Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Relics and Autographs and Short Prints - Oh My!

Howdy once again. In my ongoing effort to pare down the amount of extra cards in my collection (and mostly to get some money to pay for the rent) I listed a whole bunch of new stuff, this is pretty much the best of what I have to sell - sad isn't it?

Anyway, I'd really appreciate it if you all would take a look and see if there's something that PIQUES your interest. Once again, I'm willing to refund 10% of your total purchase if you send me a note saying you read my blog with the password "Shortest Month" in your note when you pay.

Oh and did I mention, I'm offering FREE SHIPPING on all my singles? Yes, that's right.

Some of the good stuff

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Adventures in eBay Selling 2011 - February Edition

So as I probably blogged, last Wednesday I put up 50 items on eBay, hoping to score some cash before I go out of town this weekend to visit the in-laws and stay up at a cabin at Sundance. Yes, the Sundance, the actual hill, not Park City. Nice eh?

21 of the 50 items I listed were single trading cards, mostly Chrome stuff that I've been keeping for just this purpose. I put all of them on for a 99 cent start price, with only three exceptions (and they only started at $1.99), with free shipping. Just for giggles I figured out that if I sell an item for 99 cents, I end up making a whopping 8 cents. So that paradigm isn't really going to work for me, except that hopefully I'll get some nice feedbacks and every item I sell counts towards getting a discount on my fees. It also gets rid of a bunch of cards, and those who want them get a pretty good deal.

So I'll keep doing it, even though I'm not going to make a whole lot, I really need to get rid of most of the stuff that I don't need, and honestly I can't keep track of trades anymore.

What WAS nice is that a couple of lots of Comics sold for decent cash. Not that I didn't lose money on them, since you know I bought them at cover price or near cover price when they were new, read them and stashed them away. "Y The Last Man" #2 though #38 sold for $50, which isn't bad, except that I paid 37x$2.95 apiece for them. I also sold about 20 issues of "The Amazing Spider-Man" from a couple years ago for $25. Again, a little more than $1.00 per issue, which cost me somewhere between $2 and $3 per issue.

Still I'm not complaining, at least that stuff is selling. I have tons of stuff I can't off-load because I will only use Priority Mail Flat Rate (because frankly I'm not going to bother buying boxes or envelopes, and I like the fact that I KNOW how much shipping is going to cost). The thing is, when you're buying 5 or 6 comics at buck apiece, adding 6 bucks to ship doesn't work out very well.

In any case, I now have about $60 to play with this weekend. And that's the important part.

Contest over at Clear Cut Cards

Hey there, there's a cool contest to enter on Clear Cut Cards:

Check it out and enter.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Topps Diamond Giveaway Transmogrifier is Live

Per multiple other blogs, the Topps Diamond Giveaway machine is live today.

I unlocked my first (and only) code today:

Oh boy 1974 Norm Miller - well at least it's not junk wax.

But wait, I'm not done yet, I guess with every code you enter you get a dig square! I tried digging at first base and got nothing. So I reloaded and dug again and this is what I won:

Looks like if I collect 5 rings I get a bonus card and dig, 10 is a $10 ShopTopps gift card, 15 is a custom skin-it and 45 is a complete set of Topps 60th Anniversary cards (perhaps this is also the prize for the pack-pulled redemption?). If you manage to get 60 rings you get a diamond ring. Joy

You don't have to re-register

Here's the cool thing, your log-in name from the ToppsMillion site will work for this one too. NOW if they could just transfer over the catalog of cards you have in Millions to continue trading on the 60th Anniversary site....ah well.

SPEAKING of ToppsMillion

THIS is what I have currently - I don't have to pay for shipping because I'm in California - I already verified this as I have had two cards shipped already.

I'm more than willing to trade any and all of this crap (except for the one Angel player Minnie Rojas, I have two of him, but I want them both).

I want ANGELS cards

SO send your trades in the machine, or something like that.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

eBay Singles Blowout

Hey there cats and kitties - ye old Budget Collector finds himself in need of a budget again. I'm never going to be able to bust more 2011 Topps if I can't sell off the old stuff I don't want or need. So here's the deal:

I'm putting on a TON of singles on eBay over the next few days - virtually all of them will start a 99 cents plus FREE US Domestic Shipping. Overseas shipping will be actual cost plus a buck. Get this - I'm even doing free shipping on multiple purchases - so buy one card or buy multiples, your shipping is FREE.

PLUS if you let me know you're a read of my blog I'll even throw in bonus freebies - just put the secret password in your note to me when you pay - the secret password is "BLOWOUT".

Here's my eBay page:

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Superbowl XLV Packers 31, Steelers 25 FINAL

First down on their own 13 - 25 yard pass
First down on their own 28 - 4 yard pass
2nd Down on their own 33 - Incomplete
3rd Down on their own 33 - incomplete
4th Down on their own 33 - Incomplete

Green Bay takes over with 49 seconds remaining. Ballgame.

Green Bay has won their 4th Superbowl and 13th NFL Title.

Good game, not a great game, but a good game. Not disappointing that's for sure.

Superbowl XLV Packers 31, Steelers 25 4th 1:59

Stupid penalty on the kick pushes the Steelers all the way back to their own 13.

That "Limitless" movie looks awesome.

Superbowl XLV Packers 31, Steelers 25 4th 2:07

The Steelers hold on 3rd and goal from the 5 and the Packers kick a FG. The Steelers have one time out and the 2 minute warning after 1 play. They must score a TD to win. Big Ben either makes his career here, or Aaron Rodgers wins in his first Superbowl proving that Brett Favre really was replaceable.

Either way, should be pretty damn exciting

Superbowl Commercials Part 20

Mercedes Benz - Sure starting the commercial off with Janis Joplin and having Diddy get his car stolen...and it's some sort of futuristic thing? Whatever. Not boring though.

And with that I'm done on the Commercials.

Superbowl XLV Packers 28, Steelers 25 4th 3:25

I say it every year, but dammit, I want to see a freaking overtime game in the Superbowl!

The Steeler defense is fired up - sacking Rodgers on first down and as Joe and Troy just said, the Packers have abandoned the run.

The Steelers D caused a false start on third and 5 to make it 3rd and 10, but Rodgers in true MVP form hits Jennings for 31 and a first down.

Once they get on the Steelers side of the field they go right back to the run, only their 10th attempt, but they get a first down from Starks.

Back to the run on first down, for a couple. 2nd and long bam, James Jones and a first down. 1st and goal on the 8.

Superbowl XLV Packers 28, Steelers 25 4th 7:34

The clock is running out on the Steelers who were behind by 11 points with 11:48 to play in the season. Rifflesboinger can bring them back though, he's done it before and they still haven't completely abandoned the run.

They take 4 minutes off the clock and get a TD from Wallace. Add a 2 point conversion and it's a 3 point game. CRAAAZY

Superbowl Commercials Part 19

Car Commercial - Forgot who it was for, clever though.

Pepsi Max Date - Funny. Finally

Rio - Looks colorful, I bet my 4 year old will love it.

Oh man, I've posted so much I got the word verification!

Bridgestone Beaver - Haven't I Seen this one?

Go Daddy 2 - Wasn't that supposed to air first?

VW Beetles - Nifty keen

Raising Hope - Again, great show. It's on the DVR list.

Superbowl XLV Packers 28, Steelers 17 4th 11:57

Mendenhall's 3rd fumble of the season leads to the Packers scoring 7 more. That's the game story right there, 3 Steeler turnovers, 3 Packer Touchdowns.

MVP balloting is available. Rodgers gets the vote I guess, but the Green Bay Defense should win

Superbowl XLV Packers 21, Steelers 17 4th 14:53

The Fourth Quarter began at 6:26 pm PST

WOW, another Steeler turnover. That could be a game breaker.

Superbowl XLV Packers 21, Steelers 17 4th 15:00

Tomlin makes the Packers repunt after a penalty and gains 12 yards on the exchange. The Steelers then run for 8 and here we are with the Steelers threatening to score going into the fourth.

Not a spectacular game, but still pretty darn fun.

Superbowl XLV Packers 21, Steelers 17 3rd :37

Last year the 4th quarter began at 5:59 pm PDT. The 4th quarter here won't begin for a few more minutes since Green Bay is challenging the call on the field, stupidly - since I don't think they're going to win.

Superbowl XLV Packers 21, Steelers 17 3rd :48

The Packer Defense certainly came to play as well. 3 and out - the Steelers, who have 15 first downs are only 6 of 11 on 3rd down.

The Packers are looking kind of inexperienced there, 15 yard penalty on the kick, ouch. Packers ball 1st and 10 on their own 13. Turnabout is fair play

Superbowl XLV Packers 21, Steelers 17 3rd 2:23

The Packers finally put together a decent length drive - forcing the Steelers to use their 2nd Time out, but all the end up doing is taking some time off the clock and putting the Steelers on their own 13.

Interesting - we haven't had any review so far.

Superbowl Commercials Part 18

Chrysler Eminem - LOOOOONG BCC with a good soundtrack

Strangely they actually showed a lot of game without commercials. Over 20 minutes in fact.

NFL - Very fun. There's one I wouldn't mind seeing again.

Jack in the Box - Again I don' think that this is on the national feed, since JIB isn't everywhere. But the Jack commercials are consistently funny. This one is no exception. Not groundbreaking, but still funny.

HTC Phone - Boring Phone Commercial

Cadillac - BCC

Rango - Looks fun - Weird

Bud Light Dog Sitting - Cute. Best one of the night for them

Superbowl XLV Packers 21, Steelers 17 4:29

Joe Buck prognosticator - "The Packers haven't had a sack on Rifflesbarger all game" - next play - sack.

52 yard FG not even close. The Packers get the ball on their own 42. They need at least a FG out of this drive.

Superbowl Commercials Part 17

Stella Artois - Adrien Brody and a bunch of hotties - at the Canyon Club in Hamburg = me wanting a beer. Sniffles.

Carmax Back to the 50's - Amusing. Very amusing

The X-Factor - Whoop-de-doo.

Superbowl XLV Packers 21, Steelers 17 7:34

Back to the run, the Steelers are moving the ball at will for the most part, creating third and shorts. Time out

Superbowl Commercials Part 16

Hyundai - Jeff Bridges channelling the Dude? Made my eyes hurt

Groupon - Err...yeah I signed up but I haven't bought anything yet.

Coke No Man's Land - Stupid. Do they even make those bottles anymore? Wait, I know they do.

Superbowl XLV Packers 21, Steelers 17 3rd 9:00

14 unanswered points from the Steelers. Packers better put it in gear.

I have actually heard of the Medal of Honor recipient. Good man. Good soldier.

The Packers are suddenly looking like a team that hasn't been here before, and guess what, they haven't. Steelers defense makes 'em go 3 and out, and are riding a wave of momentum.

4th punt for the Packers.

Superbowl Commercials Part 15

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Probably the next movie I'll get to go see in the theaters. HIGHLY anticipated

Mini Cram it in the Boot - Cute - Two words, TEST BABY. Amusing

Superbowl XLV Packers 21, Steelers 17 3rd 10:19

We have ourselves a ball-game ladies and gents. Helps that the Steelers haven't abandoned the run, in fact right now they've got about 3 times as many yards rushing as the Packers.

That entire drive was on the ground, and they ran it right now the Packers throat.

Good, I hate blowouts.

Superbowl Commercials Part 14 - amusing

E-Trade Enzo - I HATE THAT DAMN LINE OF COMMERCIALS. Make them stop. Please.

Best Buy Multiple Gs' - FUNNY. Justin Bieber is certainly EVERYWHERE this weekend, he was on SNL last night. At least the kid can poke fun at himself. I hate it when Celebs can't do that.

Superbowl XLV Packers 21, Steelers 10 3rd

Now that we've collectively gouged our eyes and smashed our ear-drums after that atrocity that was the Half-Time show, we can get back to the game.

Charles Woodson out for the game, that's a shame. He deserved better.

Shields and Driver will be back.

Emmanuel Sanders out for the game for the Steelers.

Rafflesbogie is pissed at the way he's playing according to Chris Meyers.

Penalties on the Packers are starting to pile up, that Facemask after the punt is a bad bad thing

Superbowl Halftime Performance

I'm not a fan of the Black Eyed Peas. I like a few of their songs, but I'm not a fan. Hell I've seen Fergie act more than I've heard BEP songs. The opening number was typical big stadium overblown choreography that you only see on this size of stage or in like the Olympics.

I liked the part with Slash and Fergie doing "Sweet Child o' Mine". She sounded better than Axl usually does.

I even like the light up costumes. Fergie is looking pretty hot actually.

The rest of the medley, well I've heard Weird Al do better renditions during his Polka mixes.

Usher hasn't and doesn't do anything for me whatsoever.

SOme of my favorite tweets thus far:

I've seen the future. It looks like 1975. Only with black people wearing have worse fashion sense and the acoustics suck. #superbowl


This is so much better if you imagine how uncomfortable John Madden and George Bush are right now. #superbowl

Superbowl Commercials Part 13

Daytona 500 - Looking forward to it

AMEX Plum - Almost as boring as a car commercial

Daytona 500 Fan - Clever - Isn't that what I did when I signed up for Twitter? Remember twitter to me @wnoetling

Superbowl Commercials Part 12

American Idol - meh

Chevy - BCC

Android Thumbs - OMG what the F? That was just...odd

Dodge Ram - BCC

I'm taking a short break right now. If you'd like to comment, please do so...

Superbowl XLV Packers 21, Steelers 10 Halftime

Decent half of Football, the Packers defense is really gaming today, but the Steelers aren't laying down.

The Steelers are actually leading the time of possession battle by almost 2 to 1! But they have 3 more penalties and the two turnovers which equals the 11 point lead right now.

SO it's been a good game, just not spectacular. No real super-exciting plays besides the turnovers.

I don't particularly care for the Black Eyed Peas or the Halftime Show, so I'll be eating some dinner and be back in a few.

Superbowl XLV Packers 21, Steelers 10 2nd :47

So far I'm not seeing any of the fast track, what I am seeing is guys going down by slipping and falling. So far we've seen three guys go out on seemingly normal plays.

Almost a third Ruffiesblarg interception.

So with two of the Packer starting secondary in the locker room, the Steelers close the gap, and the under of 45 is looking kind of shaky.

Will the Packers do anything with 47 seconds left?


Superbowl Commercials Part 11

Chevy Malibu - BCC

Captain America - Looks fun.

Strongest Drive of the Playoffs - Looks like the Steelers better repeat that performance if they wanna stay in the game. Appropriate ad.

Carmax - I feel like a hippie in a drum circle.

Glee - OK I might actually watch tonight.

Superbowl XLV Packers 21, Steelers 3 2nd 2:24

SO that's now 14 points off of Rufflesborg interceptions. He's now got 2:24 to keep this close.

IF the Steelers don't score before Halftime, this game is over. If they DO, it'll still be a miracle if they win.

Superbowl XLV Packers 14, Steelers 3 2nd 4:25

Another Rofflesberg interception. If the Packers can capitalize, this game might be over.

Superbowl Commercials Part 10

Snickers - Continuing their theme from last year with celebs Richard Lewis (Whiney) and Roseanne Barr (Bitchey). Roseanne getting whacked by the tree is the moment of the game so far.

Something dot com...Dunno, was too busy laughing from the last ad.

Super 8 - so that's Abrams & Speilberg's new movie. I still have no idea what it's about.

Superbowl XLV Packers 14, Steelers 3 2nd 4:35

OK at least you can't say that Fox is shying away from Big Ben's past problems.

If Driver is out for the game the Packers are going to have a hard time in the air.

Rofflesburger is proving why he does know how to win games, and he keeps running despite that knee. He's got tenacity that's for sure.

If you were wondering, last year I had 49 posts on the Saints victory over the Colts, and in '09 I had 37 posts on these same Steelers over the Cardinals.

I'm not sure where I'm at right now, but I think I'll be going over 50 posts.

I'm at 25 posts with this one and we're not even to Half time.

Time Out - Pittsburgh

Superbowl Commercials Part 9

Coca-Cola Dragon - So far, that's my favorite. I love the animation.

THOR - One the few Marvel movies I'm actually looking forward to, mostly because of Kenneth Branagh directing.

VW - Little Darth Vader - Would have been a lot funnier if it hadn't been leaked ahead of time.

Superbowl XLV Packers 14, Steelers 3 2nd 11:08

Is it me or does Aaron Rodgers in his helmet look a bit like the Great Gazoo?

Pittsburgh holds the Packers so their anemic offense can go back on the field.

Isn't it a bummer when a player gets hurt early in the game? I feel pretty badly for them, especially if they don't get to come back.

Superbowl Commercials Part 8

Budweiser Western - Peter Stormare is a great actor. Tiny Dancer though?

Teleflora Faith Hill - Ooooh kay, next please.

Transformers 3 - Oh boy, more robots blowing shit up. Didn't see either of the first two in the theaters. In fact it took until just a few months ago for me to watch the 2nd one. Part 3 = more of the same.

BMW - BCC My wife said that it's cool they're being built and designed in America. I guess.

Motorola XOOM - OK who is the girl? I like how they were specifically trying to distance themselves from Apple.

BMW Diesel - BCC

Wow, two BMW ads in the same break.

Superbowl XLV Packers 14, Steelers 3 2nd 11:08

Packer defense holds on 3rd and 7 at the 20 and the Steelers are forced to try a FG. The Packers D came to play, they're missing a few plays here and there, but for the most part they're keeping the Steelers at bay.

Superbowl Commercials Part 7

Bridgestone Email - At the end of the ad they have a link that says "go to whatever site and see the extended version". So basically go to their site to see a LONGER version of their advertisement. For free. Actually you are paying for internet connection. Lame.

Chevy Volt - BCC

Go Daddy New Girl - Funny, predictable, but funny. Now THEIR ads I might go visit online since they're "not rated". But then again if you can't find free porn on the internet, you're not trying very hard.

House - Not a big fan

Apple iPhone on Verizon - I think Verizon is overrated to be honest. I have a new iPhone 3GS on AT&T and it's fine.

Superbowl XLV Packers 14, Steelers 0 2nd 15:00

So Big Ben digs himself a big hole, the running game only has a bit longer to go before the Steelers will have to start airing it out. Unless Mendenhall can actually get more holes.

Holy crap, the Steelers have a guy on Offense with Polamalu hair too. I thought that the NFL only allowed one per team!

Whoa, BIg Ben slipped on 2nd and 9 and isn't looking especially mobile, and as I type that he runs for 18 yards and a first down.

Superbowl Commercials Part 6

Lipton Tea Eminem - This is a nice throwback to the good old days - Lipton used to do claymation commercials all the time, so it's nice to see a new one.

Superbowl XLV Packers 14, Steelers 0 1st 3:20

Is it a pick six or not? Yes, excessive celebration. Who cares. The rout is on. Or is it?

Big Ben would have been better off taking the sack.

Superbowl Commercials Part 5

Cowboys and Aliens - OK great idea, good cast, and looks nifty. Based on a comic book that was only created so that the movie could say "Based on a comic book". They GAVE the thing away.

Optima - OK that was a NIFTY use of special effects.

Raising Hope/whatever follows it - I like Raising Hope, a lot. It's by the same guy who did My Name is Earl. Same sensabilities too. And it has Martha Plimpton.

Superbowl Commercials Part 4

Pepsi Max Nerd Revenge - Meh

Doritos Fish Sitting - OK WTF? Doritos can bring the dead back to life? So THAT"S how the Zombie Apocalypse is going to start.

Hyundai - Err...whatever. BORING car commercial. From now on I will refer to that as a BCC

Fringe - We watched this show religiously up until the end of last year when our DVR took a dump and had to be replaced. Missed too many since then. Will catch them all at some later date.

NFL Draft - Now in Prime-Time - who cares? It's not like they're going to be a season next year anyway.

Superbowl XLV Packers 7, Steelers 0. 1st 3:44

John Madden's texting, George W. Bush is looking at someting in his lap while Laura is watching the game, and Cameron Diaz feeds popcorn to A-Rod.

Meanwhile the Packers might actually score here.

Yup. Touchdown Rodgers to Nelson - and heck they could have called Pass Interference on Gay too.

80 yards 9 plays. Ouch

Superbowl Commercials Part 3

Bud Light Movie Shoot - dumb.

Chevy "Tommy's Stuck" - Amusing. I really liked "I didn't even know this town had a volcano"

Fast and Furious 5 - Now starring The Rock. Joy

Chicago Code - I'm sorry, NOTHING has made me want to watch this show yet.

Superbowl XLV Steelers 0, Packers 0 1st 5:53

Oh god, Troy Polamalu's hair is especially long today. You know, in the olden days of guys like Chuck Bedanarik and Decon Jones, if a player had their hair that long it would get ripped out of their helmet. Then they'd wear it on their belts as a war souvenier.

Not that I'm ashamed of long hair on guys, my long-time friends will remember that I had a pony-tail for much of the 90's and through the 2000's. No, when the hair is flowing out of the back of your helmet, it's not right for Football. Alls I'm saying.

Packers Time Out - they're moving the ball

Superbowl Commercials Part 2

Doritos 'cheese' - WRONG on so many levels

Chevy Old Folks Home - Cute, but too agist

Pepsi Max - Silly fun. Violence is always funny

Superbowl XLV Steelers 0, Packers 0 1st

Offical Game Tracker is

The Steeler run game seems to be getting on track. The run will be the key to this game, as it often is. According to all the players this is a "fast track" which I would think would give an advantage to the running backs over the receivers.

They ALMOST got to the 50 on that last possession. So far, two possessions, 29 yards.

I'm older than Mike Tomlin

More Commercials.

Superbowl Commercials Part 1

Quick Comments on the Commercials

Bud Light New Home: LAME.

Doritos Doggy: Awesomely funny

Saab Escapees - Clever. That will probably be the best car commercial of the game

Superbowl XLV Steelers 0, Packers 0 1st 11:05

Suddenly the Packers are showing life with a 24 yard completion

My wife started singing "I'm a Lumberjack" when they showed Brent Kesel's beard. "Who is that lumberjack on the field" she said. I also had to point out which team was which.

They stall on 3rd and 7 and are kicking.

We should get our first batch of commercials right about now.

Superbowl XLV Pittsburgh 0, Green Bay 0 1st 12:24

Oh right, there's a football game happening right.

Pittsburgh goes 3 and out to start, not auspicious. The second down tackle of Mendenhall behind the line of scrimmage did them in.

Fumble on the punt, Green Bay comes out with the ball.

Super Bowl XLV 1st 15:00 Pittsburgh 0, Green Bay 0

Focus Rally America is the Pre-Kick show sponser. Whatever the hell that is.

OK the Super Bowl is getting pretty full of itself when it has Michael Douglas narrate a brief history of America and comparing err...JFK and MLK to the two QBS today? OK he didn't do that, but just about...

Deion got the most cheers in Dallas when the HOF 2011 class is announced. Big shock.

Coin toss goes to Green Bay who defers. OK, I guess it's that important now.

BTW Deion tossed it, Pittsburgh called Tails.

Kick off next

Superbowl Pre-Kick Show - 10 minutes and counting

The Packers have won 12 league championships - 9 pre-Superbowl in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1939, 1944, 1961, 1962, 1965 and three Superbowls I, II and XXXI

The Steelers have won 6 league championships, all Superbowls in IX, X, XIII, XIV, XL, XLIII.

In 1943 the Steelers merged with the Philadelphia Eagles for a season during the height of WWII. They were known as the "Steagles".

The NFL trophy is named for the Packers legendary coach Vince Lombardi.

The Packers trace thier history back to 1919 (also coincidentally the year of founding of my Alma Mater UCLA)

The Steelers were founded in 1933 and are still owned by the same family.

The Packers are owned by the citizens of Green Bay Wisconsin. The cannot sell their shares for a profit, or something like that. The team will never move from Green Bay. They are the only publicly owned sports team in North America, and the only non-profit as well. Packers tickets are notoriously difficult to come by.

The Steelers have the fifth most members of the NFL Hall of Fame with 18, the Packers have the second most with 21.

Game times is a few minutes away.

Superbowl Pre-Kick Show

Wait, it's the what now Pre-Kick Show? Of course, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are announcing, they are Fox's A-Team after all. I happen to really like Aikman, loved him as a Bruin, loved him as a Cowboy. Back when I was collecting FB cards I was proud to own Aikman's most expensive rookie card, his 1988 Score.

Joe Buck on the other hand annoys me to no end. When he does Baseball all he can talk about is the Yankees. When he does Football he has a rampant streak of homerism for whomever is the more popular team. I guarantee you that he'll be supporting whomever is in the lead, whereas Aikman will actually call the game.

Still they're better than Madden and Summerall. OK Aikman's better than Madden. Honestly, I'd rather hear Al Michaels today.

Oh yeah, Glee is on after the game. And of course, new Animation Domination shows. Since I have a buddy working on "The Cleveland Show" (Hi Doug!) I give it a shot every time. The new "Bob's Burgers" is just gawd awful though. Looking forward to Simpsons and the rest.

20 minutes until Kickoff.

Superbowl Pre-Game Countdown: 30 minutes & counting

So I think perhaps the talking heads are done with their expert commentary. I thought Jimmie Johnson had the best analysis, as I often do. I like Strahan, but he doesn't have the same type of experience that Jimmie does.

I think it's really interesting that the NFL is doing the tribute to America thing, reading the Declaration of Independence with Americans from all over. I think it's rather salient at this time to remember why we are the country we are, especially with revolution ripe in other parts of the world. We as a people should remember those words, and those in Congress and in political power should also re-read the Constitution to remind them of what's important.

I believe in this country and I believe in the Constitution of these United States. I often find myself at odds with it's current leadership, whether it be Republican or Democrat. Still, I truly believe that we have the best form of Government world-wide, because we as individuals have a voice.

Sorry, enough prostelytizing. Damn, never could spell that word.

Nice montage though. I'll try to link it later, I'm sure the NFL will post it somewhere.

Superbowl Pre-Game Countdown: 60 minutes & counting

Good Afternoon Football Fans - welcome to my annual Live-Blog of the big game. If you'd like to spend your time reviewing previous year's live-blogs by yours truly, just click the "Superbowl" link on the right side of the screen, that will show you the 2010 and 2009 iterations.

This year's matchup features the Packers versus the Steelers, which for all intents and purposes should be a good matchup. To me it's boring. I don't care about either team, and there's no compelling reason on either side for me to root for them. I can root against Pittsburgh because I frankly don't like the team. I respect them being an original member of the NFL, and I think the Rooneys are great owners, but I just don't like 'em. In 1995 I happened to be in Rochester New York for the AFC Championship game between my then-home town San Diego Chargers and the Steelers. We watched the game in a sports-bar we found, and I had brought some Chargers gear to wear. I was the only one wearing Chargers gear, the entire bar was against me, and while they were cordial, it was a rough day. Until the final play that is.

I also don't particularly care for Ben Rothelisberger. His off-field exploits far overshadow his actual playing ability, and I think he's just a system QB, rather than having any innate talent - other than not getting sacked. Put him on the Lions and they go nowhere. The fact that if he wins this year he'll have three rings and be a sure lock for the HOF is kind of annoying in the same way that it's annoying that Tom Brady with his three rings is a lock already. Yet another reason why having SB rings shouldn't really be that much of a consideration when it comes to HOF voting.

Speaking of which, while I'm happy for Marshall Faulk and ambivalent about Deion Sanders, I'm kind of pissed that Tim Brown hasn't gotten any more love from the HOF voters. Shannon Sharpe certainly deserves to be in as well, but since he played a majority of his career for the Broncos, who I hate with a passion, means I can't actually enjoy his entry.

I'm not going to really comment on the innanity of the talking-heads on the pre-game show, other than it's the same old BS that you get every Sunday in the morning before the games. I used to watch and care about these guys, especially since most of them are former players that I watched play. But sadly, I think that the actual level of intellectual commentary on the upcoming games has declined dramatically in the Fox Superbowl era. Yeah, I said it. Fox for all it's technological advancement is still trotting out the same old tired pre-game nonsense that hasn't flied for years. Having Terry Bradshaw interview Ben Rothelisberger is not a big innovation, it's a foregone conclusion. Let's see if he actually owns up to his behavior or if he just wants to discuss the game. Bradshaw isn't a hard-hitting interviewer either.

Hey that Priest movie looks good in a B-movie kind of way

Superbowl Live-Blogging & Centsports Betting

Shall commence sometime between 2 pm and 3 pm PST. I'm not watching the marathon of pre-game show because, let's face it, it's pretty darn boring.

But I'll probably break down after the 2 o'clock hour and turn it on.

No party for me, I'm not involved in either team enough to care. I'm staying home, in fact I'll be retiring to the bedroom to watch the game on my 46" Plasma that was a gift from a departed neighbor.

In the mean time, I can tell you that my Centsports is up to over $2 thanks to some nice bets I made recently. I managed to hit a 2 game parlay on Thursday betting on the Heat as 1 point favorites over the Magic, and taking 3 on the Spurs over the Lakers. Whenever the line is that weird, I'm taking it.

As for my Cent bets on the big game today, I've got 1.40 on the Steelers on the money line (for a $2.50 win!) and a 90 cent 2 line parlay with on the Steelers at +3 and the Under of 45. If I win the second bet I stand to get about $3.00. I have no idea why or how the Packers are the favorite, but I'm going to ride the Steelers because let's face it, the Steelers are the glamour pick.

I LOST my two Cent bets on MMA last night, proving I have NO IDEA what I'm doing over there. I bet Vitor over Anderson Silva. That was a HUGE mistake. Have you SEEN that kick? No?


It's at 6:50 of that video. Never seen ANYTHING like that before.

I also lost a few cents on Rich Franklin vs. Forest Griffin. Big deal. Good card though.

OK catch you all in a little while.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Topps 2011 Part 3 - Hobby vs. Retail

HOBBY Reflections

Being that I titled this blog "The Budget Collector" perhaps I should include some budget or economic based posts? Yes, I think I should.

Yesterday I picked up my first 2011 Topps cards at Target, as you may recall I bought a single rack and a single retail pack, a total of 48 cards or the equivalent to 4 retail packs of 12 cards each. For that I paid $7.66 or just under 16 cents a card. Today I checked out my friendly local hobby store, Beverly Hills Sports Cards and bought 4 packs of Hobby from a brand new box. The cost was $13.17 after tax for 40 cards or 32 cents a card. Obviously right off the top you're paying double per card, and that's not a smart thing at all.

So if I'm paying twice as much per card, shouldn't I get some good cards? Well, yes and no. See what you're really paying for is the CHANCE to get better cards. When you look at the odds listed on the pack though, you find something very, very interesting: unless you're a big sucker for long-odds high end pulls, retail is actually a better buy. Certainly there are cards in Hobby that don't exist at Retail, specifically Silk, Black and Press-Plate parallels, the manufactured gloves and most of the autos and relics are only found in Hobby. However, the easiest of those to pull are the black paralles at 1:100 packs!

The odds on the standard non relic/auto inserts are virtually identical in hobby and retail. Gold parallels are half as easy to pull at 1:8 in hobby vs. 1:17 at retail. Something really odd happens though to the remainder of the auto/relic sets, they are actually EASIER to pull at retail rather than hobby. That's awfully strange, but true. Example: A Diamond Duos relic is 1:12,500 at hobby and 1:10,500 at retail. The 60th Anniversary Reprint Auto set falls at 1:13,200 retail and a whopping 1:14.750 at retail. The 60 for 60 redempions are 1:150,000 at retail and 1:167,000 at hobby. Again, long odds, but significantly less at retail.

Bottom line here, if you're looking to build the set and want most of the low end inserts, go with retail. If you're actually try to get hits, well, I think you should really look for a different set, other than the flagship.

So let's take a look at exactly what I got for my $20+ "investment" in 2011 Topps shall we?


Base 28/37
Topps town 4/ 2
Topps 60 2 / 2
Gold 2 / 1
60 Years of Topps 1 / 2
Diamond Ann 1 / 1
Diamond Duos 1 / 1
History of Topps 1 / 0
Kimball Champions 0 / 1
Vintage Repro 0 / 1
Total Inserts: 12 / 11


Total Cards 88
Base 65
Total Inserts: 23
Topps Town 6
Topps 60 4
Gold 3
60 Years of Topps 3
Diamond Ann 2
Diamond Duos 2
History of Topps 1
Kimball Champions 1
Vintage Repro 1

So far the best two cards I've pulled were the Jeter Mini and the Topps History with Eisner. Yuck. Honestly, I'd just as soon pull more of these:

Honestly, I'm paying a bit more than 25 cents a card here, and besides putting together a set, which I attempt and fail at every year, I'd be better off buying singles rather than packs, but I'm just so addicted to opening packs. It's a problem I tells ya.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Super...err..."BIG GAME" Blogging Reminder

Hey there, I didn't want the week to go by without mentioning that once again I will be live-blogging the Superbowl...err..."Big Game" - NFL please don't sue me.

Can you believe that though, the NFL has trademarked Superbowl and will not allow you to use the name in conjunction with any event unless you pay them. So, for example, the party that 570 KLAC AM is holding during the game at Dave and Busters in Arcadia cannot be advertised as a Superbowl party. Silly isn't it?

In any case, yes, I own that Superbowl I - err...AFL/NFL Championship Game ticket from 1967. It was my Fathers' who left it to me. I also have a Rose Bowl ticket of his from 1963, not that I care mind you, since that was a USC victory year. I've never been to the big game, even though it was held in my home city twice in 1988 and 1998. In '98 I did go to the NFL Experience, which was a blast! I knew then that price-guide value was BS, when I couldn't even get Emmitt Smith's father to buy his own son's Classic Die-Cut Auto, which was booking at $500 according to Beckett.

I did have a buddy who went every year, the season that the Rams won I had him buy me a program from the site, which is really cool. Little known fact, that the Superbowl programs on site are different than the mass-market editions they sell everywhere. Thus they are more valuable. I have five or six programs from years past, including XXV (Giants v. Bills), which is really nice as it's a comprehensive history of the game. Of course I also have one from the year that the Chargers lost to the Niners. One of these days I'll do a nice blog entry on programs of all sort, but that will have to wait because they're all in storage.

For what it's worth, I'm rooting for the Packers, but I think the Steelers will win. I don't really care mind you, I'd rather not see Pittsburgh get a 7th Superbowl, but the Packers winning their 4th doesn't really thrill me much either. I guess I just want the old cliche' - a good game.

Topps 2011 First Impressions Part 2

More Inserts

Sorry about that, had a slight family emergency to attend to. Nothing spectacular I assure you, all is well. So moving on...

Here we have this year's version of "The Cards Your Mom Threw Away", which are more reprints. Yes, I realize the back here doesn't go with the front, why should I do more than one scan? In any case, I actually really like the backs this time around, as they don't really focus on the play on front, but rather the set as a whole. Plus they seem to be written by someone who actually knows about the hobby! Here we have an insert set that I actually want to pull, sweet! Oh and there's original backs too. These are seeded at 1:3 retail/unlisted rack (which I guess means 1:1). The original back versions are 1:12/1:36.

There's also the "Lost Cards" insert set, which I haven't seen yet, but they list out at 1:4/1:12 and then there's an original back version of those too which are 1:36/1:108.

The first actual insert I pulled this year was this card, which is a "Vintage Reprint" and seeded at 1:2/1:8. Considering this is reprinting the most famous card in history, that's not too shabby. The set is numbered with a "CMGR" prefix, and this is #10. They're also old-school cardboard stock. Another cool set, but I'd have to see what else is in there before I pass judgement.

The last card I will be spotlighting today is this mini of some damn Yankee or another. I'm not a HUGE fan of minis, I think they're nice an all, but the multiple sizes across sets kind of turns me off. I mean they're kind of nifty, but they don't really float my boat. This set is called "Kimball Champions" and is 1:4 in retail/unlisted in rack. It's a 50 card set and has the usual suspects, including some pretty common vintage names. The checklist is on the back of this one (and I ASSume every one) and really isn't that special to be honest. I'm not sure why there are so many vintage card styles out there, when this looks just like Allen & Ginter to me.

I also got two ToppsTown cards, one in each pack. They're actually very shiney as well this year and the backs aren't just fluff and a code. OK they still have the code, but the fluff text is a bit more beefy this time around. I've completely the ToppsTown Baseball set each of the past three years, and I expect to do so again this year. You can't put the codes in quite yet though, Mid-March says the website. They have never actually had an online component launch on day and date of the set thus far, and I think that's a real failure on the marketing team's part. If the site isn't ready, then don't launch the product. There's nothing more frustrating than buying a product with an online component, only for the component not to work when you buy the product. Happens way too often too. Companies have to learn that the online component isn't a selling feature to a product if the component doesn't work immediately upon purchase. I venture to guess that the Diamond Redemption Site isn't working yet either. I didn't pull any codes, so I can't say for sure, but considering the ToppsMillion site didn't go live right away, I wouldn't be guessing that this new version would be working on drop day.

So in all I purchased 48 cards at a retail price of $6.98 + tax. That works out to just under 16 cents a card, which in today's marketplace isn't all that bad. Consider that Bowman Chrome at retail is $2.99 and comes with three cards, and virtually ever other brand runs above 50 cents per card, your value is definitely with Topps Flagship. Plus to me, there's still some cachet value to the big T's main set. Especially in this anniversary yet, if you had all 60 years worth of sets you'd really have a great chronicle of Baseball for the second half of it's entire life, and that's not too bad.

I'm sure I'll be buying more of this product than any other this year, in fact, at the moment I'm not planning on buying any other product, except for a few packs of Heritage, A&G and Chrome when they hit. I'm no longer interested in one-off brands or Topps "High End" products. Gimme a few packs of Topps Base and I'm a happy Budget Collector.

Topps 2011 Arrives at the Budget Collector! Part 1

First and foremost, I have joined the Twits and now have a Twitter account. At the moment I'm following Jim Rome only, but hey you never know, once I get into something I usually go whole hog. Anyway, my twitter name is @wnoetling.

Topps 2011 First Impressions

I don't believe that you can ever really tell whether or not you'll like a set from a photo, I think that you have to hold the things in your hand and open some packs before you can really give an accurate assessment of the product. So with that in mind I didn't post anything about the sell sheets for this year's Topps flagship, rather I waited until the new product hit stores. And hit it has. My local Target had a box of rack packs and at least three gravity feed packs. I managed to snake a one each. While I wasn't thrilled with my pulls, there some solid cards in there, which I'll be highlighting as well as giving my opinion on each of the inserts that I received.

I chose Erick Aybar here for the main card design example because he was my only Halo in two packs. I have to say, I really like this design. It has the classic elements that all good cads must have, including the official MLB logo, and it's color coded. My only major issue is that there's too much foil, but this has been the case with every set of Topps since I can remember. Here the foil is fairly attractice, but the smaller text is awfully hard to read. Also make sure you pay attention to the space above the name frame, some cards have "flavor text" there, such as denoting who the 2010 ROYs were, or a superlative like "first to 600 saves" (for Trevor Hoffman).

There are three parallel sets that I can see from the wrapper. Most folks will never see the Platinum Parallels or the Canary Diamond Parallels which are 1:9,200/1:27,000 (rack odds/retail pack odds). However, most people will pull a ton of these "Diamond Anniversary" foils which are 1:4 in retail and not listed on the Rack, though they are advertised on the front. These aren't serial numbered, which I think is a shame, but they are awfully shiney. I like shiney.

The ubiquitous 'gold' parallels are serially numbered to 2011 and are a bit harder to come by at retail falling 1:5/1:17 . Here's the back of the one I pulled. I really like the fact that they actually put a space in the design as to where the serial numbering is supposed to go. I also like that they're still using the same font/type for the serial number as they've used in years past. Continuity is important you know.

Diamond Duos are this year's version of Legendary Lineage. After awhile the LL cards really bored me, and I have no doubt these will as well. On the back are listed some comparison stats and a brief blurb, but they really aren't all that special. They are numbered with the initials of the player's depicted, so this Boggs/Youklis is # "DD-BY". I hate that. They are also being produced as a relic edition. They're 1:4 in retail packs and unlisted in Racks. The relic edition is 1:3460/1:10,500.

This set is called Topps 60 and has the obligatory Mickey Mantle that no modern collector needs at this point. These are also 1:4 in retail and not listed in racks, but since I got one in each, I'm guessing they're 1:1 in racks.

Part 2 will have the rest of my review.