Sunday, August 13, 2017

Remember When

  Do you remember a few months ago, when I was taking that Robotics and Society mooc? Well, while doing some much needed updating of my BGG collection, and catching up on the forum postings, I checked out the Funny Pictures thread. In doing so, I came across these two pictures.

  They were posted by two different geeks, so that was cool. The other thing that stands out about this is that I saw a news item last night about Musk's warning about AIs. -AIs are more of a threat than North Korea.

  If you think this has nothing to do with baseball or baseball cards, welcome to my mind!  
AI - robots - automatons - steampunk
  So, I've got a thing for steampunk, and steampunk baseball is something I've considered drawing. Catchers will be the easiest to punk out. They have the Fett and Iron Man steampunk-ability in their gear. (See what I did there?) Easiest translations aside, when I start digging into this project, the first player I want to punk out is Dennis Oil Can Boyd. How could I resist?!

  The pose on that top card is just begging to be steampunkified!

  In other baseball card collecting news, I am adding a new man to my player collections. Melky Cabrera. The guy was the sunshine of the White Sox, and man do we miss watching him. Autumn is coming early to Chicago. (seriously!)

The Melkman 

A great day to you all!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Frosted Pizza

  Just yesterday I was thinking that it's been a while since I have posted a pizza photo. Since today is a very special day, I have found a picture of a special kind of pizza. Party on!

Wishing a very Happy Birthday to my Zip!


  (I am also happy to mention that The Beatles Honor Roll has a new member! Check it out ---->>)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

More Odd Without End

  Isn't that card a beauty?! It put me in that 'what to do when a card is needed in a team set and a player collection' predicament. After very little thinking, I've decided that I need another one just like it. It is actually the final card needed to finish that Fleer Cubs set. So it will be an Ozzie want, because as you all know, I 💖 Ozzie!

  I mentioned in the previous post that my small tea card collection has arrived. So without further ado, here is a scan of my favorite tea card thus far.

  The Homo Floresiensis Uncovered course is a load of fun. We're into week three of four. There is still plenty of time for you to catch up if you want to join the class. You can find it at FutureLearn. Ah, you know, maybe the scientific name (which is the class name) is throwing readers off, HF are the hobbit skeletal remains that were found in Indonesia. Yeah! Hobbits!

Professor Roberts, PhD, University of Wollongong

  I listed my first items on Craigslist. It's rather an odd site for me, but I think it's the layout. Here are a few items from those listings. -If you live in Chicago, and want more info on something, let me know and I send/post an actual link to this stuff.

  I think I will listen to Tibetan chants and read a few comic books, before heading back to class. You all have a fabulous day!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Oh Good Grief!

  I have missed blogging! I have been so busy. My brother and niece drove a truck load of my belongings down here to me. Some stuff I asked for, some stuff I did not, but all of it filled the entire living room chin deep. It took me 10 days to find the living room floor.

  I've opened an account at Craig's List to sell some of the unwanted items. It was physically and mentally draining. -Finding a place for the things I'd like to keep and tough finding out that so many of the things I wanted have been stolen, and seeing all of the notes and letters from the ex was not something I asked for, but dealt with nonetheless.

  On the upside, Zipper likes my storage pieces and says I have good taste. Yay! And I have most of my comic books, postcard collection, and stamp collection. None of my trading cards made it here, but my small tea card collection is here and so are my Peanuts pogs.

  I still have some things I need to take care of, and I really need to catch up in the Homo Floresiensis Uncovered course. I waited months for this class to start and I don't want to blow it now. Hopefully I will take care of that at some point this weekend.

  Love you guys!

Thank you Al and Kiara!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Homo Floresiensis Uncovered

  I've been waiting months for this class to begin. So I am very happy to announce that it has started! I've completed the first week and will update this post with class notes as I progress. Good stuff!

Homo Floresiensis Uncovered - University of Wollongong

Professor Richard G. Roberts, Director of the Centre for Archaeological Science at the University of Wollongong and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow

Professor Zenobia Jacobs, Director of the Luminescence Dating Laboratory at the University of Wollongong and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow

24 July - 3 September 2017, FutureLearn


Human occupation of northern Australia by 65,000 years ago Nature article

Assignment: Local Archaeological Finds student map

Pre-contact hoe Chicago History Museum

Liang Bua Virtual Tour Smithsonian 3D

'Hobbits' on Flores, Indonesia Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Homo Floresiensis news at

Local Manggarai language:
Liang  = cave
Bua = cold/cool
Golo = hill
Wae = river


North American Arrowhead Identification Database website

  The megafauna that existed alongside Homo floresiensis include the giant rat, Komodo dragon, Marabou stork, large vulture and Stegodon. The giant rat and Komodo dragon still exist in Flores today. The Marabou stork, large vulture and Stegodon are now extinct and disappeared around the same time as the Hobbit.

Ebu gogo Wiki entry

Flake (silcrete) 3D model
Retouched flake (silcrete) 3D model
Core (silcrete) 3D model

Local Manggarai language:
Betu = giant rat

Marabou Stork

Marabou stork (Photo: © National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo) and remains (Photo: © Liang Bua Team/ARKENAS & The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History) 


Assignment: Local Dating Method
   C14, University of Chicago, Egyptian mummy Mask, wood, Ptolemaic period
Photo by Jean Lachat 

New evidence pushes back time of disappearance of Indonesian ‘hobbits' - University of Wollongong media release

Age and context of the oldest known hominin fossils from Flores NATURE article preview

Liang Bua Sediments Summary 

MM7 (deeper)
Cracks and voids indicate burrowing by insects or worms, or the penetration of roots by vegetation. The grey layer consists of volcanic ash blown into the cave during and/or after a volcanic eruption.

Distinctive burnt layer (consisting of fine-grained brown silts, coarse particles, limestone gravel, baked pieces of clay and charcoal) indicates evidence of fire use. The calcium carbonate layer consists of wood ash.

MM4 (shallower)
Presence of black material (manganese oxide) produced by water percolating through bat droppings (which are highly acidic) on to flowstones (calcium carbonate).


Homo Floresiensis Characteristics

Small canines
Foramen magnum (area for the spinal cord) tucked underneath the skull, not positioned more posteriorly (as in a quadruped).
Remarkably small brain
Constriction behind the eye orbits where the cranium is narrowed (not present in modern humans)
Interesting mandible: full set of adult dentition, including all three permanent molars (evidence that it is an adult, not a child)
Stature approximately 106 cm tall
Body proportions very different to modern humans
Similar body proportions to Australopithecus afarensis (3 million years old) from East Africa
Arms and legs are more similar in overall length than in modern humans
Laterally flaring pelvis (upper part of the pelvis flares out to the side)
Proportionately long feet
Longer toes (more like mini fingers)

Current scientific understandings of Liang Bua and Homo Floresiensis

Fossil remains at Liang Bua have been dated to between about 100, 000 and 60, 000 years old
Artefacts have been dated to as early as 190, 000 years ago (at the back of the cave) through to about 50, 000 years ago (nearer the entrance)
The Hobbit likely lived at the site from around 190, 000 years ago
It is thought that the Hobbit survived until as late as about 50, 000 years ago
The Hobbit is definitely a new human species
The type specimen (original skeleton) of the Hobbit is about 106 cm tall, but other specimens of hobbits found in the cave are shorter
A volcanic ash layer was identified above where hobbits are thought to have gone extinct
Hobbits lived with a whole range of animals that we no longer see around us today (e.g. Stegodon, giant Marabou stork, vulture)
Modern humans were passing through Southeast Asia en route to Australia at about the same time that the hobbits went extinct (50, 000 years ago)

A recent article on Homo Floresiensis, published in the USA: Science Daily 21 April 2017
   The most comprehensive study on the bones of Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, has found that they most likely evolved from an ancestor in Africa and not from Homo erectus as has been widely believed.
-Australian National University 


Friday, July 21, 2017

Not a Moment of Silence

Saying goodbye to another talent that was blown too far away in the wind. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Lovin' the 2017 Gypsy Queen

  Last week, I received some really nice cards from corozco for our most recent TCD trade. Highlights include a couple new to me Ernie Banks and some snazzy 2017 Gypsy Queen cards. With this trade, it took some time to choose which cards I want to post, as this packet rocked.

  Let the highlights begin! 

  Here we have my first Bazooka card. These are an odd size, but I like it! Is it just me, or does that bat Bryant is holding look rather small?

  I like these Panini Home Town Heroes cards. They have a classic baseball card vibe. This Dawson card is the second Home Town Hero going into my collection, the first card was Konerko. This is not a flattering Dawson pose. Photo shortage?

  Yay! Another Melky card! I don't know why his Sox cards are so hard to come by, but they are. So I am always excited when one shows up!

  I like the Topps Attax cards. Not that I think that I would ever play these as a game, but because they are one of those cool oddball items. 

   A couple of new Ernies! It's always a good day when Ernie makes an appearance.

  Four new 2017 Gypsy Queen cards have been knocked off my want list! The scans look good, but the cards look even better in hand. I really dig them. They may just be my favorite series in the modern card era. All of the cards in this trade were super nice. Thanks for the trade Carlos!

  🌠As an aside, today marks the 1 Year Anniversary of my move to Chicago! Never has a year gone by so fast!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Virtual Salvage

Post no. 2 coming out of the draft chute!

  Good afternoon blogiverse! As has been previously mentioned, Photobucket released the bird to the entire internet a couple of weeks ago. Last week I went into my former account at Photobucket and salvaged some of the images of my postcard and cover collections. Most of my images were of items for trade or sale, and I did not see any reason to keep images of things I did not want. But, it turned out that I was quite happy with having a virtual collection of things I left behind when I moved to Chicago.

  Here we go!

  A couple of older German postcards (fronts & backs). I like knowing that I could have bought a bratwurst at this establishment back in 1313. The second postcard below is a real photo postcard of the Roman monument in Potsdam.

  The Paricutin volcano in Mexico. This is also a real photo postcard. This volcano has an amazing story because it started out as a corn field. In a matter of hours, that corn field was ground zero for a newly formed volcano. The first eruption was on February 20, 1943.

  A modern era postcard of an Easter Island moai. What's not to like?! Plus, it entered the mail stream aboard ship, making it even more unique.

  Here is another postcard (back) that entered the postal system aboard ship. The Paquebot cancel signifies it as such. Unlike the above postcard which was posted via a cruise ship, this Canal Zone postcard was posted on a shipping ship.

    Next are a couple of miniature items. This postcard at the top is about the size of a trading card when opened. Not sure of it's origin... possibly it came packaged with a pack of smokes, while folded in half.

  This envelope is franked with two US Scott's #300s, and it is almost the size of a trading card. Many postcards sent in the US in the early 20th century are franked with the #300. It's one of my favorite stamps. (front & back shown, I saved the images from the auction when I won it, so these are not my scans.)

    Okay, I think I have two more items to share in this post, and then I'll call it good. If there is any interest, I can do one more post of collection item images. Give me a holler if you want to see the other salvaged photos.

  I like collecting donkey/mules/asses on postcards. Below is a very crowded postcard franked with the #300. I like the art on the back of this one.

    I lived in this area of Colorado a couple of times when I was younger, so that gives this postcard an added likability bonus in my collection.

  And there you have it, a peek into another one of my collections. Have a great day everyone!

Monday, July 17, 2017

2017 Chicago Pride

  I have a few posts lined up in the draft chute, so I reckon I ought to get this one out. -No pun intended!

  So as I mentioned in a previous post, there are several thousand images of the 2017 Chicago Pride Parade posted elsewhere online, but not too many of interest for my needs, and of the images I'd like to use on Now and Zen, only a few of them listed a photographer.

  Here are the noteworthy photos I procured to share here with you.

   The parade was with brimming with absolutely fabulous balloon art. Above is one of the Conrad the Unicorns. He had several walking representations in this, his second year of participating in the Chicago Pride Parade. I'm not into unicorns, but Conrad was my favorite as far as the balloon entrants go.

  I don't know who this gentleman is, but he was inspiring. He would wheel himself for a stretch, then stop, and stand up for a few seconds. Shaking and exhausted, he'd sit back down and wheel away to repeat his feat.

   The Cubs parade entry was cool if you were standing on the north side of the street. Over there, one could glimpse the Commissioner's Trophy as it rolled by. I, however, was standing on the south side of the street which meant I had no idea the trophy was right there in front of me. Augh!

  The hate preacher on the loudspeaker outside the front of our building, on the last block of the parade route. He's out there every year. Each time he started bellowing, the 'Make Love Louder' mantra folks chanted over him. He's not nearly so loud outside as he is inside. The woman in the black t-shirt is Orange is the New Black actor Lea DeLaria, Grand Marshal of the 2017 Chicago Pride Parade. She had a couple of choice words for Mr. hellfire and brimstone. I was standing about 20' beyond the right edge of the photo.

  So that's it for the photos I plucked from the interwebs. There were a few other parade marchers that I searched for and wanted to share here, but I did not find them among the mass of images available. Over all, I saw nothing shocking or lewd, well except for the things the preacher was spewing. Teachers, schools, churches, politicians, fire departments, police departments etc... even the FBI had a parade entry. One FBI agent gave me a high '5'. -I had an encounter with a Secret Service agent last October, and for the record, the FBI is way cooler. When I first went out to line up on the parade path, there was a FBI agent wearing bomb disposal gear and eyeballing the parade route ahead of the marchers. It was a pretty cool day!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Trade Meet-Up

   I'm a team and player collector, so I keep all of my cards organized with the same formula. (team name -alphabetically, year, then publisher -alphabetically.) It's easier to organize 30 teams that it to organize 100+ years of card publishers. As such, it is almost impossible to find want list hits on web pages strictly composed of card numbers, without using The Trading Card Database. The thing is, that I find almost all of my card trading partners through The Trading Card Database. Through The Trading Card Database, I have come across trading partners in the Chicago area, but Chicago is a big area, and sending trades through the mail is easier than the travel involved in a meet-up. That is, until this week!

  Justin G. of  The Hopeful Chase blog, aka Lightningfan7609 at The Trading Card Database lives close. Real close- within walking distance! Yesterday morning we met at the Argo Tea shop that is located about halfway between about us. It was fun to actually trade cards in person. That is something I haven't done since the 1970s! I am a rather timid person, so I am downright pleased with myself for meeting face to face. Turns out that Justin is a calm, friendly sort of guy, and a loyal Orioles fan. As an added bonus, we both brought extra cards to the table. It was a fun trading experience and it was nice to meet and get to know Justin.

  Below are a few of my favorite cards, highlights from our trade.

  The Harold Baines card was one of the final three cards I needed to finish my 1988 Topps White Sox set, and Justin brought all three! Baines is also one of our pc guys.  -I realize now, that I've really got a thing for baseball cards with green on them. Wow.

And the 1988 Topps Cubs cards Justin brought, put me to within three cards of completion. 

  I acquired, the first (for me), seven 2003 Topps Cubs cards for my collection. One card stands out because I don't usually add cards to a team collection if the given player is not wearing the 'right' uniform.

See? Wrong uniforms because I don't collect Orioles or Diamondbacks.  
But, the back of the card is loaded with Chicago history. I like that. It's a keeper.

And the cream of the original trade we made, that was spared the postal system.-

Upper Deck Masterpieces. I really like these cards. Fantastic trade Justin! Thank you. 

Everyone have a wonderful evening!