Feb 23, 2017 - Pokemon    No Comments

My First Pokemon Card 

Ok, well…not my first but the one that got me into this mess. 

I’ve been a card collector since 1987- I took several years off from time to time but always came back to it…everything EXCEPT gaming cards! I would collect sports cards, movie, music, Garbage Pail Kids…any cards I could get my hands on, but I didn’t get gaming cards and didn’t bother with them.

During my teenage/young adult years, I would buy entire collections at flea markets or yard sales and sometimes Pokemon cards would be in there….I thought Pikachu was cute so I kept a few of those but I would sell the others because I had no interest. 

About 5 years ago, I got back into trading cards and quickly realized the bottom had dropped out and most of the cards I had in my collection was worthless, so I started Commons4Kids and started giving my commons to kids around KY.

Around the same time, my son started getting into Pokemon cards- he didn’t play the game but the cards were kid friendly and he thought they were cute and I really wanted him to get into trading cards so I was all for it. He was strictly Pokemon though…he hated every other trading card, so my only option was just to donate most of them. An addition was that, if he got doubles, I could add them to donations and help teach him about charity. 

He would talk about Pokemon all of the time and show me cards but I still wasn’t really into it….then he brought me a card and told me that it looked like us, so I put it in some plastic and put it on my shelf. I still wasn’t into Pokemon but it was a cute card and there was a lot of meaning behind him giving it to me, so it become special.

Fast forward several years and he loves Pokemon…..then Pokemon GO comes out and I downloaded it for him, quickly realizing that it was amazing so I started playing and he played on his mom’s phone. Eventually, we got him a phone so we could all play. We also realized that the codes in his Pokemon packs were actually for an online game, which he showed no interest in…so I set it up just to see what it was. I already have the Topps Digital Cards on my phone and just figured it was another way to collect them….and it was, sort of. You use the codes to get packs to actually play the game online! 

Soooooo many codes we just tossed because we had no clue…it makes me cry now that I think about it. (RIP all the digital Shaymin’s from Roaring Skies that went into the trash….)

SO…long story short, I started trying to learn to play the game and the more I played the more I got addicted and, now…here I am….PokeMaster sharkAchu. 

Well…PokeApprentice maybe? PokeNotGreatAtTheGameButHighlyEnjoyIt maybe??? 

Who knows…

It’s an amazing lifestyle- it’s not JUST a game…it’s a way of life and it’s WAY better than just stressing on Trump destroying the world. 

Now, the card was Ursaring from Legendary Treasures and it’s extremely cute and does look like my son and I. As far as the card being played in a deck, it’s not that great of a card….4 energy (or 2 DCE) with only a chance of doing 0-150 damage isn’t really great. That much energy to flip zero heads and hit for nothing would be heartbreaking! I could see it being used to maybe discard a few Teddiursas and using the Picnic Weather attack to bring them back to your bench with some energy to build up another Ursaring with better attacks. 

Either way, the card is really cute and all sparkly and that is always awesome!

I did happen to catch one in the wild on the night that Generation 2 was released in Pokemon GO with decent stats and I’ve powered him up to full power and even put him in a few gyms. Easily in the top 5 of my favorite Pokemon.

If you play, add me – SharkyHitchens! 

Love, Peace and Sharkyness!

Feb 16, 2017 - Pokemon    No Comments


My world changes almost daily…the things I was into last week is probably not the things I’m into this week with the exception of a few things- my wife, trading cards and my love for Jennifer Aniston. 

There are things I have remained into but they come and go in intensity like darts, wrestling, Lego Mini Figures, POP figures, video games, etc. 

I got into something several months ago and honestly, I see it becoming one of those things that never goes away; as the kids would said…”it’s life.” (yes, I’m still #nWo4Life as well)

My son has been into Pokemon cards for years now, not so much playing the game but actually collecting the cards, which works for me because I run an international trading card charity that donates trading cards to kids. I didn’t care that much to buy cards for my son because all duplicates went directly into donations so it was a win/win.

Then along came Pokemon GO and we started playing that as a family- going out and driving around or getting some MUCH needed walking in and it was a game that we could all play, regardless of our skill level and something we could do as a family. Sure, we could set around and play board games but why not get out into the world!

Pokemon came out 20 years ago and I never gave a crap about it; I was into sports cards and thought stuff like Magic The Gathering and Pokemon was just stupid, pointless and worthless. (One of my life’s biggest regrets!)

I was buying Pokemon cards for my son and he was talking about Pokemon stuff constantly and he would show me a card and I would be like “eh, that is pretty cool.” Then we realized what code cards were…we had just been throwing them away, but we learned that we could set up an account and use them to get a digital pack of Pokemon cards that you can collect and use to play online…so why toss them? We could also donate those to kids who play online or use them as prizes!

We started building up a decent amount of online cards, his collection was growing and all the duplicates allowed us to be able to give Pokemon cards to kids that we saw out walking around playing…suddenly, this little hobby was doing a ton of things! We even donated a ton of Pokemon cards to charity events that focused on kids and Pokemon GO.

I started playing Pokemon online, learning to build decks and using some of our collection to build real life decks that my son and I play against each other. 

Now…I’m pretty hooked- I’ve been watching YouTube channels like crazy, learning about every card and decks and the best way to play them and it is amazing. 

Now, I’m not great…probably not even good…but I do consider myself an average to decent player. I’ve never been to any real life competitions and I’m still learning….which at almost 40 years old, probably makes me one of the oldest newbies in the game but I highly recommend getting your kids into this amazing hobby. I also recommend getting your parents and grandparents into it as well!!! Everyone can play!

It can be expensive and that sucks but it’s amazing on so many levels and a great way to offset the money you put into the hobby is to donate your doubles. I know that if I buy a booster box for $100, I’m going to get a few cards to add to my collection, a ton of online cards and a TON of duplicates to put into future donations. For me, when you add all of that value, it’s a no brainer! We are already up to about 1500 cards to donate just from OUR collection. In all honesty, we don’t get many Pokemon card donations (about 1 per year) but that is why it’s so amazing; MY donations area a great way to offset all of the sports cards we get and it allows us to get Pokemon cards to younger kids or kids who just aren’t into sports. 

On top of all of this, it allows me to understand the donations my charity gets and allows me to be able to keep our promise, as far as Pokemon cards. When someone donates a card with a book value of $25 or more…we contact them to send it back because we don’t want to rip anyone off. In the past, I made it very clear that I had NO clue about those types of cards so people were donating at their own risk. (If uou donate Magic The Gathering cards or other gaming cards, you are still on your own because I don’t know anything about them and have no plans to learn. Sorry.)

Pokemon is a HUGE hobby, from cards to video games to stuffed animals. YES, I have my two favorite Pokemon setting by my side of the bed- Cubone and Pikachu! (and yes…I’m almost 40 years old…which leads me to my next section of this post!)

I’m almost 40 years old and I play Pokemon TCG and a lot of people can get really disrespectful about that. Let’s get a few things out there- I’m happily married and have been with my wife for going on 14 years. We have a 10 year old son that has more than he needs and we both have full time jobs. I haven’t lived with my mom since I graduated high school, I’ve never gotten government assistance and I’ve had the same job for almost 12 years- even winning an “Outstanding Employee Award” a few weeks ago. 

Basically, I’m not a jobless, lowlife that lives in his parents basement and the folks that I know, who do play Pokemon, aren’t either. 

On top of all of that, I have found a way to take the hobbies that I love and use them to hopefully make the world a better place through my trading card charity- I have figured out a way to do what I love and help others and a way to not feel like I’m just wasting money.

I would call myself a successful adult….and yet “I’m an adult who plays children’s games!”

The Pokemon TCG is basically poker meets chess (I was in the chess club in middle school) and I don’t think many people would make fun of an “adult chess player.”

Not only do you have to be good at math and pretty smart overall to be a decent Pokemon player, you have to constantly have your mind going…honestly, it’s WAY more complex than chess.

But the bonuses continue…at least for me- there is a ton of stress relief in sorting cards, coming up for deck ideas, just wasting a stress free hour or two playing and bringing smiles to kids by handing out Pokemon cards randomly.

So far, the people I have dealt with or watched play have been awesome people and the folks we have met through Pokemon GO have seemed very welcoming and friendly. I went to my first card shop in YEARS and picked up some Pokemon cards (for myself and donation) and those people were extremely friendly.

There is NO downside to Pokemon…unless maybe my son and I drive my wife nuts….but other than that- NONE. The only downside for a regular person would be the cost, but I have taken care of that by donating duplicates to kids. 

YOU can do that too.

Please understand that we LOVE getting your donations but you don’t have to send them to us…YOU can donate your Pokemon cards to kids. Pokemon is HUGE right now, and while we can find homes for all the Pokemon cards we get donated, it’s really easy to find homes in your area as well.

If you play Pokemon GO….keep some cards with you to hand out to kids you see playing- every single kid we have handed cards to have been ecstatic! 

I’m almost 40 years old and have NO shame in saying that I’m working towards becoming a Pokemon Master! 

If you play the Pokemon TCGO- feel free to add me- SharkyHitchens. Maybe we can play a couple games or just chit chat about new sets coming out.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness

Simple – Do Better

What do you do when you fail?

In the past, most of the time, I turned that fail into more fails and then basically just giving up. Sure, it always seems like I’m “trying to lose weight” and I try to walk every day I work but then I go home and eat everything I can, go wild while getting groceries and buy all the candy or my wife and I go out to eat over and over and over again. I’m always aware that I should be doing better but I let failures just pile up until I’ve gained all of my weight back and usually, then some.

It’s safe to say that this weekend was a failure – I let a “cheat” meal turn into some candy, ice cream and eating out twice- all while telling myself “you already screwed up, why not continue?”

I only lost a couple of pounds last week and I got a little frustrated and thought a cheat meal would kick things back in and went overboard.

Then, I stayed up too late last night and didn’t start “phase 3” of my plan but I did get up at the correct time, I was just too tired to try to do fasted cardio.

So….time to replan a little and try to get back up from a failing weekend-

-force myself to wake up at 5:30am
-continue to eat healthier and find tasty recipes that we actually like
-continue to walk three times throughout the day
-continue to exercise at least 5 days a week

I need to plan to start fasted cardio BY Monday….hopefully one day this week, but rearranging my sleeping schedule is hard.

I would REALLY like to be below 400 lbs. by my 39th birthday on March 3rdand then around 250 lbs by my 40thbirthday.

The weekend is over, it wasn’t great but I need to focus.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness

Jan 16, 2017 - Recipes    No Comments


One of my favorite sandwiches of all time is the Classic Reubens but the bread kills it and so does drowning in too much Thousands Island. 

Today, I came up with the “Reubfin”… Basically just a breadless Reuben! It was incredible and really takes care of that craving and it only has 3 carbs and a ton of protein. 

I heated up 4 oz of Corned Beef, threw a piece of Swiss cheese on there and a pile of sauerkraut and just lightly drizzled Thousand Island. 

Love, Peace and Sharkyness

I Got This

10 full days into it and I gotta say, it’s going pretty good. I seem to be in one of those spots where I can just do it without thinking about it and the cravings aren’t that bad- I try and try and can’t make it a single day without binging and then BOOM, I can just do it…for whatever reason. I may do it for a few weeks, months or even over a year but that urge to binge always comes back, that is what I need to focus on for the future.

The first 10 days, I’ve dropped 16 lbs since my starting weight and 21 lbs over all from my highest weight. I’ve built up time on the bike and lowered my time for walking 4 laps at work, by almost 1 minute.

The new pants I got are already getting lose, shirts are fitting better and today I noticed an upkick in the energy I had.

I got up at 5:30am this morning and actually rolled out of bed at 5:45am and got to work 15 minutes early; I’m trying to get myself into the habit of waking up at 5:30am so I can start fasted cardio on Monday- first 15 minutes and then hopefully build up to 30 minutes before I hop in the shower.

I’ve been able to cut my carbs by about half of what I was normally getting (on a healthy day) and by a ton more from what I was getting on a non-healthy day. I’m still eating too much carbs but the wife and I are trying new foods and new ways to cut carbs- we can’t and don’t want to just go from 100+ to just zero overnight plus I don’t think that would even be possible because a lot of the stuff we eat have carbs so we are trying to find replacements.

This week I’m focusing on getting up at 5:30am and cutting carbs where I can.

Next week is going to be focused on adding fasted cardio and weight lifting three days a week.

Hopefully, by adding thinks I want to do by stages, I’ll be into a daily routine by 02.01.2017….I have about 13.5 months before I hit the big 4-0!

I really want to be under 300 lbs by 03.03.2018 (actually shooting for 290 lbs.) I would still have about 50 lbs. to hit my target but losing that much may led to skin removal surgery. I’m going to try to use resistance ropes/weights to help tone loss skin and build muscle so hopefully surgery isn’t required.

I got this….one wave at a time.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness