I went on my first Pokémon GO gym run today

As long as you haven’t just been completely disconnected from the Internet for the past few weeks, you probably know of Pokémon GO, the new augmented reality game that uses GPS to inject Pokémon into the real world and encourage you to get out and hunt for Pokémon.

Although I’ve been a fan of Pokémon since I was a little kid, I never really got into Pokémon GO because of how busy I am. During work days, I watch our family business and do a lot of other work, so I end up having no time to go outside and look for Pokémon or battle at gyms. During weekends and off days, I usually still do even more work online, and use all remaining time to rest and relax.

On top of all this, it doesn’t help that it’s been pretty hot outside.

Nevertheless, I got persuaded to go outside and go on a Pokémon GO gym run today by Mike. If you’ve been reading my blog posts lately, you probably remember him – he’s one of the masters and co-owners of Keumgang Martial Arts Academy, and he’s in quite a few of the photos I’ve posted recently of the albums and videos I filmed at demonstrations and events.

The nearest Pokémon GO gym to the martial arts academy is a water tower nearby, so Mike and I walked over there.

Mundelein Water Tower

This gym was occupied by Team Mystic (which is our team), and was guarded by Pokémon with combat power of over 1,000. Unfortunately for me, I don’t actually play that much, so I only had Pokémon with combat power of 100 or less. Meaning, this trip was almost entirely useless for me. Apparently battling Pokémon of your own gym is supposed to help train you, but that was obviously not happening, because I wasn’t able to defeat anything.

Mike, however, plays this game a substantial amount more than I do, and so does Chris, the other co-owner of the martial arts academy. When we came here, Mike brought Chris’ phone as well, and he was playing on both phones at the same time.

This is Mike battling the gym two times at once:

But, as we were battling the gym and trying to raise our prestige, we noticed that it was falling faster than it was rising. I walked over around the corner of the fence surrounding the water tower, and noticed that there were other Pokémon GO players sitting on the ground against the fence, presumably trying to take over our gym.

Tragically, they succeeded.

But, Mike wouldn’t have any of that. Once the gym got neutralized, he reacted quickly by putting in one of his own Pokémon into the gym again, stealing the “claim” away from the other team that had just defeated us.

Moments later, I notice the other guys rage quit, get up, and walk away.

gg

 

KMAA’s TKD Demo at Mundelein Community Days Festival 2016

Like last year, I went along with Keumgang Martial Arts Academy to the Mundelein Community Days Festival, in celebration of the United States’ Independence Day.

I whipped out my trusty phone to record the full demonstration, then went through and took stillframes of action moments and compiled them into a photo album.

Luckily, not only was this later on in the evening (instead of right in the afternoon when the sun is strong­est), but it was in a much shadier region, so I didn’t end up getting my skin slightly burned, like I did during the Lambs Farm demonstration.

Here’s the video and the photo album:

And finally, here’s a bonus photo not included in the album above – this is Mike, one of the masters of the academy, holding a sword with an apple wedge onto the tip, for one of the acts:

Mike holding a sword with an apple

 

I delivered the well-traveled pretzels

Earlier this month, I went on a trip to Los Angeles, California for the Heroes of the Storm North American regional, as part of the global championship circuit. On my flight back, I was messaging Ed Lam (better known online as Grainyrice) via the wifi on the plane.

He let me know that he wanted me to save the airline pretzels for him, because enjoys the taste of a well-traveled pretzel. I posted a screenshot of our conversation on Twitter:


 

Ed and I met up a few times since then, but I forgot to hand off the “product.”

Earlier today, Ed came to visit me again, and this time, I remembered to give him the pretzels.

Ed Lam (Grainyrice) holding a bag of well-traveled pretzels

That is Ed excitedly holding his well-traveled pretzels.

 

KMAA’s TKD Demo at Lambs Farm Fun & Fit Family Day 2016

Earlier today, I went to Lambs Farm, which is a disability services facility not far from Keumgang Martial Arts Academy. KMAA was participating in the Fun & Fit Family Day 2016, and also had a demonstration as part of the festivities.

I agreed to attend because I didn’t realize the entire thing was outside, but luckily, I was aware enough to wander off and find some shady and scenic areas away from the hordes of people.

(Click photos to enlarge)

I also took a video of the entire taekwondo demonstration. It was almost 20 minutes long, and I literally got slightly seared on the areas of skin that was exposed to the sun.

I almost never burn, so this is literally a first for me – I’m assuming that the fact that this farm was in the middle of nowhere is the reason why the sun shone down stronger and had a more detrimental effect on me.

If you’re interested in seeing the video, as well as the full photo album that includes stillframes of action from the video, check out the post I made on Keumgang Martial Arts Academy’s Facebook page:

 

Apparently you get Hell Billie for free if you make a purchase

I’ve been around Heroes of the Storm for quite a while now, and I’ve made quite a few purchases from the shop. Back in beta, if you made a purchase, you got Wonder Billie for free, which is the rainbow midget mount; more recently, a purchase would earn you a free Billie the Kid, which is basically the same thing as the rainbow mount, without the fancy colors.

Back during the Black Friday sale, I got almost all the skins I wanted at 50% off. But, I recently noticed that I forgot to get Corruptor Cho’gall, which is the skin that turns you white and gold once you unlock the third color variation. Because I’ve been playing Cho’gall a bit more often lately (I would play only Gall if I could, but it’s difficult to find a competent partner), I went and unlocked the skin.

Unlocking Corruptor Cho'gall in Heroes of the Storm

I got a little notification that I had received a new gift, and apparently, the new “Billie” mount now is Hell Billie.

A Thank You Gift Unlocked - Hell Billie

I actually find it really nice that they’re giving away free promotional items like this, and it actually ties in very closely to a good marketing strategy. It’s the foot-in-door technique – by offering a free gift upon a player’s first shop purchase, they’re providing better value for the potential buyer’s money, and encouraging them to make that first buy. Once they do, it’s more likely that they will continue making future purchases.

I also like the fact that they’re keeping the Billie theme across the free mounts, and it’s nice that they picked Hell Billie, which sort of has a World of Warcraft: Legion theme feel to it, so it reflects what’s going on in the Warcraft world right now.

When I did some research on this, apparently, Billie the Kid became available on June 2, 2015, and Hell Billie became available on June 2, 2016. I’m guessing that the next Billie mount is coming out on June 2, 2017, and I’m eager to find out what theme the Blizzard world will take in that time, that will affect what the mount will be.

 

T/S Infographic: OGN Super League, Season 2 (Korean Regional)

Although our Chinese infographic from a few weeks ago wasn’t quite as popular as our North American and European ones, I really liked how the multi-language infographic came out, and those who were interested in the Asian scene really appreciated it. So, we decided to do another foreign infographic, this time for Korea’s OGN Super League.

https://tempostorm.com/articles/infographic-ogn-super-league-2016-season-2-kr-regional

This was finished a little later than we wanted because we prioritized getting the North American regional infographic out first. Super League actually ended while we were in Burbank, CA for the regional, and most people attending ESL were shocked that Tempest managed to sweep MVP Black 4-0 to become the new Korean champions.

Like always, I appreciate any community feedback that may help me improve my work, so if you have any suggestions, you’re welcome to leave them in the Comments section of this blog post. There’s also a thread on reddit that’s posted with these infographics, and our statistician closely monitors that, and a lot of our tweaks and improvements have come from posts there – so rest assured that your voice, if you choose to express it, will be heard.

 

ESL HGC Sum. ’16 NA Regional infographic is live now, w/ a new section

The infographic from the Heroes of the Storm tournament I just attended is live now.

While I was there, I noticed a huge rise in Anub’arak play (which was a hero otherwise not really seen in com­petitive play). I also remembered that he had some buffs and changes recently, so I asked my statistician and analyst to collect some more in-depth data about Anub’arak so we could create a new section, the Hero Spotlight.

https://tempostorm.com/articles/infographic-esl-hots-global-championship-summer-2016-season-na-regional-2

Like always, although our statistician and data analyst Moonprayer does a lot of work, I still take this as one of my personal Tempo Storm projects and put effort into innovating and improving it. As a result, I’ll always read non-troll feedback about the infographics.

If you have any suggestions as to what new segments we should add in the future, or have any validly-supported complaints about anything we’re doing now, feel free to leave me a note in the Comments sec­tion of this blog post. I read every single message posted to my website, and answer all posts that prompt a response.