Hi, I'm Adam.

Adam Parkzer   •   27   •   Las Vegas, USA   •   5'10" (178 cm)   •   142 lbs (65 kg)   •   Korean American

Most people nowadays know me as the guy who does a little bit of everything at Tempo Storm, or have seen my work as a king-of-all-trades in the online en­ter­tain­ment industry. I've been a multimedia producer, play-by-play shoutcaster, event host, broadcast journalist, web developer, graphic designer, and con­sultant; I apply my vast foun­da­tion of experience to my current position at one of the world's most influential and decorated professional esports franchises.

When I was younger, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a specialization in sociology, psychology, and criminal justice from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I started working on a Master of Science degree in the secondary education of social sciences from Northwestern University, but never finished. I plan to complete my degree some day in something relevant to my new field of work.

My hobbies and interests include the Internet, computers and technology, writing, martial arts, and the fourth dimension.

Check out my social media profiles and channels: @Parkzer on Twitter, AdamParkzer on Flickr, Parkzer on Twitch, and Adam Parkzer on YouTube. You can also browse my Amazon wish list if you want to treat me to a gift.

Below, you can find my blog.

 

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Apparently I suck at traveling

Not literally. I’ve actually gotten really good at traveling.

The part that I apparently suck at is traveling to new places. I feel like I’m always on the move, driving all over the place and constantly getting on and off planes. I have a folder of screenshots of electronic boarding passes that has nearly fifty files in it just from the past few years, and that obviously doesn’t include all the paper boarding passes I’ve used. I’ve become such an expert at traveling that I know how to streamline and optimize each step of the process, making sure I maximize my comfort and waste as little time as possible.

But then I went to actually map out my travels on a map of the United States of America, and it looks like I’ve barely been anywhere. Apparently, I just travel to the same locations over and over again. The place where I go to the most, Southern California, is actually a place where I’ve literally lived before, so on a map, it doesn’t really look like I’ve “traveled” there much at all.

Adam Parkzer's travel map – Last updated December 31, 2019

The map is pretty self-explanatory, especially considering there’s a legend, but here’s a quick overview. The house emojis represent locations where I’ve lived, and the graduation cap emoji represents where I went to university—these two locations take the place of a ton of destination pins simply because I naturally move around those areas a lot due to the fact that I live there.

The destination pins are actual instances of travel where I went to a par­tic­u­lar location away from my home. The pins can be associated with a par­tic­u­lar event or convention, which has been labeled. The pins can also just be locations where I’ve gone to just to spend time in that area, like when I go to visit friends for no par­tic­u­lar reason.

And finally, going through a state or stopping by a state still technically counts as visiting that state, so I have car and plane emojis. Car emojis mean I drove through that area; I count it as visiting because I usually take very regular rest stops and get local food. Plane emojis mean I stopped at that par­tic­u­lar location on a layover; I usually take non-stop flights, so the only state I’ve visited purely off a layover so far is Utah. I do not consider flying over a state as visiting it, so that’s not included in the map.

As I sit here waiting for the clock to strike 2020 (and falling asleep while doing so, because I usually sleep pretty early), I’m thinking that visiting more new places could be a new year’s resolution… but then I think back to the time when I was a little kid where I made a new year’s resolution to never have another new year’s resolution again, because new year’s resolutions encourage people to wait until the new year to do some­thing new and consequently be lazy towards the end of each year. I was, and still am, under the philosophy that every day is important, and if you decide that you need to do some­thing good, you should set an immediate goal and do it right away, rather than wait for the new year.

So I’ve decided that it’s my goal for the foreseeable future to try and go out and experience the country some more. I recently went to DreamHack Atlanta for no particularly important reason simply because I wanted to see what Georgia was like, and I think it will be valuable for my growth as a person to keep doing more things like that.

I doubt that I will literally book completely pointless vacations to completely random places just for the sake of visiting more states, but I’m hoping that I will get more opportunities to attend conventions and other events being hosted in states I have not yet visited.

Happy almost new year.

 

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“Do you own any normal belts?”

Yes, in fact, I do.

 
That question was obviously a result of my recent blog post about my Indonesian stingray rowstone belt, in which I also referenced my white smoke hornback saltwater crocodile belt, both belts being made out of unusually exotic leathers.

Now I definitely think that stingray and crocodile fall in the realm of “normal” when considering types of belts, but when other people say “normal,” I imagine they’re thinking about less exotic leathers, like cowhide. I have an Italian full grain leather belt hand-crafted in Rutland, England by the British Belt Company, which they designed as part of a partnership with Massdrop.

Italian full grain leather belt by Massdrop × British Belt Company

Italian full grain leather belt by Massdrop × British Belt Company

Italian full grain leather belt by Massdrop × British Belt Company

I actually got this belt for free because Massdrop (today known as just “Drop”) used to be partnered with Tempo Storm, and as part of the partnership, they sent me a care package with a bunch of Massdrop goodies.

Back when they first sent me my samples, I did an unboxing and review of the Jessica GMK Plum custom keycap set and GMK Carbon add-on keycap kit, as well as a photoshoot and review of the NuForce EDC in-ear monitors. I was planning on doing a review of this belt as well, but Massdrop ended up not renewing their partnership with Tempo Storm, so I never actually got around to doing it.

I used to wear this belt a lot when jeans were my pants of choice a few years ago—I would throw on this natural brown leather belt and wear brown leather boots to match.

Nowadays, I’ve gotten quite a liking for slim-fit, ultra stretchy, Asian-made biker pants. They look slightly stiff and bulky on the outside, which makes them seem uncomfortable considering how tight they fit, but they’re actually the most comfortable and flexible pants I’ve ever worn. A vegetable-tanned, natural brown leather belt doesn’t really match too well with those kinds of pants, which is why I opted for black and white exotic skins.

Regardless, the Italian leather belt is actually really nice. One of my favorite features about leather products is when the clean cuts are shown on the sides and aren’t covered up in any kind of glazing or edge paint; this belt by the British Belt Company shows those raw cuts. It also has an everlasting aroma of leather (I got this belt over two years ago and it still has the rich, pleasant leather smell), and it’s one of those leathers that develops a gorgeous patina over time.

I believe you can snag one of these for less than $50, which makes it one of the most affordable leather products in my wardrobe, and if you’re a new leather goods enthusiast (or one on a tight budget), this is definitely a great starter item.

Although I don’t actively wear mine anymore, I’ll be keeping it safely stored in my closet, because my dress preferences will almost certainly change as time goes on, and this belt may compliment some of my preferred outfits again in the future.

 

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Re: “What is your dream five-car garage?” answered by someone who hates supercars

I post pictures of my truck on my website once in a while, and with my recent ravaging rant about the Tesla Cybertruck, people began to pick up on the fact that I might be a car guy. Unfortunately, they would be terribly wrong, because I just happen to like pickup trucks a little bit and am not really that knowledgeable about cars… but that didn’t stop people from asking me the age-old question, “What is your dream five-car garage?”

When other people are asked this, they list off their five favorite supercars. What’s interesting about asking me this question though, as opposed to anyone else, is that I actually hate supercars. I think they’re some of the most non-functional and non-practical machines in existence, and I would never buy a supercar unless I was provided one such that I could sell it and make a profit.

With that being said, in order to maximize my profits, my dream five-car garage would be a Bugatti La Voiture Noire, Rolls-Royce Sweptail, Bugatti Centodieci, Mercedes-Maybach Exelero, and Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita. At today’s market rates, I would sell all of them for just shy of US$50 million, instantly retire, and set myself up for the rest of my life. … Yes, I literally just Googled “the most expensive cars in the world.”

That would be a very boring way to answer that question, though, so I’m going to follow along with the spirit of the question and give you the per­spective of what five vehicles would compose a dream five-car garage of a not-car-guy and someone who hates supercars.

 

#1. RAM 1500 Rebel

Right off the bat, a vehicle that is notably missing from this list is the GMC Canyon, the truck that I currently drive. When I first bought my truck, I thought it was the best truck ever, then a bunch of problems kept coming up, culminating in me discovering that there’s literally a class-action lawsuit against General Motors in regards to a defective transmission that my truck has. That, combined with the fact that every GMC service center that I’ve been to so far in Las Vegas seems to be wildly incompetent, and, even though I think GMC and Chevrolet trucks have the nicest exteriors, I never want to deal with GM ever again.

Instead, I want to swap out my daily driver with a RAM Rebel. I’ve always been a fan of this truck, and after I randomly got it as a rental vehicle when I went to Nebraska to meet up with Jordan King and go on a road trip to Minneapolis and basically test drove it for 1,000 miles, I received confirmation that the RAM Rebel is an awesome truck.

RAM 1500 Rebel

Similar to my current GMC Canyon, I would probably modify the RAM Rebel a moderate amount—enough to make it stand out from other RAM Rebels, but not so much that it looks like a ricer. I’d start with the functional essentials: a tonneau cover so I can use my bed for storage, bed liner so the stuff I keep in my bed doesn’t slide around too much, and ceramic tint on all windows so I don’t melt to death in the Las Vegas sun.

Something else I consider a borderline essential is a grille guard, which I ideally would get in the form of a full brush guard. I noticed that there aren’t really any grille guards available for the RAM Rebel (and I imagine that you can’t just stick a normal RAM 1500 brush guard on because the Rebel is wider), so I’m not sure how I would proceed there.

As for visual improvements, I’d stick with a conservative leveling kit (I think massive lifts look a bit silly and just put you at greater risk of rollovers); and get my tow hooks, brake calipers, and badges painted in matte gold (I initially thought about red tow hooks and calipers, but I realized that red is a bit overdone).

I’m actually more of a fan of the RAM 2500 Power Wagon than the Rebel, but the Power Wagon is just a bit too big to be realistically usable as a daily driver. Even my current mid-size truck is 220″ long with a crew cab configuration and an additional ~8″ of grille guard; when I park in parking lots, I can usually hang my bed over a divider or something, but when I park in parking garages, I back into the spot with literal inches to spare and I’m still dangerously close to jutting out into the road. The Rebel is almost 10″ longer than my GMC Canyon, and the Power Wagon is almost another 10″ longer than the Rebel… so it becomes safe to assume that I would have a lot of trouble managing the vehicle as a daily driver.

 

#2. Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

For some reason, I’m absolutely obsessed with the front fascia of modern-day Alfa Romeos. I love it so much that I almost bought an Alfa Romeo Giulia as my first vehicle back in 2018 before realizing that trucks are far more functional and useful, and got a pickup truck instead.

Even though I would use a RAM Rebel as my daily driver, there are still instances when having a much smaller vehicle is nice. Even in my narrow-body mid-size pickup truck, I’ve still had instances of trouble navigating in and out of small parking spaces in downtown areas of heavily-populated cities with small roads and tight parking lots. So, if I know I’m going somewhere where I know I’ll have troubles, I would use an Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

One of the reasons I’m going with a Stelvio instead of a Giulia is because I’m notoriously bad at avoiding obstacles in the road. That’s also one of the very many reasons why I got a pickup truck—having enough ground clearance and suspension travel means that I don’t have to worry too much about my apparent inability to see what’s in front of me. (To be clear, this is stuff like curbs and dips in the road; I’m not rampaging over literal solid obstructions in my path.) I wouldn’t say the Stelvio has a lot of ground clearance, but it’s definitely more than a sedan, which is helpful.

… And that’s about it. Those are the only two vehicles that I really need—one fun pickup truck and one nice-looking crossover. Of course, if I just end the list here, it would almost be as un-fun as just listing off the five most expensive cars in the world and saying that I would sell them all, so I’m going to continue… but the next one is a little unconventional.

 

#3. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Airstream Atlas Touring Coach

One of the best parts of my job is that I get to work from anywhere I want. A fun fact about me that most people don’t know is that I was considering buying a Chevrolet Suburban, stripping out the second and third rows of seats, and converting the back into a little livable area with a mattress and desk. I would then live in my SUV, traveling the country and avoiding paying rent. I planned on booking an Airbnb once in a while if I wanted to settle down for a week or two, but otherwise, I would constantly be on the road, taking showers at public gyms and eating almost exclusively at restaurants.

After thinking more carefully about it, I realized that that kind of lifestyle doesn’t really fit my personality style. I also discovered how great of a city Las Vegas was (I had been living in Los Angeles prior to that point), decided to make Las Vegas my new home, and also received some housing benefits from my employer that would allow me to break even with housing costs. I ultimately settled down and lived a normal life, and just got a small pickup truck instead.

A part of me still wants to travel the country and live out of a vehicle, because I’m a very curious person who gets bored a lot and likes experiencing new things. I think the biggest part of that lifestyle that conflicted with my personality would be that I would always be going in and out of public places for food and hygiene; because I’m a very private person, I would feel uncomfortable doing so. The thing that would make it okay for me is if there was more to my vehicle than just a mattress and a desk. That is to say, if I lived out of an RV instead of just an SUV, then I think the mobile lifestyle would be fun.

Thus, the third “car” I would get as part of my dream garage would be an Airstream Atlas Touring Coach built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Airstream Atlas

Being a Class B+ RV, the Airstream Atlas would come with a complete bathroom with a stand-up shower, toilet, and sink built straight into the vehicle. I’m actually very comfortable with being in small spaces, so I feel like getting one of these RVs and experiencing something new everyday would make me very happy.

 
Continue reading

 

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My aunt and uncle tried to visit me in Las Vegas yesterday

My aunt and uncle—the ones who live in Southern California and own a farm up in the mountains—tried to visit me in Las Vegas yesterday. They hopped on Interstate 15 to drive north towards Las Vegas, but after a few hours, they called me and said that they had to turn around and go back home because of traffic.

A bit confused, I looked at Google Maps and saw deep, dark red blanketing the traffic map of Cajon Pass and Mountain Pass. Even more confused, I searched on Google News for those areas… to discover that they were apparently completely blanketed in snow, and cars weren’t managing to make it through.

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The snowstorm was obviously unexpected, because the only snow that I could see out my window was the snow far up in the mountains. But Cajon Pass and Mountain Pass are 3,776 and 4,728 feet in elevation, respectively, so it’s quite a bit higher than the Las Vegas Valley, and thus a whole lot more prone to snowstorms.

I watched a story post of someone I’m following on Instagram who was also making the drive from Southern California back to Las Vegas; she stuck through the drive, and apparently, she left SoCal at around 3 PM and arrived back in Las Vegas at 1 AM the following day.

… That sounds terrifying.

 

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Indonesian stingray rowstone belt by Jacob Hill Leather Co.

I published a blog post yesterday titled “I got myself a new stingray wallet” where I explained why I got rid of my Louis Vuitton Gaspar Wallet made out of canvas and replaced it with a custom-ordered, hand-crafted leather wallet with stingray exterior and kangaroo interior. After posting, one of the ques­tions I got was how I knew I would like stingray.

There’s actually a very simple and straightforward answer to that. Early this year, I purchased a white smoke hornback saltwater crocodile belt from Jacob Hill Leather Co., and after I received that belt and was satisfied with it, I made a repeat purchase.

The next purchase I made with Jacob Hill Leather Co. was an Indonesian stingray rowstone belt. It was made with the same level of high-quality ma­te­ri­als as my crocodile belt, and after feeling the stingray skin, I knew that stingray would be my leather of choice.

Indonesian stingray rowstone belt

Indonesian stingray rowstone belt

Indonesian stingray rowstone belt

Indonesian stingray rowstone belt

You may notice that this stingray looks noticeably different than the stingray that I posted yesterday on my wallet. My wallet is made out of completely polished stingray (to create an entirely smooth and mirror-like finish), while my belt only has the center rowstone area polished. That means that the center is similar to my wallet, but the outer edges of the belt are far more bumpy.

If you were to run your finger down the sides of the belt (the black part), it would feel close to extremely coarse sandpaper with extremely low grit, but with each of the nodes being much larger and not as aggravating as real sandpaper. It’s not exactly painful to the touch, but if you apply enough pres­sure, it will definitely make the stingray push into your skin.

As a reminder, the little bumps on stingray skin are made out of calcium deposits. Stingray leather doesn’t quite get affected by a traditional patina, but the way that stingray does undergo a patina-like process is when the belt is used enough that day-to-day wear will grind down on the calcium a tiny bit such that it soft of creates a natural, subtle polish on the remainder of the belt.

This grinding process obviously only happens when the belt comes into contact with harder materials though, and your pants definitely are not harder than stingray. As a result, a little bit of extra care is needed when wearing stingray belts as to not damage your belt loops—this belt isn’t just going to smoothly slide off your waist with little effort. At first it was a bit inconvenient, but it barely takes several extra seconds, it’s easy to get used to it, and it ultimately will be a non-factor once the belt goes through its “patina” evolution.

Another question I got about stingray is how the texture doesn’t “weird me out.” I imagine that this question is in reference to trypophobia, or the fear of the sight of clusters of small holes or bumps, especially on the human skin. Even though having some form of trypophobia is actually considered bio­log­i­cal­ly normal, my senses don’t actually really respond too much to trypophobia-triggering patterns, and I usually only have any kind of reaction at all when I see those pictures of a lotus seed head Photoshopped onto someone’s face.

So, apologies in advance if you’re with me in-person and I take out my wallet or you get a glimpse of my belt and you’re repulsed, but I think stingray skin is mesmerizing. I would get more stingray belts, but I very recently spent US$359 on the wallet I posted about yesterday, so I’m on my “exotic leather goods cooldown period” so I don’t end up spending an irresponsible amount of money on luxury products.

 

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I got myself a new stingray wallet

If you’ve spent any time with me in-person recently, you may have noticed that I’ve been using a Louis Vuitton wallet for a little while. The wallet I had in particular was the Louis Vuitton Gaspar Wallet in Monogram Macassar canvas, which goes for about US$500.00 today on Louis Vuitton’s website.

I wanted to switch wallets for a few reasons:

  1. My Louis Vuitton wallet drew too much unwanted attention.

    I’m usually someone who wants to go unnoticed so people don’t bother me, and I failed to realize that having a Louis Vuitton wallet draws at­ten­tion from people who have an interest in designer goods. It also draws at­ten­tion from people who don’t have an interest in designer goods, and they don’t realize that having a canvas Louis Vuitton wallet is probably one of the most entry-level designer pieces anyone can own, so they instead assume that I’m too rich for my own good.

  2. After using a Louis Vuitton wallet, I realized that I no longer want to support the brand.

    Louis Vuitton is an extremely overrated brand for the products they make and the price point at which they sell them. Some people don’t realize this, but Louis Vuitton canvas is literally a cotton canvas that’s coated with a type of plastic called polyvinyl chloride, better known by its abbre­vi­a­tion, PVC. The company claims that it’s more durable, but I’ve faced issues of the canvas cracking, while I’ve never faced an issue like that with full-grain leather. Even the quality of the edge glaze is poor and peels off too easily with normal use.

  3. I wanted to use an actual nice wallet, and one that was custom-designed and unique.

    I don’t really spend that much money, so when I do, I like to buy high-quality products that are long-lasting, luxurious, and nice to the touch. There’s no doubting that a nice, well-treated, full-grain leather product is far more pleasant to feel than PVC-coated canvas, so I wanted something made out of top-tier leather. I also wanted something that was custom-made specifically for me so I would know that nobody else in the world has something exactly like mine (which obviously wouldn’t be possible by just buying a pre-made Louis Vuitton wallet).

After making this decision, I had to decide on two things before moving forward: what kind of leather I wanted, and which leatherworker I wanted to make my wallet for me.

For the type of leather, I decided on stingray. Stringray skin is extremely durable, often considered to be about 25 times stronger than regular cowhide leather that most people’s normal leather wallets are made of. Stringray has a very unique texture, and most people don’t own anything made out of stringray. Stringray—especially polished stingray—is also one of the most difficult skins to counterfeit, so it decreases the chances of someone else having a “fake version” of the wallet that I have.

As for the leatherworker, this discovery process basically just involved me going online and researching as many leatherworkers and leatherworking shops as I could find until I came across one that had experience working with stingray skin. I realized that even finding someone willing to work with stingray at all was difficult enough to begin with, as stingray is a tougher skin to craft so most people don’t even try, so finding someone well-versed at it was nearly impossible.

Eventually, I came across a father/daughter/son-in-law family of leatherworkers who run a company called Wilburn Forge. I noticed that they already had some stingray products on their store, and when I zoomed into the high-resolution photos, the attention to detail was fantastic. The exterior was made with polished stingray, the interior was made out of kan­ga­roo, and the whole thing was stitched together with Ritza Tiger thread, allegedly the best thread in the world.

I reached out to Francesca Wilburn-Ritchie and asked for a custom version of the stingray wallet available on the website. I requested black polished stingray, black kan­ga­roo, and black thread; I wanted the wallet to have six credit card slots, two hidden pockets, one cash slot with no divider, and a side-swinging ID slot. The price we agreed on was US$359.00, which I think was an absolutely amazing deal for me.

Because this was a special order with custom color requests, Francesca had to reach out to her leather and skin supplier in Thailand to custom-order the materials, which meant I had to wait almost two months to actually receive the wallet. But, it was definitely worth it. The wallet arrived about a month or so ago, and I’ve been using it since then. It’s actually somehow been better than what I expected.

Stingray wallet

Stingray wallet

Stingray wallet

So, to get the two obvious questions out of the way:

I mentioned that I wanted black stingray, so why is it white? Well, the stingray skin started as all black, but stingray skin has calcium deposits on it, which is what gives it the beady feel. When the stingray is polished, the calcium deposits are sanded down so it’s smooth, and the white calcium gets exposed. The skin is not re-dyed after the sanding and polishing process, which is what gives the polished stingray skin that texture.

What does stingray feel like? The closest comparison I can give is that polished stingray skin feels like flexible glass. It is extremely reflective of light, and when you bend the skin, it literally feels both rigid and flexible at the same time.

Overall, I’m extremely satisfied with my purchase. It’s insane to me that this wallet is literally ~US$150.00 cheaper than the Louis Vuitton Gaspar Wallet, yet it is constructed with incomparably better materials. Also, with both stingray and kan­ga­roo being some of the strongest leathers available (with kan­ga­roo having one of the best ratios of being lightweight and being durable), I can expect this wallet to last basically a lifetime, as opposed to Louis Vuitton canvas wallets barely lasting a handful of years.

As for my old Louis Vuitton wallet, I decided to give it to a family member who is much more of an enthusiast for designer goods than I am, so it’s in better hands now.

 

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Hello Beverly Hills

My next installment of my “Hello <Location>” series is here, but I can’t really reveal too much on this one. Back on December 15 after the Rainbow Six Siege tournament in Las Vegas, I drove to Beverly Hills to accept the keys for Tempo Storm’s new property.

This is going to be a team house revolving around content production with all the residents being high-profile public figures, so I don’t want to post too many photos myself in case it spoils some of the future content plans they have (like a house tour). Here are just a few exterior shots and the view from the kitchen.

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My trip was cut extremely short when I got severely ill after arriving in Beverly Hills. I usually get pretty sick during my first ~20 hours of travel when­ev­er I leave Las Vegas anyway, and it was compounded this time by the fact that I was traveling with one of our esports managers who was also sick. Then, for my first ever meal from the new Beverly Hills house, I got food poisoning from eating blue crab sushi and avocado wrapped in salmon sashimi.

I ended up vomiting three times that evening and overnight, and I came home early to rest and recover from the illness, as well as to take it easy during the holidays. I’ll probably stay home in Las Vegas throughout Christmas and New Year’s, but I’ll need to head back over towards the beginning of Jan­u­ary to resume set-up.

As you can probably tell from the few photos that I posted, this house has a very big “wow” factor, so I’m excited to see what our production team has planned with this house for the coming year.

 

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