Monday, February 18, 2013

Collection Reflection, Feb 2013

Whenever I take a break from blogging, I spend half of that first post talking about the reasons why. My first holiday season working in retail. Well, I was without a computer for most of December, so there's that. 'Nuf said.

I've been updating my overall MTG collection worksheet and will update that page after this post.

Let's skip to the goodies. No football updates. I did get some football cards, and possibly some good ones, but nothing that sticks in my mind - prices for football cards appeared to rise in connection with playoffs, Pro Bowl, Super Bowl, etc. That noted, I was rather pleased to see Warren Sapp make it into the HOF, and Ray Lewis retire with a SB Ring.

Moving on.

I got my first autographed photo of Playboy model Jennifer Vaughn. Two, actually.

Turned out to be an excellent choice. Just this week, JV was selected as Playboy's Cyber Girl of the Year for 2013. Also, she's very sweet towards her fans.

I received another surprise angel. For Xmas, I got a M13 fatpack. And the last card in the last pack was this foil beauty:

At around $50, this makes this one of the more valuable cards in my collection.

Return to Ravnica has been pretty good to me, as well. (Aside, I thought those Holiday gift boxes were awesome.) I've pulled a couple Steam Vents, pulled my very first Jace (not as high dollar as the Worldwake Jace) - which is somewhat ironic, since I lean towards Jund (black, red, green) when I think about deckbuilding. I always seem to pull good white and blue cards. The Universe is trying to tell me something, perhaps.

Along those lines, though, early on I pulled a Deathrite Shaman, which is exactly the kind of card I would use in my Jund Werewolf deck, to go along with my Garruks and Huntmasters. Insert peals of manic laughter here. ;-)

I ordered my Gatecrash booster box - and, as happens on Ebay occasionally, it didn't ship. So, while I do already have some good GTC cards, I'll talk about those next time.

When I first started collecting cards, I did it chaotically - whenever I had a few extra dollars in my pocket, I'd buy a pack or go searching online for good deals.

For 2013, I've got it in my mind to approach it like a monthly investment. One 'magic', one 'autograph' and one 'football' purchase. Magic has 4 expansions this year, in addition to the FTV:20 just announced, the Jace duel deck, the Modern release, and a Commander product - Magic's going to take a lot of my spare cash this year.

I think the autographed photos will be easier to approach, as I've been sourcing them out and researching them for months.

And football? I'll be keeping an eye on the draft and just pick up a pack of cards once a month. My inventory and collection goal bears greater scrutiny in the near future.

Now to update the inventory page. Pulled anything good lately?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday .. and stuff.

I love Black Friday. I do, it's a guilty pleasure for me. Only since moving up to North Carolina have I actively gone out and waited in lines to buy trinkety-doodads at midnight and all that stuff. And then, the next day, I always lament that I spent too much money and what was I thinking and oh noes.

Like, for instance, I bought LOTR on blu-ray for $4 each. Such a good deal! But I already have them on DVD. Oh. And, really, if I were going out to buy LOTR - I'd buy the extended versions. Heh. This is essentially what I do on Black Friday. Buy stuff I really don't need (and buy stuff for other people that they may or may not want) and lament being broke afterwards.

That, and not shaving from now until the end of the year. These are my traditions. I am a simple man.

I believe in Black Friday, in that little boost to the economy that we desperately need and whosoever is in office will take credit for it. Speaking of politics, I did vote this year, but I wasn't particularly enthusiastic about it. I'm tired of all the negativity and doomsaying in politics. Still, if you don't vote, you can't complain, right? Right.

Anyway, just checking in. While on my path to being a world famous published author, I have to get my house in order, and 2012 has kicked my ass with Chaos, which I can appreciate.

I'm working 6 days a week now, a far cry from a couple months ago, when I was lucky to work at all. I have a lot of goals to accomplish, to get things settled, so that my creative mind is unstressed and relaxed to where I can go back to Zherlios and continue telling the tale of Angtamin, Dubane, Kortirion and Nithacar the Battlerager.

But in the meantime, there's Fantasy Football and collecting MTG and Football cards. Working now enables those habits. Working also takes up all of my time.

Speaking of habits, I am slowly but surely converting my nicotine habit to electronic cigarettes. I've gone from a pack a day to a cigarette a day on average, and I feel that I'll be able to give up the solo cigarette here within the next week.

I love my job. That's a post for another time, but I'm very thankful to have found employment where I'm challenged and engaged and in a friendly, appreciative environment. It's a step in the right direction, and the frustration I've faced these last few years has finally got me going in the right direction.

Wherein the blog is a vehicle for catharsis, examination and eventual retrospect, I would like to thank the Universe for my good fortune, for the money that's coming in, for the love and companionship of my friends and family, for my much improved health, and for the little things too numerous to mention. I'm happier, on many levels, than I've been in a long time. Things will only get better from here. The novel's not going anywhere, it's still there in my head, and I will finish it and it will get published, one way or the other.

I do sometimes miss the camaraderie in engaging the sf/f community on the internet, the hot topics and drama and new titles and author news and such. But, for now, I'm okay with being excited about The Hobbit coming out next month and 4 months until Game of Thrones kicks off Season 3. Season 3 is going to floor people. Storm of Swords is the best book in the ASOIAF series (so far).

That's enough babbling for now. I hope you and yours have a great holiday weekend and have plenty to be thankful for.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fantasy Football - Weeks 10 & 11

I've picked up some hours at my day job, which is good news for my life and bad news for blogging. Week 10 was a bit of a joke. I went 2-0 - by virtue of my opponents not really competing.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
The worst part is how narrowly I won.

I made the mistake of maintaining my faith in Reggie Bush. I'm a big Dolphins fan, and I really thought Bush was coming into his own after hurting his ankle earlier in the season. Not one, but TWO bad games in a row.

Week 11, notwithstanding major score adjustments this week, I went 1-1. Again, my victory was handed to me by my opponent, rather than me actually winning through clever decision making skills.

Click to Embiggen.
Click to Enlarge - Here, my roommate trashed me. 
All season, whenever I needed BJGE to perform, he hasn't. Then this week, I didn't really need him in the NFL league, and bam, he gets points. I had a bad feeling about the Monday night game, but the Bears did decently against the Texans, and I felt that the 49'ers weren't as good.

I'd say that I was wrong.

The upshot is that I am likely to make the playoffs in both leagues. I'm pretty sure that's by virtue of my receivers.

I have no plans to trade or hunt the waiver wire this week; I was going to pick up the MIA defense, but now I'm not so sure - I'm going to see what the analysts say and how the schedules look this week.

Unless any of you have some good ideas?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fantasy Football - Week 9

The good news is that my sinus infection seems to be going away (a little). The better news is that I'm down to less than 2 cigarettes a day. The bad news is that I'm cranky and want to go on a murdering spree.

Also, I'm now working 6 days a week.

And the poor, innocent blog suffers.

But not my fantasy football teams. Hell no, Angry Bill went 2-0!!

NFL League.

Click to Enlarge - Oh, there's a reason I won.
I suppose it wasn't much of a victory. Poor guy probably lives in the northeast and had no power or something, so he forgot to move his players around. But, let's face it, I had a good week - and even with his bench points, he wouldn't have beat me. There is now a 4-way tie for 2nd place in this league.

I found that I didn't need any depth in my RB position, so I traded Daryl Richardson for Jermaine Gresham this week. The biggest trouble I had in this league was the tight end position, DEF, and the Flex spot. The flex spot was just a matter of who to put there - between Law Firm, R Wayne and Mike Williams, I'm solid. Just a matter of making the right choices. Miami softened up in the TE spot, by giving Clay the TE TD for the week. And their DEF did pretty badly - first week without any interceptions, fumble recoveries and only 1 sack. But, I see that as a hiccup and I'm going to keep them.

ESPN League.

Click to Enlarge and see my triumph!
This week, I took down the #1 seed! Primarily because NE was on bye and he made some bad decisions for who to play - and also, when my guys do well, I'm pretty hard to beat.

I traded Shayne Graham for another kicker and I dropped Cecil Shorts - I don't need any depth at WR position at this point. Brandon Marshall and AJ Green are within the top 5. I'm going to hold onto both DST at this point, the Giants have a bye in Week 11. I'm hoping Amendola comes back and plays for my starting Flex spot. That will allow me to read the matchups and shift RB, TE positions around.

There's been a lot of trade activity, but no one's made me any offers, in this league. With playoffs coming up, I'm middle of the pack in the standings - I pretty much have to win from here on out.


I'm glad the elections are over - I am so weary of hearing the negative ads. It's going to be what it's going to be with our government - we still live in a country where people have the most freedom to make the most impact upon their own lives. For that I'm thankful, because - whether this blog reflects it or not - I have a bunch of things I want to do, and those things will get done no matter who the President is.

Also, after a string of bad purchases and refunds on Ebay, I believe I finally have a package coming this week - it's seriously been like 3 or 4 months, between waiting for a package, getting a refund, buying something else, waiting, getting a refund, etc. etc. Which could mean another post.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fantasy Football - Week 8

I apologize for the lack of content. I'm still fighting a head cold, and some other distracting issues, which make it hard to be creative. But at least we have this. Went 1-1 this weekend.

I'll add some commentary later.

NFL League.

Click to Enlarge - and cringe.

Waiver claims: Anthony Fasano for Kyle Rudolph. Miami Dolphins D/ST for Vikings D/ST.

ESPN League.

Click to Enlarge and breathe a sigh of relief on my behalf.
Waiver claims: Dropped Brandon Gibson, Andy Dalton, and Blair Walsh. Picked up Shayne Graham and Dolphins D/ST. Moved Danny Amendola from IR to bench.