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.