This has been my first full year in the land of the wild blogalopes, and it has been quite a ride. I really didn't think I would stick with it way back when I got started in the summer of 2010. But, as many people have noted, the generosity and comaraderie among the bloggers and readers is reason enough to keep posting. I've been amazed at how my collection has expanded this year, thanks to all of the blogger trades.
This year was easily my most prolific from a box purchasing standpoint. I sold some cards to swing three boxes of 2011 Allen and Ginter, including one for Gint-a-Cuffs III. I also used some bonus money to buy 2 boxes of 2008 A&G and 2 boxes of 2008 A Piece of History. I can't forget the box of 2005 UD All-Star Classics, either, as that was a solid break. My father-in-law also gave me boxes on holidays, including 2008 Masterpieces, 2009 APOH, and 2 boxes of 2008 APOH.
As with any good "year in review", it's good to look at what we expected for the year. Going back to my first 2011 post, I had a list of 11 things to expect:
1. Cardmas - I held up my end on this, showing off the cards I got for Christmas. Hopefully I'll have that opportunity again, this year.
2. Trade bait - eh, didn't really ever show a big list of trade bait, but I still showed off several cards, so it's not a complete failure. I still have a bunch of cards that no one knows I have that are probably really tradeable.
3. Banner update - I definitely did this one. My explanation is here.
4. Space Shots pack break - Done, took way too long, but done.
5. Random sports related item posts - Ouch. Fail. I have a plethora of items for this, but just never got around to it.
6. Antique tools - I did two of these posts, here and here. Not as many as I hoped, especially since they were well-received, but it was a start.
7. Tons of random packs - Check. I even turned 200+ of them into a group break.
8. Contests - One for my Blogobirthday, which was won by The Diamond King. One for July 4th, won by dominicfdny. Then of course, was my massive Bracket Contest. That thing was an absolute beast, with a few different winners.
9. New want lists - I've done pretty well at this, actually.
10*. Eating better, exercising, saving money - and all that other crap I fail to do every year. - Of all things on the list, I figured this was the most likely to fail. For the better part of the year, I did fail miserably. The money thing was more of circumstance than frivolity, as we had a few unfortunate events compound to blow up the bills. Overall, we did cut back spending-wise. As far as eating better and excercising, I did neither until October, when I reached my highest weight in my life. However, I started P90X (more on this in the new year) and have made incredible strides in my health and fitness. This was probably my biggest success on this list, and easily the one I'm most proud of.
11. Listening to the audience - I listened, I guess.
I'll give myself a 9 out of 11, good for 82%, or a B-. I'll take it. I'm no Night Owl, and I have to accept that.
As for collection additions, I've boosted every aspect of my personal collections, from VT Hokie autos to Topps #3's. I finally added my first Michael Cuddyer auto, and boy is it a beaut.
Also in my list of firsts: participating in a group break. I tested the waters with BA Benny's epic group break, then sucked in Daily Dimwits break, then killed it in his next break, then failed in Thorzul's baseball break, then killed it again in his football break.
I then had the bright idea to host a group break. 2500+ cards later, I think I'll hold off for a while. Don't get me wrong, I had a blast, and a lot of people got a lot of cards, but it was a lot of work.
One of my goals for this blog is to be a presence in the hobby blogging world and to contribute something to the card collecting world. In 2010, my biggest contribution was this:
It is the illustrative embodiment of a collecting mentality. I knew that when I entered the blogosphere, I needed something earth-shattering to kickstart my blog. My Shepard Fairey-esque rendering of Jefferson Burdick ended up being just that. Within a day of posting, it was featured on Cardboard Junkie and Stale Gum. Those are two of the heavy hitters, so that was just the exposure I needed. The picture has become my alias, synonymous with "Spankee" and "My Cardboard Mistress".
This year, I didn't really have one innovation that stood out. This year, my contributions were a little more subtle. The first was the Gint-A-Cuffs banner. I had a little fun with it, and fortunately it turned out well. The second contribution is the drunken box break. Not my proudest moment, but it's the thought that counts. The third is the BoxBreaker spreadsheet. It had its bugs and wasn't widely used, but I have since refined it, as well as created programs to where I can easily create them for other products. I also plan to integrate Gint-A-Cuffs scoring before next year.
All of this leads me to my most important contribution: The Liquorfractor. Never underestimate the reader. I made one small mention that the cognac parallels should be called liquorfractors. The response was amazing. For the second straight year, Dayf was key in helping me get my contribution out there. That's why he is one of the best. Of course, the best interpretation was by Punk Rock Paint. Two of my four contributions involve liquor. That's a win in my book.
The highlight of the year for me, though, was pulling the Joe DiMaggio Yankee Stadium Legacy Jersey Relic. It was an awesome card that unfortunately I had to sell. It wasn't all sad, though. I used the money from selling it to buy a faucet for my bathroom renovation, the P90X DVD set, and a complete set of 2006 Allen & Ginter, among other things.
All in all it was a great year with My Cardboard Mistress. Thanks to everyone who helped make it possible. I'll try not to post too much unreadable crap in 2012.