PKMN of the Week: Serperior

Out of your Generation V starters the things to remember about Serperior are:  Dude is Grass-type.  He has the most weaknesses of any of the starter types.  He makes up for this defensively - he has the highest Defense and Special Defense base stats of the trio.  Finally, he is the fastest  - quite ready to leap out and correct you with alacrity.

Read More

PKMN of the Week: Samurott

There are plenty of Pokémon with beards but one in particular has been sticking with me this week.  Today is the launch day for Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2, so we all get to make that decision again - who will be our starter:  Snivy, Tepig, or Oshawott?  Let's be honest, many people are going to reclaim their starter from Pokémon Black or Pokémon White.

Read More

PKMN of the Week: Heracross

My friend Andrew found a dead beetle under his bed recently.

If you know him, you can look up the picture on Twitter.  The poor thing is lying on its side, just . . . dead.

There are so many different types of beetles in the world.  In Asia, beetles are sometimes used for insect fighting - much like other types of animal fighting it is kind of gross.  One of the most popular battlers, though, is the Rhinoceros Beetle.  They can get pretty big - up to six inches - among the largest beetles in the world.  They use the horn on top of their head to chase off potential rivals.  Having recently learned this fact, I am going to start bringing a Rhinoceros Beetle with me when I go out on Saturday nights!

Read More

PKMN of the Week: Shelgon


I hate teenagers.

Actually, let me be more specific:  I hate teenage boys.

The Pokémon League I attend on Sundays tends to have more teenage boys than anything else.  How to describe them?

They say stupid things.  They don't think before they speak.  They ask if you are related to Steve Jobs because you are wearing a long sleeve black top.  They talk about "ubers" like it is a real thing that means anything (FYI - it doesn't).

Teenage boys smell.  Either no one has told them yet that they need to wear deodorant, wash their clothes, wash themselves, etc. or they wear too much cologne or body spray so you have an allergy attack the minute they walk into the room.

They are surly.  They travel in packs.  They mock people and things outside of their own.

I know all of this especially well because, I, to was once a teenage boy.  Absolutely of the worst variety.

Read More

PKMN of the Week: Stunfisk

I may or may not have mentioned this before, but I spent the majority of my youth split between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.  I went to elementary school in Kaneohe, Hawaii and then finished my pre-college education in Port Chester, New York.  My father was obsessed with sailing and we spent every weekend on the boat.  While I have now lived in Washington, DC for over 20 years I miss the influence of the ocean on my daily life every day.

Although I have a great affinity for the ocean, I am not the biggest fan of its myriad creatures.  Let's be frank, fish are gross.  It took me about 33 years before I learned to enjoy sushi and I still have difficulty with cooked fish.  Living fish skeeve me out.  I have a tale about why I am such an ichthyophobe but that is for another day.


One thing I don't have very much experience with is lakes and lake fish.  I've never been to Minnesota or visited the Great Salt Lake so I am not sure how lake fish are different from ocean fish.  I do know one thing though:


Flounder are not a lake fish.
Read More

PKMN of the Week: Cyndaquil

Something you can say about most people who love Pokémon, either the video game, card game, cartoon, manga, or whatever else - they have a favorite Pokémon.  It seems strange that you would, in the most objective sense Pokémon are just tools that, in comparison with other role-playing games, are the equivalent of swords, spells, and tools.  Would you say they have personality?  Yet people identify with their favorite Pokémon.  They extend from the utility in the game and create something greater than what is presented in game or through the Pokédex entries.

Honestly, my favorite Pokémon these days tend to be the Dark-types.  While the translated-from-Japanese typing actually comes across as Evil-type, I agree with the translators that this isn't a good match.  Dark comes closer to indicating that these dudes may use some shady tactics but you can still use them for your altruistic purposes.

Read More

PKMN of the Week: Smeargle

I mark the hours of my day reproducing the masters.

In the earliest hours, with midnight just past and the world coated in black all around, I paint ten copies of The Persistence of Memory.  Each one mildly shaded as Dalí would present, each clock measured to exact proportion.

As dawn begins to lighten the sky, I start on ten copies of Water-Lily Pond.  The morning hours are suited to Monet and the optimism of the impressionist - capture the movement and the light.  The complexity of brush work is no obstacle to my ability to match the work stroke for stroke.

There is no stopping for me at Noon, that is when I crank out No. 61 (Rust and Blue).  As simple as it looks, it requires some skill to get the blends of color just right.  Rothko only had to do it once - I cannot reach the evening until ten exact replicas exist.

I approach the ending hours of the day with joy and The Figure Five in Gold.  The era captured so perfectly in curve and angle, color and composition.  Is it gold foil or water color?  Does it matter, in the end you won't be able to discern my ten copies from the original.

Every day, I recreate four masterpieces - style, materials, imagery, all exactly the same.  Something, though, is missing.  You see, I am not the original artist.  Some power is missing.  I cannot claim to exactly capture the heart, soul, and intent that collected in each unique and original piece.  I can only reproduce these four, indiscernible yet lacking.

As I grow I occasionally get the opportunity to learn a new piece - I discard one and take on another.  Which will be next?  GuernicaLe Bar aux Folies-BergèreCampbell's Soup I?  Whatever it may be, I will duplicate, triplicate, quadruplicate, etc. and yet never achieve the same power.

Read More

PKMN of the Week: Eelektross

One of my favorite grocery stores to visit is the Great Wall grocery in Falls Church, Virginia.  Not only do they have great prices on all of the fresh produce, plus produce you won't find in your usual grocery (dragon fruit, mangosteen, bok choy), you can get any of the Asian specialties you like.  They carry all the ramen - every brand, every flavor.  Any kind of green tea you could imagine.  Teriyaki flavored nori strips.  If you've never been to a mega Asian grocery before it is an experience not to be missed.

At the back of the store is a butcher's counter that runs the length of the store.  Towards the right side - fresh shellfish.  Towards the left - red meat.  Around the middle, tanks and tanks of fish swimming around.  That's right - you pick the fish in the tank you want, they plop it out, gut it, and kill it.  I've seen more than one Feebas meet its end that way.

They used to have, but got in trouble for, a tank with eels.  Those things are so grody.  When I was growing up in Hawaii I was always told to have a healthy respect for the Moray Eels.  Those monsters have two sets of jaws, literally in the same manner as the monster from the Alien movies.  Let's be clear, here, eels are not my friends.  They are not cool, they are not chill.

Read More

PKMN of the Week: Terrakion

I have owned my home for about ten years now.  It's a nice one bedroom condo on the second floor of a six unit building - basically I have one family below me and one family above me.  Most of the years I have lived here have been quiet.  The condo below mine is usually empty and the one above me was occupied by an older woman.

Then the older woman moved out and Rolling Thunder moved in.
In human development, when children first learn to walk they lack the grace and finesse that we, as adults, exercise in moving across a room.  The value of each individual step's success far outweighs the artistry of, say, not stomping everywhere you go.  She's about one and a half years old and two feet high but I think she must weigh about 200 pounds (that's about 14.25 stone for those of you with even less useful systems of measurement).  Stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp.  I know when Rolling Thunder wakes up in the morning and when she goes to bed at night - all other hours are a constant stream of pounding assaults on the peace and serenity of my home.  Some days I feel like Frank Grimes.
Read More

PKMN of the Week: Golduck

PKMN of the Week is feeling a little under the weather right now (probably because of all the little gals and bros at Pokémon League) so we're going to keep it short.  I'll have to call on a Pokémon with Cloud Nine ability to negate all weather effects.

Earlier today a chill bro asked me for some advice on communicating with the ladies.  Of course, this is like asking a peanut farmer for advice on raising cane but I did the best I could.  From my perspective, chicks are like chill bros except they have like, emotions and stuff.  This puts me in mind of super Pokémon Golduck.


Read More