Sharing some stories and the names of people who helped me in the 2010’s

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Photo by Pete Pedroza on Unsplash

Looking back at the past decade, I’m awed at just how lucky I was especially on the career front. I’m writing this end-of-decade note to acknowledge some of the people who opened a door for me, to relive some stories, and to serve as a personal reminder to pay it forward.

I started this decade deployed in southern Afghanistan. President Barack Obama ordered a troop surge — starting with a Marine Expeditionary Brigade and an Army Stryker Brigade in 2009— to provide security for the country’s upcoming election in the fall. I was part of that Stryker Brigade.

The upcoming…


San Gabriel Mountains

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Mt. San Antonio (Mount Baldy) is the highest peak in Los Angeles. It’s the most difficult hike I’ve done in the greater Los Angeles region so far due to the elevation gain (~4,000 feet) over the distance (11 miles). That being said, I’ve seen kids, teenagers, seniors, and a double-amputee military veteran make it up here so anything is possible with either preparation and/or grit. One senior couple I met was apparently on their 361st summit.

There are a few ways to get to the top. Most guides recommend going up the Ski Lodge, walking the Devil’s Backbone Trail, and…


Santa Monica Mountains

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Sandstone Peak is the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains. There are two paths to Sandstone Peak, a 3 mile strenuous trail (Backbone Trail) with high elevation gains and a 6 mile moderate trail (Mishe Mokwa Trail). You can park at the Sandstone Peak Trailhead Parking to take either paths or the Mishe Mokwa Trailhead Parking to take the 6 mile trail. The photos below are all from taken from walking from the first parking lot.


Santa Monica Mountains

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This is by far my favorite hike in Malibu — the views, the effort required (it’s not steep, but it’s a persistent incline throughout most of the hike), and frankly, the views again.

The official 7.3 mile hike starts down by a parking lot right next to a Mormon church. You can’t miss it. After roughly 2 miles, mostly under shade — and it gets a bit dusty, you get to the first overlook.

Now is also a good time to mention that you could drive up to a closer trailhead, the Paseo Miramar Trailhead, which is a few steps…


Cleveland National Forest

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Three Sisters Waterfalls Trail is a 4.7 mile trail located in Cleveland National Forest. The trailhead is accurate on Google Maps. There is a parking lot which was locked when I did this hike because of the government shutdown. I also called ahead to see if I needed an Adventure Pass for this hike and they told me a pass was not required at the time. I would call in advance just in case that has changed. There was also an 8 mile drive on an unpaved road getting to the trailhead, so plan accordingly.


Santa Monica Mountains

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This is a 5.1 mile trail right off the PCH. The parking lot is very easy to find and costs $12 for the day. Right where you start, make sure you don’t go left and onto the La Jolla Canyon Trail. We made that mistake and frankly didn’t see anything worthwhile on that detour.

We went back to the trailhead and headed straight up across a very muddy segment. It rained in the morning for us and we encountered five rather muddy segments — something to keep in mind if you plan on trail running. …


Fire up your game consoles and round up some mates: The Grand Tour Game, the episodic racing game based on the hit Prime Original series The Grand Tour, is out now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The Grand Tour Game puts you behind the wheel with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. So one moment you’re watching the hosts attempt some questionable automotive antics, and the next you’re at the wheel yourself — same car, same location, same chance to make a massive mess of it.

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When you buy The Grand Tour Game today, you’ll get two…


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We’re excited to share that Christoph Hartmann has joined Amazon Games as Vice President of Game Studios.

Odds are, you already know Christoph from his work. He has an incredible history in the game industry, most notably for the 20 years he spent at Take-Two as President and founder of 2K Games. He led teams that spawned some of the most loved franchises in gaming, from Borderlands, Bioshock, and Civilization, to NBA 2K and many others.

At Amazon, he’ll be leading our entire studio and marketing organization, including our teams in Seattle, Orange County, and San Diego. …


What strategies are Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo pursuing?

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CWL Dallas, retrieved from: https://www.callofduty.com

It seems like records are being broken every other day in esports (competitive gaming) and streaming. The International 2016 had a record $24.8 million dollars in prize pool. The ELEAGUE Major broke the peak concurrent users record on Twitch two years in a row, with a peak of 1.13 million users watching the final match. Most recently, the Ninja — Drake stream has brought all of these topics into the attention of mainstream media.

All of this record-breaking is happening with PC games and console makers — Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft — are looking to get a piece of the…

Jonathan Pan

Original Content @Amazon Kids & Family. Views are my own.

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