Wednesday, July 31, 2013

12 in 12 - July Review

Last day in July.  Deadlines have come and gone and now it's time for an extra long weekend.  I am so very much looking forward to the next five days.  Relaxing, work-free, getting caught up on some things at home and (knock on wood) a little golf.

I'm also anticipating some new Linden cards coming down the pipe over the next month.  She's been thinner on quantity (but solid on quality) but I've been a little less aggressive over the summer in tracking down some cardboard on the wantlist.  The upcoming release of ITG's Decades 90's should have me shifting gears as I've been anticipating the release for over a year now.

Until then...

Back to this month's book.  I watched a great documentary a while back called Bones Brigade.  It's about the evolution of skateboarding in the 1980's.  An excellent film and highly recommended.  The one person who I found extremely interesting to listen to was a guy by the name of Rodney Mullen.  He is essentially credited with creating street skating as we know it today.  His skill and technical ability is off the chart (as is his drive and determination).

But it was his voice and words that has me glued to the screen.  An incredibly smart person, his descriptiveness and unique use of the english language had me riveted.

Not long after watching the film, I was at a used book sale and happened to come across his autobiography.  It was not only a must grab....but an easy selection for immediate reading.

July's book is about the life and times of Rodney Mullen.

The Mutt - How To Skateboard And Not Kill Yourself
Rodney Mullen with Sean Mortimer
273 pages

I may have gone in with high expectations on this book.  While I found it to be an interesting read (and an interesting life of his to this point), the tone wasn't what I was hoping it would be.

I think that was more to do with Sean Mortimer than Rodney Mullen himself.  I had a hard time "hearing" Rodney in the words written.  Take a listen to him giving this TED Talk seminar and you'll see the kind of eccentric person Rodney Mullen is.

His interview in the Bones Brigade doc is even more interesting.  But the energy and enthusiasm doesn't always come across the page.

It's still an interesting read and I don't regret reading the book, but this was one of the first times I didn't "hear" Rodney in the pages.

What I really enjoyed though about the book are some of the themes.  Effort, determination (bordering on obsession), passion, dreams and goals.  And although it's mostly a negative tone throughout the book, his relationship struggles with his father was something I found interesting.  The mom-son bond was very, very different than the dad-son bond.

At the end of the day, if you're a skateboard fan or just fan of people (younger guys especially) pursuing a passion....this would be a solid read.

3 out of 5

August's book...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

MY COLLECTION - A Special Gift

Back at the start of May I ventured out to Ontario and attended the Spring Expo in Toronto.  I was fortunate enough to do this because I was invited to a wedding that happened to be the weekend after.  I was not only invited, but asked to be the emcee.  It was a huge honor and a lot of fun - definitely the highlight of my trip (and it included said card show, a Jays game, a Leafs playoff game and a killer concert).

On Friday I received a surprise package in the mail from the newly married couple.  I was stoked to see the goodies inside.

This Fenway Park brick is the real deal.  What a cool piece of history.  My friends went on their honeymoon to the Boston area and thought kindly of me in some of their shopping.

Framed up nice, it's a great 4x6 item that has a nice matted frame job and simple layout.

What I really like about it though is that there's no glass in front of it all.  And yes...I've rubbed the brick already.  Who wouldn't?

This is a fantastic add to my collection and I will find a suitable place to hang it in my office.  A constant reminder of a most memorable trip.

But that wasn't all.  Also in the package was this beauty.

A Miracle On Ice puck straight from Lake Placid (another destination on their honeymoon).

One of the greatest sporting moments EVER - period.  This puck has a nice inserted piece into it and simply reflects one of the most stunning upsets in hockey history.

I've watched both the HBO doc as well as the bio-flick Miracle and have found both to be quite enjoyable.  Good rainy day viewing for those of you looking to add to your sports viewing.

This puck will sit nicely in my edit suite at work along with some other very special pieces in my mini shrine I've started to set up.

And although the newly married couple probably won't ever read this post (I don't know if they are even aware that I blog), I will give them a big thank you.  Cause that's just what you do.

Thank you Dan and Miranda for asking me to be a part of your special day.  And thank you very much for the kind gifts.  They will be forever cherished.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

RAISE THE CUP - Familiar Colors

I'm still trying to think what the Colorado Avalanche might do to their team before the season kicks off in a little over 2 months (didn't we just award a Stanley Cup?).  I'm extremely curious to see what the likes of Sakic and Roy will do to get what I think is a decent young crop of forwards going.

The defence is another story.

When I saw Captain Canuck pass this card over to me last week during trade night, those were the first thoughts that passed through my head.

1996/97 Upper Deck
#38 Patrick Roy

That was until he mentioned the stellar career Patrick had with the Habs.

A quick flip of the card revealed (full and complete) stats to that point of one of the greatest goalies ever to play in the NHL.  He was a lock for 25-30 wins each season (with 36 being his best in the 1991/92 campaign) and had already amassed almost 300 wins before being sent to the Avalanche.

And his success quickly came along with him as he won a cup with Colorado in his first season there.  Talk about an impact.

No doubt he's a winner - and I'm sure he'll be bringing that mindset and expectation to the team this year.

I'm just real curious to see how he does.  I enjoyed seeing what he could do on the ice but wasn't the biggest fan of his off the ice.  He's going to have a huge microscope bearing down on him all he better get prepared. should be an interesting season.

Thanks again for the card B!!!

Current Collection - 112 cards

Sunday, July 21, 2013

PACK RIPPING - 2013/14 Trilogy

My trips to the local card store for monthly trade nights always bring a good time and occasionally the odd card or two.  My participation in various pack wars during the 2013 year have dwindled a bit, mostly due to the influx of Linden cards to the wantlist along with the need to be a little more responsible with my hobby funds.

But that doesn't mean I'm never in on some new product....especially those with my guy in it.

This year's Upper Deck Trilogy release has Trev in spades.  Still not sure if that's a good thing or not.  A chase of 4-7 cards is nice.  A chase of 13-16 cards...not so much.  I don't have the final numbers for my pc, but I think it'll be in the 8 or 9 card range.

Last week it wasn't pack wars that created the was a full on group break.  Teams were chosen randomly out of a hat for everyone and I had two picks.  First up, I pulled out the Canucks logo - YES!!!  Second - Pittsburgh.  Quite honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better pair.

And the choices didn't disappoint.

I received a few base cards.  This Lemieux being the best of the bunch.  Nothing amazing, but hey - we got to keep the base cards.  Can't complain there.

The big Vancouver pull was this nice triple jersey card.  An interesting trio of Canucks and the three different color jersey makes this card even more appealing.

I don't know too much about Jordan Schroeder but they must have high hopes for him if they decide to put up alongside Bure and D. Sedin.

That would have been a nice enough hit to end with (most guys received just base cards from the break), but I was in the running for one more card.

A Pittsburgh, Detroit, Winnipeg triple jersey was "randomed" between the three of us with those teams.  Randomed meaning that our names would be put into a randomizer and after a predetermined number of shuffles the guy on top of the list wins the card.

I was the lucky winner.

Thank you Tomas Vokoun.

This is a nice triple jersey card.  And while it looks as if the jerseys may be from international competition, it says on the back of the card that the jerseys were used in NHL competition.  The red and blue works for me though.

What I find odd though is the slight difference in design between the two triple jersey cards.  Why wouldn't Upper Deck keep a consistent layout?  The cards are clearly the same in terms of basic design (after all, they're both called "Star Spotlight"), but why is the Trilogy logo in different spots?

My design preference is on the Canucks triple.

A decent return on my pack ripping participation, and always a fun time.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Right Place, Right Time

It was just two short months ago - at the exact same monthly trade night that I was at tonight - where I landed one heck of a nice Linden 1/1.  Cards like that just don't walk into local establishments.  I was gobsmacked when I saw it and even more taken aback when I realized I had a very good chance of bringing it into the pc without dishing cash out of pocket.

Well, tonight was a bit of deja vu.  Some details differed slightly, but the end result was still one I'm shaking my head over.

Not two minutes into my arrival and I was handed this beauty.

2013/14 Upper Deck Trilogy
#95 (base)

You may laugh at this, but I'm serious.  This card represents PERFECTLY what I enjoy about this hobby, what I enjoy about my collection and what I enjoy about my collecting.

This "throw away" base card to many is anything but.  It's another card off the wantlist, but it's more than that.  It represents the kindness I've been fortunate enough to receive from others, it represents the reputation I guess I've built over the last 15 years (people are always on the lookout for Linden.....if it's in the store - people will let me know) and it represents at its most basic element what I love about collecting.

Being able to simply swap cardboard is at its essence "collecting".  After all, they are called "trading cards".

But the previous owner of this card would also play a major role in me obtaining the big catch of the night.

On sale were packs of ITG's Ultimate Memorabilia 12 and while I watched a few packs being opened (in one was a sweet Gold Linden base /10....which was flat out GIVEN to me...another amazing gesture.  Much thanks to you Al!) I decided to not cave and buy some myself.

Instead, I watched as 5 people split a box of the stuff and was jaw-dropped at the case hit.

2012/13 ITG Ultimate Memorabilia 12th Edition
To The Hall Patch & Auto Gold  1/1  To literally witness this card being pulled out of its pack was something pretty exciting.  To see the sly grin of the card's owner - even more fun.  He knew I wanted it and I knew he would help me come up with a deal that worked for us both.

Trading cards - awesome.

It took a little back and forth work.  Obviously I knew what I wanted to get out of the deal, but I wanted to make 100% sure that the other person was happy on their end.  The last thing I wanted to do was fork over cards that really weren't overly desirable.

Now I didn't have anything that would work as a straight across one-for-one trade.  I knew that and he did too.  But he picked out a few cards and we eventually worked something out.

I'm still in awe that I was able to work a deal for yet another Linden 1/1 from UM12.  By my count, that makes 5.....FIVE 1/1's from UM12 that I own.  There are only four 1/1's left out there.  I'm more than halfway to the Ultimate rainbow.  That's insane.

Thanks very much again Jeremy for your help, for your luck and for your fantastic approach to the hobby in general.  You know where to find me when you come across that next one.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


A two-day weekend!  YES!!!!!  It's finally here.

And what am I going to do with it?  Saturday I'm taking my nephew to a skateboarding demo featuring none other than Tony Hawk.  Fingers crossed for an auto (but I'm not holding my breath).  Should be a fun day just the two of us.

Golf on Sunday and some time hanging out with my niece (she's got fastpitch provincials this weekend....good luck kiddo!).

But I found this box just sitting on my doorstep when I got home tonight.  I knew it was coming, I just wish the ol' postman wouldn't have left it in such plain view.  I hate when that happens.  Thankfully, the content inside arrived unscathed.

I received an e-mail a couple weeks back from a collector who said he had a Linden item I might be interested in.  Linden?  Sure.  Thing is....he had literally a "Linden item".

This game-used glove from Trev's days with the Montreal Canadiens was too good to pass up - especially since I was able to trade for it.  Did I "overpay"?  I dunno.  But I figured what the heck.

The previous owner said he picked this up at a Montreal Canadiens equipment sale.  Most pro teams do it.  Once a year, they open their doors to the public and sell off some of the jerseys, sticks, skates, name it.

This glove was sitting in a bin full of "singles".  Meaning he only had the one.  No matching pair.

While that initially deterred me from acquiring it, I decided what the heck.

That Linden name screened on the glove flap sold me on it.  It looked cool and again - I traded for it.

It's got some neat wear and tear to it but at the same time, it seems very lightly used for a game-used glove.  Very little palm wear and some areas look almost new.

But what the heck.

As always, I'm part skeptic.  As soon as I got it, I started thinking "Is this legit?" or is it a fake.  Lots of indicators say that it's the real deal.  But the thumb has me concerned.  It's got what looks to be a sewing defect.  I don't know if that's normal, but again...would this glove be used in a game?

As well, I searched as many Linden photos as I could find with him in the red and blue.  Not once did I find an exact model match.

Close.  Real close on a lot of pics.  But nothing that is a perfect match.

So did I get duped?  Maybe.  But I don't think that somebody would go out of their way to trade a single game-used glove just to rip me off.  And it's not the first time I've taken a flyer on something.  At the end of the day - I like it.

Then again, I am a sucker.

But what the heck.  I think it looks cool.  And now I have yet another fun story to tell.

Friday, July 5, 2013


Almost done my crazy month and a half of work.  Just one more weekend to go.

I saw this little gem peeking out of the mailbox when I got home tonight.  Couldn't resist showing it off.  But first...the backstory.

Last October, I picked up this nice Cup Limited Logos patch in a trade.  IMO, the best way to pick up a card.  Nothing out of my pocket and a tough card off the wantlist.  I was content with having this card be the representation in my collection.

Well fast forward to this spring when I saw somebody selling an equally nice (if not nicer) upgrade.  I asked if it was available for trade and we compromised - cash and trade.

Then the gem arrived on ebay a few weeks ago.  I kept my eye on it as it was without question the nicest patch I'd seen so far out of all the Linden patches in this set.  The deadline was closing and the price was quite nice.

I took a chance and was thrilled with the end price.  As I mentioned, it arrived today.

2011/12 Upper Deck The Cup
Limited Logos
#LL-TL auto/patch  /50

Chicklets and all - this is a nice looking patch.  The scan doesn't quite do it justice.

It reminded me of this great ITG Captain-C patch I picked up a while back.

Now I have a pair of smiles.