My Skyrim Character

Skyrim on Xbox 360

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim arrives on 11/11/11. Can. Not. Wait.


With The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about the character I’m going to create. One of the things many fans of the Elder Scrolls games love is the fact that you can customize and configure your character in so many ways. Want to be a human? Easy. An elf? No problem. How about a humanoid lizard or cat? Elder Scrolls can take care of that too. While the race or species of the character is something that’s somewhat important to me, it’s not crucial. Sure each has their own specific stats that can help in the direction your character chooses to take in the world, but overall the developers have stated that it won’t make a huge difference in the game. Also, each race is more partial to certain races than others, which could affect how your character lives in wherever it chooses to reside. So, I enter this world with one question: What will my character be like?

I’ve heard stories from other gamers about how they’ve gone into certain open-ended games with a specific character in mind. They give these character traits that affect the choices they make within the defined story of the game. Whether they’re good guys, bad girls, or a complicated mix of emotions that affect choices made, these characters have been the most memorable to them as they recall their gaming experiences years later. I want to do the same with Skyrim. Originally, I was thinking of making a character like Rand from the Wheel of Time novels, but later thought that it was still not enough for what I wanted in my character. The next paragraph will detail the characteristics in my character.

First, he will be male. The unattached storyline is that he will have come from a broken family with no ties to his original parents or siblings. He grew up on his own with hardly anyone there to help him survive, so he will be highly skilled in thievery. He knew that the skills of a thief would not be enough, so he also learned a small amount of magic to keep him out of harms’ way and to help him escape from a tight situation. Since he has grown up alone, he typically chooses to spend most of his time by himself and stays away from relationships, although if he found the perfect woman, he might choose to stay with her. He usually thinks only about what will help him survive but can recognize how doing a good deed for someone can benefit himself. Because of this, he is willing to work with others (including a guild) if it will mean a higher status to himself and a better chance of living for another day. He cares little for anyone else but himself, but has a soft spot for children and animals. He has a weakness for beer and will seek out a dark corner of a pub in any town he crosses whenever he needs to think about what direction he will take next in his adventures. His name will be Cripshaw.

You have just read the nerdiest blog post I’ve ever written. This is how excited I am to play this game on 11/11/11.

Do you play games with a specific character in mind? Do you think you’d ever try in the future? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Extra Life 2011: How it all went down

Before the marathon

The day has come and gone and Extra Life 2011 was a huge success! Last year, when I first heard about this charity, I signed up on a whim. The goal begins at $96 and can be adjusted accordingly. My original thoughts were that many people wouldn’t take it seriously, but I was surprised at how fast that goal was met from some extremely generous friends and family. So, I bumped up the goal and ended up donating over $240 to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. That’s when I thought that this could be something used for real good.

Fast-forward to this year with my goal started at $250. Some great friends and family sponsored me and helped blow past that goal to $300 thus gearing me up again for another epic day of marathon gaming on October 15. Of course, as erratic as my sleep patterns are, I awoke at 2:30 a.m. so excited that there was no chance of me going back to sleep. For anyone who sponsored me, I want to reassure you that I easily played games for well over 24 hours, including breaks, throughout the day and night.

The marathon begins

I officially started my session at 8 a.m. with an Xbox 360 game called Spider-Man: Edge of Time. It was a nice “beat-em-up” game that satiated a mind used to shooters and much more intense, twitchy games. After a few hours, I switched over to playing some Gears of War 3 with my friend Brianna and Stu, who was also participating in Extra Life 2011. We jumped into a horde mode match and made it to a round in the thirties before being disconnected from the host. BAH!

That was a great time to take a small break and then jump back into some video games with Pinball FX2, which is a great game to take a break with. It was one of my top games for 2010 and continues to be a favorite to go back to. Afterward, I played some multi-player Call of Duty: Black Ops with a bunch of random people. If you’re unaccustomed to playing games with strangers, let me tell you, you can hear some weird stories occasionally. That day, I got a few guys talking about the type of weed they smoke. I’m so happy Xbox has a mute button.

As night approaches

I ended up jumping into Stu’s campaign on Gears of War 3 and we finished the game, which took about four hours to do. At this point it was time to take a small dinner break consisting of some pad thai from Thai Orchid, which definitely hit the spot. After eating that, I threw in some L.A. Noire to play some of the downloadable content that has been waiting for me. I love the music and actors that Team Bondi got for this game and if you like the TV show “Mad Men,” you’d probably like playing this game.

The finish line in sight

After I finished a chapter in L.A. Noire, I killed some more time playing multi-player Call of Duty, Super Stickman Golf on iOS and some more Spider-Man until about 1 a.m. My friend, Evan, said that he would wake up at 2 a.m. to help me ride out the last and hardest part of the marathon. Keep in mind, I’ve been awake for a full 24 hours my 2:30 a.m. and have been playing games  since  around 4:30 a.m.

When the clock struck 2:30 a.m., Evan and I started our journey into Call of Duty’s zombie maps. I can’t believe that I haven’t gotten into these before, but I’m so happy that I participated in this charity in order to give me a good reason to play them. The layout of each area is detailed, the well thought out and full of mysteries. By the time we were finished with our last match, it was after 8:30 a.m. I signed off and recorded one last video to my Tumblr account.

Overall, Extra Life 2011 has been a huge success. Gamers from around the world have donated an approximate combined total of over 1.1 million dollars to children’s hospitals worldwide this year, which is a huge leap from the $465,000 last year and $170,000 the year before that. I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to all the people who sponsored me, played games with me, and promoted this cause. It means a lot to me, but even more to the kids it will help at Doernbecher.

Who says video games are bad for you?

King of Extra Life 2011

Everyone who participates in Extra Life are kings and queens in my book.

Extra Life 2011 Game Marathon on October 15

This weekend will mark the second year of playing video games to help kids at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Many gamers around the world will be enduring the 24 hour game marathon to help the children’s hospital of their choice and it won’t be as easy as it sounds.

I will be playing games on the Xbox 360 as well as iPhone and iPad games. The following is what I have lined up:

Xbox 360

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • Gears of War 3
  • Peggle
  • Pinball FX2
  • Dead Space 2
  • Crimson Alliance
  • Possibly more…


  • Superbrothers: Swords & Sworcery
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • GameDev Story
  • Jaws
  • Infinity Blade
  • Rage HD

If you own an Xbox 360 and see any games that you’d like to play with me, just let me know or send me an invite. My gamertag is Omega Technique. Also, with the help of many generous people, my original goal has been surpassed but I’d love to see it get to an even $300. If anyone wants to donate $16, just head to my profile here.

Extra Life 2011 Update

Extra Life 2011 Goal

You Can Still Donate!

With the help of some great friends and family, we’ve exceeded the original goal of $250 for kids at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. I would like to thank the following people for making it happen:

  • Andrew Hwang
  • Stu Holdren
  • Matt Clegg
  • Bob Cowell
  • Kathy Sandaine
  • Rob Wineriter
  • Tyler Bolton
  • Kathy Wamsley
  • Brianna Gardner

If it weren’t for you all, this never would’ve been possible. Check back at this site to see more about what I will be doing for Extra Life 2011 in the coming weeks. You can still help the kids at Doernbecher by donating and sponsoring me here. Thanks again!

Visit to Yamhill Valley Vineyard

Yamhill Valley Vineyard Nature

Spectacular Scenery at Yamhill Valley Vineyard

Some friends and I celebrated Lorien’s birthday by taking a small road trip to Yamhill Valley Vineyards to taste some wine at their tasting room. Now, let me make it clear that I’m not the biggest fan of wine, as most of my friends know me as a craft beer fan. Wine usually gives me a headache within the first glass. This wine was very good, didn’t give me a headache and I was told that the pours were more generous than you usually get at wineries. The view was beautiful with large trees just feeling the touches of autumn, a pond full of koi fish of various sizes, and rows of vines still full of grapes. If you take a picnic bundle with you, the wine becomes even more delightful. We paired our reds with chocolate brownies and our whites with bread and spinach dip.

What’s your favorite snacks to take to a winery?

Wine barrels

Inside the Winery are Columns of Wine Barrels

Koi Fish

There Were Easily 30+ Fish in the Pond in Front of Yamhill Valley Vineyard Winery

Yamhill Valley Vineyard

Tanks of Fermenting Wine Outside the Tasting Room at Yamhill Valley Vineyard

Lorien with a Delorean

Birthday Girl, Lorien, posing with an employee's Delorean

Food Review: Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen

Kenny & Zuke's Reuben Sliders

Happy Hour Reuben Sliders from Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen

If you live in Portland, Oregon or ever plan on visiting, you’ve got to check out Kenny & Zuke’s delicatessen on SW 11th & Stark. The pastrami is so good, you could eat it by itself. The pickles are some of the most flavorful I’ve had and the reuben sandwiches are so good. Happy hour is Monday through Friday, 3-6 p.m. and it’s definitely worth going at that time.

If you’ve eaten there before, what’s your favorite food to order?

Lincoln City Beach Trip 2011

Welcome Sign at Road's End Beach

Carved Sign at the Entrance to Road’s End Beach in Lincoln City, Oregon

On September 10, Lorien, Sam, Yaicha and I decided to escape the summer heat in Portland, Oregon and head to Lincoln City to relax on the beach and disconnect from technology for the day. The cool ocean breeze was perfect and the Sierra Nevada Pale ales topped off a day of relaxing in the sun. The pictures here are located at Road’s End Beach, which seemed to be one of the few places in that area where you could park and freely enter the beach area without walking through someone’s yard.

Road's End Beach Path

This Path Turns From Paved To Rocks Farther Down

Cool Day at Road's End Beach

The Weather Was Almost Perfect at Road’s End

Edge of the continent

That Water is Much Colder Than You’d Think