Monday, December 21, 2015

The Conservative Mistress Part II: The Main Card

Continuing this trade review of cards sent to me by Adam of My Cardboard Mistress.  See Part I here.

John Kasich

I really wanted spend this time saying how much Kasich annoys the heck out of me... and it's pretty hard to do that, but I couldn't find a card that I could relate to Ohio (the only subject he ever talks about).  Instead, Kasich gets a really neat picture of a couple narwhals...undeserving.

Everywhere I've looked on the trusty internet, no one really seems to have a definitive answer as to why Narwhals have these tusks.  They are actually extremely elongated left incisors and some of them even grow two such long teeth on occasions... yes, very much like a vampire.  These "teeth" are also hollow which is even more perfect for blood sucking!  Some experts say these teeth are for communication, while others say they are used during mating rituals.  I personally like my vampire theory, but I don't plan on publishing it.

This is essentially what I'm getting at with Kasich as well.  No one really knows why he's running.  He's very much a wildcard and doesn't really have much of a chance at the nomination.  I don't think he was going for the public acclaim either (similar to Fiorina or even Trump), because if that's what he was planning on, he's not really making a good impression on the American public.

Rand Paul

Rand Paul gets the Stephen Harper card.  I had to give this card to somebody, and Senator Paul is the person I can most easily relate Mr. Harper to.  Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada, was a famed economist whose ideals catapulted him into a leadership role in the Canadian Parliament.

Rand Paul is a very polarizing figure and turns many heads when he speaks (in both a good and bad way).  He is extreme and very adamant about his ideas regarding budgeting a foreign policy.  I wouldn't say that these two persons have similar ideology (I don't have the knowledge or background to say such things), but I do think both of them have gotten to their current position through a focus on the economy.

Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina constantly talks about her time as CEO of HP.  She's also been fairly high up on the totem poll in some other companies.  In any case, she gets the "working man" set.  This set was one of the two case hits in 2013 Allen & Ginter and featured 10 different subjects performing everyday jobs.  It was a bit of a bore of a set in my opinion, but I appreciate getting this rare card nontheless!

Chris Christie

I'm going to preface this paragraph by first stating that I enjoy Chris Christie.  Quite a lot.  He makes me laugh and he seems like a down to Earth guy.

Okay, now story time.

When Chris Christie took office in New Jersey, it was first of all, a surprise to many.  New Jersey has been a historically blue state and Christie represented the Republican Party.  Christie has since been making drastic changes to many of the ways in which New Jersey operates.  One of the more famous ones is his significant cut to pensions across the state.  New Jersey had no money to pay their retired people, so Christie chose to not pay them instead of raising taxes.  This policy decision got him tabbed as a pirate for essentially "stealing" money.

Just like our friend Hornigold.  I love this mini set from this year's Allen & Ginter and I'm greatly looking forward to reviewing it.  I know a lot of people that think the same because getting my hands on the individual cards I'm missing has been quite difficult!

Marco Rubio

I first must explain these two cards.  These cards are Ginter Code parallels from 2009 and 2011.  They are identical to their base card counterpart except for their border.  Pedroia's card features an actual code along the outside of the card that had to be cracked to win the Ginter Code prize.  On the other hand, Chipper's card contains black print "flowers" in the corners.  It was discovered that if you obtained all of these parallels from 2011 and laid them out just so, the shapes would match up and form a coded message.  That message ended up being a complete red herring, but I suppose its interesting nonetheless.  I recently decided that I'd try my hand at trying to put together these parallel sets simply because I thought it'd be a difficult challenge, so I greatly appreciate Adam's generous start (I got far more than just these two).

As far as Marco Rubio is concerned, it always seems like he's wearing a mask.  He always seems to be hiding his true self behind pretty words.  Granted, that's part of politics, and this year is the first in a very long time where candidates actually seem to be striving for truth and blunt honesty.  While I don't believe Rubio is a crook or a complete weasel, he certainly isn't Trump, Cruz, or Christie, who seem to revel in jamming truth down our throats.

Rubio masks the real thing with pretty borders.  He prefers that his poop doesn't stink.

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush reminds me very little of his presidential family members.  Granted, I wasn't really old enough to know what the senior George Bush was like, but I certainly remember the younger of the two.  Jeb seems only to want to springboard off their past "success" and family money.  When he speaks during a debate, he is clearly passionate about certain issues, but I don't see or hear any drive in his words.  It's almost as if he has no desire to lead this nation.  Either that, or Jeb Bush is too proper and formal in his debate style.

Hence the absolutely beautiful cabinet card from the Pride of the People set featuring one of the prime tourist destinations of one of the world's most stereo-typically "proper" nations.  Every single card (if you still consider 4 X 6 pieces of cardboard cards) that I've seen so far in this set is stunning.  They remind me of postcards that you might find in a souvenir shop, which I think is brilliant.  I don't usually actively chase these oversized boxloaders down, but this is definitely a set I plan to complete sooner rather than later.

Ben Carson

Ben Carson has gotten a lot of heat for a commencement speech that he during which he claimed that he believed that the Egyptian pyramids were not built as tombs and shrines for ancient pharaohs and queens.  Instead, he claimed that they were instead possible built to store food (especially grain) in accordance with the story of Joseph and the Egyptian famine from the Bible.

This claim was quickly scoffed at for a number of reasons including ancients documents, complexity of the pyramids, and items found within the pyramids themselves.

Carson gets assigned the Easter Bunny... another very strange conjuration of the mind that apparently is derived from 13th century pagan Germanic beliefs.  This doesn't make me like the card less.  I won't get around to talking about this particular set, because it is quite rare and EXTREMELY hard to complete.

Ted Cruz

I don't really have much to say about Ted Cruz.  He seems extremely straightforward and to-the-point which has apparently rubbed most of his party-mates the wrong way.

He gets the world's biggest mammal simply because if you forced me right now to try and attempt to predict who would win the GOP nomination, Ted Cruz would probably be my pick.  I just see him as having the least baggage (at least at the moment) and probably has the highest floor of all the candidates.

Donald Trump

This is the card that gave me the initial idea to write this trade post in the this fashion.  If Topps had the chance to reprint this set in 2016, Donald Trump's roller coaster ride this year would simply HAVE to be one of the card subjects.  Every week that we get deeper into the primaries and debates, I have to marvel at the show that Donald Trump is putting on for us.  At this point, his name has been so ingrained into the news and media that I wouldn't be surprised if more people in America knew his name over President Barack Obama's.

I also keep telling myself that this campaign has to be one giant hoax, but at this point, I wouldn't be surprised if his name wound up on the final ticket (not as the presidential candidate mind you).  I could see these other GOP hopefuls trying to leverage his popularity and business acumen by choosing him as running mate... I don't know, maybe I'm going too far.

Those are your possible 2016 Republican candidates, one of which will almost certainly be running against Hillary Clinton in November.

Those also weren't the only cards that Adam sent me.  I only picked one mini from each set as he sent me quite a few from a handful of those mini inserts sets.  Adam also sent over some regular back base set minis.  Here's some highlights!

Thanks for the great trade Adam, and I apologize again for the vast amount of time it took me to get this particular post live.  Hope you enjoyed it!

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Conservative Mistress Part I: The Undercard

This post has been a long time coming.  I've admittedly been procrastinating a bit for no particular reason.  For example, last night I had ample time to start working on this, but I chose to watch Antman instead.  It was a pretty good choice.  I'm definitely a sucker for all these recent Disney Marvel superhero films.  

I've also had a lot of trouble coming up with something to write about for these cards.  I like to give a nice detailed review of cards I get in trades (especially when someone sends me a huge amount of stuff).  Adam over at My Cardboard Mistress did just thas almost a month ago now.  The problem is that Adam's "huge amount of stuff" was almost all Ginter inserts.  

This "problem" isn't that I'm unappreciative of the cards; in fact, these inserts are why I love Ginter so much (plus, I'm pretty sure I only got one duplicate in the entire package).  No, the problem lies in posting the cards and having something to say about them.  I have an ongoing series on each of the Ginter inserts, so I'm not going to talk about the sets he sent me.  I didn't really want to talk about the individual card subjects either... I started a post in that fashion and discarded it quickly.  I got bored with it.

I decided I needed a theme for this particular trade post.  I went through a few before finally settling on what follows.  I still don't like it very much, but I needed to get this trade post up at some point.  Hey, if you don't like it, you still get to see pretty scans of cards Adam sent me like this one!

Whenever I have free time at work or home, my first instinct is to head to my blogger page and read all the recent posts.  Once I'm caught up with that reading, the next best thing for me is a website called FiveThirtyEight.  This website was created, and is still run by Nate Silver, a statistical anomaly as far as human brains are concerned.  Silver is the driving force behind many recent statistical indices throughout the sport and political world.  He was also the guiding hand behind the Soccer Power Index, a rating system that I work with pretty much every day.  He's probably most famous for developing the Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm (or PECOTA) for baseball forecasting and for his work in forecasting the political scene.

In any case, I love the blog as it really digs deep into statistics over a variety of fronts.  The blog is still owned by ESPN, so it does focus a lot on sports, but it also hits on every other aspect of life as well.  I've never really been too keen on politics, and I certainly don't actively follow it.  FiveThirtyEight however, has certainly turned a lot of its attention in that direction recently, and I couldn't help but read some of it.

Thus my inspiration for this long overdue post.  Today we will do the unthinkable.  We shall somehow relate baseball cards to right wing politicians.  I say right wing simply because that is the only intriguing race at the moment.  I know... it's still possible that Sanders catches Clinton, but we're going to ignore that for the sake of this post.

Also know that I'm not very politically versed, nor do I have any idea what I'm talking about.  I'm simply making comparisons based on the characters (and oh do we have some characters) I've observed in the handful of debates I've seen.  So let's go!

George Pataki

This is by far my weakest comparison of the lot, so I'm starting off with it.  I know very little about Pataki, even though I live only a state away.  Guilliani seemed to steal all the spotlight that New York had to offer throughout the 2000's.  Pataki was there all along as well.

Adam sent me some of these 2012 Murder in Willow Cove inserts that revolved around the Ginter Code for that year.  The back of these cards feature a newspaper front page that you have to put together over the entire set of cards.  This card features a particularly mean looking sheriff.  Out of all the candidates (except for maybe Chris Christie who I have a better card for), Pataki has always seemed like the guy most likely to bust up your day.  Seriously... don''t trust his gentle smile.  He's from New York after all!

Lindsey Graham

There's going to be a lot of finger pointing and guffawing at people in these two posts.  It's by no means an indication of how I feel about these people.  For example, I'm beyond grateful for Mr. Graham's service to the Air Force for 33 years.  However, that's not the only reason why he gets a beautiful picture of an Aerodrome next to his face.  It also has nothing to do with the fact that Graham is from South Carolina and the inventor of this contraption (Samuel Langly) passed away there too.  

Nope... it's more to do with the fact that he always finds a way to look high.  Don't believe me??  Here's another picture.

Rick Santorum

The first of the candidates that I've actually seen in a debate.  This guy recently went out and said that we're in the middle of World War III.  I guess that's the kind of thing you say when you're stuck on the under-card and are trying to get people to listen to you.  A bit audacious I'd say.

In any case, Adam sent a few of these SpaceShots cards along with the package of Ginter as a type of packaging buffer so the other cards wouldn't get damaged.  I like these cards though!  I've always enjoyed space photography, and that first picture reminds me a bit of a missile launch (hence the WWIII comment...).

Another space shot.  I don't think I'd actually ever consider collecting these.  I just simply wanted to highlight one of the best packing materials I've ever seen.

Mike Huckabee

This one's pretty simple.  We've got a Classic Christian Conservative Candidate.  Here's your Complimentary People of the Bible insert Containing the Caricature of Joseph.  538 ran a pretty cool graphic last week that designates where these candidates stand around the "establishment" as they like to refer to it.  I love where Trump is on this graph.  It only makes his card all the better when we finally get to it.


Obviously that's not all Adam sent me.  It's just a start!  I'll leave you with two more inserts that he sent over that didn't get attached to any right-wing people.  Perhaps we can attach these as a whole to left wingers!  Do it!  One is Clinton, the other is Sanders.  No one cares about O'Malley.  Assign them both a card in the comments!

Oh, and I suppose if it took me this long to get this post up, it'll be Christmastime before the next one.  I certainly hope not, but if you don't hear from me, have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!