Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Connecting Collections


    This morning, after reading a few blogs that I follow, I found myself wondering what reasons other collectors have for collecting players that are not based solely on their athletic prowess, but for other obscure connections.

    I know some PCs are chosen because of where or when they were born, or their alma mater etc.. I don't have anyone that I am collecting because of a connection that does not play into their talent. I collect Melky Cabrera because he is a joy to watch play, but it just so happens that he and Zipper share a birthday. That's cool. If I knew of ball players that have earned degrees in anthropology or archaeology, I'd enjoy putting together a collection of them.  Yeah... I would like that very much.

    Then there is Tetsuharu Kawakami the Zen hitter. I don't think I would seek to collect him if he was just another great batter, so his Zen practice plays a role in wanting to collect him.

    I believe Ichiro also possesses a Zen mastery at the plate, but I don't know that to be a fact. I do keep an eye out to add his cards my collection, and I am certainly thankful that his cards are easier to come by than Kawakami's cards.

    Who or what do you collect that has little to do with a team or player skills? If you answer on your blog, please post a link here in the comments. I'd love to read your answers.

Have a great day!

Friday, October 27, 2017

What Gives?


    Does anyone know why the Followers widget is no longer working? Temporary? Permanent? It is not working on anyone's blog today.

Freebie Fun!

Good morning everyone! 

    I'm posting two images here that my fellow bloggers may download, annotate, decorate and use on their blogs. Emily, who is usually seen only in her wedding day attire has donned the gear of both the North Side and South Side teams. -Sorry to the blogging fans of the other MLB teams, but we have only Chicago jerseys and jackets. Although Zip does have a Padres (blue & silver cap), and possibly other MLB travel caps under the hat stack, we have no torso garments to match.

    If you ever post one of these in a brilliantly altered fashion, please post a link here. I'd love to see what you've done.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hey Theo!

     Ichiro. He is the lead off man you are looking for. One season. He can do it better than anyone else, and he is worth whatever the cost. Do it dude!


Monday, October 23, 2017

A Cracked Bat, the Wows! part II

    Good afternoon everyone! I'm going to jump right into this post by starting with the Ernie Banks cards that Julie, from A Cracked Bat: Baseball cards and a Hot Dog, sent to me earlier this month.

Heeeere's Ernie! 

And a pair of Ozzies! I 💖 Ozzie!

A couple more Home Town Heroes. I like this simple but fun design.

My first White Sox Action Packed card. Yay! I don't have many cards showing this red accented uniform, so this is a nice timeline marker in the evolution of White Sox uniforms.

My first Schick Kellogg's 3-D Super Stars card.

    Ooh, there are three more FIRSTS for my collection coming up! I'm thinking firsts are just as fun as lasts, when it comes to card collecting.  

My 1st Goudey 

My 1st Turkey Red

My first A.J. Pierzynski card, and it's a Topps Chrome at that! -I can't believe how slow it has been to get A.J. cards. He's been on my want list almost as long as I've been collecting baseball cards.

I had not known about the Upper Deck Decade set. Near as I can tell, there is only a set for the 1970s. I'll have to look into this further because these are nice!

Thank you Julie!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like... AAHHH!

A Cracked Bat Wows! Again!

    Earlier this month, I received a box, stuffed with baseball goodness from Julie of the A Cracked Bat: Baseball Cards and a Hot Dog blog. This is the second time she has wowed me with  SUPER SHINEY baseball cards that celebrate Chicago's place in MLB.  Baseball bloggers are the best!

    I won't be posting images of all the cards Julie sent, but I've set a few aside to share here. There are several awesome chrome cards in the mix, both Topps and Bowman. There are even a few new Ernie Banks beauties, but the first card I'm going to share is a 2011 Topps 60 material relic. I have developed a strong fondness for relic and memorabilia cards. In fact, 'Textiles & Timber' is the descriptive title of a new project that I am working on. This project and the awesome mooc (Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime) I am currently taking are the reasons my blog has been relatively silent of late. I had intended to not write about this card here at Now and Zen, but to reserve it for the project. However, when A Cracked Bat sends a relic card of Tyler Colvin, one must include it in a blog write-up. Back in 2010, Tyler Colvin had a projectile shard from a broken bat puncture his lung while running to home plate. It was a rather horrific injury, and although it put an end to Colvin's late season play, he recovered and was able play a few more years in MLB. Odds are that this material relic is from Colvin's fateful 2010 season. The Cubs were away and wearing their blue jerseys when Colvin took the hit to his chest, so this relic is not from the jersey he was wearing that day. Check it out.-

A Shattered Bat Memory from A Cracked Bat

   The early Diamond Kings art cards don't do anything for me, although they now possess a retro vibe that I enjoy, but the recent Diamond Kings art cards are fabulous in my book. Here are some of the new ones Julie included that loaded box.

Showing a little love to the White Sox.

And some Cubs. 


  I have only a few Hendricks cards, but I'd say this Diamond Kings card is my favorite Hendricks.

This next card is a Legendary Cut, and it is gorgeous! Billy Williams, very nice! 

     Billy's scan doesn't show it, but that is gold foil over black marble, Upper Deck nailed classic majesty with this design.

    Next up, some Bowman Platinum cards. These are my first cards from this brand, and boy are they sweet!

  Julie found room to fit this Addison Russell Triple Thread into the mix. Cards that stand on end- brilliant!

Of course this Russell card is another example of a card whose glory refuses to come to life on a scanner. 

    I'm going to divide the spoils between two posts, but I want to fit three more cards into this first post. Up next are the Tristar Obak cards. I had neither heard of them, nor noticed them before these three cards arrived. Now and Zen LIKES these cards! They are deliciously quirky! When awesome people like Julie randomly send cards to me, I relish finding new cards to add to my want list. In general, I go into The Trading Card Database, add the new cards to my collection, then add all of the missing Cubs cards to my want list. This Obak set is the first set that I've added every missing card in the set to my want list. Gotta Catch 'Em All!

   Fabulous cards Julie! Thank you! 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime

Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime
FutureLearn MOOC
University of Glasgow

Dr. Donna Yates, Lead Educator
University of Glasgow’s Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research

9 October 2017


Course Team:

Dr. Donna Yates, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research - publications

Dr. Simon Mackenzie, Professor of Criminology at Victoria University of Wellington - publications

Dr. Christos Tsirogiannis,  Affiliate Researcher at Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research - publications

Anya Eber, MSc student at Collecting and Provenance in an International Context, University of Glasgow

Meg Lambert, PhD Candidate at Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Glasgow

Christine Weirich, PhD Candidate at Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Glasgow

Trafficking Culture -.org

Stolen Gods - .org

Anonymous Swiss Collector - culture crime site

Institute of Archaeology, Belize .org

Conflict Antiquities - blog
      ...The Human Rights of Subsistence Diggers by Sam Hardy - Chapter 14

US Department of State - Cultural Heritage Center

Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities in the World's Museums  .com

Original Recording of Week 1 Live Chat:


Huaquero -A person who clandestinely excavates at archaeological sites for the purpose of obtaining marketable antiquities. The term is derived from the Quechua word ‘huaca’ (also ‘wak’a’).

Huaca - Prior to the Spanish Conquest, a ‘huaca’ was anything that was sacred, with an emphasis on sacred places. Depending on the context, use of the term ‘huaca’ in modern times can imply that there is still a sacred quality to these sites and objects. Today the term is most often ascribed to archaeological sites.

Huaco - Usually means an ancient ceramic pot.

Huaquear - verb,  to illicitly dig at or loot an archaeological site.

Easter Week - Traditionally when huaqueros rob the ancient tombs of Peru’s north coast. There is a North Coast legend that during Easter Week artefacts rise to the ground's surface, becoming easy to find and one barely has to dig for them. Some sources claim that Good Friday is the preferred day for looting because ‘God is dead and doesn’t watch‘. Other sources claim that looting starts on Maundy Thursday when any outstanding curses that protect an archaeological site are lifted. Some believe that prior to the Spanish Conquest, occupants of archaeological sites are non-Christian ‘Gentiles’ who, in a sort of raising of the dead sense, cluster near the surface only during Easter Week so that they may be found by Christians. Archaeologist Walter Alva believes that this traditional Easter looting has no foundation in pre-Conquest cultural tradition, but was introduced by the Spanish and used as a means to rob graves.

Huaquero Mythology - Looting lore is filled with curses, spirits, riches, and legend. These beliefs became a cultural norm where all locals know of these stories. Below, are the lyrics of ‘Huaquero Viejo’ to which people dance the Marinera Norteña, the national dance of Peru: 

⬪ I am the old grave robber (huaquero) 

⬪ and I have come to loot pottery (huacos) 

⬪ from the highest ancient mound (huaca) 

⬪ to the lowest ancient mound (huaca)

[Translation by Dr. Donna Yates 2015]


Looting to survive poverty


Timbuktu, Mali is a UNESCO world heritage site. © Emilio Labrador via Wikimedia Commons 


Cambodian Heritage Statues stolen by Khmer Rouge - The Returns

Keeling Attendants (x2) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York -returned 2013
Pandava Christie’s Auction House -returned 2014 
Bhima Norton Simon Museum, California -returned 2014 
Duryodhana Sotheby’s Auction House -returned 2014
Hanuman Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio -returned 2015
Rama Denver Art Museum -returned 2016 

Janus Figure: Leonardo Patterson

An antiquities legend in an 'intrinsically lawless' field - LA Times

Antiquities Dealer Leonardo Patterson Faces New Criminal Charges - NY Times

Infamous Antiquities Dealer Convicted of Smuggling and Forgery - Artnet

Maya ‘Fresco’ Fake - Trafficking Culture

Euphronios Krater

NY Times Euphronios Krater -search
                                                -clippings, clippings

Artnet: The Hot Pot -part I of VI

Apamea, Syria

Syria: Destroying the Past for the Future -Antiquity Journal

Culture Under Threat Map -Antiquities Coalition

Ancient History, Modern Destruction: Assessing the Current Status of Syria’s World Heritage Sites Using High-Resolution Satellite Imagery -AAAS.org

What I learned this week: The antiquities black market is a gray area as a result of white collar crime.  ba-da-bum!


Original Recording of Week 2 Chat:

The Scream 

4 Norwegians Guilty In Theft of 'The Scream' - NY Times

Scream Stolen from Norway Museum - BBC News

Stolen Munch Paintings Found Safe - BBC News

Munch Paintings 'can be repaired' - BBC News 

Edvard Munch's stolen Scream recovered in undercover sting - The Guardian Archive

‘The Scream,’ the Thief, and the 2 Million M&M’s - ARTNews

The Scream, 1893 - Norway National Museum

'The Scream' buyer is revealed to be financier Leon Black -  LA Times

Impressionist & Modern Art at Evening Sale - Sothebys 

Unsolved Gardner Museum Theft

Gardner Museum Theft - Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - .org

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - Google Arts & Culture

If the Gardner Paintings Are Ever Found, How Damaged Will They Be? - WNPR

FBI Special Agent Geoff Kelly - YouTube

Gardner Security Director Anthony Amore - YouTube

FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauiers - YouTube

United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz - YouTube

1990 Gardner Museum Security Footage - YouTube  (the video is glitchy) 

National Portrait Gallery - The Portraits


Han van Meegeren, the fabulous forger 

The Scientist and the Forger - World Scientific

Five tools used to detect art forgeries:

1.) Provenance Research
2.) Microscopy
3.) Mass Spectrometry
4.) X-Ray
5.) Infrared Reflectography

Street Art or Vandalism

Street artist Shepard Fairey wanted for felony vandalism in Detroit - LA Times

Banksy - site

Banksy's Kissing Coppers sold at US auction - BBC

'I remember when all this was trees': Banksy mural sells for $137,500 - USA Today


Repatriation, Recovery, Return

G'psgolox Pole 

Haisla Nation site

A Monument Returned, an Earthshaking Event Kitimat Daily

G’psgolox pole returns home after 77 years, first totem ever to be repatriated from overseas Ecotrust

The Repatriation of the G'psgolox Totem Pole: A Study of its Context, Process, and Outcome Cambridge University Press

Kennewick Man 

New DNA Results Show Kennewick Man Was Native American NY Times

The Long Legal and Moral Battle Over Kennewick Man Indian Country

Kennewick Man, The Ancient One Burke Museum

Kennewick Man a debate not easily put to rest Seattle Times

Two Riders on the Beach

Reunion with looted painting is 'second victory against the Nazis'  The Guardian

Case Review: David Toren v. Federal Republic of Germany and Free State of Bavaria – Task Force Confirms Origin of Liebermann Painting itsartlaw.com

What Next for the Gurlitt Collection? | European Journal YouTube

Gurlitt Art Trove -German Lost Art Foundation site

Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets lootedart.com

Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art lootedart.com

Cuban Art 

Reclaiming Art Seized by Castro’s Government Will Be an Uphill Battle artnet

Cuba refuses to return seized art despite thaw in relations with US waybackmachine

Reclaiming Art Caught in the Cuban Revolution NY Times

Elgin Marbles

Mentor Shipwreck Underwater Excavation Continue archaeologywiki

The Parthenon Sculptures   The British Museum

The Parthenon Gallery  Acropolis Museum 

Elgin Recovered-
21 large figures that once filled the triangular spaces at the front of the temple known as pediments

75 of 160 metres of the famous Parthenon Frieze that adorned the temple’s inner chamber, the naos

15 of 92 carved panels known as metopes that once filled rectangular areas above the temple’s columns

Other misc. artefacts from other temples

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Hilarious Bobbleheads!

  The page is over four years old, so some of you may already be familiar with The Bobblehead Project at the CBS Sports website,  I found this fantasy bobblehead site only yesterday. These bobbleheads crack me up! I'm sure many of these bobblehead events were not funny at the time that they happened, but they are most certainly funny now. Love the Cubs bobblehead!

One hour countdown for game 5 of the Cubs - Nationals series final begins now. 

DUN... DUN... DUN...

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

I Have Balls Now!

  I have a few more baseball related gifts from Zipper to share with you.  Today I will post the 'squealers'!

  There were some Ernie Banks cards picked off of eBay for the purpose tickling my collecting fancy. Zip is a good shot, and indeed my fancy has been tickled! Let's check the rest of my birthday loot.

A pair of Mr. Cub minis 

The coloring of this next card gives it the feel of having captured one brief but very real moment in time.  


Ernie receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2013. 

  The list of baseball players who have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom-

        Joe DiMaggio 1977 by Gerald Ford
        Jackie Robinson 1984 by Ronald Reagan,  posthumously 
        Ted Williams 1991 by George H.W. Bush 
        Hank Aaron 2002 by George W. Bush 
        Roberto Clemente 2003 by George W. Bush,  posthumously 
        Frank Robinson 2005 by George W. Bush
        Buck O'Neil 2006 by George W. Bush 
        Stan Musial 2011 by Barack Obama 
        Ernie Banks 2013 by Barack Obama 
        Yogi Berra 2015 by Barack Obama,  posthumously 
        Willie Mays 2015 by Barack Obama 
        Vin Scully 2016 by Barack Obama 

My first Allen & Ginter for 2017, Banks foil. 

  All of those cards are new to my collection, and Ernie makes me smile every time I see him relishing his time in baseball heaven. Now imagine the SQUEAL this next card illicited from me!


  Terrible photo, I know. I'm not sure there's a way to improve the quality of pics taken with a Fire tablet. I wanted to use the image at the Trading Card Database, but their card has a really faded auto, which means it doesn't look much like mine. Of course as autos go, there are always slight differences to be found with the graphology, so to keep the auto legit to my copy we'll be sticking with this fuzzy Doe photo. I love this card! 

  I was then presented with my first collectable balls! Ernie and Ozzie! What a day! 

 Falling down the south side of 50 isn't so bad when one is sharing that time with some one who is flat out awesome! It was a wonderful day! Thank you all for reading Now and Zen. Being a part of our niche in the blogosphere has been an uplifting experience. You guys are tops!

Have a fabulous day out there!


Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Very Happy Birthday!

  Howdy y'all! A very happy birthday was had by yours truly. There are postcards, stamps, trading cards and baseballs to post about. All good stuff!

  As I write this post, I am watching the last Cubs game I'll see this year, unless they make it to the World Series. After the game, I think I will pull out the Halloween decorations and dress the apartment.

  Zip has really outdone herself with her selection of birthday gifts this year!  Let's take a look at some of the cool additions to my collections.  First up are the postcards. A complete set of the 2000 USPS pre-stamped Legends of Baseball postal cards. These are gorgeous! Oddly enough, this set is not found in the Trading Card Database.

  In 1988 Grenada issued a 9-sheet set of 81 Major League Baseball postage stamps. There were several PC hits for both Zip and I. Ernie Banks and Ozzie Smith being at the top of the lists. I do not have good images of the stamps so I'll forgo pics for now, except to make note of the Reds' Rose stamp.  

  A Pete Rose stamp had been printed on the original yellow sheet of stamps, but because he was uber naughty, authorities in the USA requested that the Rose stamp be removed. In compliance, Grenada replaced Rose's stamp with this non-stamp, which is what is found on my yellow sheet.

  I will share more baseball goodies in my next post. Thanks for reading!

TYZ ! 

Cubs finish season 92-70.