Select The Player Who Should Be Added onto the 2014 All-Star Teams below as the HBC AL Final-Man

Select The Player Who Should Be Added onto the 2014 All-Star Teams below as the HBC NL Final-Man

Monday, August 27, 2012

2013 Topps Series 1 Sell Sheets are Live!!!

Last week, we were able to get brief glimpses of what the eponymous Topps Baseball Cards will look like for 2013. Now, the sell sheets for the now highly anticipated 2013 Topps Baseball Series 1 product are live!!!










Even though the images were already shown last week, it's nice to see how it all fits on the sell sheets. It looks like "The Chase" will be on in 2013.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Pack Break Week 3: 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen

I'm finally finishing up the Pack Break Week posts that should have been done last week. Please pretend that the date above reads Friday, August 17, 2012. Thanks.


As previously stated, I bought five random packs at the local Target last week, and have opened each one for my annual Pack Break Week extravaganza (laugh all you want). The last pack to open is Topps sophomore product, Gypsy Queen.

Another six-card pack that retails at $3.19, it really is too expensive at this price for so few cards. While I shouldn't say I'm not surprised that this product made it to another year (see Turkey Red, Topps 206, etc), the run for this product should be fairly short (meaning I don't expect it to appear again in 2013...although I could be wrong of course). The cards themselves look like they were done as paintings instead of pictures (although thanks to computer graphic technology, none of which I am an expert of, I'm sure you can take any picture and turn it into a painting). I have to admit, with the cards I got, they look good as paintings.

So what did I get?

  • #12 Brennan Boesch, Tigers
  • #179 Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
  • #103 Shaun Marcum, Brewers
  • #SS-CG Curtis Granderson Sliding Stars
  • #138 Chris Carpenter Mini Black Bordered
  • #GS-JF Jeff Francoeur Glove Stories

Three base cards and three inserts. I should do a bit more research as to what the odds are for these...wait I can. The mini black borders come 1:12, same for Glove Stories. Sliding Stars are 1:6.  You have to admit that the pictures, especially the one of Francoeur, look fantastic.

So ends another edition of Pack Break week.  All cards are available for trade, from this pack and all the other packs.  If interested, you know where to find me.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pack Break Week 3: 2012 Topps Series 2

Okay, so the date says Sunday, August 26, 2012.  Please pretend that this post was written on Thursday, August 16. Thanks.


Over the weekend, I bought five different packs of 2012 Topps products with the intent of opening them one-at-a-time over the course of the week and then share the spoils on the blog. Yesterday, a six pack of Allen & Ginter was opened (thanks to those who pointed out that the bowler card was a SSP card - case hit as somebody mentioned - elevating the pack from dud to success...maybe). Today, we're opening a pack from 2012 Topps Series 2. Heaven help me if a Harper card shows up.

As a continuation to the eponymous Topps set, this year's edition of Series 2 brought us the first "real" cards (not counting the SSP's in series 1) of Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, and Prince Fielder in the uniforms of their new teams. The first cards depicting the Miami Marlins in the "Miami" jerseys (not counting Reyes SSP) appear here as well. Die-cut cards return in an insert set. And yes, Topps brought back legend SP's.

So what did I get in my pack of Series 2?

  • #481 Matt Harrison, Rangers
  • #650 Prince Fielder, Tigers
  • #355 Mark Buehrle, Marlins
  • #423 Colby Rasmus, Blue Jays
  • #427 Rafael Dolis, Cubs
  • #ACA-24 Mickey Mantle A Cut Above 

  • #TM-65 Mark Teixeira 1987 Topps Mini Card
  • #516 Charlie Morton, Pirtes
  • #591 Aubrey Huff, Giants
  • #620 Trayvon Robinson, Mariners
  • #395 Rod Barajas, Pirates (I think this is the error card...right?)
  • #346 Dillon Gee, Mets

The above pack is a hit. Prince shows up, along with All-Stars Harrison and Buehrle. The Mantle card looks nice, especially since the picture actually fits within the die-cut. Aubrey Huff's card looks to have a bit of red missing (two shades of infield dirt???) and the Barajas card shows up here as #395 as an error (he's supposed to be #391 right?)

Well, one more pack to go. On Friday, we're opening the under-rated but very popular Gypsy Queen pack. I'm not looking for anything special here this time around. But it would be interesting to see how Topps' second year effort looks up close.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pack Break Week 3: 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter

Please pretend it's Wednesday now. I did open these packs one-a-day as I stated before, I somehow just never got around to posting the results...until now.


As stated, I bought five packs of different Topps products at the local Target. On Tuesday, I opened a pack of 2012 Topps Series 1. Today I will be sharing with the world what cards showed up in my pack of 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter.

Probably (okay, second to Heritage) Topps' best selling retro-product, Allen & Ginter has consistently proven to be a wildly popular product with those who normally do not buy baseball cards.  The base cards are beatifully designed, and the inclusion of "champions" from other sports have been the subject of discussion over the years.  The themes for the insert sets every year are unique as well, as you never know what Topps will include in the product.  I normally try for a master set of base cards and the regularly sized insert sets, but there are some mini inserts that I like as well (Flags of the World, Uninvited Guests).  Again, Allen & Ginter appeals to many demographics, and this year's product is no exception.

I know I do not participate in the Gint-A-Cuffs competition, but if somebody could tell me how many points I have, it would be greatly appreciated.  So what did I get inside my pack of A & G?

  • #87 Annie Duke, Champion Poker Player
  • #195 Jhoulys Chacin, Rockies
  • #199 Ricky Romero, Blue Jays
  • Murder in Willow Cove Bloodstained Pin (got the murder weapon card!!!)
  • #GH-1 The Bowler Guys in Hats mini card
  • #WIN17 Dustin Luis Pedroia What's in a Name

Totally underwhelming pack to say the least.  I don't think I like the idea that the price of a 6- card pack of a mid-level product is $3.19 at Target.  Yes, half the pack consisted of inserts . Yes, one of them is a card that was part of the already solved Ginter Code.  And short of Blue Jays All-Star Ricky Romero, this pack is a dud.  

I didn't even get a Balut card.  That's it.


The card above is the one I'm after.  It is from the Culinary Curiosities mini insert set.  Balut, for those who are curious (hence the name of the insert set I guess), is a fertilized duck embryo.  Why do I want it?  It's a Filipino delicacy.  And I want one to add to my Philippines mini insert set (which includes the flag from 2007,  President Arroyo from 2008, Jose Rizal from 2009, the carabao from 2010, and the "Philippine Monkey" (or as I know it as the monkey-eating eagle) from 2011.  Does anybody have this card???  It was one that I somehow forgot to buy during my eBay binge a few weeks ago (and yes, I have all my cards and will update my collection count soon). If anybody has the above card and is willing to trade it to me, please feel free to e-mail me at bdj610@hotmail.com.  Personally, I like penoy (which is the less developed version of balut).  

Three packs down, two to go.  The 2012 Topps Series 2 pack will be next on the "to open" schedule.  Will there be a Harper card?  Will there be a legendary short-print?  With my luck, probably not.  But it's nice to imagine, right?

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Pack Break Week 3: 2012 Topps Series 1

I did it again.

I can't believe it. I did so well too, especially when I was able to get the Archives post done. And then the rest of the week went straight down the drain.  Oh well, short of the 2013 Topps post, Pack Break is going to continue. Please pretend that it's Tuesday.


So it's Tuesday (humor me, will you), and after yesterday's wildly successful pack break of 2012 Topps Archives, I thought it would be time to open the Roy Halladay modeled 2012 Topps Series 1 pack of cards from Target.  I already have the master set, so I should have the base and inserts here.  Will there be a Schumaker Squirrel card in my future?  Let's see.

The cards that came out of the pack are (in the order of how they were packaged):
  • #240 David Wright, Mets
  • #204 Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals
  • #248 Stephen Drew, Diamondbacks (which reminds me, I still have to finish that Dean's list...even though Drew is no longer the D-Backs dean...)
  • #44 Edwin Jackson, Cardinals
  • #TM-17 Craig Kimbrel 1987 Topps Mini card
  • #133 Ivan Nova Target exclusive Red Parallel card

  • #211 Kelvin Herrera, Royals
  • #177 Josh Thole, Mets
  • #178 Edward Mujica, Marlins
  • #278 Randy Wells, Cubs
  • #124 NL Active Leaders Batting Average (Pujols, VGuerrero, Helton)
  • #302 AL 2011 Leaders Home Runs (Bautista, Granderson, Teixeira)

Overall, it's just your average Target Series 1 pack.  Having a card of David Wright along with the red parallel card kept it from being a total bust.  As a Chicagoan, getting the Cubs card (even if it is of Randy Wells chewing his glove in frustration...hey, would there be any other reason to do this???) would have made me want to buy another one.

Hey, if this one turned out all right, let's see if something great comes out of the 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter pack that I am opening tomorrow (please let there be a Balut card!!!)

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, August 17, 2012

Your 2013 Topps Insert Lineup

Now that we've all taken a collective breath and have calmed down after seeing what the 2013 Topps base card is going to look like (I like it, by the way), it's time to focus on inserts.

I'm not going to bore you with the relics and auto sets (they look nice, but I don't collect them), but you have to figure that they are going to be upgrades to the insert sets that I'm going to want in my 2013 Topps Series 1 Master Set.  Six insert sets were announced per the Number One Source in the Hobby:

  • Chasing History (50 cards), featuring HOF's and possibly current players (relic version shown)

  • Chasing the Dream (25), featuring rookies, younger players (auto card shown)

  • Cut to the Chase (25), a die-cut insert set.

  • The Greats (30), a Hobby-exclusive insert set. Featuring HOF's and retired players.

  • Calling Cards (15), something that looks like it should have been an Allen & Ginter insert. It begs to ask, "How do you celebrate?"

  • And 1972 Minis (50). For those who like mini cards or retro insert sets. This year, Topps is honoring the psychedelic 1972 Topps set.

Repetitive?  Perhaps.  But then again, Topps had runs of "Own the Game," "Hit Parade," and "Hobby Masters" over the years too.  At least the Company is trying different names for the same theme of inserts.  Speaking of which...notice the underlying theme of some of these sets?

CHASE (Chasing the Dream, Chasing History, Cut to the Chase, the Ultimate Chase).  Somehow I get the feeling that we collectors are going to be doing a lot of chasing this year.  And that's a good thing, right?

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing 2013 Topps Baseball

After a week of waiting on Twitter, Topps has provided images of their 2013 Topps Baseball Card Design.

Here you go:



There were also parallel images, unique to the flagship:

Pink:


Camoflauge???:


Green/Emerald???:


Looks like gold is back:


Initial thoughts?  I can see the baseball diamond design, but with the curves and all, the ball field looks more like a ship from Star Trek (curved foul lines look more like spacecraft wings).  The name font looks similar to 2010 Topps.  I think what makes this stand out for me is that the logo is large and proudly displayed on the right corner of the card.

This isn't an earth-shattering design (see what I did there...) but it doesn't disappoint either.  I can't wait to see what the sell sheets look like to get more details on what is yet to come.

Are you excited yet???

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pack Break Week 3: 2012 Topps Archives


So this week, I decided to go ahead and open one pack of cards that I bought last weekend at Target. Today, it's my first ever pack of Topps Archives.

When Topps announced that they were bringing back the Archives name to their 17-product roster (replacing Lineage), I was excited.  I loved the Archives sets from 2001 and 2002 because the Company was honoring their roots.  Back then, they had 50 years worth of designs and players to choose from, and for a guy who never owned a 1952 Mays, or a 1954 Banks, it was nice to see how they looked up close, albeit with the gold Archives foil on the cards.

Because MLB Properties and the MLB Players Association restricted Topps from doing an all-retired player set, the new Archives would feature current players to go with retired legends, using four iconic Topps designs:  1954, 1971, 1980, and 1984.

One problem.

Doesn't Topps already have a product that combines a card design from the past with current players?  Oh yeah...HERITAGE!!!  A handful of the players whose cards are part of the '54 subset were actually was around for the 2003 Topps Heritage set (Konerko, Berkman, Pujols).  I'm  pretty sure we'll see a handful of players featuring the 1971 Topps design in the 2020 Topps Heritage set someday.

The inserts, from what I read in the sell-sheet, paid homage to past Topps insert concepts and designs, from 3D, to stickers, to Deckle Edge.  There was even an auto subset that hearkened back to Topps 2003-2005 effort...All-Time Fan Favorites (which I liked back then, and based on the checklist, would have loved to take a shot at if I had the funds).  It was clear to me at this point, that short of the base cards that used older players in past designs, that the heart of the product wasn't going to be the base set that used the four Topps designs, but the inserts.


Rant done, here is what I got in my pack of 2012 Topps Archives:
  • #106 Alex Gordon, Royals, 1980
  • #157 Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, 1984
  • #39 Jackie Robinson, Dodgers, 1954 (believe it or not, he actually had a 1954 Topps card...#10...would this count as a Fan Favorite?)
  • #89 Lou Gehrig, Yankees, 1971
  • Justin Upton 3D card (no number)
  • #149 Dustin Ackley, Mariners, 1980
  • #196 Andrew Bailey, Red Sox, 1984
  • #7 Cole Hamels, Phillies, 1954
I'm kind of shocked...I would have sworn Topps would have assigned the #7 card to Mantle instead of Cole Hamels.  Instead, he's card #22 in this set.  Also, the 3D card doesn't seem to scan well (or do the card justice...it looks great up close).

Overall, it's an okay pack.  Would it make my kids want to buy more packs?  Not at $3.19 at Target.  I think I'd be better off trying for a master set, with the reprint/fan favorite cards.

Tomorrow, it's a pack of 2012 Topps Series 1.  Yes, I have a complete set, but who knows.  I might get that squirrel card after all.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Return of Pack Break Week! 2012 Style!

It is that time of the year where many Topps Baseball Card fans (aren't you one???) are waiting for the announcement of what 2013 Topps is going to look like (I had read on twitter today that it was last year at or around the middle of August when we all got to see what 2012 Topps was going to look like), and when 2012 Topps Update Series comes out.  What better time to break out another one of this humble, little blog's yearly staples (the Dean's list will be coming...I swear),

Pack Break Week!!!


Yes friends, Pack Break Week is back for 2012.  I went to the local Target this evening (it's back to school shopping season, of course), and while buying a backpack for my son (along with a Lego truck), he let me buy five random packs of cards.  The packs are (in the event you can't see the picture above):

  • 2012 Topps Series 1
  • 2012 Topps Series 2
  • 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter
  • 2012 Topps Archives
  • 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen
The deal is that during the course of the week, I'll be opening one pack of cards and sharing the images and spoils, along with some hopefully good commentary about the cards inside.  I think I'll alternate between the retro products and the eponymous packs.  So tomorrow, I'll open the pack of Topps Archives, then Series 1 on Tuesday, followed by Allen & Ginter on Wednesday, Series 2 on Thursday, and finally, Gypsy Queen on Friday.  Hoping for a balut card from A & G and a Harper #661 from the Series 2...but I'm not holding my breath (I am known to have really rotten luck on occasion).

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

When Your Spouse Says You Haven't Posted Lately, You Know You Have to Write Something

What does it mean when your spouse/other half tells you that you haven't been posting enough lately on your blog????

The reason I ask is because my wife actually pointed that out to me. She knows when I post because it shows up on Facebook (where everybody who "friends" me, including my in-laws), sees my posts.

To be honest, I really haven't been giving my all to the 2012 Topps Baseball Card season. With other matters (bills, mortgage, things you've heard me whine about before...cue world's smallest violin),


taking precedence monetarily, it's been hard to be motivated to spend money on cards (doesn't help that the Cubs have not had a good year either). Add the fact I am soon-to-be-unemployed, and you'll see that it's been a tough year (and we haven't hit September yet).

Well, that will change shortly.

HUH?

It is because the little windfall that we've been waiting for has finally arrived.

No, not THAT Windfall...

Long story short, the state wants to expand the major road that's on our house.  They needed space (and possibly to tear down our fences) for their equipment.  So IDOT is "renting" out the space.  The money finally came (after months of waiting), and after paying most of our debts (not all as one has a really long way to go), there is a bit of money left over to keep us afloat. My dear wife and I agreed that we could use a bit of the money to spend on whatever we wanted.

So what did I do with my stipend?  Off to the Bay!!!

I finally...FINALLY...bought my 2012 Topps Series 2 master set, with 10 Golden Giveaway cards (yes, they're used, but that was never a problem). I also bought
  • all 30 team sets (even though I already have the Cubs and White Sox team sets), 
  • the last two Prime 9 cards that I needed (Frank Robinson and Albert Pujols) from this year,
  • the last 4 cards I needed from Toppstown (Eric Hosmer, Freddie Freeman, Adam Lind, and Matt Kemp), 
  • a series 2 Gold Rush set (bought series 1 at a card show earlier this year...had to get the second one to complete the set),
  • one Legend of Zelda Wind Waker CD set (for me...I mean the kids). 
With more cards coming my way soon, my collection, which has been sitting idle for a long time will now grow substantially.  Now if I can only find the money for card #661...maybe I'll just get a factory set copy...

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, August 3, 2012

You Mean It's Over??! Somebody Solved the Lennie Guttman Murder???

Faster than Horatio Caine, two of the three guys who solved 2011 Ginter Code got together and managed to solve the 2012 Willow Cove murder.

How did they do it?  You have to go here to see it.

Geez, aren't you glad I kept the site on the big Blogroll???

Congratulations gentlemen.

Book her boys.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Only Contribution to Those Figuring out the 2012 Ginter Code



So, 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter has been out for a couple of weeks now, and I had a chance to take a look at a couple of sites trying to get people together to crack the code.

As you probably all know, this year's Ginter Code takes the form of a murder mystery in the fictional town of  Willow Cove.  Lennie Guttman, the owner of Guttman's Gutters, a bowling alley in Willow Cove, was found murdered on July 18, 2012.  The race is on now to find out who did it?  To help in the chase, our good friend @thegintercode is following 25 people who live in town.

It gets even better folks.

If you go onto the website murderinwillowcove.com, you will get a message that reads:

"Welcome to Willow Cove
Pop. 12,756"


Now if you keep on adding to the website on your address bar (the thing on top that has the website you're looking at), you will either get:

"You are off track. There is nothing to see here. Turn back now."

Or something else.  There are twelve locations you can enter (found amongst the clues and people cards).  Type any in after a "/" and you will get more information.  For example, I started continuing the web address using Tom's Place "murderinwillowcove.com/tomsplace" and I got:


"Tom's Place is the best kind of dive bar. Friendly and welcoming to all, but with no affectations whatsoever."
"There's usually a pretty good crowd here, so there'll never be a good time to search unobserved. Best to just be subtle."
"Of course there's the bar and some tables to sit at, as well as an area to play darts, pool tables, and a jukebox. A hallway leads towards the back of the bar."

Now, from here, you can start entering key words and either you'll get:

"You are off track. There is nothing to see here. Turn back now."

Or something else.  

I kept going.  Starting with tables:

"The tables are mostly occupied with couples and groups of friends having a good time."

Then darts:

"There's a group of people playing darts, having a good time."


Then pool tables:

"The pool tables are stained and scuffed, but they get the job done."

Then jukebox:

"The jukebox has all the standards of a small-town bar."

Finally hallway:

"You head for the hallway leading to the back of the bar. Three doors let off of it: the men's room, the women's room, and one specifying employees only."

That sounds interesting...let's continue with the hallway line "http://murderinwillowcove.com/tomsplace/hallway/"

Starting with men's room:

"You knock and peek your head in. Nothing worth investigating in here."

Then women's room:

"You knock, but then decide against even looking in. What could possibly be helpful in there anyway?"

Finally, employees only:


"It's an office."
"There's a ratty old couch, a desk with a calendar hanging above it on the wall, a filing cabinet, a small table, and three lockers that look like they were once part of a larger set."


Now, we're getting somewhere.  Continuing the website now http://murderinwillowcove.com/tomsplace/hallway/employeesonly/"

Starting with couch:

"This couch isn't worth sitting on, much less examining."

Then desk:

"The last time you sae a desk this messy you were helping clean up after an earthquake." (sic = spelling is correct).

Curious, typing the word "examine" after "desk/" brings us:

"You move some papers around, but if there's anything useful here, you have no chance of finding it before someone finds you."

Then calendar:

Typing the word "examine" after "calendar/" brings:


"Taking a closer look, you realize this calendar is for 2006."
"Someone did draw a sad face on July 18th, though."

Moving on. Filing cabinet:

"This thing is more stuffed than hot-dog-eating champion."

Typing the word "examine" after "filingcabinet/" brings:

"A quick perusal turns up nothing but the receipts and invoices essential to running a bar."

Next is table:

"You've seen chopping blocks less chipped and scarred than this table."

Typing the word "examine" after "table/" leads us to:

"Come to think of it, someone may actually be using this table as a chopping block."

Now we're at lockers:

"Three dented lockers stand side by side. They look as if they came from Willow Cove High School during the renovations."

Typing the word "examine" after "lockers/" brings us:

"You make your way toward the one with a piece of masking tape with "J-Pritch" scrawled on it slapped to its front. It's not locked."

Plot thickens folks.  The address bar now reads "http://www.murderinwillowcove.com/tomsplace/hallway/employeesonly/lockers/examine/open/" and the words below appear on screen:

"You quickly look through the locker and find a letter on the top shelf. This could be something."

It's getting interesting.  Type the word "letter" after "open/" and you get:

EVIDENCE!


You've found evidence!
Lennie's letter to Jackie
It's a letter from Lennie to Jackie. Actually, it's more like a note. It reads, in its entirety:
J,
Our worst fears have come true. We can't wait for it to work itself out any longer. She knows and she doesn't care. If you don't put an end to it, I will.-L


Lennie is Lennie Guttman, the man found murdered in his bowling alley on July 18.  Jackie is Jackie Pritchard, who has been helped by Guttman on numerous occasions.  Based on the Pritchard's file card, "Tension between the two since their children began dating. Possibly more going on here."  What could this all mean???

That's about as far as I got, and since I don't have any clue cards, I'm not about to keep on digging.  Here are the rest of the locations.

  • Back Alley
  • Burgers Fries Pop
  • Gas 'n' Go
  • Givens Residence
  • Guttman Residence
  • Klugman Residence
  • Skudlow Park Gazebo
  • Tom's Place (what we've been following)
  • Vacant Lot
  • Willow Cove High School
  • Willow Cove Trainyard
Type one in and go nuts.  This is beginning to read like one of those 80's computer text games or a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book.  I'd love to see how this all turns out in the end.  If this somehow helps you solve the mystery and crack the code, let me know.  If this is all old news...it is to you.  I'm just trying to catch up.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

It's August...WHAT DID I MISS IN JULY??!

Doc, last I remember, the All-Star Game ended in an 8-0 rout for the National League.  Things were going well for me.  And now it's August???  What did I miss??!

Well:

  • Allen & Ginter came out (there is a mini card for the Filipino collector again this year)
  • Ichiro was traded to the Yankees
  • The 2012 Summer Olympics are already underway
  • Hanley Ramirez works in LA now...and so does Zach Grienke (albeit for the American League squad)
  • Ryan Dempster is now a Ranger, and so is Geovany Soto
  • The Cubs are no longer in last place
  • The National starts tomorrow...in Baltimore
  • The Baseball Card Cyber Museum finally has 2012 Topps Series 2 up and running
  • The Ginter Code involves a murder mystery, a blog, and 25 twitter accounts
  • My son turned 10 years old, and he now has his own e-mail address
  • What did you mean my wedding anniversary is today (August 1)??!
You're probably wondering (unless you stopped reading and moved on to another website) why there hasn't been anything posted on here since the announcement that my family was taking a trip to Iowa.  If so, thanks for the concern.  

(Just a note, I'm going to stop talking about baseball cards for the rest of this post. It's going to take on a pretty personal tone now.  I understand if you decide at this point to stop reading and move on to the next blog on the Sports Card Blogroll).

On Monday, July 16, I found out that the company that I have worked with for the last 14 years, yes, I've been there longer than I've been married, had kids, etc, is closing.  So that trip to Iowa, as much as I was having a good time (or at least trying to), I was totally stressed.  I'm stressed now.  Right now, I'm on vacation at home (because it's the week of my son's birthday and my anniversary...not kidding on those last two notes...I normally take off around this time).  

But now, what was supposed to be a week off for vacation has now been spent updating my resumé, and sending out job applications to a handful of companies.  I even joined LinkedIn to begin looking for connections.  I should have done that sooner.  It was a nice gesture from my father-in-law to recommend that I visit a job fair at a nearby hotel, only to find out they were looking for airplane mechanics (and no, I couldn't even tell you what's in my car let alone what makes an airplane run).  Which reminds me, I have to start looking for insurance for the kids and possibly getting their physicals done before school starts (and before insurance goes away).

All kidding aside, I have never, ever, been in a situation like this.  I've always had a job waiting for me before leaving the previous one, and I haven't had to look for a job in almost fifteen years.  I looked at the last resumé I did before I got my last job.  Needless to say, I need to overhaul it (does anybody still use WordPerfect 5 or 6???)  The company officially shuts down around the middle of September, so I still have six weeks left to find work.  I have to be grateful to the company though, because they've been bringing in their competitors and staffing networks in to host job fairs for us now that we're being displaced. 

I am choosing not to feel bad for myself and do something.  It isn't just about me anymore.  I have others who rely on me.  I can't let them down.  I won't.  I have read other bloggers stories in the past when they were out of work. I sympathized with them then, and was happy for them when they found something new.  Now it's my turn to take one for the team and start over.

As you can see, there are other things going on right now that may take a bit of precedence over card collecting (although I still plan on catching up soon). Who knows, the break from work might give me time to focus on more important things...like family, my kids, their education, etc.  I might be able to focus on this humble, little blog again.  After all, hobbies, whether it be baseball card collecting or skydiving are meant to be distractions from our everyday lives.  Believe me, I can use the distraction.

Until then, is there anybody out there in the NW suburbs of Chicago that is looking for office help (data entry, database management, receptionist, receiving clerk, filing, etc)?  Please let me know.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama