Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A Whole New World

It has been about 100 days since I last created a blog post, it was a quick thank you for my Secret Santa goods, then the well of posts went dry for me.  Time became tough to come by over the holidays and the habit of posting was lost.  Since I started blogging I had several lapses in posting but always knew I would be back but this time felt different.  I honestly thought I was done with blogging but here I am back again despite (or perhaps because) the whole world seeming like it has changed.  For me that encompasses both my personal life and my collecting life.

My personal life changes over the last few weeks are pretty common in this coronavirus world we find ourselves in. 
  • My job has shifted to a work from home situation.  I feel so fortunate that my work is able to shift this way but it is an adjustment. Normally I lead a team that primarily works in 1 of 3 office locations so management by walking around and business travel is quite common.  Finding a way to be effective as a leader in a fully virtual world is taking some adjustment.
  • My kids are now virtually home schooled.  I am home all day, they are home all day hence I am going a little crazy.  I am fortunate that my wife stays at home now and had a 17 year career as a teacher so she knows how to teach them and manage them when they are home.  She keeps reminding me that this is how summer is for her - new found respect!
  • Almost everything we did for fun required leaving the house.  We are a family heavily invested in Scouting, my boys are both Life Scouts on their way to Eagle Scouts and my daughter is in girl scouts.  My wife and I are both involved in leadership positions and of course the weekly meetings and monthly camping trips are on hold.  My two youngest have their sports seasons on hold.  We are watching more TV and movies as a family, have done a couple puzzles and completed a few home improvements in the last 2 weeks and have plans for Friday Wii nights starting this week.
Life is pretty good and luckily we are healthy, it is just different.  As I was prepping to dip my toe back into blogging, I realized that my collecting habits have become quite a bit different as well over the last 100 days.

  • Since 2006 I have collected every Topps Flagship & Update set and almost every insert set that was produced.  I was also working on filling the insert gaps from 1993 to 2005.  Big changes this year as I don't plan on going after the insert set and will just buy either a factory set or hand collated base set after Series 2 comes out. I will probably pick up an Update base set as well.  I found that my pursuit of the ever expanding insert sets was taking up a lot of my hobby time and budget for not a lot of satisfaction.  I also decided to expand my insert collection back to 1983 so you can expect to see pick ups like this:
  • I was gifted a collection from someone at work that had a wide variety of cards from baseball, football and basketball and in that collection were some pretty good starter sets of 1971 and 1972 Topps football.  I had a blast going through the cards and decided to put those sets together.  I also had a pretty good starter set of 1977 Topps football in the collection I bought a couple years back which I have decided to finish up.  I already have many of the Topps sets from 1978 forward and have decided to focus on a compete set run from 1977 to 2015 (when Topps got out of the football card business) and maybe eventually fill in from 1973-1976 to complete a full run from my birth year of 1971.
  • Also in that gifted collection were some oddball cards.  I received almost full sets of 1982 Topps football stickers and 1991-92 Panini basketball stickers.  After a couple Sportlot purchases those sets are finished and it resparked my enjoyment of oddball sets.  I suspect I will continue to add oddballs to my collection moving forward.

  • Finally the 49ers return to prominence as a football franchise led to me expanding my 49er collection focus.  I was primarily going after vintage cards from 1950-1979 but decided to go after the Topps base cards and inserts from 1980-2015 as well.  I actually had quite a few base team sets from those years socked away in a box so I built a checklist then a want list.  I have had a blast going through and remembering all the awesome players that I saw play.
I am still collecting Giants and all the players that have been a part of my collecting life for so many years.  I am still working on a bunch of baseball sets as well.  I just decided that my collecting world needed a shift to break the monotony of constantly seeking out new Topps inserts and infusing more fun.  In doing so I also found a desire to share some of my pick ups with my friends in the blogging community.  Hopefully you can find some level of enjoyment in following my collecting journey.

I don't know how often I will post or how long it will last but in this new world I believe I will have some more free time to post which will hopefully build back the habit to last long after life returns to our new normal.