On day 2-3 of the launch of PokemonGO, I joined the movement and started posting daily rants on my exploits and more so failures in the game. It was friendly, but I did get some push back from people since I was running 8-10 consecutive tweets not even remotely close to hockey topics through Canes and Coffee Twitter. So I shut it down. Then I actually received a reasonable number of messages saying that they missed my rants. So I am setting up this hidden, out of the way post deep in the bowels of CandC for the at least 5 people who found my Pokemon travails interesting.

If you have friends who are Canes fans, not yet aware of Canes and Coffee and caught up in the Pokemon craze, please point them here. In the dog days of hockey summer, ‘come for the Pokemon, stay (or at least bookmark) for the hockey’ counts as marketing work for CandC and is potentially a sneaky way to introduce a few more people to the site. 🙂

Days 1-7 were originally posted on Twitter, so if you follow there, you can probably hop down a ways…Also days 1-7 are copy/paste from Twitter, so I apologize if the abbreviations, syntax and other Twitter character limitations make it even harder to read than some of my hockey ramblings.

Day 1: So it begin

My kids dragged me into it…If Jeff Skinner was a Pokemon which one would he be? I have a Squirtle which I am told by household Pokemon authorities stinks. Seems I’m going to be as bad at this video game as others.

Day 2: Humiliating defeat followed by victory and jubilation

I walked home from church w/2 of my sons. My phone (& fact that I had on long pants) told me it was 87 degrees but could not find Pokemon. My kids laughed at me & reminded me that I always stunk at video games. But then I got hot…REAL hot… I caught 7-8 Pokemon. Nevermind that I was in group of people under 15 years old at the grocery store w/my phone out & parents were judging. So I came home victorious & yelled “LEVEL 3 IN THE HOUSE!” upon my return. My wife reminded me it wasn’t nice to brag. Now I’m being told that I must do stuff to level them up & other things…sounds like work…considering releasing them back into wild. Pokemon rant over.

Day 3: The wily veteran tries to change the game

First, I’m proud to report I’m up to 12 (different) Pokemon & level 4. It’s not much but it’s not full-time job for me like kids on break. It is lunchtime & theoretically I should be spending traipsing around in heat (w/long pants & buttoned shirt) catching ’em all. But that’s a losing battle…Even if my kids slept until 10am, they still have endless hours to beat me at that game. Instead I’ve googled “rarest Pokemon GO” & am texting my son asking coyly if Charizard & Dragonite are rare because I just caught them. That should slow him down for the rest of the afternoon. Already I am winning the game within the game. (High 5s self) Pokemon rant over.

Day 4: Trying to recruit a team

After my surge to 12 Pokemon on Sunday afternoon, things have slowed. With work on Monday and Tuesday, I am only at 17. This has me thinking I need to work smarter not harder. The problem is that I’m not that smart & I’m even dumber when it comes to Pokemon. So without breaking confidentiality agreements involved in the negotiating process, I am in talks with 1 of my 11-year olds. He seems to view himself as some sort of higher-end consultant not the “walking around the block” resources I need. Talks are ongoing but I think I’m on way to contract in same vicinity as Victor Rask on 2-month term + some other kid in popsicles or candy. Should know by tomorrow. Other kid was busy on XBox & has early bed time. Pokemon rant over.

Day 5: Diversions and distractions

So this morning, I spent breakfast trying to figure out if there was a way to mute or avoid random small bird Pokemon & the flopping fish 1. I get the need to shut down a meeting at work when a CP 100+ Charizard pops in the room, but enough w/random birds & the dumb fish. I found no such control but did learn along the way that you can name your Pokemon which was easily the revelation of the day for me. Rather than walking around sweating during lunch, I instead put my assorted of birds, flopping fish & (forgot to mention) rats to good use. I now have most of the Hurricanes hockey team in random birds. Even did it by line combinations I like. I have a set of 4 purple puffy Pokemon named after the Beatles. And the flopping fish (really hate them most) are named after NHL players I always hated. (Avery, Orpik, etc.) Pokemon rant over.

Day 6: Learning the trade and painful goodbyes

So yesterday I grumbled about not having any way to mute or ignore the annoying flopping fish & assorted birds that are everywhere. Things became slightly better when I learned I could name all of these things & it also gave me something to do inside from 90+ heat. Today at dinner I grabbed more free consulting (still negotiating w/11-year old on more formal relationship but not sure I can afford him). Turns out I actually need to catch somewhere in the neighborhood of 7,000 of flopping fish that I hate to get some other worthwhile fish. But to do this I need to trade flopping fish for candy. My jaw dropped. I would’ve been cool w/unloading all fish & birds this Wally guy could take yesterday, but not now. I have Paul, John, George & Ringo & only can keep 1. Daphne, Thelma, Fred & Shaggy. And entire Canes hockey lines. The random bird & fish Pokemon are in cool, unbreakable sets now. Though the premise is fun, this game tears at you sometimes, man! Pokemon rant over.

Day 7: Ripping families apart

After a decent start last weekend, my Pokemon game slowed during the week between work & the heat at lunchtime. But the weekend was coming & I was deep in negotiations with hiring expert 11-year old help. Then it happened…My wife who snidely chuckled at me initially for starting the game had passed me both in terms of level & # of Pokemon caught. ‘d seen enough of her Wii Super Mario game jumping over cliffs & falling in same fiery pits as me to know it wasn’t her video game skill. Turns out Kroger had some clearance cart of 14oz bags of Starburst & 3 of those stole my nearly hired consultant. I feel betrayed but also determined. Tomorrow is Saturday, so the playing field evens back up. Pokemon rant over.


Day 8: Climbing the learning curve and repairing relationships

After yesterday’s double-crossing and debauchery while I was at work, the family situation here is mending. There is still free Pokemon help available to all at dinnertime and the option to extend it by purchasing ice cream somewhere or handing over a bag of candy. (In legal negotiating terms, my wife’s contract with my kids is not exclusive.) And even without help, I am learning things on my own too. If you are new to Pokemon, here are some key tips to help you get started. Ignore the rats and random birds, they are not worth your time. But catch the annoying flopping fish. They are equally annoying, but you need to eventually catch about 6,000 of them, so best to get started early. Never run out of Pokeballs. Having some interesting Pokemon that you have not seen/caught yet pop up when you have no Pokeballs has the potential to take a fun game and spin you into the depths of video game depression. Pokemon rant over.

Day 9: My favorite things from Pokemon

I am working on adding to my Pokedeck and even have a clue with about 20 percent of the other stuff I need to do in the game. All of that is fun, but now past a week into the game certain things are not as new and exciting. But there are a few things that just bring a level of joy that I never thought possible from staring at my phone and trying to catch imaginary stuffed animals. Almost nothing is better than hatching an egg. I am too cheap to spend money on in app purchases, but if it becomes possible to by a bulk quantity of egg hatchers for $4.99 I might cave. There was the one time I got a CP 25 Pidgey and nearly chucked my phone on the concrete, but overall the thrill of seeing what is going to pop out after you walked around in a circle for half of your lunch break to reach 5km is well worth the work in incredibly rewarding. But 1 thing by far tops that as far as Pokemon fun. NOTHING beats driving through the neighborhood with your window down and yelling “TEAM VALOR!” with a fist pump while driving by. It elicits nearly the exact same 1-second confused look that an adult is yelling this at them and immediately a knowing smile and quite often a “Boooo!” if they are on one of the other teams or a cheer and return fist pump if they also made the right choice in choosing their team. This is fun enough that I have actually considered driving around on Saturday even when I do not actually have somewhere to go just for the fun of it. Pokemon rant over.

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