Charlie, my son and I are flying out of San Francisco, CA (SFO) tomorrow at 7:18 AM an arriving in St. Louis, MO (STL) at 3:13 PM.
Charlie will be competing in the Pokemon U.S. National Championship. This is the single largest tournament for the card came of Pokemon each year. Last year saw roughly 1,000 players compete in Columbus, OH. There are three age divisions, Juniors for the little guys roughly 11 and under, Seniors (where Charlie will compete) for the kids roughly 12 to 15 years old, and Masters which sees 16 year olds compete with grey hairs like me.
Each of the contestants is playing for fun. The contestants also wouldn’t mind winning. There are some great prizes including up to $5,000 in scholarship money, a paid invitation to compete in the World Championship, a special Pokemon branded Nintendo DSi, and a gorgeous trophy – there’s more, but you aren’t playing so why bore you, suffice it to say, Pokemon players would not mind finishing well.
I will be one of 7 judges in the Junior Division, ensuring the players follow the rules and ensuring fair play. I am thrilled to be able to work a Nationals as part of the invited staff. My flight and room are being picked up by Pokemon and they are giving me a little stipend to help with food and incidentals. I used frequent flyer miles to get Charlie to St. Louis, so this trip is costing us very little.
I will miss Friday’s announcement by Murphy-Goode Winery of their Top 50 candidates from the 1993 applicants for A Really Goode Job, I will be working events in St. Louis. I hope to see my video application picked as one of the top 50. Mathematically, I have about a 2.5% chance of making the cut. I know my knowledge of the area, Sonoma County, that Murphy-Goode wants described is superior to virtually everyone who has entered, as is my wine knowledge. I am uniquely positioned as someone who was paid to market Sonoma County and it’s wines, and have been awarded three consecutive years by Exhibitor Magazine for that marketing. I figure that raises my chances a bit; but I recognize that I have many great competitors, and a goodly number have a greater web presence than I do. I’ll just have to see on Friday. The good news is that my work for Pokemon will keep me from hitting the refresh button every 5 seconds at the Murphy-Goode website.
Charlie and I fly home next Monday. I’ll probably write something about Pokemon on Tuesday. I’ll post word about the Top 50 candidates for Murphy-Goode, and whether I made that first cut, on Tuesday as well.
Last night while packing, we grabbed a piece of luggage out of the closet to throw Charlie’s clothes into. It seemed a bit musty and we opened all the zippered compartments to let it air out.
Thank God we opened all the pockets. Buried deep, nearly hidden, in a side pocket, I found a leather bandolier filled with 30.06 rifle shells and a Buck hunting knife.
I am fairly certain that our trip through airport security would have been more interesting if we hadn’t discovered the contents of what turned out to be my late Father’s weekend hunting bag.