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:




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




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

Continue reading




Cleo at SLS Las Vegas

After a long and eventful trip with a story that I’ll tell some other time, we arrived in Las Vegas just barely in time for our dinner with Blizzard staff and Heroes of the Storm influencers. It was served family style for the table, and came with a wide assortment of dishes.

After some hummus with tahini (which I forgot to photograph), we got some greek salid with feta, olives, tomato, cucumber, and oregano.

Greek Salad from Cleo at SLS Las Vegas

Although I personally do not drink alcohol, other people at my table did; I photographed a strawberry drink that one of my friends got.

A strawberry alcohol drink from Cleo at SLS Las Vegas

Next up was some brussel sprouts with capers, almonds, and vinaigrette.

Brussel sprouts from Cleo at SLS Las Vegas

This is where we started getting some meat, with octopus being the first in line.

Grilled octopus from Cleo at SLS Las Vegas

Continue reading