Well would ya look at that! Time often has a way of simultaneously feeling like an endless crawl yet also rushing past. As someone unmoored from the typical work and weekend routines thanks to this pandemic, I can confidently say that nothing has changed in that department.
It’s been a couple weeks since I checked in here, so let’s have a little recap of life in mostly isolation has been like. I say mostly because, yes, I have been able to leave the house. Now – we’re not out here doing stupid risky things, but we have been able to get to some parks and walking trails. I’ve typically been the one dropping by the stores for curbside pickup outings. I hit the hardware store super-early and got supplies from the lumber and outdoor sections, which I was able to do while not coming within 10 feet of people except for the person at checkout, and they were behind a plastic barrier. That run enabled me to set up a small garden box and get some grass seed going in the backyard.
I documented the loquat jam batches – I’ve already gone through two jars and dropped a few off with friends. It’s great with some really rich salty butter on toast, a fine PB&J offering, and perhaps my favorite – excellent as a topping on some vanilla bean ice cream. Having the canning pot out and an abundance of produce dumped in our lap led to some batches of pickled beets, as well as carrots and daikon radish. I need to sample the beets soon and see if they hold up to the memory of my grandmother’s. That’s probably an impossible task, but I’ve got my fingers crossed.
The other thing that’s been keeping me sane has been getting back out with my camera. We’re finally starting to see consistent highs in the mid-80s (I think we touched 91 a few days back), so the heat hasn’t really set in here yet, and the clear blue skies have been abundant. That’s led to me taking a lot of architectural shots, along with a hare-brained project of photographing all the properties on the National Register of Historic Places in the county (and a few outside of it). There are close to 300 sites on that list, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. But that’s a deadline-free project. I’ve been running a thread with some of my shots on Twitter, but here’s a sample of what I’ve been shooting.
I need to get a Flickr gallery up and running for the NRHP project, and I also need to put in some time on the editing end. These are smaller edits done on my phone, so I need to actually pull the files into my computer and use the real deal if I want to offer prints. Oh, yeah – I’ll be offering prints. Yes, this sky really did happen the other evening. I punched the contrast ever so slightly to bring the buildings closer to black, but this is quite true to what occured.
There’s been some cardboard activity as well. I’m still out of work and job hunting, but the extra federal unemployment funds have given us flexibility we didn’t imagine we’d have. That enabled me to actually send out the last round of packages and PWEs that I was stacking up, and to acquire a little something inexpensive off of eBay as a belated birthday present to myself. Oh, and I even got together a handful of TTM requests, including the impeccable Bobby Shantz, so I expect a little more to show up in the mailbox soon.
There’s a post in the queue already about a package from Night Owl, and yes, I still have many more trades in the backlog that should probably see the light of day at some point. Let’s clear a few recent items out before we call this post quits, shall we?
First up, we have a lovely Independence Day parallel of Jose Altuve’s 2020 Donruss card – or rather, it’s nickname variation. Apparently he’s known as Gigante back home in Venezuela, and while it’s hard to track down facts on that, I AM HERE FOR IT. My pal AJ at The Lost Collector slipped this into a tweet, and I asked if he’d set it aside for me. A pair of Yankees later, this baby came home to roost. Thanks AJ!
There were also a pair of TCDB swaps that floated in – they sprung out of relatively simple proposals sent my way, and I happened to have everything on hand, so I went ahead and fielded the requests even though I’d put in my profile that I wasn’t trading* at the moment.
This Colin Moran from 2015 came my way from Jerry (nozzlemaster), a previous trading buddy of mine over at the site. His PWE arrived on Wednesday.
* TCDB does have a feature where you can turn off fielding trade proposals, but I didn’t go that far just in case someone sent an offer with something I couldn’t turn down.
Also inside were a pair of 1986 Quaker Chewy cards. That brings me within 4 of the set. I’m still missing Gooden, Carter, Ryan, and Ozzie Guillen. I’ve only got 3 of the ’84 Ralston Purina cards left, it’ll be interesting to see which of those I manage to finish first.
The last pair of items in this PWE were two Astros cards of Nolan Ryan from the 1992 edition of the Texas Express sets put out by Pacific. I have had a complete set of the original 1991 cards since they were new, so I don’t need any of those, but I do need Astros from the 1992 and 1993 sets. I’m particularly fond of the batting card, of course. Nolan hit two homers in his career, both with Houston. This card celebrates his second one.
The next swap, my first with Bob (bobvrtis), saw more food-issue greatness, with a chunk of the 1990 Jumbo California Sunflower Seeds set coming into the fold. They’re on my want list at TCDB, but I haven’t actually added them to the spreadsheet yet. I think I’m close enough that I should finally do that. Insert Panini joke here. I’d call the Robin Yount the winner.
There were more Nolan Ryan cards as well – and food issue Nolans to boot! I have a complete box set of the 1992 Donruss Coca-Cola set already, and I think this brings me to a full hand-collated set as well. If not, well then I needed the Astros for the team binder. I’ll have to figure that out in the next few days. The Mother’s Cookies are the first two from the four-card 1993 set celebrating Ryan’s 300 Wins.
Nolan cards made up the bulk of that package, in fact. I needed the Baseball Heroes card for the full run, although I’ve already had a copy in the team binder – and a graded copy that floated into my collection somehow. The 1992 Post goes toward another slow-burn food issue build, and the ’89 Score Traded was something I threw on my want list long ago, along with that Randy Johnson rookie. That was probably the neatest pickup in this swap, with the Mother’s Cookies cards coming in a close second.
Alright, I think that’s enough for now. I’m planning some more posts on the photo-centric side to highlight what I’ve been snapping and explain some of the locations. I’ll be sure to let you know once I’ve started that gallery and begun offering prints. I may even try to set up a little shop here on the site.