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?

Guest Post: A Free Astrahus

I’ve never had this sort of luck.

Yesterday (19th of December) I decided to pick up my Venture to do some mining. I had placed it in a citadel – an Astrahus – to do reprocessing and manufacturing, and I had specifically chosen that citadel because of its low tax rates. I recently looked at some of the structures in nearby systems, and it appeared that most Corps apparently use Astrahus citadels for manufacturing and reprocessing despite the Raitaru having the bonuses and a lower price tag. Maybe they want more defense, I guess.

When I entered the system for some reason I couldn’t find the citadel on my overview. I used the bookmark I had made earlier, which I intended for moments like this when I may derp out. I then warped to my bookmark and all I found was a hangar container and a repackaged citadel that I didn’t even notice at the time.

Where did it go? Maybe it had been destroyed as the corporation who owned it had 3 active wars going on. So, I checked the container, as I mostly do with containers I see floating around, and saw 900 million isk worth of structure modules, fuel blocks and ammo. I got pretty excited and started brainstorming a way to loot all of this before it could be taken by someone else; who wouldn’t pass up 900 million in loot?

Then I saw that those modules took a pretty large amount of space, 4000 m3 each, along with 10 to 20 thousand m3 more of fuel blocks. I proceeded to buy an Iteron Mark V (as I’m Gallente) from the nearest station, then swapped out my Vexor Navy Issue for that. A few minutes later I was warping back and forth between the container and the only NPC station in the system, while the suspect timer kept resetting, although it wasn’t too much of a risk as most highsec folks don’t really care.

About half an hour through the hauling process, I (finally) realized that the citadel was right there, bundled up, offline, unanchored; a once mighty structure now floating like abandoned junk. I had to liberate it from its lonely position in space, but then my Iteron did not have enough cargo space to fit the citadel in its already spacious cargo bay (compared to my Vexor Navy Issue, but it’s still an awesome ship nonetheless). That problem was very easily solved by buying a couple of Expanded Cargohold IIs and fitting them onto my Iteron, although the subwarp speed of the ship was barely 100 m/s at this point.

However, it didn’t really matter, and soon the citadel and the remaining fuel blocks were all now in the comforts of a Minmatar station.


Estimated worth: 1.977 billion isk.

As an alpha clone, I should be jumping over walls in joy, as this is more than enough to go omega even with the inflating PLEX prices. However, I still haven’t felt the impact of such an amount of money for some reason. Anyway, I am still deciding what to do with my newfound riches, as owning an Upwell structure is one of my Eve goals.

So, I guess, keep your structure bookmarks.

And Stay Frosty, no, this isn’t Toothpaste Fish.

- Xandar Dice, Stay Frosty Pilot

The Last Jedi

Star Wars is in my blood. It accounts for my undying love for all things spaceships, science-fiction, technological and fantastical. It ignited the imagination of a 12 year old boy sitting in a dark theater and, in so many ways, it hasn't ever let go. While I certainly don't want to give it more credit than it deserves, it did open my mind to a greater world. There is an expensive statue of Darth Vader hovering mid-"I am your Father"- above my desk as I write this. On the wall to my left is an original Empire movie sheet in a frame. Star Wars is smeared all over my life.

My brother and I were late for the first showing of Empire. I was fourteen and he was nine. So we had to stand in line for the second show. As the previous crowd exited the theater a man said clearly, "I can't believe Vader is Luke's Father." I coughed very loudly when I saw where that sentence was going and distracted my brother. He missed the spoiler. I didn't.

I saw Phantom Menace a week or so before it was released. My own son was very little, but he came to the preview with me. He dressed up as Darth Vader and wacked people in line with his tiny lightsaber. He loved the movie. I did not. But when it came time to write my review for an online review site, I couldn't bring myself to trash it. I wrote a decent review instead. It felt like Star Wars had stayed young and I had grown away from it. Lucas even admitted later that Star Wars was for kids.

And so it remained thru the remaining prequel trilogy. And the animated series. And most of what we got for years. I was ok with that. The ideas and themes of Star Wars had fueled my young imagination and I hoped that it would continue to do so for other generations as well. A story from our childhood, something for parents to share with their children. Nothing wrong with that.

And then Force Awakens came along. And it certainly felt familiar. It was lightyears ahead in terms of quality, production value, special effects, and even in acting, but it felt familiar. It echoed a lot of the original. Which was understandable. I would have done the same thing to be honest. The original was almost 40 years old at the time. But Force Awakens was good, in some ways great, and in some ways familiar. It elicits complex feelings even today.

And then on Saturday I saw the very first new Star Wars film since Return of the Jedi. You could eliminate everything that happened in-between RotJ and Last Jedi and you really wouldn't be missing anything important. Oh sure Star Wars remains primarily a child's story, as it should, but this film (despite its obvious flaws) is the best thing to happen to Star Wars since that day Vader revealed that he was Luke's Dad. That fact is undeniable in my humble, lifelong, opinion.

Say what you want about the movie, but I feel like I have reclaimed Star Wars once again. I felt like a 12 year old watching it. A feeling I never thought it would give me again. I nearly lost it six or seven times during the movie. Luke Skywalker, who 40 years ago represented all of my own hopes and dreams for life - today represents the reality of those dreams for me. Me and Luke have grown up together you see. We each have our traumas, our disappointments, our failures. Life didn't go exactly as planned for either of us.

I didn't expect that from a Star Wars movie.

And for that, the unexpected, the surprising, the grown-up, the silly, the flawed, the moving, and ultimately for inspiring me once again - I have a new hope that Star Wars can be relevant again. And maybe I can too.

May The Force Be With Us All.

Something New

Dark Firetail
Click to embiggen

Something I've been playing around with the past few weeks. I've always been fascinated by black and white photography so I was wondering what that might look like translated into Eve terms. Not sure this is the perfect example of that expression - at least not yet - but I think it is as far along as this piece will get.

Christmas Jam

Holiday memories from last year. If you haven't had a chance to hear or see this one before, now's your chance. Truly brilliant singing from Sindel as always.

A Holiday History

Over the years I've made quite a few Holiday themed wallpapers, here are some of them.

Eve Planetside Holiday
From 2012

Happy Holidays Eve 2014
From 2014

The Gift - Eve Online HD Wallpaper
From 2015

Suddenly Ninjas: Suddenly Giveaway!
From 2010, this one I did for Suddenly Ninjas obviously

Happy Holidays 2017
Last year's

Merry Christmas.

A Tale of Two Ships

A bored Rixx usually gets into trouble.

In yet another cycle of change, Low Sec is currently undergoing a minor shift once again. Established players are changing, the landscape is adapting, and tactics are evolving. In other words it is a tad chaotic right now. Things will once again settle down into more predictable patterns, but for the time being you never know when your Hookbill will be jumped on by an arty Loki for no good reason. Which happened to me on Saturday.

Lots of bait and switch going on these days. Lots of loser pilots overcompensating by bringing overwhelming force to small fights. Classless and honorless hordes are everywhere. Pretty typical for Low Sec. Luckily, Stay Frosty continues to bear the torch for honor and good fights when we can. The Stay Frosty Code remains a bastion in even the darkest of times. As does my personal ability to derp myself into dumb situations purely for the joy of it.

I was bored pushing a Sleipnir around with my Dominix when about 175 Eve Uni frigates arrived in local. I docked up and bought myself a Brutix off of corp contracts (thanks Devlin!) and undocked and warped to the large plex. I've done this before with Frigate gangs, sometimes I even live! Like that time I jumped a Dominix into them at the Sun and killed like 12 of them before they ran off. But this time I figured a cheap Brutix would be enough.

The killboard says I got two of them before they got me, but I really remember five of them exploding. Either way it was fun and I had a blast. If you don't understand why I do that when I can, then you don't understand me at all. There are a lot of good reasons to derp a BC into a swarm of Eve Uni Frigates. It's fun. I typed WITNESS ME into local as I died. It's content. And I am a content provider. I'm sure those pilots enjoyed the fight. And it also serves as a great recruitment action. We get lots of pilots from Eve Uni and many from previous engagements like that one.

Later we spotted a Hyperion in the large plex. So I undocked the Hyperion I recently fitted up to give it a shot. It must be said that I am not a Hyperion fan. Every single time I fly that ship it lets me down. This was probably the first Hyp I've flown in a few years and eventually the result would be the same. The fight was going fine until the Mach showed up, after that it was boom for me. No more Hyperions for me. My dumb fault though for leaving my red pills in the Station.

Don't do drugs kids.

After Hours Podcast featuring John McClain

The latest episode of After Hours is now available for your listening pleasure. In this episode I welcome John McClain from Pandemic Legion, Best of Us, FitFleet and - most recently - candidate for the CSM.


A Year Later

WARNING: This post contains exceptionally well written and honest words regarding very personal and real life events that may not be suitable for all audiences. It contains Adult Situations and Intense Honesty. Certain people who will remain unnamed might not be able to handle it. Please don't punch my Wife dude, she punches back.

If I had a shrink they'd probably recommend that I write this post. I don't have a shrink. I've never had one. Where I come from we work our crap out ourselves, pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and get on with life. That sounds tough, and it can be. But I also wouldn't recommend it. It tends to back up the garbage in your head. Somewhere along the way I learned how to deal with that garbage myself and I've managed to do a decent job of keeping it buried in the landfill. But it surfaces from time to time. The best thing, for me, is to use that flotsam as inspiration for creativity. And motivation for life itself.

About a year ago a Judge suddenly decided to take my liberty away from me. One second I was a man arguing for logic and common sense - and the next I was essentially a piece of garbage. A Bailiff came and put me in handcuffs. I didn't get to see my Wife or my Son. As we went down the elevator the Bailiff shook his head and said, "Man I'm so sorry, you got royally screwed."

Imagine that every friend you have ever had suddenly disappears. Imagine that every person you ever worked with won't return your phone calls. With rare exceptions that has been my life for the past five years. It gets worse. Now imagine that your business partner steals money from you, causing one of your biggest clients to leave with their business. A man you worked with for ten years. I have a long litany of horror I can repeat, but I'll stop there. Needless to say it was Hell. Bankruptcy. Court fees. Fines. Legal fees. Threats. Repossessed cars. etc. etc. etc.

The worst thing about all of that is how it won't stop. It isn't a bad weekend, or a bad stretch. It was a bad eight years of non-stop stress and horror show video playing on your face. And despite what some people choose to believe I never stopped fighting and trying and working to make it go away. I took every job I could. Even with people I knew would eventually screw me over. What choice did I have? And sure enough they eventually screwed me over. I helped start a very successful business only to watch as my friend and business partner got terminal cancer - twice.

Oh yeah, this was some sick shit. Live thru that every single day and then have some punk on the internet talk shit about your wife and see how well you take it. Or sit thru a bullshit session at Fanfest again and see if you can keep quiet. While the company has been selling your work for TWO YEARS without a contract. And there are some at CCP who are mad at me about that.

The worst thing for me about jail was the unknown. They don't have a video to watch when you arrive, "Everything you need to know!" Nope. No brochures, no handouts. They don't tell you shit. They just move you from one place to another. But first you wait. I waited in a room with twenty other people for about six hours. I was the only other white person there who was not overdosing on Heroin. The two other white dudes were seriously fucked up. Almost all the other people there were in on drug charges, some with violence attached. But a few were transfers, being held until such time as they could be moved to their Super Max destinations. One dude was so bad off he had his own special room. Multiple murders is what I heard.

And yes this fifty year old professional white man stuck out like a sore thumb. A fact which many other gentlemen there commented on. I watched The Wire. And that Night Of show on HBO. As well as hundreds of others. I knew that being "special" or "different" was probably not a good thing. But I did my best to be cool, not panic, and stay aloof on the outside. These street skills are hard won, and a tad dusty, but they came back quick. I'm not a rabbit after all, I'm the Wolf. An older Wolf sure. But also more experienced. Such bs, I was scared to death.

I also had no idea of what was happening inside or outside. It was a long time before I got my phone call. And that was just heartbreaking.

Eventually it all gets much worse. Then they shuffle you into processing. Which means removing your clothes so some Officer can watch you spread your ass cheeks. I did get to keep my own shoes however. I wore my Converse on purpose that day. But otherwise it was orange "Property Of" clothes for me. More waiting. More rooms with more inmates. More people who feel the strange need to tell me their story. (That has been a lifelong curse for me, I have that kind of face) I watched a young woman get hit by a female guard. I watched another woman scream and cry. I heard a story about a murder at another prison by a dude that said he was there when it happened. I believed him. His description was very graphic and colorful. And more Heroin overdoses. Which are not fun in person.

After what seemed an eternity we shuffled into the yard. Again, NO ONE has told me anything. We grab a thin mattress and everyone starts to partner off. I don't know any of these people. Someone asks if I'd like to bunk with him, and he seems nice enough for a criminal, so I say yes. We shuffle up to our room and they shut the door. That's it until 12 hours later when that door opens. Again, not a word about process, procedures, schedules, nothing. I have a mattress, a roll of orange sheets which I discover contain a toothbrush, toothpaste and a plastic spoon. I also have a 10x15 concrete room, with two metal beds and a toilet with no lid that is built into the wall. Above the top bunk is a thick glass window with wire mesh inside that looks out at another concrete wall.

And I also have Steve. (That's what I call him, not his real name.) Steve is from Seattle and he got busted at a party here in our fair city for drug possession. Not his fault of course. Someone at the party planted the drugs on him right before the Cops arrived. What I would have originally thought was a stereotype turned out to be true after all - everyone in jail is innocent. Even me. I was super lucky that Steve picked me as his bunk mate. He didn't try to rape me even once. I didn't really sleep. Jail is noisy. Jail makes weird sounds. And I wasn't sure yet that Steve wasn't going to try and rape me.

Blah blah blah, eventually morning came and after another eternity I walked out into the sunshine again.

That was almost a year ago.

Yes I got screwed by a system not prepared for my weird life. No one in that court has ever seen or heard of a case like mine. They simply aren't equipped to deal with it. So they don't. They didn't. And they won't. Yeah I'm screwed. And there isn't anything I can do about it. I fought the good fight, I stood up for my rights as best I could. I had to be willing to go all the way to the wall. And now it is time to move on.

I've got about 22 more months to go.

For those of you that don't understand I apologize. It is a super complicated and often confusing tale. But one I refuse to tell in extreme detail. Some day I may write a book. Until then I write these blog posts. And I do that because of my readers, my friends, and those here in this Community who stood by me, helped me, and believed in me.

I want them all to know that we are doing well now. I love my job and the monthly payments, while large and unfair, are tolerable. As long as I keep working for the next 22 months we'll be fine.

I'm working thru the effects of all that trauma slowly but surely. I can't deny that it has affected me, changed me, and all that other stuff that bad things do to people. On the other hand, it could always be worse. And there are plenty of other people out there who have it much, much worse. I met many of them last year and spent a day with them.

I never want to do that again.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays 2017 Wallpaper
Click to download various sizes
It has become a tradition, so here is this year's Holiday Wallpaper. I wish you all the very best this Holiday season and while I'm sure there will be other Holiday posts between now and the end of the year, I wanted to make sure I got this finished and released before things start to get crazy.


Open to Suggestions

At Zero Shadow Wallpaper
Just finished this one today

With the recent interest in this series I've determined within myself to attempt to capture as much of the moments that make New Eden special as I can. So I'm open to suggestions from you, my readers, have I forgotten something? Is there a moment in space that relates to your favorite game-play that I have yet to capture? Let me know in the comments.

Just be aware that I will be translating those moments into my own interpretation of them. You say mining and I say two Retrievers undocking from an Industrial complex. You say PvP and I say two two ships meeting at zero at the Sun. That is, after all, part of the artistic process. Lots of people take screenshots, and many do an exceptionally good job of it, but this series is not that. And I happen to be a huge fan of screenshots. Eve is beautiful in so many ways. There is room for a wide variety of interpretations. Goodness knows I've spent a tremendous amount of time and energy on enough of them over the years.

I have hesitated to portray large fleet battles in this series on purpose. My thoughts are to keep these as intimate as possible, which is why they are anticipatory of events, evocative instead of explanatory. If that makes sense. I want you the viewer to have the space to engage your own imagination into each story that is being told in these images. I know I do that. And I hope you do as well.

Anyway, enough artist talk. If you have any ideas, because I certainly can't think of everything, let me know in the comments.

Eve News Article

Click this link to read the article

I started the "Shadow Series" of Wallpapers back in June of 2016, over a year ago. At the time no one paid much attention to them. I even created a video showing me working on one of them. And no one watched it. It's funny how things can lie dormant for a span of time and then suddenly become interesting again. It speaks to the cyclic nature of Eve and the Eve community. The reporter for this story contacted me on Facebook of all places and hadn't really heard of me before. He'd heard the name around, but that was about it.

I continue to find that interesting in so many ways. But after being involved with this community for so long, it has become something you just have to deal with. People come and people go, and sometimes they come back. It is an ever-shifting landscape.

In the end however, no matter how long it sometimes takes, I'm glad that people are enjoying my work on this series. Next to the spaceship posters it is my favorite series. Although I have a soft spot in my heart for the Travel Series as well. Well... for all my work truly, otherwise I wouldn't have done it.

Thanks for the article, it was well written and much appreciated.

I'm already working on another entry in the series. So stay tuned.

I Love My Job

Yesterday while I was derping my expensive Astarte alone against five opponents it occurred to me - I have like the best job in all of New Eden. I know, this does seem somewhat counter-intuitive, but let me spend an inordinate amount of copy trying to explain.

After almost five years of being the CEO of Stay Frosty, not to mention everything else, it is virtually impossible to play this game normally. I'm as likely to get a fight in a new system as I am to get a, "Hey Rixx! Love the (insert thing here). Huge fan!" comment in local. It happened six times yesterday alone. Please don't get me wrong here, I love that. And I sincerely appreciate the comments. But it does tend to illuminate my rather unique challenges. Challenges I'm more than willing, and to be honest - happy, to embrace. It is awesome frankly.

Just me undocking can cause content to happen. Things can be slow around town and then suddenly they start to pick up and content tends to find me. Granted that often means that I get shot first A LOT. In a five man gang I'll usually be the one the other guy shoots first. You can't blame them. I don't blame them. In fact I expect it. On Friday I undocked and joined a couple of corpmates a few jumps away in my Comet. Our very first fight I get primaried. I said on comms, "Typical Rixx moment." And flew back home to re-ship.

My game, my killboard, my actions, everything I do in-game is not about me at all. It is about my Corporation and the pilots that fly with it. I generate content for all of us and for the Alliance at large. I spend all of my efforts, and my isk, to try and make the game more exciting for them. I believe very strongly that is my role as CEO. And it is one that I enjoy very much. Yeah, it also means I had to move past my own personal goals a long time ago - but it also means that I can take joy from the accomplishments of others in our group. And that is pretty damn cool. Those have become my personal goals.

You see, I don't fly for just myself anymore. I haven't for a long time. I fly for Stay Frosty and for A Band Apart. I'm the lightening rod. I self-generate content. I'm certainly not the only one, a lot of our pilots have grown into that role themselves over the years. It is, after all, really what the mission of Stay Frosty is. One for all and all for one. That kinda thing.

In other words, I am extremely proud to be the CEO of Stay Frosty and of everyone in A Band Apart. I can't imagine doing anything else. And I'm really looking forward to the next five years. I have the best job in the world. Or the universe.

NOTE 1: If you are a USTZ player looking for a great corp of players that love the pew-pew to join, might I suggest Stay Frosty. With my full-time job USTZ is my new home and while we have 300+ pilots spread across time zones, we could use some more company in that one. As always, Stay Frosty is OPEN recruitment - you want in you get in. Come fly with us. It's fun.

NOTE 2: Stay Frosty and ABA are both rapidly moving towards an amazing milestone. Sometime within the next few months we will both hit the 100,000 kill mark! That is going to be an incredible milestone accomplished in less than five years. Keep blowing stuff up everyone. I never imagined we'd get this far back when it was just me and this crazy idea. So cool.

NOTE 3: Yarrr!

NEW Shadow Wallpapers

Waiting to Jump Shadow Wallpaper
Click to download various sizes

Retrievers Shadow
Click to download various sizes

Vertical Shadow
Same here

These were the two unfinished Wallpapers in the pipeline back from when I was doing what I called the "Shadow Series". You can see the entire series at this link. The concept for these started as a simple question, "What would Eve look like in real space?" Real space is stark, harsh, and black as ink, just look at NASA photos and you'll quickly get the idea. So much of Eve is defined by the Nebula and color of New Eden (and rightfully so) that I pondered what it would mean to take that away. Strip away the normal and look at things in a different light.

So much of what I do as a creative is based around this idea. My spaceship posters started around a very similar challenge - to take the spaceships we all know so well and present them in a totally alien environment. The focus because different than we are used to seeing. And in presenting them, or these, in a new light - it always us the chance to look at them with new eyes. You've never seen anything like it before, it isn't comfortable, usual or expected.

I so rarely get any feedback from anyone I have no idea what anyone else thinks, but these types of pieces are among my personal favorites.

I can only hope that you enjoy them as well.