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.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Day 15 - No Pay

Work as a bodyguard, get paid a Great Ball; retrieve a stolen item, get paid a Great Ball; deliver a sensitive letter, get paid a TM; deliver a package across the sea, get paid nothing; finish clearing a tunnel connecting the two sides of the region, get paid an HM; retrieve a valuable meteorite, get paid a TM; turn off a dangerous generator in an abandoned underground city, get paid a TM... What is wrong with this region? Edward was enraged! Did anyone in Hoenn understand the concept of money and payment for a job well done. Even if he were to sell all the items he had been paid in it would barely recoup his expenses from doing the jobs in the first place. He had been working in Hoenn for 3 straight days and all he had to show for it were 6 Pokémon he could take back to Johto with him. Edward needed a new plan to make the money for that one way ticket and he needed it fast or he was going to be trapped in Hoenn with his parents for a long time...

I took an allowed skip day and did not post yesterday. I am still pretty sick and did not want to look at a computer screen before bed.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Day 13 - Pokémon Ruby Begin

Edward did not want to move to Littleroot Town, but his dad got a job in the Hoenn Region and so his family had to leave Olivine City. While in the back of the moving truck Edward hatched a plan to move back to Johto. He would take whatever odd job he could find and earn the money for a one way ticket back to Olivine, so he could go back on his own. After all he had friends in Johto and he really didn't know anyone in Hoenn. Lucky for him after doing a job for his new neighbor, Professor Birch, gave him a Mudkip as payment. Although it wasn't the cold hard cash he needed for his return trip it would help him get the jobs to fund his return trip, and that alone was something.

I am sick today. Nasty cold or something. Clogged throat, sore body, headache, high fever, always cold, pretty much the works. So blog posts will likely be smaller until I get over this thing...

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Day 12 - Hans

An younger Hans would have thought, "That's it?" and still would have wondered if he was good enough, but not this Hans. The Hans that had just defeated Champion Lance was different, he was more confident, more wise, more patient, more ambitious, and more content. Hans knew that without going on the journey he had embarked on he could never become who he was today. He was grateful for the many Pokémon who helped him get to this point. What is next for Hans. He honestly didn't know. He was invited to tour the Kanto region, but for now Hans was satisfied and looked forward to resting at home in New Bark Town with his Mom and his Pokémon.

Here is a link to my attempted stream of Hans' Championship battle and induction into the Hall of Fame (I promise I actually beat the game!):

This picture was taken of the family before they left
Denmark, Hans is the boy on the far left.
The real Hans was my Great-Great-Grandfather. He was born in Denmark in 1858. After converting to Mormonism, his family decided to immigrate to the United States. Hans was only 7 years old at the time. On his family's journey across the Atlantic young Hans mother and sister fell ill and passed away. Shortly after his father, sister, and brother arrived in New York both Hans' Father and remaining sister died of cholera. On his deathbed Lars, Hans' and his brother Neils' Father, told them "Now, no matter what comes, do not turn back from the goal that we have started out to reach." Neils was only 14 and Hans was not even 8, and now they were alone in a foreign country where they had no family and did not speak the language. But they wanted to follow their father's final instruction so they made the long trek to the Salt Lake Valley.

Him and his brother settled in Brigham City Utah and Hans lived there most of his life. In his teenage years he was a member of his community's debating society and was known for being well read in that group. When he was grown he worked as a farmer and loved growing fruit. In his forties, Hans returned to his homeland to preach his faith to the Danish people. He served both a term as a City Councilman and a term as County Commissioner, and Hans was recognized as a man of great integrity. When he was 61 he was preparing feed for his animals when a piece of farm machinery lobbed off 3 of his left hand fingers. When he passed away in 1920 his community mourned the loss of one of their great neighbors. His wife (who will be the protagonist of a later game) and 7 of his children survived him. Hans was a great man.

I tried to make the fictional Hans evolve into a great man over the course of a spiritual journey as a tribute to the difficult journey the young historical Hans went on as a consequence of him and his family conversion to a new faith. I have linked here an autobiography written by the historical Hans a few years before his death and finished by one of his daughters.

Podcast Episode 1 - Year of Pokémon Start

This week my wonderful wife, Alissa, sat down and interviewed me about my Year of Pokémon Project. If you are just now hearing about my project this is a wonderful place to start and get an idea of what I am doing.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Day 11 - Worthy

Hans was ready to descend upon his final challenge, but something was nagging at him. While reflecting on the journey that got him where he is Hans remembered his lowest point, when he was deemed unworthy to worship at the Tin Tower in Ecruteak City. Today he felt worthy and knew that he was of great worth to those who really matter, his mom and his Pokémon family. Regardless, he decided to return to the Tin Tower. He was not completely sure why he was going back, but it felt important.

Upon arrival, he was not only welcomed in this time but also praised for being blessed enough to possess a Rainbow Wing, a symbol of Ho-oh's blessing. They mentioned how one of their disciples, a gym leader named Morty, had told them that Hans was worthy to approach and enter the Tower. Hans was tickled by the apostles complete disinterest in who he was in judging his worth instead focusing on two arbitrary pieces of information, the word of a disciple Hans had impressed in battle and an item that had been gifted to him by a grateful man. None of the faith's followers seemed at all interested in Hans himself nor did they seem to care about any of the values he had learned to
cherish over the course of his journey. Hans no longer felt sadness from his earlier rejection, because he realized he had been blindly giving his authority to people that had no genuine interest in him or his well being, but were focused on preserving their own image of the sacred. To symbolize his being above their judgement, Hans climbed to the top of the Tin tower. Once atop the tower Hans was surprised to see the bird the faithful held holy descending towards him. He caught the alleged God, again symbolically putting any symbols that belittled him in a box.

We all have great worth. You have great worth. You are worthy because you are. You are worthy of love, friendship, success, opportunity, dreams, and acceptance no matter your past or your present. Sometimes the world treats worthiness as right-thinking and rule-abiding while still using the word to refer to the personal value of individuals. This is flawed, you have value because you are a being capable of loving, thinking, caring, giving, and changing. You have worth because I care about you.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Day 10 - Found and Lost

Hans was feeling great! He had a family of 6 wonderful Pokémon and was finally beginning to feel like he had a place in the world with them by his side. After feeling lost for so long he finally felt found. Yet, there was a thought nagging at him, "was there something he was still missing in his search for a place in the world?". That is, the thought was bugging him until he ran into his delinquent acquaintance Silver. Silver belittled him before losing to Hans and his friends in a Pokémon battle. Defeated and dejected Silver desperately declared,
"Love… Trust… Are they really what I lack? Are they keeping me from winning? I… I just don't understand. But it's not going to end here. Not now. Not because of this. I won't give up my dream of becoming the world's best Pokémon trainer!"
Hans mourned at how lost Silver was, but that was what he was missing! A dream! He needed a goal or something to work for. At such a young age he has his entire life to find out what his true purpose should be, but for the time being Hans decided he would borrow Silver's dream to become the world's best Pokémon trainer with his friends. Well, maybe not the world's best Pokémon trainer but at least the Indigo League Champion, after all Hans has never been the most ambitious.

Always have a goal, dream, or something you are working towards and you will constantly be growing, changing, and improving.
"If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” - Andrew Carnegie

Monday, October 7, 2019

Day 9 - One in Five Hundred

The odds were against him, but ever since battling a trainer with a Horsea and hearing about its elusive Dragon evolution Hans had to try. After his inspiring journey yesterday, Hans had the motivation to try to catch one. He headed to the Whirl Islands with the intent of catching a Horsea holding a Dragon Scale, only 1 of every 500 Horsea hold them. On average he would need to encounter 50 Horsea before encountering one holding a Dargon Scale. Imagine his surprise when the 9th Horsea he encountered was a beautiful female holding a Dragon Scale. The odds of encountering one within the first 9 Horsea a trainer finds is approximately 17%. To cap things off Hans caught Karen (as he nicknamed her) with his first thrown Great Ball. With luck that good Hans was considering returning to the Game Corner in Goldenrod.

Probability is everything, but when it comes to things that are important to us we should never let the odds get in the way of giving it our best shot. Things may not work out, but they could also work out better than you had expected. The important thing is to have reasonable expectations and to enjoy the journey as you work towards your goal, whatever it might be.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Day 8 - Religion

Poor lost Hans. It was not long after leaving home that he began to regret his decision and began to be filled with incredible doubt. Just as he was about to turn back he saw a tower rise in the distance. His curiosity got the best of him and he pressed on, if for no other reason than to discover what this tower was. Hans was greeted by a monk upon entering the looming building, inside he saw monks and ever day people alike conversing and meditating. It was the monks however that captured Han's attention, they seemed so calm and at peace. He asked one the secret to their serenity, and the monk sent Hans to the top of the tower to converse with the Tower's Elder. The Elder invited Hans to study with them and explained they achieved peace by studying nature and the Pokémon Bellsprout. Hans readily accepted hoping this would be what he was seeking.

Studying with the Sprout Monks was going well and Hans was appreciating much of what he was learning, but it was not fulfilling him quite like he had hoped. Silver, the thief Hans had earlier encountered arrived at the tower and began to mock Hans and the Sprout Monks, "You worship one of the weakest of Pokémon! The best Bellsprout grow strong and evolve, yet you all stand here stagnant" As Silver left the tower Hans meditated on his words and saw they were somewhat true. He decided he would not be stagnant but would continue his journey and find a way to evolve.

Shortly after leaving Sprout Tower Hans stumbled upon Azelea Town a town with Slowpoke everywhere. He asked a resident how the town became overrun with the Pokémon. Although perturbed by his ignorance the townswoman explained that Slowpoke once saved the town by bringing rain and was now sacred there. Hans could hardly believe his ears, how could an unintelligent Pokémon be considered sacred or special in any way? But had learned from the lowly Bellsprout so he sat by the town's Slowpoke Well to observe, and while he observed he fell asleep. When Hans awoke he felt light as a feather, much of the stress he had been feeling was gone, but he still felt he had wasted his time in Azalea Town. He passed right through Ilex Forest, not even stopping at the shrine within, he was feeling too carefree after his nap.

Upon arriving in Goldenrod he made a beeline for the Game Corner to try his hand at gambling. He was normally too risk adverse to participate in such an activity, but today he felt rested and nihilistic! If religion wasn't going to help him find himself perhaps cards could. Although he had moderate success and was able to exchange his winnings for a new Pokémon, an Ekans he named Ida, he could not have been more wrong. Hans felt wasteful and empty inside, the stress had returned in full force! He regretted ignoring the Ilex Forest shrine earlier.

He continued on in his journey and in Ecruteak City attempted to go to Bell Tower to pray but was turned away by the tower's guardian sages. Instead he went to the nearby Burned Tower. There he ran into Silver again who ridiculed him mercilessly. Hans was feeling more lost then he had when he had left New Bark Town. He decided he would head home, but would go sightseeing at the Lake of Rage on his way.

Just his luck as he neared the lake he got lost. While feeling particularly dejected and thinking all hope was lost he stumbled upon a cabin. Inside was a man meditating who simply gave him a gift and told him that we each have a power hidden inside of us. The man had a map of the Lake of Rage area on his wall and as Hans made his way back to civilization he realized that he had been so focused on finding his purpose he had forgotten the lessons he had learned from the religions he'd encountered on his journey.

Hans decided than that he would incorporate those lessons into his life as he continued to try to uncover for himself his true purpose. He would be flexible like the Sprout Monks, he would remember to relax from time to time like the Slowpoke, he would pay attention and stop frequently to learn so he could live without regret, he would avoid wastefulness such as gambling, and he would cherish what he has because it could burn away at any moment.

Religion is neither good nor is it bad, but it is instead a tool. The tool is intended to bring us closer to the divine by inspiring peace, growth, and community within our lives. Sometimes one religion tool makes our hand ache as we use it and another may seem dull or ineffective. When this happens and we see others using the same tool to great success we begin to wonder if it is not the tool that is faulty but ourselves. Although we should never use a bad tool as an excuse to stop striving to better ourselves, sometimes a religion does not fit us or our life. In these cases the onus is on us to find the tool that makes us feel comfortable and at home. While we search it is important we recognize what we liked about using each of the tools or philosophies, so that we can construct our own value system. For some of us the perfect tool to bring us spirituality is the one we build ourselves.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Day 7 - Pokémon Gold Begin

Hans never really felt at home in New Bark Town. If he was honest with himself he always felt out of place generally. Growing up he frequently asked himself "What is my place in the world?". Today his neighbor Professor Elm asked him to run an errand and gave him a Pokémon, a Cyndaquil whom Hans named Tallow. While running the errand Hans met a nice old man named Sam. Sam gave him a Pokédex and told him he had great potential. Hans scoffed at such an idea... Him? Great potential? How could that be?! As he returned home Hans and Tallow defeated a crook in a Pokémon battle and Hans began to wonder if maybe he did have potential and could do great things. It was then that he decided he would set off on an adventure to find himself! With Tallow by his side he was beginning to believe it was possible!

I am 5 days ahead of schedule going in to Pokémon Gold! Which is making me confident in my ability to beat this challenge. I will update the schedule soon with adjustments according to my beating my initial projections for Pokémon Blue. I did not only open Gold today, but I also beat a few gyms you can see that detail on the Pokémon Gold progress and summary page.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Day 6 - Chuck

This just in! This just in! We have Breaking News directly from the Indigo Plateau! Not one, but two boys from Pallet Town have defeated the Elite Four of the Indigo League! After their near parallel rise to the top Blue and Chuck engaged in battle to decide once and for all who would be named the Indigo League's new Champion! First, Chuck's Jolteon defeated Blue's Pidgeot, then his Parasect defeated both Blue's Alakazam and Rhyhorn. Blue's Arcanine was able to exact revenge on Parasect for his fallen comrades and knocked out Chuck's Persian before being defeated by Nidoqueen. Blue embarrassed Chuck's Nidoqueen with his Exeggutor before burning out against Charizard's flames! Chucks Charizard's flame didn't burn long as Blue's ace Blastoise dosed it. Chuck's Jolteon returned to the fray to finish the job zapping Blue's final Pokémon out of the battle and claiming victory for his trainer, Chuck the new entrant to the Hall of Fame and Indigo League Champion! We have footage from their battle:

Who is Chuck? From Pallet town the 11 year old is an aspiring scientist with goals of making the world safer for Human Pokémon interaction. On his Pokémon journey he assisted the authorities in dealing with the notorious Rocket Gang, confirmed the existence of the legendary elemental bird trio, and assisted scientists with fossil research at Cinnabar Labs. Since being named Champion he even captured the Monstrosity Mewtwo

The real Chuck (or Charles as was his given name) was born in Utah in 1908 and lived there his whole life working as a farmer until he passed away at 51. He is my Great Grandfather and one day soon I will ask my Grandma to tell me a story or two about him that I can share! I know he was a good man, and I am grateful to be his descendant.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Day 5 - Corporate Espionage

Charles woke up this morning with an ambitious goal. To get all three remaining badges he needed for admittance to challenge the Indigo League Elite Four. He was not going to let anything get in the way. I am sure you can imagine his dismay when he arrived at his first gym of the day in Saffron City and was turned away. Something about no gym challenges until the Silph Co. crisis gets resolved. Chuck was livid so he made a beeline to the Silph building to give them a piece of his mind. Upon realizing it was a hostile takeover he mellowed out a bit, only to have his outrage return as he began to talk to talk with the hostages and Silph employees turned terrorists. It turned out the president of Silph Co. had some terrible employee benefit policies and about half the company had assisted in the corporate take over. Chuck began taking notes of all the grievances he was hearing as he made his way to the President's secret office. He even ran into his childhood friend and rival Blue, who apparently had been funding his Pokémon journey by working as a part-time bodyguard for the President of the Silph Co. Blue had just let the Rocket Gang take over without fighting back despite it being his job, according to him the employees all rightfully called their boss the President of Stinko. After ridding the building of the Rocket Gang Chuck gave the Silph Co. Executive a piece of his mind; he gave him the list of grievances and insisted changes be made. The President was not used to being talked to this way by 11 year olds because he burst into tears and promised to make changes immediately. Satisfied Chuck went on his way, got three badges, resurrected a new friend, and prepared to take on the Indigo League.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Day 4 - Lost

Chuck woke up today with a single goal in mind: Get to the Cinnabar Island Labs to assist in some fossil research. He set off from the Fuchsia City coastline and after battling off a few pesky swimmers washed up on North Seafoam Island. Given the sharp rocks surrounding and dividing the twin islands he needed to go through their connecting tunnels to reach his final destination. The Seafoam caves were much more complicated to traverse than Charles had suspected, and he quickly found himself lost. It seemed it was more difficult to cross between the islands than it was to explore them to their deepest depths, so Chuck did just that. He decided he'd help scientific discovery today in a different way then he had planned. He found an Ultra Ball and then stumbled upon the legendary bird Articuno and caught it with that one ball, the only one he had. It was practically a miracle, and all because he got lost. After such miraculous events he decided he would assist Cinnabar Labs another day and he returned to the mainland to check out the Zapdos rumors he'd heard about the Power Plant back by Lavender Town. He caught that legend too, but that one took 7 Ultra Balls to secure. Chuck may have gotten lost to start his day, but it still ended up going pretty well.

{Click the Image to Enlarge}

I did not get lost today, but I do find value in sometimes letting go of our initial goals and letting life take us where it will. If I never did that I wouldn't have fallen in love with Statistics in a Poli-Sci class and who knows where my life would be. Oh also, I got drive by car puddle splash soaked on my way to the bus stop this morning. With that after yesterday's crash, I nearly turned around and went home for the day.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Day 3 - Crash

Today was a breeze for Chuck, but that doesn't mean he wanted to keep going. Every which way he turned he was crashing into those annoying Rockets. They are easy to deal with but they are everywhere and they are messing with Charles' chance to take a break. He tried to play games at the game corner and there they were. He tried to take a spiritual stroll through a cemetery and there they were. Sometimes our lives are just like Chuck's and no matter how hard we try we can't get away from our challenges... sometimes we need to deal with them head on so we can eventually enjoy a nice day at the Zoo.

I streamed a little of what happened after Charles went through all of that this evening.

Today while biking home from work I crashed. I was distracted trying to see what was on my back wheel making a noise and when I looked up there was the curb. I protected my bike but went over the handle bars. All the layers of skin were tore off the corner of my left palm, my phone corner got a little smashed, and my face got a nasty scrape. Oops... worst part of it all was the 2 miles I still needed to bike home and the embarrassment I felt as my oh so sweet wife cleaned me up. Oh well some days you crash and although it makes you wish life could just pause you get to keep going.