The only insert set from 2016 Topps Series 2 that really interested me was the First Pitch set, so I went and grabbed it from an eBay seller. So far my plan is still to buy a factory set to get my base set for the year, and then probably get an Update set from the secondary market.
This was my favorite out of the 20 cards in the checklist. It counts as an Astros card and features a former American President. Every President has their warts, but I tend to be pretty fond of the Bushes overall.
I didn't scan all of the cards in the set, but I did scan a few that were noteworthy to me. I'm not going to lie, the first time I saw that picture of Rosie Rios I thought it was Caitlyn Jenner. According to my Google research, I'm not the only one who has had that reaction to seeing the current Treasurer of the United States. Model Nina Agdal is seen sporting some Angels gear, including what is probably a New Era cap, as she signed on as the company's first female brand ambassador. Spencer Stone is a member of the U.S. Air Force who famously helped to stop an attack on a train in France in August 2015.
I really like the First Pitch insert, and I hope that Topps continues to make it a part of the flagship product. They seem to do a good job of selecting a mixture of noteworthy figures, celebrities, and lesser-known people with feel-good stories for the checklists.
When we woke up this morning we discovered that my wife's dog, Annie, was in so much pain that she couldn't walk more than a couple of steps without falling down. She's been sick and had some pain for a while now, but never so much that we felt she was unhappy. She was always happy to see everyone, got around okay, and never went off her food or water. We monitored her and worried about her, but never felt like her quality of life was suffering to the point where it was time to put her down.
This morning was different. She couldn't walk at all. She couldn't eat any food. We gave her some medicine and that dulled the pain enough that she stumbled down the stairs, but then she had an accident on the floor and that freaked her out to the point that she crashed into to the back yard before collapsing again. All of that added together made us feel like today was the day her quality of life had finally dropped far enough that to hold on to her would be unfair. I went and carried her out to the van for that long drive that comes at the end of a dog's life. We all had a chance to say goodbye to her, and the medicine took away enough pain that she was able to eat a little bit of sausage and wag her tail a bit before we put her down. Big dogs don't usually live all that long, and we feel lucky that she stuck around with us for 11 years.
My wife and I got married at the end of 2004, just a couple of weeks before I left on my first tour in Iraq. She got Annie during that year I was away. They've been pretty much inseparable since, and Annie would always follow my wife from room to room all over the house. She loved to play and eat food and have her belly rubbed. She also really liked to sleep on or near our bed, a habit she picked up during all the time I've been away with my work. Annie was a good guard dog, and she was very patient with our children as they grew and played with and on her. She was my wife's first baby, and it's been hard knowing that this day was approaching. In a way I am kind of glad that she had such a sharp drop-off in health at the end, as it made our decision very clear. Yesterday I would have said her quality of life was good enough that ending her life was not an option, but today it was clear that she was suffering. We will miss her a lot, and it will be tough to get used to not having her around anymore. She's been there for our entire married life, and she's been a companion and a protector for my wife through all the times when I wasn't around. I'm glad that she's not in pain anymore, but it sure does suck that she's not here in the house, sleeping at the foot of the bed or filling the computer room with smelly dog farts.