Monday, March 10, 2014

A day in the life

I'd like to say that my daily life is filled with card shows.

I'd like to say that my daily life is a hedonistic quest to track down new T206 tobacco issues or vintage Roberto Clementes.

But it's not. 

Sure, I have card shows every couple months and I might land a big new score for my collection every once in a while. For the most part, though, my day-to-day card collecting life is pretty normal.

Still, that doesn't mean it's not special. I love having my own personal routine when it comes to collecting, and I'm sure most of you do as well.

Tonight, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to take you through a standard collecting day in the life at the "Dime Boxes" casa. I logged every card-related activity I did yesterday in preparation for this post.

It might not sound that exciting to outsiders, but I still continue to get a kick out of it all these years later.

Scanning/cropping -- 30 minutes

If you look at some of the earlier posts in this blog's history, you might note that I didn't have a good handle on the whole cropping thing.

These days, though, I meticulously scan and crop everything I put on this blog. What you see above is a snapshot of my image database.

I scan and crop through our home's PC, but then I save all the images to a flash drive and blog from my laptop.

Though I don't usually spend too much time on this process, I had a whole bunch of cards from recent trades that needed to be cropped. Hence, the half-hour I spent on it yesterday.

While I immensely enjoy blogging, the scanning/cropping process can get a bit tedious.

Blog reading -- 20 minutes

I try to read as many blogs as I can in a given day.

Rarely does a day go by where I do no reading whatsoever. I'd feel out of the blogging loop.

I usually catch up on all the overnight and morning posts when I wake up each day. Since I didn't arise until about one o'clock yesterday, I also had some early afternoon write-ups waiting for me as well.

Yesterday's first batch of posts included a card show recap from Gavin of "Baseball Card Breakdown". In what would become a bit of a running theme for the day, he picked up a slew of vintage goodies. The one that grabbed my attention most, however, was a 1957 Topps Hoyt Wilhelm.

It was one of the first Wilhelms I ever picked up and the only one I've seen that pictures him as a Cardinal.

I'm always happy to see someone else enjoying some Hoyt goodness.

Scanning/cropping -- 15 minutes

Blogging -- 35 minutes

My scanning and cropping for the day wasn't over just yet.

I had a frankenset post to write, after all. After I successfully loaded Mr. Jackson and friends onto my flash drive, it was time to get down to business.

As usual, I plopped myself down on my bed and began to write. As any blogger will tell you, some posts take longer than others. I'd say 35 minutes is about average for me. Maybe a bit on the shorter side.

Although it's almost inevitable that I'll get stuck here and there while writing a post, I churned out yesterday's frankenset page without much difficulty.

If only every post were that easy.

Filing -- 45 minutes

Every collector has their own filing method.

I love my team/position-based way of doing things. The one downside is that it can be somewhat time-consuming. It's a fairly simple process that involves moving cards from one slot to the next.

My work has been cut out for me these past few weeks. The little stack on the left consists of cards I've received through recent trade packages. I tackled those pretty fiercely during this 45-minute round of filing.

The two larger piles on the left, however, are almost entirely comprised of my pickups from that card show I attended a few weeks ago. I've slacked a bit on putting those away. I can only pray that I'll be able to make a dent into those this week.

Filing can be a bit painstaking at times.

That said, though, it's a great way to relax and simply enjoy my collection at the same time.

Blog reading -- 20 minutes

I spent another 20 minutes during the evening to catch up on all the posts I may have missed during that round of blogging and filing.

Though there were a lot of great posts written last night, the thing that caught my attention was how many card shows people seemed to have attended recently. I think I read through about three or four show posts yesterday alone.

Robert from "$30 A Week Habit" was one of the lucky ones. He picked up the real copy of Herb Score's 1962 Topps "sunset" issue, a card I've always wanted to own. I'll have to settle for the Archives reprint for now.

If I hadn't just attended a card show a couple weeks ago and weren't planning on going to one in a couple weeks, I'd be jealous of all these posts.

Ah, who am I kidding?

I'm still jealous.

Filing -- 20 minutes

That first batch of filing got me all the way through the Cs in my binder system.

I was able to take care of the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Expos during this second round. I did these with a spring training game going in the background.

It's awesome to be filing cards with actual baseball going on around me.

Filing -- 20 minutes

A great deal of studying for various upcoming midterms put further filing on hold for a while.

After absorbing all the information about Progressive Era politics my brain could hold, I needed something to take my mind off things for a while.

More filing!

The third and final round got me all the way up to the Ms, which means that former Met Tom Seaver and his 2013 GQ issue is next on the filing block.

Though I made a lot of progress yesterday, I still have a long way to go until I get to the Yankees, the final team in my binder system.

Hopefully I'll take care of those before the actual baseball season starts.

Adding everything up, I found that I spent a grand total of three hours and twenty-five minutes on card-related activities yesterday. That's definitely on the higher end of the spectrum. I probably average around one-and-a-half to two hours.

All in all, it was a pretty standard day around here at "Dime Boxes" headquarters. Nothing out of the ordinary.

However, a standard day of collecting is still pretty exciting for me.

I love every minute of it.


JediJeff said...

Send me that throwback Greinke on top of the right pile and I'll save you 12.7 seconds of filing time. Think how you could use that!

petethan said...

Captain Organization! I'm usually running from one stack of cards to the computer and back, never really getting anything done. I need to call in sick every once in a while just to make a dent in it all. I'm with you that scanning and cropping is the real time-eater. Need to start a scanning sweatshop or something...

Mark Hoyle said...

Seems like a pretty full and well rounded day of card collecting.

Fuji said...

Nice. I should probably document one of my days to see where all of my minutes go. My guess is I spend a lot of the time scanning, reading, and writing posts... but very little time sorting and filing. Well that's what the stacks on my office desk are telling me.

Ana Lu said...

Nice one. I've never counted the time I spent organizing my collection but I enjoy it for sure.

Just looking at a card counts too? ;)