Halo To The Players Podcast: Episode 7 Valentines Day Edition

Topics include:
• Halo 3 Settings Update (Oddball and King of the Hill)
• February MCC Update
• Bonnie Ross inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and
   Sciences Hall of Fame at the DICE Awards last night.
• Spartan Company INVITE
• Valentines Day via H5 Forge by Primordial
• Grind to 152

      HTTP Ep007 Valentines Day Edition

Have a listen and let me know what I can do to make this better.
-Sal

Halo To The Players Podcast: Episode 6 Outpost Discovery policies and more

Topics include:
• Outpost Discovery Policies: Weapons and Props; Cosplay; Other
• Fan Made Halo Wars 2 Mastodon
• Fan Art
• Elite Meme
• Fan-made map Candor (Truth reskin)
• Mega Construx Halo Heroes Series 9
• My Grind to 152

      HTTP Ep006 Outpost Discovery Policies v2

Have a listen and let me know what I can do to make this better.
-Sal

Halo To The Players Podcast: Episode 5 Summer of Sal

Topics include:
• Halo Community Update featuring:
– Halo 5 Playlist info
– HMCC Playlist info
– HCS at SXSW and Gamers for Giving
– Fireteam Raven gets 2-player cabinets
• I’ll be going to Philly AND Chicago Outpost Discovery events!
• “What larger BTB mode was better…”
• My Grind to 152

      HTTP Ep005 Summer of Sal

Have a listen and let me know what I can do to make this better.
-Sal

Halo To The Players Podcast: Episode 4 HMCC FTP for Gold members this weekend

Topics include:
• HMCC free to play…
• Halo Outpost Discovery Fan Reaction
• Fan sculpted Elite Helmet
• My Grind to 152

      HTTP Ep004 HMCC FTP for Gold members this weekend

 

Have a listen and let me know what I can do to make this better.
-Sal

Halo To The Players Podcast: Episode 3 Outpost Discovery!

Topics include:
• Halo Outpost Discovery
• Fan sculpted Elite
• Spartan Fan Art
• Two Halo wikis merge
• My Grind to 152

      HTTP Ep003 Outpost Discovery

 

Have a listen and let me know what you think of the episode. Are you excited for Halo Outpost Discovery? I am!!

-Sal

Halo To The Players Podcast: Episode 2 Feb 5, 2019, What’s in a Name?

Welcome to Halo To The Players.

The is the first episode of a daily Halo podcast. Think of it as your Halo Daily News.

In the podcast I talk about the format of the podcast itself and then get right to it.

Along with that, I mention there will be links to specific parts mentioned in the episode. See below for those.

      HTTP Ep002 2-5-19 Whats in a Name - Sal Salerno

 

Here are the links to the official Halo News mentioned in the podcast today:
Halo 5 Guardians 1v1 Ranked
Halo Wars 2 Update
Snickerdoodle becomes new Community Coordinator with 343/Spotlight

If there are any recommendations you have for the podcast, please let me know. E-mail me at sal@halofanforlife.com or message me on twitter @halofanforlife. And please, PLEASE, leave a comment, like and RT on twitter, so we can get this new podcast out there.

Thanks folks!
-Sal

Halo To The Players Podcast: Episode 1, The Inaugural Episode!

Welcome to Halo To The Players.

The is the first episode of a daily Halo podcast. Think of it as your Halo Daily News.

In the podcast I talk about the format of the podcast itself and then get right to it.

Along with that, I mention there will be links to specific parts mentioned in the episode. See below for those.

      HTTP Ep001 Inaugural

Continue reading

New DAILY Podcast coming to HFFL! “Halo To The Players”

I had been toying around with creating a new podcast for some time. I had to figure out what kind of format, how often and how long I wanted it to be.

Those decisions have been made!

Starting February 2, 2019, the inaugural “Halo To The Players” begins!

The show will run between 5-15 minutes everyday. Topics will include whatever brand new Halo news came out the previous day, any blog posts I made the previous day as well as mentions of any cool gameplay I had. On that note, I’m going to include clips and screenshots of those play here on the blog as well.

There will be a new category on the blog starting on the same day for the podcast. Soon thereafter, it should show up on iTunes for you to download.

Here is the official logo of the HTTP podcast! Watermarks won’t be included later. This is just preemptive until the show goes live.

The decision to go with a daily and short program was pretty simple. I wanted to bring fresh Halo news everyday in a way that was easily managed by anyone who would listen. Listen to it on your way to work or school. Perhaps during your lunch hour. Nothing so long that you had to block out a ridiculous amount of time for. Having no other hosts also means I don’t have to worry about others making it to the cast everyday. Something I know would be a challenge for many folks to commit to.

The name is both a take on “Hail to the players,” as well as the internet acronym HTTP.

As the podcast grows, it may evolve to something more. That’s the beauty of it. I don’t know where it will take me and I’m excited to see that journey through!

As it goes on, if you have any suggestions, please feel free to e-mail me at sal@halofanforlife.com.

Kind criticism is welcome.

-Sal

Public Service Announcement! Please read for your online Halo account security!

So this weekend, I came upon this site. I got the link from Instagram. Apologies I can’t recall who initially I saw it from, though I saw it three times there.

Do NOT log in to this app! It has NOT been officially recognized or endorsed by 343. I even asked Frank O’Conner, Unyshek and others from 343 for verification on this. This was but a portion of the thread response I got on twitter:
The tomorrow Frank speaks of is actually today now (Monday 1/14/19).

The app asks for your Microsoft account info. That immediately put up a red flag for me when I was perusing the site. Under no circumstance, unless you are logging into your account on MS, or XBOX.com, on your XBOX or speaking with XBOX Customer service should you give your account info to anyone else. Just do NOT do it. DON’T!

The creator of the site has said they gained permission from Microsoft. And that they use a third party verification system. That being: https://auth0.com. The “auth” site looks legitimate. The e-mail the app creator got might be as well. Here’s what they posted to another person on Instagram, who then shared it with me:

Since 343 seems completely unaware (and you bet Frank O’Conner would, could and SHOULD know about this), and that he will be talking about it within the company, I STRONGLY urge you NOT to sign up for this site until it’s been cleared by MS/343 themselves.

The reason I was so concerned about this app is that we’ve not had much info on Infinite. And this app is branding itself as tied to the game, though for now will only give you your Halo 5 stats. As well, in the past, going as far back as Halo Reach, I’ve had friends lose their accounts to shady sites pretending to be connected to the developer. I would hate to see ANY of you lose your accounts or worse, your credit card info if the app was fake.

If this app ends up being legit, at the least, the right parties will now know about it.

This is one case of “better safe than sorry”.

-Sal

6th Annual LANstravaganza recap!

Now that LANstravaganza 6 is over and I’m well rested, it’s time to take a look at what transpired.

Pre-LAN:
Several days before the LAN, my wife and I do our “spring cleaning”. This isn’t just cleaning though, it’s also moving furniture, often LOTS of it, around. This year was no exception. I overdid it though…

Friday, August 10, 2018
Our day starts early. My first guests (Paul and Brent) were to arrive 12:05 am. Yes, just after midnight. They got delayed in Chicago, so we had to wait an additional 2 hours 10 minutes. Once they landed, we hit the usual pit stop of Primanti Bros for some very early morning sammiches!

Primanti’s is a tradition for the LAN. We usually go there 2-3 times per LAN weekend. The place is a mainstay here in Pittsburgh and has famous sandwiches.

Out to the side hangs the old sign.

The front of the building has this well illuminated sign now.

The bar side of the restaurant was packed. This was at 3am!

Normally the sammiches come with coleslaw. And I ask each new guest when they try it to have it as it’s made first before taking anything off of it. Below is my bud Paul’s sammich. He’s already been here, so I was cool with him having no slaw. (I’m picky on slaw too, but Primanti Bros has the best slaw I’ve ever had, so I ALWAYS get it on the sammich.)

Paul had the Pastrami. As you can see it’s LOADED with meat and fries. Best damn sammich in the ‘Burgh!

Afterwards we headed for my home. We got in at about 4:30am. This gave us about 3 hours before I had to get up again and go pick up my next guest (Zach) at the airport.

We picked up Zach and headed back home. I made some last minute adjustments to things and we were set for the official start of the LAN at 3pm.

Below is the prize and display table. Several items came from 343 themselves, who once again were fantastic sponsors of the LAN. Other items were from my collection, including those BoomCO dart guns that would be used on Sunday of the LAN.
Also shown are the yellow BoomCo pistol and the Red and Blue Warrior Pop Vinyl Spartans brought by Mario Verrico, one of my buds from New Jersey.

These weren’t the only prizes though. Over the course of the year, I had been looking for some great deals on items I could give away for door prizes. I think this year’s was the best. Certainly the most per person.

Each person with paid full admission got a stack of gifts. Each came with a set of Mega Bloks, most also got a Hot Wheel Halo vehicle. From there, it deviated off to getting a Halo Ammo Tin or a couple of Halo Nanofigures. Each door prize set valued at roughly $20 full retail price. Not too shabby, just for showing up and paying admission.

We started the festivities a little late as there was some heavy rain and some of my guests were delayed due to that. Once they got there, we started right into Halo 5 with some BTB. After about an hour, we took a break for food which included pulled pork sliders, potato salad, macaroni salad and my wife’s own very bacon baked beans in a sweet dark brown sugar sauce. Now, I’m not normally a baked beans person, but hers is fantastic!

After filling our bellies, we moved on to the Halo Trivia contest.

This included 20 questions and 2 bonus questions. I’ll post those in another article. All was going well. I had gotten through the questions and had just begun to read off the answers after, when I got hit with a bout of heat exhaustion. Several factors were involved here. My wife and I had been cleaning up the house for the past 3 days, so I was a bit tired physically, not to mention the chemical smells from the cleaning agents always get to me as I have a breathing condition. Add to that all the running around we had to do, to pick up guests, the heavy humidity from the rain and 8 XBOXs and tvs/monitors fired up in the house along with 14 people….well…yep, just a bit much for me. So I had my wife take over the answer part while I cooled off with a towel and drank some ice cold water. That took me about 2-3 hours to get over, but we kept on going. I had the folks play Halo 5 Warzone for the rest of the night. We all agreed to move that days’ FFA contest to Saturday which actually worked out to the benefit of two other guests who weren’t able to make it Friday.

Now, normally, we go out for Primanti’s again and that was the plan for the after party, but I was just to exhausted and weak. Thankfully, everyone was okay with that. Some of the fellas went anyway, while others called it a night.

Thankfully, I got a really good night’s sleep and was ready for Saturday’s events!

Saturday, August 11, 2018
A little bit of a late start again… This time due to a couple of the guys sleeping in. It happens just about every year, so I’m kind of used to it. LOL At any rate, we played some more Halo 5 Warzone. In fact, this is one of the things I look forward too. When we have a full team, it’s always fun to go into a natch with matching emblems. Two guys hadn’t got it yet, but changed their emblems to something close and used our company colors.

I always am curious what goes through the other team’s minds when they see this.

Thankfully the weather was so much better than the day before and we were able to play the outdoor events.

Next up a returning favorite from last year’s LAN, CornHalo! (Yes, it’s Cornhole, but well, you know…)

This year, we mixed things up a little. Previously, we only had the holes on one side. We decided to go the more official route this year with the hole boards being 30 feet apart and participants throwing from both sides. That proved to be a LOT harder than last year. This change actually made for better competition.

Each pair of throwers got 4 rounds to get as many points as they could.

With me sitting in the middle and my dog at my feet, I kept score as follows: 1 point for getting a bag on the board, 3 points for getting it in the hole. The twist was if you knocked an opponents bag into the hole, not only did they get the 3 points, but you would lose a point as well. I think this only happened once during the competition.

Um…Zach…what are you doing? LOL Seriously though, it was nothing, just looks like that with the word over it. I HAD to post this!!

The two finalists duke it out. Our returning champ, Paul (in dark red shirt), versus the challenger, Chris, in white. It was a hard fought battle, but in the end, Chris edges out Paul to take over as the reigning HFFL CornHalo Champ!

After this, we took a break for food. On the menu for the day was pizza! This provided by pens_halo, one of my local buds and fellow Halo fan. Give him a follow folks. He’s a good guy and a dedicated Halo fan!

We then moved on to the FFA tournament.This year’s tourney was something very different. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before. So, I made a name for it. I called it the Halo Legacy FFA Tourney. “Legacy” because each round of the tourney took gamers through a different Halo game.

Friday we were supposed to do rounds 1 and 2 with Halo CE and Halo 2 respectively.
We made up for that by including them this day and adding on Halo 2 Anniversary and Halo 3.

Maps played were:
Round 1 (CE): High Noon
Round 2: Lockout
Round 2A: Shrine (Sanctuary remake)
Round 3: The Pit

With each round the bottom 1 or 2 gamers were knocked out. This brought us down to 5 people for round 4 to be played on Sunday.

Now, I had originally planned to have Remote Control Hornet Racing. However, the time to recharge to battery coupled with the estimated flight time per player just didn’t make this feasible. Charge time was 30 minutes for 5-6 minutes of flight. Considering we had 11 people who were going to participate in this (my wife and I and a couple others elected not to participate), the amount of time would have been way too long.
Thankfully, I had a secondary plan in place. That was i case of rain, however, it worked out for this as well. So instead, we had a Halo Ring Toss!

I posted this teaser pic on twitter a couple of days before the LAN.

The playing field is set. Each ring had a different point value. Going left to right and front to back.

The first four rings were close. But this was deceiving as several folks missed or hit the rings. (Hitting the rings disqualified the throw, wether you made it in off deflection or not.)

Brent, pictured below, was the only person to get a ball through the red ring! That was worth 12 points. The red ring was 2 easter eggs in one. A nod to the old red ring of death suffered by old 360s as well as the fourth Halo ring that was being rebuilt. Originally the layout for the rings was to be a semi-circle for the Hornet to fly through, but again, that just wasn’t going to happen. With his miraculous throw, Brent won the ring toss!

A look from the furthest and smallest rings. (Rings 5 and 6 were smaller than the first 4 and the red ring smaller still.)

More general Halo gameplay rounded out the LAN portion of the day….but then…Fireteam Raven came calling and off to Dave and Busters we went!

For those that don’t know, Halo Fireteam Raven is a brand new Cabinet Arcade game by Raw Thrills in cooperation with 343. You play as a member of Fireteam Raven during the events of Halo CE. Chief even makes a couple of appearances during gameplay!

The squadmates of Fireteam Raven.
I played as the Green ODST as he looks the closest to me. Vane, I know, LOL.

First a group shot of everyone (save my wife who was taking the pic) who went to D&Bs on Saturday.

Here’s a shot of the top of the cabinet. It’s pretty freakin’ cool to see in person!

A few shots of the cabinet itself.
I really want to get my hands on that graphic for the outside of the ring!

We had enough people for 3 teams of 4. Below is team 1. From left to right (of the top pic), Brent, Zach, Mario, Kristian.

The graphics were crisp!

Team 2 was up next. From left (furthest away) to right (closest) Hilson, Jeremy, Chris, Sal (Pens_Halo)

Unfortunately, no one got pics of team 3, of which I was on….

However, we did get a couple of good group shots!

There was even a backdrop for Fireteam Raven with Chief. Um, so if that’s his true height, damn… (My bud Zach, at furthest right, is 6’3″ for comparison.)

Here’s the backdrop by itself.

Brent loves to play Guitar Hero. It shows. Look at his highlighted high score!

I’ll tell you this folks, Fireteam Raven is a BLAST to play! Definitely go in with 3 of your friends and game together. I made sure that everyone before hand got their QR codes off of Waypoint so that their scores and performance would be on their Spartan record.

The campaign take between 35-45 minutes to complete. Expect to use a few continues. I had the lowest continues at only 4, while the highest was 9 in our group. So plan your credits accordingly. Also, pro-tip, go on Wednesdays as that’s half price for credits!

While others in the group were playing Fireteam Raven, some of us ate, while still others played different games. We all had a great time. Huge thanks to Dave and Busters, the party planning team and special shot out to John Friend of 343!

With the after party complete and it being almost 2 am, everyone went to their respective hotels and homes.

Sunday, August 12, 2018
We started the day off with general Halo 5 gameplay. Warzone again for a bit. The reason why so much warzone is that we are trying to get that Achilles Helmet! Everyone at the LAN is a member of HFFL’s Spartan Company, so all stats were going toward that end.

Next up was the Boomco Shooting Gallery.

Here I chose 4 of my BoomCo Halo dart guns to take aim at some Fathead Halo stickers that we had mounted onto two plastic corrugated boards.

Uh…the effect didn’t quite go as planned. The darts are supposed to stick, but didn’t. So we made due and made judgement calls on anything close to the targets. Within the first round the BoomCo Assault Rifle jammed.
We were doing single shots, when one of the guys pumps the air a bit too much and it started into full auto. It just plain stopped working after that. Sigh…. So okay, we were down to three BoomCo guns to use (my others are stored away, so they weren’t easily available to replace the AR).
The other three BoomCos were the Target Designator, the Carbine, and the Shotgun. By far, the shotgun was the most accurate of the remaining three.

Mario, seen pictured above was our winner and received a Mattel 12 inch Spartan Fred figure.

We took a break for food after. Firing up the grill, we made cheeseburgers and hotdogs for everyone.

Gotta say, grilled burgers are the BEST!

We also dug into the LAN cookie!

The green blobs were supposed to be frag grenades and the purple was supposed to be plasma grenades, but the decorator did the whole thing in purple. Well, close enough, I suppose… BTW, it was chocolate chip.

Group picture time!

As you can see, not everyone from Saturday is here in the Sunday pic. Pens_Halo couldn’t make it back and Kristian had some flooding at his business back in New Jersey that he had to go back and attend too. Also not pictured are Joe’s (guy in black UNSC shirt with thumbs up) girlfriend and her son. Annie, my dog loves to get in the shot. LOL And of course my wife was taking the pic…

The fellas showing off their door prizes and contest prize wins! Everyone went home smiling with arms full of Halo goodies!

Next up the first of 2 raffles. This was for the following:
Halo Mythos book
Halo Warfleet book
Grunt Plush
Mega Construx Gamertag nameplate made by me.

My bud Zach was the lucky winner and even sent me a pic of his door prizes and nameplate when he got home.

After this we went into the final two rounds of the FFA tourney. 5 people had made it to Round 4, which was played in Halo 4. The top 4 from that round advanced to Round 5 to be played in Halo 5. The top 3 of those would win prizes.
Placement of top 3 and their prizes were as follows:
Chris Ferrari / 3 Halo Pops (Buck, Arbiter, Chief)
Mario Verrico / Loot Crate (Prophet of Truth)
Jeremy / Mega Construx CTF Warthog set

A little bit more general Halo 5 gameplay, then the final raffle for the Atriox Bust!

This generous prize was sent to me by 343 to be used in a raffle. All of money raised from this went to one of my buds who was present at the LAN. This to pay him back for saving my butt last year with a mortgage crisis.
Now this next part made me queasy. I mixed the tix up in a mesh small trash can (the kind used for paper trash in offices). My wife watched me mix the tix and I pulled one. No names on these as we bought tix that had numbers on them from the Dollar store near by. When I read the number, no one seemed to have it. I checked my bud Joe’s tickets and had my wife verify that his weren’t winners either. (He had to leave early) So I checked my own. As luck would have it, I pulled my own ticket. I felt elated and sick to my stomach at the same time. Happy I had won, but worried that someone might have thought I cheated. I assure you folks, no cheating was involved. As said, my wife witnessed me mixing up the tix and no names were on the tickets for me to even see, had that even been a thought.
At any rate, the bust will be here for everyone to see again at next year’s LAN. And, I’ve already picked out who gets the bust when my time comes for the “Great Journey”. That being my bud Joe, who is an avid Halo Wars fan as I am.

I’m going to have a separate article on the Bust itself. That will show several in-progress shots and I’ll talk about how it’s made, how to care for it, and more.

With that, the LAN was complete. Folks packed up their XBOXs and monitors. My wife and I still had to take Brent and Paul to the Airport for their flight back to San Jose. This at 4am Sunday into Monday. We got back from that, slept another 3 hours, then went to pick up Zach at his AirBnB and took him to the airport. He had a short trip back to Chicago.
As a parting pic, Zach posted this on Instagram.

That’s a mech made from models our Pittsburgh’s bridges. It’e really cool to see in person.

When my wife and I got hime from dropping off Zach, we took some pain meds and SLEPT! and I mean, we slept hard. I was out for 17 hours straight while my wife almost 20. Even my dog was tuckered out from all the excitement.

Folks, putting on a LAN is some work. Cleaning up your home, organizing activities, making food, getting prizes, keeping the house as cool as possible with all the electronics on, etc. It’s exhausting, but it’s a lot of fun!

So while everything didn’t quite go according to plan, it was still a successful LAN.

Next’s year’s LAN already has a date planned, that of August 23-25. It will be the 7th Annual LANstravaganza as well as the weekend of my 50th birthday!

HaloFanForLife.com SIXTH ANNUAL LANstravaganza!

This year marks the SIXTH Annual LANstravaganza! Each year I host a LAN party with all sorts of Halo related activities. This year’s events are bigger and better than ever!

Take a look at the splash graphic showing what’s to come!

Now, without further ado, let me bring you the schedule of events and after which, a short explanation of some of them.

Friday, August 10, 2019 3pm-11pm
3pm-5pm General Halo 5 Gameplay
5pm-6pm Break for Food
6pm-7pm 
7pm-9pm  Rounds 1 and 2
9pm-11pm General Halo 5 Gameplay

After Party at Primanti Brothers!

Saturday, August 11, 2019
Noon-2pm General Halo 5 Gameplay
2pm-3:30pm
3:30pm-4:30pm Break for Food
4:30pm-6pm  Rounds 3-4
6pm-7:30pm
7:30pm-10pm General Halo 5 Gameplay

After Party at Dave and Busters! (We will be taking over the Halo Fireteam Raven game there!!)

Sunday, August 12, 2019
1pm-3pm General Halo 5 Gaemplay
3pm-4:30pm
4:30pm-5:30pm Break for Food
5:30pm-6:30pm  Round 5 (Final Round)
6:30pm-8pm General Halo 5 Gameplay

Explanation of Events

It should go without saying what this is. To make this easier for some, I allow you to use your cellphone to look up answers. It is timed though. Prize will be awarded to the person who gets the most correct. In the event of a tie, run-off questions will be asked until we get a winner.


To participate in this event, you MUST attend each day. No late entries. I’ve named this “Legacy” because each round of the tournament will take you on a trip through the numbered Halo games. On Friday, rounds 1 and 2 will commence. Round one is Halo CE, Round 2 is Halo 2 and Halo 2 Anniversary. Saturday’s rounds are 3 and 4 with Halo 3 and Halo 4 respectively. On Sunday, the fifth/final round will be in Halo 5. Thus traversing each numbered Halo game. Prizes awarded to the top 3 players.


Just like cornhole, but with a small Halo twist to it. (You can “attack” the other board with your bean bags.) This was a BLAST at last year’s LAN!


Fly a Remote Control Hornet through several Halo Rings on your flight to victory! Using a NKOK RC Hornet, you will fly through a few Hula Hoops made to look like Halo rings. Make your way back to the starting line with the quickest time and you will be crowned the best pilot in the UNSC (or at least this year’s LAN) with a prize awaiting you!


With several Mattel BoomCo Halo weapons in the arsenal, You will target large and small Fathead Halo Enemies on a shooting gallery type wall! The two people with the best score will win prizes!

Also of course, I’ll have a couple of tables chock full of all the Halo Gear and Toys I’ve collected since last year’s LAN for you to peruse.

As with each year, we will be going to Primanti Brothers for some of Pittsburgh’s FINEST sammiches! (Yes, sammich, not sandwich)

The extra fun after party on Saturday Night will be at Dave and Busters. Here we will take turns playing Halo Fireteam Raven! (And noone better skip the cutscenes!! LOL)

Cost for the event is $15 per day or $40 for all three days. This includes food and drink as well as door prizes and of course ALL of the above entertainment (excluding the after parties). That’s at least 25 hours of HALO over THREE days!

You can pay in advance through PayPal: jedisalpitt2002@yahoo.com or in cash (only) at the door. Noone under 16 allowed without adult supervision. IDs will be checked and no excpetions made.
As this is at my home, I will only give out my address to those who e-mail me with an intent to come or who pay in advance. You may e-mail me at sal@halofanforlife.com. Please make the title of the e-mail: “My intent to come to LANstravaganza 6“. As this is my home, you are expected to keep my address in strictest confidence (secret).

If you have any questions about the LAN, please feel free to e-mail me at sal@halofanforlife.com. I’m happy to answer them.

Artful April, a months worth of Halo art!

As March Mega Madness wraps up, I wanted to let you all know what’s upcoming for HFFL!

I still have several more product reviews, though those will be spread out throughout the month of April instead of nearly every day as they were in March.

For April, I’m going to concentrate a lot on the art of Halo, both official art and fan made! So If you’ve created some Halo art or have seen some great stuff on the net, please e-mail me the links and I may include them throughout “Artful April, a months worth of Halo art!”

My long absence and my return to blogging explained.

Hello friends, fans and readers. It’s been quite some time since I last posted an article here. I’d like to at least in part explain why that was and what’s to come for HFFL.

First, let’s go back to summer last year. My previous post from this one is dated 7/15/17. It was right around this time that I got some potentially very bad news. Without going into a ton of detail that you don’t need to know, suffice to say, my wife and I were possibly going to lose our home to the mortgage bank.

Because of this, I didn’t feel it would be prudent for me to post any new Halo toy reviews from toys that had already been purchased just prior. I”m sure most of you understand why. However, social media these days is brutal. No doubt someone would take it as an opportunity to attack me for posting toy reviews when my wife and I were in financial trouble. So I held off until we could get out of that mess. Again, without going into a ton of detail, it took until this December to reach that point, and then only because of the help of two friends in particular. Both of which have a Halo connection to me, but are much more than that.

My wife and I were able to refinance our mortgage to a lower payment, though we had to go through a 3-month probationary period with the bank to make sure we were able to make at least those lower payments. We did it! And in fact, today signed the final papers and sent them back to the bank to solidify this. That puts us back on the good side of finances.

That all said means that I now feel comfortable with posting Halo toy reviews. Now…I know you’re probably wondering, “why didn’t you post anything else Halo related?” That’s a very simple answer. Depression. Due to the money troubles, my depression grew exponentially. It made it hard to function normally, let alone post on my blog. I had to take a break from several things to get my own head in order. Unfortunately, that meant the blog had to be put on the back burner.

***

However, now things are better. As mentioned, finances are in a better place. Still not great as I’m still unemployed. But better. My depression is far below where it’s been the past 7+ months.

I won’t go back and play catch up for what’s happened with Halo during that time. For one, it would be a ton of work. Two, you folks likely have already heard, read, or seen it elsewhere. So, I’m picking up from here and moving forward with Halo news and reviews.

Other plans that were put on hold will soon come to fruition. One of which will be a DAILY Halo podcast. The format will be a short 5-15 minute podcast talking about the previous day’s Halo news, plus any of my own Halo experiences in that day, as well as any HFFL blog news to come. Short, sweet and compact. Easy for your morning commute to work/school. And NOTHING negative as far as I can help it. It will be only me. No fellow hosts. As for the name of this new podcast, I am between the final 2 names right now. Once I settle on the name, I’ll setup a twitter account for it. For now though, I’m keeping those names to myself. If you might gave a clever name for a daily Halo podcast, please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at sal@halofanforlife.com.

***

I will indeed be having another Halo LAN this year. Which reminds me, I will post an article about last year’s LAN, though it won’t be as extensive as previous year’s LAN wrap-up articles.

Suffice to say…I’m BACK!
-Sal

HFFL’s 5TH Annual LANstravaganza!

It’s that time of the year again folks. LANstravaganza is upon us!

hffl for sal

For those of you who don’t know, you may be asking, what is LANstravaganza? Well, as the name implies, it’s a LAN. But it’s so much MORE than just that!. Take a look at LANstravaganza’s from years past for an idea of the goings on and read on after for all the details for this year’s event!

This article will be updated as needed, please check back!

Click each recap to go to article detailing the full LAN recap for that year. Continue reading

The Month of Master Chief January 2017 (1/17) Feature 8: NASCAR Master Chief

Master Chief has bee the inspiration for many things. As we celebrate the month of Master Chief 1/17, we look at various ways and things that have been made into Chief or in honor of him.

Today’s article focuses on NASCAR.

Before Halo 5 Guardians came out, 343/Micorsoft partnered with NASCAR and Dale Earnhart Jr. to have XBOX and Halo cars. Below we see the Chief car. Emblazoned with Green, Chief’s Visor at the front and his helmet on the hood, this is a worthy ride of our favorite Spartan!Dale-Chief Car Continue reading