A few weeks ago, my wife had an idea - that we should consider helping serve as a woman's homeless shelter on Christmas morning. When we told my parents, they decided they wanted to come as well. We told some other friends about it too, and they met us up there too. This morning, the 8 of us set out to serve in whatever capacity we were needed. We weren't sure what to expect. This past thanksgiving, we signed up to help serve the homeless, and we volunteers ended up outnumbering the ... (volunteer-ees?) 10 to 1. Each time someone came in the door, we all had to keep ourselves from rushing to them first.
This morning was completely different. After signing about 50 Christmas cards, we were all given gifts to present to the families who were there. After that, we were instructed to "help out" in the snow...in 80 degree weather. As it turns out, they had hired a company to fill their outside play area with snow so the families could have their very own winter wonderland - Texas style. In what I thought would be a 2 1/2 hour assembly line to help feed and give gifts to the needy ended up being a 3 hour long snow ball fight with the kids. I'd definitely mark this down as the best Christmas I have ever had as an adult! It was really more about having fun with the kids....and occasionally nailing unsuspecting passers-by with snow balls.
Looks legit, doesn't it?
Well, zoom out and you get a better picture of it all. [img]http://www.tanmanbaseballfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Untitled-5.jpg[/img] I thought it would be funny to get my friend to stand in line with the kids to take our pic with Santa. #worthit. [img]http://www.tanmanbaseballfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Untitled-3.jpg[/img] My son even got in on the act with a snow ball fight (no, he isn't punching me in the face!) [img]http://www.tanmanbaseballfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Untitled-4.jpg[/img] When I said it was time to go, dad was genuinely upset. He said it was the most fun he has had in 20 years. Playing in the snow this morning is the last thing that I thought we would be doing on Christmas, but I'm glad it happened. As always, I wish I could take credit for coming up with these selfless acts, but it wasn't me, it was my wife. She is great with this sort of thing. Oh, did I mention we also went to see Star Wars? I mean, how could we not? My son has basically been talking about it non-stop since...2013. Yeah, we dressed up to see it. All of us. [img]http://www.tanmanbaseballfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/20151220_132253.jpg[/img] So ... yeah. It has been a really fun end of the year so far! With all this fun stuff going on, nothing compares to what happened to me a week and a half ago. Let me try to get you in my head. It was late at night, and my wife was gone to a church function. My son is in bed and I'm alone downstairs, on the computer looking for Canseco cards on eBay that I do not yet have. Not a creature was stirring, not even ... our dogs. All you can hear is me clattering on the keyboard. Then all of a sudden ... BZZZZZZZZZZZZ ring! My phone just made a sound that it doesn't normally make. I reached over to pick it up, and I was presented with a notification: [img]http://www.tanmanbaseballfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Screenshot_2015-12-26-07-59-1.jpg[/img] !!!!!!! (See the ! in the picture above? Even Twitter was surprised!) I quickly searched for ways that this could be a joke somehow, but sure enough, the private message was coming from Jose's account! Jose: Hey buddy how are u Me: Good, thanks! Jose: Great! Just wanted to say hello. How is the family? Me: Doing well, thanks. Our son just turned 13 a few months ago. I was actually in the middle of looking for one of your cards online.
The most recent one however, is this beauty. A 2015 Topps Tribute Red 1/1 Canseco auto. I saw it online and bought it as quickly as I could. Unfortunately, I had someone try and get the seller to break his deal with me by offering more than what I paid. Fortunately for me, the seller stayed true to his word. It arrived a few days ago! [img]http://www.tanmanbaseballfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/20151226_085605.jpg[/img] It looks great with the others, too! (BTW: I need the one that is #/25 with a clean auto if you have it ... let me know!) [img]http://www.tanmanbaseballfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/20151226_090332.jpg[/img] While I can't promise I'll keep quiet for the rest of the year, I think that this just might be my last posting of 2015. However, with that said, I've had to eat my words before, and my own writings are proof. Like the time I sold off my entire Canseco collection at the end of 2013 which took 24 years to accumulate (mostly doubles, none worth more than $10). [img]http://www.tanmanbaseballfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/20131009_135026.jpg[/img] And when I said I would take those funds from the collection to see how many cool cards I could get by staying within the budget of what I got from the previous collection. Then this mostly all happened in the past year: (No doubles at all.) [img]http://www.tanmanbaseballfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/20151222_163611.jpg[/img] Or in 2013 when I said this: "I dreamed that one day, my Canseco collection would propel me into the pages of my most beloved magazine. That dream came to a screeching halt. Enter: AJ...After checking out his stuff, and realizing that he already had been in Beckett, I realized that I will never be magazine worthy." I thought that was very ironic ... in a good way, of course! Speaking of irony, check this out. Remember this board game that my wife and son made me in 2014? [img]http://www.tanmanbaseballfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/20140615_093918.jpg[/img] Take a closer look at the top picture. In my previous blog posting in June of 2014, I said "Check out the property cards – one w/me and Canseco. Yeah, he probably should not see this or he will think I’m a stalker. " [img]http://www.tanmanbaseballfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/20140615_093927.jpg[/img] It is important to note that this game was made nearly a year before the thought of going to his house was even going to be a possibility! Not to mention the fact that they equipped me with a handlebar moustache on the board game a year before I had one. Okay, I'll shut up now. Merry (just a tad late) Christmas everyone and Happy New Year! Thanks eversomuch for reading, as always.