Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ernie Banks Collection

More Favorites From Jack Downs

 I'm all done with MOOCs until the middle of October. That means it's time to get some more baseball card posts nailed to the Now and Zen wall. So without further ado, let's look at some of my favorite cards from the fantastic Mr. Downs.

  Two more Upper Deck Masterpieces- A 2008 Carlos Zambrano and a 2008 Kosuke Fukudome rookie. Nice!

2014 Allen & Ginter's Fields of Yore, Wrigley Field 


I don't know why, but I like Topps Attax cards. I suppose if I had duplicates, (a lot of 'em) I'd give the game an actual go of it. Here's the Wrigley Field game card (2011), which is my favorite Attax design.  

  An odd thing about Topps Attax- The card shape, borders, and backs vary depending on the year they are printed. Good gravy, there are decades worth of CCG/TCGs out there that have consistently used the same card stock, size, shape, border and back designs no matter what year boosters were released. {Well there was that whole Pokeman complete re-do a few years ago, but I never got into Pokemon, so I can't say much about it.} But, dang Topps... you really mangled a potential money maker. Unlike us frugal trading card collectors, gamers are willing to pay bucks to have the more powerful cards. Tsk. Tsk. 

Action Packed- two more puffy lovelies! Fergie Jenkins and Billy Williams. 

  Score 1990 and 1991 are not my favorite designs. Each set has multiple border colors in the base set, giving each team multiple colored borders. I don't hate them, but some of the border colors look much better than others. The blue border on the Sandberg card is nice, but what's the point of the oddball yellow letters (an 'R' on this example) of the player's given names? Anyway, the Sandberg is from the 1991 set. I am using it as an example of the base set's design. Next to it is a 1st Round Draft Pick card of Lance Dickson. Now I dig the Dickson card! Had the entire 1991 set been of this design, it would be one of my favorites.

  In the case of 1990 Score, unless McDonald's is giving away free baseball cards, or these colors were chosen for the Astros alone, there is no excuse for this color scheme. Again the border colors were all mixed up for any given team. And, the (G and M) highlighter design for this Greg Maddux card lacks good taste. Just sayin'. However, interspersed throughout this unappealing base set are cards like this Mitch Williams. Again, if the base set looked like this Williams design, it would rank high on my favorites list.  

  Topps has printed some stinkers as well. The design for the 1993 base set is blah, and the design on the back of these cards is even worse! Ick. I chose this Rick Wilkins card to use as example of the 1993 Topps base set design because the photo is superb. Check out that face mask! How many Gs does a catcher have to pull to leave his face mask with the chore of catching up to him? Dang! 

  Now here are the two 1993 Topps Cubs cards with a pretty design Yes, I said pretty. Those stars are pretty, and I like the atmospheric glow of the baseball. Could you imagine the entire base set having an astronomy theme? Talk about COOL

    Last, but never least, are four new to me Ernie Banks cards. Turn that frown upside down. 

  I've decided to create a specific updatable blog entry to add my Ernie Banks cards to as they come in. I'll still create new posts when they show up, but I think it would be nice to have one Now and Zen page dedicated to my Ernie Banks cards as the primary Now and Zen go-to page in The Ernie Banks Project.

Have a great day everyone!

Autumn Cometh

  Yesterday was National Pepperoni Pizza Day. That doesn't mean much to this pizza lover, who no longer consumes critters, and I've yet to come across tofuroni. I've been known to enjoy pizza crust dipped in Ranch dressing, and I've recently taken a shine to eating hummus with pizza. It's a fabulous twist for the tongue. Anyway, it's been too long since I've posted a pizza pic.  This image was found searching 'autumn pizza'. It's looks good with its roasted squash and cauliflower, and just a hint of rosemary. Yum!

Pizza party on people!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Firsts and a Last

  I have not yet looked through all of the cards that were in the box that Jack Downs sent, but I have found several 'Ooh this makes me happy!' cards already. I'd thought I'd post the cards I've pulled that are firsts of some sort in my collection.

My 1st & 2nd Joba Chamberlain (Winnebago) 



  This 2010 Allen & Ginter card, of Chamberlain going for the tag, is really nice. I don't have a lot of Allen & Ginter cards yet, but I don't recall having seen action shots on A & G cards. 

My 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th minor league cards 

  I had not put much thought into collecting minor league cards. So many guys never make it to the big league and those that do make it big, often end up playing for another ball club right out of the gate. All of these fellas actually played for the Cubs, so they can stay. 

For now.  


1st & 2nd Moody Blues cards


The last card needed to complete 2001 Topps Cubs: 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Peeling Away One Layer at a Time

(Click each pic for full article.)

Man Must Think It Enough To Wear Blackhawks Jersey At Cubs Game 

Wrigley Field Grounds Crew Feed Buckets Of Raw Meat To Hungry Ivy 

Wrigley Field Home Plate Collapses Under Weight Of Numerous Cubs Celebrating Home Run

Have a fantastic day!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

MOOC Notes Index

Stereoscopy: An Introduction to Victorian Stereo Photography
National Museums Scotland
March 2017 at FutureLearn, 2 wks
Christine McLean

Introducing Robotics: Robotics and Society
Queensland University of Technology
May 2017 at FutureLearn, 3 wks
Prof Peter Corke

Homo Floresiensis Uncovered: The Science of 'the Hobbit'
University of Wollongong
July 2017 at FutureLearn, 4 wks
Profs Richard G. Roberts and Zenobia Jacobs

Cultural Heritage and the City
European University Institute
Sept 2017 at FutureLearn, 3 wks
Profs Anna Triandafyllidou and Jeremie Molho

MOOCs completed without online notes:

Food as Medicine
Monash University
July 2017 at FutureLearn, 3 wks 
Prof Helen Truby

Archaeology: From Dig to Lab and Beyond
University of Reading
March 2017 at FutureLearn, 2 wks 
Prof Duncan Garrow

Sports and Society
Duke University
Aug 2016 at Coursera, 7 wks
Prof Orin Starn

Ancient Egypt: A History in Six Objects
University of Manchester
Oct 2015 at Coursera, 8 wks
Profs Joyce Tyldesley and Glenn Godenho

Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region
University of Wisconsin- Madison
Feb 2015 at Coursera, 4 wks
Profs Steven Ackerman and Margaret Mooney 

Living with Dementia: Impact on Individuals, Caregivers, Communities and Societies
Johns Hopkins University
Jan 2015 at Coursera, 5 wks  
Prof Nancy Hodgson 
The Fall and Rise of Jerusalem
Tel Aviv University
at Coursera, 6 wks
Profs Oded Lipschits and Ido Koch 

The Bible's Prehistory, Purpose and Political Future
Emory University
June 2014 at Coursera, 6 wks
Prof Jacob Wright

Golly Gee!

  My grandfather often said 'By golly.', and my grandmother's phrase was 'You bet your boots!'.
             -Yeah, I have no idea why my mind was going there either.

  So how have you all been? Safe, dry and well is my hope for you. I've been busy. I can't pinpoint what's been keeping me so busy, but busy is happening! I caught up on my latest MOOC yesterday, Cultural Heritage and the City. I have a thing for anthropology and archaeology, and MOOCs are like interactive documentaries. Free brain candy is what they are, and I love that no matter what the subject of the classes are, they are all electives. Everyone is learning what they want to learn of their own free will, and that is an awesome achievement towards the betterment of modern education.

  (-Oh, a heads up- I will be posting a blog entry a little later today, to serve as an index for the class notes I've been storing on Now and Zen. It seems to be much easier and faster for me to type the class notes in an adjoining tab as I need them, rather than writing the notes by hand. Storing the notes here (online) also means that I don't have to worry about losing them if the computer dies, and an added bonus is that I do not have to re-write them 'nicer' afterward. lol)

  The Sox game will be on television in less than an hour. (Yay!) This is a White Sox and Cubs home. Zipper's a pretty hardcore Sox fan, and she has been causing me to have fits of chuckles lately. "Oh no, the Sox won again!" "Get him out of there! Get the bullpen in the game. We need to lose!" "Oh not another homerun!" etc... It's been a riot here for about a month. Love it!

   This new laptop means I can watch Netflix again. (again- Yay!) Two shows stand out from last weeks' binge-a-thon.

Knights of Sidonia S1&2


 Disjointed S1

  I thoroughly enjoyed both of these shows. Knights of Sidonia .. wow, brilliant writing! Disjointed- Over the years, I've not really been a Kathy Bates fan, but I love her in this, and I like that hair! Disjointed has been dogged by critics, but by the end of season one, I cared about all of the characters, so it is not deserving of the incoming squishy tomatoes. It's comedy, pot comedy, and that makes me laugh. Plus, I love watching Shego (Nicole Sullivan) rock this character. I get easily bored with series shows. Yes, even The Walking Dead became dreadfully boring for me. If it weren't for Carol, I would have ditched TWD a few episodes into the BORING Alexandria storyline. All I've been wanting to watch is the upcoming new episodes of the X-Files.  Bring it!

  Last but not least, I received a box of Cubs cards from Jack Downs (Trading Bases) over the weekend. Wow, there are several cards worthy of posting about here at Now and Zen. I see some fun card posts in the near future.

  Here's a Ryne Sandberg pop-up standee to tide us over until I get to posting some of these new baseball cards. Thanks Jack!


Have a great day!