I’m not sure if I need to exercise more, if I’m just getting older, or if this was just a random and unrelated incident that I shouldn’t really think much about, but I feel like I’m not quite as invincible as I used to be when I was younger. Tempo Storm’s PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS team is currently in Santa Clara, CA at the NVIDIA campus for a GeForce esports boot camp in preparation for Intel Extreme Masters Katowice later this month. Because one of our players lives on the other side of the country (instead of the team house), and because a different one of our players is new, I decided to quickly fly over there from Southern California for a short visit and a photo/video session with the guys. With just a few days notice, I booked a plane ticket from Long Beach Airport in Long Beach, CA to Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport in San José, CA via jetBlue Airways. I was planning on departing today (Monday, February 12, 2018) at 11:12 AM and arriving back home tomorrow (Tuesday, February 13, 2018) at 8:21 PM.
Because of something that kept me up working late into the night, I didn’t really get that much sleep. I woke up bright and early at 7:51 AM, 9 minutes before my alarm (which is sometime I tend to do often), hopped in the shower, finished packing everything up, drank a glass of water, called an Uber to LGB, then ran out the door.
When I’m not feeling well, I can usually just cope with it and hang in there until I’m able to reach a place where I can rest. However, for basically the first time in my life, I was feeling so randomly unwell that I actually had to ask my Uber driver to exit the freeway early and pull over at any location with a bathroom. He happened to pick Burger King, which was fine with me; I jogged into the bathroom while my driver sat in the parking lot waiting for me to finish being sick. Luckily, it only took a handful of minutes.
I’ve been using Uber for a really long time – since back when the concept of tipping wasn’t really a thing for Uber. Since then, the fares in general have risen, so I generally don’t tip my Uber drivers … but I figured this particular driver who let me successfully make it to a bathroom was deserving of a tip.
My entire life, I’ve always traveled via huge airports. Having originally been from the Chicagoland suburbs and traveling to Los Angeles a lot, my most traveled airports are O’Hare International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport – both huge hubs, ranking #3 and #2, respectively, in terms of the busiest airports in the United States.
You can probably imagine my surprise when I arrived at Long Beach Airport, the airport that looks more like a cruise ship museum than an airport. Because of the extra stop I had to take, I was a little bit later than I expected, so I didn’t even take a photograph and just rushed into the airport to get to my gate as quickly as possible. The fact that I have Global Entry coupled with the fact that the airport is tiny resulted in me making it to my gate about 3.5 minutes after I got out of my Uber.
This was the first time I ever boarded an airplane through an exposed ramp, rather than an enclosed boarding tube. I snapped a photo from inside the plane.
The flight was relatively uneventful, except for the fact that I wasn’t actually completely done being sick. As we were about to land, we faced a noticeable amount of turbulence, which made my dizziness return.
I obviously didn’t want to vomit on the plane, so I started vigorously massaging the fleshy part between my thumb and index finger, slightly deeper in from the webbed part – pressure point LI-4 that I thought was associated with eliminating motion sickness and nausea. I later found out that I was massaging the wrong pressure point – LI-4 relieves headaches, while it’s P6 on the inner wrist that relieves motion sickness.
Regardless, I managed not to vomit, then proceeded to exit into SJC and sit in a common area, sipping some water out of a water bottle, waiting for my body to stop spinning the world.
I miraculously made it to the NVIDIA campus without further troubles. This is also where I discovered that a lot of this might have been the result of a lack of food, as I instantly felt about 90% better after I ate a burger that was too tall for its own good.
And now, here we are. I rested a bit on a pretty comfortable couch, and snapped some photos of the very green room.
Like usual, I’ll be live posting photos I take here onto my Flickr account; here’s a link to the album I have set up for the event:
Remember a little while back when I went rock climbing with Tempo Storm’s Heroes of the Storm team? After we were done, I went back to one of the players’ apartment to film some more stuff while I was in the area. One of the segments we filmed was of Jun, the support player, cooking some Korean-style beef sirloin. I finished editing the clips together last night, and the video went live on the Tempo Storm Heroes of the Storm YouTube channel earlier today.
I’ve been playing World of Warcraft on-and-off since the Mists of Pandaria expansion. I liked the game enough that I continued with Warlords of Draenor before now playing Legion. However, one part of Draenor that I never got to that I’ve always wanted to finish up was the Draenor Pathfinder achievement. If you’re not familiar, Draenor Pathfinder is the achievement that allows you to fly in Draenor. Flying now in Draenor is basically useless because I pretty much never go back there anymore anyway unless it’s to visit the auction house or bank when my other Hearthstones are down. However, seeing as this is something I really wanted to do while the expansion content was was still current, I still had the urge to finish what I started. The reason I never finished Draenor Pathfinder is because I had a lot of trouble navigating around to find treasures and rares to get the Master Treasure Hunter and Tanaan Diplomat achievements (the latter of which was linked to getting Exalted with the Order of the Awakened). I was stuck at 55/100 for Master Treasure Hunter and Revered for Order of the Awakened for the longest time, before I got sick of seeing the reminder to finish those achievements in my task list and finally did it. I knew that the treasures were going to be tedious, but I put myself in a very patient mindset and started farming. Surprisingly, it went a lot less badly than I remembered it to be (which I later found out was because, a year ago, I had been trying to farm treasures in Spires of Arak, which was extremely difficult due to a majority of them requiring tricky tightrope navigation). During travel times, I planned out which treasures I wanted to grab, and looked them up ahead of time on WoWHead so I had an attack plan once I got there. As for reputation grinding with Order of the Awakened, I discovered the existence of an item called Medallion of the Legion, which gives 1,000 reputation with the “denizens of Draenor” (Order of the Awakened included). I ended up getting quite a bit more than the base 1,000 due to the reputation boost I got from one of my Garrison structures, as well as the racial passive boost from the fact that I am a Human in-game. These medallions cost about 7,000 gold each, but gold is a lot less valuable now than it was back in Warlords of Draenor, so I was able to drop a nice chunk of cash on these and “cheat” my way to the achievement. After taking a victory lap around my Garrison, I promptly Hearthstoned right on back to New Draenor … but I left with a sense of achievement that I finally finished this thing I started that had been subliminally nagging at me for a very long time.
I’m not a very materialistic person. In fact, I’m actually quite the opposite – I like to cut down on my possessions to only the essentials. I’m pretty lucky I’m like that, because I’ve moved four times in the past 14 months. Back in November 2016, I got an opportunity to do what most other people only dream of – I got to start doing my hobby as a full-time job. With our involvement with League of Legends and Overwatch, Tempo Storm was getting two team houses, and I was offered a spot in one of the houses. I obviously seized the opportunity, which started my chain of moves, relocating from my hometown of the Chicagoland suburbs to one of the team houses. After I finished setting up the first team house and players moved in, it ended up getting full of League of Legends players, so I moved again to our other team house in December 2016. I repeated the process, setting up the other team house for our Overwatch players. During this entire process, I realized something – I am very incompatible with living with a bunch of other guys in their upper teens and low 20s. I didn’t realize how messy, dirty, and inconsiderate people could be, especially considering that I am an only child and I lived alone (without roommates) throughout all my years of university. Although I was being given free housing in the team house, I noticed it probably wasn’t worth taking it, because it was having an effect on my mental well-being, so I decided to move to my own apartment. I executed my decision the following month, moving from the second team house to my own apartment in January 2017. I was feeling better already, as having quiet, alone time is pretty important to me, and I’m on the extreme end of cleanliness and organization. I signed a one-year lease and happily lived in my apartment until today, in January 2018. Since November 2016, Tempo Storm hired a lot more people who are local to the Southern California area, and my duties shifted significantly from being an all-around administration and operations guy to focusing in specifically on editorial and digital media projects within the production division. This specific task didn’t require me to be present in person, and as a result, I was given the freedom to work from wherever I wanted. Because of the extremely high cost of living in Southern California, I decided to move away to somewhere nearby without such high prices for … pretty much everything. Thus, I decided not to renew my lease, which ends tomorrow, and to instead move to Las Vegas. I was able to pick out a new apartment complex still under construction with an ultimate-tier luxurious lifestyle, most utilities included, free breakfast, a gym/pool, and a ton of other amenities for far lower than the cost of what I was paying for a 26-year-old building in Southern California. I’m pretty picky about stuff like this, so I ended up selecting the perfect place for me … which unfortunately doesn’t get released from construction until late February or early March. I still needed to get out of my current apartment, though, because of an ending lease. Fortunately, the timing worked out so one of the team houses had a vacancy for me, so today, I moved over my stuff into a free bedroom in our team house, for the fourth move in 14 months. So yes, logically, this means that I will be moving for a fifth time in under 1.5 years once my new apartment in Las Vegas is ready. But as a result of my tedious, detail-oriented focus on picking out my next place to live, I think I’ll be staying in this particular apartment building in Las Vegas long-term (or at least until I purchase my own property). It’s been an interesting year and a half with a whole lot of moves, but I’m glad I did it – it’s not something I would otherwise do, and forcing myself into these new and different situations is always a great learning experience.
Back when YouTube was still young, being a YouTube Partner actually meant something. Not only did it allow you to add custom thumbnails and a header to your YouTube channel (back when it was more customizable), it also allowed you to make money off your videos. The only way you would be allowed to make money off your videos if it they were even worth monetizing – so being a YouTube Partner acted as validation for a lot of people. Then, for some reason, YouTube opened up its “Partner” program to … pretty much everyone. Anybody was basically able to create a YouTube channel, verify that they’re a real person, then start “making money” off the videos right off the bat. There was no build-up process to ensure that YouTube partnership was actually a prestigious title given to only reputable creators. Two days ago, YouTube posted an update on their Creator Blog titled “Additional changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) to better protect creators.” In this blog post, they said that they will be limiting access to the Partner Program only to channels with over 1,000 subscribers and over 4,000 hours of watchtime in the past year. When I read this, I was pretty excited. It seemed like YouTube was going back to ensuring that their Partner Program is actually a real special program, and not just something build straight into the “base version” of YouTube. However, after reading the comments on the post and look at people’s responses on social media, I was a bit confused at how much outrage there was about this change. I personally stopped uploading to YouTube a while back because I didn’t agree with YouTube’s visions on their website. I hated how little it seemed like they cared about their creators, with strange policies like opening up partnership and monetization to the general public being one of many contributing factors. Because of that, I haven’t really been keeping up with the newest updates to YouTube, but based off what I know, there are a few reasons why most of the people complaining about this change are wrong.
- This protects creators from losing out on money because of people reuploading their videos. Back when I was more deeply involved in YouTube, a big problem that came up with popular creators is that people would just rip videos off the creator’s channel and steal it for their own, brand new channel. This was a no-risk maneuver because they could just create a new channel and instantly be able to monetize content if a different channel got banned.
- People who have fewer than 1,000 subscribers and less than 4,000 hours of watchtime per YEAR should not even be trying to make money from YouTube. This requirement isn’t actually that high, and I sort of wish YouTube had set the bar a little bit higher. A majority of people who are enrolled in monetization are most likely making less than single-digit dollars per year, and I personally think it’s not even worth it for Google AdSense to be even keeping track of these people’s money. It’s easy for people to pretend like they’re “YouTubers,” but it’s time to snap out of it and realize that vlogging as a hobby to just friends doesn’t make them a YouTuber.
- Real creators are probably going to start making more money. YouTube has been rampant with completely random and unjustified demonetization on perfectly acceptable videos, so they need all the money they can get. By guaranteeing to advertisers that their ads will be displayed on videos from reputable channels, rather than completely random videos from insignificant, single-digit-subscriber channels, advertisers are more likely to want to invest more money, because they know their ads will have a greater impact than before.
You might’ve seen from yesterday that I went out with some of Tempo Storm’s professional gamers to an indoor rock climbing facility. After we wrapped that up, we went out to get some dinner at a restaurant the manager picked – a Japanese grill called Shin-Sen-Gumi. Because this was his event that he coordinated and put together for his players, I went along with it … and soon realized that he had picked out a peculiarly expensive restaurant. The prices were somewhat deceptive – the portion sizes were surprisingly small, some of which literally only came with three bites of meat for US$8.50. The final bill came out to be over US$382 for a party of five. After clarifying with the manager that I was absolutely not the one who had picked out this restaurant, I wished him the best of luck in justifying his choice of restaurant when submitting his company reimbursement.
I did a bit more field work today – Tempo Storm’s Heroes of the Storm team’s manager took the guys indoor rock climbing, and I was there to capture the action in photos and videos. There will be a polished final video product coming out in the next handful of days, but for now, here are some highlight photos from rock climbing: Like usual for my Tempo Storm photo shoots, the full album can be found on Flickr: http://flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/albums/72157689408527602 Edit: The video is live too now – it’s available on Tempo Storm’s Heroes of the Storm YouTube channel.