Sunday, December 26, 2021

Been a while

 It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  I would assume after the last post that everyone wants an update. That’s fair. 
Well, it hasn’t went exactly the way I thought I’d would, but it hasn’t been all bad either. I haven’t purchased a pack of cards for myself since the last post, and my wife has purchased a number of ones for Kyler since then. I’ve opened them with him and it’s seemed to go ok. He enjoys going through each card and asking if the player is one we’ve seen in person at a game. By now, he recognizes some of them and can remember if he has seen them them or not. He has also pulled 2 autographed cards and a jersey card. The autos were a Ryan Weathers from the 1986 Topps insert in 2021 Update and a Nick Madrigal from 2021 Topps Fire. The jersey was a Ryan Mountcastle from 2021 Update. Whether he remembers these cards and is collecting years from now is anyones guess. 
Now for what may be the not so good. I have been kind of secretly pulling the Rays/Tigers/guys I collect from the packs and recently organized my Rays and Tigers binders on a day off. I’m not proud of pulling the cards, and I probably could have not updated my binders with loose cards that I hadn’t put it, but it happened, and that’s where I’m at now. I don’t know if I am just trying to get justification for doing it or what, but yeah, that happened. 
I am proud of how long it’s been since I’ve opened a pack and I think I’ve come to realize that while I think it’s good to have cut down on reading blogs and buying packs and chasing every card that the interaction with people is still a good thing. 
With that being said, I wanted to address each comment left on my last post individually, as they all meant a lot to me. 

Nachos Grande- You’re right about everyone needing to do the best for their family and personal situation. I’ve also enjoyed your blog (although I haven’t commented much either), and I enjoyed your team giveaway you did at Christmas a few years ago. 

Fuji-Glad to have your support. Your blog is a personal favorite of mine because of the thought-provoking questions you pose at the end. I wish I could do that. Glad you enjoy that Posey. 

Johnny’s Trading Spot-I appreciate that. Glad to see the Braves win the Series for you this year. 

Jeff B.-Thanks for the thoughts and prayers. The music has been a good outlet to replace it (more on that later).  I feel like I was tempted a lot early on, but now it isn’t as bad (doesn’t mean it can’t rear its head at any time), and I feel like at least that area has got better with my wife, but I will always have areas to work on.  

Adam-You are right about kind of feeling a freedom. With all of the time that I devoted to organizing cards, updating this site, making customs, there wasn’t much left. Now, I don’t feel like I’m in as much of a rat race, and I have more time to work on music stuff and devote to family and other things. 

Night Owl-You are right about needing moderation in everything. Too much, and it’s an addiction, too little, and you run the risk of going crazy and not having any fun. 

Rod-I’m glad that someone can relate to me in all of this. I love the ‘meet you in the air’ part. I will have to keep that in mind when I end up saying goodbye to someone. 

The Diamond King-I sometimes wonder if I’m posting stuff that’s too personal, but yeah, I trust my readers and feel like if someone doesn’t want to hear what I’m saying they will just tell me or read something else. I do trust my readers and feel like maybe I can help them with something they are dealing with so I kind of wear my heart on my sleeve (like I do in real life). 
It’s tough for me to change some of the ways I’ve believed since I was young, but I sincerely hope I can change some of my long held beliefs for the better. 

Matt-Yep. The greater good is what is important. 

Jon-Thank you. So far it has been good. 

Jafronius- You are right. Sometimes it’s hard to see, but they really are the most important thing. 
I’ll probably be on the lookout for some Brody Koerner cards. Can’t wait till Topps puts out the final checklist for Series 1 so I can know what I’m dealing with. One of his (and my wife’s) cousins is getting married in March 2022, and although I would rather not go, should he be there and have a Topps card by then, that might change my mind, lol. 

A Cracked Bat-Thanks for the well wishes. 

Mark Staffieri-Yeah, I think probably anyone who has collected for more than a year has probably dealt with the addiction factor. 
Doing customs because of the money factor is a good idea. Side note, would you ever be interested in handling the customs part of this blog with the checklists and custom cards and stuff?  Let me know. 

I think that handles it with the comments. Thanks to everyone who commented and went well wishes. 

While I don’t want to get full-time back into blogging, I feel like I kind of want to use this platform as something to just write about life, music, what I am feeling or going through at the moment, and maybe even some baseball thrown in. Just something to connect with everyone, and possibly, just help someone out there who is going through something. 

So what have I been up to since the last post?  We’ll, I’ve made a bunch of music. I probably recorded 20 songs. Some have been in the works for years, some have been written in the past month or 2. It has taken about 3 months to get a halfway decent setup and figure out what works as far as recording. When I first started out, I was just recording using my voice recorder on my phone, my keyboard, the garage band app on my phone, and no mic. Then I would email it from my phone to laptop, cut out parts into tracks, and have a song. Not very good at all. Since then, I’ve added a bunch of things to improve the sound, and it shows. I added a USB external sound card, a few 1/4 inch cables and adapters, an adapter that goes from my phone to headphone jack size, and finally a microphone. Not high quality stuff, but it gets the job done. Probably half of the stuff I’ve recorded will have to get re recorded in order to get rid of unwanted noise and stuff, but I should have some good quality versions of songs that I’ve wanted to record for years. Some of them are serious and have positive messages. Others are just rants about work, corporate machines, and getting stopped by the Man. Still, others are just songs about how much I enjoy Surge soda, working with thugs at McDonalds, or about penguins. Just totally random stuff, but they all have stories behind them. Hopefully I can post some, and you will glean some wisdom from the serious ones, and laugh at all of the rest of them. Stay tuned for some music in the near future when the holidays are done with. 

My wife has also been through some stuff since the last post. The headaches came back, and with all of the symptoms she was having seemed to point to her artery being clogged again. Her neurosuegeon had her in, and after doing scans, we could see that the tubing in her lumbar shunt was kinked again. At that time, we didn’t talk about the artery and just scheduled a surgery to try to reposition the tubing. This was early December. Dr. Murad, her neurosuegeon went in, moved the tubing to a different area, and was about to close up, and it moved, so he had to try a second time, and after doing scans, it looked like it stayed in place, so he closed up. 
It’s been about a month since the surgery, and the headaches are back, and she has had a few episodes where it’s almost like she’s drunk, where her words are slurred and none of her texts make sense. She’s also had issues with breathing which are worse than her normal asthma flare ups. All of the symptoms point to the artery being clogged to me. Blood not getting to her brain could cause the speech and neuro issues, and if there isn’t enough blood with oxygen circulating, that could be causing the breathing issues. The reduced blood flow could be making the headaches bad. That’s not to say that the shunt being kinked wasn’t an issue, but I wished they would’ve at least consulted with the vein people and perhaps done a scan before going in for this last surgery. 
We are getting in contact with the vein people and waiting for an answer. The last time we spoke to them was probably sometime last February when they saw that one of the veins they unclogged in the last surgery had clogged back up again. They didn’t seem to worried about it since another one had grown and seemed like it was doing the job, but I really wish they would’ve monitored it more closely. I believe they said that if the stent they put it the veins didn’t work that they did have another surgery they could do, but it would be complicated. I guess we’ll stay tuned for what they say. 

We went to St. Augustine about a week ago with some family, and although it was a good time, 2 things just stuck out to me and made me sick. 
On the drive there, we got to an intersection, and there was a group of like 15 people with signs and megaphones. Apparently it was some kind of white power rally. Signs that said ‘White Lives Matter’ and stuff, but the one that really got to me was one that read something like ‘Young black men murder white babies’. WTF???  Where do they even get that convoluted  idea from???  I realize where we were at was redneck city, but I didn’t think we were that F-d up. Everyone has thoughts and generalizations of other people and races that aren’t necessarily right or they stereotype certain groups and that’s not ok, but at least they don’t go off the deep end like this group of people. I would like to think that if a life or death situation happened (a war, a shooting, hostage situation, bad car accident, etc), that 99% of people would help out another person, no matter what the color of their skin, beliefs, or whatever. Seeing that crap just made me sad to be a human and wondering the state of the world today. I want to raise good human beings, so why have I only been able to have 1 kid in 10 years and why is it so damn hard to adopt? I’m sure some of those jokers are popping out kids like nobody’s business. Just frustrating. I hope they lose momentum to whatever sick party they are a part of. 
The other thing that I saw that day that concerned me wasn’t anything that really affected me at the time, I was just concerned about what could happen in the future. 
We were going to the main part of the city with the big Christmas tree when we saw 2 young grade-school aged punks with their parents behind them. They were armed with toy machine guns sweeping back and forth, acting like they were shooting up the crowd. While the act didn’t cause any harm in itself, I just imagined what those 2 punks could be doing in another 5-10 years. I’m not opposed to people owning guns per se. I’ve fired a gun before, I know people who hunt. I just think they are a tricky subject and there should be certain stipulations and precautions taken before someone should own certain types. Especially if you have kids. Those 2 kids obviously aren’t going to purchase a gun when they come of age to go hunting with. Maybe we will get lucky and their parents will get them involved in ROTC in middle school and some of that agression will get channeled in with discipline. Or maybe we won’t and somebody will have to be a casualty of parents who don’t teach their kids the difference between good and bad, fantasy and reality, etc. Another instance that day which made me pissed off that the chances of us having another kid don’t look very good. I think it was just worse that day because my wife’s brother and 2 cousins were there with us that day. All 3 couples were pregnant when we found out we were last February. I think it was the first time we saw all 3 of the new kids in the same place after our miscarriage last March. Parts of the trip were fun, but had I known the bad stuff we would’ve seen, I would’ve just stayed home. Maybe I can make sense of all of this with music or something. 

Back to a positive vibe, we had a pretty decent Christmas. Kyler got some legos, puzzles, and other fun stuff for Christmas. Work has been hell with tons of orders and sales going up 20%. Perhaps I’ll get a decent cut of the profit….. I’m just glad that the big holidays are over with. Just got to get through New Years Day, which won’t be too bad for me, watch Bama lose to Cincinnati (a man can dream, can’t he?), and I’ll get a break for a few weeks. I hope to have a great 2022. My ultimate dream? COVID getting under control, moving out of Florida, a nice vacation where we see a new stadium or 2 and go to some nice places to eat, a healthy wife, a pregnancy and healthy birth, lots of songs recorded, and maybe a new house and man cave should we move. If we stay here, maybe a little break from relatives and my boss quitting. 
Sorry this is so long. I will try to keep newer posts shorter. Hopefully with some music to go with it. If you are interested any in what is going through my head musically or any of the piano stuff I am playing, I am working on a piano/music theory kind of blog. I’ll put a link up when I get that up and running. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post.