Crunching the Numbers

When I was a hardcore hockey player collector, I used to obsess over my completion percentages for all of my guys.  I had one collection that was entirely complete, one that was complete pending the issue of the single card my player had each year, and a few that were always around the 90 % mark.  All this ended up with me getting horribly frustrated with the whole endeavor and scrapping those PCs.  I had a lot invested in them, but they weren’t any fun anymore so I packed it in.  It wasn’t a split second decision or anything like that.  I thought about it for a while, thought about what else I might want to collect (if I wanted to collect) and so on.  Then I put my binders away for two weeks and waited….when I found I didn’t miss having new cards to add, that I didn’t miss cringing whenever a new product was released, and that I certainly didn’t miss picking up cards that I didn’t really like, I realized my decision was made.  I shifted my focus to completing the autographs and game used jersey sets from In The Game’s horribly underrated (at least in my opinion) 2007-08 O Canada set.  And I started looking at some baseball cards, and buying a few Hamilton singles.

Initially I went about my Hamilton collection in the same way I went about my hockey collections.  Then, I had an epiphany – I was being an idiot.  I was just going to make myself frustrated and miserable again.  So, I kept my checklist (doubles annoy me, not so much when I trade for them, but very much so when I am buying), but I didn’t have any of my completion percentages tracked.  I also wasn’t working off a ‘complete’ checklist anymore.  When a product came out, or when I was looking back, if there were cards I didn’t want to chase (cough…printing plates….cough) I didn’t add them.  It was so simple.  Now, when I go through a period when I don’t pick up many Hamilton cards, I am probably falling behind, but I don’t really care.  I pick up what I like, mark it off my revised checklist and go on my merry way.

Eventually, when I was pulling together my lists to post on JV’s marvelous idea for Have / Want, I realized my Beckett Collections were broke down into a list of the cards I have, and the cards I want (weird, eh?).  And, there were little numbers at the end of the collections telling me how many cards were in each collection.  So, being the geek that I am (the blog title does partially derive itself from quantum mechanics, let me remind you), I had to calculate a completion percentage.  And, because I don’t really have anything else to write about, I decided to make a post about it.  The magic number?  17.9 %.  For those of you who are curious, that’s 168 Haves and 769 Wants.  It might be off a little.  Not being as obsessive as I once was, I don’t add products to the list the day of release anymore.

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