Hey everyone! What a wild ride this last two months have been for me. First of all, I greatly apologize for the lack of updates over the last two months. I’ve been working hard trying to rebuild this site, and I managed to write two awesome articles that so many people loved and shared all over social media… only for the site to basically go limp for two months straight. BAH the problems of real life couldn’t have happened at the worst time! But then again, that’s life after all! But I do want to share with you lovely folk a few things and update which have happened during this past two months and what it will mean for the future of the site. Nothing bad, of course… on the contrary, it’ll actually mean something great!

That said, here’s the TL;DR bullet points of today’s post:

  • So what happened in all this time?
  • What’s next for PA! now?
  • Three Pokémon TCG things I saw during the down time…

The first two are more boring, personal-related news, but if you want to skip all that, then head for the third section.

 


So what happened in all this time?

So if you didn’t know, or just as a general reminder… When I restarted PA! back on November 2019—God has it been two years already?—I was part of a virtual reality filmmaking start-up for five years called MindVR and we were just around the corner of finally bring able to bring in some steady work. Like, everything we worked hard for over those five years were finally coming to fruition… until COVID-19 happened, and then *poof!* all of our jobs disappeared. At that point my heart just sank and while I was proud of all the work I did for MindVR, and all the virtual reality videos I worked on and everywhere it took me (the highlights being going to Korea twice and India!), I decided to officially consider myself unemployed and began looking for a “normal” job once again. But of course the COVID pandemic saw that employment would be an uphill battle, but fortunately I was able to get pandemic unemployement assistance through the State of California and the Feds while I looked for work. And look for work I did. For 18 months. The PUA money even evaporated and I was still without a job. Uh oh…

Now I will say that being unemployed like that and having PUA cash allowing me to take care of essential bills did help me out in many ways. First of all, it allowed me the time to shore up my work experience and education via earning a Unity certificate. Secondly, it gave me the free time to really dedicate myself to bring PA! back up and running again and to deliver new and interesting Pokémon content to everyone once more. But frankly, that second part worked out for me in the end, because… [drum roll] I finally was able to get a job because of the work I did with PA! during my unemployement time. HOLY CRACKERS!

That’s right: this past week I started at my new job as a Web Developer at Prestwood IT Solutions! In particular, I’ll be designing websites which, among other things, utilize WordPress… just as PA! does. So, long story short, if it wasn’t for this site, as well as you guys working with me and helping to make PA! the best site it can be… I wouldn’t have this great new job where I finally can do what I love on the regular. I’m so blessed and lucky for this opportunity and I can’t thank my audience enough for your interest, patience and love of Pokémon in bringing this site—and my career—back to life like this. Good times, indeed!

But yeah, long story short, the past two months is when I was basically on panic mode, because while I won’t dare claim that having unemployement assistance made my life easy or anything, it did at least give me more time to dedicate towards finding work and PA! more evenly. But without that regular flow of income, I had to basically cut PA! out of the picture and put all the time and energy into not just finding work, but also finding other ways to earn some cash. For example, I put a TON of stuff on eBay, which definitely has helped out. In fact, that’s where that eBay background in the Featured Image is all about… in the next section I’m gonna cover a bit about how you can still help me out in the immediate future. But for other stuff… I simply had to not pay, and to be honest, being constantly called about having to pay your bills is kinda draining… but I digress. These last two months have just been a hyper-mental-pressure moment, and I’m just glad it’s basically almost done with.

 


What’s next for PA! now?

OK so, now that the hyper-mental-pressure moments of the last couple months has passed, what does this mean for PA!? Well first of all, it means updates will be happening on the regular again! But that said, unlike in the past when updates happened whenever I could get to them, this time it seems like updates will be more of a weekend thing, or at least appearing on Monday at the latest (whenever “Monday” happens to be where you live). This is because my new job has me working from 8a-5p, Mon-Fri. Which is fine, but it really leaves me not much time during the day to do much of anything, and by the time I get home it feels like I only have enough time to eat dinner and then go to bed before I have to wake up to get to work the next morning. Bah.

On the other hand… this actually feels a LOT like high school again, seeing as the school day started at 8am and I usually didn’t have much free time to do anything until 5pm after I finished my homework… and I was able to run this site no problem back when I was in high school. So maybe I can do updates during the week? I dunno, maybe.

But the whole point here is, at least now I have a regular schedule once again… and it’s within that regular schedule I can work out ways to carve out time to focus on the site. Maybe it’ll be during the week when I can just crank out a simple post, or maybe it’ll be where I’ll take my time to write a nice article for the weekend. Or maybe both?? Who knows? At the very least, however, updates WILL be returning on the regular once again, especially now that I don’t have to worry about finding or and all that; like, work will finally be something I can leave behind somewhere and I don’t have to worry about it interfering with my free time. To be honest, I’m actually kinda glad that I’m working at an office like that and not out of my home, just so I can have that kind of barrier between work and home.

With that said, this post will simply be the first of more posts to come. In fact, I have ten (or eleven) different article ideas I’ve been meaning to get to, between:

  • some new eReader tidbits I’ve been dying to share with you
  • ElementsNThings’ amazing updates on the various languages of Sinnoh, Hisui and Hoenn (among others…)
  • cool scans of old cards which don’t seem to exist anywhere else online (at least as far as those of us on the PA! Discord are aware!)
  • …and much, much more!!

So hopefully that’ll have you coming back to the site for at least the next 10-ish weekends. Huzzah!

Oh, one last thing tho:

Even though I’m working now and will be making some good money once again… right now I’m in that kind of weird limbo period where I have to work some hours first before I actually get my first paycheck. So until I finally get that first drop of sweet, sweet dosh, I could use a bit of help! Now I’m not asking for donations or hand outs or anything of the sort… but I WOULD appreciate it if you could take a look at my eBay account and see if there’s something there you’d be interested in and maybe buy something if the feeling takes you!

Truth be told, I’ve been planning to share this with you folk for some time—which you can see from the would-be article image above—but I simply couldn’t even get to doing THAT.

All that said, in order to sweeten the deal a bit, if you message me on eBay and give me the super secret dosh code iSawItOnPA!, I’ll knock 15% off anything you want from my eBay store! Now you’ll need to send it to me BEFORE buying it because I’ll need to send you that 15%-off offer first… it’ll just make things easier that way. But yeah, if you’re interested in some of my video game, tech, and/or anime-related merch and you’re in a position to help me out, that would honestly mean the world to me AND it’ll help me out financially during this limbo period. Thanks a ton!!

 


Three Pokémon TCG things I saw during the down time…

OK! Finally now that we got that personal bits out of the way, let’s cover some interesting and/or silly bits of Pokémon TCG stuff I discovered during the down time. The first two of these were brought to my attention by the kind folk over at the PA! Discord. Good times.

First off, on Halloween the Pokémon TCG Twitter account shared this bit of spoopyness:

This was actually such a nice post, seeing as up until this recent Pokémon 25 initiative TPCI never even acknowledged the Wizards-era of the TCG. Like, if you visited Pokemon.com’s TCG section, you’d think the TCG started with EX Ruby & Sapphire!

But wait a second here… something about the left, non-holo Gengar card doesn’t look right…

Th-They chopped off Gengar’s head! What the…?! Buh… wha?? Why is this even a thing? What the hell happened here? Did someone think to just crop it down so that the top of the left and right Genger cards were level relative to the middle Gengar card?

Well, this could not stand no longers. I had to do something about it. And I did! Behold: an unmassacred Gengar card! Complete with unpatterened moss above it.

OK, PHEW! That’s muuuuuch better. Here’s the twitter post if you want to share it with others:

Second off, I don’t know how I feel about this video. Like, there’s a level of hubris in the title that make me unsure if this is for real or just clickbait and I was simply suckered into it. I’ll let you decide for now:

I mean… if this guy is legitimately interested in making more Pokémon TCG fake cards, I’d be happy to include as many fans to this hobby as possible! The more the merrier! But if his interest in this was only as far as to make a clickbait video and he has no sincere interest in faking, AND that lack of interest is what encouraged him to make that outrageous claim to psych out his audience… I’d say please, stop it, get some help… but his 5 million subscribers would just reply back “ok boomer” (or whatever phrase kids moved onto)… so there’s no real point in pushing it further.

Therefore, the most polite thing I can say about this is… Nintendo will NEVER sue you for making a fake card. A slightly less polite thing for me to say is, I wish you didn’t give your audience a false impression like that. And an even MORE less polite thing to say is: with cards looking like that, not even Chinese bootleggers would want to sue you out of fear of competition. But, alas, this is just me yelling into the cosmos because clickbait will never end.

So I guess if I had to summarize my feelings, it’s: I’m not mad, just disappointed.

Anyways, I may spend a bit more time analyzing this video in more detail, kinda like one of those “Real Lawyer Reacts” or “Real Doctor Reacts“… in this case, “Real Pokémon TCG Faker Reacts”. …. a Real Faker. Boy my credibility on this has REALLY gone through the roof on this one.

 

And finally… old skool fans might enjoy this one. Did I ever tell you about the time that, back in 2003, I took a time machine to 2021 and saw about the Pokémon TCG Celebrations set? Yeah, I even added it to the site back in the day, but I totally forgot all about it. So when I was poking through my old website—as one does—and realized I actually didn’t add a link to the Celebrations page from the main TCG Info page. I just had to fix that, and I did!

… OK, I confess… I didn’t take a time machine from 2003 to 2021… it was actually in 2004. lolol

But seriously, y’know, as much as I want to keep the old sites as prestine and untouched as possible… it’s also hard to pass up a chance to do a little joke like this. I will admit I do kinda miss the old site format and always wondered what it would look like if I still updated it like I used to but with info from the last 20 years on it as well. While that may never happen in the end—although Bulbapedia’s List of TCG Sets page is a close approximation seeing as it was all based off my work—I did decide to throw in that Celebrations page as sort of an Easter Egg of sorts to anyone else poking around, to see if anyone’s paying attention. Although I guess this post kinda lets it out of the bag… meh, sla, I got nothin’.

 


 

Anyways… that’s it for the moment!

I want to thank everyone once again for their support over the last two years in general, but especially for your patience and understanding over the past two month specifically while I took some time off from the site to focus on keeping my head above water. Fortunately however it’s all done-and-dusted, so I can move forward once again with regular-ish updates and new interesting tidbits. Huzzah, good times! 🙂