Monthly Archives: January 2012

Wantlist: Kurt Stillwell cards

I’ve been a fan of Kurt Stillwell since he was a rookie with the Reds in 1986. Over time, I have collected a good number of his cards, but I would like to increase that collection. I posted scans of most of the cards on the blog quite some time ago, but it hasn’t been updated since.

Below are the cards I am missing. I’m not concerned with parallels too much, so I’m leaving them out of this list, but if you see a card that is not bolded & scanned on the link above, I will certainly consider obtaining it if you would like to part with it. Also, any oddball cards that I don’t have listed (because I’m not aware of them…magazine inserts, unlicensed, etc.), I am certainly interested in.

Updated August 8, 2012

1987 Reds Kahn’s Kurt Stillwell 11
1987 Toys R Us Rookies Kurt Stillwell 26
1988 Panini Stickers Kurt Stillwell 276

1988 Royals Smokey Kurt Stillwell 23
1988 Royals Team Issue Kurt Stillwell 31
1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball Reds Kurt Stillwell 18
1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball Royals Kurt Stillwell 19
1989 Cedar Rapids Reds All-Decade Best Kurt Stillwell 6
1989 Classic Light Blue Kurt Stillwell 14
1989 Donruss All-Stars Kurt Stillwell 29
1989 Donruss Baseball’s Best Kurt Stillwell 63
1989 Kenner Starting Lineup Cards Kurt Stillwell 140 (figure and/or card)
1989 O-Pee-Chee Kurt Stillwell 217
1989 O-Pee-Chee Stickers Kurt Stillwell 266

1989 Royals Tastee Discs Kurt Stillwell 8
1989 Score Young Superstars II Kurt Stillwell 42
1989 Topps Stickers Kurt Stillwell 266
1990 Classic Yellow Kurt Stillwell T29
1990 Fleer Canadian Kurt Stillwell 118

1990 MLBPA Baseball Buttons (Pins) Kurt Stillwell 106
1990 O-Pee-Chee Kurt Stillwell UER-(Graduate misspelled-as gradu 222
1990 Panini Stickers Kurt Stillwell 79
1990 Publications International Stickers Kurt Stillwell 356

1990 Royals Postcards Kurt Stillwell 24
1990 Score Kurt Stillwell 96
1990 Topps Stickers Kurt Stillwell 269
1991 Donruss Super DK’s Kurt Stillwell 24
1991 O-Pee-Chee Kurt Stillwell 478
1991 Panini French Stickers Kurt Stillwell 279
1991 Red Foley Stickers Kurt Stillwell 91
1991 Royals Police Kurt Stillwell 21
1992 O-Pee-Chee Kurt Stillwell 128
1992 O-Pee-Chee Premier Kurt Stillwell 177

1992 Padres Carl’s Jr. Kurt Stillwell 21
1992 Padres Mother’s Kurt Stillwell 5
1992 Padres Police DARE Kurt Stillwell 23
1992 Padres Smokey Kurt Stillwell 34
1992 Panini Stickers Kurt Stillwell 97
1992 Score Rookie/Traded Kurt Stillwell 19T
1992 Topps Traded Kurt Stillwell 112T
1993 Panini Stickers Kurt Stillwell 259
1993 Select Kurt Stillwell 193

1994 Indianapolis Indians Fleer/ProCards Kurt Stillwell 1819
1994 Pacific Kurt Stillwell 90
1994 Topps Spanish Kurt Stillwell 198
1995 Indianapolis Indians Fleer/ProCards Kurt Stillwell 104
1996 Rangers Dr Pepper Kurt Stillwell 32
1996 Rangers Mother’s Kurt Stillwell 22
1997 Pacific Kurt Stillwell 210

Play ball!

Spring training is still so far away…fortunately, we still have video games!!!

I’m not a big gamer, but I love sports-themed games, especially baseball. Here are some of the best baseball games that I have played on various Nintendo systems:

Nintendo

  • Bases Loaded: I think Boston was the team I used the most here, and one of their players reminded me a lot of Will Clark. The game didn’t keep track of statistics, so I always had a notebook next to me and I scored the games as I played. After each game, I would then enter the numbers into a database on my Apple IIe. (No, I’m not joking.)
  • Baseball Stars: I thought this game was the bomb because several of the players were based on historical greats, and you could even create your own team! I can’t remember off-hand it kept track of statistics or not, though. I want to say that it did. The game is available to play online at Virtual NES.

Nintendo 64

  • Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey, Jr.: When The Kid is batting, hit left-left-right-right-right-left-left, make contact and round the bases. Man, how many homers did I hit with that dude?

Nintendo Gamecube

  • MLB Slugfest 2003: Despite Alex Rodriguez being the cover boy for this game, it’s really fun to play. You can punch the fielder, throw at the batter, even catch on fire for unlimited turbo. And of course there are codes to play in the Roman Colloseum or with lion-headed players.
  • MVP Baseball 2005: This is the one that I’m hooked on at the moment. I bought this in December for $2 and have been playing it constantly. Then-current teams, with options to unlock legends such as Johnny Bench, Satchel Paige, and more; play in classic stadiums; wear old-timey uniforms…this one really has it all for the traditional fan.

Nintendo Wii

  • Wii Sports: I had a lot of fun playing the home run derby on this game until we moved into a house with an extremely low ceiling. Sadly, I can’t play it anymore without putting holes in the ceiling.

What are some of your favorite baseball video games?

Fun Cards: 1989 Fleer “SuperStar Specials” Brandon Phillips & Joe Morgan

In the 1970s, the best second baseman in the major leagues played for the Cincinnati Reds. Joe Morgan was more than just the best second baseman though; he was one of the best players in the majors and is slightly underrated by fans today. B-R’s EloRater puts him at #32 all-time, while The Baseball Guru puts him at #14, behind only Eddie Collins at 2B.

Brandon Phillips, obviously, is not that good. But he is doing a great job for the Reds currently with three Gold Gloves, two straight All-Star selections, and a Silver Slugger award. I hope DatDudeBP is able to continue putting up the numbers for the Reds for a long time.

Random Awesomeness (part 33)

The Kentucky Toe Massacre

I really did a number on my left big toe this morning, tripping over a chair in the dark that isn’t normally where it was. I went face-first to the ground, screamed in pain, probably woke up half the street. Blood was spurting everywhere.

This was at 6:15 a.m.

After my wife shuttled the kids to school, she came back home to take me to the emergency room. As soon as I stood up, the blood started pumping out of my toe again and I knew there was no way she would be able to get me to the car. So we called our friends in the dispatch center (fortunately I do not live in the same city where I dispatch) and asked them to send an ambulance my way.

At this point, my toe had stopped hurting. But I knew that wouldn’t last, and I knew that it had to be treated to prevent infection. Did I mention there was blood everywhere?

End result: broken toe, sprained foot, and a bottle of Percocet.

Photoshop challenge

Everyone is upset about Topps’ decision to include manipulated photos of Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes as short prints in 2012 series one. I couldn’t care less. I’m not going to collect the set anyway, I don’t like the Angels or Marlins, and I don’t collect Pujols or Reyes. So it doesn’t really matter to me at all.

But it did start the wheels spinning in my feeble brain…what if Topps took that concept and applied it to older issues?

We all know that the Montreal Expos were unethically magically transformed into the Washington Senators Nationals a few years ago by the grand poobah commissioner of baseball, Palpatine Bud Selig. So what if Topps went back in time and Photoshopped some of the old Expos cards into Nationals cards? How awesome would it be to have a 1984 Topps Gary Carter as a Washington backstop? Or a 1987 Topps Andres Galarraga rookie card sporting the Nats’ duds?

I know, I’m terrible. I’m probably the worst Photoshopper on the planet, and there are many out there who are better than I could ever dream of being. So prove it. Take an old Expos card and make it Washingtonian. Or put a 1980s-style Atlanta Braves uniform on Warren Spahn. Or let’s see Frank Howard wearing a Rangers jersey.

If enough people are into it, maybe I’ll throw a prize your way.

Now get to it!

Rubber (2010)

Rubber
Starring Stephen Spinella, Jack Plotnick, Wings Hauser, Roxane Mesquida, Ethan Cohn, Charley Koontz, Daniel Quinn, Devin Brochu, Hayley Holmes
Directed Quentin Dupieux

“Quirky” doesn’t do this film justice. Not really a horror movie, but not entirely a comedy either, Rubber is a surreal film that you must pay attention to in order to understand that you can’t really understand it. A terrible tire named Robert awakens and begins a killing spree, offing everything from a bunny rabbit to a police officer. This murderous Michelin is evidently enamored with a dark-haired woman with a foreign accent named Shelia (played by Roxane Mesquida), but even blows up a mannequin dressed to resemble her as she mocks him through a speaker tied around the mannequin’s neck.

Why does all of this happen? As Lieutenant Chad (Stephen Spinella) so eloquently explains, “No reason.” That’s the point of the whole film: there is no point.

Despite the pointlessness of Rubber, it is a captivating eighty minutes. You really have no reason to miss it.

Watch Rubber on Netflix.

Random Awesomeness (part 32)

Jackie & Me by Dan Gutman (1999)

Jackie & Me
by Dan Gutman
HarperCollins, 1999
160 pages

I love baseball cards, and I love stories about time travel. Write a book about a kid who can travel through time using baseball cards, and you’ve got me hooked.

Joe Stoshack is a mostly regular kid living in modern-day Louisville, Kentucky, but when he touches a baseball card he can travel through time to the year the card was made. Dan Gutman has written about several of Joe’s adventures, including meetings with Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, and Babe Ruth. In this book, Gutman’s second in the “Baseball Card Adventures” series, Joe travels back to 1947 when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball.

Not only that, Joe often changes his appearance in his travels. In this particular instance, he wakes up to find that he has transformed into a black kid in 1947! Gutman tinkers with a few historical facts and changes the order of some events to fit the story. For instance, he describes Dixie Walker passing around a petition on the first day of the season to be traded if Robinson is allowed to play for the Dodgers. That actually happened, but not on opening day; Walker circulated his petition in spring training.

Joe learns a valuable lesson, not only about the racism that Robinson faced, but about Robinson’s character in his response to that hatred. Of course, he applies that lesson in his own life when he returns to Louisville.

While written for children (recommended for ten years and older), these are entertaining books even for adult baseball fans. They are light reads and shouldn’t take more than a few sittings to finish–if you can even put it down.

Click here to learn about the play adaptation by Steve Dietz.

Click here to learn more about Dan Gutman.

Purchase Jackie & Me by Dan Gutman.

Hey Blogspot, your captcha (among other things) is broken.

Because the characters did match.

On this awesome post by dayf (which will get a spot on the next “Random Awesomeness” post, but go ahead and look at it now), I tried to leave a comment fifteen times. I counted.

Here is what the comment would have been:

Thanks for doing this. Saves me the trouble (although I might still try to do another one with the other photo).

Worth its own post? Not really. But it’s the principle of the thing.

Dear Blogspot users,

This is not the first time I have had trouble posting comments on your excellent posts. Sometimes it’s an OpenID “error,” sometimes the characters of the captcha don’t match (but they do), sometimes it just takes five times of clicking “Post comment.” But it’s getting really annoying, and it’s discouraging to me as a reader of your awesomeness.

WordPress is free.

WordPress is better.

I’ve used both. And I will never ever return to Blogspot.

Sincerely,

A WordPress user that reads your content.

Am I the only one that has trouble posting comments on Blogspot? Does anyone have trouble posting comments on WordPress?

Classic monster movies on @Netflix

I have some stuff stacking up, but no time to get to a proper post at the moment, so why don’t you watch some classic monster movies? Here are some legendary titles currently streaming on Netflix (if you don’t have an account, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial here):

That ought to keep you busy for a few minutes.

Random Awesomeness (part 31)

Scandalous! by Hallie Fryd (2012)

Scandalous!
50 Shocking Events You Should Know About
(so you can impress your friends)

by Hallie Fryd
Zest Books, 2012
224 pages

Sex, drugs, and violence–nothing attracts more attention in our society. Scandalous! takes advantage of that fact and gives a good overview of some of the most salacious events in the history of U.S. pop culture and politics. Starting with the murder of a famous architect in the early part of the twentieth century and ending with the controversial Bush/Gore battle in the 2000 election, author Hallie Fryd accomplishes “her life-long dream to write a non-boring book about history.”

Scandalous! has a little something for everyone. Music lover? Read about Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Milli Vanilli. Political junkie? Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and the aforementioned Bush/Gore feud are profiled. Sports fans can read about Jim Thorpe, Pete Rose, and O.J. Simpson. With fifty scandals examined in the book, Fryd delivers good balance throughout. Her personal views on issues are rarely displayed in the writing as she informs readers of controversial issues.

Each scandal gets four pages, chronicling the basic facts, the aftermath, and why the issue still matters today. Additionaly, Fryd digs up a quote or two relating to the situation, and other events that are similar in some aspect. For example, the chapter on the klllings of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. has an information box highlighting other murders in the hip hop community.

Even though written with the teenage reader in mind, I found the book both entertaining and educational as I learned about scandals that pre-dated my interest in current events. A fun read, though I would suggest parents read it with their children so they can discuss some of the more intimate issues and why certain actions are right or wrong.

Learn more about Zest Books.

Purchase Scandalous! by Hallie Fryd.

Happy birthday, Edgar Allan Poe!

Celebrate the birthday of one of America’s greatest writers by reading something he wrote. There are quite a few titles to choose from, including “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” or my personal favorite, “The Cask of Amontillado.”

Edgar Allan Poe was a true genius with the written word.

Ron Paul and SOPA

I haven’t been following the SOPA debate. It wasn’t until yesterday that I found out Wikipedia was going dark. This morning, I wondered what my main man Ron Paul had to say on SOPA. Of course, he doesn’t disappoint.

Skip to 4:03 to hear what he has to say about the internet censorship bill:

“The government becomes more secretive; at the same time your privacy is being undermined. The Constitution was meant to protect your liberties, your privacy, and the goverment was to be open!

Random Awesomeness (part 30)

Monsters in the Movies by John Landis (2011)

Monsters in the Movies
by John Landis
DK Publishing, 2011
320 pages

There is no shortage of books about movies, but the best often come from those on the inside. Such is the case with John Landis’ Monsters in the Movies, a fascinating look at the most famous creatures in cinema and the men behind them. Landis is well-known for his outstanding 1981 horror film, An American Werewolf in London, the groundbreaking music video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and the comedy classics National Lampoon’s Animal House and The Blues Brothers. He gives an interesting look into the history of the horror genre and the beasts that give so many of us nightmares, yet we cannot resist inviting them into our imaginations again and again.

Large sections of the book are devoted to the classic monsters made famous by Universal, such as vampires, werewolves, and mummies, but Landis also spends a fair amount of time with apes, machines, aliens, even myths and fairy tales. Each section is accompanied by a couple of pages of explanation, followed by a host of images from the beginning of moving pictures to today. Not only are we treated with photographs of Max Schreck and Bela Lugosi, but also Gary Oldman and Paul Reubens and Lina Leandersson.

The highlights of this book, however, are the conversations between Landis and some of horror’s heaviest hitters. Christopher Lee, a regular in Hammer features, spoke of his refusal to speak in one of his many Dracula films. Landis discusses the definition of the word “monster” with David Cronenberg, Rick Baker, and Guillermo Del Toro. He examines George A. Romero’s impact on horror and zombies with another legend, John Carpenter. Reading these conversations is like eavesdropping on the most brilliant minds in the industry, and they just happen to be fans like us!

Monsters in the Movies, while “not meant to be an encyclopedia,” “nor…an exhaustive history of horror,” is nonetheless a spectacular resource for fans of the genre. While I didn’t sit down and count every movie referenced in the index, there has to be close to a thousand titles listed throughout the book. Landis does not recommend every film he mentions; in fact he admits that there are some he has not watched himself, and some that he wishes he hadn’t.

This book is absolutely a must-own for horror buffs, if not for the photos from The Kobal Collection, then for Landis’ insights; if not for his insights, then for his conversations with the giants of the genre; if not for those conversations, then for the sheer volume of movies referenced that you somehow overlooked during your own education in monster movies.

Learn more about DK Publishing.

Purchase Monsters in the Movies by John Landis.

2012 FPC: Washington Wizards

Here’s their score:
The inclusion of pocket schedule(s) = 1 point (10 total schedules, all with John Wall on the front, Wall and JaVale McGee on the inside)
Stickers = 5 (temporary tattoos)
Trading cards = 0
High-quality promotional items = 10 (6 magnetic schedules, a pin, 2 pencils, and a lanyard)
Other stuff = 0
Timeliness = 10 points
TOTAL SCORE = 26 POINTS

2012 FPC: Portland Trailblazers

I’ve decided that I’m not going to do much writing about the fan packs this year, unless they absolutely blow me away. And the Trailblazers didn’t. So here’s the scan and the score…

Here’s their score:
The inclusion of pocket schedule(s) = 0 points
Stickers = 0
Trading cards = 0
High-quality promotional items = 1 (Ripcity game program with Kobe Bryant and Wesley Matthews on the cover)
Other stuff = 0
Timeliness = 10 points
TOTAL SCORE = 11 POINTS

Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

Creature From The Black Lagoon
Starring Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning, António Moreno, Nestor Paiva, Whit Bissell, Bernie Gozier, Henry Escalante
Directed by Jack Arnold

How I made it this long without ever watching this classic, I’ll never know. I regret that I have only just met the amphibious Creature recently.

A classic that ranks right up there with the other Universal classics like Dracula and The Wolf Man, Creature From The Black Lagoon is a must-see for all fans of horror cinema. A group of scientists discover a fossilized hand, and decide to search for more evidence of this supposedly prehistoric Creature. Instead of more fossils, they find the merman himself, and several are killed by the Creature, who views them as a threat to his own survival.

The director builds a great deal of suspense at the beginning of the film, not allowing the viewer to see more than the Creature’s hand until twenty-five minutes into the story. The acting is just what you would expect from the time period. The dialog, while not the film’s strong suit, is good enough to be somewhat believable, again, taking into account when the movie was made.

I can certainly see why the Creature has so many fans in the horror community. A great story, and a classic film.

Watch Creature From The Black Lagoon on Netflix instantly!

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