Posted in Gaming, Mobile Gaming, Pokemon GO

Pokemon GO is Changing Everything

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That Bulbasaur up there got away, even though I used Razzberries and got two “Nice” throws. Oh well.

The important thing is that this picture was taken at a place in my town I didn’t even know existed until yesterday, and was taken on a Sunday… when I would usually never have left my house.

I’m a creature of habit and a bit of a hermit. I go to work, do a few errands, but spend most my time off at home. On weekends, I usually don’t have the energy or social bandwidth to do much. I just want to loaf around and play games.

But something about Pokemon GO has changed all that. My FitBit testifies to this.

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Friday after work, instead of coming straight home, I drove around to see if I could locate Pokestops. Saturday, early in the morning, I drove back into town a different way to scope out Pokestops. It’s rather sad in my town if you look at just the normal places people go… there just isn’t much.

So, I got online to research parks, and discovered some really neat places, some I didn’t even know about. Not but 2 minutes from my work, there’s a Florence Veteran’s Park, that looked like a prime location for Pokemon catching. So, on Sunday, I decided I needed to get some cat food, and while I was out, I would see if I could find this place.

Only, I ended up getting distracted by the fact that someone had dropped a Lure on the Pokestop at the Mellow Mushroom. Actually, it’s not the Mellow Mushroom that’s the Pokestop, but rather the water sculpture outside of it, titled “Grotesque Snail.” Yeah, that’s how hard up this side of our town is for landmarks.

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The very first Pokemon the Lure netted me was my first Meowth!

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I hung out in my car until the Lure ran out, then I dutifully went to get the cat food I was after. Coming back out of the pet store, I noticed another Lure was popped at the Mellow Mushroom. I hadn’t planned on eating pizza that day, but I felt a little bad about just hanging out in the parking lot without being a customer, and I was getting hungry. So I went inside, and noticed a group of college students sitting and playing while eating pizza. It was certainly their Lures.

I had to fend off the wildlife while eating my meal.

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Get away from my calzone, you rat!

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Once I finished lunch/dinner, I decided I should probably walk it off a bit, so I went in search of the park that had actually been my goal. I did find it, and it, too, had a Lure.



The neat thing about this park is that it has several very cool monuments to visit.  The area isn’t huge, but there are 4 Pokestops and 1 Gym there, and a nice sidewalk path that loops around the area. It’s just large enough that by the time you come back around to the first Pokestop, it’s ready for you to activate it again.

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Despite being over 90 outside, there were several college kids and older teens out there walking and catching Pokemon. I didn’t really socialize with them, but it was neat to see other people involved in the game.

Plus there were just some thought-provoking monuments to visit.

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I never even knew this place was there — I drive past it every day.

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I can see myself visiting this place more often.

I can also foresee more walks down the neighborhood street after the sun goes down, like I did last night. It’s just too hot to be out there in the afternoon. I like that Pokemon GO is released, but I wish it wasn’t the dead center of summer when it’s seriously dangerous to be going out there in the heat.

Anyhow, this game has got me moving and planning things (like trips to the park, or maybe the beach) that I wouldn’t have done before. I know I’m not the only one. I’m looking forward to seeing where this game leads in the future – more activity for me is a good, healthy thing!


Posted in Gaming, Pokemon GO

Pokemon GO is a GO!


Talarian wrote some great, must have tips to get you started! 

I know it’s been a quiet week here on this blog — I’ve had a ton of challenges to overcome IRL that has left me tired and low on energy for blogging or gaming. Despite being super tired last night, the release of Pokemon GO had me excited.

I’ve been looking forward to the release of Pokemon GO because I’ve always wanted to get into an Ingress type game, but just never have for whatever reason. Anything that gives me an excuse to get out and about is probably good for me. So, last night when the game finally rolled out for iOS in the US, I was all over it.

Of course, mostly what I ended up seeing was this:

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However, I managed to get it downloaded and registered as Aywren before the crashes came later at night.

Now, I went into this game knowing what it was and what it wasn’t. This isn’t the traditional Pokemon game where you battle wild Pokes to catch them. This is more about traveling around, exploring IRL, and finding Pokemon in your everyday world. Some people are grumpy about this. I’m okay with it.

Starting Out in Pokemon GO

The first thing the game has you do is catch a starter Pokemon of your choice. I chose Charmander, who happened to appear sitting on top of my printer at home. The game teaches you to swipe the Pokeball at the Pokemon, which tosses the ball (do not toss your phone!), as demonstrated below.

Charmander on my printer!
Charmander on my printer!

Annnnd… I caught my starter Pokemon!

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From there, I had no idea what I was doing. The game just kinda plops you down, with not much information on how to find new Pokemon. I could see that at the golf course not far away, there was a Pokestop, which is nice. And I could see the Pokemon that were in the vicinity, but there’s no real indicator which direction to walk to find them.

I wandered around my front yard and along the road in the dark and muggy night to no avail. I’m so jealous of people who say they found a Pokemon on their back porch or in their bathroom. 😦

The server was also having issues, so I kept getting logged out and dumped, which didn’t help. So I gave up for a while, and did some research online about what I needed to do to actually find Pokemon.

Seems there’s some grass out there that rustles that indicates Pokemon activity. This doesn’t promise there’s a Pokemon exactly on the grass, but possibly somewhere nearby. Also, I discovered that the footprints next to the Pokemon indicate how far they are from you.

Armed with this information, I noticed some grass at the very end of my road, and went out hunting once more. This time, I was rewarded with my first wild catch – two Pidgies!



That was good enough for last night, so I decided I’d wait to see what’s happening when I got to work this morning.

Continuing Adventures

So I’m still a bit confused about how some of this works:

  • Does the game have push notifications for Pokemon if the app isn’t running?
  • Does it only alert me to Pokemon if the app is fully open and on screen?
  • What if it’s open but at the lock screen?

So far, it doesn’t seem like the closed app pushes notifications. I didn’t get a single alert while driving to work today, for example. But I’m still uncertain about this.

It’s pretty much confirmed that the app has to be open and displaying on your phone for it to work. The Pokemon Go Plus add-on accessory may change this a bit once it’s released.

Do Pokemon ever just wander into your range? I’ve left the app on, but haven’t seen a Pokemon come into range around my house or work, so far, if I’m not using incense.

Anyhow. Sitting at a stoplight near work, I fired up the app and saw that “Welcome to my City” sign/fountain right up the street from work is a Gym. It’s currently held by the Blue Team, which makes me happy, since that’s the team I expect to join. If the guy with the Raticate at the fountain holds on a few more days, I’ll be able to back him up.

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Walking through the parking lot at work, I noticed a Rattata nearby, and hunted it down for a catch. I also learned how to use the built-in camera to take the picture.

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I decided to burn one of my free incense and caught a bunch more pidgey, a venonat and a pidgeotto!

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Pidgeotto on my work desktop!

I also got a few medals today after taking an early afternoon walk around my work parking lot.

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And so far, this is my trainer. Going team blue as soon as I can. Looks like a number of my FFXIV FC members will join me, and we will dominate Vegas during the FFXIV Fan Fest! XD

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After work, I’ll be checking out some of the nearby Pokestops I saw on the map on my way home from work. Leveling up earned me some Pokeballs, but I could always use more.

That is… if the servers manage to stay up…

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