Small Update: This blog hasn’t been abandoned.

So, I wanted to take a second to let all 4 of you readers know that this blog hasn’t been abandoned. Quite the contrary, I had a whole host of things I was ready to do to keep things moving along, on a regular basis. It just appears that with the current situation (COVID-19) that we are in, I feel out of sorts and unable to really put my mind on this blog, like I want do.

So, what I have decided to do is use this time to catch up on movies, and music, and get back into music composition. I’ve pulled the trigger on getting StaffPad for iPad, and I plan to begin dabbling in music composition. I don’t expect symphonies, but I’ve always found writing even the smallest of melodies to be soothing. I may even share some stuff once things seem to be a bit better on track.

Bottom line is that I’m fine, the blog is fine. I just hope that you’re fine. 🙂

Hey, airlines… you need to do better!

I’ll make this short and simple: AIrlines need to do better by people who have trip reservations for the next few months. Companies are cancelling events. Sporting events are considering having their competitions with no fans. Hell, the Olympics may not even happen.

And the airlines… well if you book NOW you’ll be guaranteed a full refund, should your trip not happen. Um, that’s ass backwards. When a trip was booked last year, two months ago, no one was anticipating this situation, but hey we booked the ticket, right? You see no reason things should change now.

There are 2 things about that: One, why would anyone want to hurry and book tickets, now, to anywhere? Two, if my ticket, in particular, has me flying into a place that practically told every person living there to stay home, and cancelled every major event happening there, why would I want to go ahead and fly there anyway?

I have another question, though: Why are you letting your own people fly into epicenters of a virus outbreak. Forget me, as a passenger, why are you putting your own staff and service people at risk?

Right now, people don’t need change fees, cancellation fees, or fees of any kind. They need understanding, compassion, empathy. They don’t need ‘customer appreciation’ tweets, they need you to listen to their tweets. Folks aren’t out here trying to swindle airlines, but darn if it doesn’t feel like airlines are trying to swindle them.

You can do better than this. You SHOULD do better than this…

Presenting the Xbox MVP Summit 2020 playlist!

We’ve reached March. We’ve also reached the month where many Xbox MVPs will descend on Redmond, WA to hang out with the Xbox team, and talk about plans and ideas. While most of the event is under NDA, this part of it is not.

For the past several years, I’ve enjoyed putting together a playlist for the event. This goes back to the days when Microsoft’s Global MVP Summit included consumer technologies. This year’s playlist took longer than I thought, but I’m happy with the results.

The title of my playlist is “Cocktail party in the streets. House Party in the sheets.”

The playlist can be found here:

It’s a wonderful blend of songs to sing along to, plus songs that – I hope – help people expand their musical palate. One of the things I always aim to do, with this playlist, is help people potentially discover music they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Unlike past years, this playlist is only available via Spotify. You can list to it with or without a paid subscription, and it’s one of the more popular and commonly used services. There’s 30 songs, in total, with a 2 hour running time.

Please, feel free to take a listen, and let me know what songs you enjoyed. DId you discover any new genres/artists? I’d love to help you take that discovery and get deeper into the crates.

That time I did an online class for the Microsoft MVP program.

In June of 2015, I was asked to be part of a program, being put together by the Microsoft MVP Program. On a Tuesday morning, at 10am, I presented about Xbox One. Specifically, I discussed how people could cut the cord using Xbox One, as the primary entertainment device.

I’m presenting it now, because (I’ll be frank with you). I never watched it since I did the recording.


For as much as people enjoyed the presentation, and got great information from it. I shied away from it. I need to be more proud of things like this, so I’m presenting it here, now. Of course, some things here could be outdated, based upon 4+ years worth of Xbox One updates, but I’m finally comfortable enough to share it.

The official description is as follows:

Xbox MVP Marques Lyons offers insight into utilizing Xbox One for media consumption without relying on expensive cable TV services. Using his own recent experience as a guide, Marques shows how you can utilize content from Over the Air antennas, and media streaming services to get access to a variety of entertainment, and make it cost effective. Plus, ideas on what you can do with that HDMI-in capability of Xbox One.

Let me know what you think, or if you have any additional questions based upon what’s being presented here:

Couldn’t we have gotten a better freeze frame than this? 🙂

The rise, fall, and resurrection of my channel on Mixer.

So, I had a channel on the game streaming platform Mixer. It was called Noob School, and the idea was for my community to embrace the “easy” mode in games. I can be competitive, but I wanted my channel to be a place where people could relax, and hang out. It grew pretty consistently, and I think it still has somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 followers.

But then I stopped streaming. I gave myself (and my friends) plenty of reasons why I stopped. Now that I have time to sit and reflect on it, I realized that I subconsciously fell into the trap that most people fall into when they start a stream, or a YouTube channel, or anything of that sort: I wanted it to grow faster than it was ready for. I told myself early on, and during, that *that* wasn’t the reason, but I had to be realistic with myself… that was the reason.

We always want our projects to grow and succeed. Sometimes, we want it to grow at a pace that we aren’t ready for. Deep down, that was my approach to Noob School. It’s an approach I shouldn’t allow myself to wrap my emotions around.

I say all of that to say I’m going to resume Noob School streaming, sometime in the Spring. However, I’m taking the approach to that stream the way I’m taking the approach to this blog.

I tell people that Project Downtime is a blog that I write for myself, and other people just happen to have a chance to read it to.

Noob School will be a stream primarily for me, because I genuinely enjoy broadcasting, but it’ll just so happen that other people are invited to come in, watch, and share in that emotional ride with me. For me, I need to see this as a stream for Marques, that invites Marques’ friends along.

I know that sounds odd, because why would a person want to ‘stream for themselves’? If I see this just as broadcasting because broadcasting is fun (and I really do enjoy the type of broadcaster I become) my only expectation is that the internet works, and I don’t lose my voice. If I go in wanting it to be this instant classic, parts of me change, parts of me gets modified just to amp entertainment value.

I can’t do that. I can only be me. I can only be the person that I am. If people find that entertaining (as 100+ people seem to have) then I need to count that blessing and move forward. If I never reach 1000 followers or 5 subscriptions or Mixer partner, that’s all ok. If my channel helps one person feel entertained, and gives them something to do in the evening, I’ve done my part.

So, yeah, Noob School (I’m keeping that name; it won’t change to Project Downtime) will be coming back in the next few months. I need to figure out a schedule that I can stick with, and what games I want to play (I’m not about playing the latest games, I mean my first game streamed was NBA Jam). So keep to this blog, or follow the channel on Mixer to know when school will be back in session.