Okay folks, I’m back to blogging full time again.
Quite a bit has happened in the month of August, both for Halo in general and me/HFFL in specific. So let me give a quick run down of topics that I’ll be catching up on from Halo as well as HFFL happenings.
Okay, let’s work backwards from present to the HFFL LAN (August 13/14).
• Anvil’s Legacy Preview: The September Update!
• Loot Crate drops: A look at the Halo Loot Crate. Was it worth it??
• Halo 5 Forge System Requirements for PC: What you need to know, to run Forge on your PC
• Community Action Sack: The many fun (and maybe not so fun) community mini games in the now official Action Sack playlist
• The Halo App for Windows 10 PC: Hmm, what have we here?
• Team Arena Fall Preview: A look at potnetial changes and more for Team Arena.
I will be posting articles on each over the next couple of days to catch up on the official Halo news.
Now to HFFL Happenings. This time I’ll go from the LAN and work to present:
• HFFL 4th Annual LAN: All the events and pics and stories from the Fourth Annual LAN!
• I get a surprising phone call… Might I be moving to Seattle?
• Hopes are dashed. [Redacted]
• It’s a UNYque world. I get to play with a 343 employee. Guess who?
• Achievement Unlocked: Achilles Armor! One step closer to be an ‘actual’ Spartan
• A HALOva Happy Birthday! My Halo haul from my birthday.
• Missed it by THAT much! [Redacted]
• The future and beyond… What the future holds for HFFL as well as my hopes and dreams for it.
Now each of those as well will be articles. All of which will be NEW content that pertains specifically to HFFL!
Now, before I get to all of that, allow me to address my moderte absence from blogging for most of the month of August.
I started off the month of August in a strange kind of funk. While I was happy that the LAN was going to be in two weeks, I was also feeling a sense of dread. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be good this year as well as if this was going to be the last LAN.
As many of you long time readers know, I’ve been unemployed for quite a long time. In fact as of this writing, it’s been 5 1/2 years. That lengthy time away from employment has taken quite a toll on both our (me and my wife) finances. Each year I hold the LAN, I lose money. I never do it to make money. I’d just be happy with breaking even. Again, you long time readers know, I’m not in this for the profit as some other notorious ‘fans’ are…. But enough of that talk as I don’t want to go off on a tangent in that direction.
So for this year’s LAN I knew I was going to have to make a few sacrifices again, but I wanted ti minimize the impact as best as possible. Since at the beginning of August, I hadn’t had any luck with securing prizes from Halo licensees, I knew I was going to have to pull from my own collection. That meant looking for sets I might have had an extra of. Which, honestly, other than simple figures, is a bit rare for me.
So I pulled a Mega Bloks Phaeton and the Chief/Arbiter Black Warthog out from the collection to use as prizes. I had a handful of other Mega Bloks figs to give out. That was a bit depressing though as I had received prizes from Mega Bloks the first two years of the LAN with no problem. When Mattel took over, things changed for the worse. Well, at least in my case as it seems.
Also, during the month of June, my wife had let me know we were being in mortgage. With no employment options in sight for the near future for me, I was feeling a bit of dread and despair there. So the weeks leading up to the LAN had me more worried about my home than anything to do with Halo. Which I hope you can understand.
Thankfully, about a week into August, my wife found out she could take a loan out from her retirement package. We had to decide how much as of course, it has to be paid back and we needed to make sure the payments back weren’t goping to hurt us even more financially. We figured it out that we could draw enough for the mortgage without too much worry for the weekly amount being draw from her check thereafter to repay the loan. What she didn’t tell me was that she took a little bit more out. This in large part to cover expenses for the LAN and to buy some small prizes so I didn’t have such menail (and used) prizes to give away. So while not on a shopping spree by any stretch of imagination, I at least was able to secure the 12 inch Mattel Chief and Locke as prizes for the FFA tourney that I host during each LAN.
Around about this time, I got a message back from a 343 employee regarding my request for anything to be able to give away to LAN attendees. I won’t mention who it is as they do not need to be bothered with others asking for stuff. Suffice to say, I’ve had quite a number of conversations with this person and they know me quite well, so it wasn’t something completely out of the blue. Anyway, they said they’d overnight a package and they did. What came from them was a myriad of cool stuff. Codes for Atriox Avatar armor, some McFarlane Halo figs, a couple of paperback novels, Halo Mega Bloks minifies, RvB Blue Ray and a few other things that you will see in the LAN article later on.
Whew…now I felt a HUGE sigh of relief as I knew the LAN wasn’t going to be disappointing with regards to prizes. Okay, enough of the LAN for now. I’ll pick up in the article from here.
Now, two days before the LAN I got a call. That call reinvigorated me so that I didn’t just have to put on a happy face, but actually was happy for the LAN. After the LAN though, I recieve a bit of very disappointing news that put me back into the funk I was at, at the beginning of August. When I say funk BTW, I mean depression. It’s not a secret that I have PTSD, Anxiety and Depression. It’s not anything anyone else has to worry about, just me.
Well, again faced with no prospects of work, knowing that money was going to be tighter than ever with my wife’s loan from the retirement package, and my birthday coming up at the end of the month, I was hitting a very low point. I wasn’t hacving fun in Halo. I had even had thoughts of selling the blog and just leaving Halo for good. Not because I didn’t love the franchise, but because I didnt’ want to be a burden to the community being in a depressed state.
My wife’s mom had sent me some money so with that I bought Destiny. Yes.. I know… Well, I had played in the first 6 weeks it was out then had exchanged it for HMCC from my local Gamestop. I got back into it since it was one of the few franchises I knew somewhat and had never finished. As well, some of my friends were still playing it, so maybe that would help me. It only slightly did.
Instead, what helped me more was kind words from my friends and fellow Spartan Company members. Not to mention, we got the Achilles armor exactly on my birthday. So that was a nice ‘present’ of sorts. (More on that in the article forthcoming)
A couple of other things happened after that to help me realize that while I have my own personal drawbacks, I still have much to contribute to this wonderful community. So I’m back and will work hard to not just catch up on things, but to add fresh new content to HFFL and potentially a lot of really cool stuff in the fairly near future. (Keeping my fingers and toes crossed!)
Okay, now I know I skipped around a bit there and some of that might not make complete sense. The forthcoming HFFL Happenings articles will help to explain this in further detail. So for now, if you’ve got any questions about what I wrote above, please hold off til the end of the week. I may have answered them by then.
Thanks for sticking with me folks!
Most graciously and humbly,