Sunday, October 16, 2011

Everybody Wants My Jack Lamabe

Let's see here...

A 1990 Ozzie Smith for my 1967 Jack Lamabe...


A 1974 Brewer and a 1978 Brewer for my 1967 Jack Lamabe...
Closer, but still no. I do like the fact that this potential trader didn't try to unload worthless junk wax on me, but the answer is no. I need the 1967 Jack Lamabe for my team set. Someone will have to do a lot better to wrangle this card away from me.

I'm already preparing its spot in my binder.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

An Explanation

Blog posts have been significantly down on this site the past few months. Many of you may think that it was tied into the White Sox painful dive into mediocrity at about the same time. No. It's just a coincidence. The truth is, a lot of changes have been happening on my end. And no, I have not become a Cubs fan. Thank you for your concern.

A chain reaction of events have kicked off an unexpected path. Well, not so much unexpected. Let's say severely delayed. The timing was unexpected.

I plan to still finish off the Season Pass cards, but they are not a top priority for me. Things will still be posted here, but not with the same type of frequency as before. At least for the time being.

I want to thank the few people that have sent packages in the past month. I have really appreciated them, but I haven't had time to fully dive into each package. I'm just starting to pick apart a package sent by Project '62. That was sent back in late August.

The catalyst was my fiancee, or rather my ex-fiancee now. We both needed to concentrate on getting our own lives in order and for some odd reason, she was convinced that we couldn't do that while still being engaged. It came out of left field for me, but I can still respect that. Mind you, I am not happy about it, but I can respect it. I can appreciate that we're just as good of friends as before, just not together.

As luck would have it, I landed a job right after that. My employment has been sporadic the past few years and the hours each day of filling out applications finally paid off. I was a little out of my comfort zone with the job I did get, driving a taxi, but I really enjoyed the work. A monkey wrench in the works was the area. I was driving in the Cicero/Berwyn area, which was fine, but I wasn't overly familiar with the area. Thank heavens for GPS! The real problem was the pay. To say it was inconsistent would be comparable to claiming that the Pope was Catholic. Most days, I barely made enough to cover the lease and the gas that I used. With travel time to and from work, we're looking at a fourteen hour day. It wasn't the best situation, but it was work and I stuck with it. The people (passengers and co-workers) I met on that job were all great and I am a better person for meeting them.

At the same time, I went back to inquire about how close I was to an Associates degree at my local community college. I was intending to start in the spring semester and work my way through the core classes that I still needed. Well, when I met with an advisor, I found that I had accumulated 87 credits. I knew I had a lot, but I didn't think it was that many. As it stands, I have four classes to complete and I will have my degree.

Many nights, while waiting for fares to call in, I spent my time studying the college catalog. I plotted my course and found a short term class that started in November for one of my four remaining classes. Unfortunately, that one was full up, but I found an alternate short term class at an extension center in Blue Island and I'll be starting that class on Monday.

After I figured out what I needed to still accomplish at a community college, I started to think about where I wanted to go after. I settled on a path that most people I've met have told me I am a natural for; therapist. Specifically an LCSW. After researching costs and programs, I settled on Governors State University. I should be entering their psychology program the fall of 2012, barring the use of grants.

While I was happy to be working, I was displeased at the cab job. The stability was not there and I needed a steady paycheck if I was to get my schooling done. Having so many credits, I was not eligible for assistance. Like the other 87 credits, I would have to pay for them out of pocket.

I e-mailed an old boss, mostly out of desperation, to inquire if there were any clients available that I could work with. I used to work with disabled HIV patients. The work was rewarding, but the last client I had turned into a 24/7 job that was on call. I had gotten sucked into going well beyond the scope of my job description. By the time the client required full time hospitalization, I was burned out.

Shortly after that, I started this blog, struggled with dead end or short term jobs, and got my writing career off to a non-paying beginning. All while it was harder to get and keep even the crappiest job because of the declining economy.

As luck would have it, my old boss called me back a few days later. He had a client looking for help, although it was about forty-five minutes from my house, without too much traffic. I accepted it and began the process of meeting the client. After a pleasant phone call and a great visit, the client approved me and I start that job the same day I start my class in Blue Island. So, I'll be working during the day and going to class at night. I still have the cab job, if I feel like taking a slim chance for extra pocket money.

Serendipity must be working overtime. My new job is slightly over three miles from where I'll be going to school next fall and the client has agreed to work around whatever school schedule I have. Things are definitely on an upswing, but all this activity sadly leaves less time for this blog. The good thing is that I haven't abandoned this blog. It is something that I love to do and I get great enjoyment from this extension of my hobby. It just has to be left mostly on the back burner for awhile.

In addition to two jobs and school, I'm still writing short stories and continuing work on my various novels that I have half written. Another short story will be published in an upcoming anthology called Code Z, available through KnightWatch Press.

I've even inquired on getting the band back together... again. Not just to play and recall our past glories from the garage, but to actually flesh out some of the reams of lyrics that I have written over the years. I have grandiose ideas and I'll be a happy man if a few of them actually make it past my brain someday.

To make matters more complicated, during all this transitioning, the White Sox manager situation came to a head and blew up, leading to the short lived Don Cooper era. Although some say that the Don Copper era will continue under the figurehead of Robin Ventura. We'll see how that scenario plays out.

So... yeah. That's what has been going on here on my end, which has been disrupting the natural flow of the blog. When I settle into a routine, expect a little more content. Until then, feel free to explore the over 2,000 previous posts. You never know what you may find. Like cards trapped in jars and an original WSC Venture Bros adventure.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Card Spotlight: 10-7-11

1990 Toys "R" Us Rookies #28 - Robin Ventura

When the White Sox were searching for their new manager, I would have lost many bets with the choice of Robin Ventura. Not only was he not on my radar as a potential candidate, he was on nobody's radar, except for Kenny Williams.

If the White Sox were looking for the anti-Ozzie, I think they found it. Honestly, I don't recall ever hearing Robin Ventura speak during his playing days. The only act of impulse I remember him doing ended up in a headlock and a migraine. I have no doubt that he was a great teammate. That was accurately on display during his entire playing career. How does that translate to manager? I have no idea.

Imagine my surprise, while relaxing and fishing on the Chain O' Lakes yesterday, when text after text popped up letting me know that Ventura was named the new Sox manager. Apparently, everyone and their sibling wanted to try to be the first to tell me breaking White Sox news. I appreciate that.

What kind of a manager will Robin Ventura make? We'll see next year. The aspect of the hiring that bothers me a little is the lack of any type of coaching experience at the major or minor league level. The hire is interesting, nonetheless. People doubted Ozzie's ability to manage, but he also had a little bit of coaching experience under his belt. Hopefully, Ventura can prove the doubters wrong. Only time will tell.
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