I was struggling last month maintaining normal blood sugar, as is often the case with diabetes. I was trying to conserve my insulin because I was running low and was not sure my doctor would prescribe more without a doctor's visit and blood tests. Luckily, I was able to obtain more insulin and my sugar is back under control.
I am also trying a new diet in the hopes it helps control my blood sugar. For years I have been attempting to eat a low-carb diet with varied success. Our bodies turn carbs into sugar during digestion so avoiding carbs is a must for diabetics. But I find it very hard to avoid carbs like bread, potatoes and rice. I also love cookies, ice cream and chocolate which is near impossible to give up. Though, I have reduced my intake greatly.
I am still trying to eat low carb but now I am trying to eliminate animal products. I watched this documentary on Netflix titled "Forks Over Knives" which, in my opinion, is part documentary and part propaganda. I have observed that vegan's are over the top when it comes to proselytizing about their plant-based diet. I personally think they will say just about anything to encourage folks to stop eating animals.
However, in "Forks Over Knives," they featured several diabetics who claimed that after switching to a plant-based diet, their blood sugar normalized and they no longer needed meds. While deep down I think it is baloney, I am so frustrated with diabetes that I am willing to try anything. Unfortunately, I am having a terrible time sticking to this diet. I figure if I can at least reduce the amount of meat and dairy I ingest, maybe it will help lower my blood sugar. I just cannot eliminate animal product completely but I do have to say that after several weeks of reducing my animal intake, I do feel better physically. Emotionally, I find it depressing to eat nothing but salad for lunch. I am about to go eat another freakin' salad now, ugh!
Anyway, thanks to a renewed supply of insulin and possibly my new diet, I was feeling much better at the November Orland show than I did at the October show. Though, I have the beginnings of a cold and a bunch of guys commented on my hoarse voice. I took some Dayquil before work this morning and feel okay now.
I left home for Orland around 7 a.m. and arrived at 8:05 a.m. I saw Alex and Dave from Wisconsin in the parking lot. They were setting up for the first time in Orland. They were in a tough spot outside the main room. Hopefully, they had a good day.
I chatted with them a few times during the show and they told me an interesting tale about being banned from the Appleton show. Alex and Dave are two of the nicest guys I know. They are really great sports card dealers as well and always have neat stuff on their tables. I really cannot see how they could possibly be banned from a show.
Apparently there was an issue with the tables at a recent Appleton show and the promoter did not appreciate the comments Alex and Dave had made. I can see both sides here. As a show promoter, I know how stressful it can be to operate a card show, especially when the venue fails to provide tables. There were many times at the old Clarion/Four Points show where I arrived at the show to find no or few tables set up in the room. I would have to go into a storeroom myself and carry out all the tables I needed. Meanwhile, dealers would be stuck waiting for their tables to appear, unable to have the time they needed to set up before the customers started to arrive. Thankfully, there were always a few dealers who would help me carry out the tables. I remember Scott Ziegert, Gary George and Larry Larsen helping me many times. Thanks guys!
At this particular Appleton show, the venue did not provide any tables so the promoter was able to borrow some tables from someone. When the venue finally supplied tables, after the show had gone on for some time, the promoter tried to switch out the borrowed tables with the venue's tables. I can see the inconvenience this would cause the dealers and I understand why words would be exchanged. Apparently, the guy who owned the tables wanted them back a few hours before the show ended. As a result, the promoter was in a tough spot. It does not look like the promoter had much of a choice in the matter. In my observation, a really crappy situation occurred at no fault to the promoter or the dealers. I think all the parties involved here should allow cooler heads to prevail and move on and forget about it. Alex and Dave are just too important to ban from a show. I love having these guys at my show. It was real nice to see them in Orland.
Speaking of my show, I have not banned anyone as of yet. Though I am considering banning a few guys that have repeatedly reserved tables and then failed to show up on the day of the show. No call, no text, no email. Ghosted. Those guys suck. As I stated before, it is stressful to run a show. Dealers that do not show up add to that stress. I understand that things come up. All I ask is that I receive a call or text as soon as you learn you cannot make it to the show.
Anyway, I think I have digressed greatly. Back to the Orland show where I have a minor complaint. The guys who set up the tables at the Orland show do not leave any space between the tables so there is no way to get behind your tables other than walking out the front door then into the back hallway where there are a series of doors into the main room and behind the tables on the west wall, where my tables are located. There are times when I arrive at the show early and am able to move the tables around so the dealers along the west wall can get behind their tables. At the November 17th show, I did not get there in time to move the tables around and was inconvenienced all day by the lack of entry/exit to my tables.
Minor complaint aside, the November 17th Orland show was excellent. We had a really big crowd. I think we were helped by the fact the Bears-Rams game was at 7 p.m. Though the Bears are so bad this year, I do not see their games affecting any shows for the rest of the season. I, for one, am so disgusted that I will not be watching them again this season.
Since, I am in a mood to complain, I would like to discuss the Bears for a moment. As most of you know, I was born, bred and raised in and around Chicago. Naturally, I am a Bears fan. Unlike most Bears fans, I do not hate the Packers. I know too many Packer fans, many who are some of my closest friends. I regularly watch the Packers and admire how they rebounded in 2019 after a off year in 2018. I have a great deal of respect for Aaron Rodgers. He is one of the best quarterbacks I have ever seen. He is better than any quarterback the Bears have had in my lifetime.
As far as the Bears go, once again, ownership has shown their ineptitude by fielding a lousy team. The McCaskey family does not have the ability to hire good administrative people and coaches. Thus, the player personnel is always suspect, at best. I think the general manager Ryan Pace has made one good deal during his four-year tenure offset by a ton of lousy draft picks. Most notably, the wasted number one draft pick on Mitch Trubisky in 2017, who is an average quarterback, not an NFL starter. It is so painful to consider the fact Pace passed up Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson to pick Trubisky.
The Trubisky mistake is the most glaring one this season. However, no one seems to be discussing the absolutely stupid move of trading Jordan Howard to the Eagles. This year's top draft pick David Montgomery is not half the running back as Jordan Howard. The offense is struggling mightily without Howard.
Let's also talk about Coach Nagy. Last year, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I thought he coached some great games and then I watched him coach some poor games. This year, he has only coached badly. I really do not understand it. He showed last year that he is a much better coach than he has been this season. I am absolutely perplexed. He can't seem to call a play this season. I almost wonder if Pace has put some restraints on him. Something is just not right.
It is also painfully obvious that the current kicker Eddy Pineiro is not the answer. The ghost of Robbie Gould continues to haunt the Bears.
There is only one solution here -- new ownership. The McCaskey's have shown a greater allegiance to Bears President and CEO Ted Philips than to the Bears' fans. We have been stuck with Philips for 20 years. Enough is enough with this guy. Show him the door and get someone to run the team who knows what the hell they are doing!! As long as the McCaskeys own the team with their stooge Ted Philips at the helm, the Bears will be a lousy team.
End of Bears rant and back to my Orland show report. I sold a TON of cards. Last month I brought out three display cases and my baseball and football binders. This month, I brought out six display cases and my baseball, basketball and hockey binders. Sales were up.
Joel purchased my 1933 Goudey Jimmy Dykes. A regular customer purchased some 1934-36 Diamond Stars. Another regular purchased a T206. He was a little bummed I would come down much on my price. This thing with T206s is that they are tough to find at a price where I can make any sort of profit. I cannot buy them cheap, so I cannot sell them cheap.
Will purchased my 1956 Topps Nellie Fox and 1966 Topps Mickey Mantle. Will also brought out is grandson Charlie, who is a super kid who loves cards and at eight years old knows that Hank Aaron's nickname is the Hammer.
Gil bought a ton of 1959 Topps. With Chuck clearing out my '58's last week and Gil clearing out my '59s, I am in desperate need to reload those years. Rick found a bunch of cards from my display cases including a 1964 Topps Ernie Banks. Steve purchased a bunch of cards and told me he will retire in a year and is planning to move somewhere warm and unload his collection. I might have to start saving up now.
I have a husband and wife team that are slowly building a 1975 Topps set. They purchased a few cards. A regular customer purchased my 1964 Topps Phil Niekro rookie. Another regular purchased my 1950 Wheaties Stan Musial. Quite a few guys dinked around in my hockey books and purchased cards. Surprisingly, I did not sell any basketball cards. I think next month I will leave the basketball at home and bring out the football.
Paul purchased some 1968 Topps baseball. Joe, who has been working on a perfectly centered 1979 Topps set, actually found some older cards at my table this month. Dave, who I have known forever and am always happy to see, found some cards as well. All in all, quite a few guys purchased cards and I am grateful. Thank you everybody.
On the buying front, I made sure to purchase some pre-War cards from Kevin before I spent all my money with Jim and Junior. If you have not seen Kevin's stuff, you need to check him out. He has an amazing display of Pre-War cards. At this show, he had either a 1914 or 1915 Crack Jack card that was cut from a promotional poster. I have never seen one of these cards from a poster before. It was cool!
There were several interesting dealers in the back hallway at this show. Kevin was flanked by two vintage dealers I have not seen before who had excellent stuff. Though, one of them had some Nazi memorabilia from World War II in his display case. I am not a fan of Nazi memorabilia. The Nazis were just so evil that I personally think all their remnants should be destroyed. Same for serial killer memorabilia. I overheard a customer tell my neighbor Nick that he had several Charles Manson autographs. Manson was a horrible murderer and ordered his cronies to kill innocent people in a cruel and depraved manner. I think anything associated with the likes of Manson should be destroyed, not collected. In fact, I may have mentioned this before, someone once gave me a John Wayne Gacy autograph. I promptly threw it in the garbage. Gacy was disgusting, I do not want his autograph or anyone's like him.
Enough of these unpleasantries. I made my usual purchases from Jim and Junior. From Jim I picked up a bunch of old football cards from the 1950's and 1960's. From Junior I picked up a bunch of star cards from 1968. I also made some trades with Larry and Gil. Jim called me over to his table to make an offer on a box of cards that he was not all that interested in. The box had a mixture of baseball, hockey and non-sports. I made my offer but the seller did not seem interested. I gave her my phone number and hopefully she will call. A big thank you to Jim for giving me the opportunity.
In sum, it was an excellent day in Orland Park. I will not be able to attend the next Orland show on December 8 but will be at the December 22 show. In the meantime, I am off to Cincinnati for the Moeller High School show over Thanksgiving weekend. I last attended Moeller about five years ago and had an excellent show. I am looking forward to this year's show. I only have one table and will probably fill it with five display cases. I did real well with binders the last time I was set up at Moeller but my binders are about empty. I am really far behind in my reloads.
Anyway, a big thank you to everyone who purchased cards from me at the Orland show. I hope to see some familiar faces in Cincinnati. As a reminder, my December Salvation Army show is scheduled for December 7. I have Packer Hall-of-Famer Dave Robinson signing autographs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. That is Dave Robinson the football player, not David Robinson the basketball player, as some guys joked at the Orland show!!