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.


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.


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,


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?



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.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

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


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


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!


(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

Gint-A-Cuffs VII: Episode 4 (Revenge of the Yankees)

Guten Tag, Ginter Family!

I do not speak German. I'm just trying to spice things up. 

Ehhh? See what I did there? Cake in the last picture, a cupcake here? What can I say, E-3PO loves cake. But what little toddler-droid-thing doesn't. Back to Gint-A-Cuffs...

Previous Running Total: +79

Pack 13:

Mike Zunino #143 (I met this guy once. In Wichita of all places...)
Xander Bogaerts #94
Starting Points Hunter Pence (+2 SP)
Framed Mini Buyback Machiavelli (+4 Framed Mini Buyback)
Mini Jimmy Rollins #250
Howie Kendrick #91
Mike Napoli #338

Pack Total: +6

Running Total: +85

So, not terrible. Could be better. Broke that Yankees streak, so that's good! Also, I could have made BANK if the Red Sox were my favorite team... there are like four of them in there. Maybe only three. But still.

Pack 14:

Drew Hutchinson #181
Gus Malzahn #185
Chris Davis #170
Starting Points Coco Crisp (+2 SP of... cereal)
A&G Back Mini Joe Buck (+2 A&G Back, -1 Joe Buck-ness)
Jhonny Peralta #313
Ryan Zimmerman #290
Ichiro #285

Pack Total: +3

Running Total: +88

Well that pack was less than stellar. Oh well. What's wrong with Joe Buck, anyways? Who is Joe Buck? The world may never know...

Pack 15:

Carlos Gomez #166
Appomattox Court House #24
Mike Mills #37
Great Scott! X-Ray Diffraction (+2 Great Scott!)
First Ladies Mini Louisa Adams (+2 FL)
Clayton Kershaw #339
Nori Aoki #125
Wilmer Flores #4

Pack Total: +4

Running Total: +92

So, did you know that the reference to 1895 on the back of the X-Ray Diffraction card refers to the use of x-rays to find the fragments of a knife lodged in the spine of a sailor who got stabbed during a fight? Trufax. This is what an incredibly expensive education will teach you, folks. 

Pack 16:

Max Scherzer #42
Casey McGhee #74
Carlos Beltran #253 (-1 Yankee)
Kenley Jansen #296
Ancient Armory Flanged Mace (+2 for smashing a Yankee's skull in... I mean, AA)
BB Mini Jordan Zimmerman #290 (+3 BB mini)
Chris Carter #305
Buster Posey #173

Pack Total: +4

Running Total: +96

So. Didn't break a hundred through 16 packs. This is not looking good to make up 80 points here in eight packs. That's an average of OVER 10 points per pack. YOWZAHS. Damn Yankees.

Gint-A-Cuffs VII : Episode 3 (The Card Wars)

Hola Ginter Familia,

Who doesn't love a good Pack Wars? By far one of my favorite things in Des Moines was the monthly Pack Wars. Lots of fun with a lot of good people. Alas, now I live in Minnesota. Closer to the Twins at least.

And who doesn't love more Gint-A-Cuffs. This is what I get for being busy and not getting this done right away. Here comes four posts in one day! (I don't count the previous post, because it was actually done minus the pictures on the same day as the first post...)

Previous Running Total: +55

Pack 9:

Felix Hernandez #16
Jon Jay #279
Brandon Finnegan #41
What Once Was Believed: Rain Follows The Plow (+2)
Mini Mikael Franco #27
Collin Cowgill #335
Grant Miller #79 (Did I miss the Ginter Code this year? Meh.)
Brian Quinn #299

Pack Total: +2

Running Total: +57

Right. So. Two points. It's like we're in the NFL, and I just tackled someone in their own end zone. Yay me.

Pack 10:

Edinson Volquez #224
Ian Kinsler #196
Jon Lester #287
Incredibeard #223 (+1 for having an incredible beard)
Starting Points: Kennys Vargas (+2 SP, +1 Favorite Team)
A World Beneath Our Feet Mini: Borneo Walking Stick (+2 AWBOF)
Stephen Drew #306 (-1, Yankee Jerkwad)
Kelia Moniz #93

Pack Total: +5

Running Total: +62

So, not awful. It would be better if that Yankee hadn't reared his ugly head. Don't I have clone troopers to shoot his ugly mug or something?

Pack 11: 

Adam Eaton #18
Yimi Garcia #98
10th Anniversary Full Sized Parallel 2011 Rafael Furcal (+3 Full Sized Buyback)
Starting Point Josh Reddick (+2 SP)
Mini A&G Back Brandon Belt (+2 A&G Back, +2 ANY Favorite Player)
Michael Brantley #311
Jeremy Roenick #269
Jacoby Ellsbury #152 (-1 Yankee Traitor)

Pack Total: +8

Running Total: +70

Alright, we ALMOST had a 10 point pack without a hit, and then that traitor Jacoby Ellsbury ruined it. BURN THE YANKEES!

Pack 12:

Brian McCann(ot be a Yankee anymore please) #114 (-1 Yankee)
Paul Goldschmidt #35
Buster (RIP I had a cat named Buster that died recently) Olney #34
Menagerie of the Mind: Hydra (+2 MOTM)
A&G Back Dustin Pedroia (+2 A&G Back)
Rusney Castillo Full Sized Relic (+6 Full Sized Relic)
Corey Kluber #117

Pack Total: +9

Running Total: +79

Oh look. Another nearly +10 point pack, spoiled by a damn Yankee. That's 3 consecutive packs with a Yankee. There is a mission in Borderlands 2 called "Eff Yo Couch". You complete it by jumping on all of the couches in a gang's hideout. I want to go jump on all of the Yankee's couches right now.

At least we got our first hit. Sort of. Half way through our box, and our project total is still hovering around that +160 mark. Yikes.