Today, I met a peacock

I brought Mango to the veterinarian’s office today for his routine puppy vaccinations, and was met with an interesting surprise when I got to the vet:

Peacock

Yes, that is a peacock. Apparently people keep them as pets. Yes, that is the first time I’ve ever seen a peacock in-person.

 

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My second Blizzard campus tour

Ed’s days in California for his vacation are slowly coming to an end, so I’m trying to show him as much California-exclusive things as possible before he goes back to Illinois. One of these California-exclusive things is the Blizzard Entertainment campus, so we stopped by Irvine today for another tour. (Mango the Yorkshire Terrier went too.)

Blizzard Entertainment - Irvine, CA Campus Tour

This is the gigantic Gorehowl, the prop that was used in the marketing event in New York City, where Gorehowl was splitting through a yellow taxi cab to promote the release of Warlords of Draenor.

Blizzard Entertainment - Irvine, CA Campus Tour

This was a framed graphic in the Overwatch museum – I found it interesting to see the steps that led towards the final product of the iconic Overwatch heroes wallpaper/background, especially how rough of a draft the first photo is, yet you can tell from the distinct characteristics who all the heroes are.

Blizzard Entertainment - Irvine, CA Campus Tour

Blizzard got a Starbucks relatively recently, so part-way through our tour, we tried out some of the campus-exclusive drinks. I guess, in theory, no drinks are “exclusive,” because you can technically put in a special order and request pretty much any location to mix together specific ingredients to make your customized drink, as long as the location has the ingredients you want. But, these were some of the recipes that Blizzard carried on their menu.

Blizzard Entertainment - Irvine, CA Campus Tour

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Frostside Gathering

Mango the Yorkshire Terrier went on an adventure yesterday to the Tempo Storm Hearthstone Frostside Gathering, a rebranded Fireside Gathering in San Diego, CA in celebration of the new, upcoming Hearthstone expansion involving the Lich King.

Because I am part of Tempo Storm, we got there a little earlier than everyone else so we could get settled and help set up when needed. reynad, the founder and CEO of Tempo Storm, and his girlfriend Michaela were there as well; Michaela wanted to put sunglasses on Mango.

Tempo Storm Hearthstone Frostside Gathering

Frodan, one of the co-founders of Tempo Storm and currently a Hearthstone caster and broadcast personality, dressed up as Gul’dan. Here he is calmly petting Mango as he gazes off into the distance, plotting his next world takeover and domination.

Tempo Storm Hearthstone Frostside Gathering

Jessica Nigri, world-famous cosplayer and personality, was also at the event. She absolutely adored Mango and held him for about half an hour or so.

Jessica Nigri and Mango the Yorkshire Terrier

FakeNerdBoy, Jessica Nigri’s boyfriend and a broadcaster, also held Mango for a little while.

FakeNerdBoy and Mango the Yorkshire Terrier

The event itself wasn’t really that great for me, seeing as I don’t really like parties, but Ed is still over in California visiting from Illinois, and he seemed to enjoy it. I don’t drink alcohol, but Ed does, so he got some free drinks and roamed around enjoying the event. We stayed for around six hours; this photo of Ed is from shortly before we were about to leave:

Tempo Storm Hearthstone Frostside Gathering

I was the one who ended up driving from Riverside County to San Diego. It’s right around a hundred miles in each direction, and I thought the drive there would be awful (because I hate driving), but it actually wasn’t that bad. What was bad, however, was trying to find parking in San Diego.

After proceeding to fail at finding an open spot for a good 20 minutes or so, we finally made our way into a parking garage and found a spot. On our way out, I discovered that parking cost … US$60.00. I guess owning a multi-floor parking structure in San Diego is good business.

 

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Review of the Massdrop x NuForce EDC In-Ear Monitors

FTC Disclosure: This review is brought to you by a partnership between Tempo Storm and Massdrop.

An unfortunate side effect of the convenience of online shopping is the fact that it’s tough to see exactly what you’re getting until it arrives at your front door. However, due to Tempo Storm’s partnership with Massdrop, they sent me some free earbuds – the Massdrop x NuForce EDC In-Ear Monitors – so I can analyze the product for you and help you see exactly what you’re buying.

I have a bad history with headsets. I wear glasses, and when I try to use a headset, the large ear pads push the legs of my glasses into my temples and make me dizzy. So, ever since I was a child, I’ve always used either earbuds or speakers.

The earbuds that Massdrop sent me are the most advanced earbuds I’ve ever owned. They’re priced at $99.99, but as of the date of this writing, they’re discounted 40%, and you can get your own for only $59.99. Act quick – the drop ends in only 5 days.

Massdrop x NuForce EDC In-Ear Monitors

There are two things I particularly like about this set of earbuds, the first being the massive number of options you have in terms of the actual buds. A lot of upper-end earbuds come with multiple-sized buds, but this is the first set I’ve seen that comes with an “earplug” style of attachment. They work just like regular earplugs – pinch the foam to reduce their size, stick them in your ears, and wait for them to expand and fill your external auditory meatus (yes, that’s actually what it’s called).

These earplug attachments are great for blocking out background noise. Whenever my housemate is streaming, I pop these in my ears to block out the sound of her voice and let me focus on my work. This would be effective on airplanes as well – I used to travel a lot before I moved to Southern California, and I wish I had these to block out the sound of the aircraft engine (even though I’m really good at falling asleep through the noise regardless).

Massdrop x NuForce EDC In-Ear Monitors

The second thing I like is the fact that you can swap out the cables. I personally like the double-twisted cable – they seem to get tangled less often, and if they ever do, they seem to be easier to unravel. I also like the texture of them, and will gently massage them up and down while I’m listening to music or watching videos as a secondary stimulant (sort of serving the purpose of a fidget spinner).

To switch out the cables, all you have to do is yank apart the cable from the listening device. They will separate and the cable will have two golden prongs as connectors. The ease with which this can be done, and how clean the connecting area looks, makes me appreciate the attention to detail with which these earbuds were manufactured.

Massdrop x NuForce EDC In-Ear Monitors

Because these earbuds come with so many accessories, it also comes with a convenient, sturdy carrying case – you can use this to store away all your spare accessories, or keep your accessories at home and use it as a travel case.

Massdrop x NuForce EDC In-Ear Monitors

I’ve used these earbuds myself on and off for about three weeks now, and I’m overall very satisfied.

The first thing I noticed about them is that they have very heavy bass, so much so that I went into my iTunes Equalizer and changed the setting away from Bass Booster. But, it’s not so extreme that it drowns out the rest of the sound – other sound, especially in the mid-range, still goes through crisp and clean.

On the Massdrop page for this product, it showed photos of people wearing the earbuds with the cable looped up, around, and behind the ear. I don’t wear these earbuds during physical activity (but rather, when I’m just sitting at my desk), so I don’t need the extra secure hold in my ear. I let the cable just fall straight down, and it still provides a very comfortable fit.

Overall, I’m very satisfied with these earbuds. I obviously have only had them for less than a month, so I can’t say much about their longevity, but based on what I see in terms of attention to detail and clean construction, I can’t imagine them going bad any time soon.

 

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Ed met Dave

Continuing our adventures in California for Ed’s vacation, we went to a pet store today to play with some dogs. The dogs in pet stores are generally kept in tiny compartments and don’t really get to move around and play much, so all the dogs we looked at were overjoyed at being let out into the open.

This particular one, which I believe is a Maltese, decided she wanted to untie Ed’s shoelace, then proceed to attempt to eat Ed’s entire shoe while he was re-tying his laces.

This dog untied Ed's shoelaces, then tried to eat his shoe

After seeing a few other dogs, including a dachshund and a Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix (commonly referred to as a “Pomchi”), we went a few doors down and tried Peruvian food for the first time. I’m not sure if we were either given the wrong menu or if they actually just didn’t really have much of a selection, but we wanted to try as many different items as possible, so we got a family platter that had a lot of different meats and vegetables.

A Peruvian dish

After lunch, we stopped by eSports Arena so Ed could meet the all-famous dog, Dave. Dave is a Corgi and acts as the mascot of the eSports Arena headquarters in Santa Ana, California. Although I’ve known about Dave for a long time, this was actually the first time I had met him in-person too. The photo shows Dave about to kiss Karen, while Ed pats Dave on the butt.

Ed met Dave

There happened to have been an Overwatch event at eSports Arena today – Overwatch Contenders, if I remember correctly – so there were some cardboard cut-outs of Overwatch characters. We found one of D.Va, so I took advantage of this photo opportunity and snapped one of Ed and the Korean mech pilot.

Ed and D.Va at eSports Arena

 

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Ed’s first time at In-N-Out Burger

A few days ago, my friend Ed Lam (better known as “Grainyrice” online) came to California to visit me. He’s one of my childhood friends who I’ve known since before kindergarten, and we’ve lived close to each other pretty much our entire lives, until I moved to California back in November 2016 to pursue having my gaming hobby as a full-time job.

Because it’s the summer in the United States, he’s on break from his academics (he’s studying towards earning a Master’s degree in public health). He took this opportunity to come visit me in California for vacation.

Back in Illinois where he lives (and where I used to live), there are no In-N-Out Burger restaurants, as the chain is only in the southwest and Pacific coast. However, In-N-Out has a reputation for being one of the best burger restaurants due to their affordable prices, great taste, and relatively healthy ingredients.

I obviously wouldn’t be a real friend if I didn’t take him to In-N-Out while he was here, so today, Ed got to try his very first Double-Double.

Ed's first time at In-N-Out Burger

Ed's first time at In-N-Out Burger

Yes, he is wearing a Sriracha hat.

 

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