Saturday, March 25, 2017

Joker Collecting - Organized

With over 1500 different playing card jokers, I recently faced up to trying to organize the collection. The challenge was to create an overall approach to organization and also to avoid the  inadvertent dupes in the collection.

I considered a number of different themes many of which I adopted, some I discarded.. Ultimately, it was very creative work, somewhat solitary. Oddly, nobody else seem interested in working with me on it. I probably put 20 hours into the organizing process, maybe more.  Have rarely been happier.

Animal Jokers, Topsy Turvy Jokers, Jesters Performing, Jesters Standing, Jesters Sitting, Jesters headshot or just the bust, Christmas Jokers, Travel Jokers, Traveling Jokers, Erotic Jokers, Chinese Jokers, Art Jokers etc etc.

Here's the list again with examples...

Animal jokers. This has many sub themes such as bird jokers, canine jokers, feline jokers, equestrian kplers, and eventually, there is just a big mix of odd animals.

Animal Jokers Example 1

Animal Joker Example 2

Topsy Turvy jokers. These jokers are perfectly symmetrical so there is no way that they can be upside down. Since I really like this theme, I decided it trumps other ones so animal topsy turvy jokers go into the topsy turvy section, as do topsy turvy jesters, topsy turvy characters, and topsy turvy advertising.

Jokers Topsy Turvy Example 1

Jokers Topsy Turvy Example 2

Jokers Topsy Turvy Example 3

Jesters Performing- These jesters are either  juggling, doing magic (usually card tricks), or dancing. Some theatrical acting jesters.

Jesters Performing & Theatric Example 1

Jesters Performing & Theatric Example 2

Jesters Standing - Unlike the previous section, these jesters are standing and primarily stationary. But they are not boring. And being theatrically dressed does not qualify them for being in the performing section.

Jesters Standing Example 1
Jesters Standing Example 3

Jesters Standing Example 2

Jesters Sitting - 

Jesters head shots or just the top half

  People - Jokers with recognizable people such as David Letterman, Elvis Presley, and non recognizable people like medieval washerworman and turn of century farmer too.

Travel Jokers - These are ships, planes, trains, cars, balloons and foreign places.

Travel Jokers Ex 1

Trave Jokers Example 2

Christmas Jokers - This seemed like a great category but it's actually really thin. I only have one page. In contrast, other sections have 10 or even 20 pages. I could just fold this into the character joker section. At one point, I thought about having a holiday section of jokers since there were a few jokers with Easter Bunny themes. But I put them in animals. For the moment, the Christmas section exists.

Christmas Jokers

  Erotic Jokers - This runs the gamut from from racy cartoony jokers (a Jessica Rabbit joker, if I had one, might go here since I prefer erotica to cartoon characters), to classic pin ups, There are some National Geographic type nature shots of topless wormen in  cultures where that is the norm. And a little hard core porn.  There is a particularly fun page of cute (more cute than sexy) women in bikinis. And a few men.

Clowns - Clowns of course are not jesters. They are clowns. Some people create jokers with clowns on them. I don't know why. And I don't think they should. I've thought of excluding clown jokers from my collection but it didn't seem to make that much sense. So I've let in the clowns. But  I'm aesthetically offended by clown jokers.

Art - This is a tricky theme in that it is very much defined by the "eyes of the beholder", ie me.  There are many jokers that I have just decided are artistic. There are others, which are artistic, which are classified elsewhere.  Unlike most of the themes that overlapped too much and which I discarded during the crazy creative intense weekend of organization, I maintained this one. Only time will tell whether I will be happy with this decision and if I'm not, whether I will discard it.  The overlap with historical jokers and characters is particularly hard to define.

Art Jokers Example 1

Art Jokers Example 2

Chinese jokers - I bought a few years ago several hundred from China and put them in an album without much organization or attention.  They are in a separate album. However, Chinese jokers that I have since collected are mixed in elsewhere, this is room for overlap.

   Advertising and logo or emblem jokers - This seems to work combining these two themes together since while many emblems are abstract, many are commercial.

  Characters - Batman, Superman, and other cartoony characters.

  Cycling and Congress Jokers. Given the dominance of the US Playing Card Company and their Bicycle Brand jokers, there's are a lot of these.

  Jokers of History - This was a tricky area to define both because it overlaps with art and includes a sub theme of "classic" style jokers such as a man with a top hat and cane dressed in the 1920s style.

 There are more themes but that might be enough for now.  There are some theme ideas that  didn't make it through the organizational process such as cheesy jokers (ie, ones that I think are poorly designed) and food jokers (I only had a few).  I tried organizing by colors and a few other approaches that didn't work very well. I do have an odd size and shape section.

The collection is organized in plastic trading card pages in a 3 ring binder, each page holds 9 jokers. Prior to the big reorg, while each page on the joker collection was cleverly organized around a theme or aesthetic, there was no overall system.  In the big organizational process, I came up with about 20 overall themes and organized along these themes.  But some themes did not work out and often, jokers would fit often into multiple themes. So I had to come up with a system of priorities.  For instance, one theme was topsy turvy jokers, jokers that don't have an upside down. Another theme was animal jokers. What about topsy turvy jokers with animals? Well, I really like the topsy theme so I decided it trumps the others.

My next step is to put 2-3 pictures of joker pages on each of the above sections to illustrate the theme, then to create a full catalog and count of each theme. I'd also like to upgrade my picture taking which is too often, done with my cell phone. Today, I'm experimenting with using my scanner.

Extra jokers! I could of course note which jokers I have duplicates of and would be open to trading with other collectors.

I might by having the first joker organizational system, become famous! Will it be named for me?  I might be able to create the first real bartering system in which people can communicate and look through each other's collections in a reasonable way. (BTW, I'm very open to large buys of jokers at this point, I have some serious momentum and interest in building the collection).

The Organizational Project - What was really going on?

The weekend might have involved twenty hours of work. Or forty.  I finally got the joker collection organized.  It started by me trying to integrate the nearly 200 new jokers that I had recently acquired into the collection.

 What I intended this journal entry to be about was that it's now Monday morning and I have a vast backlog of work of the other type, my day job work.   There are massive organizational projects to do there such as reorganizing a web-site's organizational system to improve user experience. It's actually the same sort of hard conceptual thinking project but I'm having trouble getting as excited about it because when I'm finished, I have to test it against the opinions of many colleagues, the rigor of several alternative logics (scalable, understandable, intuitive), and ultimately, whether the users like it and respond how we're hoping...

 To be honest, the intensity of my creative intense work experience this weekend was probably fueled by escapism from not having to deal with redesigning the navigation system like I told everyone that I would do this weekend. Sigh.

I'm now writing a confessional. Do you think I can turn it in as my homework?  While it would humanize me to my colleagues (Hardly an issue...admittedly), it would not solve the fact that people were depending on me...OK Enough!!!!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Joker Collecting and Ebay

I've been bidding on Ebay on lots of jokers. I might have bought a hundred in the last 60 days. I win about 50% of the auctions that I bid on. For me, going to the office is now a lot like Christmas since there are often new joker packages arriving every day.

Here's soem from today. I'm particularly excited by the monkey jester, the top left one.  He's holding a bauble of a traditional jester head which I think is very clever..

Monkey Joker!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Juggling Jokers

In my previous post, I gushed about a joker since it evoked the classical jester theme of juggling.  Then I went on a quest to find my jokers with a juggling theme. Here's the results:

juggling jugglers
juggling jokers

And if you don't mind, I thought I'd include a picture of yours truly doing some juggling. It was original posted on my sports blog.

For those of you who want to know what happened at the end of the video.... it turns out that I had forgotten to chew so I started to choke.  Once I realized what was happening, I remembered that I use to have this same problem back in the early 1970s when I use to perform this trick.  Here I am, half a century later, and I'm still forgetting to chew and swallow.  Totally cracked me up! Practically make me choke to death too.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Ebay Joker Buying - Auctions Daily

I've recently received a bonus at work so now that I'm flush, I'm focusing on building my joker collection.  I tend to win about half of the auctions that I bid on. I'm still getting a feel for the market. Many of the jokers are sold in groups of 9 and I already will have 7 or 8 of them. So on these, I tend to get outbid since they can go into the $20s for people who are acquiring a large number of new ones. For  me, who is just getting 1 or 2 new ones, it's too pricey.

I tend to win the singles when I not only don't have them but also really like them. Here's some updates from today on playing card joker buying...

For instance, this next one is an ongoing auction at this point. I really want this one since I've a thing for good devil figures but I'm bidding way past my comfort level for an individual playing card.

Devilish Joker - Auction Still Live
Devilish Joker - Auction Still Live

I just won this antique looking joker. I like it because I know that it's a US Playing Card joker by the symbol in the corner. And I like the romance of the scantily clad beauty hanging in sight but out of reach on the crescent moon.  I'm pleased to have bought this one. I think I paid $7.00 for it.
lady on the moon - antiquish joker
lady on the moon - antiquish joker

To be frank, I sort of wish I hadn't bought this one. I only bid $4 and I won it. It just doesn't do anything for me. I know I'm supposed to love all my children but this is one that doesn't seem to be true to the traditions and spirit of playing card jokers.  Oh well, that's why I have big albums, some have to go in the back.
baby girl in garden joker
baby girl in garden joker
 This spooky figure is very appealing and it was also under $7.  The picture from Ebay of this card is not so clear so I can't wait to get the original. I think it's a skeleton face but I'm not so sure.

Spooky Figure Joker
Spooky Figure Joker
This next one is one of my favorites of the week. Bought it for a cool $4.00. It has a juggling leprechaun.  As we all know, juggling is both a favorite theme (and skill) of mine and a traditional joker theme.  And I like mystical creatures like leprechauns and their distant cousins, gnomes. Of course, I'm not sure that I've ever seen a gnome joker. As I write this, I've started searching for the page on my blog where I highlight juggling jokers and I find, to my surprise, that I've never really put together a section themed by juggling. There are juggling jokers but they are scattered throughout organized along other themes. I did find 6 juggling jokers on one page in an album so I've reproduced that below. Along with a pair of naughty gnomes whose image j'ai volé...

Joker: Juggling Leprechaun
Joker: Juggling Leprechaun
Here's a sampling of a traditional joker theme: juggling. Here they're mostly jokers juggling balls. More often, they are juggling (or magically suspending) large numbers of cards in impossible formations or juggling the four card suits in different ways...

Jokers: Six Juggling from the Collection
Jokers: Six Juggling from the Collection
Are gnomes verily related to leprechauns? And what of their mysterious mistress?

Des gnômes, prêtes pour un soirée
Gnomes - Hoping to Party
Des gnômes, prêtes pour un soirée

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Jesters, much like Jokers

While I collect playing card jokers, I have picked up a few items closely related to jokers.  For the record, I STAY AWAY FROM CLOWNS, scary or otherwise. It's clear to me that jesters and jokers are a completely different breed from clowns.

Jester - Joker Model
Jester - Joker Model

This little plastic figurine is an amazing joker or jester

These inlaid wood boxes are from the south of Spain. The bottom one was bought in the late 1980s. I have new one, not yet pictured, bought in November 2016.
Joker Box - Inlaid Wood - Southern Spaing
Joker Box - Inlaid Wood - Southern Spain
I met a jester who was behaving himself so I took his picture.  He was in Eastern Europe. Specifically, Prague in the Czech Republic.  October 2016.

A Jester in Prague, Czech Republic
A Jester in Prague, Czech Republic
The picture below is a rare one in that it has me, the joker collector, pictured on the blog! Enjoy this rare glimpse of the mad genius!

John Edelson with a Jester, Eastern Europe. Oct 2016
John (collector) with a Jester, Eastern Europe. Oct 2016
Oops, there I am again. I was dared to get photographed with these two famous characters who have been recently made into fluffy stuffed toys. One is the HangMouse featured on VocabularySpellingCity.  The other is Pinkerton Sciefus, or Pinky or Sciefus for short, who is a featured character in Science4Us.
John Edelson
John with the HangMouse & Sciefus
Clowning Around - What a Joker!
The new HangMouse stuffed animal is to commemorate a number of improvements in the HangMan game including making it more educational by introducing hints related to the use of the word or its definition.  Sciefus is here to mark the increased acceptance that time spent in K-2nd on science more than pays for itself in terms of improved literacy and math skills.