I finally found a place that sells raw lamb

Albertsons. It actually wasn’t that hard.

Homemade lamb

Ever since I moved to California and tried lamb, I’ve really liked it. I had never had it before when I was still living in the Chicagoland suburbs, and I thought the flavor of the meat and fat was interesting. The lean meat itself wasn’t too noticeably distinctly different, but mixed in with a bit of lamb fat, it had a very unique flavor.

In an attempt to eat more lamb, I searched a bunch of different areas, and ended up getting lamb at a few different restaurants. But, lamb (possibly due to the fact that it isn’t often ordered) was noticeably more expensive than any other meat, and seeing as I cook pretty often at home, I wanted to find some raw lamb that I could just throw into a frying pan and prepare on my own.

I looked at a few grocery stores at which I often shop, and none of them had it … but then I realized I forgot one of the most obvious locations – Albertsons – and found it pretty quickly in their “unique meats” area. This is a small section in their regular meat area where they stock lamb, veal, grass-fed angus beef, and other meats that are a bit different than the normal beef, pork, chicken, and fish.

It actually wasn’t substantially more expensive either, so I guess that means I’ll be able to eat lamb a lot more often now.

 

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Mango the Model

We had a professional photographer/videographer come out to one of our team houses for a photoshoot and filming session, and of course, we had to get Mango in on the action. We had Mango be Tempo Storm’s sponsorship model for SecretLab, Red Bull, and SkyTech:

Mango the Model

Mango the Model

Mango the Model

Mango the Model

 

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Guys look, I wrote a thing

If you haven’t heard yet, a new Hearthstone expansion is coming out that revolves around the Lich King. Tempo Storm partnered up with Blizzard to do a website takeover, and we rebranded to The Frozen Pwn. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you may have noticed that we held a special Fireside Gathering named the “Frostside Gathering,” and the festivities are still continuing.

Blizzard allows community members (esports teams, streamers, broadcast personalities, etc.) to reveal new cards, and Tempo Storm as an esports franchise was able to claim one for our own (rather than specifically having some of our players do it). Most card reveals end up just being very simple and straightforward – people either write an article or make a YouTube video sharing the card. We decided to do things a bit differently.

For our card – Thrall, Deathseer – we decided to integrate it straight into the Hearthstone Standard Meta Snapshot. It was protected under a non-disclosure agreement, so after being told what was going on, from that point, this was mostly a solo mission.

https://tempostorm.com/hearthstone/decks/freeze-evolve-shaman-standard-meta-snapshot-july-31-2017

Here’s a small excerpt:

The Lich King was dissatisfied with all the decks with sub-100% win rates, so he decided to construct his own. After using his great, brilliant mind to craft a fully legal Standard deck (and I promise that the Lich King is definitely, absolutely not standing behind my shoulder right now forcing me to write this), he’s gone undefeated until #1 Legend, which is why we are featuring this deck at Tier S.

At the moment, there are no decks that stand a chance against Freeze Evolve Shaman. The popular aggro decks are unable to push for damage, as they are constantly frozen. Before long, the Shaman develops enough minions and tokens to evolve into an unstoppable board, retaliating with enough face damage for OTKs.

The control decks are unable to outlast the Shaman’s endless stream of evolved resources. Responding with minions results in getting frozen, while trying to use area-of-effect board clears in response to the Shaman’s army results in being Counterspelled.

It is clear that the reason for this deck’s strength is its hybridization with Mage, as well as the extremely powerful new Shaman hero, Thrall, Deathseer. Essentially giving you unlimited evolutions, opponents are put into a kill-now-or-never-kill situation – attempting to kill the Shaman’s minions over multiple turns is impossible, as Transmute Spirit is able to effectively heal a minion back to full health.

We can only hope that deck hybridization becomes a thing for lists not only created by the Lich King, so competitive decks can be created again by commoners. Otherwise, this deck is going to remain dominant for ages to come.

Basically, we tweaked our deck building system so I could create a deck with the new card. I also made it a hybrid deck of both Shaman and Mage cards, just in case people actually thought we weren’t joking (even though the 100% win rates and the all-caps archetype explanation sort of gives it away).

 

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Meet Lucky the cockapoo

This is Lucky the cockapoo.

Lucky the Cockapoo

Lucky the Cockapoo

If you’re not already aware, a cockapoo is a mix between a cocker spaniel and a poodle. Lucky wasn’t exactly intended to be purebred (or designed to be a specific breed in general), so I’m sure there are some extra mixes in there as well. He is Karen’s mom’s new dog.

 

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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

Continue reading

 

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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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