Thursday, May 7, 2009

Why I Blog

Is it so I can catch glimpses of Texas women trying out for the role of Bride of Frankenstein? No. That's just a side benefit.

The real reason is not too complicated, but it is a bit involved. I was reading my brand spanking new Entertainment Weekly, back in 2006. I ran across a little blurb about The Baseball Card Blog.

I thought to myself that the premise sounded like a cool idea. Like many cool ideas that I think of when I'm not by the computer, it fell by the wayside. I kept that issue around for awhile because of that little blurb. Sometime in early 2007, I ran across the blurb again, in the same magazine. Yes, I sometimes keep magazines around to re-read later.

This time, I wasn't far from the computer. I decided to check it out and spent a few hours looking at the previous posts. I'm not sure if it was the late hour or the absurdity of the humor, but I found myself laughing at almost every post that showed a hilariously unintentional card. Ben Henry's comments on each card were priceless. I went through each post in the archive craving more.

I started to remember things that I liked about collecting. I had been picking up cheap White Sox team sets on eBay. I was getting these team sets without really having a clue what short print cards were or if I was really getting a complete set. Still, I was happy getting new White Sox cards.

I started to wonder if anyone else had these blogs. I ran across the excellent Cardboard Junkie and the fantastic Stale Gum. I had found a kindred spirit in dayf, a team collector who shared the same type of twisted humor and pop culture appreciation. I marveled at the longevity of Chris' blog and the writing on it.

By October 2007, I had found a new site called Canseco Completist. It was a site dedicated to one specific thing, Jose Canseco and the quest to complete the Canseco card collection. Then, as if a light bulb turned on above my head, something clicked. I thought if there could be a site like this, then I could make one about my quest for White Sox cards.

I figured that I could scan in my cards one by one and, if nothing else, could provide a good online reference for my collection. I didn't expect anyone to read this thing and I was fine with that. This was for me.

I quickly became friends with Mario and I watched his site grow. In the beginning, we would use each other as a soundboard and a fact checker. Then, as our respective site grew, we each became confident enough to branch out on our own. Mario's site evolved into Wax Heaven and mine evolved into the blog you see now.

Along the journey, I've tried things that haven't worked out and I've tried things that have become staples of the blog. I've made many friends that I never would have known any other way. Every person that is in the blogroll or the links has helped shape this blog into what it is today. There are lessons learned and friendships forged through the experience of blogging and baseball cards.

Blogging is addictive. I never thought I'd have much to write about, but I have found something to write about nearly every day. Some of the regular features help shape that output. When I was cut off from the community for three weeks, while switching over ISPs, I was a complete basketcase. I couldn't catch up on what Patricia and Lucy were doing, how Jason's novel was going, what celebrity Johngy had encountered or what new interest Connor had developed.

I was missing Cliff's bonzai, Mike's awesomely bad wax, Greg's night cards, David's uniform quest, Kevin's Orioles cards, Gellman's astute rants, Travis' creations and the rest of the dozens of blogs that I haven't hinted at. I know there are still a few mailings from that period that I still have on the back burner. One involves a 1968 Topps card.

There are many reasons why I blog. One is the community aspect. I enjoy conversing with fellow bloggers and readers. I have been doing this long enough to be considered a mentor by some. I think that's awesome, by the way. Another reason would be to jog my memory. I have remembered so much information about the White Sox of my youth, that I have been overwhelmed occasionally.

The biggest reason, I think, is because I enjoy it. I truly enjoy blogging about my favorite team. I enjoy discovering cards that I had no clue about. I even enjoy the rare piece of hate mail. Everybody is entitled to their opinions and I welcome the different viewpoints. Sure, the readers of this blog tend to shape the way it goes, but ultimately, it's me.

I find myself branching out about pop culture and creating custom cards. These are things that I could not envision myself doing at the start of this blog. Through all the hard work that I put into this blog, I have enjoyed all of it. That's why I blog.

Well, that and to show off the unexpected finds. Here's another look at the Texas lady. What exactly happened in her life to make he look like that? It must be ultra traumatic. What other reason could there be. If you want to amuse yourself, me and others, leave a guess in the comments.


Wax Heaven said...

Great post! Keep up the wonderful work, even if I am still not a fan of Ozzie.

Carlos is the second coming of Jose, I feel it!

Anonymous said...

My guess is paint huffing.

Sooz said...

Awesome post. I love writing, which is why blogging is great. It allows me to do it whenever I want.

I never expected the community aspect of it and that was the most welcomed surprise to this whole thing.

In fact, I think you were one of the first people to find A Cardboard Problem and you sucked us right in.

Thanks and keep writing.

Steve Gierman said...

Mario, I believe you are right about Carlos. We'll see in the next few seasons. He could fill the potential that Jose left behind.

Good guess, Thorzul! I could see that.

Sooz, I'm glad I could help suck you and Marie right in. A Cardboard Problem is one of my dailies, thanks to the great writing and enthusiasm that appears on there.

Matt Runyon said...

It looks like she's on chemotherapy and her wig is loose.

I also decided to focus on some small collecting goals. I'm not going to try to chase down every subset and specialty card out there. My goals are: (1) complete my Topps sets from 1974-present. I'm really close on this one. (2) Collect the major issue cards from one year (I chose 1976). (3) A VERY long-term goal would be to try to complete every Topps set from my year of birth (1966) to the present. This one won't happen unless I somehow come into a lot of extra spending money.

I'm really enjoying the blogs that are out there now. It's part of the reason I returned to collecting. I'm also having fun making trades with people. I haven't traded baseball cards since the 70s.

Matthew Glidden said...

For our Texas lady, FARK readers would go with the old reliable, "UFIA."

My hunch is that the botox hasn't worked it's way out of her eyelids yet. And she's actually a Real Doll (TM). With Play-Doh squeezy hair.

csd said...

It must be a viscious cycle because your blog is the reason that I started blogging. Keep up the good work!

Steve Gierman said...



Ben said...

I think she sat on something very pointy with multiple prongs shooting off in every direction.

What upsets me the most about that picture is that she, and probably at least one other person out there, finds that look attractive, and maybe even sexy.

night owl said...

There IS a lot to enjoy about this "business" isn't there?

My guess on the lady is she just got done auditioning for "Rock of Love" or "Flavor of Love." One of the two.

capewood said...

Your blog was one of the first I found when I started looking for baseball card blogs. We take inspiration where we find it.

Discount Cleveland Indians Tickets said...

Waooo what a chicago girl is !-----

steveisjewish said...

I will say of all the blogs that existed when I first started reading - it was Cardboard Junkie that really struck me - it was the first one i read everyday and still is. But when I started blogging, i really took a lot of inspiration from this blog. You were the first to really encourage me to do more than just the standard card fare... and I apprecaite it.

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