Monday, February 27, 2017

My Life as a Pokemon Trainer: Generation 1

Welcome to the world of Pokemon! Today Pokemon turns 21 and we're celebrating #PokemonDay with this celebration of the first generation and my memories regarding it.

Since 1996 Pokemon has touched the lives of Video Games and people all over the world. Battling, trading and catching pocket monsters over a Gameboy Link Cable? It was an insane idea but it worked and was a worldwide success. They didn’t call it PokeMania for a reason and I’ve been an avid Pokemon fan since they touched down in the USA back in 1998. To this very day I and many people all over the world have been a Pokemon fan and who knows if I would still be on the same path today if it wasn't for Pokemon. For those who don't know Pokemon is a strategy turn based RPG Video Game where you trade & capture these mysterious powerful creatures called Pokemon in order to become a Pokemon Master. So let’s take a trip through time, back to 1996, the year Pokemon was released.

Pokemon began as an idea and concept by a man named Satoshi Tajiri back around 1989/1990 when the Nintendo Gameboy was first released and Gamefreak, Tajiri’s company was just breaking into the Video Game development business from their previous Video Game Magazine business. Thinking back to his childhood of collecting insects Tajiri wanted a way for players to connect and trade miniature creatures amongst themselves and the Gameboy’s link cable was perfect for his vision of giving children that same thrill he had as a child. Tajiri brought in Ken Sugimori, who was an artist that worked with Tajiri on their Magazine and would design the trainers and Pokemon. Along with Junichi Matsuda, music and sound effect composer they began work on what would become the first versions of Pokemon, Pokemon Red and Green, at the time named Capsule Monsters. Green you say? Yes the original Pokemon versions were indeed Red and Green instead of the Red and Blue, though if you live in Japan or are already aware you’ll know that the Red and Blue released overseas are actually newer versions of the original Japanese releases, fixing bugs that plagued the original games. (Japan actually received a Pokemon Blue version which was actually the basis for the Red and Blue versions shipped overseas.)

Anyway Pokemon Red and Green took 6 years of development and surprisingly was turned turn by Nintendo multiple times. It wasn’t until the project caught the eye of Shigeru Miyamoto did Nintendo finally greenlight the project. Pokemon Red and Green finally released on February 27th, 1996 and while having modest sales over the upcoming months Pokemon started to become the worldwide classic as it is today. Following the release of the games came a trading card game on October 20th, 1996 (Which would become almost as popular as the Video Games), multiple manga series, and an anime starring Satoshi and his trusty Pikachu (Who would go on to become the mascot and Face of the Franchise.) premiering on April 1st, 1997. Pokemon was a smash hit in Japan and Nintendo & Gamefreak decided that 1998 was the year, the year to unleash Pokemon on the world.

This is where my story begins; Pokemon Red and Blue hit the seas here in America, along with the English dubbed Anime (Satoshi being renamed Ash Ketchum.) in September of 1998 and PokeMania bloomed into full effect. Pokemon was absolutely everywhere with all sorts of merchandise and had completely hooked me in. My memory of that time isn't perfect, I was only 2 going on 3 years of age at the time but my first encounter with Pokemon would be the anime TV series.

Photo Provided by Bulbapedia

Starring Ash Ketchum, a 10 year old boy, he receives his first Pokemon from Professor Oak and sets off on his Pokemon Journey through the region of Kanto to become a Pokemon Master, battling his way up to the Pokemon League. It's the same setting as Pokemon Red and Blue but there's a twist... Ash is actually late to his meeting and all three starter Pokemon the Professor was giving to new trainers. 

These three Pokemon were Charmander, The fire Lizard Pokemon.

Photo Provided by Bulbapedia

Bulbasaur the Seed Pokemon

Photo Provided by Bulbapedia

And Squirtle the Tiny Turtle Pokemon.

Photo Provided by Bulbapedia

So what was Ash to do when all three Pokemon were already picked by other new trainers? (One of them being Ash's cocky rival Gary.) Well Professor Oak wasn't exactly out of Pokemon, he had one last creature at his disposal, an untrained Pikachu, the Electric Mouse Pokemon. Ash immediately took to Pikachu but the little yellow mouse didn't like ash AT ALL in the beginning, which is shocking compared to how close those two are now. Ash & Pikachu set off on their Pokemon training journey, meeting new friends (And pretty awesome characters to boot.) to travel with like Misty & Brock, defeating the 8 Gym Leaders of the Kanto region and of course taking on the evil (Well, they try at least) Team Rocket trio. Jessie, James and Meowth are the icing on the cake of this show, adding hilarious comedic moments and apparently some really deep character development. (Mostly on James's part.) This show was and still is amazing and kickstarted my love of Pokemon. It was the big star of Saturday morning cartoons on Kids WB, sadly Saturday cartoons don't really exist much anymore but hey Pokemon itself is still running with Ash heading off to Alola.

As well as Saturdays on Kids WB I actually had, well still have (Just can’t play them atm due to not having a VCR) the entire Indigo League season on VHS tapes. Because of my constant watching of this show, almost religiously, I think my parents also ended up becoming Pokemon fans.

Oh yeah! This show also introduced the coolest opening song ever (Sorry Digimon and Power Rangers you come in at a close second for me) and an even more awesome PokeRap sung at the end of every Episode, basically rapping the names of every single Pokemon. (The original 151st Pokemon anyway.) I actually had the entire rap memorized but I sadly cannot rap it off by memory any longer.

Pokemon the anime and the series in general became so popular it received its own animated movie, releasing in North America in theatres on November 10th, 1999. 

© 1999 - Warner Brothers

Ash, Misty, Brock and of course Pikachu receive an invitation to battle the “World’s Greatest Pokemon Trainer “on New Island. The oceans stretching out to New Island though suddenly become violent, full of raging waves and piercing winds. Of course Ash & Co along with many other Trainers won’t turn down the challenge and head out towards New Island against the wishes of Officer Jenny. (Not sure WHICH Officer Jenny though, there are quite a few  of them throughout the Pokemon World, same with Nurse Joy who also plays a part in this movie.) 

© 1999 - Warner Brothers

On New Island they encounter Mewtwo, a manmade clone of Mew, (The Elusive 151st Pokemon, completely hidden to the public.) claimed to be the strongest Pokemon alive. Mewtwo holds a strong vendetta against the humans and Pokemon who follow them, creating his own clones of our Heroes’ Pokemon to eliminate them. 

© 1999 - Warner Brothers

Along with Pikachu’s Vacation which came bundled with this movie on the VHS I owned and the awesome soundtrack I watched this movie more times than I can count as a kid. This movie earned over 160 Million at the US box office which was pretty incredible for an animated movie at the time. Pokemon movies no longer premiere at theatres here in America (They stopped after Pokemon Heroes, the 5th movie.) Pokemon still releases a new movie every year featuring new Legendaries and a new story.

So yeah the anime really was the beginning of Pokemon for me and yes while most kids probably got into Pokemon through the games, aka Red & Blue, I was hooked by the Television show and my first main series video game would actually be Pokemon Gold & Silver back during the Christmas Holidays of 2000. Though this wouldn't be my first Video Game encounter with Pokemon, no I experienced Pokemon for the first time through a different medium...

It's no hidden fact that I absolutely love the Nintendo 64, I talk about it enough on the blog anyway. While my first main series Pokemon games would be Gold & Silver and I wouldn't experience a main series generation 1 game until later on with Pokemon Yellow (We'll get into that later.) Before I experienced Pokemon battling for the first time I played a slightly different Pokemon game... Pokemon Snap. 

Now my memory is rough around the edges when it comes to my life as a 2-3 year old but I actually remember Pokemon Snap "possibly" being my first Video Game encounter with Pokemon. You play as Todd Snap (Who I was familiar with thanks to the Anime.) as you traverse on an on rail like gameplay through different environments to take photos of Pokemon. At the end of each run Professor Oak evaluates your photos and gives you a score. The goal of this game is to take a photo of all 63 Pokemon that run wild in the game. Sadly the game doesn’t feature all 151 but it does feature the 151st Pokemon Mew! Yes Mew was such an elusive Pokemon, only being available in the games through certain events, or certain glitches. So many crazy theories were spread about Mew, nobody quite knew where to find Mew, or what Mew truly was. Remember those theories about Mew being under that truck near the S.S. Anne? Good times… Maybe one day Mew really will be hiding under a truck. Mew is definitely one of my all time favorite Pokemon thanks to Pokemon Snap and the First Movie.

Anyway the N64 also holds my first experiences with Pokemon battling, Pokemon Stadium. 

Releasing on February 29th, 2000 in America Pokemon Stadium brought Pokemon from a 2D 8 bit color screen to the big screen in full colors and with 3D models. Pokemon was completely fleshed out in 3D with each having their own unique animations. You could also transfer your Pokemon from your Red, Blue and Yellow games to use them in 3D. 

This game is completely and utterly awesome. Aside from using your own Pokemon this game also offered rental Pokemon. Yes you can rent use 149 Pokemon (Minus Mewtwo and Mew, though you can unlock Mew later.) each with their own unique moveset. Pokemon Stadium has lots of modes to choose from, the Gym Leader Tower, where you fight your way through the Gyms and Elite Four similar to the games. There’s the main stadium with different tournaments such as Poke Cup, Prime Cup and so forth. Players can also play against each other in Free Battle. Whether Multiplayer or against a CPU. Free Battle allows you to set your own rules, or no rules at all. Pokemon Stadium also has the GameBoy Tower, which allows you to play your Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow games on the big screen. Finally Pokemon Stadium also has the Kids Club. Oh boy the Kids Club is probably a huge memory maker for me. This mode has Minigames featuring a wide amount of Pokemon friends, 9 minigames in all. These Minigames hold countless fun for friends & family but I also found joy in kicking the butts off the CPUs. I can’t really choose a favorite Minigame but I can safely say I absolutely suck at Snore War and Thundering Dynamo.

Something super cool about this game is once you complete all the stadiums and Gym Leaders… One final foe appears to fight you. It’s none other then Mewtwo himself. Oh boy Mewtwo is tough and I can remember struggling against him time and time again. My parents actually played this game quite a bit as well and had actually beaten him (My mum was actually a better trainer then myself, go figure.) but younger me thought it would be REALLY FUNNY to delete the save data, yeah, thanks younger me. It took me up until last year to finally beat all the stadiums and Gym Leaders to unlock Mewtwo again. I finally beat Mewtwo though, and I’ve unlocked Round 2, which is basically all the same battles, just harder with slightly different Pokemon.

I want to talk more about this game but there’s two more parts of my Generation 1 memories that we need to discuss.

First off there’s the TCG. Awesome Pokemon art printed onto hand sized cards? An awesome Trading Card Game? Sign me up! The TCG quickly became my lifetime collection when the Team Rocket series released on April 24th, 2000. I received these cards on my 4th birthday and inside these packs I got cards that are timeless favorites in my collection that just kept on growing since getting these first set of cards.

While I’ve not played the Trading Card Game much over the years I’ve really enjoyed collecting these cards.

We’ll we’ve come to the end of the journey, but wait, I think I forgot something… While I experienced this game after Gold & Silver I actually did experience a Generation 1 main series game… Pokemon Yellow.

Oh Pokemon Yellow you beautiful creation. I never experienced Pokemon Red and Blue as a kid, okay I’ve still not experienced them to this day in the exception for Pokemon Leaf Green, the Game Boy Advance remake of Red and Blue but Pokemon Yellow might possibly be better then either version to me.

Taking place in the same region of Kanto you start your journey in Pallet Town, like in R&B but instead of taking you back to his lab (After heading into the Grass when you’re told not to without a Pokemon, but hey we’re rebellious.) and allowing you to choose a starter Pokemon, Professor Oak encounters a wild Pikachu. (Accompanied by Ikue Otani’s Pikachu voice instead of the usual cry from R&B.) After the Professor swiftly catches the Pikachu he takes you back to his lab where you meet up with your Rival. (Who I always named Gary from the anime.) Professor Oak asks you to take possession of the sole Pokemon on his desk as your starter Pokemon but not before your eager, cocky Rival knocks you aside and grabs the Pokemon first. So basically you get stuck with the only Pokemon Oak has left, the Pikachu he caught before. This game is very similar to the anime and lots of events and characters from the show carry over to this game, in addition to the original Red & Blue storyline. One aspect that carries over is the fact your Pikachu does not like to be in his Pokeball, at all. Meaning you get to have Pikachu following you around during your Kanto Journeys, as well as the ability to speak to it to see how it feels towards you. This basically made little me as giddy as a school girl and made this game far superior to Red & Blue, I was a huge Pikachu fan back then, okay I still am a huge Pikachu fan and I’ll be kidding myself if I didn’t say Pikachu was my favorite Generation 1 Pokemon. You also receive all three of the starter Pokemon from the original two games, isn’t that awesome? Have to admit though; it was years before I ever beat the Pokemon League on these games, whoops. Guess I wasn’t such a great trainer in the beginning. Also ever since this game all my Pikachus have been named Sparkey (Notice the added “e”. Yeah I know it’s not the proper spelling but I still spell it that way when naming my Pikachus for nostalgic reasons, go talk to younger me for an explanation.) Pokemon Yellow is an absolutely awesome game, despite the over powered Psychic types and certain broken mechanics fixed by Stadium and later generations this game will always have a place in my heart and still has replayability to this day. Actually I'm tempted to start up a new playthrough of it.

Aside from the games, TCG and Anime I had quite a truck load of merchandise such as figures, toys, a Thinkchip Pokemon Stadium... Okay I still have all these things but I couldn't get any photos due to them being in boxes at the moment.

All this together made up my Pokemon beginnings and I would continue to be a fan throughout the years and continuing on to this very day. Generation 1 was only the first stepping stone in my Pokemon journey and over the upcoming months I’ll be putting together more parts talking about my memories from those games such as Gold & Silver, Ruby & Sapphire and so forth. Pokemon has touched my life and has been there for me all my life; I don’t quite know what life would be without it. It didn’t just touch my life it touched the lives of my family and I have a brother and sister who have grown up with me loving Pokemon. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything in the world. So today on Pokemon Day I say thank you Game Freak, for making my life just a little bit more awesome.

That’s a wrap folks!

To Be Continued... As the Journey Continues.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Discovering TRAPPIST-1 and Testing Out the XP-Pen Star 05

NASA Reveals a Massive ExoPlanet Discovery

Space, it’s considered by many to be the last untraveled frontier in our exploration of life. Our Planet earth is only a small part of a vast Solar System and even then, our system is nothing compared to the ever spiraling Milky Way Galaxy and what lies beyond it. For as long as mankind has existed we’ve imagined and hypothesized the starry wonders beyond our atmosphere. Over the centuries and even more so recently Humanity has made some incredible discoveries regarding the galaxy. Last Wednesday marked another amazing discovery by one of NASA’s Telescopes. So space and science are definitely topics I’ve never talked about on here before but hey it interests me and a lot of you as well so why not? As a long time fan of the great beyond I might as well introduce space as a topic on here. You could say I have a lot of SPACE on here for it. Okay I’m not going to say that one again, forgive me.

Credit to NASA/JPL-Caltech

Anyway on Wednesday 22nd, 2017 NASA announced via a livestream that through their Spitzer Space Telescope they have discovered the first known planetary system (This system being dubbed the TRAPPIST-1 System) to have SEVEN Earth-size exoplanets (Planets that orbit a star not classed as a Sun.) orbiting around it’s sole star, at least three of these planets (possibly all of them.) are confirmed to be in the habitable-zone. The TRAPPIST-1 System itself is not a new discovery, being discovered by Astronomers in 2015 by the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (Hence the name TRAPPIST.) located at the La Silla Observatory in the Coquimbo Region of Chile. They had only discovered the Star and three of its planets before last Wednesday so it’s still a massive discovery.

What is the Habitable-Zone you ask? This zone means their orbit around the star (The power and size of the star as well as the size of the planet also factor in here.) are in the perfect locations for being habitable. Now if these Exoplanets have a sufficient atmospheric pressure they could support liquid water and in turn, life. That’s pretty awesome, right? This marks a brand new record for the amount of habitable-zone exoplanets found in a star system. Even cooler is the possibility that all seven of these planets are habitable and sustain water. Still in regards to the habitable ness of these planets, TRAPPIST-1 (The name of the star.) is actually an Ultra-Cool Dwarf Star. This meaning it’s much smaller in size and produces a lower temperature of heat compared to our Sun, TRAPPIST-1 putting off a temperature 2550 K (Kelvin, which is pretty hot all things considered.) compared to 5,778 K from our Sun. So these planets would have to be a lot closer to the star in order to feel the same temperatures that Earth does. TRAPPIST-1 is also approximately 500 million years old compared to our Sun which is about 4.6 billion years old. So TRAPPIST-1 is still quite a young system and due to it’s low luminosity this star could live for up to 4-5 trillion years.

Another strange but very likely possibility regarding these planets are that they might actually be tidally locked to their star. Basically one side of these planets will always be facing the star as it orbits around, which is completely identical to how our Moon works. If this is true then Weather on these planets could be drastically different from our own. NASA’s Hubble Telescope and Hubble Team are currently assessing and scanning the Planets and will do so over the upcoming months to confirm that these planets are Rocky in nature and not gaseous planets like Neptune and Jupiter.

Imagine if these planets all end up being able to support life, wouldn’t that be crazy? Who knows maybe these planets already contain life. Maybe they’re all under the control of the Klingon Emperor and we’re about to meet Michael Dorn’s Klingon counterpart. (That might be a bit farfetched.) Either way right now is a very exciting time in space research. The past two years have seem to of become a new space age, with discoveries of Pluto, Space X and it’s awesome self landing Rocket, Astronaut Scott Kelly’s 1 year on the International Space Station, as well as many other awesome space events.

As you can see I got a little excited about all this space stuff so let’s add that to our topics shall we? I actually really loved writing that, you can read more about what’s being discovered at and for more about TRAPPIST-1 as well as some amazing concept art artists drew of the planets go to

Distinguishing a Yarn Ball form a Yarn Skein (And Hank?)

As a follow up to Wednesday’s blog, which for the most part was a blog related to me learning more about knitting through this Vogue Knitting Ultimate Knitting Book, I’ve been learning even more about knitting lately in the form of Yarn Ball types. Thanks to Lisa Shroyer from for writing this article I’ve learned a lot about different yarn ball types and how to handle and knit from them. (Even the unraveled type.) It’s called “Lisa’s List: 12 Yarn Ball types and How to Knit with Them.” 

Credits to Lisa Shroyer and Interweave

This is a very informative and well written (As well as humorous) article. Her information comes from yarn experts (You know, the ones who make the yarn.) and knitting experts so give it a read! I now know what to call yarn barfs… Hankensteins. I actually had no idea the word Hank even existed within the knitting vocabulary and was under the impression myself that twisted unballed yarn, or any unballed yarn for that matter was called a skein. Learn something new every day, eh? Thanks, Lisa!

Speaking of creativity! I’ve been working on something *TOP SECRET* graphic related for ZAK Entertainment in Paint Shop Pro while refreshing and teaching myself some techniques. Since starting up the blog I’ve been using this program 10xs more to edit my photographs and make graphics for the blog such as the banner. Can’t tell you what I’m working on yet but it’s going to be used in an upcoming, possibly weekly segment on the blog. As you’ve noticed I’ve been playing around with some new segments, putting sub headings within my blog. I’m not sure if it’s making my transitions too jumpy or making them just right but I’m enjoying how this site’s running so far. I really enjoy what I’ve been writing for you all, it’s been about some really great topics and I got a huge upcoming blog that’ll be released on Monday, it’s Pokemon related and also related to #PokemonDay so keep an eye out.

Trying out the XP-Pen Star05 Wireless Art Tablet & Pen

Remember that XP Star05 Tablet & Pen I show to you guys? I found this pen while trying to find Mum a new tablet for her brand new laptop she recently obtained.

Well we’ve been doing computer upgrades all around (Not me, yet. I’m still good for now.) and my Sis also obtained a new laptop with Windows 10. This XP-Pen Mum order ended up going to my little sister with Mum ordering a new one for herself. Reason for this being her old Wacom Intous 5 Tablet would not operate on her new Windows 10 laptop. I guess old being the primary reason behind this; it actually caused the computer itself issues instead of just not working. So Ann retired the ol boy and took over the brand new XP Star 05. Awesome part about this Tablet is the fact it’s WIRELESS! Of course you do have to charge it (Which takes about 2 hours.) but once it’s charged via USB you unplug it and it operates completely wirelessly. It’s supposed to last about 14 hours but we’ve not tested that fully quite yet, stay tuned, I’ll let you all know. Setting it up had a few hiccups, don’t use the drivers off the disc they’re actually out of date for Windows 10 It seems, though no biggie just go onto their website to download the newest drivers. You probably should do this with all products with drivers lately; the discs always seem to be out of date compared to the ones you get off the website. After setting it up you can easily change it for Left Handed uses, which my sis is a lefty herself (You’re okay with me saying you’re a lefty, right sis?) so I know it does well for left handed artists.

Actual photo of my Sis using the pen.

With the tablet’s 2048 pressure levels this tablet can do everything the Wacom can and more, while being way cheaper then any comparable Wacom product. Sis has tested the pen out on all her art programs, which are pretty much the norm in art lately, such as Krita, Paint Tool Sai, even Photoshop. So yeah it’s doing her great and I think she loves it, as well as her new and pretty powerful laptop computer. You heard it here first this Tablet is a success so far and is still only $69.99 on Amazon so I recommend it if you’re considering getting a new tablet & pen but you're also looking for a cheaper solution to Wacom (Which isn't wireless.) while still getting a professional art tablet.  Luckily I noticed this but the Tablet won’t actually be back in stock until March the 1st. You can still order it but your order won’t be shipped until March 1st, which is not that far away because February is that odd month where we only get 28 days.

For more of my sister's awesome artwork and photography check out her blog at

I’m not an artist in the same sense as my sister but I have use for Krita, Krita can actually do Pixel Art which I’ve always been a fan of. It also does vectors and I’ve learned while I can’t draw amazing drawings like my sis I’m not so bad when it comes to using a mouse with vectors. (Maybe I’ve been suppressing this inner ability, who knows.) So I’ve been playing around with Krita learning how everything works. Also decided to do a vector drawing of a character I’ve been developing from a story that’s been floating around in my head for over 6 years now. She’s taking quite a few different turns over the years but I want to introduce this character and the story itself to you guys in some shape soon. I’m thinking of making it a novel so I’m not exactly sure how to go about getting the story out on ZAK Entertainment without taking away the feeling from reading the novel I want to write. I’ll figure that out I guess, maybe I’ll do some short stories related to it, short stories seem to work well on blogs.

Before I wrap just want to mention I’m working on a new video! Got some super lucky shots of some wild life and I’m going to be making a compilation of it all to shoot it up online for you guys to watch. I’m also trying to work out this gaming channel idea so that’s something to look forward to.

That’s a wrap folks!

See You Space Cowboy…

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Getting Tangled Up In Vogue Knitting

Getting Entangled with Tangled The Movie

Disney Princess movies, they've been around since the 1937 release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and have been a prominent franchise in Disney's arsenal ever since, bringing movies such as Cinderella, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Frozen and the best Disney Princess movie of all time, the Emperors New Groove. I'm kidding that wasn't a Disney princess movie, or was it? Disney Emperor movie? One of a kind.

Anyway these movies for the most part are based on fairy tales by authors such as Brothers Grimm. One famous Fairy Tale written by Brothers Grimm is none other then Rapunzel. Rapunzel was the "loose" base for Disney's 50th animated featured film and very first CGI animated princess movie, Tangled. 

Remember when I discussed Frozen (Made by the same production team.) back during Christmas time last year? I praised Tangled quite a bit and rightfully so. I revisited this movie last night with my family and it's still holding up as one of my favorite Disney animated movies. a lot of development went into this movie and it was in the pre-production and production phase for 14 straight years with an original 2007 release date under the name Rapunzel Unbraided. After tons of delays the movie finally released in 2014 as Tangled, Disney's first CGI animated Princess movie. with a mixture of CGI animation, traditional animation and rendered using non-photorealistic settings to give it the impression of being painted.

CGI animation (or 3D animation as younger me always called it.) has become dominant over hand drawn animation over the past 20 years and while I love hand drawn animation and have always been on the edge regarding this transition, Pixar and Disney have proven they can do CGI right. Despite doubts this movie is absolutely gorgeous and takes place in the Kingdom of Corona. Like mentioned earlier this movie is LOOSELY based on the original Rapunzel Fairy Tail, very loosely. It's basically Rapunzel with a twist and a tangle. 

Rapunzel (Voiced by Mandy Moore) is an 18 year old lady, (With super long golden hair that can magically heal and de-age people, take that Olay.) becoming independent over the years of being practically trapped in a secluded tower by her "mother" she has a desire to see the outside world and discover the truth about the lanterns she sees fly through the sky on her Birthday every year. This movie also features Flynn Rider (Voiced by Zachary Levi), a self absorbed thief on the run from the Kingdom (Because, you know, he stole something pretty precious from them.) on his fugitive escape he winds up finding the Tower that Rapunzel resides in. Sneaking his way in an attempt to hide from the kingdom Flynn and Rapunzel have a Face to Frying Pan talk. The young blonde convinces Flynn to take her to see the flying lanterns in exchange for the sachet (Which she cleverly hid after another frying pan whack.) and they sneak out, against her Mother's wishes. 

This movie will satisfy you knitters out there as this flick has quite a few subtle but cool knitting references. It's also a fantastic movie to knit to, which obviously I was doing, I'll go more into detail on that later in the blog. Maximus the Horse (Yes, horse.) also plays a big part in this movie as one of the main characters, joining the ranks of coolest movie horses of all time. Ever seen a horse sword fight before? I thought not!

Tangled is one of Disney's best animations if not their best Princess (Rapunzel being a pretty kick butt Princess herself, long hair and Frying Pans are the best options for your arsenal) movie of all time with some good songs, awesome fleshed out characters, gorgeous art and animation, a thrilling tale and lots of Frying Pans. This'll make a great family movie and while kids will love it I find myself (I'm a 21 year old kid, forgive me.) loving it just as much. It's not just one of those distract your kids kind of movies it's got a lot packed into it that can be appreciated by many demographics, especially knitters. One day Disney will make a movie specifically based on knitting, maybe.

Tangled is making a big return in the form of a brand new animated series on Disney Channel premiering on March 24th this year. It takes place after the movie and before the Tangled Ever After short film. Unlike the movie though it's going to be 2D animation but no worries they're keeping the art style from the movie and it seems to transition well. To give you a taste check out this sneak peek! Though this will hold spoilers for the original movie, you've probably already seen the movie, right?

As much as I love the movie Tangled I really do not like untangling knitting yarn, which seems to be a reoccurring event when it comes to me. I've been knitting for almost 5 months now and with tons of finished objects already under my belt I've been doing pretty good. I'm still a beginner but with the help of Mum and people online I'm getting there. Books have become a big source of help for me as well, with Mum having quite a collection of knitting books and magazines. This one book I'm about to discuss might just be the perfect book for beginners like myself.

The Vogue Knitting Ultimate Knitting Book; A Knitting Almanac

Vogue Knitting, as all of us knitters know, is a Knitting magazine that's been around since 1932 and has grown quite substantially since. From the editors of the Vogue Knitting magazine comes The Ultimate Knitting Book.

Cover Provided by Amazon

Mum has had this book for a while now and it's been a big help to me as a beginner. The editors of this book worked on it for 3 years, researching hundreds of knitting books (Some long out of print), during this journey they learned that no one had actually managed to fit everything into one book, that a knitter had to jump from book to book to learn everything. The Ultimate Knitting Book solves that issue as it has EVERYTHING you need to know about knitting, from Basic Techniques, correcting errors, yarn and tools, blocking and finishing to more advance stuff like designing. The Ultimate Knitting Book even has 9 pages on the history of knitting. If knitting was a religion (Is it?) this would be its bible.

It doesn't just have written words this book's tutorials also have picture graphs demonstrating the hand movements. Want to learn every cast on imaginable? This has just that. This book has also been a god send in correcting errors. No more bugging Mum with helping me correct errors I just dive into this knitting knowledge bank and it shows me step by step on how to pick up a stitch, Knit wise and purl wise. When it comes to the time when I'm working on my future sweater this book should help with assembling and grafting. It'll help when it comes to blocking my in progress shawl. (Though I'll probably bug mum on that one.) Similar to the edging book I talked about a while ago this encyclopedia actually has a stitch dictionary with stitch types and stitches in here (With graphs along with.) for adding into your own patterns.

Speaking of patterns, as a cherry on top in the back there are a few full patterns for you to knit. All of them are tops but they're really nice patterns that I'm going to try myself in the future. So yeah that's the Vogue Knitting Ultimate Knitting Book. While this book did come out in 2002 it's still viable in this day and age, because in the knitting world you don't fix what's not broken. I've barely scratched the surface of this book. Of course I wouldn't talk about this book without giving you a way of checking it out for yourself. You can buy it at Amazon for $28.60.

Also check out Vogue Knitting themselves at They have online learning, a shop, their digital magazine and free patterns!

A ZAK Afterthought Heel Sock Update

February 22, 2017 

Enough about Vogue Knitting let's talk about ZAK Knitting. I can't wrap without giving you all an update on my afterthought self striping socks.

Yes, I'm still on the first sock but I'm just about to start the toe. I was knitting this throughout Tangled and The Flash, which is getting REALLY good lately, Gorilla Grodd is back boys. Anyway this sock is coming to a close and I got to pick out a solid color to go into my toe and heel sooner rather then later. I'll figure that out.

Remember that knitting pattern I was working on? I'm still working on it! Yes I haven't given up, I'm just a little nervous when working on this, it's my first pattern. I will get it finished and up for you guys as soon as I can.

Before we wrap I want to do a little teasing. This upcoming Monday is officially Pokemon day! Yes The Pokemon Company is celebrating the 21st birthday (20th birthday of the Show) all over the world at different events. They're also celebrating online with the hashtag #PokemonDay on social media such as Instagram and Twitter. You can post photos of your Pokemon memories/merchandise and you could possibly get featured on their website So yeah the Pokemon celebrating spirit is in the air and it's filling ZAK Entertainment. Check out my Instagram because I'll be posting photos of my Pokemon gear in anticipation for Monday. Monday's blog post is going to be pretty big. I'll be posting a blog discussing my Pokemon life, the history of Pokemon and everything Generation 1. This will be the first entry in a year spanning series going through all 7 generations of Pokemon and I'm really excited to write and publish these for you all to read.  


That's a wrap folks! Don't forget to check out my newest video I've uploaded to my youtube! It's a short film featuring some American Coots and a beautiful lake with some awesome cinematic shots I took on our recent trip out there.

Keep your lifes entertaining!

Monday, February 20, 2017

30+ Years of a Zelda Legend and Super Charged Air Racing

A Legend that Spans over 30 Years; The Legend of Zelda.

Power, Wisdom and Courage, these three energies make up the power of the Triforce, an ancient Triangular Object filled with power left behind by the three goddesses Din, Nayru and Farore in The Legend of Zelda video game series. 

Debuting on February 21st back in 1986, The Legend of Zelda has been a timeless High-Fantasy, Action-Adventure game that millions have enjoyed for over 30 years. Directed and Designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka (Who were also in charge of Super Mario Bros at the time.) players take control of Link in a top down experience and traverse through the open world of Hyrule to retrieve the 8 pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom and rescue Princess Zelda from the evil Ganon. An even cooler bit of information is the fact that Shigeru Miyamoto actually based Link and the world of Hyrule on HIMSELF and his explorations of nearby caves, woods and fields in his home of Kyoto, Japan. With dungeons to conquer, puzzles to solve and items to collect The Legend of Zelda became an instant classic on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)/Famicom and would go on to sell 6.51 million units worldwide, pretty crazy right? 

The Legend Of Zelda due to becoming a massive hit went on to receive countless sequels, each standing up on its own as an incredible journey and video game. I didn't grow up playing the original Legend of Zelda and my first encounter with the green tunic clad hero was through Super Smash Brothers for the Nintendo 64. Regardless I finally experienced Zelda through The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess which features Hyrule enveloped in a Twilight realm after the arrival of the evil Twili Zant. Since then I've experienced most of the Zelda franchise through one means or the other, either remakes (Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D) or virtual console downloads. 

Screenshot provided by... Oh wait, me.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess probably stands as my favorite Zelda game in the franchise. With an awesome storyline, puzzling and highly detailed dungeons, great characters and Midna Twilight Princess hasn't been toppled off my number one favorites list yet.

I'm pretty much a fan of the series in general. Owning quite a few games in the franchise the series, despite having the same similar formula down underneath, manage to add something new to the franchise in one way or another. 

My Zelda collection is definitely not massive compared to some of yours (Though I do got quite a few more as downloads) but these games are some of the best in my opinion and have given me hours of Hyrule adventuring. My family have also been pretty big Zelda fans, to the point I actually got into Zelda because of my Mum and Sister. The Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds is the most recent released game I've played, which plays similar to the original Zelda and A Link to the Past (Which this game is a sequel to.) The game did seem to end a bit sooner then I had expected but I loved the game and it's Link into the Walls mechanic.

So with most franchises sometimes there's a couple of, odd entries, aka the CD-I Zelda games.

I mean the cutscenes from this game became pretty popular via the Internet (Mostly Youtube, the good ol' 2009 days.) but they weren't really "great" games nor were they on a Nintendo console, but that's a story for another time. Oh yeah Link talked in this game too... Which was strange by itself.

The Legend of Zelda also spawned a massive timeline (Which for the long time was debated by communities online.) connecting all the games into a proper story timeline, let's just say the world of Hyrule is a little crazy and full of Chickens, crazy Gerardo men trying to talk over the world and Pots, lots of pots, mostly empty ones. 

The Legend continues in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which seems to be taking the series in a completely new direction, removing old aspects from the original games and adding in new elements. This game releases on March the 3rd right alongside the Nintendo Switch so it's coming up pretty soon. For those wanting an open world Zelda game with a new coat of paint, an open Hyrule to do whatever they want in and a brand new story then this is probably the game for you and no, they're not delaying the game again. I want to dive deeper into the franchise and my individual games as a whole so stick around for the future. Or just play the song of time, though I'm not sure if it can take you forward in time or not, has Link ever tried that?

Super Charged Red Bull Air Racing

Over the years people have found new ways of competing against each other as sportsman, a plethora of these completions involve racing, whether it be car, horse, track or boat racing. I recently discovered a new kind of race, well not really knew it's been around since 2003, it's none other then Air Racing. Yes apparently I've not been aware of this form of racing but it caught my eye on television last Saturday. 

Logo Provided by
This is a logo owned by Red Bull Air Race GmbH for Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Red Bull's Air Racing World Championships pits pilots against a-for the most part-over water obstacle course as they race for the fastest time. Planes used for this competition are high-performance aerobatic propeller planes equipped with Lycoming Engines. Speed isn't all the pilots must go far they must also achieve proficient skills and precision. If your plane touches any of the obstacles you'll lose seconds and there are certain ways of gaining speed if your technique is up to par. Other penalties are in effect such as safety lines that result in disqualifications if crossed. Competitions start off with the training round, where pilots must take at least two mandatory training sessions. A few days later the qualifying round takes place where best time absolutely counts if the pilot is to get into the round of 14. In the Round of 14 the winners and losers of the qualifying heats compete for the Round of 8 then finally the Round of 4. 

This is a thrilling sport and last Saturday's race took place in Aba Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It was quite fun to watch and after a lot of crazy flying Martin Sonka, from the Czech Republic, won the Final 4 of the Aba Dhabi championship. You can check out the full results as well as more about Air Racing at their website:

The next Air Race will be taking place here in the USA at San Diego in just 55 days. Funny what awesome sports you can discover when you're flipping channels.

Before we wrap for the day let's get a quick knitting update out there.

An Afterthought Heel Self Striping Sock Update

February 20th 2017

So it may not look like much has progressed on my sock and maybe I should be on my second sock of the pair by now but progress is there! Yes as you can see there's a couple new stripes on this sock since the last update. I'm going to be continuing this sock until I have about 5 and 3 quarters length on the foot before I start the toe. I'm not sure if I'm going to be doing the toe and heel in a separate solid or not yet, I think I am but you'll just have to wait and see. So far I'm happy with how the sock is turning out and I haven't made any new errors since that split stitch goof up from a week ago. So hopefully I'll be done with this first sock (First Sock Syndrome) soon and on to the next one.

We had a delicious Salmon and Roasted Potatoes (Potatoes crafted by yours truly.) meal yesterday. I absolutely love Salmon and it went perfect with the roasted potatoes and asparagus. (Which is back in season and tasting good.)

So one last thing, I watched Tangled (You know, the Frying Pan Princess movie.) with the family last night. 

Absolutely love this Disney animation, and I'll be discussing this movie in fuller detail this Wednesday so don't forget to come back on Wednesday for that!

That's a wrap folks!

Keep your lives entertaining!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Pokemon Sun & Moon QR Rental Teams; A Car Flashback Friday

Yesterday was a bit busy for me; I think I definitely got a work out after all that. So let’s settle down a bit and talk about Pokemon, because I actually should have talked about this specific topic sooner.

Pokemon Sun & Moon Receives QR Rental Teams!

A couple of weeks ago Pokemon Sun and Moon’s Pokemon Global Link website received an update finally introducing QR Rental teams to Pokemon Sun and Moon! What are QR Rentals? Basically on the PGL players can create and upload their Pokemon teams for others to use by scanning a QR code into their game. You must have a Pokemon Global Link account before accessing the QR codes and you must link your Sun & Moon copy to your account.  Afterwards click on menu and go into QR Rentals. You’ll see top teams from top trainers or you can search QR codes. You know what’s really cool about the search function? You can search teams by POKEMON! You want a Mew team? Search Mew. Want a Bidoof team? (You know; the best kind of teams.) Search for Bidoof. It’s very easy to find teams on here with the Pokemon you want. You can also categorize your search to find teams specifically for Single Battles or Double Battles. Before you scan the QR code you can study what moves each Pokemon has and it’s item. BEFORE you scan your QR code I must address that these QR codes only work on the game your Global Link is currently logged in as. If you’re logged in via your Sun game this QR code will only work on your Pokemon Sun copy.

These Rental Teams can be used on the online Battle Spot, in battles with friends, random festival plaza battles and any kind of online battle but that’s not all! The rental Pokemon can actually be used offline as well in the Battle Tree and Battle Royale. QR Rentals are a great addition for people without the time to create their own competitive teams, allowing players to enjoy Pokemon no matter what the circumstance. With this addition Pokemon Sun and Moon practically have an upgraded version of Pokemon Stadium injected into the game and will lead to many hours of awesome Game Play with a plethora of teams to try out. I must say the wait was worth it and boy was it a wait and a half for this feature.

As mentioned earlier you can upload your own teams! Which, once your Global Link is set up and your Game synced with the PGL, is a breeze. Starting off lets go into the PC on our Pokemon Sun or Moon copy.

You’ll see at the top left corner on the touchscreen three tabs, we’ll want to tap the last tab on the list, or press x twice. You’ll then see a separate party like box, drag the Pokemon you want into these slots. This serves as your battle team.

You can have up to six battle teams and besides QR Rentals make it easy to pick the teams you want to use when heading into an online or Battle Tree battle without taking up party space. You’ll want to head into the Festival Plaza now (It’s the little castle icon on the touchscreen menu, under the save button.) and head into the castle. Go up to the PC and click on Game Sync, after saving your game commence a game sync, or set it up if you haven’t already. Now! Log onto the Pokemon Global Link (Making sure you go into the game you Game Synced.), click on Menu, Profile and go to QR Rental Teams.

You’ll see your battle teams from your game down below, click on register, give your team a name, description and click make public! You’ve officially created your QR Rental team that you can share with friends and everyone on the internet.

Here’s a team I threw together real quick for you to try out.

Not sure how good the team is, it’s a random team I threw together from Pokemon I’ve been training/obtaining. I actually put the origins of this team together when I got into a wifi battle randomly and I didn’t have a team, since I’ve switched certain Pokemon out and to my surprise I’ve won quite a few matches with this team.

One more QR Rental related thing I want to add is at first you’re only able to upload three teams, once more people use your teams you’ll go up in level and be able to upload more teams.

Along with this update also comes Friendly Competitions! Remember on XY/ORAS the Pokemon Company did these competitions where you sign up and battle, with a certain amount of battles allowed per day? You could win prizes and so forth in a tournament like event. Now PGL gives that power to you in Friendly Competitions!

Similar to the Tournaments in games like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Brothers for Wii U you can set up a friendly competition online or a live competition for local tournaments. With plenty of options such as choosing Pokemon rules, Singles or Doubles and other tweaks such as time limit, friendly competitions are completely customizable for your tournament needs.   A competition won’t start until you have 20 entrants so be sure to share the link/QR Code with your friends! Maybe I’ll start up my own competition, if I can get enough people to join up. Think you’re interested? Tell me in the comments or on our social media!

Pokemon Sun and Moon have been given new life (Not like it needed it, it’s still a pretty active game.) with these new features and has given everybody the chance to enjoy Pokemon, as well as giving some awesome post game replayability. Perhaps I can incorporate some of these new features into ZAK Entertainment in some shape or form (Or my in the works Gaming Channel). Got any teams you want me to try out? I’m interested in recording myself trying out different teams online, could be a cool idea so hit me up in the comments or social media with your codes!

Flashback Friday: A Car Show From Long Ago

Today is Friday, a popular trend on the World Wide Web would be none other then Flashback Friday and Throwback Thursday where you post photos and talk about stuff from your past. I’ve been talking about cars here and there on the blog over the past 4 months but my love for cars runs back a lot farther. As a child I collected Hot Wheels cars, had car coloring books, even a build your own car kit. (A miniature car.) While looking through some old photographs I came across some from an old Car show I went to back roughly around 2006-2007. (The photos don’t actually have the correct date on them; oops don’t know what happened there.) There was quite a good mixture of new and old cars so let’s have a look!

Yes, that is indeed younger me. I kind of had the whole double chin thing going on but hey I was young, like super young, around 10 years old I think, funny enough I’m pretty slim now.

I sadly do not recall the name of this car, I’m not a car expert by any means but it’s a pretty sweet hot rod.

It may look like I’m a kid in this but I swear I’m old enough to drive in this. Jokes aside I wasn’t really driving in this but I was allowed to sit in the driving seat which was awesome.  This would be a Mazda SUV of some kind, possibly a 2006/2007 model. I actually got to sit in a lot of the cars at this show, you have no idea how thrilling that was for 10 year old me.

Now this truck, I may actually know the name of this truck. This might just be a 1941 Chevrolet Pickup Truck. Something about 1940s clicked in my head and with a little research I think this might just be it.

This is, to my understanding a pretty sweet 1957 Chevy Bel Air. My dad is a big Chevy and all around car fan in general so he knows quite a bit.

I also got to drive a Jeep, I loved Jeeps back then.

Last photo I’m going to show is of this sweet dragon themed semi truck.

Pretty sweet photos huh? Glad I can finally post these photos, I mean I didn’t have any kind of blog or even had the idea of one back then so these photos were pretty much just floating around in an external hard drive until today. I might be doing more of these flashback Fridays to show off some old stuff from the days of my long hair. (I can’t even grow out my hair anymore.)

You know I just remembered something important, this was also my first encounter with a giant pretzel. I also almost choked on an Ice Cube during this car show. Sometimes I remember such odd moments.

If anyone can tell me the names of some of these cars and confirm them I would absolutely love that.

Before we wrap, I baked cookies again!

Yes this seems to be a reoccurring event; I seem to of become the master cookie chef in the house. Rightfully so as these cookies came out great, not so keen on the chocolate chip brand I used this time but that was not on me by any means. These cookies, besides the chocolate chips were completely homemade. Flour, Sugar, Vanilla yeah the whole lot was done by moi. Gonna have to watch out for Cookie Monster at this rate.

That’s a wrap folks! Don't forget to check out ZAK Entertainment's Social Media to keep track or interact with me.

Keep your lives entertaining!