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Showing posts from July, 2011

Classic card of the week

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Mike Greenwell, 1989 Sports Illustrated for Kids

Here is another of my Sports Illustrated for Kids perforated baseball cards which I tore out of the magazine and which is worth at least $700. What makes it so expensive is the beautiful blue-green splotchy design, which resembles a line of low-end kitchen countertops.



Mike joined the Red Sox’ regular starting lineup in June 1987, and he still hit 19 homers and drove in 89 runs that season.

“Despite playing baseball, Mike Greenwell acquired good baseball statistics.”

In 1988, he batted .325 with 22 homers and 119 RBIs for the American League East division champs. He also led the league by driving in 23 game-winning runs.

Greenwell finished second in the ’88 AL MVP voting to Jose Canseco, who became baseball’s first 40-40 man that year and who recently pitched “6 strong innings to knock of funky Fielders lineup,” whatever that means. By keeping generally quiet and doing the opposite of everything Jose Canseco has done since 1988, Mike Greenwe…

Oversized binder harbinger of unfortunate incidents

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Note: This column appears in the 7/28 issue of The Glendale Star and the 7/29 issue of the Peoria Times



We have to sign our daughter in and out of daycare using two mediums—the modern touch-screen technology of a computer, and the ancient method of a pen and gigantic, alphabetized binder. It is the latter that most concerns me on those days when I am responsible for picking her up.

For you see, it is the binder wherein her daycare includes all parental notifications, and 90-percent of the time that means an “incident report.” There was a time—it seems so long ago—when our daughter played the victim in these reports, and I, the sympathetic father, simply signed the paper, opting not to press charges, and later consoled the precious girl. Somewhere along the way, this precious girl learned to fend for herself, then to defend others—one report detailed how she bit a kid because he bit another kid; hers is a vigilante justice—then to defend her territory—she once bit a girl for having the a…

Classic card of the week

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Vladimir Guerrero, 2000 Upper Deck’s Most Wanted

Captain Williams: Alright everyone, get in here. Stevenson—work the projector. Johnson—grab me a coffee, will ya’? The rest of you knuckleheads, listen up! Got one that just came down from the feds, and it’s a doozy. Russian guy, from the Dominican, working in Canada. I have no idea how this one ended up in our jurisdiction …

Officer Daniels: ‘Cause the Feds can’t do their JOB, that’s why!

Capt. Williams: Shut yer cakehole, Daniels! But you got a point. Anyway, Stevenson—flash the info …

Projector turns on, displays a graphic image of a naked, overweight woman riding a go cart. Room erupts in laughter and cat calls.

Capt. Williams: For crying out loud, Stevenson!

Officer Stevenson: It wasn’t me, Cap. It was probably Sully. After all, it’s HIS mom!

Officer Sullivan: You wish, Stevenson!

Officer Stevenson: What does that even mean, Sully? You’re such a moron.

Capt. Williams: Alright, cut the crap, guys! Where’s the Guerrero file?

Officer Stevenson:…

“Operation Not So Convenient” is a real thing that happened

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Note: This column appears in the 7/21 issue of The Glendale Star and the 7/22 issue of the Peoria Times



Uh, a police report, I guess.

The convenience store is a proud testament to a person’s geographic location. And by “proud,” I mean shameful and dirty. Nevertheless.

Back in New Jersey we had many convenience stores. Seven-11, Quick-Check, and even Wawa, which is Philadelphia-based but spreading, thanks to the popularity it has garnered by not being as disgusting as other convenience stores. When I lived in Baltimore we had Royal Farms, which, like an actual farm, was a good place to buy a 72-oz soda, or get shot.

Upon moving to Arizona, I quickly discovered that Circle K was the place to be for convenience, especially since there is one at every major intersection. What separates Circle K from even my own accustomed standards is that it sells the two major things that require the utmost convenience—gas and alcohol.

As a matter of fact, I have had several interesting experiences while try…

Classic card of the week

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Dennis Northcutt, Visa debit card, Exp. 02/06

I think it’s safe to say the NFL would not be experiencing a lockout if more players were willing to use their Dennis Northcutt debit card.

The great thing about a Dennis Northcutt debit card is that it prevents you from overspending. For example, if you don’t have adequate funds in your Dennis Northcutt checking account, and you mistakenly attempt to purchase some Dennis Northcutt memorabilia with your Dennis Northcutt debit card, the debit card will not allow you to do this. In this regard, Dennis Northcutt is always looking out for your best financial interests. “Why don’t you purchase this autographed Dennis Northcutt plaque when you have more money in your account,” is what Dennis Northcutt says to you, via his debit card, on such an occasion. Another way the Dennis Northcutt debit card prevents you from overspending is through the fact that you cannot actually use the card to buy things. I found this out the hard way:

Cashier: That wil…

When Arizona hands you scorpions, make lemon juice or something

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Note: This column appears in the 7/14 issue of The Glendale Star and the 7/15 issue of the Peoria Times

Many thought it wasn’t possible, but here is how you go to the same store four times in the span of about two hours.

We had just returned home from an extended holiday weekend, and there was no food in the house, so I went to the grocery store. When I got there, I realized I had forgotten my wallet. The good news was that it was only 118-degrees outside with 90-percent post-monsoon humidity, so getting back into the car I just finished driving for seven straight hours because I am an idiot was a very appealing and exciting thing for me to do. This was my first trip.

I got my wallet and went back to the store. I did my usual thing that I do at the grocery store, where I walk around confused and buy things and forget stuff. I was almost done when my wife called to see where I was. She was wondering if I could come home asap—she had just been stung by a scorpion.

Had she not sounded so rel…

Classic card of the week

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Jose Lind, 1988 Topps

The future held many things for Jose Lind, as we will soon see. And while stardom based solely on his achievements on fields of play may not have been one of them, we are here talking about him today—the future—on a blog, mostly because one time he drove a car without pants. So there’s that.

Other than predicting future greatness based on four career home runs in five minor league seasons and a .322 batting average in limited time in the bigs based on 143 ABs even though his career minor league average was like .260-something, Topps offers little in the way of information and entertainment. For such things we must turn to Wikipedia:

He also acquired a reputation for whimsical behavior, as one might expect from a man nicknamed "Chico" (Spanish for "Boy") … he often surprised fellow players in the clubhouse by playfully brandishing one of the many knives he kept in his locker.

It’s very much unlike Wikipedia to be inaccurate or misleading, but I thi…

Report: Some things are bad, maybe; others are not, we think

Note: This column appears in the 7/7 issue of The Glendale Star and the 7/8 issue of the Peoria Times

When I was growing up, it seemed like every other week on the news a report would surface about how butter is better for you than margarine … which would be followed a couple weeks later about how, no—margarine is better. And so on and so forth. I don’t know which product won, but one time my mom brought home a bottle of butter spray, which I thought was disgusting, but I still used it.

Anyhoo, my point is that … I’m not really sure. What was I talking about? Butter? Really? Hmmm. Allow me to transition.

In my book—oh, you didn’t buy and enjoy my book yet? That’s too bad. Please do, and then feel free to rejoin this conversation—there is an entire chapter about how, in attempting to become a tan person living in Arizona, I ultimately realized that it’s much more important for me to be protected in the sun. The person most responsible for this revelation was my wife, who was like, “You’re…