Re: “Why did you move to Las Vegas?”

Exactly two months ago, on March 20, I moved from Southern California to Las Vegas. Those who were aware of my plans weren’t completely surprised, while others who weren’t expecting it got very confused, but in both circumstances, a common question has been “why?” Most of my family is still back in Illinois where I grew up, a lot of my friends and co-workers are still staying in California, and I know next to nobody who already lives in Las Vegas, so it was (reasonably) strange for me to get up and move to a different state.

So, I decided to try and clarify things a bit better in this blog post, so the next time someone asks me, I can just link them to this page instead of going through the story all over again.

First of all, it’s important to understand a few things about me as a person that are very different than the general population:

  1. I don’t commute to an office for work. I have the great fortune of having a dream job with complete flexibility in the work I do, when I work, and from where I work. As a result, I’m not bound to a particular location for my job – wherever I choose to live becomes my home office.
  2. I am on the extreme end of self-reliance. I do not depend on my friends or family for support, neither financially nor emotionally.
  3. I find peace and comfort in solitude. I am also on the extreme end of introversion and prefer to be alone; all of my longings for human interaction are already satisfied through the Internet.

However, contrary to what those points may imply, I did not intentionally move here by myself just for the sole purpose of running away and being alone.

Instead, here are the real reasons why I moved, in order of influence:

  • Lower cost of living

    When I lived in Corona, CA, I lived in a 27-year-old apartment building in a tiny one-bedroom unit that cost approximately $1,400/mo. (with elec­tric­i­ty, gas, Internet, and other utilities paid separately) – and this was actually a gold mine of a deal. Anything cheaper than that would only be found in terrible-quality neighborhoods with a lower household income and higher crime rate. For those who aren’t familiar, Corona is on the east side of the Santa Ana mountains… go farther west closer to the ocean and rent prices continue to skyrocket.

    On the other hand, I pay $1,570/mo. in Las Vegas, which numerically is a higher price… but I live in a newly-constructed luxury building on the upper-most floor with vast suburb and mountain views. Some of the amenities include a clubhouse with game rooms, a massage room, and a private movie theater; a pool with a waterfall and fountains; a gym; a rooftop lounge with a barbecue and fire pit; a Starbucks coffee machine; and free breakfast everyday. The rent price includes the cost of gas, water, sewer, trash, cable TV, and Internet. Considering that I don’t have to pay all those extra bills, my net living expenses have actually declined, and I’m still getting astronomically more value.

    Cost of living also extends beyond just what I pay for my apartment – the price of food in the Las Vegas suburbs is noticeably cheaper, up to the point where I feel like I’m paying generic California Walmart prices for food items of much higher quality. Even the cost of ride­sharing is cheaper here – I can easily get around with Uber in Las Vegas for far cheaper (although a portion of that is attributed to the fact that Las Vegas is also a whole lot smaller than the entire Los Angeles and Orange County areas).

    And of course, there’s always the possibly of getting a random discount by showing your Las Vegas driver’s license. Because Las Vegas thrives off its tourists, there are a lot of places that provide locals’ discounts to show appreciation for and unity with those who call Las Vegas their home.

  • Esports proximity

    Although Los Angeles will probably eternally be the main hub for esports, I personally think Las Vegas will be a secondary hub. Las Vegas is already considered to be the live entertainment capital of the world, and as esports and professional gaming becomes more mainstream, it feels only natural for it to have a bigger presence in Las Vegas. Although the opening of Esports Arena Las Vegas and Caesars Entertainment’s part­ner­ship with the H1Z1 Pro League are just two examples, I feel like many more instances like this are going to pop up soon.

    Of course, being a member of the esports and entertainment industry myself via Tempo Storm, I wanted to get a head start in having a physical presence in a location I presume will have a lot of relevant events. A majority of Tempo Storm staff lives in Southern California while the re­main­der lives spread out in random parts of the world, so I was the first one to step foot into Las Vegas with an intent to find a residence and expand Tempo Storm’s physical reach.

    This actually has already proven quite helpful. I had initially made the decision to move to Las Vegas prior to knowing Tempo Storm would be participating in the H1Z1 Pro League in part­ner­ship with Caesars Entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip, so it was very convenient for me to be local to this area during the process of setting up the new team house and coordinating with players as they arrived from across the United States and Canada.

    As for events in Los Angeles, as well as Tempo Storm’s (relatively) new production studio in Hollywood, Las Vegas is just a quick 44-minute flight to Bob Hope Hollywood Burbank Airport in Burbank, CA, so for events that are still taking place in the Los Angeles area, I am a convenient distance away such that I’m still able to make it in person without any intensive travel days.

  • Safest area from natural disasters

    I grew up in Illinois and received my undergraduate degree after studying in Wisconsin, and I literally never want to see snow in person ever again. After being pummeled by snowstorm after blizzard, I wouldn’t mind if I never really saw anything fall from the sky ever again in general. It does, in very rare circumstances, snow in Las Vegas too, but I feel like the miraculous nature of there being snow in the middle of the desert would offset the fact that I have to see snow again, so I’m fine with that. Also, tornadoes. There is a tornado season in Illinois and Wisconsin, but nothing close to that in Las Vegas.

    As for Southern California, we all know that the long-overdue catastrophic earthquake nicknamed “The Big One” is about to strike at any mo­ment. Residents who have lived in California all their lives have gotten desensitized to earthquakes, but it’s actually a real threat to that area, and I personally think anyone living there who doesn’t have to live there (e.g., for their job, family, etc.) is either ignorant or stupid.

    Why invest in a property and raise your family in an area that is expected to crumble due to its relatively soft soil, causing an estimated $200 BILLION in damage? Unless every single seismologist in the world is incorrect, the big earthquake will eventually strike, setting off a chain of fires and splitting outbound interstates into pieces.

    I’m the type of person who values safety, security, reliability, and predictability. I keep over half a year’s worth of living expenses in a fluid savings account in addition to more long-term investments for big purchases and retirement; I literally pay hundreds of dollars a month for health in­sur­ance so I know I won’t go bankrupt if something devastating happens to me. Being that kind of person, there is absolutely no way I’m even taking a sliver of a risk of losing everything to an earthquake that every scientist says is coming soon.

    Beyond just that, a lot of tech companies have been in the news for moving a lot of their servers and facilities to Las Vegas due to the fact that it is the area of the United States least prone to natural disasters. Sure, we definitely do get torrential downpours of rain around 10 times a year, and it does sometimes get extremely windy, but those are weather effects that are on a completely different level than debilitating blizzards, destructive tornadoes, or high-magnitude earthquakes.

  • No state income tax

    Having built up quite the online presence prior to working with Tempo Storm, I have some passive income that comes in to me for being an independent contractor with programs such as Google AdSense and Amazon Associates. Income taxes for independent contractors are particularly punishing because they end up paying “both ends” of the tax – including the portion that the employer would normally pay for full-time em­ploy­ees. Because Nevada doesn’t have state income tax, I get to keep a large chunk of my income just for living in Las Vegas that I would other­wise have to give to the government.

    I do end up having to pay more in sales tax – I paid 7.75% while living in Corona, while sales tax here in Las Vegas is 8.25% due to a noticeably higher county sales tax – but the 0.5% is negligible compared to how much I end up saving in income tax. I also end up avoiding sales tax anyway because I make a majority of my purchases online on Amazon.

  • Opportunity fell into place

    The existence of my current working situation (work-from-home, which I explain more above), plus the timing of the end of my one-year lease in Corona and the fact that I was able to spend my in-between time at a Tempo Storm team house, all made this move fall into place. Those items made the move possible, but what sealed the deal was the fact that I found this particular apartment complex.

    I’m the type of person who spends a lot of money on items that I use regularly and refuses to buy items that I know I won’t use much. As a result, I didn’t really want to purchase a vehicle (though I would have if I had to). When I rented a car and drove to Las Vegas to do apartment tours, I found this particular apartment (in which I live right now) that was on the upper echelons of quality, but also had everything I needed in walking distance. As a result, I didn’t need to buy a car (and I still don’t have one) because I’m able to easily walk to the grocery store and tons of different restaurants, as well as a hardware store, crafts store, and a Walmart for anything else I can’t find. In the situations where I do need a car to go somewhere relatively far, there is even literally a car rental location within walking distance from my apartment.

    Thus, I was able to live exactly where I wanted, avoid having to own a car, and move here without having to pay any penalties or struggle to make things work – this rounded out the plan and finalized the deal.

To round out this explanation, I also want to address some misconceptions about Las Vegas that people brought up to me when I said I was moving here:

  • The hot weather is not that bad

    People who just associate “desert” with “hot” don’t quite realize what exactly the weather is like in Las Vegas. In fact, just purely out of temperature degrees, on average compared to where I used to live in California, Las Vegas is hotter for 4 months out of the year, about the same for 4 months out of the year, and actually colder for 4 months out of the year. Just because it’s the desert doesn’t mean it is always blisteringly painfully hot.

    It actually feels less hot in Las Vegas than it does in other areas at the same temperature due to the extremely low humidity. Las Vegas is the least humid city in all of the United States, and as such, the air will absorb the sweat off your skin very quickly, leaving you feeling cool and dry. Of course, this does mean that you have to drink an absurdly large amount of water on a daily basis, but because the sweat doesn’t linger on your skin like it does in excessively humid areas, the heat here doesn’t make you feel as uncomfortable.

    On top of that, it actually gets chilly very early in the morning. The coolest time in Las Vegas tends to be right before the sun rises, and during those hours, the average temperature lingers around 40°F during the winter and the upper 70s during the summer. Yes, even on days where it may reach over 100°F during the afternoon, there is a high chance it will dip down to around 80°F right before the sun comes up. That literally means that, excluding maybe July, you can literally open your window in the mornings and turn off your air conditioner for a bit.

  • It’s not constant parties

    I personally hate parties. I find them overstimulating, and I’d rather relax and spend a quiet night at home. If someone invites me to a party for a particularly monumental event or occasion, I will often still decline the invitation, then instead invite them out for a nice dinner or a private trip/vacation afterwards. Because of this, most people are wondering why I’m moving to a place where, according to them, there are non-stop parties everywhere.

    Like nearly every major city, there is a suburban location surrounding Las Vegas that is very different than the Las Vegas Strip. Now for Las Vegas, the difference is that the address even out in the suburbs is still “Las Vegas, NV,” but the environment out in Summerlin South where I live is completely different than the environment on the Strip.

    If you’re referring to the Strip as a constant party, you would be correct – the Strip is a tourist attraction and there are multiple parties per­ma­nent­ly taking place night and day. However, the farther you go out into the suburbs, the more it begins looking like a regular town; if you drive out as far as where I currently live and don’t look at any street signs, chances are that you might even confuse it with any suburb in California (though you may notice a substantial lack of natural grass in Las Vegas).

    The grocery stores, restaurants, and even the huge Walmart here reminds me quite a bit of the area where I used to live in Corona. The one funny thing about my area is that there is literally a McDonald’s with a rotating sign (as in, the golden arches are literally spinning around 20 feet in the air), and I feel like that is a very Las Vegas-esque thing, but other than that, all the buildings look very “normal.”

  • You (or at least I) will not ruin your (my) life

    Las Vegas is often the place people go to smoke, drink alcohol, get high on drugs, watch stripper shows, and gamble away all their money – it didn’t get its nickname of “Sin City” for no reason. However, again, similar to the section about parties, that all takes place on the Strip, and it’s pretty peaceful out here in the suburbs. Now, it is actually true that there are slot machines even in grocery stores, but in my personal experience, I rarely ever see them being used, and when they are, it’s only by older people who seem to be in their 70s or above.

    But you may be asking, “Adam, you can easily Uber to the Strip to partake in such activities, what’s stopping you from doing that?” The answer to that would be… disinterest. I am completely drug-free (including cigarettes and alcohol), I have no interest in viewing stripper shows, and I absolutely refuse to gamble because I’m too logical. So, although Las Vegas could be the place people come to ruin their lives, I feel as if I’m particularly immune to that issue.

Although this seems incredibly in-depth, this only scratches the surface of the amount of research and thinking I did before making the decision to move here; I just summarized it into the key points to avoid writing a post so long that nobody would ever read it. To put things into perspective, I’ve literally gone on Google Maps street view and “drove” around a massive portion of the Las Vegas suburbs, and while researching for key information, I literally went to page 4 on Google results… and I have my Google search results set up to display 100 results on each page.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments of this blog post (or just ask me directly if I sent you to this page), and I’ll try my best to answer them based off the research I did prior to moving here, as well as the experiences I’ve had while living here.

 

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H1Z1 Pro League, Week 5

Although I’m local to the H1Z1 Pro League in Las Vegas, I haven’t regularly been attending the live event because I’m not actually able to watch the games without getting motion sickness. This is also the reason I can’t play or watch first-person shooter games either – the rapidly-shaking player point-of-view makes me dizzy. Although I haven’t been officially diagnosed, it’s very similar to sopite syndrome, where I feel unwell when exposed to excess horizontal motion – both literally (in cars and planes) and virtually (in FPS games).

But, with that being said, the last time I went to the Arena to see the team was back in late April during the premier of the league (though I have seen the players on multiple occasions since then, just not in the Arena). I wanted to snap some new photos of them, seeing as the only photos we had was when there was partial construction going on in the background, so I headed over to Caesar’s Entertainment Studios for Week 5 of the games during rehearsal (I left before the actual games started).

Since then, the stadium has been improved a substantial amount (though that opinion may or may not be biased because Twin Galaxies messed up VIP access for the premier and a lot of people were denied access to the VIP area because some random actress who I had never heard of was in the VIP section and her escorts were apparently being uncooperative – the stadium might have just looked better this time because I was actually able to enter the VIP area with the couches).

H1PL at Twin Galaxies Sports Arena in Caesar's Entertainment Studios

H1PL at Twin Galaxies Sports Arena in Caesar's Entertainment Studios

H1PL at Twin Galaxies Sports Arena in Caesar's Entertainment Studios

Tempo Storm H1Z1 team

(Full photo album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157669060686858)

 

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My tour of the Blizzard Arena in Burbank

This past weekend, Blizzard and their Heroes of the Storm team invited me out to do press/media coverage for Heroes of the Dorm, an annual collegiate tournament where teams from colleges and universities across the United States and Canada compete to crown a champion who will receive tuition for their college careers.

Last year, Heroes of the Dorm was at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, but since then, Blizzard set up the Blizzard Arena, their own studio in Burbank, CA near Hollywood. The Blizzard Arena is a full-blown production studio and stadium, and part of the media day leading into Heroes of the Dorm was an Arena tour.

The Arena was actually pretty amazing, and people who actually know me well know that I don’t really give out compliments too often, and even when I do, the word “amazing” usually doesn’t get thrown around too often. The media group got to see all the behind-the-scenes production rooms and equipment, as well as the different stages used for different games. Luckily, I had clearance to take photographs of everything.

Blizzard Arena

Blizzard Arena

Blizzard Arena

Blizzard Arena

Blizzard Arena

Blizzard Arena - Skybox

(Full 2018 Heroes of the Dorm album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157691099653260)

 

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I’m still probably the world’s unluckiest traveler

I have notoriously bad travel experiences that you’ve probably heard about if you’ve read my blog before. Pretty much every time I leave my home and go to the airport to go to an event, something ridiculous happens after a culmination of misfortune.

This past weekend, I went to Burbank, CA for Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm collegiate tournament, Heroes of the Dorm. Blizzard flew me out to do press and media coverage, and they offered travel and lodging, so I still accepted and attended the event, even though I’m not a huge fan of traveling.

When I received a link to book my flight, the travel overlords noticed that I was about to travel again, and began their wrath.

 
It started out pretty simple – the travel agency’s website stopped working and gave me an error message that I couldn’t get around. So, instead of booking my flight normally, I had to speak with a customer service representative at the agency to get my flight booked. That was fine, though – I’m pretty experienced with travel, and I was able to find a good Southwest Airlines flight non-stop from Las Vegas to Hollywood Burbank that our travel agent was able to book for me.

Surprisingly, the flight to Burbank was pretty decent. This was my first time on Southwest Airlines, and although the cabin of their planes wasn’t really that great, I was pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness and efficiency of their open seating policy. Instead of picking a seat prior to my flight, I had to stand in line to get on the plane, then seating was done on a first-come first-served basis. Apparently nobody wanted the exit row seat, so I literally got a seat where there was no seat in front of me. It was literally the most leg room I’ve ever had on a flight.

Once I arrived in Burbank, I discovered that my shuttle wasn’t there. Apparently, the travel agency only had shuttles available at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) (because that’s the airport to which everyone else was flying), and not at Burbank (which is a smaller airport that doesn’t service as many other airlines). So, instead of making a huge deal out of it, I just called my own Uber to the hotel, as I didn’t want to add extra work to the travel coordinator who was already running all over LAX to organize rides.

In the process of figuring this out, the travel agency found out that my shuttle had not been booked properly, and they ensured me that I would have a ride provided to me from my hotel to Hollywood Burbank Airport on my way back home. I told them it wasn’t a big deal at all, as I’m very familiar with travel logistics (seeing as I usually tend to book my own travel due to my preference of customization), but told them I appreciate the ride they will organize. Not long later, I received an email letting me know that a shuttle will arrive at 10:30 AM at the hotel to take me to the airport.

 
After the conclusion of the event, Sunday came around and it was time to go home. I had everything packed up and ready to go at 10:20 AM and I was outside the hotel where the shuttle had picked us up the two prior days to take us to the Arena – I figured that was just the designated pick-up spot, and thought it would be the best place to wait. Unfortunately, the shuttle never showed up.

About 15 minutes after the expected arrival time of the shuttle, I went into the group Discord server for Heroes of the Dorm travel logistics and asked what was going on. A different member of the press let me know that the 10:30 AM shuttle was actually at the Hilton hotel, which was several hundred feet away from the Marriott where I was saying. I thanked him for the information and started walking over when I realized I should probably check the shuttle’s destination – I asked again where that particular 10:30 AM shuttle was headed… and he said it was going to LAX. So, that wasn’t actually my shuttle.

I walked back to the Marriott and checked in with the travel agency one more time before just calling my own Uber, when a representative told me to stay waiting at the Marriott because she was calling me an Uber. I stood and waited for another 10-15 minutes when the agent let me know that a Honda was at the front door waiting to get me.

I roamed around the hotel for a while looking for this Honda, but couldn’t find it; I messaged back in the group chat that unless this particular Honda had a Kia badge (which was the only other car at the front of this hotel), the Uber was not in fact ready to pick me up. I checked in with her to make sure she had sent the Uber to the correct hotel, and… you guessed it, she sent the Uber to the Hilton instead of the Marriott.

I quickly messaged back letting her know that it was no problem, the Hilton was close by in walking distance, and I would jog over there to catch the Uber. However, the agent told me that she would contact the driver to head to the correct hotel, and before I could stop her, she had already let the driver know of the new pick-up address. I planted my feet and waited some more.

The Hilton is literally a block or so away from the Marriott – literally joggable in about a minute. The Uber must’ve gotten catastrophically lost, because he didn’t show up for 8 minutes. But, he ended up making it – after 8 minutes, the Honda showed up at the front of the Marriott.

I got in and let him know that I was headed to Bob Hope Hollywood Burbank Airport… upon which he informed me that he had to cancel the ride because he doesn’t have his permit to conduct rides to and from the airport. If you’re not familiar with Uber, rides to and from the airport are regulated more strictly and require the driver to pass a quiz to earn a permit, and they’re also more expensive due to extra airport fees and taxes. Apparently this guy had already passed his quiz, which is why Uber put him into the pool of airport-eligible drivers, but he hadn’t actually received his airport permit sticker in the mail yet, so he couldn’t conduct airport rides yet.

I exploded and told him not to cancel the ride, because I had a flight to catch and I had already gone through the absurd trouble of even getting a ride at all. Because I travel to Burbank a lot for Blizzard and ESL events, I’m actually quite familiar with the area. I told him that we’re going to change the destination – we are no longer going to Bob Hope Hollywood Burbank Airport, but to Panda Express.

At first he looked a little confused, but after I explained that Panda Express is nearby the airport and I can just walk the remaining third of a mile or so to my terminal, he caught on. He successfully drove me to Panda Express, I walked into the airport, and I successfully caught and boarded my flight. No exit row seat this time though, unfortunately.

 
The plane departed Burbank and made it to Las Vegas. As we were approaching McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, I looked out the window and spotted my apartment complex. We were a little too high for comfort, though – my apartment is only about 10 miles away from the airport, but our altitude didn’t really seem like we were about to land in 10 miles. Moments later, we flew right past McCarran International Airport and continued southeast.

We kept flying quite literally to the edge of Henderson, nearly to Boulder City. I clearly wasn’t the only person who was this confused, as other passengers were staring out the windows with puzzled looks on their faces. Once we were nearly 30 miles out… the pilot decided to do a 180-degree turn straight back to the airport.

Yes, I understand that landing order and directional runways are a thing – we sometimes have to wait for different planes to land first, and sometimes runways are shut down for one reason or another and we need to land from a certain approach angle. What I’m particularly curious about is why we ended up flying an extra 30 miles off into the corner of the city, only to turn around sharply as if we only had 1 mile of turning space.

I get motion sickness pretty easily on planes and cars, but I managed to avoid motion sickness on that flight.

Until that point.

My head felt like it was about to explode, and I nearly vomited.

 
I’m alive, safe, and back home now. The tournament was great, the Blizzard Arena was awesome, and the event itself was excellent. It’s pretty rare that I actually give out generous compliments like this, but I actually really think that the Blizzard Arena is one of the best studios I’ve been in. I watched some games from the stands, and although I think the lighting and immersion could use a bit of extra work, it felt like a real stadium experience. The behind-the-scenes of the Arena is intense, and the tour I got of the production rooms was intriguing and insightful.

I just can’t wait for esports to eventually move to Las Vegas as a main hub so I don’t have to get on another unlucky plane ride.

 

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How I nearly failed my driver’s license eye exam

Earlier today, I transferred over my driver’s license from Illinois to Nevada.

Yes, I know the first question popping up in many people’s heads is why I still had an Illinois driver’s license when I moved to California in late 2016. The simplest answer for that is that I didn’t really know how long I was going to stay in California (meaning, it wasn’t exactly a “permanent” move), the address on my Illinois license was still technically a valid address of mine (as it was my parents’ home), and I determined I didn’t want to pay the extra fees to move my license when it was still valid (meaning, not expired).

However, a few days ago, I scheduled an appointment with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) so I could apply for a driver’s license transfer (in person, as required). The thing about Las Vegas in particular is that you get a whole lot of benefits (upgrades, discounts, etc.) if you’re a Las Vegas resident – it’s just something that a lot of businesses do to distinguish tourists from locals, and give the locals some perks. I’m also considering going back to school for more advanced degrees, and I want to avoid missing out on in-state local tuition rates simply because I failed to update my driver’s license.

My visit made me realize how important it is to schedule an appointment. When I showed up, the waiting list showed 142 people in line with an estimated wait time of 3 hours and 52 minutes, but because I had scheduled an appointment, I got to skip the line and immediately receive help once my time came around.

I meticulously researched this process ahead of time so I could get in and out as quickly as possible. As a result, I was overprepared with all the necessary forms filled out and documentation provided. Everything was going very smoothly… until the eye exam.

The representative asked me to look into a machine and read off the letters from left to right, starting with column 1.

I said, “Those are literally gray dots… is this a trick question?”

… She confirmed that it was not a trick question.

You see, there were three columns of text. Column #1 was composed of gray dots, column #2 was blurry but was still sort of readable (as in, I couldn’t tell the difference between a B and E or an O and D, but I knew the difference between an M and J), and column #3 was perfectly readable.

I took a quick breath, said “Okay, pretend like I didn’t say that,” then started reading the letters. I said completely random letters for column #1, took my best guesses for column #2, and read column #3 normally.

After that was finished, she said, “Your vision with corrective lenses is 20/40.”

I asked, “So did I pass?”

She said “Yes.”

I replied, “Okay, that was literally more difficult than the LSAT that I took 3 years ago.”

 

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How not to address a letter

I’ve been doing some shopping for collectables on eBay lately. I’ve never really been much of a materialistic person (and I’m still not), but I recently started collecting Absol Pokémon cards for two main reasons – the first reason being that Pokémon has had quite a significant impact on my childhood and it seemed like, if I were to collect anything, cards of my favorite Pokémon would be reasonable.

The second reason is a bit more complex. I often criticize people for being too materialistic and focusing too much on possessions, especially if these are material possessions that aren’t even used that much and serve no real function or purpose. I personally believe in spending a lot of money on items that you use often, then offsetting that extra spending by just straight-up not purchasing items that you don’t really need – this is a pretty straightforward way to enhance your quality of life.

However, I’m also under the belief that it’s very difficult to understand other people’s “strange” behaviors unless you are there in their shoes. As a result, in order to ensure that I’m not “missing out” on something simply because I’m not a collector of an item, and to make sure that I’m not making this criticism out of ignorance, I decided to partake in the activity for first-hand experience.

That explanation got quite a bit more involved than I anticipated, especially for a blog post titled “how not to address a letter.” As I mentioned moments ago, I’ve been buying very cheap Absol Pokémon cards off eBay to try and round out my collection, some of which are only available from international sellers. I found one particular foreign card offered by a German seller, so I purchased the item.

Of course, being from Germany, the seller most likely wasn’t too familiar with United States addresses. However, instead of just copying the address exactly like how I submitted it to him, he decided to apply his own unique twist:

How not to address a letter

I’ve historically complained a substantial amount about the United States Postal Service for leaving my packages in front of random, incorrect doors, or putting my mail in the wrong mailbox, but in this case, I’m genuinely impressed that an envelope addressed to “8SΛCA Las Vegan” somehow still ended up in my mailbox.

 

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H1Z1 Pro League rehearsals and welcome reception

After a long two weeks of preparation with the team house and bringing in our new players, the day is finally about to come. Our team house is finally in livable condition (though it still needs a substantial amount of additional furniture), the players are ready to perform and compete for the first show, and all the visiting Tempo Storm staff members have arrived in Las Vegas and have all gotten lodging settled.

People were originally prohibited from posting photos of the rehearsal stage to the public because they didn’t want untasteful pictures of a construction area being released (this is also why I didn’t do day-to-day vlogs with the team). However, as the stage neared completion, they lifted that ban, so I was able to snap a few photos during our team’s rehearsal:

H1Z1 Pro League - Rehearsal

H1Z1 Pro League - Rehearsal

In celebration of the premier of the H1Z1 Pro League, Twin Galaxies set up a welcome reception atop the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in the VooDoo Lounge. Although I’m not really a fan of parties, I still attended for the sake of getting some free food and taking photos of the Las Vegas Strip from a really tall building. Our Chief Business Development Officer and one of our social media specialists also came along, so I attended to accompany them as well.

We arrived early enough that the sun was still up and we were able to see the buildings. This is a photo facing southeast from the Masquerade Tower at the Rio; the most notable buildings present are those composing CityCenter, as well as the Panorama Towers and the Martin beside it:

Las Vegas - CityCenter, Panorama Towers, The Martin

After-the-fact, I realized that I probably should’ve brought along my tripod and set up my camera for a time lapse of the sunset and all the lights coming on, but unfortunately, I didn’t think of that idea early enough. Instead, I just have photos from after sunset – this next photo is at a similar view southeast; the one following it shows the more northern side of the Strip:

Las Vegas CityCenter at night

Las Vegas Strip at night

One of the Rio’s attractions is the VooDoo Zipline that extends from the top of the Masquerade Tower all the way to the Ipanema Tower. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch anyone riding it, and I wasn’t really too interested in riding it myself, but this is what it looks like:

IMG_1782

(Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157694126820331)

 

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The H1Z1 Pro League is coming

I think saying that April has been and will be a busy month is a catastrophic understatement. With Tempo Storm setting up a brand new team house in Las Vegas, the prep and opening week of the H1Z1 Pro League, Ninja’s Fortnite event at Esports Arena Las Vegas, a ton of people coming in from Southern California to Las Vegas for these events, the new Hearthstone expansion The Witchwood and two new Meta Snapshots in two different languages to go along with it, plus a massive change to Tempo Storm’s operations division, my schedule is going to be pretty packed.

With the H1Z1 Pro League being the biggest thing coming up for me right now, I’ve been traveling back and forth from my apartment to the Las Vegas Strip to take care of incoming players and attend H1PL-related events and seminars. Yesterday was the official induction of all 75 new competitors into the H1PL during the orientation.

H1Z1 Pro League Orientation

H1Z1 Pro League Orientation

H1Z1 Pro League Orientation

And of course, at this point, it wouldn’t be a real Adam Parkzer blog post without some food photos … this was some of the catering they had for the attendees (couldn’t get photographs of everything because a lot of it was in covered containers right up until people started grabbing at the food):

H1Z1 Pro League Orientation - Catering

H1Z1 Pro League Orientation - Catering

H1Z1 Pro League Orientation - Catering

(Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157665766074197)

 

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