Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Hockey Gods Smile...

Mario Lemieux
(90-91 Upper Deck #144)
I usually keep a sharp eye at random junk sales, but it's good to keep your ears open too. Just happened to overhear some vendors discussing some hockey cards they had obtained.

Scored a small stack of early 1990s NHL Upper Deck for less than a buck a card, mostly rookie card/rookie year.

Upper Deck made its' NHL debut in 1990-91, instantly establishing itself as the manufacturer of premium cards. When I was young, a pack of Upper Deck was so expensive that it made a kid consider spending his allowance on a pack of cigarettes instead...

Hockey cards aren't worth what they used to be. But since I never intend to sell my collection, it's fun to acquire some novelty items that were impossible to get when I was younger.

Owen Nolan
(1991-92 Upper Deck  #362)
Just yesterday, I was remembering Owen Nolan's hat trick at the 1997 All-Star game...
The next day, I'm in possession of one of his Rookie Cards.

Eric Lindros
(1991 Score #329,  91-92 Upper Deck #9, 92-93 Upper Deck #88)

Mats Sundin
(92-93 Upper Deck #374)
Along with Nolan, I also found Eric Lindros and Mats Sundin... Coincidentally, these three guys were drafted first overall in consecutive years by the Quebec Nordiques (1989-1991)

Peter Forsberg
(91-92 Upper Deck #64)
Since Eric Lindros refused to play for Quebec, they had to trade him to Philidelphia for Ricci and Forsberg.

Steve Duchesne
with Mike Ricci cameo
(93-94 Upper Deck #217)
The Nordiques also got defenseman Steve Duchesne...
(Couldn't help but throw in this card from my existing collection of Duchesne with Mike Ricci.)

Chris Simon
(93-94 Upper Deck #243)
Quebec also received draft picks that turned into guys like Chris Simon, who joined the Nordiques, left God-awful Quebec, became the Colorado Avalanche, and won the Stanley Cup. Go figure.

Owen Nolan
(1991-92 Pro Set  #196)
Sweater number 88 is synonymous with Eric Lindros... Oddly enough, I'd always noticed how Owen Nolan is actually wearing 88 in his early Pro-Set cards with Quebec. No idea why... I had never seen Owen Nolan wear anything other than 11.  (Useless fact: The only teams to not have someone wearing number 11 that year were Buffalo, Quebec, St. Louis and Vancouver)

Joe Sakic
(94-95 Upper Deck McDonald's #McD-01)
Completely and totally randomly thrown into the box of cards for sale was a single card from the 94-95 Upper Deck McDonald's set. I already had a few packs from this set, but was missing mighty Joe Sakic.

Ed Belfour
(1990-91 Pro Set #598)
While nowhere near as cool as the Upper Deck cards, there was something about the 1990-91 Pro-Set. It's baffling how many cards there are... Can't believe I was missing Eddie Belfour from his "1990-91 Rookie Season".

Note that he's wearing number 30, and a mask with his trademark eagle... (his Upper Deck card below features a plain white helmet, wearing number 31. I presume because Alain Chevrier was wearing 30 with Chicago at the time)

1990-91 Upper Deck is still an awesome set, and the cards are now affordable.
So many Rookies, including Bure, Fedorov, Jagr, Modano, and Primeau.
 Still dig the nostalgic value of second/third year players...
Belfour, Joseph, Mogilny, Recchi,
Richter, Roenick  and Sakic.

One of my favorite finds was what I assumed to be  Keith Tkachuk's Rookie Card (91-92 Upper Deck #698), representing Team USA at the World Junior Tournament.
Keith Tkachuk
(91-92 Upper Deck World Czech Juniors #85)

But what's with the foreign text on the back? Turns out that it's card #85 from a 100 card set called "Upper Deck Czech World Juniors". It uses the exact same photo as the English version, but I'm assuming it was only sold in Czechoslovakia, because the packaging I found online is definitely not English.

Not a true Rookie Card, nor as valuable as the English one... But still neat to have a piece of Czechoslovakian cardboard in my collection.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

1997: One of the Coolest NHL All-Star Games Ever...

The 2019 NHL All-Star Game is being hosted by the San José Sharks.
Because when you think hockey, you think sunny California...

San José also held the event back in 1997, and Owen Nolan of the hosting San José Sharks demonstrated how to score three goals with style...
He points.... He shoots... He SCORES!
His third goal was on a breakaway, after pointing and firing into to the top right corner. This type of "called shot" is the kind of thing you see in baseball - not hockey!

Despite beating Dominik Hasek to complete a hat trick, Nolan and the Western Conference ended up losing 11-7. But the All-Star game isn't about winning or losing... It's about watching these guys have some fun with cool tricks and stunts like this.

San Jose Sharks Classics: Owen Nolan 'Called Shot' 1997 NHL All-Star Game

Monday, December 31, 2018

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Merry Christmas, Charlie Manson!

"How could you lie like this? To children!"
South Park (Season 2, Episode 16)
This Christmas classic is the heart-warming tale of a psychopathic killer who discovers the meaning of Christmas.

The boys have an encounter with convicted murderer Charles Manson while spending Christmas in Nebraska.
(Kept an eye out, and didn't spot a single candy cane.)

The truth is out there.
Still pleasantly surprised to be finding little alien symbols, signs, and occasional visitors themselves hidden in the backgrounds of South Park episodes... The smiley face on Manson's forehead tattoo becomes an alien for one quick shot.

Beefcake... BEEFCAKE!
Enjoyed the continuity with the kids' sleeping bags... Plus a quick throwback to the first season when Cartman gets dressed, his  "BEEFCAKE!" muscle shirt is briefly seen.

 Terrance & Phillip play some reindeer games.
I'll often skip past a Christmas episode when I'm watching a season on DVD... But this holiday episode is also just a damn good episode of South Park.

"And the Grinchy Poo himself
carved the roast poo."
Charlie Manson has an epiphany while watching holiday TV specials, particularly during "How the Grinchy-Poo Stole Christmas".

God bless us, everyone.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Calvin & Hobbes Christmas Morning

I remember being a stupid kid just like that... Still hadn't discovered the joy of sleeping in.

Often noticed how the worst kids in my class got the best presents from Santa...

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Simpsons Season 4: God Bless Those Pagans!

Just picked up Season 4 of The Simpsons. To find this chunk of golden episodes for ten bucks was a real steal. So many classics from Kamp Krusty, Homer skips church, Itchy & Scratchy Movie, Duff Gardens, Mr. Plow, Monorail...

I'd almost forgotten some of the great lines from episodes like Last Exit to Springfield and Marge in Chains... Back then, episodes of The Simpsons weren't just written... They were crafted, re-written and polished.


Decided to consider my favorite lines from Season 4. Sure as hell wasn't easy, considering all the awesome material to choose from... But I'd say that these are special, simply because they've lasted in my mind for decades, and still make me laugh...

Kamp Krusty (Season 4, Episode 1)
Bart: "Don't we get to roast marshmallows?"
Dolph: "Shut up and eat your pine cone!"

Treehouse of Horror III (Season 4, Episode 5)
Bart: "Dad, you killed the zombie Flanders!"
Homer: "He was a zombie?"

Marge Gets a Job  (Season 4 Episode 7)
Krusty: "LOUD! That's our secret word for the day! HEE HEE HOO HOO HA HA!"

Lisa's First Word (Season 4, Episode 10)
Bart: "Can't sleep... Clown will eat me!"

Marge in Chains (Season 4 Episode 21)
Arnie Pye in the sky:
"Look out at the corner of 12th & Main cause I'm gonna be sick!"

The incredible use of a character's imagination through dreams, flashbacks (and hallucinations) can take us to some entertaining moments that are just as memorable as the stuff that "actually" happened...

"You won't be needing this anymore."

"If you should die before you wake..."

"Now how 'bout a hug?"

"It's Lisa in the Sky... No diamonds though"

"Lie in the snow and count to 60"

"I am evil Homer. I am evil Homer"

Friday, December 21, 2018

Greed & Jesus... And Being Offended!

A couple of appropriate (and sequential) Garfield strips from 1996...

The second strip gave me an extra chuckle - Over the nonsense in Nebraska where some elementary school principal claims that candy canes are shaped like a "J" for Jesus... There really is no end to what people will claim to be offended about.