Saturday, January 10, 2015

Theme Week: Better Know a Blogger (Ana Lu from Hobby Cards Europe)

Welcome to "Better Know a Blogger" Theme Week here at Nachos Grande.  About a month ago, I put out a call to any interested bloggers to answer a short questionnaire that I had prepared.  The goal of the questionnaire is for all of us to get to better know some of the various personalities on the blogs!  At this point, what was originally a Theme Week has turned into a Theme Month!  I've had to spread out some of the last few Better Know a Blogger posts because of my group break - but rest assured, everyone who submitted their questionnaire to me WILL get featured here (and hopefully sooner rather than later)!

1. Your name (or alias):  Ana Lu
2. Your blog website:  Hobby Cards Europe
3. What kind of collector do you consider yourself (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.). Why do you collect that way?
Since I’m so far away from getting cards like you all do (able to cross the street and buy at the local shop) I’m not that picky about collecting. But I do have a few mini-collections like my famous dust cards. Love cards where you get to see all that dusty cloud in the air! But I also collect pretty boys...errrrr...good players like Paul Molitor or Hunter Pence. Also give me all your hated Yankees that I love them all.
4. In your opinion, what could the major card companies (Topps, Panini, etc.) do to make your style of collecting better for you?
It would be great if Topps would ship some of their promotions to non-US/Canada countries.  But I think that Topps needs competitors or they would just sit under the Sun. And this is not a GO for the so called high-end or hobby sets they release. I prefer collecting cards as a child. Not as an adult. So don’t go raising the prices and making ultimate cards. Keep it simple.  (Panini is doing a good job without the licenses!)
5. What is your favorite part of your collection?  This could be one specific item, or a binder of cards, etc.
I love every single card I get. Perhaps because it’s not that easy (again..) getting them. But I have special love for my Players collection and Dust cards collection. But I have to say the most ‘off’ items I have are some ‘made relics’ I got in one of those repack boxes. I have a post about them already:
6. Most of us have a favorite song that we like for no good reason – heck, it might even be embarrassing.  Do you have a favorite baseball card that might fit that bill?  
It has to be the 2012 Topps Archive card #59 of mister Hunter Pence.

7. If you were forced to part with your entire collection except for one card, which card would you keep?
I don’t have a big collection and I still find this question sooooooooooooooo hard!  My dear Paul Molitor must forgive me..But I think I’d take the Hunter Pence card above. Would they made one of those combo cards and would put together Molitor and Pence and that would be my choice.
8. Many of the blogs (including my own at times) seem to decry Topps’ lack of vision and creativity.  Can you think of something creative that could be done for an upcoming card set?  
It would be easier to make a set if they would start thinking in what kids like. Simple statistics on the back and some fun trivia, A clean well thought design without much photoshop!
                I think an idea I’ve read in some blogs (Night Owl comes to mind in the moment) and produce a set with only landscape cards. I don’t have 9 vertical pockets binders. Mine are 8 pockets horizontal binders so for me would be simply ‘gold over blue’. (that’s an idiomatic expression that I don’t think makes sense in English..)

9. What is your profession?  How did you end up there?  If you are in school, what do you plan to major in and/or what job do you hope to get after graduating?  
I took Computer Science in College and now I’m a Software Engineer. And I’m proud to work on the team that makes the Air Traffic Management system here in Portugal.
I’ve always had passion for baseball even if it is a foreign concept in Europe. And I’ve seen many American films where baseball cards were always a trend between kids. And I always dreamt of having cards too! So here I am.

10. What is your favorite place that you’ve ever visited?  Why?  
I think I have to say Porto Santo’s beach. It’s a paradise island in Madeira archipelago with so much sun, sand to lose sight and a great sea..
11. Many of us have favorite foods or customs that are somewhat local to where we live.  Do you have any such things that you particularly love?  A website link to specific products would be spectacular.  
We have many local recipes in Portugal that are based on cod fish. And we cook it in so many ways..I’ll choose my favourite which is ‘Bacalhau à Brás’ which I think is something like Braised salt cod and for dessert I suggest Arroz Doce which is Sweet Rice.

12. Do you have any other hobbies besides card collecting?  
I love videogames and I wish I could still have more time to play all the games I have. Besides that I read a lot! I take all the minutes I have spare to read a page or two. Also love watching documentaries on TV.
13. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that we haven’t covered in the first twelve questions).
I also like music so I play guitar. I’m a lefty in some things I do. Sometimes use right hand others left hand. In this case I’m a lefty. So I have somehow a more unique guitar. 
Once again, a big thanks to our most recent Better Know a Blogger volunteer, Ana Lu.  I have to start with Ana Lu's home residence which is Portugal.  My wife and I are both dying to visit Portugal - so hearing anything about the country is quite exciting to me!  I will have to make sure to try both dishes that Ana Lu suggested (even though I'm not a huge desert fan most of the time).

As for the baseball related answers, it's amazing sometimes how much those of us who live in the United States take for granted.  We can usually find some place near us selling baseball cards (even if it is only Wal*Mart in my case).  Poor Ana Lu, no such luck in Portugal!  I hear they like soccer football over there a lot more than baseball!

I also have to give Ana Lu an extra shout out for the Computer Science degree.  When I was in undergrad, I too majored in Computer Science (as well as Mathematics).  Maybe my interesting in typing this blog stems from those many computer science classes (and the many projects that were assigned in those classes)!

There are still a couple more Better Know a Blogger entries waiting to be completed!  I also have one more group break box to bust yet - and all will be done in due time!  Stay tuned!!


cynicalbuddha said...

Another cool blog I can add to my blog roll. I really enjoy the few foreign card bloggers out there and their unique perspectives on the hobby.

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