Goodness. I watched this documentary on Netflix called, “Jack of all trades,” tonight. It was a mix of a personal journey and a look into the economic conditions of sports trading cards in the 1990’s. Truly that was an interesting time. You may know that my baseball card collection includes around 40,000 cards. They pretty much run from around 1985 to around 1994. I’m sure a wide assortment of other cards are in the mix as well. I did a few quick searches on eBay this evening and you can still buy boxes of wax packs of sports trading cards at pretty reasonable prices all things considered. I almost bought a few boxes this evening just to go back to those simpler days of the 1990’s. My first thought after watching the movie was that I wanted to open some packs of 1989 Upper Deck again. It has been a long time since that happened. Over the last few years I have picked up a few boxes of trading cards at Target. Most of them include a few packs of cards (maybe a max of ten). They are not like the boxes of trading cards that I used to buy. I’m going to have to think about this topic a little bit more tomorrow.
The song of the day is Rose Petals by S. Carey on the album Hundred acres (2018). Not every day has a song. Every day is not the same. That is what makes life brilliant and enduring.
Today was spent watching football. A lot of people watched some football today. My estimation is that roughly half the people watching television today watched some football. That is an amazing amount of attention on one thing. Our attention is rarely so focused on any one thing. Sometimes I wonder if maybe we could bring this much attention together to accomplish something meaningful. Our ability to really focus the collective power of nation seems to have vanished. Something without our social fabric or maybe civil society itself has broken down in ways that were not expected. We are fragmented and focused on very specific things instead of the national trajectory. Maybe that is where my writing needs to start focusing again. It has been well over a decade since my entire writing journey was focused on figuring out ways to strengthen civil society. It is a noble pursuit or at least something worthy of figuring out.
For some inexplicable reason the dog woke up 6 times last night and that was enough to kick start my day way before sunrise. Most of the time when I get woken up during the early hours of the morning I cannot go back to sleep. Being awake right now provided an opportunity to look at the window at the darkness and start to write a bit without interruption. Maybe that is worthwhile or maybe a few more hours of sleep would have been better. A few notes have been taken in my Moleskine sketchbook. Right now I’m still using that medium nib Parker Sonnet fountain pen that I picked up last year to scribble down notes on unlined sketchbook paper. I have always preferred to take notes or write down my thoughts on unlined paper. Today is going to be a big day in Kansas City. Like a good portion of the western united states it snowed last night here in Denver and from what I can tell in Kansas City as well. Today will be an interesting playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts. My plan is to have my trusty ASUS Flip Chromebook at the ready during the game to capture any thoughts between eating nachos and watching the game.
A few careless searches on eBay earlier today reminded me just how far my baseball card collection has fallen in value. It fell a lot. Seriously, it fell a lot more than I had expected or anticipated. In terms of packs of cards, I have been collecting cards from around 1985 to last year. That collecting has involved buying packs of sports trading cards at stores. A lot of them were bought at Target over the last few years. Before that the bulk of them were bought from grocery stores. I pick up a box or two. They end up on my desk and I have enjoyed opening them. The experience today is pretty much the same for me as it was decades ago. I mean they stopped putting gum in the packs, but that was pretty gross anyway.
Today for some reason it seemed like a good idea to search for “baseball card lot” on eBay. With just a couple clicks and a small amount of reading it was very clear that the value of my baseball card collection is not worth what it used to be. My large boxes of 1990’s commons cards are stored in BCW super storage boxes that hold about 5,000 sports trading cards. Within some of those eBay searches I could see stacks of those boxes in people’s basements and rooms. Each of them holding a reasonably sized sports trading card collection. Every one of those boxes contains cards that somebody cared about and carefully transferred from pack to storage. A lot of my best cards were sold about 14 years ago. In hindsight that was as sound decision. The vast boxes of common cards that are currently in the basement are not even really worth selling on eBay. I’m not entirely sure they could be abandoned (handed over) to a sports trading card store anymore. Those stores probably do not even have the space to store them in perpetuity.
Sports cards have value based on the people who want to buy them at the time they go up for sale. My guess based on a quick assessment of the online market is that the number of people selling has greatly outpaced the number of people buying. That market dynamic is a recipe for dropping prices. Most of my collection does not have any real emotional value to me outside of it being mine and I have kept it safe for over twenty years. A chunk of that collection includes graded George Brett cards, autographed Kansas City Royals cards, and autographed Kansas City Chiefs cards. Those three categories cards are not classified as common cards. That is how the bulk of my collection would be described. My collection is without question a vast set of common baseball cards from the 1990’s and early 2000’s. For those of you who know what that means in term so value you already know they do not have a ton of value anymore. A few of them are probably useful for people who collection anthologies of specific players or maybe team sets. I have been working on a graded George Brett anthology for about a decade. It has value to me and brings me joy. That is probably a nostalgia-based joy mixed with the joy a get from collecting sports trading cards in general.
Tonight, is one of those nights where I am glad that we have a YouTube TV subscription. This time around it is not due to a Kansas Jayhawks game. It happens to be due to a Monday night football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs. Officiating in these games makes such a big difference. At the moment, I’m wondering how this game will go. It just started, but every play so far has been full of bright yellow flags flying all over the field. Oh well, I’m invested so far in watching the rest of the game. Throughout the evening my attention has been focused on finishing up the, “Recommendation Systems with TensorFlow on GCP,” course by Google Cloud on Coursera. That is the last course that I need to finish up my, “Advanced Machine Learning with TensorFlow on Google Cloud Platform,” specialization on Coursera. I should be able to finish up the 5-course specialization tonight. Throughout the last year, I have been really invested in completing the Google Cloud courses being offered on the Coursera platform. Overall, the courses have been really good. Some people like to play video games. I prefer doing course work at night to help focus my thoughts and let me relax my mind. The first quarter is about half over and things are not looking very good. Maybe things will calm down here and the Rams offence will slow down. 6 bright yellow flags have already been thrown against the Chiefs. I’m going to have to put on my headphones and focus on some lectures. Nobody is going to throw any flags against my learning efforts tonight.