My 2016 is already off to an interesting start. I got woken up today by a loud thud downstairs, and the sound of our cat triumphantly charging up the stairs with a mouse in mouth. And while my furry friend is a great catcher of mice, apparently, he is less skilled in their slaughter. Before I was fully awake or dressed, the mouse had escaped, and is presumably cowering in fear behind the fridge where Waldo has been positioned all morning.
Here's to 2016! I'm just going to take that as a good omen...somehow.
I always enjoy setting some collecting goals for myself each year. It's a mixed bag of those that I think are within reach, and others that might be a bigger stretch. But I always find it helpful to look back at the end of the year, see where my collection was headed, where it actually went, and maybe start trimming off some of those aspects that ended up being less important than they seemed in January.
1) Buy a house.
While not exactly a collecting-related goal, this will (hopefully) be a deciding factor in how much progress I make on my actual hobby goals this year. With Kate and I both landing new jobs in the final quarter of 2015, we're now both commuting an hour each way, and in different directions to boot. We've been saving up for a house for a while now, and both financially and for where we are in life it seems like a good decision. Target goal is to be into a house by summer.
*note: if anyone has any "why not to buy a house" horror stories, now would be the time to share.
2) Reach 17,500 new Pirate cards.
Right now I'm just north of 16,400. So adding about 1,000 new cards seems reasonable. In past years I've blown by this number, but if things go according to plan this year, I'm leaving some wiggle room for additional expenses and the fact that when you reach 16,000 different freaking cards, it gets a little harder to find ones you don't already have.
3) Add 2 pre-war Pirates cards.
Ideally, one from the T206 and one from the T206 sets, which are my favorite pre-war releases. This has been a goal of mine for a few years now, and I just can't seem to pull the trigger. Either I'm going to need to settle for a lower condition card in my ideal price range, or pony up some more cash for a copy that meets my eyeball test.
4) Reach 20% on my 2000 Topps Refractor set
This is a repeat of last year's goal. I'm right around 10%, so I'm hoping to bump up by 10% this year - that comes out to about 40 new cards. Unfortunately I've picked off much of the low hanging fruit, so this one might be tough.
5) Get organized!
I've been moving my Pirates collection over to 9 pocket pages. And I've made a lot of progress. But my incoming cards keep outpacing the rate that I can get stuff into pages. Let's hope this year is the end to the madness.
6) Have a man-cave.
This one is directly tied to goal #1 most likely. But I've been accumulating tons of cool memorabilia - game used jerseys, signed photos, lithography, bobbles, etc for years now. And 95% of it is either still in my bedroom at my parents or stored in boxes in their garage. So if/when we find a house we love, the numero uno project is going to be turning the basement into my Pirates wonderland. Should this goal become a reality, expect pictures. Lots of pictures.
7) Spend less money on dime box digs.
This one hurts me just to type. You all know how much I love digging around through a dime box for forgotten treasure. But that's just the problem. Every show or flea market I go to, I always end up coming home with at least 50-100 cards that are just flat out cool. After a while, it adds up. I now have a couple thousand miscellaneous cards - Negro League stars, Mark Prior as a Padre, throwback unis - that I love, but don't really have a concrete place in my collection. And that's fine. I just can't continue at the same torrid pace, or I'll be walled in by cards.
And even at a dime a pop, the price adds up. So I'm going to try to cut back in that area this year, as much as it pains me, to divert those funds to some higher end pursuits - hopefully the aforementioned man cave and/or some autos of my favorite players from the 90's.
So there you have it. Some of these goals I'll breeze by. Others I'll fall flat on my face. But I'm looking forward to 2016, another year of collecting, and everything the year will bring.
Except mice. No more mice, please.