Jamuary 2019 – Day 01 – Washed Out

Here we go! We’re off with Jamuary 2019! Day 1 is a track called “Washed Out.”
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After some technical difficulties with Ableton this morning I was finally able to get things working. Played around a bit with @AfroDJMac’s WASHED pack for this. Spent about two hours fiddling with settings in Ableton and about 10 minutes on the actual song. 😂
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Video footage is from a documentary film about my abandoned junior high school.
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#jamuary#jamuary2019#songaday#day366

An 8-bit Christmas

I’ve always been a fan of the holiday season.  This year I decided to cap off a year of 8-bit albums with my very own Christmas album!  This album is 31 of my favorite (and least favorite) Christmas songs, one for each day of December.  These will be posted on their corresponding December dates on Instagram and Twitter.  You can also listen to the whole album on YouTube or download the album for free on Google Play.

1 Sleigh Ride
2 Last Christmas
3 It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
4 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
5 The Christmas Song
6 Little Saint Nick
7 Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
8 Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
9 Blue Christmas
10 The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)
11 Frosty the Snowman
12 Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time
13 Lupang Hinirang
14 All I Want For Christmas is You
15 The First Noel
16 Christmas Wrapping
17 You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
18 Do they Know it’s Christmas At All
19 Holly Jolly Christmas
20 Feliz Navidad
21 Carol of the Star
22 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
23 Christmas Time is Here
24 Silent Night
25 O Holy Night
26 White Christmas
27 Happy Xmas (War is Over)
28 Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
29 Old Waits Carol
30 What Christmas Means to Me
31 What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Click above to listen on YouTube.

Download “An 8-bit Christmas” on Google Play for Free!

The Sinnoh Stone Gets Even Worse

As you may have read in my last article I’m not a big fan of the Sinnoh Stone.  In short it seems like a cop out to have one stone evolve half of Pokémon from previous generations. Having unique research tasks to unlock the evolution of each one would have been something that I enjoyed far more.

Recently it became well known that now, instead of getting one Sinnohy Stone a week, they were not longer guaranteed as a seven day research reward.  Yesterday Niantic finally addressed this with the following tweet.

The Sinnoh Stone is only one notch above everyone evolving everything just using candy.  It was introduced as something to be doled out very slowly and allowed users to evolve one new Pokémon a week for eleven weeks.

Now it seems that this system has gotten even worse. Instead of being slowly doled out you’re rolling the dice every seven days for the chance of getting a Sinnoh Stone.  Niantic has hinted on a new system but until that rolls out this makes things even more frustrating for players.

I don’t care if it takes me a month to earn whatever I need to through research to evolve one of these new evolutions.  The point is we need something to be playing for, to be working toward.  Doing a research project a day was boring but at least it was something.  Now we are left with just dumb luck until Niantic rolls out this new system they are referring to.  If it’s anything like previous things that were hinted at (e.g. the stat rebalance) then we could be in for a very long wait.

This seems like a move done by 2016-2017 Niantic and not like the much more polished roll outs we’ve seen this year.  I hope they put something great in place soon but I’m really curious as to why they didn’t just put it in place from the start.

My Problem with the Sinnoh Stone

I’ve got a big problem with the Sinnoh Stone.

Back in August I wrote My Ideas for Pokémon Go Generavion IV Evolutions which outlined what I’d like to see with the introduction of the Sinnoh Pokémon into the game.  What I hoped was that we wouldn’t see an easy way to evolve all the Sinnoh region evolutions right away with candy as that would be way too easy.

What we have so far is the Sinnoh Stone.

The Sinnoh Stone is very simple.  So far the only reports are in getting it from a 7-day research reward.  And it only evolves eleven of the Sinnoh evolutions from previous generations, exactly half of the twenty-two that will ultimately be available for Gen 4.

While this doesn’t allow you to simply evolve any Pokémon immediately (think Crobat when Gen 2 was released) it also doesn’t add anything interesting to the game.  Now all I have to do is continue doing my daily research tasks and once a week I will be able to evolve a new Pokémon from this batch of eleven until, at the end of January, I will have one of each of the evolved forms for my Pokédex.

Not very compelling.

What I had hoped, and outlined in the article previously mentioned, was that there would be specific requirements for each new evolution.  I don’t necessarily have a problem with the introduction of the Sinnoh Stone as the one stone to evolve them all, a departure from the main series games.  What I have a problem with is the stone being the only thing you need.  Much like the “Visit PokéStops 7 Days in a Row” in the Celebei quest this is just a huge, unnecessary time gate to prevent you from just doing it immediately.  If it’s going to take seven days to do it, I would like to be doing something to work toward it for those seven days.

It will now take exactly eleven weeks to evolve this first batch of evolutions.  And that’s fine.  I don’t mind it taking eleven weeks.  Twice as long would be fine with me.  What I mind is waiting.  I’m not doing anything to work toward this, I’m just waiting and at the end I’ll get a stone that morning and evolve.  It will just mean that I waited the appropriate amount of time and for five seconds, once a week, I did the thing I needed to do.

My main hopes for these evolutions was that there would be tasks to do, something to work toward. What I would have preferred, if we assume the Sinnoh Stone stays in the equation, was to just let it drop once a week.  That’s fine.  Eventually I’m going to be sitting on 16 Sinnoh stones and trashing them the same way I do with Metal Coats, Sun Stones, and the lot.  But while I’m waiting for the next one to drop wouldn’t it be cool if I was working toward something else?  The coolest Pokémon to evolve are the ones that take additional tasks (e.g. Milotec, Umbreon, Espeon).

With the exception of Rhyperior there aren’t really any others from this first half that I’m going to evolve more than one of outside of potential shiny variants.  After that’s done I’m hoping they’ll consider something more interesting to do with the remaining eleven evolutions.  Here are some ideas they could introduced.  It would be great to see some assortment of things like this happen to evolve a Pokémon, especially the meta relevant ones.

 1.) Walk 10km as buddy.
 2.) Defend gym for ten hours with Pokémon.
 3.) Win 100 gym battles with Pokémon.
 4.) Obtain gold medal for Pokémon type.
 5.) Evolve during specific weather.
 6.) Trade specific number of pre-evolved Pokémon.
 7.) Make 3 excellent throws.
 8.) Catch specific number of specific type of Pokémon.
 9.) Earn specific number of candy with buddy.
10.) Win specific number of raids.
11.) Reach trainer level 30.
12.) Reach trainer level of 35.
13.) Reach trainer level of 40.
14.) Make 10 ultra friends.
15.) Make 10 best friends.
16.) Hatch specific number of eggs.
17.) Obtain silver gym medal in specific number of gyms.
18.) Obtain gold gym medal in specific number of gyms.
19.) Obtain certain number of gym badges.
20.) Trade certain number of kilometers.
21.) Complete 10 tier 1 or higher raids.
22.) Complete 10 tier 2 or higher raids.
23.) Solo a tier 3 raid.

These are over twenty things off the top of my head that could make the week between waiting for stones to drop much more interesting.  Instead, for this first batch, we will simply wait and then evolve.  Unless you’re new to the game you probably don’t even need any additional candy, you’re just ready and waiting.

I know it’s early but so far I’m disappointed and hoping that the second half of the evolutions are going to be a lot more interesting.

The Beatles’s “Abbey Road” (8-bit Full Album Cover)

My father had an original copy of “Abbey Road” that I would listen to as a kid along with all the other Beatles albums.  While this album was viewed as being “thrown together” by much of the group there is not much else by the Beatles that can top this record in my opinion.  The medley of songs on the second side is just incredible and I tried my best to stay as faithful to that mash up as I could in 8-bit form.

Click above to listen on YouTube.

Download “Abbey Road” on Google Play for Free!

Megadeth’s “Countdown to Extinction” (8-bit Full Cover Album)

The 1992 follow up to “Rust in Peace” was eagerly awaited, particularly by me.  “Rust in Peace” is, in my opinion, the greatest metal album of all time.  The follow up was quite different but I loved it.  While it received much more airplay and critical acclaim it is difficult to top “Rust in Peace.”  That being said I played this repeatedly during the summer of 1992.

Click above to listen on YouTube.

Download “Countdown to Extinction” on Google Play for Free!

Pokémon GO Sinnoh Region Launch – 24 Hours Later

A little over 24 hours ago Sinnoh Region Pokémon began appearing in Pokémon GO.  This is nearly a year after Hoenn Region was introduced in late 2017.  Hunting, Catching, and Evolving new Pokémon still remains my favorite part of the game.  Since the launch I’ve had no time to play outside of at home or my commute to and from work.  Given that fact you’d think I wouldn’t have made much progress.  However, here’s where I stand with candy for the three starter Pokémon.

For Turtwig, Chimchar, and Piplup I have 48, 86, and 92 candies respectively (I’ve caught more since making this image).  That seems a little too easy.

The game has changed a lot since its launch in July of 2016.  I remember distinctly not evolving my first Venusaur until October and my first Charizard in November.  There were no Pinap berries, essentially no events, and your biome more directly impacted your spawns.  Yet here I am with a very good chance of being able to evolve all three starters to their final evolution by the end of the second day.

I’m excited to see this next generation introduced but it seems like before I will get a day off of work to go out and hunt I’ll pretty much be done with this first wave, all while simply casually catching at home, my kids’ skating lessons, and on my commute with my GO Plus.

A few things are still not figured out with this launch.  Firstly, Niantic made a brief and bungled attempt at rebalancing stats which they immediately rolled back.  Until that is redone we’re all in a holding pattern, waiting to see what is worth powering up and how the new gym game is going to look.

Secondly, there has still been no increase in Pokémon storage.  With nearly 500 Pokémon soon to be in the game, this is making catching and grinding difficult.  Even if you only kept one regular, one shiny, and one lucky of each Pokémon you would still run out of space.  With the addition of trading in there is so much need for more space.  Culling Pokémon is much harder now that they all have some sort of value in the game whether for distance, lucky acquisition, or simple friendship boosting.

And, lastly, how are the Gen 1-3 evolutions going to work?  We can already see that those Pokémon do not have the option to evolve in game.  With the starters so easy to acquire I’m really hoping that my long held hopes for getting these Pokémon will come into play.  At least something like this.  With these  Pokémon out for so long, and now spawning again at increased rates, it would really make the game fun if there was a big challenge in rounding out your Pokédex with these evolutions.  Making up 20% of the Sinnoh Pokémon it would be a real let down if all I had to do is run through my Pokémon and just evolve them all consecutively.

This is only the first wave and it will be interesting to see how the remaining waves are introduced into the game in the coming months.

For now I will simply sit and lament my 98% Chansey which I’d hope to evolve into a killer Blissey.  It’s looking more and more likely that it may never live to see the full potential I’d hope for it.

RIP, Pure Bliss.  2018-2018.

 

Led Zeppelin’s “IV” (8-bit Full Album Cover)

This is an album that was introduced to me by a close friend as I began to dive deeper into learning about classic rock.  Everyone had an older brother or friends that was a little ahead of the curve and would broaden their horizons with such albums.  The scene in “School of Rock” where Jack Black teaches the kids about about rock and roll history is not that far off.

Click above to listen on YouTube.

Download “IV” on Google Play for Free!