Whew! I gotta tell ya, putting these randomly random packs of random kindness together has been a blast so far! So far? Well, yes, you see, I am taking a break from the assembly line to give everyone an update on how things are going, and I wanted to fill you in on the process of creating packs of cards that are filled with all kinds of weird (er, interesting) stuff!
First of all, once I started gathering the cards together to make packs, I quickly realized that I had grossly underestimated the number of cards I had for some teams. The idea came to me that I should set some of those aside and do some more team-based random packs, but then I thought, "nah, let's just roll with it!" The downside to having many more cards of certain teams than I realized is that 'random' was becoming too heavily biased toward one team or another. So, I devised a plan.
I found a large plastic storage bin and randomly tossed cards into it, selecting cards from a 5000-count box and about half a dozen or so 800 count boxes. There was no rhyme or reason to my grabbing handfuls of cards and one-by-one (though very quickly) dropping them into the box. Cards scattered everywhere, especially those that managed to find a draft in the room and miss the box completely. When I was at about the halfway point of getting the cards into the 'randomizer' (as I had dubbed it), my wife came in. She displayed a look of shock, wonder, disbelief, and puzzlement. I explained the method to my madness, and she basically said, "madness is right." Ah, the things I do in the name of spreading the good word about card collecting!
After the cards were in the Randomizer, I set out four 10-count sorting boxes and began picking up handfuls of cards and randomly (of course!) putting cards into the bins. Once all the bins were filled to the top (or close enough), I grabbed one bin at a time and broke each bin into random packs of about 30 cards each. There is no exact number of cards per pack. I grabbed a stack and shuffled through, counting each pass from one hand to the other, counting as I went along.
If you're having trouble picturing that, think of a stack of cards in your left hand. You want to count them, so you quickly shuffle them to your right hand, counting each card as you go. Only, I wasn't counting EACH card. I was counting each PASS/SHUFFLE. If you've been collecting for any amount of time, you know how cards tend to stick together during the counting process. Well, if 3, 4, or 5 cards happened to be stuck together (not like glued or anything, just not willing to be counted separately), those were counted as ONE pass. What I'm getting at is that each random pack has at least 30 cards, and most of them have far more than that. Why 30? Because 30 cards (or thereabouts) fit nicely into a 4x6 bubblope. Not all gift packs will be sent in 4x6's, I know. But, I went with the lowest common denominator (and I thought I wasn't going to need any of that 'math stuff' from school - HA!).
Once I had my stack of 'about 30' cards, I rolled a die. If the number came up ODD, I randomly selected a card from the "hit" pile (some have been known to call it 'mojo'). What, exactly, is a 'hit' card? Hit cards are serially-numbered, autographed, material-infused, or some combination thereof. "Hits" also include some types of oversized items (5x7 cards, DuoTang folders, buttons, etc). Other oversized items (or odd-sized, I should say) were just randomly inserted into gift packs.
Now, for clarity sake, a LOT of oddball items (non-sport, minis, micros, stickers, etc) were just dropped into the Randomizer and included in the general sort. If I were to guess, I'd say every single pack has at least SOME kind of oddball and/or non-sport item in it.
All the names of requestors will be put into an online randomizer (like what is often used for group breaks), with each name being entered as many times as packs requested. Of course, that's not "good enough" for me, so everyone also gets a random number of "bonus packs!!" That's right, in addition to the number you specified in your comment, you also receive a number of packs based on the roll of the die. I told you, this is the randomly random edition!
These will go out during the week (July 27-31), plus the Rangers, Brewers, and other team packs will also go out this week. This is not the "end" of the giveaway, but rather just this part of the mailout phase. All packs will be given out eventually, and then I will "close" the giveaways that get filled up with requests.
If you've made it ths far through the post, THANK YOU! I know this was a long one, and unfortunately did not include any photos. I really hhave to remember to take pictures as I go along in these things...