Saturday, October 10, 2015

Theme Week: Better Know a Blogger Finale! (Nachos Grande)

Due to a few more late submissions, my FINAL entry in my Better Know a Blogger series ended up delayed even longer than I had originally planned.  No worries though - the time is finally here to end this theme week once and for all!

1. Your name (or alias):  Chris (or fanofreds or Nachos)
2. Your blog website:  Nachos Grande
3. What kind of collector do you consider yourself (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.). Why do you collect that way?
I am a set collector first and a Barry Larkin collector second.  I've gone back and forth on whether or not I want to be a "general Reds" collector...and at the moment that answer is no (though I reserve the right to change my mind yet again on that).  For me, I enjoy the challenge of putting together a set (though I often choose sets that are perhaps too difficult to finish).  I also enjoy tracking down Barry Larkin cards - I know that I have over 500 different cards but I haven't completed my inventory of exactly how many over 500 I have yet!
4. In your opinion, what could the major card companies (Topps, Panini, etc.) do to make your style of collecting better for you?
As someone who likes to store all his cards in 3-ring binders, I wish Topps would make all their sets with 9-pocket pages in mind (i.e. make set sizes divisible by 9 - especially inserts).  There's not much more annoying to set collectors who use binders than a 10 card insert set.  For minis, Topps should make everything divisible by 15 for the same reason.
I would also like to see Topps NEVER again use letters for their card "numbers."  Having to resort to an online checklist in order to see where a card belongs in a set is super annoying - an there's really no good reason for it that I can see.  The lettering thing is enough for me to not want to bother collecting a drives me nuts!
5. What is your favorite part of your collection?  This could be one specific item, or a binder of cards, etc.
My favorite part of my collection is probably my Barry Larkin Collection binder - but my 1889 original Allen & Ginter American Fishes set (which is close to complete) is definitely a close second.  I also love all my modern Allen & Ginter sets - I have all the base sets complete and the vast majority of the insert sets are also complete (along with a a handful of the box topper sets from various years).  In addition to all of that, I also have a couple of years' worth of mini sets complete (or very close to complete).
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?  
I would say that my love of all things Upper Deck Collector's Choice would go would my love of the "big head" all-star cards from the early 90s Score sets.  I used to love those cards as a kid!  

7. If you were forced to part with your entire collection except for one card, which card would you keep?
Back when I wrote this question, I knew I didn't have a good answer for it.  
Nearly a year later, I still don't have a great answer.  That said, if I had to pick I think I would actually go with the Reds' team card from the 1987 Topps set.  If you are curious why, here's a bit of insight into my choice.  If only keeping a single 1987 Topps card makes your head hurt, my second choice would probably be one of my original Allen & Ginter cards from the 1800s.  
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?  
I would like to see a Topps Tek type set where each team gets 9 players and when placed in a binder the 9 cards for each team line up perfectly one-per-page.  I would want the set to be a Topps Tek style set so that the background (when the page is complete) would form a mural of the team logo using all nine cards.  I think a binder full of cards like that would look awesome!  
Since Allen & Ginter is my favorite set that Topps produces, I would love to see Topps return to more of the unique relics that it used to do (things like the rope pieces, domino bits, and even paper airplane scraps).  I found those to be quite cool - and definitely a big part of Ginter's charm and appeal for me. 

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 work at a small liberal arts college in north central PA where I teach mathematics and I direct our college's Math Center (which I designed and opened in August of this year).  I have undergraduate degrees in mathematics and computer science and a graduate degree in education which has left me well equipped for my current position.  I teach mostly Calculus and a course that I designed called The Mathematics of Games and Gambling.  That class combines my love of games (of all types) with's a lot of fun to teach (and hopefully to take as well).
10. What is your favorite place that you’ve ever visited?  Why?  
Greece!  I loved the history, I loved the food, I loved the heat, and I really loved the islands!  I also greatly enjoyed my two trips to Germany and Austria - I'd go back to any of those countries in a heartbeat if I could!  
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.  
I have a love of Middleswarth BBQ Potato Chips (chips that are supposedly going to be illegal before long according to this petition).  I'm also a big fan of Pittsburgh Steak Salads (basically salads with steak and french fries on it).  
12. Do you have any other hobbies besides card collecting?  
Yes!  I enjoy collecting LEGO sets (and building them of course).  I even have a blog dedicated to my love of LEGO.  I also enjoy cooking a lot and I dabble in woodworking.  Finally, I consider myself fairly decent at origami which is a nice mathematical hobby of mine.  Oh yeah, I also like video games (though I don't have nearly as much time to play them as I used to).
13. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that we haven’t covered in the first twelve questions).
I'm someone who doesn't consider himself to be much of a writer so I'm quite proud that my blog has lasted as long as it has.  I'm now over 5,200 different posts (dating back to June of 2008).  I also am pleased with the amount of trading that I've done over the lifespan of my blog - including trades involving LEGO!  Basically, I'm simply happy that people still click over to my blog and that they read my means more to me than most could possibly imagine!
That's it for my Better Know a Blogger series!  I do plan to revive this Theme Week in the future with a new batch of questions...but when I do I promise not to have the theme week be spread out over the course of almost a full year, that's a bit excessive!  Thanks once again to everyone who helped out by answering questions - and thanks to all my readers as well!  Enjoy your weekend!


Adam Kaningher said...

Austria is the only place I've been to outside the States, and it was amazing!

cynicalbuddha said...

Well done sir. A great series. This might even win you blogger of the year! Take that Night Owl! :) Anyway I will agree with you on #4 the use of letters instead of numbers at least for base inserts. I don't mind the lettering for things like relics or autos as a matter of fact just look at the cluster Panini gets into with numbering everything and then not producing certain parallels of cards so you end up with a checklist with skips and gaps. That's to me is super annoying. And I really love the idea in #8 with the 9 pocket pages. I'm sure something like that has been done before, but that would still make a cool set.

cynicalbuddha said...

I also was looking through the 2015 Topps High Tek checklist and saw that Larkin is getting a lot of love this year in the set.

Fuji said...

A. Set size divisible by 9 = greatest idea ever
B. The 9 player Tek team set is another great idea.
C. A salad with steak & french fries on top is the 2nd greatest idea ever.
D. This year I started buying LEGO sets. My wallet hates me.
E. Sad to see this series is being wrapped, but excited to see the next round.

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