her and quickly turn away when I made my scathing eye contact with her. Needless to say, my routine was ruined. My day has totally become discombobulated (which is the longest common English word starting and ending with the letter D; I have one of those calendars).

The morale of this story is, if you plan on using a busy parking lot as your own personal office space, pick a spot away from the flow of traffic. Next time, there may not be somebody that loves thier vehicle as much as I do.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Impending doom???

That picture says it all...

So the Bengals have won 5 in a row on the road. So the Bengals have a one game lead over the Steelers. So the Bengals swept the season series against the Ravens and the Steelers (and soon the Browns). So....

To me, none of this makes a difference other than to give Chris Collinsworth on Sunday Night Football more reason to spout off and claim the Bengals are the greatest team in the history of the NFL. Just watch!! He will. That, and the fact that he has played every position in the game of football and played it better than you. He needs a one-way ticket on a garbage barge setting sail for Antarctica.

So what does this mean? It means that all things being equal, the Bengals would win the division and all subsequent tie breakers. However, there are still some games left and if Benson is down for a while, the running game might suffer, forcing Palmer into some mistakes, and who knows, maybe some pivotal turnovers that could mean the game. I can only hope!!

Needless to say, I'm not happy about what happened. Troy went down again, tweaking his knee that he injured earlier in the year. The O-line/Big Ben's penchant for separation anxiety of the football allowed 4 sacks (see photo above). The Steelers special teams blew it again, allowing a kickoff return for a TD (the only one in the game). Essentially, the Bengals beat the Steelers at their own game; smothering the offense with their defense.

At least for Pittsburgh, the Pens won in overtime yesterday and Pitt beat Notre Dame. Thank Bejebus we have KC next week. What a train wreck they are?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Week 9 - Steelers Beat Denver

The Steelers Win!!! The Broncos were held to 27 yards rushing and Orton was picked 3 times, twice by Tyrone Carter including a TD and one by my boy Troy. It was an awesome game at Mile High. The Steelers running game was on fire with Mendenhall getting over 150 yards. Ward scored two TDs, giving him somewhere over a billion for his career. The Big Ben to Psycho Ward hook up now has over 100 more receptions than the Bradshaw to Swann connection.

Once again, the crowd was jam packed with Steeler fans, the greatest traveling fans in the world (sorry Cowboys). Next weeks game is going to be a slobber-knocker (to coin the phrase by Jim Ross). Cincinnatti, 6-2, tied for first with Pittsburgh, at Heinz Field.

That's all I have to say about that right now.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some recent shop pick ups

As sort of a continuation of the last post, here is a list of what I picked up from the shop.

6 Packs of 2009 Topps Chrome Football: The packs of Topps weren't bad. In fact, I was happy with what I pulled...Two refractors and an auto!!

Frank Gore Refractor, Louis Murphy RC Refractor, Darrius Heyward-Bey RC, Kevin Ellison RC, Brain Orakpo RC, Chase Coffman RC Autograph, Vincent Jackson Chicle Insert, Troy Polamalu Chicle Insert (awesome PC card in my opinion), and the greatest card ever (I sense sarcasm)...a Jacksonville Jaguar cheerleader. Laurie, in fact, in case anyone cares.

2 Packs of 2009 Bowman Chrome Football: continuing where I left off at least where refractors were concerned...

Laveranues Coles Refractor, Darrius Heyward-Bey RC, and Mike Teel RC

Two Heyward-Bey rookies in two products was a little weird. The cheerleader card was a little weird, too. I could have done without ever seeing one of those, now I own one. Other than the Troy Chicle card, I didn't get any Steelers as I had hoped. The owner of the shop, as a consolation, gave me the ad spec sheet from a case of Topps Football with Ben Roethlisberger plastered all over it. That was cool.

Shop Review - - #1 The Baseball Card Exchange, Inc

As promised, I made my way to one of the local card shops around the Indianapolis area. Now as the title suggests, I plan on reviewing more than one shop. So, as I mentioned, this will be the first in a series (hopefully).

The first issue was to find one that was still in business. The first two hits that I got when searching for a local shop turned up to be out of business. Not a problem, though. My third choice actually answered their phone, giving me their hours so I wouldn't be wasting my time looking for a closed shop.

The Baseball Card Exchange has been in business since the early 90s, at the same location. When you enter the store, it is set up like the traditional store that most people would imagine. Cases down both sides with shelves behind featuring mostly wax boxes and sets for sale. There were a few boxes on the counters for searching through but most of the cards were either in the display cases or behind the counter.

The right side of the store was entirely made up of basketball product and supplies. After talking with the owner, I found out basketball used to be a mainstay of the business. Afterall, we were in Indiana, the basketball capital of, well the mid-west at least. However, with the change in product focus of most companies, football has taken over. The left side of the store was split between football and baseball.

It appeared that there was a large focus on packs and singles, especially newer product since they were the boxes on the countertops. The walled product had boxes ranging from the mid 80s all the way up to today. It was fun to see some product that I haven't seen in years. I learned that all of the singles in the cases were also obtained from customers. The owner breaks nothing himself because, as he puts it, if he gets a hit, no one else will. Good point. He also does nothing online other than ordering product so there are no websites or email...old school at it's best.

Overall, it was a nice shop, well kept and up to date with the most current products out there. The owner was very accomodating and we had a great conversation about the hobby and how it has affected his business. If you are looking for a nice shop in the area around Fishers (outside of Indy...northeast side) this was a nice place to spend some time and money.

Oh, what did I pick up, you ask...

6 Packs of 2009 Topps Chrome Football

2 Packs of 2008 Bowman Chrome Football

1 Pack of Soft Sleeves (for all my "hits")

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Traveling the world

Well not really but its definitely been interesting being sent all over the state for various training classes. That's why I haven't been able to find time to sit here and collect my thoughts in blog form. I am on again, off again training throughout the next two months. Every other week I am sent to another town to attend a class for my certification. Isn't life grand.

So now I'm sitting here watching the World Series (there is no football on tonight) in my newest hotel room in Indianapolis. I realized, I haven't been doing much in the way of cards lately but I plan on changing that in a few days. I have my eyes on some cheap 2008 football on clearance and some hockey. Looking to pick up some new 09-10 O-Pee-Chee and maybe some mixed pack stuff (you know those ones with the guaranteed GU cards...yeah, those. I actually like those).

Also, I have gotten a couple packages from some collector's out there. It seems there are Steelers fans with, eh em...too many Steelers cards. So what do they do? They send them to me. What a novel concept. I can be everyone's dumping ground for Steeler cards they don't want. Sounds like a plan. (I will also take Penguins cards too. I'm not picky).

I am going to try to make an attempt to visit some local shops in the area around the hotel and make a report about them. As we in the hobby all know, shops are going the way of the dinosaur and good ones are hard to find. Until then...Go Phillies!! (I can't believe I said that. Yes I hate the Yankees that much).