Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Future of...

For now, I'm not sure what the future of TNB will be. It's been months since I last posted and even longer since I last collected. So, for now, I think it's fair to say that TNB is no more. I will keep this blog alive for posterity's sake and for the off chance that I decide to revisit this venture in the future.

Thanks to everyone that has made TNB such an enjoyable memory for me. I've made some great friends, and a few that I'll consider lifelong. With my current focus on being a fulltime husband and father, restaurant manager, and college student there is little to no time left for hobbies. Even my Tuesday Night Softball has become difficult to fit in.

Once again thanks to everyone along the way! I hope to be back in some form or fashion in the future!



ps I'm still interested in unloading stuff from my collection so if you think I might have something you need don't hesitate to ask. I'm going to attempt to get some eBay stuff going again by the end of the year. And, yes, there are a few of you with outstanding packages left to send. I WILL get to it at some point.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Building Our 1990 Topps Set - The End

I've never in my life completed a single set by hand. I've owned many sets both by personal purchases and those received as gifts, but I've never known the joy and/or frustration of building an entire set from the ground up.

I'm proud to announce that this is no longer the case. Today I received another trade package in the mail that gave the last few remaining cards I needed to complete Connor's 1990 Topps set!

The most important card of the entire deal, however, is this one...

It's a bad scan I know and it's not a 1990 Topps card. It is a 2008 Bowman Auto of Indian's prospect, Beau Mills.

This card is in one of the five packages I'm mailing out this morning in return for recent trades. The person receiving this card is obviously an Indian's fan and is the person who "completed" this set for me. I'll leave it at that since the person that will be receiving this card has no idea that it's coming.

I wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone that's contacted me concerning trading. I would have loved to have sent an auto to everyone that traded me some 1990 Topps, but it was simply impossible.

I've had this in mind for quite some time and had no idea who would be the the person to complete the set but I didn't want to tie the trades to a contest of any sort. I didn't want there to be a "goal" in unloading your old 1990 Topps.

Thank you to everyone that sent cards, whether as trades or as gifts. I hope I haven't let anyone down with the return packages.

Dave made the comment the other day after I posted my 200th post saying that it seems like just yesterday he was reading the first ever post. I would have to say I wholeheartedly agree.

Treasure Never Buried began with the end of an essay...

"...I do know however, a 4 year old t-ball star sleeping soundly in his bed right now that is going to help me put together a hand collated set of ragged 1990 Topps sometime in the near future. I won’t have to market anything. I won’t have a strategy for convincing him of how fun it can be. I do have faith that he’ll understand the enthusiasm and the magic in my eyes. I trust that my son will hear the faint whisper of a hobby tradition long gone."
Chapter 1 is complete. I could quit now and would have attained everything that I set out to do. I have found comfort in the accomplishments of a job well done.


Then there wouldn't be a Chapter 2 would there?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Baseball Cardized

Completely unexpected, I receive an email today from Travis of Punk Rock Paint stating that he has read Treasure Never Buried from the start and has always enjoyed it. I could stop typing there, leave it at that, and say thanks. I would be content in the satisfaction of knowing that someone appreciates what I've tried to do.

Luckily, I don't have to stop there. Attached to the email was a picture that Travis recently created.

How freakin' awesome is this!!

Thanks for making my day, Travis. This is really, really great and very much appreciated!

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Inner Artist Was Tragically Killed Today

Holy Cow, that looks good!!

If you didn't notice the banner at the top of Treasure Never Buried when you came in, please take a moment to glance back up there.

Isn't that friggin' awesome! Many thanks to W. Ross of BoxBusters for making this banner for me.

As I'm lying in my bed last night, ticked off that I missed the Tampa / Boston game, I glance over at my son who is playing games on my new iPhone. Before I realized what he was doing, it was too late. He had already sent the following reply to my boss:

"wwwwwwwwwwwhyyyslooosssssssssiiiiiiiiiiiiiii l;askjdfnnlwieyyyyyyyyyyy



Too late, damage done. Right before I turned in for the night I received an email. I popped over to check it, thinking it was a comment for a post (which is the biggest reason I love my phone...I can moderate comments anytime!) Instead it was an email from W. Ross:
"Hey Jason,

I was reading your site tonite during the game and noticed you changed your banner. I got to thinking about it and started screwing around - not really sure why but I came up with one for you."

It's not secret that I'm artistically challenged. My art has always been my words and on most days I'm not even so great at that. I don't have the time, patience, know how, or determination to do something like this.

I can't say thanks enough to Ross for this outstanding piece of work!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Peanut!!

This is the last picture of me before I officially became a father. It was taken on the airstrip in Uzbekistan prior to my return home from my first tour in Afghanistan.

Five years ago tonight, I sat in the small NICU of the Women's Hospital at River Oaks and held the hand of this little guy...

At around 1 pm that day, Connor was born. I was in the air somewhere between North Carolina and Mississippi and therefore missed his birth by two and a half hours. I arrived at the hospital shortly after 3 pm and found that Connor had been taken to the NICU where he would stay for the next ten days.

To say that this was the most difficult thing I've ever experienced would be an understatement. To have spent the last 12 months gone from home, 6 of those months spent in Afghanistan, waiting impatiently every day to witness the birth of my son, and then to not be able to hold him and take him home was difficult. To worry that he might not make it was heartwrenching.

But now, five years later I look back and say that this was the most beautiful thing I've ever experienced. To have watched, "iouweeu, daey" evolve into "I Love You, Daddy" has been amazing. Watching those first steps, hearing those first words, teaching him how to be a good kid, and watching the world shrink around him have been the greatest things I've ever experienced. It's what I was born to do.

For those who might have missed it, and for those interested in catching up, you can relieve the life of Connor through this video.

The sad thing about being a parent is that it took you as long to watch this slide show as it did for me to live the memories. It all goes by too fast.

Happy Birthday, Son...I look forward to being around for many more to come.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


"You're going to war!! You're going to war!!"
My morning began as such 7 years ago to the day.

I rolled over and tried to block the sun out of my face. The morning rays didn't help my hangover. I stumbled into the living room of the small apartment and asked my roommate to please shut up, that my head was pounding from the case of Budweiser I had attempted to guzzle in it's entirety the night before.

I was disheveled, confused. I would catapult from anger to grinning to solemn disbelief at what I was beginning to watch on television. Is this a blooper reel? Is this a joke? What am I looking at? There is no way this can be real.

My roommate and best friend, Eric, would later go on to correct me. "I didn't say you're going to war. I said we're going to war." He was right and he was wrong at the same time.

I had enlisted in the Mississippi Army National Guard roughly three months prior to that morning. In less than a month, I would be shipping off to boot camp in Fort Jackson, SC. I was terrified and I was angry. I was scared and I felt as if the world had stopped moving. Unfortunately it was spinning faster than ever before. I only wished it had stopped. That time had stopped. That I could wake up all over again and that this had never happened.

Once it sank in I didn't know what to do. I left the apartment and went to the roof of our building where no one could see or hear me and I began to let out sobbing screams of pain and frustration. I didn't want to go to war. I didn't want innocent people to be dead. I didn't want to live through this.

I didn't want to live through this? I didn't realize how selfish I was until a few months later.

In early November, I met a fellow soldier at Boot Camp that had experienced first hand the sadness of New York City during and after the attacks. He, unlike me, had joined after the attacks. I remember a conversation we had one night, one in which he cried almost uncontrollably, recounting to me what he had lived through.

His words forever changed me and my stubborn, selfish mentality. This was bigger than what any us had lived through. I finally realized it was more important to focus on what those thousands of people died for.

Two years later, I was sitting in the middle of Afghanistan. My wife of 7 months was closer to the coming of our first son, Connor. But, I was not the same selfish jerk only worried about the fact that I was missing out on the single most significant event in my life. Although I regret that I wasn't there witness those things I wanted so badly to be a part of, there was comfort in the fact that I was serving my country in response to the most deadly attack ever perpetrated on U.S. soil by an outside agent. I was honoring those fallen.

Today, I'm off from work. I try my best not to work on September 11th each year if at all possible. This is a day I spend with my family. Today is a day that I hold my son and my wife close and thank God that I've been blessed enough to have them. Or better said, blessed enough to have never lost them.

Maybe to some, the 9/11 remembrance posts seem a little much each year. After all it was 7 years ago and we should move on. I've actually heard this sentiment from people each year.

Personally, I don't just do it to honor those fallen. I do it as a means of comfort for anyone reading this blog that lost someone that day. I do it as a way of saying I'm sorry for your grief. There are no words to truly express that. I'm doing my best through the tears right now.

There are those in our country, in our world, and possibly in our midst that will never be the same for the events of 7 years ago. There are those who will never heal. Hopefully, there are those of us who will never forget and will be there each year to say we're sorry. To listen and to love unconditionally those that still need it the most.

I didn't lose a loved one on September 11. I didn't know one single person that died that day. But, I lost out on one of the most important events in my life because of the aftereffects. My sacrifice was a small price to pay in comparison to many others.

Today, when he hugs my neck, when he holds on tight and he looks at me and I hear his little voice say, "I love you, Daddy" I'll probably break down. I don't think I'll be able to contain myself. I'll stand thankful that I have my wife and son. That I can hear Connor's voice one more time. That he's not gone forever.

This post is dedicated to those that can never do that again with their children. I can't imagine your pain and I can only whisper a prayer on your behalf. I promise you that I'll do this for you today.

But even more so are the children who lost their parents in this tragic event. God bless you and comfort you in your grief. You're in my heart and on my mind.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Striving for 5th or The Mesh Between Two Loves...

There was an old tv show that used to title it's episodes with two different names and then separate them with "or" as if to give the viewer the option of choosing the title they felt most applicable. It's bugging the crap out of me that I can't remember what the show was. I always loved that idea and so the title of tonight's post is in honor of this method. If anyone has a clue what I'm talking about, please leave a comment. Otherwise I won't be sleeping anytime soon.

It's no secret that I intend to be a professional writer one day. This blog is only my second serious attempt at beginning the long road towards this dream and it's only the first attempt that can be considered successful. Maybe one day I'll milk some good out of the long hours I poured into the 7 chapters of a failed novel.

Tonight, I came across a post for a book that I had forgotten I had purchased on Amazon a few years ago. I initially bought it to help with term papers and essays that I had to write while taking online courses in Afghanistan.

For the last three years, it's sat on a shelf alongside another book that I had forgotten I had purchased. Stephen King's outstanding work, On Writing. I highly suggest both of these books to anyone interested in furthering their writing skills. The latter is, in my opinion, the most interesting book ever written by King. It stands alone even for those not interested in it for his literary guidance.

I've realized that if I'm ever going to realize this aspiration one day then I had better start now on getting back to the basics. After locating the books, I came back to do some research on Monster.com. While I'm not looking for a job, I wanted to see what's available in the realm of writing. In my area I found that there's not much. Actually, there's not much within a 200 mile radius. So, I dusted off both copies and sat them aside to reread.

After having come up empty in looking to the future, I decided to do some research on the past. The first name that came to mind for me was William Faulkner.

I don't consider William Faulkner to be one of the best American Writers of all time simply because I've NEVER read any of his work. But, apparently the rest of the world does. So, he must have done something very right with his career.

But it's not just Faulkner. I've never spent much time with any of the classics...

Catcher in the Rye, 1984, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, A Clockwork Orange, A Passage To India, Catch-22, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Grapes of Wrath...

Nothing. I've read Of Mice and Men and The Notebook.

Granted, of those listed, I've seen the movie if one were made.

I've read tons of books in my life. I actually read 37 novels in less than two months while in Afghanistan the first time. The first of which was Stephen King's The Dreamcatcher. It took me just shy of two days to finish off this 900+ page monster. I read really fast because once I do sit down to read, I can't focus on anything else. I've never read a book that was made into a movie wherein I liked the movie better. The images in my head of what I'm reading are always better to me than the Hollywood adaptation.

It's just that I've never sat down and read the Classics, those novels, short stories, and essays written by those that have shaped the literary world. I plan to change that.

But, I digress...

Even though I've never read his work I've always had a soft spot for Faulkner considering our birthplace. Had he not died of a heart attack in 1964, he would have been celebrating his 82nd birthday only 24 days after I was born in a small hospital less than 5 miles from where he was born.

My second home, Tupelo, Mississippi, has Elvis.

New Albany, Mississippi, my first home, has Faulkner.

While reading the Wikepedia page on Faulkner, I saw the link for New Albany. I clicked on it and read over some of the facts posted there. I continued to scroll down the page and found 4 names listed as "Notable People".

William Faulkner led the list, obviously.

The second person was a Democratic U.S. Senator by the name of Hubert Stephens who served in the 20's and 30's. Third was Eli Whiteside, a young catcher for the Baltimore Orioles. At first, this name didn't catch my attention. And finally, fourth, was a woman by the name of Betty Wilson.

Betty Wilson lived from September 13, 1890 to February 13, 2006. Mrs. Wilson celebrated the last of her 115 birthdays less than 10 miles from the home of my parents. She lived for 115 years and 153 days. She was survived by one son, five grandchildren, 46 great-grandchildren, 95 great-great-grandchildren and 38 great-great-great grandchildren.


Outside of Faulkner, Eli Whiteside is the only other name I know. I don't know why I didn't realize who it was when I first saw the name on Wikipedia.

Eli and I grew up less than one mile from each other in Northhaven, a small community north of the city of New Albany. Although we were never friends, I remember him vividly in Summer League Ball. This kid was a monster with a bat. I can still remember the grown-ups saying, "This kid's gonna make it to the big leagues one day!" I remember thinking that too.

Well, it looks like Eli got his wish. Considering his career so far, I'm positive that it's not to the extent that he wanted. However, there is still plenty of time for this 29 year old to make an impression on the Major Leagues. I know that he's striving to secure a spot in history by doing what he loves. I, for one, am rooting for "a good kid" to hit it big soon. I'll probably be starting an Eli Whiteside collection so if anyone has any to spare, I would like to trade for them.

Tonight, as I read this short of list of four names, the words of every teacher, preacher, motivational speaker and adult in my life ring true.

"You can be anything you want to be when you grow up."

For some, Politics may be the avenue. As much as I like to debate them, I never want to live them. I can argue with the best of them but the lifestyle is not in my blood. I'm a home body. And I'm not a good liar.

For some, the milestone of seeing history unfold for 115 years might be the ticket. For me, I don't think I would want to live after everyone that I knew and loved are gone.

For most of us, I'm sure that one day becoming a Major League Baseball player was a dream of yours as a kid. I know it was one of mine. I had the desire but I never had the talent. Eli, had both.

For me, it's writing. Other than the obvious of being a husband, father, and dog owner, nothing is more important to me. Nothing excites me or compels me as much as putting my thoughts and ideas on paper (or screen, in this case.) No, I don't understand the process like the "professionals" and I don't always utilize the proper grammar and punctuation. That doesn't matter to me. I can correct those deficiencies. Personally, I think the ability is within me. I think I have the talent if I will just apply it.

With that, I have decided to pursue this love. Over the next year, I'm going to shed some of the frivolous pursuits that I've been chasing and focus on making this a reality. I'm not looking to become a millionaire or to even be recognized as one of the greats. I'm simply setting out to do that one thing that has always made me happiest.

Who knows, in the off chance that I'm successful in this endeavor, I might end up on that New Albany list after all.

Senator, Supercentanarian, MLB Baseball Player, prolific American author....

and me...

Make that TWO prolific American authors.

I wouldn't mind that at all...