2016 Jul 24 | Pokemon GO, LA Business Mixer, Max Mad at Street Food Cinema

They replaced the front of our apartment complex with all concrete. It's OK, but the rocks before were nice.

Bernie supporting Hillary is the first taste of the reality of politics for many Millenials.

I've been taking some 360-degree pictures. Our phones take them automatically but the stitching is pretty bad, so I tried using my DSLR. However, Photoshop and Lightroom both do a pretty bad job stitching fairly often, many times where you can't even fix it. There's another program called PTGui which produces very good results, but it's very time consuming because you have to go and match points between pictures. Here there are 17 pictures I need to align multiple points on; that's just too much work.

Ogii made happy sausage.

I have any easily won game here.

Although I got a bit cocky and threw away a lot of pieces.

So now I have to try to mate with just a king and queen. Which is easy, but in 1-minutes games, it sometimes takes too long. It's much better to have at least two rooks, which is very fast.

Getting closer.

And got him.

The ad on this website is so big on my phone that I can't even read any content. I can't figure out any way around the ad, either.

Good point.

This patient has rescheduled five times.

A problem with Ross stores in more rural areas; their selection is pretty poor.

Neat image.

We went to LA's Largest Mixer to meet other businesspeople.

Our booth.

Me testing out the 360 pictures.

There were a lot of booths there.

Dave & Busters giveaways.

Some really great food.


A couple of Lakers Girls.

More food.

Plant rentals.

Cool table and chair rentals.

Sriracha is now at McDonalds.

There's a big factory for the sauce near LA.

I know I found these lens flippers much cheaper somewhere else, but now I can't find it.

Ah, here. $8 instead of $25.

Amazing license plate.

Reading a book about poker.

Against good players, you have to protect yourself by playing sneakily. Against bad players, though, you can just play optimally.

How to play hands at lower stakes against weaker players is different than at higher stakes against better players.

A few more.

You have to figure out what mistakes your opponents are making so you can take advantage of them.

Aw, there's water in the washer.

Cool glasses displays.

Dali sculptures exhibit coming up.

Equal justice.

It has been really hot outside. I don't know if it's any connection, but the kitchen sink wouldn't put out cold water, only hot.

Same with the bathroom. It was fine later in the day, though.

It's nice when your whole website fits on a license plate.

Old laptop having issues again.

Thankfully it still works, either on its own after restarting a few times or going through recovery.

Rush hour and people blocking intersections as per usual.

The same on the other end of town.

We ate at Bombay Palace because Ogii had a Groupon for it. Pretty good Indian food.

Oh yeah, I forgot about this intersection that Google Maps tells you to turn left at when it's impossible to turn left.

If it's sold out, why have the billboard?

He's the king.

A church by our apartment.

Plants and palm trees at La Fayette Park.

Movie looking for Mexican boys. Movies are about the only industry where you could be so discriminatory in who you're hiring.

The sunset reflecting off a building.

Smoke from the sand fire is covering the sky at sunset.

In the morning the the sunlight was tinted orange...

... because now there's even more smoke from the fire.

Smoke over downtown.

From another angle.

And a big cloud of it over the highway.

It's only 10% contained right now.

There was a fire at a building close to our apartment complex.

Lots of firetrucks.

Cool sculpture.

Saturday night we went to Street Food Cinema in Exposition Park because they were showing Mad Max: Fury Road. They had a bunch of food trucks, including my favorite, the Grilled Cheese one.

There were some cars like in the movie.

Machine gun.

And even some people dressed up.

Before the show they had a guitar playing contest.

This guy really got into it.

Playing behind the butt.

Time for the movie.

This is the dumbest police shooting I've heard of so far.

A caregiver was trying to help an autistic man who was threatening suicide, although he only had a toy truck.

The caregiver was shot while lying on his back with his hands in the air, and he wasn't even the crazy one. This is just insane.

Amazon and eBay are both full of knockoff items from China now; you have to really be careful.

Our milk is going bad way before the expiration date; I think our fridge needs to be replaced.

Pokemon GO is huge in LA. This is at Echo Park Lake, where there are multiple Pokestops and therefore tons of people.

Eight Pokestops on this corner of the lake that people put lures in all evening long.

Don't forget to look up from your phone and around, though...

... because it's really pretty out.

You can use Razzberries to increase your chance of catching Pokemon in the game. I wonder if that's why these are here?

A lot of people walking and sitting.

There's supposed to be a fountain here...

... but I don't see one.

Ooh, my first Pikachu!

This is a great business to have during Pokemon Go; go to a popular spot and sell lots of snacks.

To hatch eggs, you can't go faster than about 10 mph or so.

So Pokemon players actually like when there's a lot of traffic...

... and you can drive slowly for a while.

A bunch of people playing in Koreatown.

Santa Monica Pier is by far the most packed area for players.

About half of the people on the pier are tourists and the other half are playing the game; it's crazy.

The reason it's so popular is that there are a ton of Pokestops there.

A view from the other end.

The Zoltar machine is one of the Pokestops; fun.

And therefore tons of Pokemon. Also, some of the rarer ones are more likely to be here as well.

Tourists on the beach.

Free popsicles.

This guy was dual weilding his phones.

A problem with the game is it annihilates your battery, so everyone is buying external battery packs. This guy has a solar panels on his backpack; nice.

However, there are so many people the cellular networks stop working and you can't play the game at all. Someone figured out if you disable the normal, faster connection and switch to a slower one that fewer people are on, it's at least playable.

This is my favorite part of the game. The Pokestops are various landmarks and things that the game developers had previously went aorund and found in the real world, especially churches and murals. Sometimes you find some cool ones, like this dragon sculpture in a tree.

What it really looks like.

You have to walk 2, 5, or 10km to hatch eggs. After the game, everyone was searching for how many miles that is.

One huge problem is the displayed steps doesn't work. Well, it worked for about a day, but then the developer disabled it because it was using up too much data. How it's supposed to work is the closer you get to each Pokemon, the fewer steps there will be, which would let you home in on them. However, now you just know they're somewhere around you with no way to actually figure out where, which is very frustrating. Especially here, as there are two grayed-out pictures, which means I haven't found those yet.

Lots of businesses are using the lures. Here are all of the Korean BBQ places in Koreatown...

... and here are all the lures around them.

Other people are thinking this, too.

Including this one.

It seems to be a good way to get people out of their houses and bring them together.

This guy is getting serious about the game.

Tips on how to level up faster.

People going out into the water to catch a rare one.

One problem is rural areas are pretty empty.

Not a single Pokemon nearby.

Although sometimes there are some wherever there are many people.

Some fun group experiences.

The first gym I took over. You can go to a gym and fight the Pokemon there, and if you win, to take over the gym.

If you hold the gym for over 24 hours you get coins, but at this point, that's impossible because attackers can dodge your attacks and take over even a very strong gym with very weak characters. Most gyms aren't held for more than 5 minutes, let alone 24 hours.

The dodging technique.

And at the casino.

T-Mobile getting in on the game.

A rarer Pokemon.

There are a few Pokestops around my office, so we figured we'd have a little party and see if we could get any patients that way.

A Pokemon outside.

And one in the office.

Everything is red, blue, or yellow for the team colors.

Snacks and toys.

We got a fair number of people to show up.

We put lures in the four nearby Pokestops.

People plugging in their phones.

We gave away three external power packs.

Miriam giving away the toys.

Ogii with a balloon out front. I had bought a much bigger one at Party City but it blew away within a few minutes of me putting it out here.

Trying to catch a Pokemon outside.

And inside.

One in front of all the people inside...

... and outside.

The game is built on top of another game, Ingress.

The Pokestops are the portals. Here's Ingress at Echo Park Lake...

... and here's Pokemon Go. All of the bright green fountain-type things in Ingress are the blue pillars in Pokemon.

Both games are based on Google Maps. Here's Pokemon Go...

... and here's Google Maps for the same area.

There are also certain areas called nests where a certain type of rarer Pokemon spawn a lot.

For example, this park has a spawn for Lickitung.

And yep, there are a lot here.

A little tip: better to walk around than just sit.

Yelp is now putting on reviews if there's a Pokestop at a given business.

There are a few businesses that don't want the Pokemon players, though, like cemetaries.

There are a ton of Pokestops in this cemetary; each of the statues is one. You'd think the developers of the game would have thought to not put them there.

Certain characters are more powerful than others because they get more points per level.

They also randomly have different moves, and certain moves are better than others.

The fighting system is also a bit broken because certain moves are so much more powerful than others.

And the characters that use those moves are therefore much stronger. For example, Vaporeon is a fairly common Pokemon that has a very powerful attack, so he's often used to fight in gyms. Snorlax is harder to find but is also very strong. The strongest move is Psycho Cut, which Mewtwo would have, but he's not even in the game.

The only other character that uses that move is Alakazam, but he have very low life, so he's not as good.

The La Brea Tar pits is a Charmander nest, which you can evolve into a pretty strong Charizard. It takes about four hours at a nest to catch enough of the lower-level Pokemon to get a higher-level one.

There are a lot of pokestops around the park.

And a lot of the little dragon Charmanders.

Three of them nearby right now.

You have to evolve them into Charmeleon first, then into Charizard.

Don't forget to look around and see what the park has to offer.

Uh oh, stuck in the tar.

What are these?

It's sticky.

There's tar underneath the cones.

Big pits of tar in addition to the smaller ones.

Other exhibits.

A nice little stream.

Cool statue.

Neat paw prints.

All of the players wandering around the park.

Ran into some friends who were also playing.

This woman found a power outlet in the middle of the park to keep her phone charged.

One of the funnier posts I've seen about Pokemon.

A rare Pokemon spawned in Central Park and everyone ran to get it, including Justin Beiber.

Everyone was ignoring Beiber while trying to catch the Pokemon.

A little Easter egg: you can force which Pokemon your Eevee evolves into.

Right now they're only using generation 1 Pokemon, so only the first 3 evolutions for Eevee, but they might add more later.

Trying out the trick.


And yep, it worked.

Pokevision is a website that shows where Pokemon are. Since the tracking system in the game doesn't work, it's really nice to have.

There are a couple of tricks to leveling up, including using all of your transfers only after you use a lucky egg.

How much experience you get for each action.

There are a lot of different Pokemon.

The first tier ones are the most common, and you can evolve them into the second tier if you catch enough of them.

You can also simply catch higher tier ones, although they're rarer.

And some, like a lot here, don't evolve at all.

Right now Eevee is the only one with multiple evolutions, and some aren't even catchable at all yet, like Mew and Mewtwo.