A Brutix Moment


So yesterday I'm out roaming around with about 3-5 fellow Stay Frostians and we're doing the usual stuff. Trying hard to find content in empty corners of Low Sec and engaging pretty much everything we can to drum up some business. Mostly just having fun and chasing people around. This is pretty much what we do on a regular basis. Trouble makers. Instigators. Insane Engagement Doctors. We are rather famous for it. To be a successful Pirate you have to cultivate the concept that you will fight anything, anytime, anywhere. And no one, in my humble opinion, is more well-known for that than we are.

Such a public persona comes at a price however. There are times when people will try to use it against you. There were a couple of these ideas being bandied about in the neighborhood yesterday. In one system we had someone sitting in a Medium in a Talwar, with his cloaked Stratios buddy inside waiting. And there were others, I don't want to give away any more free ideas. Figure these things out for yourself! This is why I try to get everyone who happens to be on-line at the time into a fleet. Even if you plan on flying solo, you should be in the Stay Frosty fleet together. This way we can share intel, potential targets, and opportunities. And yes, that sentence was aimed internally.

And so it was that this Brutix showed up on scan, alone in our home system. Look, most likely the guy is not an idiot. I don't know him, but I'm going to just assume he isn't. We could have engaged him in our Frigates and killed him, maybe lose a few ships, take forever, and give his backup plenty of time to arrive. Or, I could dock up, jump into a Brutix of my own and see if he wanted to play.

Sometimes its better not to be the hunter and appear to be the prey. So I warped to a Large and waited. Sure enough, he landed and we danced. Just FYI, my Brutix fit is much better than his. But I have hungry mouths to feed so my Corp mates also came along. One of them brought a Ferox! How's that for Pirate humor? (I love it, earlier he was in a Drake!) I told everyone to overheat and kill the Brutix fast, align out to the station... because help was coming.

Sure enough that's when the Bhallgorn and friends showed up on d-scan. Luckily Battleships take forever to warp, so we had time to finish the Brutix off and warp away just as the Bhallgorn landed.

All of which isn't even the point of this post.

In my earlier days I would have docked up and gotten into something bigger and engaged that Bhallgorn. And then had three Carriers drop on my ass and go boom. The advantage of your own home system is that no one knows what you have on hand. And sometimes it is better that they don't. I have a crazy hangar. But these days I'm really trying to be smarter about how I use it.

In addition, and this is the real point here. I'm trying to be a better CEO. Because it isn't just me YOLO'ing into a potential hotdrop, but it is also my Corp mates. And while I encourage everyone in Stay Frosty to go for fights, often against impossible odds. I also like them to use their brains. There is a fine line between daring and stoopid. And I'd like them to err on the side of the former.

This isn't a new thing of course. But it continues to be something I'm trying to work on every time I undock. I'm not only the Pirate Lord of Low Sec but I'm also the CEO of Stay Frosty. And I'm trying to work on being better at both those things.

Every day is an adventure.

PS: If you'd like to live the life of adventure and become a notorious pirate Stay Frosty is always open. No prior experience needed. Just join the in-game EVEOGANDA channel or just go ahead and apply. We take everyone.



Alliance Tournament XV


Things are heating up for this Summer's Alliance Tournament. Yesterday we got a look at some stats from this year's prize ships and they are, as always, very impressive. This will be A Band Apart's third Alliance Tournament believe it or not. And after last year's Top 16 finish, this time around we are automatic bid worthy! (Forms and Plex already delivered.)

I could not be prouder of our team. We've already been hard at work with our practice schedule for well over a month now and the rules are not even out yet. I don't expect many changes this year, but there are always the subtle things that you have to look out for. Maybe some point changes when it comes to certain ship types? Who knows. But we will all find out around this time next week.

Funny, even after almost nine years of playing this crazy game, I'm still racing to get a few skills trained up before the Tournament starts. All of Rixx's skills are sub-cap skills and even with 160m+ already trained, there are still a few more that could use topping off. Right now that is Marauder V - which is an extremely loooong skill. 20 days to go on that one. And then a few weird skills I never thought I'd need.

If we make it to the final weekend of the Tournament this year, it will happen on my Birthday. Which I consider a good omen. That Saturday is also the day we are planning on our next player meet - Steel City Eve II: This Time It Is Personal. Which I just realized... one of these things may have to change.

I really enjoy the AT, the practices, the teamwork, and everything that goes into getting ready and then playing. I'm expecting good things from our team again this year and hoping that we can make a solid run at an even higher finish than last year. Top 16 was amazing for our second year, but we can do better. So much depends on seeding and placement and other random things that are completely out of your control. Which is all part of the fun.

Onward and upward.



In Extremis?

in ex·tre·mis
ˌin ikˈstrāmis,ˌin ikˈstrēmis/
adverb

1. in an extremely difficult situation."they suddenly find themselves in extremis 20 miles out to sea"

at the point of death.








Given the recent lack of activity here in these vaunted pages, it would only be natural to start assuming that I've decided to stop writing in the blog. Perhaps I am burned out. Toasted. Turning bitter old vet, or else have succumbed to distraction. After all, I do have a lot of irons in the fire these days. The truth is buried somewhere in there, but the fact is that I was simply taking a nice break from writing here in these pages. I have no intention of stopping any time soon. If ever. There is just too much sweat equity in these words and images.

Having said that, I did purposefully take a short break. Primarily because my usual morning window for writing has collapsed due to my new job. Put that up against the energy expended in the lead up to Fanfest and then the horrible explosion of reality that certain... well let's just say that everything didn't go that well. And it has only gotten worse since. I'm not going to go into details, but suffice to say that recent events have led me to some new conclusions.

From now on I'm re-focusing my energies into some more narrow directions. First and foremost I will be playing Eve more regularly again. Last year took a lot of energy and while I never stopped playing Eve, I didn't play as much as I should have. My Corporation suffered and my Alliance as well. Medals went un-rewarded, plans fell to the side, things got a little ignored. That is going to stop. My first and most enjoyable passion is playing Eve. That has to remain my top priority. And it will be.

I owe it to my friends and family in Eve, most of whom fly under the A Band Apart and Stay Frosty banners, to give it my full attention.

Secondly I will continue to build the RedBubble store and annoy the crap out of certain people at CCP. New items will continue to be added each week. I'm incredibly excited by how well the store is doing, but I know it can be even better. RedBubble continues to exceed my expectations and keeps adding new products all the time. I'd also like to see more Alliances taking advantage of the swag opportunities for their pilots. Again, just contact me to get started. I've sold almost 750 items from the store since it was launched in December. All without a single return. 

After Hours will continue as well. I'm enjoying Podcasting more than I thought I would. And I really think the format I've worked to develop is unique and provides a great chance to really communicate with people. 21 episodes in now and I have no reason to believe I won't just keep doing them.

The past few months have been challenging for different reasons. The new job has been going extremely well. But it is taking time for me to get used to less time. Some things have suffered from both a lack of time and a distinct lack of enthusiasm. I sincerely apologize for that. Anyone who I owe work or forgot to get back to, please forgive me. I will be trying to do better.

I have some exciting NEW projects in the works that I want to give my full attention. More on those later. I will tell you that they involve a New Card Game and a Coloring Book. (Hater Alert - No I will not be crowd-sourcing anything, everything I have planned will be paid for by me.)

And now for the negative. Or the positive, depending on how you look at it. From this point forward I am done with talking about, or dealing with, or anything else to do with the Eve Store or merchandise. I'm finished beating my head against that wall. I'm also done with expecting anything to happen on that front. From now on I'm just going to mind my own business and focus on my own projects. 

I had my say. Time to move on.




After Hours 20: Alan Mathison


After Hours Episode 20 with Alan Mathison is now available HERE.

We discuss all things Exoplantary in perhaps the nerdiest After Hours so far. Project Discovery, science, crowd-sourcing and much, much more. Enjoy!



Fanfest Iceland Photo Album

Fanfest/Iceland 2017
Click on the image to see the album


Finally getting around to getting our photos organized, at least a little bit. Here is the first album of images from Fanfest/Iceland if you are interested.



A Special Message

One of the Fanfest SwagPacks I gave out
What a ride these past (insert any amount of time you'd like) have been. Our lives have been turned upside down, and incarcerated - but never defeated. In large part thanks to you dear reader and the generosity of the Eve Community. Despite what any of the haters out there might say, this great community of ours, my fans, and my readers (and listeners!), saved my family from homelessness. Not to pay legal fees, or imaginary child support, or anything nefarious like that. Simply to help us keep our home at a critical moment in time. And it worked. And we have been able to re-build our lives, put the legal troubles to rest (finally!) and move on. All thanks to you.

And there is no one more grateful and appreciative of that than I am. A lot of my most recent projects came about because of that gratitude and more are coming in the future. But one thing my wife and I both wanted more than anything was a chance to say thank you IN PERSON to as many Eve players as possible. And where else can you do that better than at Fanfest? We both worked very hard and sacrificed a lot to make this trip happen and to also put together some special items as a way of saying thank you.

You can see the full range of swag in the image above. I created four special Eve Postcards, front and back and we had 100 of each printed. Then we created several stickers and had 250 (or more) printed of each. Then Mom Bellicose sent us some of her o7 Tattos to include. And my wife made a bunch of special holders with paper cut out Tristans on them for a dozen or so extra special supporters. Like Norbert above, who makes me the most incredible books! Thanks my friend, the books are among my most prized possessions.

I personally handed every single piece out to as many people as possible at Fanfest. In my mind that was my primary reason for being there, so it was our highest priority. And while circumstances did not always allow for a verbal "thank you", I hope that the sentiment was implicit every single time. For that was always my intention.

As I've said before, I couldn't care less about what anyone thinks. I'm grateful and I always will be. I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of what happened. I needed help and a bunch of people practically demanded I allow them to help, which then snowballed into a much larger effort that really had very little to do with me driving it, and everything to do with how amazing you all are. It is an enduring testament to this great group of players and something I will never forget.

If I missed you or if you read this blog and were not able to attend Fanfest, let me say Thank You. I hope that in lew of swag you will take this blog, After Hours, and all my other ongoing projects as my way of continuing to say thanks.

Fanfest also represented the last time I'm going to specifically bring this up. All of these events happened well over a year ago and in my mind they are ancient history now. I'm not commenting on any more comment threads about them, or responding to haters on Reddit, or anywhere else. Any more negative comments here on Eveoganda will be dealt with the same way they were before, by being deleted. I didn't do that for the last year, I allowed those that wanted to be negative their chance to say what they wanted to say. But I'm done.

Now is the time to move on. I need to start playing Eve again and hang out in-game with my Alliance and Stay Frosty. I feel the need to Pew Pew and practice for the AT.

Time for more Eve.




Iceland from the Passenger Seat



We are back from Fanfest a day later than planned, our Icelandair flight into Boston arrived late and we missed our connection. But we are finally home. I'm sure I will have more to say about Fanfest in the coming days and weeks, as well as have more photos to share with you. I believe we took well over a thousand photos between us. So that is going to take some time to sort.

In the meantime I cobbled together a side project of mine. We rented our own car this trip and went on a couple of tours with a good friend of ours that runs Moonwalker Tours. We became friends with Bessi Jonsson back in 2015 during our last Fanfest trip. During all of our adventures from the furthest West and almost the furthest East in Iceland I shot a ton of footage out the window of our car and his amazing Land Rover Defender Moon1.

So yesterday I took some time and edited some of it together in this meditative and incredible look at the vast landscapes of Iceland. It is certainly more for us to remember our adventures, but I thought I'd share it with you.

More to come, but in the meantime, enjoy this short film.

Iceland is an incredible place.



Announcing RixxJavix.com


Announcing the launch of my NEW Portal at RixxJavix.com

I had this idea almost two years ago when I first bought the rixxjavix.com domain, but various and sundry things have kept me from doing anything with it until recently. It all worked out for the better for having waited, now that I have the Podcast and the Alliance Store up and running, it makes even more sense to have a central website that links out to everything. Including Eveoganda.

You may be asking yourself why? What purpose does this serve? And why should we care? Good questions dear reader and let me try and answer them as best I can. As for the why and what I simply thought it was time to bring all of my various projects together under one roof as it were, an easy to remember location that makes it easy to find everything. Frankly I've put nine years of hard work into Rixx and he has become more than just my Eve identity. Because of my presence on so many platforms Rixx has become synonymous with my real life identity. A pseudonym. An alter-ego. We are one and the same. So its time to embrace that fact and run with it.

As for why should you care? Your own mileage on that issue is your own business. Maybe you don't care, and maybe you do. Either way the site is up and running and I'm going to be using it into the future. For now it is just a portal with some art and basic information. But it won't be staying that way for long. Eventually it will be expanding to include not just Eve related work, but also other genres as well. And ultimately it will house original artwork that will be for sale. But all of that is down the road a bit. For now it is starting life as a portal.

As an artist this is a big step for me. Rixx has come to represent the Eve side of my personality and my work as well. It is a rather unique position that I find myself in and one that is rather unexpected. I certainly didn't start playing this character nine years ago with this in mind. But here we are. So it seemed only natural to embrace that duality and make Rixx the side of me that draws spaceships, talks about gaming, and works on projects in the Eve community and beyond.

Its all me after all. The last nine years have been a strange, amazing, and unexpected journey and I'm looking forward to seeing where the years ahead of me will lead next.

Thanks as always for traveling along the road with me. It has been a much better trip with you around and I hope you'll stick with me.

Onward and Upward.


PS: Despite the day this is not an April Fool's Day joke.

Celestial

Celestial
Click to embiggen


I had no reason to do that image, I saw this photo from NASA earlier today and decided to put some Eve on it. Nothing else to it. Not serious. Just playing around.

Today is a weird day.




Remember Myrskaa (again)

Myrskaa Red Poster
Click to download heap big versions


I was inspired by all the other entries in the contest and thought of this one late last night. Good fun. I like when I have an idea, sit down and make it happen. Everything just comes together in a rush and boom, I've just given birth to something that didn't exist before. Before this was a gray and brown photo of an industrial welder that I once used for a corporate ad for a client years and years ago. 

There are a bunch of solid entries in this contest and who knows who will eventually "win". I have nothing to do with that decision and I always feel the same way about contests - whatever. You can't think about them, or worry about them, or let them bother you. I've won contests I barely tried and entered at the last minute and I've lost them when I poured my heart and soul into an entry, and vice versa. Art. Everyone has their own opinion.

To everyone that entered I would like to say, well done. You inspired me and I believe you have inspired many others. It is rare to see an Eve Fan Art contest get this many entries, so that is very exciting. I wish you all the very best of luck and would like to encourage each of you to continue. The greatest gift you can give an artist is encouragement and support. And all of you have mine.

Someone once tried very hard to kill the artist inside of me. And while they failed miserably, it has taken me years and years of hard work to overcome and break thru the other side. I still struggle with it and probably always will. But what they failed to understand (and probably still do) is that it won't die. Because I won't let it.

Don't let yours die either. 



Justice League Trailer



I'm an unbiased comic book geek, I enjoy Marvel, DC, and lots of others. Always have. The "house" has never really mattered to me as much as the stories and the creative teams working on them. I admit to growing up in my early years primarily on Marvel Comics, but this was back in the rotating rack in the corner store days - so my choices were rather limited. Once the comic explosion happened in the early eighties - everything changed.

I would like to live in a world where all the comic movies rule. I'd like to enjoy well crafted and well told stories featuring great heroes and awesome bad people. I don't really care if they are Marvel/Disney, DC, or Marvel/Fox, or whoever.

Having said all of that the new Justice League trailer has me worried. Eight months out from November and they decided to drop this thing, probably before it was 100% ready. The CGI effects on Cyborg look like they need some more work. But even beyond that this thing has some areas that give me pause and cause some concerns.

Once again we are looking at Zack Synder directing and right off the bat that can be a hit or miss proposition, mostly miss lately. While I enjoyed huge chunks of Man of Steel, overall the movie was more fail than failure. Some truly odd choices that didn't make much sense. And BvS last Spring was just a holy mess of mistakes compounded on top of each other. Again, some of it wasn't horrid, but the overall story was just so lame it doesn't matter. Parts of it physically hurt to watch.

With all of that in mind, some concerns. This still "looks" like BvS, same grimdark lighting and de-saturated color schemes. Some '300' style studio stage looking green screen work. And a huge pile of CGI work. One wonders if the Sun ever shines in the DC Universe? I get that we have a few jokes thrown in to lighten things up and they work, just like anyone with any intelligence at all could have guessed - but everything still feels extremely heavy and self-serious. There is a weight to everything that feels self-imposed and that comes with a certain level of danger for this movie. Frankly if it plays things much like BvS did its going to be raked over the coals. Even if it doesn't deserve it.

Aquaman and Wonder Woman are awesome.

Like I said, eight months to go and maybe things will look better as we go along. Hope so. Right now I'm excited for the movie, just hoping it is much better than the last two entries in the DCU.




One Week Until Fanfest

Signing Posters
Not this year
A week from today Liz and I will be jetting across the night sky towards the land of fire and ice once more to attend Eve Fanfest, see all our friends, and visit a country we fell in love with back in 2015. So much has happened since our last visit it feels like a lifetime ago. I think this is why we are so anxious to go back this year. After years of turmoil and fighting the good fight (and losing it) our lives are finally starting to feel like normal lives again. Plus, so much of that last Fanfest was eaten up by those posters. Store signings, media, player presentation, roundtable, dinners, lunches, more signings, more media, more meetings, so much of my time was devoted to promoting them. It felt rushed and cramped. Not complaining here, I'd do it again in a second. It did feel rushed though.

But this time I've tried to scale back on the activities. No player presentations this year. Just fun stuff. Because of all that activity last time we missed the Tweetfleet Meet, so we can do that this year. We missed the Pub Crawl, so we can do that this year. And I'll be able to attend more presentations and more fun Eve stuffs this time.

MOAR FANFEST! That's the theme this year.

We are bringing some swags with us this year. We are not rich peoples, but we've pooled our resources and saved our pennies to bring along some tasty freebies as a thank you to all of you for your support over the years. Despite what some people would have you believe, we do appreciate you. And while writing and drawing and podcasting and video-making and all of that is one way I can show my appreciation, another way is by handing you something at Fanfest that we made and paid for ourselves.

So if you see me please feel free to come up to me and interrupt whatever it is I am doing. I heard from so many people last time that I didn't get to meet because they were shy, or didn't want to interrupt, or whatever - don't do that.  Seriously, I do not mind at all. I really don't.

Sadly I did not bring enough for everyone. With thousands of attendees at Fanfest it would be impossible for me to lug that much swag around. We tried our best but we really only have a fraction of that. So please don't feel bad if we've run out, or if you only get one piece. We're going to try and stretch them out so that the maximum number of people can get something from us.

Die-Cut Rixx Art Tristans!
MOAR Fanfest, MOAR Friends!

I'm really looking forward to hanging out and enjoying Fanfest this year. I'm sad that certain people are not able to attend and they will all be missed, but I am also excited that certain other people will be there this time - so it all kinda balances out. I wasn't able to attend last year and I hope people missed me.

Seven days until take off.





Couple of Podcasts

As well as being a piece of shit scammer© I also enjoy being an awesome guest on podcasts. In addition to the Open Comms show I posted earlier this week I also spent time on two other podcasts, Mindclash and Tyrant Scorn's Legacy podcasts.

In all seriousness, here they are and I hope you enjoy them. I'll be editing a new episode of After Hours this weekend, so that will hopefully be out early next week. Until then, get your Rixx Fixx with these two excellent and completely different podcasts.

The Mind Clash podcast – episode 29: arts and crafts (I also designed the logo)

Legacy – episode 3 (feat. lockefox, rixx javix & steve ronuken)

Enjoy!



Signature Hats?

CCP Frame's Signature Hat

I always found it surprising how few people ask for military hats for their avatars. It happens, but not that often. So yesterday when CCP Frame asked for a "anything you want" hat, his avatar was perfect for it. Not to mention monotone and with a cigarette hanging from his lip. It was his request that I sign it also, hence the concept of signature hats.

What are signature hats? Mostly likely they are hats with my signature on them.

Fanfest is coming!



Deep Roots


I haven't seen this piece in probably twenty years. Its from 1983 or 1985 and probably the first large sized painting of a spaceship I ever tried. I know I had been drawing spaceships, and other things, for much longer. But this was an airbrush and pastel painting. You have no idea just how much I hated airbrushing.

I have no recollection of working on this. During this period of my life I was cranking work out left and right, trying to find my way. My style. My voice. Anything. So I make no claims as to the subject matter, because I simply don't remember. This may be an original, or I might very well have been using someone else's work as practice, or inspiration, or a launching point. Who knows.

It was good to see it again and realize that it wasn't lost to time. To be honest it is rather horrible. Looking back on old work is like watching yourself talk to a girl for the first time, its awkward, slightly embarrassing, and you could do so much better now.

But yeah, my spaceship roots run deep.