Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Waiting and Waiting and Waiting...

Well, today was the day to catch those D&H Lightning Stripe GP38-2s. Went out to Wilkes-Barre at 7:15 and arrived at the 3rd Avenue Trestle at 7:45. Just as I get to the spot, CP 412 rolls by with 2 NS Trash-9s for power. My freight fix has been cured (for now). I'm thinking to myself this day is gonna be sweet. Figures it would turn out the opposite. After an hour of waiting, nothing, not even scanner chatter. Another railfan comes by and says that they pulled out of Scranton at 8:50. So, we figure, oh must be coming by in an hour. At 9:30, another railfan comes by and said the train is on the ground in Scranton....

Let me just repeat that: ON THE FREAKING GROUND.

All looks pretty much hopeless at this point. Most packed up and headed out, 2 others came back from down by the river banks where they were attempting to get shots (they were, by the way, the Blaszczyk brothers, Andrew and Christopher, who take some very exceptional railroad photographs), and some brave souls, including the Blaszczyk brothers and me, stayed in hopes of catching something. At 10, we learned that they had detrained the passengers and they reevalute the options at 12. Yee-hah. It was almost done for. I had started making plans for a trip to Steamtown. The Blaszczyk brothers had to make it to West Virginia to set up a night photo shoot tomorrow. But, wait! Andrew received a text before they left that the train would depart at 12. So, might as well get some lunch and come back. We arrive back at around 12 to set back up to finish what we came for. Railfans started arriving in saying the train had cleared Taylor Yard in Scranton. Other chasers started arriving as well. I ditched the idea of chasing, since it was much later than anyone expected. Soon enough, someone got a call from someone else on the train that they were at Hudson, five minutes out. At 1:04 PM EDT, 5 hours after arriving at the 3rd Avenue Trestle, the excursion finally rounded the curve above with those 2 D&H Lightning Stripe GP38-2s leading: 7312 and 7304. Good lord. I guess it was worth it, but 5 hours, seriously? Anyway, not to bore you more, but afterwards, I went to Target and was searching for Blasters of 2010 Bowman, to no avail. But, I did buy a jumbo pack 2009 Topps 206 and a pack of 2010 Upper Deck. Sure, I share the pulls with you.

UD Pack:
Scott Podsednik 128
Ryan Spilborghs 176
Jeremy Reed 324
Star Rookie Checklist 1
Asdrubal Cabrera 164
Fernando Perez 476
Brandon Medders 438
Renyel Pinto 220
Jesse Litsch 525
Joe Saunders Bio SB-39
Mark Teixeira Pure Heat PH-11
Koyie Hill 176
Kevin Frandsen 431
Rick Porcello 206
Nick Punto 310
Dexter Fowler 179
James Shields 487
Tigers Checklist 580

Not a lot of stuff there....

Topps 206 1st Half
Rich Harden 37
Garret Anderson 233
J-Becks 148
Casey Kotchman 279
Johnny Mize Mini - Old Mill Back 254 (1 in 20 pack hit-jo!)
Han Ram 102
Elvis Andrus 138

BAM! How's a 1 in 20 pack hit for ya? And, Beckett...well, it's a Red Sox card.

2nd Half
Mike Cameron 111
Chad Billingsley 285
King Felix Gold Junk 112
Koji Uehara 23
Aaron Poreda 268

Yeah, again, not much.

I'll end your misery now.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Where's the Freight?!?!

Spent almost an hour out at Newburgh, New York on the CSX River Line this morning. I didn't catch a damn thing. All that was running was Amtrak and Metro North on the other side of the Hudson. So, now I'm in Scranton and I still haven't caught a freight to this point.

I did catch some passenger crap, though. On Sunday, I caught an outbound Metro North train (6834) arriving at Danbury, CT with CDOT BL20GH #130 leading. And, today, I saw an inbound Metro North train (64) heading to Hoboken depart Port Jervis, NY with Comet V Cab Car 6700 and MN GP40FH-2 #4903 (hooray for strange geeps!). In addition, I shot some static stuff (go figure, the static catches were better than the stuff moving). Sunday, I shot the equipment at the Danbury Railway Museum which included (but isn't limited to) an old New Haven FL9, a New Haven ALCo RS1, a B&M Steamer, and bunches and bunches of other assorted junk, some nicer than others. Today, I found the old Erie RR Turntable in Port Jervis. The turntable was pretty dead, but the stuff around it was nice: a nicely painted Erie E8 and a NY&GL RS3.

So far, success is...well, what it is. Not a hell of a lot so far. But, tomorrow, say hello to some D&H Lightning Stripes.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

NRHS 2010, Here We Come!

Time for D&H Lightning Stripes, ALCo's, and ridiculous amounts of railfanning. Yes, it's NRHS Convention time! Only my first ever trip for one of these conventions, but it should bring lots of good stuff. And, it's in Scranton. So, it will add some The Office theme to it. I'll be there from Monday to Friday, then I'm heading down to Lancaster, then out west to Columbus. Yup, orientation time. But, tomorrow is when the fun begins!

Friday, June 18, 2010

USA Soccer: Awful Start, Excellent Comeback, Crappy Officiating

Nope, I'm not heartbroken over the Celtics losing. I don't care enough about basketball in general to be heartbroken. I could go on a rant about what I think is wrong with the NBA right now, but I won't. Instead, why not talk about that awesome comeback/should've-been-victory for USA Soccer. I was quite underwhelmed with the start of the game. How does the defense give so much freakin space to Slovenia Midfielder Valter Birsa?! I know, it's easy to say that watching it on the tube. But, he easily could have read the paper, made dinner, and saved 15% on his car insurance by switching to Geico, and still would have made the shot! The game did make for some excellent entertainment, though. The USA made a 2 goal comeback courtesy of Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley, as you all should know by now. And, it should have been a 3 goal comeback. Figures that the ref would call a phantom foul against...well, I still don't know who. I'm also trying to understand how a ball off the shoulder is a handball. Last time I checked, the shoulder attaches the arm to the body, but is not part of the arm. Just sayin...
In the end, it was a very thrilling and entertaining game. But, we all know, it should have been a very thrilling and entertaining win.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two In One: Railfan Report and Pack Breaks

I took some time out of my morning to go do a little railfanning in Ballardvale. And by a little time I mean 4 hours. So here's the report from a good, solid 4 hours at Ballardvale.

(Time, Train ID, Power)
8:50; MBCR 209; MBTA 1004
9:30; MBCR 214; MBTA 1652, MBTA 1131
9:40; AMTK 681; AMTK 71, AMTK 90220
10:04; AMTK 682; AMTK 90213, AMTK 206
10:25; MBCR 218; MBTA 1633, MBTA 1004
11:00; PAR NMED; HLCX 6450, MEC 604 (604-Pan Am Blue)
11:14; MBCR 213; MBTA 1008
11:35; AMTK 683; AMTK 206, AMTK 90213
12:13; PAR WASE; HLCX 6413, MEC 314, HLCX 6329

A couple of pretty good catches here with NMED and WASE. Plus, a recently acquired TFM SD40-2 thrown in for good measure. And, plenty of horns being blown north of the station meant for a pretty damn good day railfanning wise.

In addition, I brought 4 four packs of 09 O-Pee-Chee Baseball with me to bust during the boredom. (Hey, the stuff is 99 cents a pack at Newbury Comics, why not buy it?) So, I ripped them between 218 and NMED. I pulled what you'd expect to pull out of4 packs of OPC: 4 short-prints, 4 black cards (Jonathan Broxton, Michael Young, Ryan Braun, Brian Wilson), 2 of those blasted 20th Anniversary UD Inserts (one was of Cal Ripken, though), you know, that stuff. But, I did pull a big mojo hit: an autograph of Aaron Laffey. I can't say it was a great hit, but I do appreciate pulling a one in every 216 pack hit in only my 7th pack of this stuff that I've ever ripped. Then, a half-hour later, I'd catch NMED. Yay me!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Photoshopping Spree

Decided to do some post process work on a few photos yesterday. I haven't done any post process on anything other than train photos in I don't know how long. I posted that work to my Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chenchey_photo/. So, check that shit out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Series 2 Pack Break

I bought the Blaster Box equivalent of packs yesterday at Kenmore Collectibles for 16 bucks (good place, by the way; check 'em out). A blaster box costs about 20 bucks. Would you say the manufactured patch card is worth the 4 extra bucks? Yeah, didn't think so. I was going to do an on location pack break, but the rain is holding me in since, well, photos on a day like today are shit. So, I proceeded to rip them here.

Whats I gots:

55 Base Cards (I know, yawn)
1 Gold Parallel #'d to 2010 (Evan Longoria)
4 Legendary Lineage Cards (I don't know how that happened, you're guaranteed 2 in 8 packs and I got 4)
1 Card Yo Momma Threw Out (Al Kaline '54, also guaranteed 2 or 3 and I somehow got 1)
1 Original Back (Duke Snider '57)
2 History of the World Series ('26 Babe Ruth, '61 Yogi Berra)
1 Peak Performance (Aaron Hill)
1 Turkey Red (Adam Dunn)
2 Vintage Legends (Babe Ruth, Ozzie Smith)
2 Team 2020 (Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Dodger-JO)
2 MCG Redemption Cards
8 Topps Attax Cards

Not bad for 16 bucks worth of wax (actually 20, since I bought a pack of '09 Heritage High Numbers and '08 Updates and Highlights). I'm still trying to figure out how I pulled 4 Legendary Lineage Cards, but I guess it makes up for the stuff I got technically screwed out of. I like the product, but I feel as a lot of people feel, WAY TOO MANY INSERTS. As I've said before, I don't like inserts very much. Some of them I don't mind, like the Cards Yo Momma Threw Out and Team 2020 (really loving those cards). But, the Vintage Legends can go away. I didn't really mind the Ozzie Smith of 1989 in the 1969 style because it didn't look that out of place. However, 1919 Babe Ruth on the 1999 template is completely out of place. I don't mind cards if they look halfway decent, but seriously, 1919 Babe Ruth on a card made 80 years later? Where's Charles Barkley when you need him? And, can we please go back to ToppsTown Cards instead of ToppsAttaxTown Cards? I know Topps trying to market the shit out of this product, but I don't want cards from a game that sounds like it takes you about 5 minutes to play. All in all though, it's still a pretty good product.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Remember that Strasburg Red Parallel that I was tracking? Well, it finally sold yesterday for $4,850. Maybe not as expensive as the Super Refractor, but it would get me a third of the way through my first year of college tuition payments. Just sayin...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

For Once, MBTA Buying New Locomotives

Who knew the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority was smart enough to invest in new locomotives. Last time they bought new units they weren't exactly "new", just old, beat up, rebuilt, 30 year old freight locomotives. Yes, I'm talking about those god awful GP40MCs. I've read on the Railroad.net Forums that the MBTA is buying 2, count em, 2 new MP36PH-3C units. Now, that's not everything fortunately. They are also leasing 7 of the same units from the Utah Transit Authority's FrontRunner Service. FrontRunner doesn't need these units right now, as they have trainsets than tracks to run them on. So, why not have get beaten up a little on the East Coast. The leasers are to be held captive on the North Side Service, as they aren't equiped with ASCES. Users are also reporting that the estimated delivery date for these locomotives are in September. Figures that I'll be off at college by then.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Box Ownage: 2002 Topps Series 1

So, I decided not to go railfanning and sleep in, because sleeping is always good. That nice package that came in the mail yesterday was that box of 2002 Topps Series 1 Baseball, and it didn't take long to get here. So, in celebration of graduating from high school later on today, I ripped it to pieces. I'll get to what I got first then I'll give an opinion of some sort.

What I got:

Base Set - 341 of 364 cards (93.7%), 2 doubles

Parallels: Gold Parallel of Livan Hernandez numbered to 2002

36 (1 per pack) Logo Race Baseabll Cap Cards (Each Division)
4 Ticket to History Promotion Cards: Games 1, 2, 6, & 7
4 Logo Sticker Cards: A's, Tigers, Marlins, and Astros
4 Own the Game: Mike Sweeney, Rich Aurilia, Curt Schilling, and Roger Clemens
2 Ring Masters: Roberto Alomar and Paul O'Neill
1 Hobby Master: Barry Bonds
1 East Meets West: Hideki Irabu and Masanori Murakami
2 1952 World Series Highlights: Game 1 and Game 3
2 1952 Reprints: Allie Reynolds and Roy Campanella

The Big Hit: Team Topps Mickey Lolich On Card Autograph of 1964 Buyback card

All in all, a very good day with the pulls. I got one more than the guranteed Own the Game Card, plus two Ring Masters and two '52 reprints (one more than the guaranteed). Plus, I pulled that big hit. I wanted another parallel, but I'll live with it (1 in 19 packs). Now, unfortuantely, the cards stuck together in the packs. So, I had to sometimes pull them apart causing either 1 or both cards to become damaged. I have no plans to sell these cards, so I can deal with it.

Breaking these packs maybe wasn't exactly the same as 8 years ago, but I feel like I appreciate it a lot more than I did back then. The base set is very easy to collect, since there aren't many inserts (same can't be said of 2010 Topps). Plus, I don't like a lot of inserts. I am also very close to collecting the base set, which was pretty easy to do seeing as I pulled 93 percent of the base set. Alright, I got to go get ready to get the hell out of high school forever. I'm out.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pack Shredage

I went into Boston today to buy some packs that I figured I'd rip while railfanning tomorrow. Instead, I received a nice package in the mail today that I will bust tomorrow. So, it will a nice railfan-box break combo post on the morrow. Yeehah!

So, I decided to rip the packs today. Here's what I bought:
4 packs of 2009 O-Pee-Chee Baseball (6 cards/pack, 99 cents a pack so I stocked up)
1 hobby pack of 2010 Upper Deck (20 cards/pack)
1 pack of 2010 Topps Series 1 (10 cards/pack)
2 packs of 2010 Topps Series 2 (same as S1)
1 pack of 2010 Topps Heritage (8 cards/pack
1 pack of 2009 Allen & Ginter (8 cards/pack)
So, 90 cards for 27 bucks. So, here went the rippage.

The Pulls:

'09 OPC:
19 Base Cards
4 Black Parallels (one per pack)
1 2008 Highlights and Milestones Insert (Kelly Shoppach)

'10 UD Baseball
16 Base Cards
2 Bio Cards (Andres Torres, Kenshin Kawakami)
1 Celebrity Predictor Card (which is stupid, may I add)
Gold Parallel Card numbered to 99 of Jose Bautista (yeah for AL Leader in homers!)

'10 Topps S1
6 Base Cards
1 Turkey Red (Ryan Braun)
1 Card Yo Momma Threw Out (Roger Maris '61)
1 Toppstown Card (Vlad)

'10 Topps Heritage
7 Base Cards
1 Then & Now Insert (Whitey Ford and King Felix)

'10 Topps S2
11 Base Cards
2 Cards Yo Momma Threw Out (Brooks Robinson '61, Ryan Zimmerman '08)
1 Peak Performance (Hunter Pence)
1 Turkey Red (Raul Ibanez)
1 Redemption Card for a Peak Performance Relic of Pablo Sandoval (Some damn good mojo for a 1 in 49 pack pull)

'09 A&G
6 Base Cards
1 Mini (Mark Teixeira)
1 Nat'l Pride Insert (Erik Bedard)
1 Crack the Code Insert (...yay?)

When you pull a parallel numbered to 99 and a 1 in 49 pack hit in the same day, you're having a good day. The Mojo Gods were on my side today, for once it seems like. So, thumbs up for 27 bucks worth of wax!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Following Up Last Night's Strasburg Post...

Damn thing is at $4,150 right now with only 5 days and 10 hours left on eBay. Think it can make up about $12,000 in 5 days, I'd bet so.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

For the Love of Expensive Materials...

Is it just me, or are you stupid for buying a baseball card of player that you don't know will pan out for 16 grand? Orsillo and Remy were talking about the Stephen Strasburg Bowman Chrome Super Refractor auction on eBay (slow game, huh?), to which Remy said something to extent of I would never pay 16,000 bucks for a baseball card, to which I couldn't agree more. Hell, you could buy a damn car with that money, but this guy chose a baseball card (think of all the shit wax you could buy with 16 grand!). Well, whoever the sucker was better hope Strasburg pans out, otherwise it's money well wasted.