Thursday, September 29, 2016

Better Late Than Never... Gint-A-Cuffs VIII Packs 1-24

Well, just the other day I was slaving away at determining how practical using a Hankel singular value decomposition on an under suppressed water two-dimensional chemical shift imaging in the body at ultra high fields would be and I went, "Holy cats! Gint-A-Cuffs' deadline is practically tomorrow!" I then promptly forgot about it until my wife reminded me that it was, in fact, due tomorrow. So here I am, the night before the deadline going to take it all in one fell swoop.

To be honest, I've been more or less intentionally putting off scoring my box. I legitimately don't think I'm going to break 100 points. My box is -that- bad. Oh yeah. A real winner. Besides, when you have multiple abstract deadlines that loom followed by posters and all these other things on top of two small children (and lets not forget the dog... or my wife... HAH!) you can see how things might just have gotten away from me. But here we are.

So my box may be the worst, but can I do this in the fastest time? Lets find out.  I'm starting this at 2040 local time. I bet I can do it in an hour without losing too much quality. You'll have to forgive me for my lack of high quality pictures that rival Spankee and his awesomeness, but desperate times call for low quality pictures. Alas. Here we go.

Box Loader:

Mike Trout (BL-MT) : +4 pts (Bacon, Lettuce, MoreBacon, Tomato sandwich?)

Pack Total: +4
Running Total: +4
Projected Total: +???

If you think it is going to get better... it doesn't.

Pack 1:



#51 A.J. Ramos
#220 Matt Duffy
#121 Corey Seager
#31 Brad Ziegler
Numbers Game - Matt Harvey: +2 NG
#5 Mini - Kyle Waldrop
Framed Mini Relic - Felix Hernandez: +8

Pack Total: +10
Running Total: +14
Projected Total: +244 (See what I did there? Put the best possible pack out front to give you the illusion of hope? Yeah...)

Pack 2:



#327 Raul Mondesi
#33 Ender Inciarte
#170 Max Scherzer
#205 Carlos Santana
#213 Heidi Watney
#190 Jon Gray
Natural Wonders - Dead Sea: +2 NW
#281 Mini - Jose Bautista

Pack Total: +2
Running Total: +16
Projected Total: +196

This pack is dead-er than the Dead Sea... which is ironic.

Pack 3:



#236 Brad Boxberger (I like this guy's name... Boxberger... it's like Hamburger Helper...)
#82 Gerardo Parra (Gerardo... a good strong name)
#66 Miguel Sano : +1 Favorite Team (HOLY COW I'M IN THE GREEN)
#7 John Lamb
#1 Jorge Soler
#254 Bryce Harper
Number Game - Robinson Cano : +2 NG (He SHOULD be a Yankee, dirty sellout...)
#152 Mini Gary Sanchez : -1 Yankee

Pack Total: +2
Running Total: +18
Projected Total: ((+18)/(3))*24+4 = +148 (Yay for showing your work!)

Pack 4: 



#169 Adrian Beltre
#234 Glen Perkins : +1 Favorite Team
#278 Madison Bumgarner
#225 Brandon Drury : +4 Favorite Player (Insert white-guy dance)
#83 David Wright : +2 FP List
#298 Jacoby Ellsbury : -1 Yankee
Numbers Game - Nomar Garciaparra : +2 NG
US Mayors Mini - Tomas Regalado : +2 USM Mini

Pack Total: +10 (Uhhh, wat?)
Running Total: +28
Projected Total: +172

I promise this pack is a fluke.

Pack 5: 



#184 Mookie Betts
#28 Elvis Andrus
#272 Troy Tulowitzki
#293 Jonathan Papelbon
#89 Dallas Keuchel : +2 FP List
Baseball Legends - Al Kaline : +2 BL
Numbers Game - Ozzie Smith : +2 NG
#252 Mini Cole Hamels : +3 FP List Mini

Pack Total: +9 (Huh?)
Running Total: +37
Projected Total: +181.6

Yeah, I must be losing my mind. I know there are a dozen negative packs in here somewhere...

Pack 6: 



#332 Yan Gomes
#159 Brett Gardner : -1 Yankee
#300 Trea Turner
#76 Colin McHugh
#226 Luke Jackson
#244 Gravitational Waves (Groovy)
#88 Jose Fernandez
#236 Mini Brad Hamburger Helper

Pack Total: -1
Running Total: +36
Projected Total: +148

Toldja.

Pack 7:



#335 Shawn Tolleson
#85 Prince Fielder
#148 Kole Calhoun
#59 Billy Hamilton
#230 Jessica Mendoza
#97 Kyle Schwarber : +2 FP List
Baseball Legends - Willy Mays : +2 BL
Ferocious Felines Mini - Siberian Tiger : +2 FFM

Pack Total: +6
Running Total: +42
Projected Total: +148

Pack 8:



#281 Jose Bautista
#14 Kendrys Morales
#116 Jose Reyes
#287 Andre Dawson
#228 Colin Cowherd : -1 Because The Commish Said So (BTCSS)
Baseball Legends - Jim Palmer : +2 BL
Numbers Game - Jon Lester : +2 NG
US Mayors Mini - Greg Stanton : +2 USM Mini

Pack Total: +5
Running Total: +47
Projected Total: +145

Eh. I seem to be hanging in there. I'll tank it here in a moment I'm sure..

Pack 9:

#311 Welington Castillo
#175 Jonathan Schoop
#229 Mitch Moreland
#290 Andrew Faulkner
#119 Gennady Golovkin
#110 Michele Steele
#299 Clayton Kershaw : +2 FP List
#294 A&G Back Mini - Carlos Rodon : +2 A&G Back Mini

Pack Total: +4
Running Total: +51
Projected Total: +140

Apparently the A&G Back Minis are tougher to hit in hobby boxes this year? I read it on Twitter, so it must be true.

Pack 10:



#341 Richie Shaffer
#157 Gerrit Cole
#231 Kaleb Cowart
#93 Mike Piazza
#41 Drew Smyly
#113 Alcides Escobar
#166 Morgan Spurlock
#178 Black Bordered Mini - David Robertson : +3 BB Mini

Pack Total: +3
Running Total: +54
Projected Total: +133.6

Well, at least I got a black bordered mini?

Pack 11:



#45 Laurence Leavy (How is this guy not worth negative points? Seriously.)
#112 Kris Bryant
#237 Dustin Pedroia
#180 Ryne Sandberg
#274 Chris Sale
Numbers Game - Robin Yount : +2 NG
Natural Wonders - Devils Tower : +2 NW
#348 Mini Trevor Plouffe : +3 SP Mini, +1 Favorite Team (+4 Total)

Pack Total: +8
Running Total: +62
Projected Total: +139.27272727272727

I mean, that Trevor Plouffe Mini... Best card in my box? Probably.

Pack 12:



#321 Nick Castellanos
#118 Evan Gattis
#46 Ben Revere
#151 David Ortiz
#2 Ryan 'Gimme Da Roids' Braun
#21 Ben Zobrist
Natural Wonders - Aurora Borealis : +2 NW
#95 A&G Back Mini - Jimmy Nelson : +2 A&G Back Mini

Pack Total: +4
Running Total: +66
Projected Total: +136

Half-way there and we're livin' on a prayer to break a hundred points...

Pack 13:



#221 Brian McCann : -1 Yankee
#283 Michael Wacha
#109 Eduardo Rodriguez
#247 Papal Visit (This should have been my favorite player...)
Numbers Game - Roberto Clemente : +2 NG
#231 Mini Kaleb Cowart
Full Sized Relic A - Corey Kluber : +5 FSRA

Pack Total: +6
Running Total: +72
Projected Total: +136.923 (I don't think I'm calculating this correctly, to be honest... whatever.)

Hit #2 down... trust me, Hit #3 is awful.

Pack 14:



#126 Greg Bird : -1 Yankee
#138 Cord McCoy
#276 Matt Harvey
#140 Caleb Cotham
#268 Frank Thomas
Baseball Legends - Duke Snider : +2 BL
Numbers Game - Andy Pettitte : +2 NG, -1 Yankee (+1 Total)
#120 Mini Kenta Maeda : +3 FP List Mini

Pack Total: +5
Running Total: +77
Projected Total: +129.14 (This is the correct way... ([77-4]/14)*24+4)

Eh. Yankees. What can you do.

Pack 15:



#301 Tyson Ross
#68 Dexter Fowler
#256 Starling Marte
#143 Adrian Gonzalez
#242 DJ LeMahieu
#49 Ketel Marte
#206 Bob Gibson
#45 Mini Laurence Leavy (Serious, eff this guy. I was fine with the Texting Champion from 2014, but this guy just irritates me...)

Pack Total: +0
Running Total: +77
Projected Total: +120.8

Yep. Zero. Nice. No picture = A picture of a bribe. Just sayin'.

Pack 16:



#129 Zack Greinke
#44 Miguel Castro
#146 Evan Longoria
#80 Edwin Encarnacion
#70 Chase Headley : -1 Yankee
Numbers Game - Jose Altuve : +2 NG
Natural Wonders - Mount Everest : +2 NW
#102 Mini Aaron Nola

Pack Totals: +3
Running Total: +80
Projected Total: +118

Pack 17:



#308 Andy Pettitte : -1 Yankees
#295 Jose Altuve
#186 Alex Gordon
#114 Randy Sklar
#122 Andrew Heaney
#35 Jayson Werth(less)
#103 Carlos Martinez
Subways & Streetcars - Metromover : +2 SS Mini

Pack Total: +1
Running Total: +81
Projected Total: +112.7

At least it is positive?

Pack 18:



#318 Pedro Severino
#34 Rick Klein (Political Analyst? Analyze THIS Election, guy...) : -1
#142 Jake Arrieta
#271 A.J. Pollock
#48 J.T. Realmuto
#238 Tyler White
#165 Nelson Cruz
#149 Black Bordered Mini Michael Brantley : +3 BB Mini

Pack Total: +2
Running Total: +83
Projected Total: +110.6667

Getting there... 6 packs, 17 points? Need more than 2 points per pack here folks... and no, my hit is SERIOUSLY not going to help.

Pack 19:



#94 Todd Frazier
#73 James Shields
#156 Jason Heyward
#162 Josh Harrison
#199 Carlton Fisk
#106 Steve Spurrier : -1 BTCSS
Numbers Game - Adam Wainwright : +2 NG
#82 Mini Gerardo Parra

Pack Total: +1
Running Total: +84
Projected Total: +106.32

Heh. Yep. Uphill battle.

Pack 20:



#100 Rob Refsnyder : -1 Yankee
#312 Carlos Beltran : -1 Yankee
#64 Steve Schirrpa : +1 BTCSS
Baseball Legends - Rod Carew : +2 BL, +1 Favorite Team (+3 Total)
#289 Jose Quintana
#90 George Lopez : -1 BTCSS
#67 Melky Cabrera
#116 A&G Back Mini Jose Reyes : +2 A&G Back Mini

Pack Total: +3
Running Total: +87
Projected Total: +104.8

That is a VERY long way to +3...Ugh.

Pack 21:



#23 Addison Russell
#241 Orlando Jones
#270 David Price
#29 Jay Bruce
Numbers Game - Ryan 'Juice Me Up Bro' Braun : +2 NG
#317 Mini Yordano Ventura : +3 SP Mini
Full Sized Relic B - Brian McCann : +5 FSRB, Divide By 2 For Yankee (+2.5 Total)

Pack Total: +7.5
Running Total: +94.5
Projected Total: +108.57

OK, so the SP Mini helped a lot. Notice the hit... did not. Stupid Yankees.

Pack 22: 



#177 Mark Teixeira : -1 Yankee
#197 George Springer
#176 Neil Walker
#32 Falcon 9 Rocket : +1 BTCSS
#210 Michael Breed
Natural Wonders - Marble Caves : +2 NW
Numbers Game - George Springer : +2 NG
#183 Mini Andrew McCutchen

Pack Total: +4
Running Total: +98.5
Projected Total: +108.18

OK, I need a half a point. 0.5 is all I need... here we go, two packs...

Pack 23:



#336 Tom 'The Mountain' Murphy (Bonus points if you get the reference!)
#191 Anthony Anderson
#182 Nolan Arenado
#145 Mike Greenberg
#61 Miguel Cabrera
#258 Kenley Jansen
#201 Byung 'Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!' Park : +1 Favorite Team!!!
#14 Mini Kendrys Morales

Pack Total: +1
Running Total: +99.5
Projected Total: +103.6

I should make it! Assuming I find a measly single point!

Pack 24:

#344 Ryan Zimmerman
#75 Mike Moustakas
#202 Missy Franklin
#40 Jordan Zimmermann
#57 Jim Rice
#153 Jung Ho Kang
#243 Jay Oakerson
#217 Mini Julio Tehran

Pack Total: +0
Running Total: +99.5

Final Total: +99.5

... nope. So close, yet so far.

So here's a picture of another bribe?

I'll look into that Game of Thrones picture thing to put me over the edge, but honestly... I don't think I deserve it after that box. I knew there was a reason I was prolonging the pain. I haven't read the books, I haven't watched the show...

Aaaaaand stop @ 2222! (Nice!) Just over an hour and a half.






Friday, July 22, 2016

Happy Ginter Day 2016!

Ah-HA!

I bet you thought, "Boy, that Ginter Godfather guy really dropped the ball. Again. What else is new, besides no new posts from him in 3 weeks?" Well duh, but I managed to get a post in now before the end of the month. That counts as a success, or at least my therapist would say to count it as a success!

In reality though, between losing power for three days sandwiched in between both boys running actual fevers (one on one side of the power outage, the other after power restored... naturally the one that consumes digital media, i.e. power, got sick right before and during so good luck getting a sick kid to rest quietly on the couch when he's used to being able to watch his favorite show and learn about some nifty creature!) and a host of other fun life-esque events, July kind of vanished. That's OK, because today is...

GINTER DAY! Happy Ginter Release Day!

Whoever thought it would be a good idea to release Ginter on a Friday is an idiot.

If UPS is late in delivery, no Ginter until Monday. Nice. Way to go. Gold star for you! Or not.

Also, retail is going to be a week out from that too, so not even a blaster to tide me over. Oh well.

The box breaks thus far have looked OK. I do feel the need to warn people that a disturbing trend of hits being distributed along the horizontal axis (i.e. in a single row of packs across the box... so one guy had all three hits be the top three packs... the top pack in each of the three columns? I hope you get the idea...) could lead to unscrupulous card shop owners swiping the packs or unscrupulous customers swiping the hits and leaving a hit-less box for someone else to finish off. I mean, I love Ginter enough that the product is good enough without hits, but I know some people are hits-driven, so be forewarned! I would strong recommend just opening sealed boxes on this one!

Also, Gint-A-Cuffs VIII has opened for sign-ups and begins August 1st! Head on over to Mr. Aubrey's blog to sign up! It's free to enter (albeit you provide your own box... but you're opening one anyways... so blog about it!) and you could win a prize. #WINNING!

Alright. I did want to drop the customary Happy Ginter Day post and let people I'm not dead. I'll have a more robust posting later. Cheerio!

-GG


Thursday, June 30, 2016

End of June Status Report

June has come and gone, and with it the first half of the year.

If I had made it a new years resolution to get back into collecting, this might make a great mid-point review. As it is, it's just the passing of another month. Still, it provides an excellent opportunity to assess where we are and where we hope to be. Well, since we don't actually have any specific aims, where we hope to be is a bit of a misnomer.

Freebies:

Listia - The Free Stuff Site. If you don't know what Listia is, check it out. You obtain credits through various means, though the "easiest" way is to "give" stuff away. People bid their credits for your "free" stuff and then you mail it to them. Or e-mail. Or whatever. There's a fairly decent population of cards that can be found on Listia, and it makes for a great little site to pick up some "free" inserts and the occasionaly cheap AU/GU. My biggest score was last year scoring a patch card of my sister, Megan Kalmoe, from 2015 A&G. Unfortunately it was poorly shipped and ended up getting slightly bent. VERY frustrating.

Starting Balance: Low. Very low. Sad numbers.
Acquisitions This Month: None
Ending Balance: 121,347 credits.

Now, if you figure the "buying rate" for credits is about 11k/$, we're sitting on a pretty $11 or so, which is nice. Enough to get... not a whole lot, but something. Going to keep saving and doing free offers to build my reserve and hopefully nab some nice things when 2016 Ginter rolls out in July.

Swagbucks - My favorite so-called 'beer money' site. Collect points for doing whatever you normally do, turn it into PayPal. Easy day. Basically one Swagbuck is a penny. Need 2500 to turn into PayPal, but it's worth it. Usually takes me a few months to very casually get there. But a few free blasters each year is worth it, right?

Starting Balance: Also low. Very low. Sad numbers.
Acquisitions This Month: None
Ending Balance: 285 SBs.

I haven't been paying a lot of attention to SB. Shame on me. I'll probably try and pick back up with my daily searches at least to get some stuff flowing in.

Others:

Nothing more to report. Getting back into the swing of things so we're trying out a few other things. An app or two here that I'll hopefully get a post/review up on and whether they'll be able to help in getting free stuff in the future!

So the only real success we can report is the Listia credits. Inflation has been terrible for Listia Credits, AU/GU's used to go for 3-4k, now people are demanding 10x that much, easily. Which is hilarious. On the flip side, people are also listing boxes of cards, like this box of 2014 Elite Extra Edition for 888,888 credits. I'm a bit shy, obviously, but how sweet would it be to score a free box of cards?

I look forward to July, and not just because Ginter is coming...

Keep it in the family,

-GG

Monday, June 27, 2016

It's aliiiive! It's aliiiiiiiiiive!

Would you look at that. More than a two posts in a time span of less than 6 days, let alone 6 months. What. Is. Happening. Could it be there is some sort of re-kindled interest in blogging and love for collecting? Lets be honest, the flame never really died out. So re-kindled is the perfect word for it. Yes, that and I could just be looking to procrastinate from doing work currently. Either way, it means more posts!

I've decided that rules themselves aren't very fun. So we'll go with guidelines, which are more flexible and less rule-ish. It is a rule I must have coffee everyday. A guideline for coffee is that it should be great coffee, but good coffee will suffice in a pinch. Get my drift?

So, my new Guidelines for Collecting:

1) Only disposable income earned through random means should be used for purchasing things. When possible, acquire things for free (or some mild amount of effort for contests and the like).

2) The only sets I will be actually collecting going forward shall be Topps Allen and Ginter. If there is a new set that is released that is set-building worthy, I might add it, but for now I don't see being able to really build more than one set, and only on the most basic of terms at that.

3) I shall also only be collecting Twins players in Twins uniforms (past and present) from here on out. I don't care about the Blue Jays or the Cubs.

4) Cool or otherwise rare cards not fitting the above description are worth putting into my PC of nifty things, as long as I pulled them myself (Or the missus, or the mini-me's...). Example: Larry Bird auto. I have no reason to like basketball, but Larry Bird is cool enough and the auto is on-card. Sharp. Worth holding onto.

5) Have fun. <---- This is actually a rule now, not a guideline. If it isn't fun, cease and desist immediately.

Four guidelines and a rule. Should be pretty straightforward, yes?

Current Projects to start me off:

1) Organize. My. Desk. It is a damn mess and has been sitting like that for months with stacks of inserts, autos, and GU's just piled up with no purpose or organization. First I need to sort them by sport, then by product/year. Liquidate all uncool football and basketball. Make room. Be more zen. All that fun stuff. I may even need to enlist the help of the missus to use or Organization-Fu to make things happen.

2) Come up with a list of needed base and inserts for Ginter Sets years 2011-present.

3) Come up with a list of needed minis for Ginter Sets years 2011-present.

4) Have fun.

I'm really bent on having fun, can't you tell?

Cheers!

-GG

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Adventure Continues...

Hi everyone!

Long time, no post. Right? Have been taking a bit of a hiatus from the hobby to focus on family and school, to be honest. But with June/July comes Allen and Ginter Season, which means Gint-A-Cuffs. And that also seems like a pretty good time to get back into the hobby in a leaner, cleaner sense.

I'll be hopefully posting a bit more frequently with opinions, reviews, breaks, etc. Expect a post in the near future with some more thoughts and rules for my new collecting hobby!

As always, keep it in the family.

-GG

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Gint-A-Cuffs VII: Episode 6 (The Yankees Strike Out)

HI FAMILY OF GINTER!


Alright, you can tell that several straight hours (or so it seems... I've been tearing through these pretty fast and probably have missed a couple of FPs and the like... will have to double check) have been getting to me as per this greetings. Love that Mario Andretti hit, too bad the Commish doesn't think it's worth more than +20 points given it is rarer than a red ink auto and can't be modified by favorite team/player unless you picked someone only in that set (Hulk Hogan comes to mind as the only really feasible one...)

Anyways! MOVING ON!

Previous Running Total: +131

Pack 21: 





Huston Street #219
Curtis Granderson #10
Mini Kelia Moniz #93
Ancient Armory War Hammer (+2 AA)
Full Sized Relic Jorge Soler (+6 Full Sized Relic)
Angel Pagan #343
Hisashi Iwakuma #49

Pack Total: +8
Running Total: +139

Pack 22:



Matt Adams #120
Dee Gordon #238
Adeiny Hechavarria #282
Chris Sale #139 (+2 ANY FP)
Starting Point Cole Hamels (+2 SP, +2 ANY FP)
First Ladies Mini Rosalynn Carter (+2 FL)
John Lackey #191
Albert Pujols #198

Pack Total: +10

Running Total: +149

Pack 23:




Jimbo Fisher #268
Jose Bautista #248 (+2 ANY FP)
Steven Moya #255
Starting Points David Ortiz (+2 SP, +2 ANY FP, +1 Favorite Team)
Mini Dalton Pompey #82
Gary Brown #304
Jason Kipnis #244 (+2 ANY FP)

Pack Total: +9

Running Total: +158

Pack 24:





Javier Baez #54
Frank Caliendo #31
Jorge Soler #151
Buck Farmer #81
What Once Would Be: Vacuum Tube Trains (+2 WOWB)
A&G Back Mini Zack Cozart #194 (+2 A&G Back Mini)
Gabe Kapler #309
Gregory Polanco #222

Pack Total: +4

Running Total: +162

Adjustments for bribes: +0

FINAL TOTAL: +162

Well, that was a bit anticlimactic. So I lose. Again. Ah well. At least I have these:



I'm still missing several cards for my Megan Kalmoe Master Collection... sad panda.

'Til next time, keep it in the family!

-GG

(Also, as in next time, I plan on blogging more continuously throughout the year. I've gotten more into the digital card collecting scene, Topps Bunt, Topps Huddle, Topps Kick, and Topps Star Wars Card Collector... because they're free. I'm a dirt poor graduate student and these let me rip wax without the cleanup, storage problems, or the satisfaction of actually ripping real wax! Er... wait...)

Gint-A-Cuffs VII: Episode 5 (A New Hope)

Hi Ginter Family,



Just a couple more packs to go... hoping for some big things here. Hence the name of the post. A New Hope. Aptly named.

Previous Running Total: +96

Pack 17:


Johnny Cueto #23
Philae Probe #293 (+1 for being awesome)
Daniel Norris #105
Matt Kemp #264
Starting Points Felix Hernandez (+2 SP)
Mini Appomattox Court House #24
Hunter Strickland #314
Manny Machado #179

Pack Total: +3

Running Total: +99

Not the start I was... hoping for.

Pack 18:




Yasiel Puig #142
Jake Arrieta #76
Craig Kimbrel #5 (+2 ANY Favorite Player)
Starting Point David Wright (+2 SP, +2 ANY Favorite Player)
Brian Dozier Mini (+1 Favorite Team Mini)
Alcides Escobar #331
Andrew Cashner #246
Ivan Drago #229 (-1 Drago KO)

Pack Total: +7

Running Total: +105

That little humdinger gives me some... hope!

Pack 19:




Chase Headley #204 (-1 Yankee)
Matt Barnes #68
Rubby De La Rosa #298
Jung Ho Kang #265
Starting Points Matt Holliday (+2 SP)
Mini Ichiro #285
Edwin Escobar #63
Andrew Heaney #149

Pack Total: +1

Running Total: +106

I... hope... the next pack is WAY better than that. At least 25 times better.

Pack 20:




Doug Fister #221
Jayson Werth #28
Addison Reed #286
Ancient Armory Chu Ko Nu (+2 AA)
BB Mini John Lackey (+3 BB Mini)
10th Anniversary Issue Framed Mini Auto Mario Andretti (+20 10th Anniversary Auto)
Jon Singleton #39

Pack Total: +25

Running Total: +131

Boom! Mario Andretti auto! I will claim this is the best hit from my case. Which means my case was all around pretty terrible. But oh well. Next year will be better I... hope. :-D