Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Cracked Bat: Baseball Cards and a Hot Dog

Word on the street is that A Cracked Bat is not going to give me a cut unless I sell the goods on my corner. -This was stated in no uncertain terms. So, if you don't want to see me get blog-slapped, PLEASE visit A Cracked Bat! To make this an easier sell, I've come up with a few different flavors for you to choose from. All paths lead home yo.

♒ Congratulations to A Cracked Bat for reaching its 100th post! ♒

Peace Y'all.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Ernie Banks Project

  The nature of blogging means that older posts get buried under newer posts. There are many good blog pieces that I would like to hang on to for future reference. To keep the Ernie Banks gems from the blog necropolis, I am going to gather up the Mr. Cub blog links and bundle them into bunches and post them here at Now and Zen. This post will serve as hub central for The Ernie Banks Project post links.

  Bloggers, if you see your blog listed above and you have added a new post for Ernie Banks, please leave a comment on your blog list (above) with the url of the new post you would like added to your list. Thanks.

The Ernie Banks Project -The Five Tool Collector


This installment of The Ernie Banks Project features the work of  The Five Tool Collector.

Ernie Banks The Five Tool Collector

1958 Topps All Star Ernie Banks The Five Tool Collector

Lets Play Two The Five Tool Collector

More from the 1961 Topps MVP Subset The Five Tool Collector

Odd Things The Five Tool Collector

My '58 Topps Blog is online The Five Tool Collector

1961 Topps MVP Don Newcombe The Five Tool Collector

'58 Topps All Star 'Commons' The Five Tool Collector

1970 Topps Booklets from COMC The Five Tool Collector

The Things We Do For Love... The Five Tool Collector

Some 1961 Topps Goodness The Five Tool Collector

More Blog Entries in The Ernie Banks Project 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Killer PWE

  Yesterday's mail came with a surprise pwe from Mark Germana from the Trading Bases group. The contents of this envelope were the cards needed to finish several Cubs sets.

1989 Upper Deck Cubs, finished thanks to these two cards. (6 & 14)

  Also killed, was my entire 1989 Upper Deck want list because it contained both Chicago holos, and this Nolan Ryan card.


1991 Upper Deck Silver Slugger, Ryne Sandberg SS8 completes the '91 UD Cubs.

1986 Topps #588, Steve Lake. I actually already had this card and the complete '86 Cubs set, but my copy was so poorly cut that I wanted a replacement. The card Mark sent is a vast improvement.


Next is the final card for the 1984 Topps Cubs, Larry Bowa, #705

  The 1989 Fleer Cubs checklist was the final card for the '89 set. I like it when the checklists are sorted by team, otherwise I have no use for them.

  Last, but certainly not least is this Ozzie Smith card from the 1987 Topps set, #598.

Thank you Mark! 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Now and Zen

  I haven't posted anything Buddhist related since February. So, whether you are feeling or thinking that you are having a good day or a bad day, this post is for you.

The First Baseball Movie

  The first baseball movie I ever saw was the original Bad News Bears. It had kids in it, so my parents didn't have a problem with me going to the theater to see it. If they had seen it first, I would have been forbidden to watch it. This movie is what kids were like when I was growing up. Social commentary aside, this was THE baseball movie of my generation.  

  Yeah, I need to watch this again.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Ernie Banks Project -Night Owl Cards


 This installment of The Ernie Banks Project is from Night Owl Cards.

C.A.: 1971 Topps Ernie Banks Night Owl Cards

The most Hall of Famers Night Owl Cards

The most Hall of Famers, update 1 Night Owl Cards

The most Hall of Famers, update 2 Night Owl Cards

The most Hall of Famers, update 3 Night Owl Cards

The most Hall of Famers, update 4 Night Owl Cards

The most Hall of Famers, update 5 Night Owl Cards

The most Hall of Famers, update 6 Night Owl Cards

C.A.: the review 4 (part 5) Night Owl Cards

C.A.: the review 4 (part 6) Night Owl Cards

It's official: I'm a well-rounded collector Night Owl Cards

Awesome night card, pt. 71 (and more thoughts on 2010 Topps) Night Owl Card

Joy of a team set, chapter 9 (World Series edition) Night Owl Cards

The new cards are coming out earlier and earlier Night Owl Cards

Lucky 13th Night Owl Cards

Management material Night Owl Cards

C.A.: 1974 Topps Hank Aaron Special, 1962-65 Night Owl Cards

Unwanted Topps gold inserts? We pay top dollar Night Owl Cards

The original card blog wasn't a blog at all Night Owl Cards

Awesome night card, pt. 83 Night Owl Cards

Once they were Dodgers Night Owl Cards

Miinnnnnnniiiiiiiiiiiiiii trilogy, part 3 Night Owl Cards

That's more like it Night Owl Cards

Allen and Ginter, forward and back Night Owl Cards

A sudden outburst of set completions Night Owl Cards

What can I say about Series 2? Night Owl Cards

A dream come true Night Owl Cards

Forget about the price tag Night Owl Cards

Which Fan Favorites set was the best? Night Owl Cards

The easy half Night Owl Cards

More Blog Entries in The Ernie Banks Project 

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Week of Firsts

  This week I have received my first card from a few different Topps sets. Though I have (so far) only posted images of cards that I own, the scans themselves are not always mine. So for some of these, my card is in better condition than the scan shown, and for others my copy is in poorer condition.

1st 1959 Topps, #304 Cubs Team 

1st 1961 Topps, #88 Richie Ashburn 

1st 1964 Topps, #408 Cubs Rookies 

1st 1967 Topps, #315 Billy Williams 

1st 1968 Topps, #235 Ron Santo

Last, but not least... 

1st 1969 Topps, #20 Ernie Banks 

Everyone have a great weekend!

🌠  TYZ

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Ernie Banks Project -Wrigley Roster Jenga


This installment of The Ernie Banks Project is from Wrigley Roster Jenga.

Got People Beggin' For My Top 9 Spaces Wrigley Roster Jenga

Ben Dover Wrigley Roster Jenga

Happy Cubs in the Mail Day! Wrigley Roster Jenga

Short Stay Sunday: Paul Schramka Wrigley Roster Jenga

I've Got Issues -Team Issues Wrigley Roster Jenga

Keep Your Willie Warm Wrigley Roster Jenga

Run with the Pack Wrigley Roster Jenga

In the Nick of Time Wrigley Roster Jenga

A Tisket, a Tasket -There's Cards in This Basket Wrigley Roster Jenga

The Best of the Best, Pt. 2 -Grace Yourselves Wrigley Roster Jenga

Hey, Hey - What a Thrift Shop Find! Wrigley Roster Jenga

Pinstripes and Fatigues Wrigley Roster Jenga

Cubs-apalooza Wrigley Roster Jenga

Put a Lid on It! Wrigley Roster Jenga

The Full Monte Wrigley Roster Jenga

Takin' it to the Streets Wrigley Roster Jenga

Neon Angel -a Trade Post Wrigley Roster Jenga

Happy St. Pat's Day! Wrigley Roster Jenga

A Misfit in My Collection Wrigley Roster Jenga

Short Stay Sunday: Len Church Wrigley Roster Jenga

Just a Bunch of Average Joe's Wrigley Roster Jenga

Nothing Major Wrigley Roster Jenga

My Want-List Walks the Plank Wrigley Roster Jenga

Hungry for a Championship Wrigley Roster Jenga

Ain't That a Shane Wrigley Roster Jenga

The Force is Strong With This One Wrigley Roster Jenga

Once a Cub... Literally, Just Once Wrigley Roster Jenga

Treasure Fit For a King Wrigley Roster Jenga

More Blog Entries in The Ernie Banks Project 

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Ernie Banks Project -When Topps Had Balls


  The Ernie Bank posts by When Topps had (Base)Balls.

Ernie Banks Makes an Appearance in the 1977 set! When Topps had Balls

Fantasy Coach Card- 1973 Ernie Banks When Topps had Balls

Hall of Fame #36: Ernie Banks: Class of 1977 When Topps had Balls

Nicknames of the '70's #34: "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks When Topps had Balls

Ernie Banks "Mr. Cub": January 31, 1931- January 23, 2015 When Topps had Balls

Then and Now #13: Ernie Banks 1971 When Topps had Balls

"Highlights from the 1970's" #13: 500 Home Runs for Ernie Banks When Topps had Balls

"Gimme a Do-over" Part XXXIII: 1971 #525 Ernie Banks When Topps had Balls

Random Quickie: "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks in the 1972 Set When Topps had Balls

"Career Capper" #8: 1972 Ernie Banks When Topps had Balls

More Blog Entries in The Ernie Banks Project 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Hitting a Grand Slam with a Cracked Bat! -Part III

  I have a few more scans I want to share from the box of goodness that arrived from A Cracked Bat last week. As far as sets go, a 1/1 for all of the team cards in a set is sad, but fun. Sad, because there is only one Cub card in the set, but fun, because completed sets are fun!

                Rizzo, Contact Sheet 2015 #CS-18 1/1 ; Sutter, Upper Deck Masterpieces 2007 #60 1/1

  -Next up, a few shinies. I love the rainbow colors in Arrieta's card.

Not Jake from State Farm  

Castro and Soriano, 2013 and 2010 respectively.  

  So, I figured the whole black hole ripping apart the universe thing was so last week, that I was simply going to move on and write like a mature, responsible blogger. But...  




Evers has been lost! I repeat, Evers is lost. Will Evers ever be found, or is he lost forever? 

  Yeah, that was a groaner! Thank you Julie for the awesome cards. And a thank you to those of you who actually returned here to read the finale. 

Peace Y'all!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Hindenburg Disaster: 80th Anniversary

Today is the 80th anniversary of the tragic Hindenburg disaster. There is a good deal of news coverage scattered across the net right now. The AP interviewed the last remaining survivor, so I'll share some AP links on the story.

Hindenburg, 1936 Lakehurst, NJ 

H- Last Hindenburg survivor, 88, recalls: ‘The air was on fire’

H- AP WAS THERE: The airship Hindenburg bursts into flames

H- ‘Oh, the humanity!’ Hindenburg anniversary, broadcast marked

H- NYC Fire Museum displays Hindenburg’s insurance policy

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Robotics and Society -Course Links

  I take moocs whenever I come across a topic that appeals to me. All of the courses use online resources outside of the class site. Starting with my current mooc enrollment, I've decided that I am going to create one blog entry for each class, as a place to store the course links in one easy to find page. This seems to be the best way to organize the links. Creating files and bookmarking just wasn't working efficiently. Classroom access is not a forever thing, and even if it were, they do not have all the links gathered on one page.

  For the most part, I take only one course at a time, so don't expect to see many of these resource blog posts. The posts will be edited each week to add new links, for the duration of the class.


Introducing Robotics: Robotics and Society
Queensland University of Technology

Robots: The Journey Continues Video from Springer Handbook of Robotics

Nimble-Fingered Robot Outperforms the Best Human Surgeons Article MIT Technology Review

Do We need Asimov's Laws? Article MIT Technology Review

Humanoid Robot- Gemonoid HI-1- Android Prototype Video 

⌬ Hiroshi Ishiguro The Man Who Made a Copy of Himself Article IEEE Spectum

        Meet Erica, the world's most autonomous android Video at The Guardian

What's Mother's Day if you've been born in a machine and raised by robots? Article  at The Conversation

Why are humans scared of robots? BBC Article

The Uncanny Valley by Masahiro Mori, an  Excerpt at

Introducing Handle Video

Atlas -The Next Generation Video

Rossum's Universal Robot by Karel Capek 
Runaround by Isaac Asimov
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Blade Runner) by Philip K. Dick
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom 
Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford
Robot Nation by Stan Neilson
The Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

IEEE Explore Digital Library

Peter Asaro, PhD  - Website
  Dr. Asaro's web Links

WIRED- Uber's Self-Driving Truck Makes Its First Delivery Video

Statistically, self-driving cars are about to kill someone. What happens next? The Guardian

Tesla driver killed in crash with Autopilot active, NHTSA investigating The Verge

THE RISE AND FALL OF UNIMATION, INC. – Story of robotics innovation & triumph that changed the world! ROBOT

OTTO Product Launch Video

Fail Compilation -Robot Version Video

Uber to deploy self-driving cars in Pittsburgh BBC Article

Ford's self-driving car 'coming in 2021' BBC Article  


Robot bartenders on the Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas cruise ship Video

Humans Need Not Apply Video

Simone's Robots YouTube Channel

World Population Prospects UN

World Population Prospects Data Query UN

Harvey the Robotic Capsicum (Red Pepper) Harvester Video

Interactive Population Pyramids Tool

International Transport Forum Safety Report 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Hitting a Grand Slam with a Cracked Bat! -Part II


  Welcome to part II of Hitting a Grand Slam with a Cracked Bat.  Julie sent a box of baseball cards to me. This box contained well over 300 cards! About half are Cubs, and the other half are White Sox. All but one (one!), are new to my collection, and that is awesome! So with this post, and another for Part III, I will show scans of some of these baseball beauties.


Without a doubt, Clark is the cutest MLB mascot. He was so happy to be pulled out the box. He was mumbling something about black holes and a crack in the space-time continuum, but I was too busy pinching his cute little cheeks to grasp what he was saying.

Ernie is just about as cute as Clark, and this card brings my Ernie Banks collection up to two cards.  How apropos, as I heard Ernie say to Clark as he patted him on the back, 'Don't worry friend. We'll play two.' Clark smiled, and then hordes of players climbed out the box and laid out across the table.  Once they settled into their proper card poses, things seemed to settle down. -With the single exception of Tony Kaufmann.

The Kaufmann philosophy states that any time is a good time to dance the Charleston.  The only one who disagrees with this philosophy is Murphy, and nobody cares what Murphy thinks.

Frank Chance and Mordecai Brown. These fellas know how to climb out of a box and strike a pose! They make for beautiful cards.

And shy Billy Williams is another favorite.

Perhaps Billy is not shy, but is flinching from the bright white light that seems to be gunning for his card? Oh I know what will tone down that white light, a blue light. Not just any old blue light, but a Blue Light Special!

The Dream Team boys to the rescue! While they do their thing, I'll go do mine. An anthro class (Robotics and Society) started Monday and I need to finish this week's course work.  I hope to post the final installment of Hitting a Grand Slam with a Cracked Bat before the end of the week.

Thank you A Cracked Bat: Baseball Cards and a Hot Dog!

Hitting a Grand Slam with a Cracked Bat! -Part I

  On Monday, I had been checking on a tracking number throughout the day waiting for the 'Delivered at/in mail box' update. Having had enough of getting nowhere at the USPS website, I headed downstairs to check the mail for myself. I approached the great wall of metal boxes and slid the key into its matching lock, and then I turned it. As I pulled the little door open, a glorious light burst through the edges of the small mail box. In the center of this magnificent light, was a box. It seemed to be floating in there, with an apparent disdain for the law of gravity. Fancying myself an adventurous Chicago Jones, I clipped my bullwhip to my belt and reached into the light and pulled out the box. As soon as the box entered the daylight, the glow toned down and the box very nearly blended into the surrounding environment. Thankful that nary a soul was around to notice the transformation, I smiled a crooked grin, then tipped my hat back and bounded upstairs.

   As I was breaking through the seal on the box, this happened. -

  How such a little box could hold so much beauty... I'll never know. Julie at A Cracked Bat knows. She packed it. She sent it. And. It. Is. Glorious!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Time For Another

...Pizza pic!

Because I have nothing else I'd rather do while waiting for the mail, and this is Chicago!