Thursday, September 29, 2011

Participation Assured

This appears on my school district's home page.

Yes, it will be fun to dress in support of the Brewers tomorrow, but know this:
A school district that borrows its mission statement from a Charles Woodson locker room speech is in deep, deep trouble.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


2011 National League Central Champions
The last time my Brewers were any sort of champion, I wasn't quite four years old.

Still too giddy to write a proper post, I'm just going to add appropriate phrases to possibly drive a little more traffic to the blog so people can appreciate the Braun/He-Man mashup photo I created this morning.

Ryan Braun He-Man Masters of the Universe Home Run Sword 2011 NL Central Champions Brewers Milwaukee Bat

And these are the guys that did it last night.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Heeded Horror Hype

To kick things off, I'd first like to thank anyone who made a suggestion for my pre-Halloween horror viewing. I really want to catch a few flicks that are new to me this season, and you didn't disappoint.
However, before we get to what I will be screening, let me take a few moments to cross a batch of movies off the list that I've already seen, pretty much for the reason that I own them.

When reader (...Joe) made the first comment, I could tell that he really knew his stuff. The new brand of French horror is currently blowing everything else out of the water. Compared to some of these Franco Frighteners, the Saw franchise looks like a heavily edited episode of the Jetsons. (And I'm talking like Elroy-centered episodes, folks.)
One word, though, came to mind at the mention of Martyrs: Ick.
I've already once confided to a friend of mine that Martyrs is probably the one film I've ever seen that, having watched it, made be feel bad about myself as a person. I couldn't shake the post-viewing feeling that I'd done something wrong. I've seen plenty of questionable-ass shit, including a few of those Italian-made cannibal movies. Hell, I own a cast-signed limited edition copy of Fred Vogel's August Underground. Yet, I felt like Martyrs stepped way over the line, and by viewing it I became complicit in a crime against humanity. I don't want to go too much more into the details of the film, but I'll say that I'd be surprised if I ever end up watching it again.

Sorry to start with such a downer. On the lighter side of things, I came to the conclusion that dayf is truly my Southern Gentleman Brother From Another Mother. Out of the five films he mentioned in his recommendation comment, I own four of them. Below are Freaks and the Criterion Collection release of Equinox. Dude mentions an obscure camp horror/sci-fi film with stop-motion animation scenes, and it turns out I've got the best possible DVD of it available. (Unless Criterion put it out on Blu-ray, those bastards! Too many times I have double dipped.)

Dayf also mentioned Suspiria (as did SpastikMooss), which I have on the limited edition 3-disc DVD (with Goblin soundtrack disc), and Manos: The Hands of Fate. Not a month goes by when my brain doesn't pop up with the phrase "Torgo area." (Also included on the MST3K Essentials disc is Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. It has been far too long since I've popped in this disc.)

Ryan G suggested Night of the Comet. Damn, I already have this one on old-school VHS. The sticker says I got it for a dollar sometime in 2002. Unfortunately, I've never watched it. Double unfortunately, every VCR in my house is broken, so I can't watch it. I really need to remedy that. I have some great tapes that are sitting unwatched, unloved.

SpastikMooss rattled off a long list, some of which have already been mentioned. Here are a few from his list that I also own. Is it possible that that DVD of The Shining has been sitting undisturbed in its case for a decade? Could be. Man, I suck.

It was great to see Collective Troll pipe in by recommending High Tension. This was the one that really kickstarted the French domination of horror a few years ago. I loved, loved, loved it the first time I watched it, but each viewing since has lessened in greatness. I guess that's inevitable with twist ending movies.

Troll also made a comment about the Goya painting in the last post. The name of it is Saturn Devouring His Son. It's an image highly representative of the idea of horror, and the reason I chose it was because this image appeared on the cover of a scholarly book I read while taking a class on horror films in college. It had something to do with the psychology of horror or something like that, but now I can't remember the title. Glad to see Troll appreciating its use on this blog. Now if only I could remember the name of that book...

Okay, as promised, I will now reveal which films I will try to track down and watch during the Halloween season.
Inside (On the list in my head for quite some time, it couldn't possibly be as damaging as Martyrs.)
Killer Klowns From Outer Space
Toolbox Murders
Tokyo Gore Police

The verdict is still out on Lake Placid. That one goes in the "We'll See" pile, although I'm inclined to think it might make the list based on one experience I'd had with the film. One time I was hanging out at my friend's neighbor's house where the dad of that family was watching TV. A commercial for the movie came on and he remarked, in a completely deadpan and mellow voice, "Whooooooa, thatisabigalligator."

Thanks, peeps, I can't wait to get started. And prepare for Nightmares on Cardboard IV. October will arrive with your latest assignment.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Halloween Horror Recommendation Request

I've caught myself wearing a hooded sweatshirt nearly every day over the past week. This means that fall is quickly approaching, and with it, the extended Halloween holiday. While I'm not a big fan of Halloween parties or hitting the town in costume, I do enjoy putting a little effort into decorating the household and staying up late watching scary movies.

In fact, I enjoy horror films so much that I plan on watching a bunch of them over the next forty day or so and presenting my take on them here on this blog.

I always overplan for this annual event, creating lists of film I couldn't possibly finish watching in a year, let alone a month. This year, I'm planning small, but hoping to broaden my horizons.
First, a lite of the movies I'll definitely be watching between now and Halloween:
1. The Funhouse - I saw this a long time ago on an independent Milwaukee TV station that, back then, was called "Super 18." They would usually play one horror film (heavily edited, I'm guessing) each night of the week prior to Halloween. I don't remember much of it, but I recently acquired the DVD, so I'm ready to go.
2. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch - I realize that this is the one film that doesn't fit in with the rest of the series. John Carpenter had originally planned his Halloween sequels to take the form of an anthology, a new story with new characters each October 31st. Audiences hated this idea, and he abandoned it by the time he got to Halloween 4. I'm curious to see how this holds up as a stand-alone, sans Michael Myers.
3. Friday the 13th - For some reason, I haven't owned any of the DVDs until now. This might be the centerpiece of my viewing season.
4. Trapped Ashes - Probably the most little-known film on my list, this showed up in a bulk lot of DVD's I purchased. This appears to be an anthology film, like Creepshow, with five short horror stories held together with a framework story. One of the five directors is Joe Dante, so my hopes are high.
5. Terror Firmer - This looks like it will be more comedy than horror, but it makes the list. Troma always delivers.
6. ...speaking of Troma, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead - When it came out, it was Troma's first new original film in a long time, and it even took what felt like forever before it hit DVD after making the art house/midnight circuit. Great music, satisfying gore, gratuitous nudity, and a lead character named Arby. Can't wait to re-watch this one.

To expand my list, I'm enlisting your help. In the comments, leave a suggestion or two (or three, or four) regarding a horror film I should try. My goal will be to purchase and view between three and five of your suggestions. In a near future post, I'll let you know which suggestions I'll be taking you up on, and hopefully, some fun reviews will follow. (Oh, and don't bother telling me if something is on Netflix. I am a huge proponent of the continuing existence of physical media, and I will avoid any streaming service as long as that is an option.)

I'd also like to test the waters a bit to see what, if any reaction this idea would have. I'd like to host a live blogging of a televised horror movie. I'm sure there will be a lot to choose from in late October, and I think it would be fun to have anyone who wants to jump in on a rollicking snarky comment thread. Let me know if this interests you.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Errors, Rockin' Robin, and Freaky White Girls

Leading with the moral before the story is even told is an unorthodox methodology. But today, however, I think it sets the stage for an interesting discovery.
The Moral of the Story: Always check out the backside.

Ordinarily, a 1987 Topps Robin Yount card would be a fairly lackluster topic for a blog post. If the casual reader has four or five of these lying around, I probably have around fifty of them, most obtained through osmosis. Nothing to see here, nothing to see.

Flip the card over, however, and we have something special on our hands. A printing mistake ended up giving this card the wrong bio and stat line on the reverse side. Instead of a Hall-of-Famer in the making, we have Allan Anderson, a Minnesota Twin with a career losing record. Evidently, this happened a awful lot with 1987 Topps. This particular error card is almost always for sale on eBay, but I decided not to pull the trigger until I found one with a reasonable shipping price. I'm guessing there are thousands of copies of this card out there. Not all of them are as miscut as this one, though.

This card arrived at my house in a plain white envelope. I initially thought it was flanked by bookends, but I was wrong. Instead, the Yount card came in this refractory, shiny penny sleeve that had an Ultra Pro logo in it. That in and of itself makes it an interesting storage and protection device. I have come across a few designer penny sleeves in my day, but they are few and far between. I'm guessing the market for these is the Pokemon-Magic-Yu-Gi-Oh! crowd, not sports enthusiasts. Let's follow the moral of the story and flip this thing over.

Okaaaaaaay, I guess these aren't just for kids. What in the heck do we have here? From the artist's signature, I can tell that this is an example of the work of pin-up and fantasy artist Monte Moore. The guy can draw boobs, but he must have run out of ink; that chick's top is two sizes too small for her.

So these are made by Ultra Pro. The questions remains, however: Why?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bitchin' Bookends

There's a trio of images that have been sitting on my desktop for more than a month now. The time has come to clear the way for something new and get these pics off my computer.

At some point in the summer, I purchased an exceptionally awesome card. It's the type of card that kicks your ass, then makes sure to phone your house and tell your parents about it. It's a card that pillages without raping. It's a card that would get into a psychic battle with Michael Ironside and actually emerge victorious. However, that card will have to wait until tomorrow.
Tonight, the story is about the bookends that came with it. "Bookends" is a term I came up with earlier this year, and which I have revisited once or twice since then. To the point, bookends are cards that are in some way attached to and surround a card that was the actual centerpiece of a mailed card transaction. Here are the bookends that were sitting on with side of the Card of Unquestioned Awesomeness.

A couple of 1993 Wild Card preview cards, Barry Foster and Rick Mirer
These two are not so great. Mirer missed playing in "The Game of the Century" in 1993, and Foster had two great years and then nothing. These cards are not the reason for this post.

1990 Pro Set Super Bowl XXV Super Bowl #145 Super Bowl Super Moment
This card is hard to name. Flipping it over and seeing the 1990 Pro Set motif threw me for a loop, since I believe I've seen just about every card in that set and didn't recognize this one.

As it turns out, it's from one of these sets. Go to any card show worth its salt, and you'll probably see a seller with a box of these for sale for $3 apiece. I'd imagine that better than 90% of these are still unopened. Shame, too, since it looks like a lot of effort went into it.

Finally, the real star of the bookend show.
1984 Fleer #352 Gaylord Perry
He doesn't need to vocalize it , but deep down you know Gaylord is calling you "Big Guy." He's the weird bachelor uncle in your family, and your only hope is to run and hide in the hamper before he asks you to pull his finger. He shows up at Thanksgiving with a different, boozy woman each year, but he insists the two of them sit with you and your cousins at the kids' table.

Gaylord Perry wants you to know how cool he is. This is a bookend that is almost, almost as great the the card it protected.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September Group Break: 2008 SPx

The Jersey Cards


Historical precedent dictates that a card featuring a player named for one team but pictured playing for another team will go to the named team.
Abreu Patch (Yankees), Cabrera (Yankees), Edmonds Patch (Padres)

Griffey 1/1

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September Group Break Randomization

The boxes have been ordered and the remaining teams have been randomly assigned. Here's the list of participants after going through the randomizer.

Which leaves us with this master lineup. Feel free to initiate trades in the comments.
1. Angels - Ikes Cards
2. Athletics - Colin
3. Rangers - Colin
4. Mariners - Thorzul
5. White Sox - potch
6. Indians - Thorzul
7. Royals -Thorzul
8. Twins - Thorzul
9. Tigers - Thorzul
10. Red Sox - Zpop
11. Yankees - BS
12. Blue Jays - Dave
13. Orioles - BS
14. Rays - Colin
15. Cubs - Thorzul
16. Cardinals - Ikes Cards
17. Brewers - Thorzul
18. Pirates - Dave
19. Astros - Thorzul
20. Reds - potch
21. Padres - Zpop
22. Diamondbacks - hiflew
23. Dodgers - Thorzul
24. Giants - Chris Mays
25. Rockies - hiflew
26. Braves - Chris Mays
27. Nationals/Expos - BS
28. Mets - Thorzul
29. Phillies - BS
30. Marlins - Colin

I'll keep you posted regarding the status of the boxes. Good luck!

September Group Break Is Closed

I will be picking up the final four unclaimed slots this month. I've elected to choose the Mariners (lots of Griffey inserts possible), Twins, Cubs, and Dodgers. I'll be ordering the boxes and doing the randomization tonight.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September Group Break: Four Slots Left

Still looking for four more participants to claim a spot in the September group break.

Here is a list of the available teams:
White Sox

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fuck Face Hole Punch?

No, the title of this blog post is not the name of a new, and possibly illegal (in some southern states), sexual act. Nor is it a lyric from the latest Nine Inch Nails single. It's a description of the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken card I found for sale on eBay. Now, I'm well familiar with the wide range of legitimate corrections Fleer made and released in response to the infamous "Fuck Face" card. Take a look at what's being offered below.

So, whaddya think? Me, I'm a bit skeptical. How easy would it be to grab any of the existing variations and a single-hole punch and go to town on this bad boy? I've never heard of the hole punch variant, but maybe I'm in the dark on this one. Maybe someone with one of those sports cards physician's desk reference DSM-V catalogs can shine some light on this?

In the meantime, I'll work on taking this (possible) scam a step further. Anyone wanna buy a 1/1 of their favorite player with a hole reinforcement variation?

Alvin, Get In Touch With Me

I need your address for the Fatty Boom-Batty cards you won.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Fatty Boom-Batty: Final Results

Now that we've determined which players the contestants have predicted would show up in the Fatty Boom-Bat, it's time to figure out who from that group was able to make the closest guess about the number of a certain team's cards. Let's get moving.

Contestant: BA Benny
Team: Mets
Number of Cards Guessed: 4
Actual Number of Cards: 3
Difference: 1
That's a pathetic trio of Mets, there. This guess puts Benny firmly in the lead. Now someone has to guess perfectly to beat him.

Contestant: Kazi
Team: Blue Jays
Number of Cards Guessed: 1
Actual Number of Cards: 5
Difference: 4
The Delgado is cool, so I'm keeping it. Too many Jays for Kazi's comfort, though. Thanks for playing.

Contestant: Dustin
Team: Tigers
Number of Cards Guessed: 7
Actual Number of Cards: 3
Difference: 4
Another guess that's not close enough. That Mike Henneman is from 1987 Topps Traded. It takes a rare breed of sick fuck to break apart a Topps Traded set for the purpose of reselling them to a Target customer more than 20 years later.

Contestant: deal
Team: Phillies
Number of Cards Guessed: 5
Actual Number of Cards: 4
Difference: 1
By virtue of a pair of Jason Grimsley cards, deal pulls even with BA Benny. Crap, it looks like I'm going to have to figure out a tiebreaker.

Contestant: Alvin
Team: Royals
Number of Cards Guessed: 3
Actual Number of Cards: 3!
Difference: 0
How many times has this been uttered? "In a pinch, a pair of Steve Balbonis will do the trick." I'm keeping one of them but the other will go to Alvin, our winner. Congratulations!

The best card in this pack was a 1998 Pacific card commemorating Cal Ripken's consecutive games mark. I'm keeping this die-cut beauty. This pack also produced a small lot of 1981 Fleer, which I'm keeping, and any of the 1989 Fleer, 1994 Topps, and 1989 Upper Deck that I don't already own.

Take a moment to look down and join the September group break, which opened up this morning. Looking for about five more slots to fill.

September Group Break Is Open!

I'll make it quick and dirty.
Two boxes of 2008 Upper Deck SPx. Each box should yield 10 hits (one of them a patch card, on average), plus a box topper AUTO, for a total of 22 hits.

Two-team slots will run $17.50. Choose one team, another at random is assigned to you. You can also claim a four-team slot at a discount for $34.00. (You get to pick two of the teams.) New addition: Canadian residents add $1.00 per slot. (So a regular slot will cost $18.50. The dollar is for the higher shipping cost and the hassle. Packages to Canada force me to stand in line.)

Send immediate payment to:
Please include your screen name, address, and team(s) of choice as a note with payment. Your cards will arrive faster if you do this. I'd like to order the boxes by Friday, so let's fill the break quickly.

1. Angels -
2. Athletics -
3. Rangers - Colin (paid)
4. Mariners - Thorzul
5. White Sox -
6. Indians -
7. Royals -
8. Twins - Thorzul
9. Tigers -
10. Red Sox - Zpop (paid)
11. Yankees - BS (paid)
12. Blue Jays - Dave (paid)
13. Orioles -
14. Rays - Colin (paid)
15. Cubs - Thorzul
16. Cardinals - Ikes Cards (paid)
17. Brewers - Thorzul
18. Pirates -
19. Astros -
20. Reds - potch (paid)
21. Padres -
22. Diamondbacks -
23. Dodgers - Thorzul
24. Giants -
25. Rockies - hiflew (paid)
26. Braves - Chris Mays (paid)
27. Nationals/Expos -
28. Mets -
29. Phillies - BS (paid)
30. Marlins -