26 December 2015

Rainbow in the Dark 32: Revisiting 2014 Topps High Tek

It's been a little while since I acquired any new Jon Singleton cards from 2014 Topps High Tek. The cards I'm missing from the rainbow simply don't come up very often. This is one of the flashier variations, being the Blue Dots Diffractor. It looks like there is glitter embedded in the card, and it is extremely sparkly in the light. It's pretty rare, too, with this being copy # 4 / 5. Now I am just missing the various 1 / 1 variations. I think I've seen a couple of the 1 / 1 cards on eBay over the last year or so, but I didn't win any of them. I probably overpaid for this one, but the listing was set up as a Buy It Now with Best Offer and I saw that there was a competing offer, so my offer wasn't as low as it normally would have been. The seller accepted my offer pretty quickly, which I guess means my offer was too high. I'm not going to flip out over a couple of dollars. It is enough for me that I didn't pay the full asking price AND that I am the one who got the card.

We had a pretty good Christmas. Our kids mostly got LEGO kits. I watch the sales pretty hard all year, so I had piled up a fair number of Marvel, DC, and Ninjago kits in the closet. When we sat down to wrap the gifts we had a couple of kits for each of our boys, and then I remembered a LEGO stash that I'd forgotten about. That probably doubled the number of kits each boy had in his pile. One of the twins also got a drag race track for his Hot Wheels cars that announces the winning lane at the end of the race. That's been pretty good for conflict avoidance. You can't argue with the scoreboard. Toys'R'Us had a flash sale on it a couple of weeks ago, or we wouldn't have been able to sneak it into his pile.

My wife and I didn't get much as far as gifts. We got gift cards from my dad and a couple of things from my mom. I used my gift card to pay for some eBay stuff I bought. I have a hard time with holiday gifts. I get the stuff I want when it happens to pop up for sale. I never really saw the point in waiting for a certain day to get it. I guess some unopened wax would be nice to have under the tree, but that would require me to make a list and probably go out and buy it myself to make sure it's the right thing. I probably should have made a little more effort to get something for my wife, but she is a hobbyist in her own right and thus wants very specific things. And she will rarely tell me what those things are. And also I am lazy as heck and the holidays kind of sneak up on me. Mostly I'm just terrible at being a husband. We did get tickets to go see The Force Awakens on Tuesday, so that's good. I'll have to take an afternoon off from work, but as far as I know that isn't usually a bad thing.

I got to have my fun on Christmas Eve. I made up a bunch of elaborate plans to capture Santa and his reindeer and described each one to my kids. They were all dismayed by my intentions, and my eldest child was especially worried. Then I pretended that I had chased an old man out of our living room, leading the kids to believe that I had run Santa off before he could leave his presents. Luckily Santa came back after I fell asleep and remains uncaptured.

My wife made a delicious prime rib dinner with the fixings. I have been watching my calories since October and I've lost 16 pounds so far, but meals like that usually set my progress back by a few days. I am at least now down to a weight where I can comfortably pass my Army weigh-in without resorting to losing weight overnight like a wrestler trying to make weight for a meet. There are rumors that she still has pies and rolls in her plans, so I will be fighting to keep my love handles in check as we roll into the New Year.

I hope all of my readers have had a good holiday season. My mood has been up and down, but overall we're in a good place. I've spent time in other parts of the world where the things we take for granted aren't available to most folks, and it helps to have that perspective. I have shelter from the elements, (fairly) reliable transportation, steady employment, food, clean water, plumbing, garbage collection services, time and income to pursue hobbies, and a host of other benefits that have come to me mostly just because of the time and place I was born into. I've been pretty lucky overall, and I feel bad that not everyone is. There are plenty of resources to meet the basic needs of shelter, food, and water for the world, but politics and power struggles make it difficult to actually get things to people who need them. I'm not advocating Socialism or anything like that. I just think we as a human race could stand to take care of each other a little better and worry a little less about having more than the next guy.

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