Extra Life Game Day 2018

When I’m streaming live, watch it embedded right here, or visit me on Twitch! Please consider donating to Extra Life by clicking here.

What Is It?

Extra Life is a fundraising program that benefits Children’s Miracle Network hospitals in many cities. Every year, they designate one day to be a 24-hour focus for these fundraising efforts, and participants are encouraged to livestream their games.

I’ll be doing so this year for the sixth year this upcoming Saturday, November 3rd. I’d like to invite you and many others to participate in this with me and support my fundraising efforts. Every dime raised is used for direct benefit to children’s hospitals in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

After a couple of years of being too optimistic with my goal, this year I’m making it more achievable. I’d like to raise $1,000 for these hospitals, and I’m going to need your help to do it. You can track how close we are right here:

What Will You Be Playing, and When?

I have a full schedule prepared for you. Until the marathon starts, it’s somewhat tentative, but most of it at this point should be correct. You can find the marathon schedule on horaro.org here.

I’ll be playing a mix of games from various consoles and eras, and for some content blocks, will be joined by family and friends. Please consider joining us and helping us raise money for charity!

How Can I Help?

The best way you can help is by making a donation directly to my fundraising effort. You can make your payment using a variety of methods here. All donations are fully tax-deductible, and all funds are given directly to the hospitals.

It’s also really helpful to me if you watch the stream on my Twitch channel or by using the player embedded above. More people watching helps people find my channel and can bring more interest to my fundraising stream—which can lead to more donations. You can also chat with me live using the chat box, but you’ll need a Twitch account to do so. If you have one or sign up for one, please chat a bit! I love interacting with viewers and talking with you about what’s going on.

I’d much rather you made a donation to the campaign itself, but if you want to donate something like a meal for me and my stream helpers or something to benefit stream quality (I’m in need of NodeCG help), please reach out to me directly. (These donations will *not* be tax-deductible.)

Anything Else?

Yep!

For the first time this year, any donation of $10 or more via my Extra Life fundraising campaign will be entered into a raffle for a prize. The prizes are detailed in the schedule for the event. The prize you’re entered for will depend on the block during which you donate; if you are hoping for a specific prize, make sure you donate during the appropriate block!

Some rules and disclosures regarding raffle prizes:

  • Donors are eligible for raffles by donating a minimum of $10 during the block for which a prize is offered. All raffles will be conducted off-stream after the event has concluded.
  • Raffle prize winners will be contacted via email.
  • Raffle prizes are subject to change or removal prior to the start of the event.
  • Prize winners located outside North America may be offered prize substitutions of equal value, depending on shipping or customs costs required.
  • Prize winners who do not wish to share their address for prize delivery purposes will be offered an alternate prize selection at the event’s discretion.
  • Family members of the streamer (me) and/or those people appearing on-camera during the event will not be eligible for prizes.
  • Donations prior to the start of the event will be eligible for the first prize in the schedule.
  • Any prizes that are unclaimed will be re-raffled to another donor from the same time block, or if no donors remain, the money for purchasing those prizes will be returned to the prizing sponsor.
  • Raffle prizes are courtesy a donation from Thrivent Financial and their Action Team program.

If you have any questions regarding prizing, please contact me and I’ll be happy to answer them for you.

Don’t Let Me Drive the Chopper?

Co-op with best friends is never a bad idea.

(You’ll just need to grab that link until I can work on a better Twitch embed handler, I guess. The one I have right now doesn’t support Clips.)

If you want to potentially see more moments like this one, consider visiting my Twitch channel and following it. I try to stream at least a few times a week, and play various types of games depending on what I’m working on at the time.

Summer Games Done Quick 2017 Viewing Guide

My summer vacation has started, which usually means it’s almost time for Summer Games Done Quick. GDQ is a twice-annual speedrunning marathon, and each one lasts for a week. The summer one tends to be my favorite; the runs can be a bit more laid back and the charity is preferable to the one they use for the winter marathon.

You can find the channel for GDQ on Twitch any time you want to watch. The full event schedule is posted here, and there are some things you should know about it:

  • The schedule can and will change throughout the event, so if there is a game you are really interested in watching, you should check the schedule the same day of that game and also a bit before it’s supposed to come on the air. Runs are unpredictable, so there’s natural fluidity to the time slots.
  • For different types of games, there are different run categories. Pay attention to things like:
    • 100% or any%, the two most frequent run completion types – one involves collecting or doing everything a game has to offer; the other is just getting to the end of the game as fast as possible.
    • Restrictions like glitchless, 2 players 1 controller, co-op, and the like. This will give you more information regarding the general atmosphere of the run.
  • Runs have an estimated time to completion, which will give you the approximate time you’ll need to watch the run.

Keep in mind when watching these speedruns that many of them will involve the players going through the game in ways you haven’t in the past. If a run doesn’t call for glitchless or other restrictions, you’re likely to see things done to intentionally break the game and skip large amounts of the actual intended gameplay. This takes some getting used to and can look really weird the first time you watch a run for a favorite game.

That said, if you just relax and watch some people play games while using quite frankly amazing execution, muscle memory, and crazy amounts of practice, you can have a pretty good time. I suggest you find games you have played and liked on the schedule and trying to watch those to get started.

If you aren’t sure, here are some runs I think are likely to be great this week:

  • Sunday
    • Luigi’s Mansion any%, no OOB (out-of-bounds). The restriction means the runner can’t break the constraints of the levels to get places the game didn’t intend, so this requires going through a decent amount of the game, and is estimated at around an hour.
    • Metroid Prime 100%. Some people really find these runs interesting because there is good execution necessary, but I frankly find them boring because large amounts of the run take place out-of-bounds. If you want to see a game get broken, watch this.
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, any% glitchless. One of the all-time great games, played to full extent, in 36 minutes. Should be fantastic.
  • Monday
    • Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, Ultimate. Watch people wreck this game with what is essentially playing angles very carefully. Looks reckless, is actually super-controlled.
    • Mirror’s Edge, any% glitchless. A game that was designed with multiple paths in mind. Speedrunners have no doubt found all the super-fast ones, and the execution necessary for this should be impressive.
  • Tuesday
    • I Am Bread, any%. I say this because I tried playing this game and found it inscrutable and impossible, and this runner is going to beat it in 15 minutes and make me feel really old in the process.
    • Pokemon Puzzle League, 1P Stadium, Super Hard. Puzzle game execution at this high a level is always impressive.
    • FPS Block of games, starting with Half-Life. Every game here should show super-impressive play, even with glitches.
  • Wednesday
    • Ninja Gaiden 3, any%. Watch this and then remember how hard these games are and hate yourself immediately.
    • Marble Madness, any%. See above.
    • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Richter any%. The finest 2D Castlevania pre-Symphony, done in 25 minutes. It’s likely you aren’t familiar with this entry in the series (it was on Turbo CD), so you should give it a peek.
    • Mega Man X2, any% race. Four runners play side-by-side, trying to finish first in a live situation. X2 has a super-optimized run that is really impressive to watch and easy to grasp.
  • Thursday
    • Shadow of the Colossus, NTA. I personally don’t think this game is as awesome as a lot of people do, but the run should be impressive.
    • Portal, inbounds. Should be one of the more amazing-looking runs of the whole event.
    • Chrono Trigger, any%, no wrong warp. Puwexil is one of the best RPG runners to watch. His commentary during the run (and the “couch commentary” helping him along) will be great and will explain exactly what’s going on as he does the run. CT is also a great run.
    • Tetris: The Grand Master block. You should watch this because I won’t; once you have seen these runs once, you have seen them all, but this is Tetris at a level that’s more instinct than reaction. TGM is way harder than any Tetris you have played (they will play on arcade hardware).
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, all dungeons, swordless. I don’t even know how you would do this, so I’m going to be watching this one with fascination.
  • Friday
    • Super Mario Series Warpless Relay Race. Great games, done head-to-head, and with relay handoffs to boot.
    • Metroid Block. Always one of the highlights of any GDQ. Usually tight races, high execution, sequence breaking in a lot of cases.
  • Saturday
    • Dark Souls 3, All Bosses. Watch someone rip through this game with way less health than you would ever try to play with and weird items you didn’t think about using.
    • Super Mario 64, 120 star. Every star. Every level. A game that requires crazy-cool execution and looks rad when people pull it off.
    • Earthbound any%, glitchless. An RPG to send the marathon into the sunset, and a run that even today is still being rerouted and changing to be more efficient.

There’s plenty more I could have put in here, but these are the things I’d suggest to anyone who asked me about GDQ and what they should peek in on.

I hope you watch and have some fun doing so. Please consider donating to the event!

Step-By-Step Video Guide to Configuring a Tournament Setup PS4

For my stream tonight, I went over some basics for setting up a PS4 to be a fighting game tournament setup that doesn’t annoy with pop-up notifications and also makes it harder to do things like pause or take screenshots.

The video is less than 20 minutes long; if there is enough interest in it, I’ll do something that is more effectively edited and not full of my rambling while waiting for things to load and forgetting where some settings are.

Extra Life 2016

It’s that time of year again. When I’m broadcasting, you’ll see it here:

tl;dr Version

My Extra Life marathon for this year runs from 8 a.m. Central time Saturday, November 5th until 8 a.m. Central time Sunday, November 6th.

You can watch at http://live.backlogathon.com/.

You can donate to the fundraiser at http://extralife.backlogathon.com/.

I’d love it if you would stop by during the marathon and watch. I’d love it more if you chose to donate to the fundraiser as it is for a very worthy charity. A schedule is located at the bottom of this page.

Thank you!

(end tl;dr)

What’s the Extra Life Marathon?

Every year, thousands of people pledge to slightly break themselves and have a lot of fun doing it to support Children’s Miracle Network hospitals through the Extra Life program. This will be my fourth year contributing to the program.

The marathon date this year is November 5th, and starting at 8 a.m. that morning, I’ll be playing video games, both solo and with friends, for 25 hours (yes, 25 hours, because that is Daylight Savings Time change weekend). I’ll play a variety of things and will have some donation incentives along the way to make things interesting (more on that later).

As part of the marathon, I’ll be streaming the entire thing live on Twitch and will have donation callouts during the broadcast. Donations will pop up a fun notification, and if you donate during certain blocks or games, I’ll let you either choose something fun or extend the amount of playtime, depending on what’s going on. But you’ll need to tune in to know what those things are!

What Is Extra Life? Where Does that Donation Go?

This is a great question, and I feel compelled to give you some information on this so you know that Extra Life is a good, solid, well-run program and not a charity where your dollar is just going to disappear and not benefit anyone.

Extra Life is a program run by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a well-respected and efficient foundation that raises over $250 million each year for the purpose of funding children’s hospitals, medical research, and community awareness.

CMN has a four-star out of four-star rating with Charity Navigator, and based on their research, contributes over 88% of raised funds to services and programs.

Extra Life is even more special, as 100% of the funds raised by my fundraiser will be forwarded directly to the two St. Louis children’s hospitals supported by my fundraiser as unrestricted funds, meaning the hospital is given discretion on where and how to spend that money to deliver and improve care to sick children who need our help.

How Can I Help?

Last year, I raised over $1,000 for St. Louis area children’s hospitals. This year, I’d like to double that and reach for over $2,000. I’ll need your help to do this.

The first thing you can do is watch the marathon. If you have some spare time over the weekend, turn it on and help boost my viewer numbers. I’ll try at the least to be not-boring and maybe at the most be entertaining. The more people I have watching, the more chance there is that random other people will pop by. You can watch on any computer, or if you have the Twitch apps for your phone, Xbox, or Playstation, you can look up my channel, which is “backlogathon”. There’s also a chat during the stream—feel free to type some things there and let me know how it’s going or if there’s something I can do better!

The second thing you can do is share with others that the marathon is happening. Here’s a tweet and a Facebook post you can share around:

The third thing you can do is to donate to the fundraiser. I don’t expect everyone to be able to do this, so it’s the thing I’m putting last in this post. If you have the available funds, any donation will help. Check the stream first or the schedule below—there may be an incentive going on! You might be able to direct part of the stream or get me to do something interesting!

OK; So What’s Going On During the Marathon?

Here’s the current schedule for the marathon, which is subject to change:

Some hours will have special guests (hint: my family). Other hours will have special donation incentives, for small and large amounts. You’ll need to tune in to the stream or follow me on Twitter to know what those incentives are!

The first basic donation incentive is that for every $5 donated during the Rock Band block, you can choose one track from my library for me to play on Expert Guitar or Bass. (Please note that a very few tracks in my list are not yet in Rock Band 4 and I may have to force you to choose an alternate.) You’ll need to be in stream chat to redeem your donation incentive!

There is ONE donation incentive that has been set in stone ahead of time: if I break the $2,000 donation goal for the whole drive, I will commit to one hour of playing Rock Band 4 on Expert Vocals. I have never sung on stream before in my life. I’ll do a playlist of my choosing, and maybe some bonus donation incentives for choosing specific tracks to force me to sing.

You are guaranteed that the playlist will contain AT LEAST ONE JUSTIN BIEBER TRACK.

If you want to see this happen, you know what to do!

Twitched

I’ve lost count of how many nights I’ve done this to myself, including tonight:

  • mid-day: “You know what would be great? Doing some streaming tonight! That sounds like it would be fun and relaxing.”
  • late afternoon: “Today has been really busy; I’d still like to stream some later.”
  • evening: “I still have things to do; maybe I can still sneak in like an hour or so of streaming.”
  • late evening (say, 10 or 11): “I can’t stay up much later; guess I’ll stream tomorrow instead.”

I did actually manage to stream some when playing Burnout Paradise with my son this past Friday, but that’s become the exception rather than the rule. (And it was cut short when my Xbox 360 power supply decided it hates life.)

Streaming is something I often want to do, but getting the motivation up to just sit down and get started has been pretty difficult for whatever reason. I suppose it’s the classic dilemma: when I do it, no one watches, so I have a hard time mustering up the desire to turn everything on and start playing.

For instance, when it launched, I played Tokyo Mirage Sessions on stream for several days straight, and (I’m serious) I never rose above one viewer from what I could tell, and anyone who started watching didn’t stick around for longer than about ten minutes. I stopped after a few days, and even stopped playing the game completely. (I never finished it.)

It then leads to a weird litany of criticizing myself, such as:

  • I’m not very good at this game; why would anyone want to watch me play it
  • This game is something I’m pretty sure only I am interested in; why would anyone want to watch me play it
  • I can’t keep anyone who drops in engaged; clearly I’m not very good at presenting what I’m doing or I’m just not an interesting personality (or the worse bit – do I talk to myself when no one is watching? not talk at all? what do I do?)
  • Is there something I’m doing wrong? Layout? Sound? Stream quality?
  • I have so much work to do and want to spend time with my family in the evening; I’m too exhausted to do this

Those of you I have spoken to in the past regarding impostor syndrome and my trouble with that over the years may notice common themes here.

I’m not sure what the key is here. Do I need a gimmick of some kind? Do I just play a bunch of stuff and not care about what happens or whether I pull in anyone at all? (My motivation for games in their current state makes even this interesting, but that’s another post.)

My annual Extra Life fundraiser stream is coming up in around a month, and I’ll be hoping to meet or beat last year’s donation total. At some point, I can’t depend on the people I work with to make all the donations like they have in the past. I’d like to have at least some people who watch otherwise and would be interested in tuning in to the marathon when I pretty much drive myself insane for a weekend to try to raise money for a good cause.

But every year, I do this with the best of intentions: I do the Extra Life stream, and I tell myself that I’m going to try to build off that, and then there’s a business trip, or something comes up in my schedule, or whatever—and I drop the combo.

Here’s a question for you – and you can answer it where/when you please – when you have something you really want to do, but have trouble getting the motivation up to do it, what do you find that helps you to do that thing?

Summer Games Done Quick – What to Watch

It’s around the Fourth of July, so that means it’s time for two things:

What is Games Done Quick?

If you have never watched Games Done Quick, it’s a grouping that happens twice a year where people from all over the place get together and “speedrun” games, which is exactly what it sounds like: they are going to try to complete a whole bunch of games as quickly as possible.

The marathon is to collect donations to support Doctors Without Borders (the summer beneficiary of donations), which IMO is a worthwhile organization, so I support and would encourage you to donate during your favorite game or an impressive run.

The whole thing lasts about a week, and there are runs around the clock, so there’s a lot to take in. If you have or haven’t watched, there are some specific runs on the schedule I wanted to point out, so if you are interested in those games or at least want to see what the whole thing is about.

Where Can I Watch It?

Games Done Quick is broadcast on Twitch, here:

https://www.twitch.tv/gamesdonequick

The broadcast will start at 11:30 Central Daylight Time tomorrow (Sunday).

A Brief Glossary

You can find the schedule here, and there are some terms you’ll see in there that might need some explanation:

  • The “per cent” of a run indicates what’s necessary to complete it. In general, there are two types of runs:
    • “any%” means completing the game via any means possible
    • “100%” means collecting everything possible in the game and hitting any and all milestones, such as collecting every item in a Zelda game
  • Some games will run with a specific term in front of the per cent symbol; that’s unique to that game and will indicate a shortened form of the game but not as short as an any% run.
  • For instance, “Low%” means trying to complete the game while collecting as little of the in-game items as possible.
  • “Glitchless” means the runner is not permitted to take advantage of anything unintentional in the game to progress more quickly. (It’s open to debate per game.)
  • Other games will have some stipulations, and they’ll usually be explained as the run starts.

My Picks to Watch

Keep in mind that the schedule can and will change because setups and some games may run over their predicted time, so you should consult the master schedule to make sure a game hasn’t significantly moved before you tune in.

Here’s the stuff I’m looking forward to and think you should watch (all times are Central Daylight Time):

  • 19:48 Sunday – Metroid Prime any%, which is a bizarre introduction to how people beat games quickly by abusing glitches throughout the game, such as going out-of-bounds of the game map to break the sequence of the game.
  • 08:31 Monday – Actraiser Professional Mode, one of my first and still favorite Super Nintendo games. I really want to see how you finish this in around 30 minutes.
  • 11:48 Monday – Mega Man 3 any%, probably the best Mega Man game being run this week.
  • 23:26 Tuesday – Contra III: The Alien Wars any% Hard, which will have insanely optimized strategies for defeating the bosses in each stage.
  • 14:44 Wednesday – Metroid: Zero Mission any%, which is the best Metroid game on the schedule. It’s pretty neat how little runners will collect to blast through the game.
  • 18:42 Wednesday – Quackshot any%, which you should watch because one of my mutual followers, YellowKillerBee, is running it.
  • 07:55 Thursday – Zelda II: The Adventure of Link any% warpless, always a skillful run through the most difficult Zelda game.
  • 16:20 through 19:26 Thursday – The Bethesda RPG block, where people will complete a bunch of Elder Scrolls and Fallout games, and they will do this in completely insane ways to showcase how broken these games really are.
  • 11:04 Friday – Super Mario World All Castles 3-way race, which is easily the best race on the schedule – they will show all three players at the same time and the race can hinge on tiny, tiny imperfections in the runs.
  • 20:02 Friday – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time any% glitchless, which will be nice because GDQ does not often do a glitchless run through this game. The glitched run is ridiculously short and skips almost the entire game, but this should be more detailed.
  • 14:14 Saturday – Final Fantasy VI any% Sketch Glitch, where you’ll see someone run through a game that takes most people 40-plus hours in 10% of that time. You’ll also learn about step-counting and how it’s used to manipulate random encounters in the game.
  • 18:29 Saturday – Super Metroid any% 4-way race, which is basically the capstone run of the event. There’s a huge bidding war with donations to either save the animals at the end of the game or let them die. It’s fun to watch. :)

That’s most of it. I hope you decide to give it a shot and find something to watch and enjoy. If you haven’t watched speedrunning before, it’s an interesting video games discipline and it takes pretty crazy mental focus and hand-eye execution.

Puppet Twitch

Is this Peak Twitch? Is Peak Twitch even an attainable concept?

Evan Narcisse on Kotaku:

There’s A Puppet Playing Diablo on Twitch Now

Because of course there is.

He’s only got three archived broadcasts so far and no bio but it’s plain to see that the fuzzy blue puppet called Bennyfits has the glow of game-streaming greatness about him. That gravelly voice, the way that he mumbles his way through Blizzard’s loot-tastic and his banter with text chat make for some of the most entertaining stuff on Twitch I’ve ever seen.

Family-Friendly Twitch

I’ve been watching events and streams on Twitch for some time now, but it’s been during my sabbatical break from work that I’ve spent a decent bit more time paying attention to what’s out there and what people are streaming.

Because it’s my children’s summer vacation, they have often been sitting and watching with me, learning about games (especially the classics!) and just spending time with their dad while he has time away from work. And partially because of that, I’ve noticed something:

Twitch has a massive outbreak of foul language on an awful lot of streams. And it makes the service and consequently the watching of games as a leisure activity for kids something difficult to recommend as a result.

When I stream, I do what I can to make sure my part of the stream is family-friendly. No swearing, no inappropriate references, nothing that would make me embarrassed to have my own kids watching the stream.

I decided to do this not only because of my own family, but also because of BigJon, who is currently my only Twitch subscription because his content is always family-friendly and his speed runs are a huge hit with my kids. His dedication to being family-friendly and keeping drama out of chat is a big inspiration to how I approach streaming.

GameJ06, aka BigJon, probably the most notable specifically family-friendly streamer on Twitch.

GameJ06, aka BigJon, probably the most notable specifically family-friendly streamer on Twitch.

A Hard Call?

I know it’s hard to find what that line is when trying to determine “family-friendly.” (For instance, what to do when I’m playing a game that has non-ff content in it, even though my own language and conduct would be family-friendly?)

But I’d love to see Twitch streamers change it up a bit and realize that we aren’t going to be able to inspire the next generation of speed runners, fighting game aficionados, or modders without providing them with streams they can watch with their parents and siblings.

My kids are heavily-influenced by the streams I watch. Because of BigJon, my autistic son is now super-into The Lost Levels. Because of things like Games Done Quick and Evo, which keep their commentary family-friendly (I think) on purpose, my oldest son has purchased Virtual Console copies of Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man. My daughter picks up the arcade stick once in a while and tries to learn Ultra Street Fighter IV and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

(Specific props to FGC commentators like James Chen, David Graham, Seth Killian, and skisonic, about whom I’ve noticed a tendency to keep the language clean even when crazy things are going down.)

There are lots of things I just won’t watch with my kids because the language is just too over-the-top–and I suspect it’s likely it limits the potential audience for lots of content. Several Mega Man X runners I respect otherwise are fountains of cursing. A runner I was going to watch who is playing through the entire NES catalog had to be turned off because the first sentence after I loaded the stream had two f-bombs in it.

I’m not anti-swearing. I think there’s a time and a place for it. But it doesn’t need to be in streams, and I want to think we can carve out a safe space for kids and families to be watching this content to engage and interest new generations in the games we love. (Not to mention the fact that it could have a significant halo effect in making the communities around these things friendlier to more people in-person.)

Teaming Up

I’d love to create a Twitch team that embraces the concept of family-friendly streaming. To find like-minded people and give them a place where families who want to watch together can find streams that would be language-free, non-discriminatory, non-sexual, etc.

Of course, there are problems with this, not the least of which reason is that I can’t create a team because I’m not streaming enough to build the audience one needs to be partnered (though time, we have time). :)

But there are other things to consider. What if I want to stream a Saints Row game (which is decidedly not kid-friendly) late at night my time, but I’m on the list and there are people either with kids up late or in a different time zone? How would you handle that? Splitting a stream into two streams isn’t always the solution to the problem because then partners wouldn’t get the full attention necessary.

And there’s the added problem that the non-web apps don’t support the team structure or (I believe) the mature flag on streams. (Thinking that members of the team could set the flag if they are streaming something not-appropriate.)

This is mostly thinking out loud, but it’s an interesting problem to consider.

So What Then?

In the meantime, I think the best thing I (and you, if you are interested) as a streamer can do is just make sure that I do what I can to keep my conduct family-friendly. If I’m playing a game that’s not, I can either turn on the mature flag or depend on viewers to know that what I’m playing doesn’t lie in that spectrum (and play later at night, of course).

I’m interested in your thoughts. What do you think about how family-friendly (or not) video game streaming is? Do you keep your stream that way on purpose? Do you think streamers shouldn’t care? Do you know of streams that are friendly that you’d like others to know about? Do you think this is important to growing the audience for this type of content?

Leave a comment on the post (all comments are moderated) with your musings.

Sabbatical Start!

As I type this, I have just closed Slack on my main workstation, and I don’t plan on opening it up very often (if at all) for the next three months.

I previously mentioned the benefit at Automattic of the sabbatical every five years of employment, and I’m taking mine starting this weekend. I hope to be blogging a bit about what I’m doing with the time I’m gifted and other things while I am out.

I do have some rough goals for the time I’m out. I’d like to:

  • Take the family on a road trip at some point during the summer.
  • Get in an hour of guitar practice at least three days a week, to focus on just basic learning.
  • Up my CrossFit activity from the current 3 times a week to five times a week.
  • Get another one of my eternally half-baked plugins out there for others to start using.
  • Raise some money for Extra Life prior to my 24-hour marathon for the year, hopefully a good chunk of it. This means more streaming on Twitch!

If I get in even half of that, I’ll feel like I’ve done a good job. I want to use the time to spend it with my family and do more things with my children while they are out of school, but I also want to take the time to level up some skills and improve myself while I’m not in the daily routine.

It’s going to fun! If you want to follow along, following this blog is a pretty good way to do that, or following me on Twitter.

And subscribe to my channel on Twitch!