Sunday, April 13, 2014

It Feels Like I've Been Gone for Months

You will often hear people who travel frequently say that business travel is not as glamorous as Hollywood has portrayed it in movies (Up in the Air, for example, featuring the incredibly cute Anna Kendrick).  I have been pretty lucky with my business travel in my life -- for the most part, I tend to go to pretty decent places and with living in Atlanta I rarely have a connecting flight.  Outside of your actual destination, airports and airplanes are 99% of the problem with business travel, so not having connecting flights makes life on the road reasonable.

I spent Tuesday through Saturday morning in New Orleans this past week for meetings and seminars for my job.  We have these seminars three times a year, and we always go to incredible resorts or high-end hotels in great cities -- places like Chicago, New Orleans, New York, Boston, Miami, and Palm Springs, California. It doesn't suck.

One great part of these seminars is that I usually have time on at least one day to wander around town on foot with a camera -- or at least with my phone -- and take photos of interesting sights.  Sometimes, all I get to see is the airport, and even it provides me with a strange, cool, weird, or offbeat photo opportunity.

I mean, this time in New Orleans, this is what greeted me in the hall in the terminal:

If you can't read it due to my shaky hands, that is a banner for a hospital which brags that it is "#1 in the Nation for Liver Transplants."  I'd heard you need to bring a spare liver to New Orleans, but that's a little more than I bargained for.
Then, on the way to baggage claim:

While in New Orleans, I had time both on Wednesday and Friday to go through the French Quarter to the riverfront and to the French Market.

On Friday, the French Quarter Festival was in its second day.  The French Quarter Festival is more of a locals festival than other, more widely known New Orleans festivals like Jazz Fest and the Voodoo Festival. I tried to see Dr. John play in the afternoon, but it seemed everyone in a 10-state radius had the same idea.

Instead, I made my way to the "GE Capital/New Orleans Tech Big River Stage", where a band called "Debauche" was playing.  For those of you too lazy to click through to the link, here's the description of Debauche:
Debauche is a Russian Mafia Band that plays great Punk Rock Hooligan Russian Street Songs. They are based out of New Orleans.
Pardon the poor quality, but here's a flavor for what they are like:

This band's quirkiness was actually pretty cool -- I could tell in watching this band that they truly enjoyed what they were doing and worked hard to put on a great show.  But, it's totally an oddball.

When I got home, I had a foot-high stack of envelopes from trades and eBay wins stacked up on my desk. In other words, I've got enough stuff to write about for the next few weeks without a problem just to catch up.  Let me start, though, by highlighting one oddball acquisition from eBay that fits the weirdness of this post and yet is still pretty cool:

This is a three-card panel from something called Investor's Journal that features Robin Yount in the same breath and same card panel as the incoming NHL first-overall pick Roman Hamrlik and all-time great goalkeeper Patrick Roy.  It's an odd grouping that does not even come close to matching the oddity of New Orleans, but it will do for today.


  1. I can honestly say I've never heard a Russian Mafia bank.

    1. Neither had I before Friday. In New Orleans, though, it didn't seem out of place.

  2. Oddballs rule! I'm not 100% positive, but I think your strip was part of a magazine. I'll have to look through some of my old baseball magazines and see if I can find any that resemble your cards.

    1. Thanks for looking Fuji! Now, when you say oddballs rule on this post, do you mean the cards or the Russians?

    2. Lol... I'll go with the politically correct answer and say "cards".

  3. Investors Daily and other publications like that were made to capitalize on the "investing" aspect of early 1990's collecting. There were several of these magazines, none that last more than a few years. They all had panels of cards in every issue, which were very good looking. They were superstars from all sports, including minor ones like golf. They generally went for $5-10 and came out about 6 times a year. Sadly, Beckett doesn't checklist them but you may find them in Trading Card Database.