Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year

Marty caught a Gastly, now a Gengar. We return home tomorrow so I'll get back to regular posting soon.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu Began Yesterday

I started Let's Go Pikachu yesterday.  Marty it's my character and so far other than Doc (the starter) he has a Raticate named Biff and a Growlithe named Johnny. I go home Wednesday and then my posts can be full again.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Day 90 - Pokémon Sun Done

I finished Pokémon Sun today.  I am visiting family in Virginia with limited internet access so I'll write more about Nina and her story when I have better access. I am changing my play order slightly because if this trip as well. I will begin one of the Let's Hop games tomorrow.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Day 86 - Malie Garden

Hot off completing her first Ula'Ula Island Trial, Nina went to Malie Garden to relax. She was laying in the grass contemplating the little information Olivia had been able to share with Nina about her mother when someone saw and recognized her. The man ran up and exclaimed to Nina how familiar she looked, "I'm Guzma, you look just like an old friend of mine! Is there any chance you know or are related to Lenora?"
Nina had no clue who he was talking about and explained to Guzma that she was adopted and did not resemble anyone in her family. Her response seemed to deflate Guzma a bit. "I'm sorry I wasn't able to help you more..." Nina apologized.
"You're one messed up kid! Toying with my emotions... I'm gonna destroy you!" He raged as he challenged Nina to a Pokémon battle!
After she has defeated him Guzma cried, "Yeah, yeah. I gotta admit, that was great! More than great the way you battle is familiar too! Why are you torturing me? You keep reminding me so much of Toni!"
Nina's ears perked up! Olivia had called her mom Toni while they were talking. Guzma was already walking away when Nina called after him, "Where can I find you!?"
"Come find me in Po Town and I'll be happy to beat down anytime!" Guzma replied as he mounted the Dragonite ride Pokémon before flying away.
Nina was estatic! this was a new lead to discovering the mystery of who her mother was before when she was in Alola and why she is nervous to be back!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Day 84 - Lush

Nina could hardly believe she had let this happen to herself! She had gotten herself lost in Lush Jungle. After completing the Island Trial in the Jungle she thought it would be innocent enough to explore the jungle deeper, but then she was lost. She sent Topher to fly above the trees to help find her a way out, but even with that inkling of an idea where to go the jungle was too thick and Nina was still very lost. That is she had been lost until Passimian had found her. She had found Nina and led her out of Lush Jungle. Nina was so grateful she caught the Pokémon to take with her on her adventure!

Sometime the hardest things open up opportunities for us to make new friends and to improve the friendships we already have. That has somewhat been the case recently for Alissa and I!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Day 82 - A Visit with Olivia

After completing the Melemele portion of her island challenge Nina headed with Hau, Lilly, and Professor Kukui to Akala island. To everyone's surprise, they had a welcome party. Trial Captain Mallow and Island Kahuna Olivia were there waiting for them. Professor Kukui introduced everyone, but immediately after that Olivia and him ran off with something they needed to take care of. This upset Nina, she had wanted desperately to talk to Olivia. Nina remembered her mom mentioning she knew Olivia, and Nina was curious if Olivia might know anything about what her mother was hiding.

This year Alissa and I have found Christmas shopping very stressful and tedious. So tonight we went out together to a mall and bought our Christmas gifts to each other with each other and it was wonderful. We agreed to stop worrying about the surprise and just relaxed about the entire ordeal and enjoyed and evening out of the house together.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Day 80 - Pokémon Sun Begin

Nina's mom had a secret. Nina was not sure what it was but she knew her mom was hiding the real reason they had moved to Alola. Why else would her mom be so eager to have Nina leave on a Pokémon journey. It must be that Nina was onto something and her mom needed to get her out of the way. Although she was excited to travel around Alola, she also knew she needed to uncover her mother's secret.

Ooo a mystery... how will Nina figure it out?

Monday, December 16, 2019

Bonus - Edward

Edward was the name of my protagonist back in game 3, Pokémon Ruby. Due to being sick at the time of finishing that game I did not write a proper piece memorializing that character's namesake. I now have time to correct my error.

The real Edward, my great great grandmother and father of Mark, was born in 1868 or the early days of the Utah Territory. He was delivered by his grandmother. He was a sickly child for the better part of the first two years of his life. His mother once told him that a mysterious angelic messenger had visited her and told her the secret actions that would heal him and that only after she had met with him and obeyed his counsel did Edward begin to grow. He believed this messenger to be one of the 3 Nephites of Mormon folklore.

Edward was a very curious and entrepreneurial child. When he was young he was often seeking to trade or work for something new and exciting to play with. When Edward was only 4 his father, George, passed away. George's dying words to his son were: "My Boy, I want you to lead a clean life and always honor God." Edward never forgot those words and modeled his entire life after that admonition.

During his young years Edward worked his first job herding sheep. This was his first experience living away from home and it took him quite a while to get over his feelings of homesickness. He later worked herding cattle, which seems to me to be a reasonable progression from shepherd to cowboy. He also worked other jobs. He worked for a shopkeeper. He was also a mail deliveryman (his least liked job).

Edward served a mission for the Brighamite branch of the Mormon church. He traveled throughout the South of the United States preaching the message of Jesus Christ and about the church as restored and established by Joseph Smith.

Edward's primary trade in life as an adult was working as a farmer and spent most of his time working hard in the fields. When he could be away from the fields he spent nearly all of his time with his family as they were truly the light of his life. His autobiography is littered with tales and anecdotes from the time he spent with his family and children. He had 8 children, though only 6 grew to adulthood. His eldest son Golden died of the flu at 19 years old when he was in Salt Lake city seeking to enlist in the Great War. And his daughter Della had a weak heart.She was sick and weak her whole life and died young at only 9 years old. The premature deaths of his children truly broke Edward's heart.

In his older years Edward went to work volunteering in the Utah temples. He loved his time there helping others be close to God as he worked to bring himself closer too.

Edward lived to 81 years old. The Mormon Apostle Gordon B. Hinkley spoke at his funeral and the words he spoke of my great great grandfather proved he absolutely lived his life according to his father's dying instruction.

Linked here is his autobiography as anotated by his son (My Great Uncle) Spencer.

Day 79 - Larsen

Children and adults alike across the Hoenn Region knew Larsen's name. He had done what he set out to do and was the Hoenn League champion! He had completed his goal and found the fame he had chased! It had been a thrilling journey, nothing like he had expected when he moved to the Hoenn region and first met Jeremy! Now he wanted to take a break from the thrills of traveling and return to Littleroot with his mother. While taking a break he could write a book about his rise to the top, besides a book would help keep his name in lights a little longer!

There is no one real world Larsen. Instead it is one of my ancestral surnames, and my grandpa's middle name. Which means it is the name of past protagonist's Hans, Lucy, and Whit! Since there is no one person to write about today instead I will begin the post detailing my great great grandfather Edward, given I neglected to do a detailed post when he was my name for Pokémon Ruby. Fitting that I correct that error on the game's counterpart remake.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Day 77 - Gracing the Small Screen

Larsen's run at challenging the Hoenn gyms was going quite well. The real good news was that he was beginning to be noticed. Ever since the Hoenn news team recorded him battling he had been gaining a small following. His battle was popular enough the team had found two additional times to both get updates on his progress and to record additional battle footage for the airwaves. Now that Larsen was gracing the small screen across Hoenn, he had a taste of the fame and glory he was seeking. That taste just made him hungry for more.

Sometimes you go places because others do not want you to be there and because they feed your needs. Tonight I attended my church congregation's Christmas Party despite receiving messages and information that I was not wanted or welcome there by some. I attended because there are people there that care about me and that I love, and I find fulfillment when I commune with them. I did not want to attend because of the messages I had been receiving, but I am very glad I did.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Day 75 - One Hit Wonder

While in Slateport Larsen met Lisia, the famous Pokémon Contest Star. She randomly chose him from the crowd to sponsor as a new Coordinator in an upcoming Pokémon Contest Spectacular. Larsen was so excited! This was his big chance to finally make it big and fulfill his dreams of becoming famous. He enthusiastically entered a Cool contest with Jeremy as his Pokémon partner. It did not go well. Despite how hard Jeremy had worked for Larsen, they had lost. Larsen was disappointed. He had thought this was his chance to make it big, but it had proven much more difficult than he had anticipated. Larsen was a one hit wonder in the contest world, just not the successful kind of hit. Larsen decided to go back to challenging the Gym challenge instead.

Alissa's reaction to Lisia (to the right) was "Who is that? She looks like bubblegum!" I thought it was funny!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Day 73 - Pokémon AlphaSapphire Begin

Larsen wanted fame. He wanted glory! And now that he had Pokémon of his own he could turn those dreams into goals! He was going to work his way out from his gym leader father's shadow. With Jeremy, his Torchic, by his side he would collect the Gym Badges and become the first rookie trainer to defeat the Hoenn Pokémon League!

While on his way to Rustboro to challenge his first gym he encountered a man searching for a Shroomish to catch. While Larsen helped him search the two were ambushed by a member of Team Aqua. Larsen jumped into action with Jeremy and easily protected his newfound friend. The man was so grateful he gave Larsen a small gift and as the pair walked out of Petalburg Woods together he could not stop singing praises of Larsen and Jeremy. Larsen smirked to himself, he had his first fan and it felt good.

I need to take a break from personal blog posts for a short stint. I am feeling fairly wounded and do not want to turn this into only a place that I vent my frustrations. I also do not want to passive aggressively write posts about those I feel have wounded me, I have already done that too much and this is me trying to be better. Thank you for understanding.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Day 72 - Christine

Christine wasn't really disappointed when AZ crashed her league champion parade, she was just confused. Why was he here and why did security let him in. Why did he get to challenge her, the champion, despite not having a gym badge to his name. It was strange, but no less unusual than her friends joining her in the parade. Regardless, Christine was the champion and finally felt at home in Kalos!

The real Christine is my Grandpa Whit's mother and the daughter of Hans. She went by Lucy and was born in Utah in 1890 and lived to the healthy age of 88. She grew up on and worked on a fruit farm throughout her life. She was married in her mid-twenties and had 5 children. Her third child died from an appendicitis infection at the age of 7. From everything I have heard this tragedy had a significant impact on Lucy and she was never quite the same afterwards. It was after this terrible tragedy that she bonded with my grandpa Whit, who was only 4 or 5 at the time. Even after he grew to adulthood he could do no wrong in his mother's eyes. My grandpa and entire family always spoke quite highly of my great grandmother. She seemed to be an overall happy woman.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Day 71 - Never Alone

Christine felt like she was never alone on her journey through the Kalos region, which had both its negatives and its positives. It felt like everywhere she went one or more of her friends was there waiting for her or coming to find her. She was never lonely, but sometimes crowded. Overall Christine had gotten used to it and had decided it was better to be crowded than lonely.

I was feeling very sad and hurt last night because of some things that happened to my family in the last week. I expressed my brokenness with a Facebook post last night and wore my black sheep tie as a little outward expression of my hurt loneliness today at church. To my surprise my hurt was seen and heard in the right ways. many people shared their love and care towards me and Alissa today and it was a day that that extra attention and care was sorely needed. If any of you are reading this, thank you for your loving words and actions. In a way you saved me today. Thank you!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Day 70 - Not a Good Plan

Lysandre may be threatening the entire Kalos Region, but Christine knew he was hardly a threat. He was an idiot, who was using the legendary Xerneas (the Life Pokémon) in his quest to eliminate humanity across the world. But Xerneas is a life bringer, not a life taker. All using Xerneas to power the Ultimate Weapon would do is bring further life and potentially immortality to Kalos. For an evil genius, his plan is not a good plan.

I have no motivation to blog further tonight. I must be overwhelmed contemplating my impending immortality.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Day 68 - True Colors

Early on her adventure Christine had met Dexio and Sina. They had been very kind to her and not overbearing like some of her other new friends. Christine really liked them and had spent a decent amount of time with them and had helped them when they needed it. Recently though, Christine had really needed some help dealing with Team Flare at the Power Plant and had asked them to for that help. They told her they would help but they did not show up until the problem was dealt with, at which point they acted like they had been helpful and talked about how much Christine owed them for helping her. At first Christine gave them the benefit of the doubt that they were joking, but she knew they weren't they just did not value her the way she had valued them.  They had shown her their true colors. Christine was hurt and she kind of wished she had not asked for their help, so she could have continued believing they were her friends.

I am lucky right now to have a lot of really good and real friends that I can go to with and about anything. It is probably my favorite part about my current life situation. I love you friends!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Day 67 - All Talk

Callum was really beginning to get on Christine's nerves. He was always talking. He would talk about the Mega Evolution research. He would talk about how good his parents were at training Pokémon. He would talk about how much he loved Kalos. He would talk about their friends. He would even talk about how great he was. Talking about those things is not an issue in itself, but all Callum does it talk and Christine was getting exhausted.

Sometimes I worry my friends feel this way about me. I know my family does on occasion. Anyways I am struggling to stay on schedule with this game, despite initially thinking I could use this game to be ahead of schedule. Oh well!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Day 66 - Welcome

Christine's new friends were doing everything they could to make her feel welcome in Kalos. But they were perhaps being a little too welcoming... Everywhere she went one of her friends was there telling her something or asking her to do something. It was very kind but Christine was beginning to feel claustrophobic and kind of wanted to spend some time by herself. The thing is she did not know how to ask for space without upsetting her new friends.

I never feel this way. I usually want more time with my friends and am probably the one they want space from. What can I say, I am a textbook extrovert. People give me energy.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Day 64 - Pokémon X Begin

Christine had been both excited and nervous about moving to the Kalos region. Excited because she had only heard wonderful things about Kalos and how beautiful it was, and nervous becuase she was worried she would have difficulty making friends there. When she arrived she was pleasantly surprised to be welcomed by 4 kids around her age and to be gifted a Pokémon, Froakie, by her mothers old friend and the region's professor, Professor Sycamore. Christine and her new friends immediately made plans to tour the region so Christine could experience its majesty personally.

These games are when Pokémon made the leap into 3D for the first time. Although I loved the ctyle and character of the generation 5 art, it is a captivating transition. At this point I am just over 2 months into this project and I have already completed 8 games, so about a game a week. I completed the first 4 games ahead of schedule and the back 4 I completed roughly on time. Which means I am still ahead of schedule overall which bodes well for the entirety of the project. Here's to another 10 months and 26 games of smooth playing!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Day 63 - Mark

Mark belonged. He belonged with his Pokémon and in Unova and with his family and so many other places. He always had, he just could not see that for a little while. Now that he had defeated the new Team Plasma that belonging was no longer threatened, and now that he was the Unova champion he had no reason not to return home and enjoy the company of those he really belonged with.

The real Mark was my great grandfather. I have never heard my Grandma say a negative word about her father, and she loves to talk about him. She had stories upon stories about how good of a father he was, about how handsome he was, about his kindness, etc. Mark was born in 1905 and like many of my ansectors lived nearly his entire life in Utah. He lived in Kanosh Utah to be more specific. He got married when he was 25. Mark died fairly young at only 60 years. Because he is only one generation removed I will soon call my Grandma and ask her to share with me briefly about his life for one of the podcast episodes. Pictured on the left is him with his sweetheart Nina, the second namesake (coming up in a few games) that I actually had the chance to meet in my lifetime.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Day 61 - Happy Thanksgiving

Mark was beginning to recognize how many people embraced and welcomed him. He was grateful for their care and adoration and was learning that that feeling of safety and love was a feeling of belonging. By helping his friend Hugh work to reunite his sister with her stolen Purrloin Mark was seeing the contrast of those who are not in a safe and united place and noticing he was not in that trap of desperation.

Happy Thanksgiving! Today Alissa and I hosted thanksgiving at our house for our family and 2 other families. It was great to be surrounded by friends who love us. It was wonderful to feel the loving feelings of belonging that community brings. It was a day I needed and I am grateful for it. I historically have never really liked Thanksgiving, but today was a good one. As for a few things I am grateful for...

  • My Sweet Beautiful Alissa
  • My Wonderful Friends
  • My Family
  • My Mormon Heritage
  • Having a decent, if not difficult, job
  • Our little rental house
  • My Nintendo Switch
  • Just about all things Pokémon
  • The Possibility filled Future
  • The many people who have helped me with this project
  • Vacation
  • My somewhat recent faith journey
  • You dear reader
  • So so much more

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Podcast Episode 4 - Thank You Game Freak (you) Lied with Sonny

I don't think that Game Freak and The Pokémon Company have ever experienced a year of controversy like 2019 has been. With Pokémon Sword and Shield releasing earlier this month the controversy has reached its boiling point with fans everywhere either declaring their gratitude towards Game Freak (using #ThankYouGameFreak) or their overflow of frustration with the company (using #GameFreakLied). I really wanted to give members of the community on each side of the controversy a fair chance to share their feelings. I could not find someone who believes the Game Freak Lied to help me out, but I need to thank Sonny (@blkck on twitter) for talking to me about why he wants to thank Game Freak. Music credit for this podcast goes to Mikel. Thank you for listening!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Day 59 - No One Left Behind

Days ago when Mark was exploring the Desert Resort he had noticed a Dwebble following him around. No matter where he traversed across the dunes the Pokémon appeared committed to follow him. At the time Mark had no interest in Dwebble so he had not paid the little Pokémon any attention. Now days later Mark could not get the Dwebble out of his mind. Perhaps the Dwebble was looking for a place to belong just like Mark was. So, Mark returned to Desert Resort and not far from the entrance that same Dwebble was there, to Mark it almost felt as if he was waiting for him. He did not even need to weaken the little Pokémon and she stayed in the first Poké Ball he tossed her way. Even if Mark was still struggling to belong he was not going to deprive another soul the privilege of feeling loved or fitting in.

I am loved. It is possible my lack of feeling like I belong is more in my head than anything else. Regardless it is something I am working through at the moment, and I aim to keep working on figuring it out.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Day 58 - Rotation Battles

On Mark's journey he encountered a few trainers that participated in an alternative type of Pokémon battle. Called Rotation Battles, these required trainers to coordinate and battle with 3 Pokémon as if they were one. As Mark joined in these complex pieces of balancing art he could not help but realize how when one of a team's three Pokémon fell their team had all but lost the battle. The remaining turns usually felt like only a formality. On the best rotation teams each Pokémon served a purpose, they all belonged. Mark wondered if that is why he did not feel he belonged, because apart from his family he had never really been a part of something; he had never had a purpose. Mark deeply wanted a purpose. He loved watching his Pokémon rotate in and out of battle to help each other achieve victory. He liked how both dependent and supportive they were on each other. He wanted to find a place he could rotate into both to help others and to be helped when he needed it.

Community is an important part of belonging. Good communities help to give us both a role and a purpose. The times in my life when I have felt the greatest sense of belonging were when I was heavily participating in a community. Sometimes that community was a group of friends, my church, my family, a group or class at school, or even a sports team. Each of those communities helped make me feel a part of something greater and helped me feel belonging and purpose. Unfortunately at the moment I am struggling to feel belonging or acceptance in the communities I have currently, and I have not had success in finding new ones that fit who I am today. Eventually I will have that again, I have hope and faith in that future.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Day 57 - Belong

Today a man in Castelia City confided in Mark that he did not feel he belonged. He was once a part of Team Plasma which had given him a great deal of purpose and direction to his life, but when the group was defeated and then disbanded by Brigham 2 years prior the man began to feel extremely lost. Mark really wanted to help this man feel like he was a part of something but no matter how hard he himself tried to belong he too felt out of place. Mark just wanted to belong and he was not even sure what belonging looked like. Meeting this man just stoked his fears that he may never really belong anywhere.

I know this is more of the same from the last post, sorry about that. But what is means to belong has really been on my mind lately. I have felt like I belonged in may different places and times in my life but at the moment I am lacking that feeling a bit.

 Alissa and I were on vacation again, this time in Boston for the weekend. We attended a BYU football game (Cougars Won!), took a look downtown, and ate way too much seafood. Now we are back and I have finally caught up all the auxiliary pages of the website. I will probably be able to finish and upload last week's podcast episode tomorrow or Tuesday night at the latest. The good news is no more traveling vacations are planned for the rest of the year at this point and I am finally on pace with a game again. First time since Pokémon LeafGreen. Things are looking up for this project!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Day 55 - Pokémon Black 2 Begin

Mark had never felt like he belonged anywhere. He barely even lived in his region of Unova, so he was not sure he belonged to it. However, having just received his very own Pokémon Mark was determined to set out from home and not return home until he knew were he belongs.

It is important to find belonging in our lives. I lately have been feeling very out of place and like I do not belong. Perhaps by exploring this theme with Mark I will find some belonging.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Day 54 - Brigham

After defeating the Pokémon League's Elite Four and pursuing N into his Castle Brigham ran once again into his father. This confrontation was much different than their last encounter had been. Brigham's father confessed to his son that shortly after joining Team Plasma N had entrusted a Pokémon to his care and for him to use in his work to liberate Pokémon. But now that Team Plasma's plans were successful he was dreading the thought of having to once again say goodbye to his Pokémon friends. He felt this new Pokémon loved him as much as he loved her. Working alongside the small creature had made him doubt all that Team Plasma stood for. Brigham encouraged his father to keep his new Pokémon friend and stressed that they would always be welcome family to him. Brigham then went on to confront N and after a battle N admitted he felt swayed to allow trainers to keep their Pokémon, his heart was changed seeing the mutual love and affection between Brigham and his Pokémon.

The real Brigham was my Great Grandfather. He was born and raised in Utah and like many of my ancestors served a religious mission in his youth. He registered for the draft of both world wars. The stand out attribute that he was known for in his old age was his vitality. At 80 he decided to learn how to water ski, and when he was 81 a local paper published a story about how active he was. He lived a long life passing away at 89.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Day 53 - Pressure

Everyone was relying on Brigham to save the world and although Brigham was beginning to feel more secure in his convictions to keep his Pokémon by his side it was a lot of pressure. He was beginning to realize that the reason everyone was relying on him so heavily was because of their own self doubts. Cheren was unsure if he still had a reason for wanting to be a strong trainer. Bianca was unsure if she could be successful as a Pokémon Professor. The Champion, Alder, worried he was failing as champion every since one of his Pokémon friends passed away. Professor Juniper wondered if it was somehow her fault N had discovered the resting place of Zekrom before she did. Brigham's mom blamed herself for not returning to training Pokémon so that she could fight alongside her son. They all put pressure on Brigham because of their own insecurities. Somehow realizing this gave Brigham strength to push forward with his team. On to Victory Road!

I am still looking for someone who thinks #GameFreakLied to talk to me for this week's Podcast. If you are interested please reach out to me on twitter @AllGamesProject

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Day 52 - The Same Coin

Brigham's mom referred to herself as "Senior Trainer Mom" on the phone today. It was a small thing, but Brigham still felt the pressure of choosing to continue training Pokémon behind her words. He knew she was so proud of him for all he had accomplished so far. Truth be told he loved Pokémon and felt like they were his partners, succeeding with him and not just for him. But there was still a part him that wondered if he was wrong. And then there was N, the handsome young man he had met who was leading Team Plasma on their brigade to liberate Pokémon. He seemed so sure of himself and his Pokémon friends were truly free yet still battled beside him. Was that kind of unity possible for Brigham with his Pokémon? N seemed to believe he and Brigham were two sides of the same coin. But how could that be possible? N seemed so sure of himself and Brigham felt for them to be true opposites N would need to have as much inner turmoil as he had himself.

I feel out of place in life right now. It is no fun. If you want to understand what I mean by that, then ask me personally.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Day 50 - Kicking Against the Pricks

Brigham ran into his father today. The Driftveil Gym Leader had required him to apprehend some members of Team Plasma that had stolen some local people's Pokémon. After pursuing the thieves into a Cold Storage unit Brigham was surprised to see his father among those huddling inside. He was shocked that his father seemed to be involved in such criminal activities. Likewise, Brigham's father was disappointed that Brigham was still traveling with and training Pokémon. As the authorities arrived and escorted him away in handcuffs he shouted back to his son, "Have you not witnessed the pain of the Pokémon you profess to be your friends? Do you not feel incredible guilt for confining them regularly to cage like balls and only releasing them when it suits your needs? Why do you continue kicking against the pricks of what your heart is urging you to do?" Brigham was extremely troubled by all ports of the interaction: the circumstances of it, his role in the apprehension, the words his father had spoken to him. Brigham was overwhelmed. He hoped to get to talk to his father in captivity before leaving Driftveil, but as he returned to the town square he discovered that the captured Team Plasma members, including his father had escaped and were once again at large.

The leaders of the local unit of the church I currently attend have been kicking against the pricks. There is a new training that church members who work with youth and children need to complete to help them be more aware of the warning signs of abuse. Our unit's leaders are in effect exempting people from completing the training, because it is a nuisance to have everyone complete it. This is ridiculous. And I am furious.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Day 48 - Empathy

Brigham was doing well as a Pokémon trainer. He had added a few new Pokémon to his team and his Tepig, Heber, had evolved into a Pignite! He had challenged and earned gym badges from three different gyms! He had even teamed up with his Pokémon to rescue someone's kidnapped Pokémon. Despite all of his early success something was really bothering him. He hurt deeply whenever one of his Pokémon fainted. He saw their pain and felt empathy for them and their pain. He also felt guilty for putting them in harms way just so he could have his success or feel the thrill of battling. He was already beginning to better understand why his father had had a dramatic change of opinion about training Pokémon, and he wondered if perhaps Team Plasma was right in thier belief that no one should own Pokémon or make them fight. Brigham was terribly conflicted.

Overall I feel that Empathy is a skill and a gift. Having Empathy can help us to lighten the burdens of other and allow us to cause less unintended hurt. Yet, sometimes it is difficult when we feel empathy towards others. It can be exhausting to share and live in that pain with others. On occasion it can bring us down and make us question our own behavior. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is difficult nonetheless to be regularly bending and expanding ones self. I regularly strive to have greater sympathy and empathy for those around me, and I hope by doing so I can be molded into a better version of myself!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Day 46 - Pokémon Black Begin

Brigham was raised in a house divided. His parents had met young while they were both Pokémon trainers. They bonded over their love of training and battling Pokémon. Brigham had always found the whole thing quite romantic and when he was young he had secretly hoped he would meet his wife when he eventually went on his own Pokémon journey. Then a few years ago his dad met a charismatic man named Gorm. Gorm had convinced Brigham's father that owning Pokémon was immoral and that they needed to be free. Rashly, Brigham's father released both his and his wife's Pokémon so they could be free! This caused quite a bit of a disruption in their home, Brigham's wife could not be convinced that what her husband had done was correct, but perhaps what caused the most contention was the question of whether or not young Brigham would be allowed to train his own Pokémon one day. In the end Brigham's parents split up with his father moving out, but they agreed to allow Brigham to make the decision himself. Now Brigham had a Tepig to train and he was not sure if training that Pokémon was right or wrong. He was extremely conflicted.

With this game I am going to try hard to get back into writing more interesting blog posts. With my time away from home last game was a bit spotty. I think it will be fun to explore Brigham's inner turmoil about training and battling with Pokémon, two things his parents vehemently disagree on.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Day 45 - Whit

Whit has completed his many goals and seen the world! And with his diverse family of Pokémon he would never feel confined to New Bark Town again. However, after his travels and reaching his goal of becoming the Pokémon Champion relaxing in New Bark Town sounded nice.

Whit is my late Grandfather. The first namesake for this project that I knew personally. Grandpa Whit was great. He had 11 children, 9 boys and 2 girls. He would frequently tell both friends and complete strangers about how all 9 of his sons were Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scouts. He served in the Navy during the tail end of World War II and return to serving there for a year afterwards. He was a true Christian both in belief and action. He filled his life with service to his fellow brothers and sisters including a 2 and 1 half year mission to Denmark, the home of our ancestors. He was very proud of being able to speak Danish, and I think he might have been a little disappointed that only 1 of his children ever learned Danish. I am a guilty party there, never learning the language myself. Grandpa Whit worked as a Mathmatician, Statistician, and with some of the earliest computers. Much of his career he worked in education. At this juncture where I am considering graduate school in similar fields I feel a certain extra kinship towards him. This is why I included a picture of him from his Masters Program Graduation. I think I might want that too.

He lived the second half of his life on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There his favorite store was Menards. He would buy just about anything there if it was on sale or he had a rebate. Because of this anytime we visited him and my Grandma each grandkid could go pick one item out of his Menards box. Usually it was just a bunch of pens, highlights, and measuring tapes but every once in a while there was something really neat in there. One visit I grabbed a screwdriver with over 20 different bits. I was so excited to get something so substantial from the box and he was happy to tell me all about how cool that screwdriver would be for helping my Dad with chores around the house. My Dad definitely used the screwdriver more than I did, but it is still a fun memory for me.

There are so many fun memories I could share about this good man. He made me laugh regularly and was always keeping himself busy. Once I called him after my dad teased me for spilling milk on my shirt at dinner. Seeking retribution 15 year old me asked Grandpa Whit, "Did my Dad have a drinking problem when he was my age?" mortified he quickly shouted out for his wife and my Grandma. I definitely could have worded my question much better, but afterwards that experience gave me a great laugh (for those keeping score, according to Grandma my father never spilled anything ever on himself). It will be cliche to my siblings and many cousins but my favorite memory of Grandpa Whit has to be watching him count the fingers of strangers. His favorite trick was to count people's fingers in a way that totaled eleven eleven fingers to see if they could understand the trick. He would do this with everyone: the clerk at the store, the server at a restaurant, people at a park, his doctor, kids at church, friends he had not seen for years, everyone! If I have time tomorrow I will record of a video of me doing the trick and you can tell me if you can figure it out.

As you can see I have a lot to say about my Grandfather. I think he was wonderful, and I wish I could have known him more. He was and is one of many lights in my life! Love you Grandpa Whit!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Day 43 - Ready for Anything

Whit felt he was ready for anything! He had finally caught a full team of 6 Pokémon and had 8 gym badges! He was confident he would have no trouble becoming the new Champion!

Back from vacation, but I am a bit tired. I will get back to writing more full, engaging, and story filled blog posts soon. Thank you for your patience while I have been visiting family and friends.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Podcast Episode 3 - Pokémon Leaks with NIHF.com's Ryley

How does this keep happening? Game Freak has had huge leaks with almost every Pokémon game they have published in the past 10 years? We discuss the leaks and why they occur. I also had a little stress stint a week ago while playing my games so Ryley talks me through avoiding and getting through project burnout! Music credit for this podcast goes to Oblivian. Thank you for listening!

Track: Pokemon - Lavender Town Theme (Mikel Remix)
Music provided by Oblivion.
Watch: https://youtu.be/rs-YKQCoD4E
Subscribe to Mikel: https://www.youtube.com/user/MikelTBE

Day 41 - Dim Cave

Whit caught a "rare" red Gyarados at the Lake of Rage, he named her Sparkle. He did not need another water Pokémon on his team, but he still wanted to spend time with his new friend. When he was given the opportunity to take any one of his Pokémon on a stroll through Dim Cave Whit knew exactly who to take. While he and Sparkle were strolling through the cave he caught a glimpse of a little adorable baby Pokémon! It was so cute Whit immediately decided he would try to catch it for his team.

Pokémon Soul Silver was originally sold with an external device called the Pokéwalker. It is a pedometer with some Pokémon mini games built in to it that can connect to your main game via infrared. You can find items and catch Pokémon on it the more you walk. I have been carrying one around since getting on vacation and nearly have enough points to capture the Pokémon I have been pursuing!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Day 40 - Delivering Kenya

It was time for Whit to say goodbye to Kenya. In Cainwood he met a boy so terrified of losing his Pokémon, Shuckie, that he gave him to Whit to protect. Although the boy insisted, he was in tears as Whit left with his beloved Shuckle. That got Whit thinking about how much Kenya's owners must be missing him. Kenya had helped Whit win 2 gym badges, and he had been a great companion. It was a hard goodbye, but Whit enjoyed how happy Kenya and his trainer were to be reunited!

In Virginia playing today. Podcast incoming tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Day 38 - Pokémon Loan

Kenya was a good Spearow, but he was an even better Fearow. The only problem was that Kenya was not Whit's Pokémon. Randy, the Goldenrod City gate guard, had loaned Whit Kenya to deliver with a letter to his friend outside of Violet City. Since then Whit had been in Violet City, but could not bring himself to deliver his newly evolved friend. Instead Whit headed north to Ecruteak City, where he explored a burned tower and glimpsed some legendary beasts with Kenya. Then the two of them took on Morty to win Whit's fourth gym badge. Afterwards, Whit felt it was finally time to finish his task and deliver Kenya, but he still could not bring himself to do it. Whit was worried he might need to steal Kenya, because of how painful the thought of giving him up was.

Tomorrow Alissa and I are driving down to visit my parents. Because I will be traveling I likely will not be posting a blog post tomorrow, but on Thursday I will update you on any travel adventures I might have found myself on!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Day 37 - Woop-De-Doo

Whit had caught a Pokémon on his own. A Wooper he nicknames Morsel. He loved his new little friend. She was so cute he could barely stand it. He decided to not let her evolve so he could spend more time with her as a cute little baby!

Wooper is my favorite Pokémon, so this was my sappy little tribute. I kept it short, you are welcome.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Day 36 - Pokémon SoulSilver Begin

Whit was bored. He always was. There really was not much to do in New Bark Town. He spent most of his days watching his friend Lyra play with her Marill. He really wanted a Pokémon of his own. Imagine his surprise when on his birthday his neighbor Professor Elm invited him over to gift him a Pokémon of his very own! His mom must've been in on it too because she gave him a Pokégear and a Trainer Card for his birthday. To cap the day off Professor Oak from the Kanto region challenged him to go on an adventure with his new Pokémon! This was going to be a great year for Whit.

I have a confession. Although Russell's story is complete I have not been able to defeat the Elite Four and Champion. It has become a real grind and slog finishing that game up. So I am moving on to this game and will give another try to the Elite Four and Champion of that game until I finish it up. My number one rule was to have fun and I was beginning to dread playing Pokémon Diamond each day, but moving on in this way should keep me motivated to keep moving forward!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Happy Annibirthary Alissa

Today is my wife's Birthday and our 6th wedding anniversary. As one if my gifts to Alissa I am taking the day off from Pokémon tomorrow while we celebrate and instead of a usual post today I dedicate this post to the love of my life.

I love and adore you Alissa. I love who you are and love who you are becoming. It has been magical to watch you blossom and grow over the past year in so many ways. You are a brilliant and deep thinker, and I enjoy our many talks about the world and the philosophical. I admire how you have let the challenges you have faced over the course of our 6 years together mold you into becoming a more caring and kind person. I love your capacity to listen to others and to honestly consider their opinion and your effort to understand their perspective even if it is far from your own. I find your ever constant desire to serve others and your instinctual reaction to say yes to just about any request for help both fascinating and admirable. Thank you for always encouraging me to be creative and to pursue my numerous and seemingly never ending dreams. Thank you for your patience with me and my many quirks. And thank you for striving to always improve and never settle. You know I have never been one to call our 6 years of marriage easy, to be honest I still consider marriage the hardest thing I have ever done. But I am glad I get to take that challenge on with you! You make my life and our marriage a delight. I love you and I always will.

- Tanner

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Day 33 - Russell

The former alleged criminal Russell has become the new Sinnoh League Champion. He defeated the beloved Cynthia in a close and heated match. His Pokémon seemed quite under leveled compared to Cynthia's and the region is in shock at news of her defeat. He probably cheated.

The real Russell was another one of my Great Great Grandfathers. Unlike the other Great Great Grandfathers I have feature this one did not emigrate to Utah early in life. Instead he was born and raised there. He died in the same city he was born in, Fillmore Utah. He was born in 1887. From what I can find he was quite patriotic! He participated on Fillmore's Fourth of July decoration committee. All of the surviving journal entries and letters of his I was able to find and read seemed to be about his daughters, which I found quite beautiful! In this case the real Russell in no way inspired the story of the fictional Pokémon world version. To my knowledge the real Russell was never suspect of being a criminal.

Russell died young, shortly after his 28th birthday. In the Summer of 1915, him and some of the men he worked with decided to go to the local spring for a swim to cool off after working in the fields cutting grain. after swimming for a while Russell decided he wanted to swim across the spring. Perhaps he misjudged the distance or his own ability to swim that far but when he reached about halfway he likely grew fatigued and decided to try to swim back. he was nearly back when he went under. the men on the shore tried to save him, but by the time they got him out of the water and got the water out of his lungs he had already suffered from the prolonged loss of air and they were not able to revitalize him. I was able to find a newspaper report of his drowning, but have decided not to link it to be respectful of my family that may consider that disrespectful. He left two daughters and a widow, Bertha. Bertha eventually moved to Los Angeles in California where 20 years later she got remarried to my Step Great Great Grandfather Daniel.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Day 32 - Retraction

It appears our prior reporting on Barry and Russell have been mistaken. It is with regret we are issuing this retraction. It seems Barry and Russell were forgiven early by Professor Rowan and were in his employ studying the Pokémon of the Sinnoh region. Russell has no connection to the former Team Glactic, but instead was responsible for stopping many of the cults nefarious plots. It was him who stopped them from siphoning energy at Valley Windworks. He did not hold Pokémon Hostage in Eterna City, but instead rescued them. He did not steal Dawn's Pokédex but recovered it. And it was him who defeated Cyrus atop Mount Coronet. All that being said, this reporter and news agency is still of the opinion that Russell should not be trusted.

Maybe you think of it as a cop out, but I was never going to end Russell's story with him as a criminal.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Day 31 - One Month In

Well, I have been doing this blog and project for a month now! So far I am still going strong! Because this is an anniversary for the project I decided to do things a little different and start with the extra stuff and end with the more normal (albeit shorter today) blog post. That post will be indicated below with a villain picture, so it should be relatively simple to find for those who just want to read that. Without further ado here is the status report:

Me still enjoying Pokémon
How is the project going? Well I have completed 4 games and each of them in 6 days which has been ahead of schedule. I am on track to beat my current game, Pokémon Diamond, either tomorrow or Thursday which will continue my ahead of schedule pattern and will officially be two weeks ahead of my original schedule. That will put my at 5 games done and 29 to go! I have been speeding through this first basic run through of games so that I can relax a little bit when I go through the games more thoroughly with the post-game story and some I am more flexible with the final games next year when I am bound to be feeling a little bit of burnout. Speaking of burnout, so far things have been good. at least one part of each game has been a struggle to want to get through, but overall I have been enjoying myself. The charm of the Pokémon and the games' storylines have kept me engaged.

To my surprise the most fun part of this entire experience has been blogging and sharing about it. I have had fun each evening thinking of a story to tell based on what I have played earlier in the day. It has been a fun challenge to try to create stories and content that can be appreciated by both Pokémon fans and Tanner fans alike. I have also enjoyed getting my feet a little wet in the world of Podcasting, though to be honest it is a little bit frustrating how few listens the 2 episodes that are already up have gotten. To be honest that is partially my fault as I still need to do the work to get it onto iTunes and other popular podcast streaming services such as Stitcher and Spotify. I still hope to have a monthly non gameplay streaming video to post to Youtube, but I need to find the time and balance before I will ever be able to make that a reality. I also want to stream gameplay more regularly. Clearly there are still many things for me to work on. Perhaps after I get through the first full batch of games at the end of this year I will be able to find the time to do some of those extra things.

Outside of Pokémon it has been a fairly eventful month. I crashed my bike, grew a beard for the first time in 2 or 3 years, was sick for 2 weeks, and so many more things. Both things small and large to me in my life. This weekend will be mine and Alissa's 6th wedding anniversary, which to me is a little insane. I honestly can say that our most recent year of marriage has been the best and I love my wife dearly. This Friday is Alissa's birthday, so as a gift to her I will not be writing for the site or playing any Pokémon that day. Frankly, I am a little excited to have that break.

Cyrus from Team Galactic
Here is the more regular post: We are receiving reports that the Galactic Cult leader has been proven a fallible man and thus a fraud in the eyes of many of his followers. Perhaps Cyrus will soon admit his falsehoods to the world. The surprising part of these reports is that some of them are saying the criminal Russell is responsible for knocking Cyrus down. This cannot be true and once we uncover the truth we will report it!

Anywho... thanks for reading this rambling one month in progress report post along with the regular daily story post. As is usual I am open to suggestions for the blog and project and any feedback; I truly appreciate it if you would share my project with someone you might think would find it fun or interesting. I am also always looking for people to collaborate with. Well that is this and this is that for me tonight, Play Hard and Train On!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Day 30 - Meeting Among Enemies

And that concludes our report on the explosion at Lake Valor. In other news, the criminals Russell and Barry have been spotted meeting with the victims of their original sin, Professor Rowan and his young assistant Dawn, at the Canalave Library. The meeting was seemingly cordial without any further crimes being reported. Why would these two upstanding citizens of Sinnoh sit down with the boys who stole their Pokémon? Could the crime have been an attempt at insurance fraud? Are these wayward boys turning over a new leaf? Have they stolen something else from either Dawn or the Professor that they are holding for ransom? Is the professor employing these children for a nefarious deed of his own? Could the boys be trying to convince the professor to help them with a heist? When we reached out to the Rowan Pokémon Research Lab they declined to comment on the meeting.

Last night Alissa told me she missed me. So, I put down my Nintendo DS and decided then I would not make a post for the day. One of my top rules is to not neglect my family and responsibilities which is also one of the reasons I am holding myself to a two day rule for blog posts to give myself that kind of autonomy.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Day 28 - A Stolen Pokédex

An inside source tells us that acolytes from the Galactic Cult recently stole Professor Rowan's assistant Dawn's Pokédex. When we reached out to Dawn for comment she told us "I would never be so careless as to lose such a valuable research tool." However, when we pushed for further information she let slide this interesting tidbit, "Russell would not allow Team Galactic to get away with something so insidious." What could she mean by saying something like that? Is she in contact with the criminal Russell? Could he have turned over a new leaf or has he dragged the pure Dawn into helping him with his insidious plans? Unfortunately until we get further information we wont be able to know for sure.

Halloween is near. Alissa and I attended a Trunk or Treat party tonight and Alissa dressed up as the mascot of her English teaching company, VIPKID. I dressed up as a teacher for her company. It was a fun activity even if she looked a little scary.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Day 27 - A Team for What Job

Russell was seen returning to the scene of one of his former crimes. He was observed there capturing one of the most devious of Pokémon, Drifloon the child kidnapper. He used a vile Stunky and the fossil Cranidos to weaken the creature before securing it in one of his Poké Balls. Unfortunately Russell was gone by the time the authorities arrived on site. This scene makes us wonder what crime Russell is preparing for in cultivating a team of these types of Pokémon. Anyone who trains a Pokémon with criminal tendencies such as Drifloon should be viewed as suspect. Combine that with his choice to train the nefarious and foul Stunky who's stench could only be tolerated by the evilest of hearts and his training of reanimated Pokémon who only days ago were dead stone. What use could someone have for a kidnapper Pokémon, a pest Pokémon, and a zombie Pokémon? We guarantee you nothing good!

I've been feeling quite a bit better for most of this week, which has made it a busy catch up week. I do still have a cough though. One coworker scolded me this week for coming in to the office while still having such a disruptive cough. I was a little caught off guard by this comment! I probably cough once or twice every 15 minutes (and every time I laugh of course). I am not sick anymore, and I am not contagious. I work in an office at a cubicle by myself most of the day. Honestly, if I did not have so many meetings these last few days I might have stayed home for at least a few of them. What do you think? Should I still be working from home until I lose the cough?

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Day 26 - A Serial Criminal

Russell has struck again. He had last been spotted being confronted by his pursuer, Dawn, and his original victim, Professor Rowan, in Jubilife City. It is suspected that had a few Galactic zealots (of whom Russell seems to be cozy with) not interfered that Russell would have been apprehended then, but alas it was not so. It is also rumored that he was involved in the recent energy crisis at Valley Windworks. Most recently Russell held local business owner Rad Rickshaw of Eterna City's sweet Pokémon, Clefairy, hostage! The owner of Rad Rickshaw's Cycle Shop felt he had no option but to pay the ransom and give Russell, the now serial offender, the bicycle he demanded. In related news we are now getting reports that Russell has challenged and defeated two of the Sinnoh League's gyms which proves that he is becoming quite a formidable trainer. Residents of Sinnoh should be warned that Russell is a dangerous trainer and if seen the authorities should be notified immediately. Russell was last seen heading South from Eterna City and is suspected to be headed to Hearthome City.

Podcast Episode 2 - Silly Bits & Pokédramatization

With being sick for the majority of last two weeks I was not able to organize and record a regular podcast episode, my apologies. Instead I dug up some of the somewhat funny material I cut from when Alissa interviewed me for last week's episode and put that together for you, and I read one of my recent blog posts from while I was playing Pokémon LeafGreen, specifically Day 23, in a somewhat dramatic fashion. So it was a little different of an episode this week. I plan to have a normal guest and episode in two weeks. Music Credit to Goblins From Mars. Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Day 25 - Pokémon Diamond Begin

Who is Russell? Just a carefree kid from Twinleaf Town in the Sinnoh Region, that stole two Pokémon from the prestigious Professor Rowan. How long will this criminal dodge justice? It seems the Professor has dispatched his assistant, Dawn, to corral the culprit.

This just in! This just in! It turns out Russell did not act alone! His neighbor and childhood friend Barry aided him in the heist, and it seems the two have divided the spoils each taking a Pokémon for themselves. With reports of the Galactic Cult becoming increasingly involved in criminal activity will the authorities have the bandwidth to also apprehend these two young delinquents.

This is the longest game I have come across so far. I have 10 days budgeted which should be plenty of time. My rush goal is to beat the game in a week to give me 3 more days to spread across later games in my schedule. I am finally feeling better so hopefully this is a manageable goal.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Day 24 - Sophie

Sophie had seen the whole of the Kanto region, and she had become the Pokémon League Champion along the way. She had seen the Dazzling Blue Waters run under the Cycling Bridge, the Golden Crests of the Rock Tunnel mountains, the Icy Glaciers surrounding the twin Seafoam Islands, the Glowing Rocks at the depths of the Mt. Moon Caverns, the Endless Aisles of the Celadon Shopping Center, and the Bustling Ships moving in and out of the great Vermilion Port. At the moment though all she wanted to see were the Colorful Rooftops of Pallet Town, home.

The real Sophie was my Great Great Grandmother. She was born at the start of 1869 and within the first two years of her life her family immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in the Utah Territory, where Sophie lived her entire life. She married the recent widower Hans (a former protagonist's namesake) when she was only 17 years old. She was the mother of 7 children. Beyond that I was unfortunately unable to find much information about this ancestor of mine. In the words of her husband's funeral there are a few kind words spoken about Sophie as well, but there is no wealth of information that I could find to learn more about this great great grandmother of mine.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Day 23 - Lostelle

"This never happens!", her father protested. Sophie doubted that. When you name your daughter Lostelle it kind of seemed to Sophie that you were planning on getting lost. Not that Sophie really minded helping look for the child, it gave her an excuse to explore Kin Island of the Sevii Islands, which was not a part of her initial touring plans. She talked to some of  the settlers in Three Town when she arrived and was told Lostelle had been seen wandering into the Berry Woods.

Sophie noticed the forest was deep, dark, and seemed easy to get lost in. She knew she needed a good plan if she was going to find Lostelle before something terrible happened to the child. Sophie immediately called out Nathan, her Butterfree, to fly ahead to locate the girl. This forest felt similar to Butterfree's natural home the Viridian Forest and so Sophie knew Nathan would excel and searching through the thick trees. Sophie also pulled out Mr. Nido, her Nidoking, knowing he could cut through any trees that got in the way once they rushed to Lostelle if Nathan found her. Last of all, Sophie also sent out Wanda, her Ninetales, to use her fire to create a safe approachable glow in the dark woods that could potentially draw Lostelle in and at the very least would make the child feel safe when they did find her. It was not long before Sophie and her Pokémon partners heard Butterfree cry out ahead of them.

"Make a Trail, Mr. Nido!" Sophie commanded. The majestic Pokémon barreled forward clearing any small shrub or bush in his path and Sophie and her fire fox ran close behind him. When they arrived on the scene Sophie was surprised to find Lostelle huddling in fear at the base of a tree and Nathan engaged in combat against a nefarious Hypno that seemed to be trying to get at the small child. Nathan was holding his own and would have made easy work of the antagonizing Pokémon had he had his trainer's direction but truth be told without Sophie's direction the Butterfree was struggling. Sophie immediately jumped into action! "Nathan! Great work, come back! Go Stingo!" she recalled Nathan and hurled out her starter Blastoise! "Bite!" she ordered him as the giant tortoise exploded from its Poké Ball. The Blastoise was immediately on top of the Hypno chomping down with his massive maw. The Hypno had no time to react and the super effective Bite was a clear critical hit. Stingo triumphantly flung the knocked out villainous psychic creature into the brush.

After the battle Sophie noticed all the excitement had Lostelle crying so she quickly recalled most of her Pokémon who probably looked quite fearsome to the scared little girl. She approached her with the friendly Wanda alone who nuzzled the the small girl and let her cuddle her until she stopped crying. Sophie introduced herself and took the poor Lostelle back to her father. What had been an exciting adventure for Sophie had been quite traumatic for Lostelle and when they found her father the young girl leapt into his arms and the two shared a tearful embrace. Sophie was glad she was able to reunite father and daughter.

It is always best to make a plan as soon as you have identified a problem. Attacking a problem without a plan is often just asking for trouble. Whereas having a good plan helps you approach the problem with calm. A plan also helps to systematically solve the problem and helps you be prepared for the unexpected when confronting the unknown. A good plan is never foolproof, but a good plan will allow you to spend more time acting and less time worrying and feeling derailed. And successfully solving a problem and helping others is bound to make you feel good.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Day 22 - Shoreline Bike Ride

All Sophie wanted to do was enjoy a nice bike ride up the beautiful East Kanto shoreline. But every 5 minutes she was interrupted by someone wanting a Pokémon battle. Sophie was becoming quite a strong trainer, but she had wanted to take the day off to relax and take in the sights. By the time the coast began to clear of trainers the sun was setting and she had an appointment to get to in Saffron. Maybe tomorrow she would get to enjoy the bike ride she was deprived today.

Sometimes we want to relax and everything gets in the way. Today was not one of those days for me. Alissa and I went for a nice afternoon drive today. It was perfect and relaxing. I am finally felling a bit better and hopefully soon I will be back to 100%!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Day 21 - Celebrity

Sophie could hardly believe her eyes. She pinched herself but nothing changed. She was still there, the famous singer behind smash Kanto kits such as "A Boy and His Lapras" and "I Love Magikarp". Sophie was in shock. She had been lost and had only knocked on this secluded house to
ask how to get back to Celadon City, after all Sophie had shopping to do. Speechless, Sophie just stared. The starlet seemed to be upset she was recognized. She quickly grabbed and signed an HM she had near the door and gave it to Sophie insisting she take the gift but tell no one where she got it and shut the door. Sophie was happy with the gift and would keep the secret, but she was still lost and being starstruck was not helping the matter.

Have you ever been starstruck? I don't think I have. I have met a small handful of people famous to me and it really did nothing for me. That being said I have been around people who have been starstruck just being in the same place where a star they admired had once been. I for one was entertained to no end and wanted to prolong their excitement. It really made me wonder if I would ever have a similar experience. Not yet at least.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Day 19 - Pokémon LeafGreen Begin

Luray Caverns Pictured Not Mt. Moon
Sophie had been looking forward to becoming a Pokémon trainer since she was a small child. Now she could finally pursue her dream of training Pokémon and traveling the world. One of the first sights she visited was Mt. Moon. She found the rock formations in the cave fascinating. She had deeply wanted to see Clefairy while there, but she was not so lucky. At least she had gotten to see an incredible place.

I am excited to write about this new character. I am beginning to feel better after being sick all week too so that is good news! I went to Luray Caverns last Spring and it was incredible!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Day 18 - One Last Job

When they sent Edward into the cave to save the world they forgot to tell him that saving the world doesn't pay anything. So he forgot to tell anyone how easy it was. He continue forward to the Pokémon League to collect the winnings. Defeating the champion Steven was much harder than Edward had expected, but he did it and the winnings were more than what he needed to get home to Johto. Before their battle Steven had asked Edward a few questions, "What did you see on your journey with Pokémon? What did you feel, meeting so many other Trainers like you? What has awoken in you?" When Edward thought about his answers he realized that while working jobs and traveling throughout the Hoenn region he had truly fallen in love with it. He decided he would need to find another use for his newfound wealth because he was going to stay in his beautiful new home country.

I am still quite ill. Sorry my posting has been lackluster for this game and that there was no championship match stream or recording.

The real Edward was born in the territory Utah and he lived there his whole life. Someday when I am feeling better I will do a proper write up on that great great grandfather of mine.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Day 16 - Sick

Edward still was not having much luck earning money. And to make matters worse, he was feeling terribly ill. Even though it was not his real home all he wanted was to go home and crawl into bed. But a job had taken him all the way to Mossdeep City, which is nowhere near Littleroot. Just his luck.

While meandering around Mossdeep Steven, one of Edwards former clients, saw Edward and invited him to his home on the edge of the city. Steven gave him medicine and kept Edward company as he rested up. They discussed how Steven was the Champion of the region and about Edward's short time as a Pokémon trainer.

Once Edward was feeling better and about to go on his way he asked, "What do I owe you?"

Steven refused to let him pay, "I insist it was nothing, but if you can make it there I would love to accept you as a challenger at the Ever Grande Pokémon League."

The thought had never crossed his mind, but he was getting pretty good at this Pokémon Training thing and had gotten quite a few badges just to improve his credentials for getting work. "Is there a cash prize?" Edward timidly asked.

Grinning Steven replied, "The real prize is realizing you have become the best trainer in the region... but yes."

They concluded their farewells and Edward was on his way, but he was no longer looking for odd jobs that would never pay well, though he would still accept jobs if they came to him. He had a new plan to afford his ticket. He would defeat the Pokémon League and use the prize money for his trip back to Johto!

I am still sick today, I took the day off work which means I got a decent amount of playing in and also was able to rest a great deal. I should be able to get back to work tomorrow as I am feeling a somewhat better.