06 March 2017

I Didn't Want to Spend Any More Time in Oregon, Anyway

Yesterday (Sunday) I spent most of the day driving to Portland to attend a 4-day class for work. It's about a 7-hour drive from my house. Parts of the route are scenic, but I hated the drive for a couple of reasons. The first is that Oregon doesn't allow you to pump your own gas. I hate having to deal with some random person at a gas station pumping my gas. So that makes me mad right from the start. The second was that it seemed like Oregonians are outraged at the prospect of being passed on the Interstate. It seemed like every time I came upon a slower-moving car and moved to pass it, it would accelerate to well past the legal limit in order to avoid being overtaken. If I gave up the attempt and fell back, the driver would immediately resume their original slower pace in front of me. If my passing attempt was successful, the cars would again fall back to their original speed and continue travel as if the incident hadn't occurred. Why did so many drivers accelerate by 10-20 mph every time I tried to pass? Everywhere you go, there are the occasional people (usually in lifted bro-trucks or other 4-wheeled penis enhancers) who will use all means necessary to avoid being passed, but on this trip it seemed like every single slow car turned a passing attempt into an honor duel. I think they feel emasculated because they aren't allowed to pump their own gas, and that's how they process that feeling.

I got to Portland in the evening, with enough time to unpack my bags and go to sleep. This morning I went to class at the scheduled time, and sent a couple of messages back and forth with my wife beforehand. Today was the day of the big ultrasound, where we were to find out the gender of the baby I talked about in January. Instead of good news, my wife's doctor found that the baby's heartbeat was gone, and my wife had suffered a miscarriage. I texted my boss to let him know that I had arrived in Portland and that we had received bad news about the baby, and he told me to excuse myself from the training and get home. So I went back to the hotel, packed my bags back up, and started the drive back home. Again, I experienced the same struggles with gas stations and other drivers, with the added bonus that one of the gas stations I stopped at was out of gas, so I had to talk to pump attendants at two different stations for one tank of gas.

There wasn't really a lot for me to do at home, outside of just being there. It's not like a miscarriage is something you can come home and fix. That part of it is pretty frustrating. I do think that coming back home was the right thing to do, though. We were really looking forward to being parents again, and our sons were looking forward to being big brothers. It was good to talk it out with the kids and talk it out with my wife. I'm not really sure how to deal with this, to be honest. The odds of this happening are like 5-10% at this point in a pregnancy, but once we saw the picture and heard the heartbeat a few weeks ago I had kind of planned on being the dad to this kid in a few months' time. Now there isn't going to be a kid. I'm not a very emotional guy on the outside, but there are things that get me emotional, and babies are one of those things. I'm pretty torn up about it, but I feel like having or showing feelings isn't the way a man is supposed to deal with this.

Anyway, today was a pretty shitty day because we found out our baby isn't alive anymore and I spent about 14 hours in my car over a 28-hour period, dealing with state laws and drivers that seem designed to push my buttons. I do feel blessed that I have a good wife and three healthy children, and I know that things will be okay eventually. I'm staying away from Oregon if I can, though.


Before I left, I picked up a hanger box of 2017 Topps Heritage at Wal-Mart to see the product in-hand. I opened it up at a rest stop somewhere in Oregon. I don't remember which one. I have a pretty small bladder, so I stopped at most of them as I criss-crossed the state. The hanger boxes have 35 cards.


Here are the odds and the NPN information, for those who are curious about that kind of thing.


This wasn't the first card out of the box, but it was pretty much the only Heritage base card I was really gunning for this year. This is my first card of R.A. Dickey in a Braves uniform. I kind of wrote off collecting the set this year, as there are 100 SPs and I just can't see myself spending the money it would take to build it or buy it. I like the cards well enough, but I don't have any particular ties to the original 1968 set. My parents were 6 years old when it was released.


I didn't scan all 35 cards in the box, but I scanned a few. I included the Valencia card because his hat and uniform are so obviously airbrushed on. The hat especially looks painted. I will usually include Astros in scans if I pull them, so Joe Musgrove and Collin McHugh made the cut. I noticed that Musgrove's hometown is listed as El Cajon, California. I spent some time there as a missionary about 16 years ago, so we're basically best friends.


Here are some of the horizontal cards I pulled. That Strikeout Leaders card might be used as an exhibit as Kate Upton continues her campaign to retroactively award the 2016 Cy Young Award to Justin Verlander. None of these other cards does a lot for me, but the Kluber card shows the World Series subset, the Robinson Cano card shows the All-Topps subset (with a puzzle piece of Mike Trout on the back), and the block of wood with a button and a cord is a primitive computer mouse from the News Flashbacks insert.


I pulled two Logan Morrison cards in a row. I can't find any difference between them, so I think the collation machine just got stuck on a Logan Morrison kick for a bit while loading up my box of cards. The Wil Myers is my short-print for the box (only 99 more to go!), and the Giancarlo Stanton card is a Chrome Refractor parallel, a 1:12-seeded pull numbered # 507 / 568.

This is a decent product and I am always very drawn to the idea of collecting the Heritage set. I failed to do so in 2016, though, and I think I will stay away again in 2017. I just don't get enough out of it. I'll probably still pick up a little of it over the course of the year, though.

21 comments:

  1. So sorry for your loss. My mom had that happen multiple times between my brother and me and it still bothers her more than 30 years later.

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  2. Sounds like a bad day all around, and I'm sad to hear about your loss.

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  3. Very sad news. I'm sorry for your loss.

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  4. I am sorry to hear about your loss. Truly a terrible day all the way around. My heart breaks for you and your family (and I too try not to be an emotional guy but your post hit me hard).

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  5. Man, that is really sad news. Sorry to hear.

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  6. Hang in there man. Glad you were able to get back to your wife. I'm sure she appreciates the support.

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  7. Sorry for your loss. That just stinks.

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  8. Oh wow, Raz. I'm so sorry. Being there for your wife is the best thing you can do.

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  9. Having no idea what this would be like, or really not even being able to imagine what it would be like to go through something like this, it's hard to what the appropriate thing to say would be. So, I will just echo the sentiments of everyone else and say sorry for you and your families loss.

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  10. Glad that you were able to get back to process this bad news with your family. Sorry for your loss.

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  11. Very sorry to hear. It's happened to me, so I can relate. It's something you'll always think about.

    I've crossed off "driving in Oregon" thanks to this post.

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  12. Man, that's some crushing news. Very sad for you guys.

    Next time you're in Portland we should meet up for an awkward encounter and in-person card swap.

    The thing I've noticed most about driving in Oregon is that there are a lot of Subaru Outbacks, and each and every one of them is driven by a douche.
    The gas pumping thing is weird at first, but you get used to it.

    And hey, I'm from El Cajon, CA. Crazy to think that maybe 16 years ago you came to my door with a pamphlet to leave me. I hadn't heard of Joe Musgrove prior to this post. Looks like he went to a rival HS (and didn't go to the local CC), so I guess I won't collect him, but still root for East County San Diego guys to do well.

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  13. Just read this and it hit me in the gut. Really sorry to hear about your loss. Glad your family is dealing with it together.

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  14. My condolences on your loss. We've been through that, too- and it's good that you were able to get back home to be with your family, your wife will need you during this time.

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  15. What a terrible stretch... You can leave Oregon behind and you & your family will surely help each other move forward. Best of luck and my condolences.
    Danny Valencia... the bane of all the Dan Vogelbach collectors out there. (Which, is pretty much just me). I don't like that he scheduled to platoon with Vogelbach and steal his playing time away. Hmph.

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  16. Very sorry to hear for your loss. Thoughts with you, your wife and entire family.

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  17. It is good that you were able to make it home safely so that you and your family can heal together. Family is everything, and just being there for each other is powerful.

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  18. I am so sorry for your, and your wife's, loss. I know the return trip home was the hardest drive.

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  19. That is sad news. I am sorry for your loss.

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