JetBlue canceled my flight

Apparently, a plane that was supposed to come get us from San Francisco International Airport ended up having a part malfunction and they couldn’t get it repaired in time to fly us down from SJC to LGB. So, a few hours before I was going to leave for the airport to catch my trip back home, I got an email from JetBlue letting me know that my flight was canceled and I was confirmed for the next available flight of the same route – Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 6:30 AM.

I obviously wasn’t going to make the same mistake again that I made the first night I was in Santa Clara with our PUBG team at the NVIDIA GeForce esports boot camp. This time, I actually went back to the hotel and slept on the couch with a warm blanket (instead of freezing to death in the boot camp room for a second night in a row). I also took a refreshing shower, which was nice because I hadn’t showered yet since the previous day’s morning due to having slept in an office building.

During the wee hours of 5 AM, a time I didn’t even realize had humans already walking the face of the earth, I woke up, quickly washed up and brushed my teeth, and headed out to the front entrance of the hotel to get picked up by my Uber to the airport. Of course, just because my flight is delayed for another day doesn’t mean a jacket magically appears on me, so I proceeded to nearly freeze to death once again in the biting cold of pre-twilight.

I got to the airport and stepped into the TSA PreCheck line because of my Global Entry status, probably one of the best investments possible for frequent travelers. Since getting it, I never actually had to use it, because I was fortunate enough to either fly at a time with low travel volume, or fly out of Long Beach Airport… but this morning, it actually mattered. I casually strolled past some 100 or so people in the regular line, because apparently, 5 AM is the new hot time to fly.

When I whipped out my boarding pass, I slightly panicked as I saw that I only had 13% of my phone battery left. I was 99.9% sure that I had charged my phone overnight, but what happened? Did the power outlet randomly stop working? Is my battery on the verge of dying? Will this even last long enough for me to be able to call an Uber back home from Long Beach Airport once I land?

Then I realized that I had taken a screenshot of my mobile boarding pass last night. I closed the screenshot and my battery jumped to 98%. I also discovered that I don’t quite fully function optimally when the time shows both a “5” in the hour slot and an “AM” at the same time.

No problem, though. I looked up at the screen of flights and saw that I was boarding through Gate 2. No need to rush, because my gate is nearby – I have a chance to go to the bathroom and take it easy for a while.

Just kidding, Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport numbers their gates backwards and Gate 2 is over by the edge of the planet.

Miraculously, I actually made it on the plane, and doubly miraculously, I managed to eat enough dinner and get enough sleep last night that I wasn’t feeling at all sick.

That’s a good thing, because apparently, the airport only had one runway open, so we ended up taxiing for somewhere around 18 minutes to take off, proceeded to take off facing north, then spun around 180° so we could face south and start traveling in the proper direction. That would’ve been a disaster if I was actually still feeling unwell, because rotating the direction of a plane 180° is probably one of the best ways to make a sick person vomit everywhere.

Also, the wifi never ended up working.

The rest of the trip went uneventfully (or at least, relatively uneventfully). As you may have guessed, I’m back in Southern California now in Tempo Storm’s team house where I’m staying temporarily until the construction on my new apartment is done. I took a nap shortly after returning to make up for the extra strain on my body from all the traveling, and woke up not too long ago.

I also found out that I am missing a pair of dirty socks that I may or may not have accidentally left behind in the boot camp room.





It’s getting a little chilly in here

Like I mentioned yesterday, I went into this PUBG NVIDIA trip with insufficient sleep and ended up feeling unwell because of it. A side effect of me getting sick and energy-drained after a flight was that I was pretty tired … tired enough that I very easily fell asleep on a recliner in the esports boot camp room.

This trip was relatively unexpected and unplanned on my end – I basically decided to attend and booked my airline ticket with only a few days’ notice. Because of that, NVIDIA wasn’t exactly expecting me, so they didn’t have a hotel room prepared. That was perfectly fine with me, though – our players were booked suites, and I was ok with sleeping on one of the couches out in the common area. I tend to fall asleep pretty much anywhere and stay asleep pretty well, so a couch was more than enough.

The problem here was that I never actually made it to that phase. I ended up knocking out in the comfort of this recliner somewhere around 9-10 PM, back when the players were still busily practicing. The players didn’t finish up until almost 1 AM, and by that time, I was very deep asleep.

Before they left, our PUBG team’s captain poked me on the shoulder and woke me up, letting me know that it was time to head over to the hotel. In my sleepy state, I assessed the recliner to be comfortable enough to continue sleeping on throughout the remainder of the night, so I told him that I would just spend the night at the studio. The team asked if I was sure, laughed a bit, then headed off.

My assessment of the comfort of the recliner was actually correct. My assessment of the comfort of the air surrounding the recliner was incorrect. After the team left, I quickly fell back asleep without a problem. But, a few hours later, I woke up and thought to myself,

Hmm… it’s getting a little chilly in here.

I went over to the climate control, but realized that it was broken. The temperature was set to 50°F, but it clearly wasn’t actually 50°, and there was no air flowing out anywhere (nor were there even any vents visible in the room). I attempted to raise it to 74°F, but the needle seemed like it wasn’t really doing anything, and the thermostat didn’t seem like it was actually reacting, apart from the needle shifting positions.

This is when I realized that I failed to take into account the fact that the temperature of the air around the recliner was just as important as the comfort of the actual recliner itself. I also failed to take into account that the room was only an acceptable temperature this entire time because there were four other guys inside the room, running the CPUs and GPUs of four gaming computers at high load while playing PUBG. Once they were gone, the room started cooling rapidly.

But as I mentioned before, I’m pretty good at sleeping in pretty much any conditions. I sort of shrugged off the chilliness and went back to sleep. Unfortunately, the sleep was short-lived, because about an hour or so later, I woke up again, and thought to myself,

Hmm… it’s getting a little cold in here.

The temperature was still rapidly falling even further. I’m known to produce a lot of body heat when I sleep – enough that, if I close the door to my bedroom overnight, it will actually be a noticeable few degrees warmer in my bedroom than out in the common area. Unfortunately, the esports boot camp room was quite a bit larger than my bedroom, and my natural body heat couldn’t keep up with the fact that it was actually pretty cold outside at night in Northern California.

This is the point when I realized that it was a mistake to have not brought a jacket, even though it never actually crossed my mind that I would need a jacket for a 30-hour trip from California to California. I did, however, remember to bring an undershirt and a spare pair of socks. I put on my second pair of socks as a second layer over my first pair of socks, and wrapped the undershirt around my hands as gloves. It wasn’t much, but it made things marginally better, and I fell back asleep.

You guessed it. Another hour or so later, I woke up again, and thought to myself,

Hmm… it’s getting a little Antarctica in here.

By this point, it was getting uncomfortably freezing. The two layers of socks were doing their job, but the rest of my body was cold, and the undershirt was far too thin to have any effect on my hands.

In an effort to generate some natural body heat, I put on my boots, walked out of the esports boot camp room, and started jogging around the building towards the bathroom. Thinking to myself that the 24-hour security staff watching me through the camera system probably think I’m crazy, I made it to the bathroom, used the bathroom, then jogged my way back to the practice room. This quick burst of physical activity warmed me up enough that I was able to fall asleep again.

That is, only for another hour or so again.

I finally just gave up and stayed awake at that point.

In other news, we shot an interesting segment with Zanpah, the newest member of our PUBG roster; here’s a behind-the-scene look at one of the photos where he drops an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. Yes, he actually really did drop a piece of hardware worth around US$1,000.00 onto the ground, but no, it did not break.








Don’t travel with insufficient sleep and an empty stomach

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.

Long Beach Airport

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:




I produced a cooking video for one of our HotS players

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.





Rock climbing adventures with T/S HotS

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:

Edit: The video is live too now – it’s available on Tempo Storm’s Heroes of the Storm YouTube channel.




SpeedRun Arena

For what feels like the tenth time in the past week (it’s actually only the fourth time in the past week), I went back to Esports Arena to cover an event – this time, SpeedRun Arena with one of Tempo Storm’s broadcast personalities, Trihex.

Of course, I don’t go to things unless I’m being productive, so I have a photo album of the full Speedrun Arena event. Here are some highlights:





I’m also filming video footage for this event as well; I’ll be editing all that together into a vlog over the next day or so, and post a link to it here when it’s ready.

Edit: I’m done editing, and the vlog is up – check it out embedded below, or on Tempo Storm’s Twitch channel.




Boomers! with Hearthstone players

After the Hearthstone Esports Superstars event from the past two days, I went along with the players and Esports Arena to Boomers!, an amusement center with activities like mini golf, go-karts, laser tag, and arcade games. Although I didn’t participate in anything, I snapped a ton of photos of the event, and they’re up now on my Flickr account.

You can check out the full Boomers! album by clicking here, and you can view some of the highlights below:








Hearthstone Esports Superstars

It’s been a good 1+ month since my last event, and I’ve had a chance to relax and recover for a while, so for the past few days, I decided to attend the Hearthstone Esports Superstars event at Esports Arena in Santa Ana, CA.

There were a handful of Tempo Storm Hearthstone players in attendance, so I did some photography work while I was there. You can click here if you want to check out the full photo album on Flickr; I’ve also included some highlights below.

Stage - Competition area and gameplay screen

Caster desk

reynad's first match

reynad on stage