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.
We got to attend a Colorado Avalanche hockey game this weekend. Visiting the Pepsi Center in Denver is always an adventure. It is a reasonably fun and all around nice place to attend a sporting event. Throughout the entire event the people around us were very nice to use beyond simple civility.
It seems like a long time ago that I first visited the Pepsi Center. That was back during the CU Boulder days. We ended up getting tickets outside the event right before the game. It was fun enough that it was memorable.
Today seemed like a good day to spin up the Google Docs and do some writing. My goal for the moment is to write for the next thirty minutes without stopping. It seems that Google Docs is able to save my writing efforts in near real time. That pretty much means that the hardware could fail at anytime and my words would live on in the Google Docs cloud. Things like that seem pretty straightforward now, but they are rather increible compared to a decade ago.
Writing today will be occurring to an epic soundtrack. It is far too late for coffee, but it is just the right time of day to listen to the 2017 album New Millennium from the band Dream Theater. The album has the subtitle, “The Classic Broadcast 1999/Live Recording.” It might be my favorite album of 2017. Buying vinyl records continues to be one of my hobbies. I almost wrote habits, but changed out the word to hobbies. Maybe habits is a better description. It was a phrasing that seemed a little off to me at the time. Hobbies are important. A small stack of my paintings exist in the basement. Recently my myriad of hobbies has streamlined into collecting: vinyl records, sports trading cards, and guitar pedals.
Collecting sports trading cards has been a part of my routines since the early 90’s. Sure that might seem like a long time ago. It really does feel like a long time ago. You could literally say it was not even this millennium and be accurate. Writing about writing might be less than interesting, but writing about hobbies could fall right into that same categories. My interest in sports trading cards probably involves a mix of nostalgia and my interest in statistics. Each card really is a snapshot. Sports trading cards capture a moment.
It seemed like a good idea to watch the NBA draft tonight. The NBA draft is fairly easy to watch. It only lasts 2 rounds. Every pick goes by pretty quickly. I was curious where stand out University of Kansas basketball star Frank Mason III would end up being drafted. Pontificators seemed to be guessing the 2nd round would be where Frank would go. That turned out to be true. I’m not sure if the Sacramento Kings will end up keeping the pick. They probably should. I will make sure to pick up some Denver Nuggets tickets when the Sacramento Kings come to play.
Politics seems to be dividing folks at an ever increasing rate. My interests are geared toward figuring out how to increase civic engagement and help people work together. We have so many things to accomplish as a society. Opportunities exist to move things forward. We just have to decide to strengthen the social fabric and encourage a higher degree of civility.
We the people have to figure out how to work together to drive things forward. Things are complex and seem to be getting more complex every year. I spent some time thinking about complexity modeling and dealing with complexity theory. From the edges of chaos theory to evaluating machine learning and artificial intelligence my research has been focused, but it has ended up being less than fruitful. That happens from time to time.
Entertainment can be a distraction from politics. A lot of people are probably looking for a distraction from politics this week. Today one example of that is the third game of the 2017 NBA finals. Watching the NBA finals today has been somewhat disappointing. Basketball is something that I generally enjoy watching. Today the first half of the game just did not resonate with me. Overall the rise of senselessly deep three point shots and endlessly rolling offensive sets does not really entertain me. Some of the intensity within the game was interesting.
Today some notes were taken with my Parker fountain pen. Getting back into the habit of taking a few notes throughout the day is healthy. It is a good part of stringing things together. It is amazing just how much I have enjoyed the switch to fountain pens. The sheer amount of enjoyment was unexpected.