Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Giant Stack of Giants

Guess who's going to the postseason?

While others have mentioned pretty much every other team's great successes or big failures (without much in between), my hometown team by the Bay has been relatively unwritten about.

I guess that's my fault for moving to Japan. Sorry. Let's make up for that now.

So here is a big bunch of Giants cards, brought to me from CJ over at Capewood Collections!

Since it's a giant group of Giants posted during a giant season, let's go with that silly theme.
 Giant number of injuries.
 Giant problem reading last names when Topps puts foil on a black background.
 Giant mistake putting cursive writing on cards.
 Dodgers fans might consider him a Giant douche.
 Giant 1989 season.
 Giant 2012 season. Giant douche sunglasses.
 Giant hairstyle.
 Giant card design boredom.
Giant panda.
 Giant combover.
 Giant sideburns.
 Giant bad hair day.
 Giant play at the plate.
 Giant finger injury about to happen.
 Giant goatee.
 Giant biceps.
 Giant hop.
Giant find to add to my type collection! This silly little card, most likely overlooked by everyone else, was the whole reason I asked for this lot. The other cards are fine too!

CJ, thanks a ton! I really appreciate the cards and I will eventually return the trade!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


We interrupt normal baseball card-based writing for some venting. Please feel free to leave comments.


Absolutely worthless.

I don't care about how wonderful it is to have turn-by-turn voice navigation for your car. I don't drive in Japan.

I don't care right now that I can go offline and still zoom in and out. I have unlimited data everywhere in Japan.

What I do care about is the complete lack of anything this map app can do for me.

If you live in Japan, you use transit. Does Apple Maps have transit directions? Certainly not.

If you live in Japan and speak English, you probably use Romanji characters (the English alphabet). Can Apple Maps handle Romanji mapping in Japan. Of course not!

If by some grace of God you can get the kanji/katakana (Japanese character) address, does Apple Maps give you the exact address? Why would it? Instead, here are five markers (hopefully) on the same block. Don't worry, you can just hunt for the correct building when you get there.

If you somehow end up figuring out which is the right location, can you then use Apple Maps to get you there via Tokyo's number one mode of transportation? Nope. You have to download some kind of transit app.

Here's a mind-boggling example. I bring the map up to my current location, a couple blocks from the local train station. I can tap on the train station logo and see the name in English. It says "Kita-Koshigaya Station." If I type Kita-Koshigaya Station into the search menu, it tells me "No results found." How could you possibly not find a place that's right in front you, typed in exactly the same manner that it is shown on the screen?!

Can I go back to iOS 5.1? I'm sorry, but you're screwed, says Apple.

Thankfully, I can use the (decidedly less-functional) web version of Google Maps. But that's a fucking pain.

Like most iPhone (and other smartphone) users, the mapping apps are a crucial part of my phone's features. Living in a country where I need the mapping software Google Maps provided, I feel like I'm now carrying around a brick. I don't know how I will be able to get addresses entered properly into Apple Maps to just give me an idea where to look, because the most important feature for me in Google Maps came when I was walking the streets from station to destination.

If I was Apple I'd complete an update that allowed users to revert back to Google Maps. I don't need fancy 3D or turn-by-turn maps when I can't even get to the train station 2 blocks away.

For the love of God, Apple. Make the right decision. Give me back my Google Maps.

At least Google announced it'll release its own standalone map by the end of the year.

(PS I'm cross-posting this on both of my blogs tonight.)

Number 5 by Type, Number 1.1 in Awesomeness!

 Ahh, home sweet home.
 Not Ireland. San Francisco. There sure is a lot of white space on that Golden Gate Bridge mini above, though. If it wasn't for that, I'd probably frame the card and put it up on the wall as a reminder of where I'm from. Because I forget sometimes. (No, not really.)
 So where did super-cool William Ocean and the rest of the cards in this post come from?
 Well, this mini mini explosion (that is, a mini-explosion of minis) comes courtesy of Matt at Number 5 Type Collection. Remember how he sent me all those Marlins cards I wrote about yesterday? Well, my top choice was the non-team-specific card lot he offered. I didn't know exactly what to expect, but I was certainly more-than-pleased with the results!
 Halloween is only a month away. This year will be the first in a long time that I will be dressing up. Not as Bram Stoker, though.
 Not as Les Miles either.
 Tchaikovsky? Who dresses up as Tchaikovsky for Halloween?
 Japan and China aren't getting along much right now, so no.
 While there are plenty of guys with feminine-like clothes and handbags (no, really, Japanese guys wear super-skinny jeans and carry purses) I'm not going for the drag look.
 Thankfully, I never had to spell his name on a test.
There we go. (No, this isn't a baseball card.) I'll be John Belushi's character. I love that movie. Anyway, back to minis.
 What, that's not from Allen & Ginter?
 I guess not. Hello, Brooke Bond! So many tobacco-sized minis come from across the pond. This one sounds like an A&G mini set though: Unexplained Mysteries.
 And this card has gone to the dogs. I think I have other cards from this producer (Wills Cigarettes) though not from the Dogs set.
 Yeah? Railway Equipment? Some Japanese folks LOVE railway-related memorabilia.
 I really like a lot of these tobacco-sized non-sport issues from England. Some were issued with tea, others with bread, candy, or (of course) tobacco products. They're pretty cheap, too. I pick up a set occasionally for a few bucks at card shows. I should say, I picked up a set occasionally since there aren't card shows in Japan that I know of.
 Hey, a normal-sized card! While I won't be using this in the type collection (probably), this is exactly the type of card I was looking forward to!
 And Negro Leaguers. They fit here and there into my collections in odd ways.
 More Minor Leaguers. I've seen a RiverCats game or two.
 No baseball in Billings for me yet. But this might help my type collection.
 We take this break to mourn the loss of Pluto from our solar system's list of planets. Even though it happened a long time ago.
 I could totally pull off this look, except for the grey hair.
 Woohoo! Total oddball!
 Senior league! Got it, unfortunately, but this card brings back memories. By the way, do they still have senior leagues?
 Rafael Landestoy wants to play again.
 Dude! Totally awesome oddball!
 Sweetness! Oddball negro leaguer! It's gotta fit somewhere into the keeper piles!
 Of all the crazy sets out there I do have, I somehow haven't collected this one yet. It's listed twice on my spreadsheets, too - once in Non-Sport and once somewhere in Baseball. I busted a pack or two a few years ago.
 Minor leagues are a major deal to me! Do you have team-issued or team-set minor league cards (i.e. 1980s-1990s CMC/ProCards team sets)? I want em!
 Wait. WAIT. WAIT. Do I now have an Australian card? Oh my God. I think I just threw up with excitement!
 Jeff Carl loves chicks in Memphis. Hee hee.
 Huh?! Yep, a couple footballers. He's bringing running back. Those other runners don't know how to act.
 I bet his daddy was in the military.
 I'm getting a bit puzzled here...
 Signature Dookies? Old Fudge? Peak Pigs? Oh, my eyesight is so bad!
 Steroid use in golf?
 Baby you're a firework, come on show 'em what you're worth!

Sorry, that's a patriotic card.
And every time I think of or hear that song, I think of this video. GOTTA LOVE IT!
 Lucky number 7!
 You thought I was done with Ginter, didn't you.
 A much-loved, quickly-played scratch-off game. Poor guy, he didn't have a chance when he scratched those blocks, did he? I hope he won in future innings. Maybe he gave up with two outs in the third inning.
 Where the heck did these come from? I have a feeling my wires got crossed. I have a couple Twins postcards here that certainly fit in my type collection, but I don't know if they came from Matthew. This is what happens when everything gets tossed into a box by a family member and shipped across the Pacific Ocean.
 If they did come from Matthew, thanks a ton! If they didn't, thanks a ton to whoever sent them. PS. Please let me know who you are.
 How many cars are there? Let's count! One! Two! Three! Four! Four cars! Wow! What color is this? Red! Yellow! Green! Blue! Good job! High five!

Jeez, I can't get away from pre-school English lessons even if I try.

Last but not least in this bit of scans, a complete (I think?) set of minis from the 2010 National. Total oddball, total awesomeness!
 Looks like a cross between Gypsy Queen, Studio, and a TriStar release.
 Is that Louis C.K.?
AHH! The baseball is coming right for me! Tazawa is still playing for the Red Sox, by the way.

And that is all. Sure, it's just another epic trade post. Maybe you didn't want to read such a long post. But aren't you kind of glad you did?

Thanks again, Matthew!