Thursday, March 27, 2008


I moved to Georgia from central Illinois in 1996. Yesterday I mentioned that the carts used to put groceries in in the south are called buggies. I also learned they call them buggies in Pennsylvania. In Illinois we always called them either carts or shopping carts. I discovered several words and phrases like that. It was almost like learning a new language. Some examples:

Ill. To me it meant you were sick. Here it means you are mad.

Carry. To pick up or tote. Here, to take someone somewhere, as in I will carry you to the grocery store.

What I call a fork lift is called a hyster here. I was talking about this to a manager i had at K Mart and he told me he was from Ohio and they called them tow motors there.

The accent can also make it hard to understand sometimes. At one point I was the manager of the hardware and automotive departments at K Mart. I had a customer ask me where my falls where. I had him repeat it and I swear what I heard was falls. He looked at me like I was an idiot and finally said, "you know, your falls, like you sharpen a chain saw with."
I said "Oh, you mean files." Even after living here 12 years I still have a little problem with that, but not too much.

I am taking a break from the Wal-Mart cards for today. I went to Dalton and bought my new comics today. I stopped at a Wal-Mart there to pick up a few groceries, and while I was there I bought 3 packs of Topps Heritage cards. Heritage card take the designs of old Topps sets and put modern players on them. This years set is based on 1959 Topps. There are 8 cards in a pack. I got one pack with only 7 cards. Shorted? Not Quite. Inside was this Bob Gibson card, which contains a piece of a seat from Sportsman Park, where the Cardinals played in until the mid '60's. This is the second card I have from an old stadium. I also have a Willie Mays card with a piece of a seat from the Polo Grounds .

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bad Example.

Last week I saw something at Wal-Mart that made me sad. A couple were shopping with their daughter, who was about three years old. They were each pushing a, as they call them in the south, a buggy. (That is a post for another day.) The lady was putting groceries in hers. The man had the little girl in his. The little girl was sitting on a Dora the Explorer chair, which came from the toy department. The lady told the man she was heading for the checkouts. I heard this because I was stocking down the same aisle they were in. The man told her he was going to grab something and would meet her up front. He went passed me. After I finished stocking the case I was working on I noticed the buggy with the chair still in it. The fact that he left it in the middle of the aisle didn't upset me. I am used to seeing that. I went to move it out of the aisle when I noticed in it was a bag of Teddy Graham Crackers. Not only was the bag open, there were several on the floor nearby. Taking the buggy to the end of the aisle I could track them following the Teddy Graham trail.

Children learn by example. What lesson did her parents teach her? If you are hungry, just grab something off the shelf and eat it. You don't have to pay for it. When she gets older and gets caught shoplifting, then they wonder where did you learn that from. I don't have a problem with people eating in the store as long as they pay for what they eat. Many times I find empty bags
from the deli where someone took chicken and ate it while shopping. I have even found chicken bones tossed behind cans. The nastiest I found was where someone wrapped their chewing gum around a chicken wing and left it on the shelf. It is a store, not a buffet. It is sad to see people are not teaching their children to respect the property of others. No wonder we are having a lot of problems in our society today.

Todays baseball card is based on the design from Topps 1972 set.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ebay Insanity

Yesterday I read a news story about a corn flake shaped like Illinois was being auctioned on eBay. When I looked at it it was selling for more than $210,000. eBay stepped in and canceled the auction due to a rule about selling edible products. The corn flake has been reissued as a coupon for the flake and the statement it is not edible. When I looked the flake up I decided to see what other items were listed under the category slightly unusual. You can buy a corn flake seed, a corn flake flake, Miss's O'Leary's Illinois cow corn bran flake, a corn flake states collectors box, a Nevada shaped chicken nugget, a McDonalds golf club shaped french fry, a Michigan bran flake coupon, and an empty box of Orbit gum. The spirit of P.T. Barnum is very happy.

My baseball cards for today are all from a pack of 2008 Topps that I opened. The cards came in this order:

Jose Valverde, who led the National League in saves last year.

Then we have the saves leader card, featuring Jose.

The next card was Chad Cordero, also featured on the saves leader card. The string ended there, no Trevor Hoffman. To get those three in that order was amazing.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy.

Hello. My name is Howard and I am a news junkie. I read 2 newspapers every day, 3 twice a week when the Calhoun paper is printed, one on line daily, 3 others several times a week. I don't read them to find out what names politicians are calling each, which sports star got arrested last night, which Hollywood star is upset because they are having their pictures taken, or any of the tragedy's that have happened. I do read about those, but what I am looking for is the bizarre, weird, and odd stories. The ones that movie writers would reject as to far fetched to be believed. My friend Tom and I share these stories with each other, both in our weekly talks and we send each other clippings periodically. But that is a tale for another time.

I have seen many weird stories. Some have appeared enough they are no longer weird. An example is the bank robber who either had his name on his shirt or wrote the note on the back of a deposit slip with his address. I saw a story tonight that tops them all. A woman spent 2 years in her boyfriends bathroom. Not only that, she became stuck on the toilet seat. Her skin had actually fused with the seat. She admitted that it was her choice to stay in there. She had experienced some trauma as a child and that was her haven. Her boyfriend brought her food, but still he should have got her help a long time ago. I have a little understanding about the mindset of someone who shelters herself like that. She who left in October was like that to an extent. Not that bad but unless I forced the issue it was not uncommon for her not to leave the apartment for a week. Hopefully this woman will now get the help she needs.

This is another Wal-Mart card. This is one of my favorite card designs of all time, the 1955 Bowman. I acquired a few of those cards several years ago. I will post pictures of those cards later.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Inventory Time

Today is the day that retail workers hate even more than Black Friday, inventory. The bright side is I left before they started counting. Everything from the way you stock to the way you set up the shelves changes. It is a necessary evil and fortunately we only have to do it once a year. Certain departments, meat, produce and deli have to take inventory monthly.

It is even worse if you are working on the floor. There is nothing you can do except watch the people count. Nothing can be stocked until they are totally done. Everything is straighter than it usually is, so you don't even have that to do. In the past I have managed the electronics department and the hardware/automotive departments for K Mart. Inventory days seemed to be the longest days I ever worked. Black Friday is so hectic that the day just flies by. On inventory day it crawls. At least it is over until next year.

Some times I think if a department head job opens up I would like to have it. Considering all you have to do in preparation for this, I have second thoughts. There are a lot of headaches involved, and unless I get a huge raise, I probably will pass. when I was younger I really wanted the responsibility, now I am at the age I am enjoying just going in, doing my thing for 8 hours, and going home.

Todays baseball card is from a special set Topps put together for Wal-Mart. You can buy what are called blaster boxes, which will usually have anywhere from 4 to 20 packs of cards in them, and they sell for between $9.99 and $29.99. If you bought a $9.99 box you got 3 of these cards, for $19.99 you got 6. This card is based on a design that back in the early '60's were found on the back of Jell-o boxes. The Wal-Mart set has 54 cards and they are all in different styles of old cards. I will posting several of them in the next few days.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lord Of The Rings-Evolution.

It has been a wild and crazy week. I am just going to do a quick post today. I not only collect baseball cards, I also collect non-sports cards, such as movie cards and some gaming cards. I do have a few Yu-Gi-Oh cards, but the main game cards I have are from DragonBall Z , Harry Potter, and Lord Of The Rings. I also have Lord Of The Rings movie cards. I will be adding a lot of Batman cards. A friend of mine and I are buying boxes of Batman cards on eBay. Today, however I am going to show a few Lord Of The Rings cards I recently acquired. This is from a set called Lord Of The Rings Evolution. It is a 72 card basic set. This is the checklist card.

The cards are broke into three subsets. We have characters,


and creatures.

My favorite cards from this set is a special subset which is randomly inserted into packs. They are stained glass cards. There are 10 cards in this subset and I have 3.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Another Lie Exposed

It has happened again. You pad your resume and somehow delude yourself into thinking you will not be found out. Things are so easy to check now you think people would quit trying, but they don't. The latest to fall to this is a chef from the Food Network, Robert Irvine. Mr Irvine made the claim he was a Knight and that he had cooked for the royal family and three Presidents Of The United States. I had just recently started watching his show on Food Network, Dinner:Impossible. It is a fascinating show and a lot of fun. He was given the challenge to do things like fix a meal for 30 at a renaissance festival, cooking under the conditions of the time frame. For example, you cooked over an open fire. His show was fun, he was a very knowledgeable man, but unfortunately he got caught up, as he explained it, trying to impress some people. The stories kept building and now he is out of a job. Food Network is not pulling the show, and may even continue it with a new host. I wish Mr Irvine well, he really is a talented chef. Hopefully some will use him as an example and not lie about their experiences. To borrow a quote from the movie The Lion King, "Cheetahs never prosper."

Todays card comes from the 2007 Topps Turkey Red set. All the cards from this set are drawings or paintings. This one of course is Casey Stengel and Mickey Mantle. I think more Mantle cards have been produced in the last few years than were done the entire time he was playing.

Monday, March 3, 2008

My Oldest Baseball Cards

A couple of months ago I found 3 1953 Topps cards on eBay. They were not any special players, but I liked the idea of owning some baseball cards that were older than me. Here are the cards and what I found out about the players.

Maynard Faye Throneberry was also a back up player. The Red Sox traded him to the Washington Senators early in the 1957 season. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels and played with them for one season. His brother Marv is more famous. Marv was the original first baseman for the 1962 New York Mets and was called Marvelous Marv because of his atrocious fielding. Lifetime Faye hit 29 home runs, drove in 137 runs and batted .236. Faye passed away in 1999 at the age of 67.

Salvadore Anthony Yvars spent his entire career as a back up catcher. During the 1953 season he was sold to the St.Louis Cardinals. After the 1954 season he was traded to the Detroit Tigers. He never played a game for them and was released in June of 1955. Lifetime he hit 10 home runs, drove in 42 runs, and batted .244. He is still alive today and is 84 years old.

Roy Edward Sievers was the American League Rookie Of The Year in 1949 for the St. Louis Browns. He was hit by the 'sophomore jinx' and then was plagued by injuries the next 3 years. The Browns traded him to the Washington Senators in 1954. He had some productive years for them. In 1957 he led the American League in home runs with 42 and runs batted in with 114. He also played with the Chicago White Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies, and ended his career in 1965 back with the Senators. Lifetime he hit 318 home runs, drove in 1147 runs and batted .267. He is alive today at the age of 81.

Sunday, March 2, 2008 tampering again.

Once again we have a case of food tampering. This time it is some sort of pills that were found in some Gorton's fish fillets. What exactly they are has not been revealed. An investigation is currently being conducted to try and figure out what happened. A lot of fish products come in a plastic bag placed inside the box, but Gorton's does not do that. This may sound cynical, but I hope this doesn't turn into another Wendy's fiasco, where the person who found it was the one who placed it in the fish. A couple of years ago a man in the Atlanta area actually put lighter fluid, Prozac and a couple of other things in his children's soup in a scheme to get money from Campbell's. I am curious to see where this goes.

We have been having enough trouble with our food supply in manufacturing. We don't need any more. We have had several recalls in frozen foods lately, not to mention the huge beef recall. At the Wal-Mart I work at we did not have any of that fish, but there are two recalls that we do have, Hot Pockets Philly Cheese and Mayfield Vanilla Ice Cream. The beef in the Hot Pockets was part of that recall. The ice cream was pulled because it was ran after some ice cream that contained nuts and may have some of the nut residue in it. There was only one batch involved, but all the ice cream has been pulled. Wal-Mart puts a register restriction on recalled items so that they can not be sold. A cashier could override that, but that would mean automatic termination for them. You could get paranoid over all the food, but these are the aberrations. Look at how many items never make the list. I don't worry about it. Mistakes are going to happen. At least they are being fixed.

Todays baseball card has a very special meaning for me. This is the only Major League player I have ever met personally. Of course, his playing days were long over when I met him, but it was still a thrill to meet him. We had an athletic banquet at my school my freshman year. Ray was the speaker. I got to meet him because a friend of mine was his grandson. Ray was a reserve outfielder for the Cardinals. He played 10 years and had a lifetime .301 batting average. He managed the Cardinals in 1939 and part of 1940. They got off to a bad start and he was fired. He was a coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 when Leo Durocher was suspended for the season. He was offered the managerial job, but turned it down.