Rixx For CSM?

Every year around this time people will ask me if I'm going to finally run for the CSM. And usually I say the same thing, nope. At first it was because I was running a company and didn't have time. Then it was essentially impossible because my life was insane and the idea of being on the student council was ludicrous. Not to mention the fact that my Wife banned me from running. Because, duh. I agreed with her. That would just be silly.

Then yesterday she says to me, "Maybe you should run." And, again, I had to agree with her. Maybe I should. If there was ever a year to do it, this would be the one. I mean, it is CSM 13 after all. What better CSM for the Pirate Lord of Low Sec to be a member of?

So I floated the question over on Tweetfleet and in our Alliance Discord. The support was great, but also the concern. Also great. Everyone had some really good points, advice, and worries. Great stuff. Thanks everyone for everything you had to say. As always it means a great deal to me.

Obviously I have a great deal of passion for Eve and our great community of players. I've been an advocate and a change agent for almost ten years now. We've fought many battles together over the years, we've won some and lost some. We got the Frills put back on the Vagabond. We got hats in game when everyone said it was impossible. We showed CCP how easy it would be to manage limited licensing agreements and empower fan art... ok, that one we failed at. But at least the Eve Store is awesome... ok, let's get back to positives. We fought Incarna and got CCP to focus on spaceships and save the game. And then they went and focused on Structures, so I'm thinking we should call that one a draw. Over the years I've successfully worked with almost everyone at CCP in one way or another, even those that aren't even there anymore.

Rixx on the CSM? Are you kidding me? Yes, yes I am kidding you. There is no way in Hell that I will be running for CSM. Have I forgotten that this is the same company that has been selling my work for two years now (two years this month btw) without a contract or compensation? I haven't forgotten.

Look, months ago I made a resolution to myself. After two years of Hell I decided that I was going to get back to playing Eve again. For those two years I essentially didn't play the game except for the Alliance Tournaments. I promised myself that I would focus on Stay Frosty and A Band Apart, my podcast, this blog, tweetfleet and nothing else. I'd forget all the drama with CCP and just move on.  And focus on playing the game I love with the pilots I'm lucky enough to fly with.

And that my dear readers is exactly what I plan on continuing to do. Why put myself right back into drama land? I have a great job now as the Chief Marketing Officer of a great company I'm proud to work with. My wife's work is like ten minutes away from my office, so we can both ride in together most days. Which is awesome. In September of 2019 I'll be finished with ALL payments to the injustice of my centuries long multi-million dollar divorce. Things in our lives are better now than they have been in a very, very long time.

No thanks. I will do everything I can, as always, to try and get some good Low Sec people on the council. I try to help make that happen every year. But I'm not running. It was fun to think about for about 12 hours and imagine the look on certain people's faces when my name was announced at Fanfest. But that isn't a good reason to run.

I'm trying to remove crap from my life. Not add more.

The Stay Frosty Legacy

SF Bare Knuckles Wallpaper
Click to embiggen
In May of this year Stay Frosty will be five years old. In about two weeks or less from now this amazing casual Pirate Corporation will pass 100,000 kills according to zKill. Our membership, which usually hovers around 300 pilots, has seen about 2,000 pilots pass thru its doors over the past half-decade. For a dream that has been threatened, harassed, hunted, demeaned, scoffed at, and many times was predicted to fail or die in a fire - these are some impressive milestones.

Lately, with these events on the horizon, I've been thinking about another aspect that is more difficult to determine. It isn't about stats or numbers, but more about the legacy that this group has left in its wake. The pilots who stay obviously continue to influence events and create content across all of New Eden, but those that leave also take a piece of us with them wherever they go. Our friends and former pilots are spread all across New Eden, in fact, you may be flying with one of them today. They also tend to start their own groups, or organize their own content because of what they learned while in our Corporation.

Over the years Stay Frosty has also become a safe-haven for many of Eve's "celebrity" players and an incubator for new ideas and concepts. Mynxee was a member and Signal Cartel was born out of that experience, as have many others. Stay Frosty was, in many ways, the harbinger of a new wave of content-creator led groups within New Eden. We helped set the stage for not only Signal Cartel but the Max Singularity led Sixth Empire as well. I'm sure there are others that I am forgetting. I know that dozens of other pirate corporations have sprang from our former members as an example.

I'd like to believe, more than anything else, that the attitude I've engendered in this great corporation and our alliance A Band Apart, has influenced and encouraged others as well.  I like to believe that because that is what I hear constantly from strangers in the game. Not from people on social media, or Slack/Discord, or Reddit, but from those that fly in space. I am constantly hearing directly from players in space, or in Eve Mail, how Stay Frosty has inspired, influenced, or changed the way they play the game. And more than anything else, those moments inspire me to continue.

And what exactly is that attitude? Stay Frosty is an old-school Pirate corporation based on KaJolo's original thoughts regarding a Pirate Code of Conduct for New Eden. Essentially my interpretation of that spirit is what drives Stay Frosty every single day. Respect for your fellow pilots. A passion for PvP excellence. Adherence to your Word and your Honor. And a devil may care attitude towards every other aspect of Eve Online. We don't care about our killboard, no one is judged on performance, or kills, or losses. No is forced to do anything. Our recruitment is always open to any player, and has been since day one. If you want to lead, lead. If you want to follow, follow. If you want to lurk in Null Sec solo for three years, then feel free. If you have a crazy idea, we'll try it. Nothing is off the table except for two things: We don't steal from Blues and the only blues we have are our Alliance mates. And our word is our honor, 1v1s and ransoms are respected. That's it.

Right now we are in the very early stages of planning our next run at the Alliance Tournament. If any of the above interests you and you'd like to be an important part of a winning team that isn't aligned with any Blue Donuts (and honestly doesn't even know what that is), then consider joining one of our Alliance Corporations. All of which essentially operate in the same spirit as Stay Frosty. We finished 15th two years ago, and 12th last year, and we plan on making an even deeper run this coming year. You can be a part of that effort and help ensure we make it.

Otherwise, join Stay Frosty and get your Yarrr on!

Or end up on the wrong side of the targeting reticle.

Eve Zippo Ad

Cyno Ad

I have ideas and I can't stop them. In fact, if I do have a single fear, it is that someday the fountain will run dry on me. Until then, I'll keep sharing some of them with you.

This is an off-shoot of a small side project I started last year called "In The Style of" or the "Eve Fusion Project" which is where I design an Eve related logo in the style of another brand. You can see the entire collected album here. Every so often I think of a new one and add it to the collection. The Zippo idea didn't really work as a stand-alone logo design - it needed something more to make it work. Hence the ad, which is also in the style of a Zippo ad.



Someone in Stay Frosty made this clip from JudgeSarn's stream yesterday. Due to a mix-up in local, I ended up fighting his Stabber with an old Moa I had laying around. In predictable fashion it exploded. But luckily NanoSpirit was able to catch him in his own Moa and garner some revenge for me. So it all ended well.

The Moa is #48 (30 kills) on my all-time ships list for good reason, I just don't fly them very often. But I appreciate the kind comments from JudgeSarn on his stream and I'm always willing to provide a good fight when I can. So thanks for that. It is an interesting play-style the Judge has, certainly not for me, but you have to appreciate the balls-to-the-wall approach. Just when I start to think maybe I should tone down my own go for broke style of PvP, someone else shows me a little perspective.


I also got the chance yesterday to undock my Rattlesnake in anger. NanoSpirit got a BNI to aggress on our station and we undocked to take care of it. I love the Rattlesnake but I don't fly it very often for obvious reasons. A couple of weeks ago I used it to run a Rogue Swarm site as bait, but that didn't work because no one came to kill it and I ended up finishing the site! Which might be the first time I've finished a site in Eve... like ever! Or at least in the last six or seven years.

The Rattlesnake is part of a group of ships I keep in my hangar for a variety of CEO operations. The Rattlesnake, a couple of Machs, a few Bhaalgorns, and some other ships (opsec) that I keep around for when they are needed. Mostly I use them for show, sorta like the old days when countries would sail their Battleships into a local port to show the locals who was boss. Except in my case each one is ready to die if necessary. These are not for show. None of my ships are. They will die in a fire if need be. But they do require a bit more consideration because they draw a lot of attention. And there is no need for them to get hot-dropped.

Anyway, it was fun to undock it and explode something with it. I had forgotten how awesome the sound of a Heavy Missile launcher is. Don't use those on much these days.


Earlier in the day we had a nice five man roam in Dessies. I took another weird ship along that has been gathering dust - a Heretic. What I discovered is that no one wants to fight it, as everyone pretty much ran away. I imagine that most people were frantically clicking their "Show Info" windows to figure out what a Heretic even is! You never really see them in Low Sec anymore. I can't remember the last time I have. Which reminds me, I should fit up a Flycatcher.

We had a fun roam, but we didn't get any kills. Our poor scout died though.


Stay Frosty sits at 98,931 total kills as I write this. In a couple of short weeks we will pass 100,000 kills. Which for any Pirate Corporation is truly a landmark to be celebrated. I was a member of The Tuskers when we passed 100k kills and I can still remember being proud of it. I'll have to think of something fun to do to celebrate.

48,797 of those kills are Solo by the way. (49%) Which is the highest percentage of solo I can find among any comparable Pirate groups in New Eden.

Yes, I am very proud of my fellow Stay Frosty pilots. They are pretty damn awesome.


Fly Bold.

Bringing Solo Back

(No, not that Solo! That is a clickbait image, duh!)

At one time, years ago, I would typically have upwards of 30+ channels open in-game. I recently found some old screenshots and it is surprising to me now just how many would be spread across my screen real estate. Of course, back in the old days, so much conversation happened in-game. Today, so much of that same conversation happens elsewhere. On Slack, or Discord, etc., etc.

One of those channels is called, Bringing Solo Back. During the incidents surrounding the formation of Stay Frosty (of which there were many) I managed to get myself banned from that channel. I don't remember why exactly, a lot of people were angry at me at the time, so it could have been just about anything. Some people don't need a lot of reasons. And so it has been for about six years.

So six years have passed.

So last Sunday night I'm interviewing Suitonia for After Hours (which I still need to edit and release, sorry been a busy week) and he mentioned the channel. And I mentioned the ban. And he was sure that was no longer the case. So one night I figured I'd see for myself. Sure enough, no longer banned.

This is what happened next:

Rixx Javix > Hey look I'm not banned no more
Rixx Javix > Check out our T1 Frigate Guide: https://eveoganda.blogspot.com/2018/01/t1-frigate-guide.html
Person1 > Person2 can you fix this
Person2 > we already link this to people rixx
Person2 > you dont have to come into the channel and suck your own dick for everyone to see
Rixx Javix > Awesome thank you
Person1 > Thanks
Rixx Javix > I was just trying to be nice
Person2 > no you weren't
Person2 > you were promoting yourself while acting smug about not being banned, no niceness about it, don't be dumb
Rixx Javix > Bite me

And for those Shadow Cartel people out there, I did edit the names and the time-stamps out of this convo. Because I'm not angry, or upset, or mad, or anything else. I don't apologize for what I said, you call me a Dick for no reason and I'm going to tell you to bite me. Personally I find it funny that people can be so damn sensitive. I thought the T1 Frigate Guide would be a useful thing to link, I had no way of knowing they'd already done so.

Gorski was nice enough to confirm that I am not actually re-banned from the channel. Apparently I was muted and temporarily banned. Either way, I went six years without the channel and I think I can go six more. Apparently my brand of good-natured give no fucks about things is not welcome in certain circles. And that's fine.

I'm bringing solo back by building an excellent happy-go-lucky pirate corporation that has solo'd 48,709 ships in four years and so many months. 49% of Stay Frosty kills are solo.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

T1 Frigate Guide

Stay Frosty pilot T Sky has just released his Balance Report on T1 Frigates, which is an excellent guide. You can download a PDF for yourself at this link. And I highly recommend it.

While no guide can encompass all variables, this guide comes extremely close and provides a very clear and understandable overview of each T1 Frigate's strengths and weaknesses - as well as potential engagement envelopes.


Pew Pew Roundup

When it comes right down to it, Eve is all about the Pew Pew. Good fights, gate camps, blobs, bait, and derps - all of it amounts to a never ceasing quest to come out on top. Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you. If you can stay ahead of the bear, even barely(!), you can build some traction to becoming a decent pilot in this crazy ass universe of ours. This is the goal, to git gud and stop sucking. Lol. It's a journey, not a destination. That journey is often crushing, rarely rewarding, and it destroys most players along the way. I've been doing it for nine years now. I've lost my mind obviously.

Misunderstanding "Safe Spot"
I jump the gate and lo and behold a Nereus is 157k off the gate in the distance. Slowly moving away from the gate at about 100m/s. I'm in my AB Incursus of Doom, so what does the Pirate Lord do? He slowly boats on out there to see what is up. It took forever. The funny part is how many ships transferred in and out of the gate while I was doing this, anyone of which could have tried to kill me. But no one did. I expected the transport to warp off when I got close, but it didn't. And it exploded. And I got almost all of the loot. I blew up the wreck so no one else could have what was left. And yes, I also podded the guy. People have to learn.

PL Firetail
I was explaining to my corpmate NanoSpirit how awesome my Incursus is and he just didn't believe me. I've been flying the same T1 Frigate for three weeks now and it just won't die. It has 12 final blow killmarks on it and probably another 12 kills on its record. That's when I saw the Firetail in the Novice. The funny part about these fights is that usually the other pilot could just leave anytime they want, and some do (I miss a lot of kills in this ship), but surprisingly a lot of them don't. I imagine that the other pilots can't accept the fact that this little Incursus won't die. Such was the case with this Firetail, he escaped my scram several times but refused to leave. Eventually I got tired and Nanospirit came in with his Comet to finish him off.

Blaster Comets
Just in case you think I'm making it up about the Incursus, here is me soloing a Blaster Comet with it. And this isn't the only example, I've done it twice now with that exact same ship. Now obviously a Rail Comet would be a difficult challenge, but luckily no one but me and Stay Frosty seem to fly the far superior version of this ship. People are infatuated with the raw dps of the blaster Comet failing to realize that it sucks in most situations. Like against an Incursus.

Blaster Daredevil
Another ship with a very small engagement envelope is the Blaster Daredevil. Once again the Rail version is far superior and with a much larger engagement envelope and yet people still mainly fly the higher dps sucky blaster version. Which is easily countered by a lot of ships, like my scram kiting Firetail. Which, remember, is only "kiting" from about 7,500m away. A rail DD would've killed me quickly. Plus, the loot fairy hates me sometimes, the faction web didn't drop.

Gila Go Boom
I deserved this death. Not only had I mindlessly killed a poor defenseless Venture out of boredom moments before, but I had also seen the bait trap a mile away - and still fell for it. This is why I do not bling fit my Gila - they have zero low GTFO ability. In the Pirate trade you learn to bling fit the ships with good GTFO ability and solid fit the doomed ones. Once I was caught I was doomed. And I have no one to blame other than myself. Always count on stoopid.

The Old Sacrilege
Years ago when I was between corporations I used to camp a system by myself with Sacrileges. I have 377 kills in the ship, third highest of all ships. Back then someone once gave me ten of them. I have three of those left. But I don't fly the ship very often anymore, mostly because of changes to the game the fit isn't as good as it once was. So the other night, out of boredom, I decided to undock one of them and fly around until someone killed it. Luckily I happened on this Myrmidon and ended up killing it instead. It was good to see that the Old Sac still has life in it after almost seven years.

And those are just a few of my recent adventures. Come join us in Stay Frosty and make your own stories of adventure. Low Sec is best Sec and you have the freedom to do whatever the Hell makes you happy. Pew Pew wise. Yarrr!

See you in space.

The Legendary Machariel

The Legendary Tweetfleet Machariel

Almost six years ago, back when I was a poor struggling Pirate, the folks over on #Tweetfleet did me a solid. They gathered together and bought me my very first Machariel. I named her Tweetfleet and she has served me well for almost six long years.

Oh I've had other Machariels over the years. For awhile I even thought this one had died during our infamous All Pirate Ship NEO Tournament fight a few years back. But no, that was a different ship. During the set up for the Tournament I had bought a couple of others and this one was moved to another station during an operation. When we packed up in Isho and moved Stay Frosty HQ down to Oullie, she came with me. Safe and sound.

Tonight I discovered the Angel Hex skin and I bought it for her. That's her sporting her badass neon green animated skin in the above picture taken outside our Citadel "Toothpaste Fish".

She does get into fights from time to time, but I rarely fly her into battle. I have two other Machs that are for fighting. My ships tend to die rather quickly and I rarely have them long. It's nice to look thru my hangar and see her there every day. It reminds me of a kindness done to me back when I needed it most. May 2012 was a dark time, I had recently closed my agency after eleven years and was dealing with all that that meant. I have a lot of stories about Eve and the community. I often get dragged thru the muck for some of them. But over here, in real life, I only smile. Nothing anyone will ever say will change the truth. And that truth is why I still play, why I still write, podcast, draw spaceships and everything else that I do.

And meanwhile the legendary tweetfleet Mach still plies the space lanes, more beautiful than ever.

Long may she live.

Cerberus On Patrol

On Patrol
Click to embiggen
A few weeks back I found a folder that contained a bunch of old screenshots from Eve. I took a few of the good ones and posted them into my Screenshot/History album.  I used to take a ton of screenshots. I always have, but somewhere along the line they became solely for art reference and I tended to dump those in the trash after I was finished with them. So I decided to start taking at least one "beauty" screenshot every day that I play Eve.

So that is what I've been doing. And I plan on keeping that going as long as I can. Nothing serious, but I think it's a interesting side project. As well as being a cool visual journal of my adventures in game. And hopefully I make good screenshot and someone is interested in them.

Onward & Upward.

Eve Wishes for 2018

2018 is here! This is going to be a big year. It is Eve's 15th Anniversary and in 90 days we'll be celebrating in Iceland at Fanfest. Our 3rd trip to Iceland. This will be my 10th year of playing Eve. The 5th year of Stay Frosty and A Band Apart. And the 8th year of Eveoganda. Wow. This year I'll finally get my 6,000th kill in Eve and maybe even more. I hope. It'd be great if we could win the Alliance Tournament as well, but that is what we will call a "wish" for now. I could go on with the milestones I'll pass this year, but let's leave it at that for now.

So what do I hope happens this year inside the game? Let me make a few wishes for things I'd like to see inside (and outside) of Eve for the 15th Anniversary.

Rollback Timers
Easily my number one wish is probably the easiest to implement. Let's get those FW Plex Timers to roll back when someone leaves the plex after they've started. Right now the timer freezes so a vacating party can simply return and start right back where they left off. It's a mechanic that encourages running away as a game style. If you want to claim that Plex you should be prepared to defend it. Run away and you get a penalty. Seems more than fair. As I've often said, I'm not out to harm FW play - in fact I'd like to strengthen it - and this solves a lot of problems for both sides.

Suspect Timers
In that spirit, here is one change that impacts Pirates and actually helps everyone else. A person with neutral or positive standing should NOT get a suspect timer if they attack a person with negative standings. This would encourage neutral/positives to engage Pirates in space without having to worry about getting blown up afterwards because of the timer. Again, a simple change that would encourage more combat. Which is a win-win for everyone.

Pirate Plex
I would like to see the installation of Pirate Plexes in Low Sec based on the local npc pirate groups. We live in FW space and we should have some say in the politics of the region. If a pirate group, like Stay Frosty for example, controls a system then we get some benefits - like free repairs in stations. These plex would work the same as they do now, except reversed. And it would give pirate organizations more engagement in the affairs of local space. Again, a win-win for everyone.

Those are the three big wishes for Low Sec in 2018. I think they are no-brainers and I'll be supporting CSM candidates that share these ideas in the coming election. So get on-board now and let's work together to make them happen.

I don't keep up with Null Sec like I used to, so I'll leave the improvements or suggestions to those better informed to make them. Same for Wormholes.

On a more serious note I think we all need to hear something from someone at CCP soon about this coming year and the plans for the future. Beyond Citadels and Structures. Now is the time for CCP Seagull (Or someone else, I know she is out on Maternity Leave) to stand up and tell us all a bit about where this train is going. It has been a rough patch lately for CCP, with the layoffs/confusion that came in the aftermath of VR and NewCastle/Atlanta, and the 15th Anniversary and all the rumors regarding the "new" MMO. All of us in Eve need to hear something about the direction our beloved game is taking. Now would be good. It is a new year and Fanfest is three months away. Give us some big ideas now and we can all talk about them then.

Player constructed gates? New space? There is a lot on the table that hasn't been talked about much. So where are we going? What does the next 15yrs of Eve look like?

CCP employees have pulled back from social interaction. The o7 Show is missing. The community team has been hacked to pieces. We need some leadership from the top. And soon.

So that is where my head is at right now looking down the barrel at 2018.

What are your wishes for the new year in Eve?

State of the Union 2017

By any measure 2017 was a comeback year. Exactly one year ago today I spent 24 hours as an innocent and unwilling guest of the County. I've been gainfully employed every single day of the following year. Every single month a significant portion of my earnings is taken away and given to someone who does not deserve a cent of it. Simply because the system was unprepared to deal with complicated situations like mine. And yet I pay it. And will be for nearly two more years. Enough said about that.

I spent eight months growing a business that helps Heroin addicts recover across the entire state of Pennsylvania. I helped grow the business from eight clinics to twenty. I started a free program that trains local businesses in the use of Narcan and provides free kits to help save the lives of those that seek shelter and might otherwise overdose. I still help that business when I can, often consulting, even though I left there in August. I'm proud of my time there and what we were able to accomplish and the lives we were able to help and save. And also the ones we could not.

In August I took another job. I'm now the VP of Marketing for a great company that I'm helping to grow into their potential. 2018 is going to be a year of growth and expansion for us, and I've spent the last five months putting the pieces in place to ensure that growth. It should be a very exciting year and I'm looking forward to it. Great people.

In Eve the fight continues. In a few days when the New Year clicks over it will have been two years since CCP started selling my posters without a contract or compensation. A situation which Mr. Unnamed Employee believes I should shut up about. I actually agreed to stop talking about it back at the beginning of the year, until Fanfest rolled around. And then I, and many others, sat around a table during which we were force feed a huge pile of steaming bullshit. Which I wrote about over on Crossing Zebras. Which I do not in any way regret saying. Every word of it is true. For saying those words however I've been blacklisted and apparently placed on the CnD immediately list. Which is fine with me. Two of the idiots responsible for this avoidable situation no longer work at CCP.

My Wife and I managed to scrap enough coin together to attend Fanfest. And we had an incredible time despite being shunned by a few people at CCP. (lol seriously) We got to hang out with our friends and see more of that incredible country. We plan on going back in April for the 15th Anniversary. And we can't wait.

Over the Summer I had a thought. I've been working on and off on an Eve Card Game for a few years, why not put one together and hand it OUT FOR FREE at Fanfest? That idea was actually given to me by a CCP employee a few years ago. Just so we are all clear, free items you just hand out are called SWAG. But no, apparently even the mere idea of that was too much for CCP's lawyers and I received a Cease and Desist letter for an imaginary concept that didn't exist yet. Sigh.

All of which might lead you to believe that I've grown bitter and angry at CCP. Not true at all. I think there are some big babies over there that need to HTFU, but I still love them all. I still love Eve. And I am still the biggest fan of the game. This year marks my ninth year. And I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. So neaner neaner Mr. Unnamed Employee.

My Wife and I hosted a bunch of Eve nerds at our house this past Summer for our 2nd Annual Steel City Eve event. We had an incredible day and enjoyed having everyone around for food, fun and lots of drinking! People came from as far away as freaking Texas and New Jersey! We love you all and can't wait until next Summer when we can do it all again.

Stay Frosty is almost five years old now. 300 or so players call it home. Another 500 or so call A Band Apart home. And I'm pleased to say that both are thriving and growing despite my difficulties and lack of significant playing time over the past two years. All of which has slowly been changing this year as I have more and more time to play around my busy schedule. A Band Apart finished 12th in the last Alliance Tournament. We finished 14th the year before. I'm looking forward to an even better finish in the next one, if we have one.

In the meantime I continue to write in Eveoganda. Which has been growing strong since 2010. This magazine continues to average 4,500 visits a day, with 14,000 the highest day of 2017. In 2016 our average was 6,700 and the highest day was 22,500. Which is good, but nothing compared to previous years. In 2013 our average was 12,500 and the highest peak day was 47,000. Which is probably a sign of both my own waining popularity, or blogging's, or Eve's. Take it as you will.

My RedBubble Store continues to do well. And by "well" I mean it makes between $25 and $225 dollars a month. I could make more if I increased the percentage, but I prefer to keep it at the lowest setting. I don't sell items there to make money, I sell them as a middle-finger to Mr. Unnamed Employee and his two (no longer employed cohorts). I plan on adding more and more items to the store in the coming year. So stay tuned. Retail is easy. Neaner neaner.

My podcast continues into its second season. This year I decided I wanted more control over the podcast and moved it from Crossing Zebras (love you guys!) into a paid account over on AudioBoom. This allows me to control the feed and get it listed on iTunes and other services. I've been shocked at the numbers frankly. Each episode averages 1,000 listens, with a few approaching 2,000. We can only go up from there once I get the feed over onto Spotify. Woot!

This article continues my tradition of being frank, honest and forthright with you my loyal readers, listeners, and fans every year. I am an open book. I do everything because I love this great community of ours and most of the people in it. I do this because I find it interesting, involving, challenging, and rewarding in so many ways.

I continue to produce art, videos, tattoos, and other creative stuffs based around this great game of ours. And I will continue to do so.

I also pledge to keep being an annoying trouble maker and drive certain people crazy. It adds spice to things and keeps things interesting.

I'm looking forward to 2018 and what another year will bring. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at Fanfest, or at Steel City Eve, or on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, or passing thru the neighborhood in real life or in space. Keep the courage and stay frosty my friends.

Onward & Upward.

How Mark Hamill Stabbed the Last Jedi

UPDATE: It seems that Mark Hamill has addressed this issue himself.

Even a casual google search on the Last Jedi reveals things like this story called "Mark Hamill 'still hasn't accepted' Star Wars: The Last Jedi storyline: 'He's not my Luke Skywalker'".  This idea was around before the Last Jedi opened, the idea that Mark saw the script from Rian Johnson and immediately thought, "This isn't my Luke Skywalker!" Which is fine, Mark is allowed to feel however he wants about his character. There are plenty of clips from history showing he has always had mixed feelings about the character, even as far back as Empire. The thing is, in my humble opinion, this idea being spread around before the new movie even opened, is what laid the groundwork for the weird reception The Last Jedi has experienced.

Historically middle stories in trilogies tend to have rocky starts. Mashable has a great article on how the Empire Strikes Back was received back when it opened in 1980. I lived thru this and I saw it for myself back then. And I watched as slowly the narrative about Empire started to change. Eventually it became the Holy Grail of the Star Wars Universe, a thing you couldn't touch. Empire was so good comparing other sequels in other franchises to it became cliche.

Star Wars has famously been challenging to many actors. I appreciate that fact. Reading a Star Wars script for the first time has to be weird. And then to find your entire career being defined by a single character doubly so. I get it. There are tons of stories out there about this. Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, and many more have struggled with this concept in the past. So Mark having issues isn't a surprise. The surprise is just how vocal he has been about it.

Typically this is something that comes out later as an anecdote around the time the DVD is being released. That is how the PR for such news is typically handled, in the commentary, or on the junket tours to promote the digital release after the Box Office run is finished. Frankly I'm surprised that Disney has allowed Mark the ability to spread this story before the movie even came out, but more surprising is that he'd want to. Believe me, I love Mark Hamill and seeing Luke in action again was awesome. I think Last Jedi is the best version of Luke we've ever gotten. And Mark deserves as much credit for his performance as we can give him. But maybe stop with the negative press?

Mark being upset about the direction of the character planted the seed that something was wrong with The Last Jedi before people even had a chance to see it. If someone as revered as Mark Hamill had issues with the movie... well then, something must be wrong with it.

Much like what happened with Empire, those that hate The Last Jedi are on the wrong side of history. Certainly the film has its flaws and I'm not going to say it is perfect because it clearly isn't. But neither is Empire. It just would have been nice to go into Last Jedi without knowing that the beloved actor we all couldn't wait to see in action again - didn't like the way things went with his character.

I love ya Mark. But maybe next time, keep your negative opinions to yourself until after the movie comes out?