“Everybody has a project.” Mike explained to Scotty as they sat down with beers before them. “Some folks may not admit it outright but without something to do? We tend to rattle like a loose bearing until something breaks.”

Scotty nodded and sipped his drink, letting Mike talk.

“I met a few folks and they all had some thing they were working on. This one guy is doing a paper on trust among capsuleers.”

Sputtering through his beer, laughing, Scotty asked. “He was studying mythology?”

“Oh don’t give me that. There is a lot more trust in this Universe than the cynics like to claim. It just is a more cautious version of the same. Hell, the Bus project is based on trust. Those who donate trust me to distribute the donations.”

“And if you chose to walk away, how much would you make?” Scotty asked, feigning a casual air.

“Doesn’t matter, won’t happen.” Mike downed his own beer and waved for another. “Then I met a guy who is doing janitor work, capsuleer style. He decided that he has had enough of the Mobile Depots in career systems so he is shooting them down . . . slowly.”

“Shooting them slowly? Career systems are not THAT crowded.”

“No but you cannot just destroy them. They go into a timer and you have to wait two days to finish them off.”

“Doesn’t that kind of action draw some response from the locals?”

Mike grimaced. It makes you a Suspect which means other capsuleers can shoot, if they choose to do so. This guy? He decided he did not care and a few watched him but did not shoot.”

Shrugging scotty grumbled “Seems like a waste of time. The people will just put up more.”

“That.” Mike said, jabbing a finger at Scotty, “that is the exact wrong attitude. I talked to a guy who visited a run down part of town. Tags everywhere, damage to the buildings, storefront defaced and broken. Except this one small area. He asked around and everyone pointed him to an old man. This old guy? He would get up every morning and fix things, wash the tags off, clean the pedestrian walkways.”

“So he was a municipal worker?”

“Nope, I asked him that, said he had been a heavy loader, long time ago, retired now. He just did not like the mess of what his old neighbourhood had become so he started cleaning it.”

“Didn’t it get tagged again?”

“Yup, and again and again and again. But Thing is, the people there started to notice and to like how things looked, cleaned up. So the storefronts got repaired . . . people started to take pride in where they lived. Slowly litter stopped being dropped, the tagging stopped and it became a nice place to be. I think that this capsuleer might have met someone similar and decided that he could be the old man, this time. I will be checking back on him, from time to time to see how it goes, maybe toss him a ship if he needs it.”

Scotty smiled and waited a beat before asking. “And what new project have you got on the go?”

Mike held a hand to his breast. “Moi? I am a lazy pilot just driving the Bus.”

“No, you are a help-a-holic who buys and fits ships, delivers them to systems and hands them out all the while on comms chatting with new capsuleers across New Eden. I know you brought home the full set of skins from the Gala but I am willing to bet that you snuck the runs in between Bus stops, right?”

Mike shook his head and laughed, “You know me too well.”



Yes it HAS been a while but I feel like writing, again.

If you see someone shooting mobile depots that are pure space spam? Probably that guy, cleaning up.

Yes I have some projects on the Horizon and I do need to do my own summary, over the next little while.

Yes, I missed you, too.

fly it like you won it


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment


He sat in his ship, the last echoes of the explosions still ringing in his ears and looked out across the expanse. Wreckage as but tiny dots in the distance and the Sansha station loomed but there was a calmness, a peace.

“Home. I needs ta be home, now.”

He sighed and the ship pivoted like a hound searching for a scent, until it pointed in a new directions. Engines lit, critical speed attained, off he shot. Not long later but many lightyears away the ship docked at a station. He slowly shut down channels, comms and took another moment of peace before exiting the ship. A short stop to drop off presents for a few of the people in the station but he was not home, not yet.

He headed for the shuttle down to the planet but was stopped by a familiar voice. “No, your ride is arranged.”

He smiled, turned and surprised Free with a hug that lifted her off her feet. “Arranged?”

She lead him to a side hanger where a sleek private planetary interceptor waited. “I do not want you taking commercial shuttles, anymore. So here we have your ride to the surface today.”

“That,” Mike said “Is a NAS with a full loadout. Are we droppng into a hot zone?”

Free looked at him and smiled. “It is the holidays at Tantas. Of course it is a hot zone. But I also did some investigations and I do not want you making yourself an easy target. So you ride down in an assault ship and you will not complain.”

Mike smiled. “Ma’am” and let her lead him aboard the ship. An hour later he was home. More exactly? He walking into the chaos of cooking, cleaning, voices and laughter, music in the background that made a lot of the people step to the timing and spin out of each others way like a well choreographed dance.

It was several hours before he managed to get Free alone out on the porch and followed up. “So, who wants me dead, now?”



It has been a while since I sat down to write and I feel it building up pressure. I also have two books to hand make for my daughters over the next few days for Christmas. When they were almost 2 decades younger I told them stories that I would make up as I went along. They loved them and always wanted me to write some down.

So a story or two, a recipe or instructions for ‘how dad does things’ And a reminder that some people still write in cursive. Take that!

This has been a year, hasn’t it? I think the next post will be a end of the year summary but if you have made it this far? Suffered through my intermittent posts? Thank you. I hope that you have the merriest of Christmases or whatever mid-winter celebration you choose.

fly it like you won it


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Operations OOC

As of the end of November I will have been running Operation Magic School Bus for 6 years. Yeah, I know, hard to believe but here is the first post that started it all.

Giving Back

Six year later and I am still supported by the Eve community, still making the rounds and yes, still sending Christmas cards to CCP. (aka Operation Northern Troll) Their mailing list HAS changed, though.

Bjargargata 1,
102 Reykjavík

So if you want to join me in sending them the best wishes of the season you may want to use the above address. I just hope that mine gets there on time and that there is someone in office to receive it.

I live in the Rookie Help Chat, when in game. You get to know some of the patterns of questions and inhabitants. Some of us have been there a LONG time, helping and we have a casual camaraderie and let the one with the best answers take over if questions get specific. Also we see visitors in waves. On the weekend trolls come out, some just asking questions to see if they can trip up the helpers, others complaining about how the game is pay to win or that they should be given a battleship that can stay cloaked while firing . . . /me shakes head

Weekdays may be quieter but more gets done, without the noise of the trolls we can answer questions in depth, make sure the new player understands what we mean. My favourite is when a player returns to the help chat and expresses shock that I am still there. “I remember you from when I started, years ago!”

It is nice to be remembered.

If you have a moment? Send CCP a Christmas or New Years card or whatever holiday that you celebrate.

fly it like you won it


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


“Do you know what I miss the most, in space?” Mike asked, sitting on the porch, writing thank you notes.

Free shook her head at him and waited.

“Sunsets. We get so close to the stars but there is something about a sunset, a sunrise, on a planet with atmosphere. It touches a special place in your heart.” We waved his hand out across the bayou where the sun was, indeed, setting. “It is a transition we just don’t see and as a result miss.”

“I have seen that you do take pictures, in space, though.” Free said.

“Of course I do, I am Gallente, I find whatever beauty is about me and enjoy it. But that does not mean that I don’t miss what I do not have.” His voice lowered, “Or won’t miss what I lose.”

She also lowered her voice and glanced over her shoulder to make sure that they were alone. “Any new word from the doctors?”

“No, dey is keepin close mouthed and just monitorin for now. Tanta seems to be . . . how you say, declinin slowly. But I no counts her out just yet. She be a fighter.”

Free rested her hand on Mikes arm for a moment, silent support, before looking at what he was doing. “Thank you notes?”

“I went and put a call for donations to the Bus and damn if folks did not respond. I was raised to be mannerly so I has to send them thanks.”

“How long should it take to bulk mail thanks?”

Mike smiled. “Prolly not that long but I said I am writing the thanks. It may take me a while but each person who was thoughtful enough to send the Bus a donation deserves some thoughtfulness from me, no?”

She blinked. “Every person gets a note from you?”

“Yeah, it will take some time but it is the right thing to do. Like I said, I was raised right.” He glanced over his shoulder and tears filled his eyes for a moment. He wiped his face on his sleeve and went back to writing.



Not to say that there isn’t beauty in space


Oh I made a new lesson vid, trying to get back into that.

See? Sunsets just aint the same.

If you have a lesson for newbros you think should be made? let me know

For those who have donated to the Bus already? thank you. As the linked post says, I fundraise once a year and this is it.

fly it like you won it


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Other Shoe

“Well,” Mike drawled. “What the hell did you think would happen? Let me know where in history invaders have come, then left peacefully. Nope, they do tend to take stuff. In this case? Entire star systems.”

“But what are the ‘Powers that Be’ going to do?” One of the pilots in the bar demanded. “I ran a profitable trade route through Niarja and now . . . and now . . .”

“Do? Well for one thing probably be thankful the trigs did not worship a number higher than 3 or we really woulda been really screwed. But if you are expecting us to ‘get the systems back’ please show me the button that does that. Come on, I knows some of you are positive standings for the Trigs, now you get to bask in the glory of viraggee or whatever the hell you calls it.” Mike paused and looked around the room. some did not make eye contact when he did so.

“Thought so. You wanted to ‘shake things up’? Well lil darlin they is ALL SHOOK UP.” He grinned, swiveled his hips at the waitress and held up fingers to ask for more drinks for his table. He then took a breath and brought his voice down a bit.

“Ain’t just the gates and systems. Ores be missing, too. A lot of change is coming and some of it will come like dominoes. This one knocks that one and so on till some huge plank falls over on our heads. Don’t matter iffen you mine. It matters iffen you plan on flying anything made from minerals mined. Prices gonna be changing, gonna be new work for shippers and pirates who hunts them.”

“Speaking of being hunted . . . “

“Yeah yeah, the bounty office is closed and I no longer has a price on my head. No saying if they is an aftershock of the gates closing or just how things be, now.” Mike shrugged. “It is not like hunting immortals was a paying gig for many folks.” He smiled as the drinks arrived. “But we still have booze, our ships and ammo, we still have this grand adventure of New Eden. Me? I will find my way around the systems because the Bus is still flying. I will keep my Edencom Standings and won’t go trying to ‘fix’ things so I am all good to all folks. Cosying up to people who took 27 of your systems? There is probably a word for such folks but this ain’t strong enough alcohol to clean my mouth after I used such language. So I lets them be them I will keep being me. Any questions?”



Yeah. A LOT of changes and yes, some of it I knew a LITTLE before things hit. (But I take NDAs seriously) Oh, one last thing that I have to link is the new trailer . . .

I love almost everything about this.

Gates . . . look sometimes I take the attitude of ‘if I started the game today would this be unplayable or is it just that I dislike change of how it was. In a months time I may ask newbies what they think of the game map.

Trig systems. Well I fought for Edencom so I doubt I am going to be going on any sightseeing tours anytime soon

Ores. This one is very rough and CCP says it is a phase with an end goal in sight. A few folks on the forums pointed out that temporary measures often stick far longer than they should. This one I hope does not.

As always I keep talking to the ‘Powers that be’ aka CCP and if you have messages for me to pass on? I may (If I have high enough proof alcohol)

fly it like you won it


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


The oddly shaped ship seemed to balance in the hanger, as though wishing to be back out in space rather than parked ‘safe’. Scotty whistled at it as Mike emerged. “One of the new Edencom ships? “

Mike nodded, “Stormbringer, I heard a lot against it then folks started to appreciate its capabilities . . . so I though that I would give it a try.”

“And?” Scotty asked.

“And I like it. Tough hunk of tritanium that it is. But man, it goes against everything that I have learned, over the years. We were always told to finish a target, never (or seldom) should you spread your damage. This puppy does nothing BUT spread the damage. But the thing is? I think I almost like this better than the Gila for abyssal pockets.”

“Heresy.” Scotty stage whispered. “I heard you were also out mining, some, over the past few days.”

“Yup, wanted to go back to where I started, a humble miner. Remind myself of my roots, as it were. Change is in the air, tho.”

Scotty squinted at Mike, “Anything you can share?”

“Just a feeling more than anything. The stargates are acting funny, flickering on a regular beat. Huge battles in Null tend to make all the news but I formed a habit of trying to see past the headlines and figure out what the editors are trying to hide, to slip past us.” Mike grimaced. “For all that we capsuleers are brave adventurers we sure don’t like a lot of change.”



I did a small update while mining, the other day,

But I did not mention the gates pulsing, you may want to check it out if you are passing through. Now from what I have heard on twitter? They are speeding up in their cycles, a little faster, each day.

The true tinfoil says the gates flicker rate is increasing in frequency. Tiptop tinfoil says this counts down to next Tuesday.

I remain ready for anything at this point..- Ashterothi (@Ashterothi)

You know, sometimes I am not sure which I love more, the attention to the details that the players have or the fact that Eve developers put details in for us to find.

fly it like you won it


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


“La, and where has you been, den?”  Tantas voice was a shade weaker, a shadow of a whisper creeping into it.

Mike hesitated but he knew better than to try to lie to her  “They made a new monument to the capsuleers who chose not to go on, for one reason or another.  We may think that we are immortal but truth, Tanta?  We just ain’t gonna end in the same way or for the same reasons.  So I went to pay my respects.”

“Tis always good to pay the respects when you can.  While you was away Boro dropped off a present for me, the work is done.”

“You danced for him, then, did you?”

“We all did, and yes I saw that even you managed a few steps without ruining things.  I assume the countess put you up to it?”

“Boro asked but I do think she encouraged it.  And, yes, I managed not to trip over myself, or anyone else.”

“I will be inviting some folks to see it, afore Boro puts it out there.  You gonna have to come for that.”  Tantas voice lacked power but not determination.

“Yes, Ma’am.”  There was no other answer possible.



I really like the new memorial.  I like the thought behind it, the design and the fact that CCP saw fit that this is a thing for the community.

I am old.  I have left my footprints in the sand in a lot of places but I do hope that someone will anchor a bit there in Molea (planet 2, moon 1) when the time for me comes.

I would like that

fly it like you won it




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

So Much to Do

“So,” Ev asked, late the next day, looking at the fit Mike was requesting be laid aside.  “Where was ya gonna take dat to be blown oop?”

Mike smiled and patted the stealth bomber.  “The nice thing about this is that it lets me live, now and again and is an approved for for the E-Fleets.”

“E-Fleets>  You telecommuting bombs now, mon?”

Mike laughed.  “No, I have been flying with the Edencom forces, holding back the Trigs.”

Ev sighed.  “Yeah, we been hearin bout dem poppin up all ova da place.  Also been hearin some of your bros be fighting for the Trigs and not for the Empire.”

Mike grinned.  “Oh some of them give me a hard time about it but I have chosen my side and that is all there is to it.  Not all pilots have much connection with Empires or normal folks, anymore.  I am thought a bit of a loon for what I do and how I choose to spend my downtime.”

“A loon, for defending your home.”

Mike shrugged.  “Like I said, not all capsuleers feel the same attachment or resent Concord enough to want to stick a thumb in the eye.  Or they just want to see the world burn.  But I find the folks in the Edencom fleets fun and welcoming and they let me bring in the odd ship or two to try things out.”

“So Bus and e-fleets keeping you busy.”

“And the stuff I cannot talk about.”

“Ah, dem powas that be stuff?  Now that you is all elected and official like you have what, one hour a week to toss away to dem?”

“I wish.  Meeting today, meeting tomorrow, meeting Friday.  Chats on the sides and we are barely getting started.”

“Chats bout what?”

“Not even if I was drunk, Ev, not even then.  They be serious about security and I not want to be in their bad books.  But my time is short, the other ship ready for me?”

“Would I letchoo down, mon. It be ready and waitin.”

“Then I am off, place to do, things to be.”



Anyone who is bored in eve?  it is a character flaw, not the games fault.

Tonight there was a huge battle celebrating the birthday of an ill pilot.  By all reports it was a rousing success.

Edencom and the  Trig supporters fight across multiple star systems.  Fleets in the 50s not unusual (on our side, anyways)

Politics and combat and the Drums of War sound deep in the null regions, although who knows what will come to pass?

Bored?  Your problem.

fly it like you won it


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Horse race

He stepped onto the concourse and sighed.  Yes he was home but things were continually changing.  Space was always in flux.  Scotty walked up and joined him, looking at the flow of the people moving about their business.  “You still miss here, don’t you.”

“I will until the last day that I die.”  Mike confirmed.  “I was thinking about change.”

“And I was thinking about how some things never seem to change.  I see that you are back into politics.”

Mike nodded.  “I felt the need to do it again and damn if the people didn’t give me my shot.”

“You ran a fair to middling campaign.  Not your usual media blitz but you seemed to tick a few of the boxes.  Even talked to your fellow candidates and, as usual supported them.”

“It is going to be an interesting council,”  Mike said agreeably, “Oh I wish a few other folks got on but from what I have seen? Yeah, I can work with some of these folks.  Gotta say though that damn election announcement had me on the edge of my seat.  It was like watching a horse race and I was one of the horses.  I did not exactly come out of the gate at top speed. Not that I am complaining, mind you. It was enough to keep me in the race.  And that was the key.  Each round they eliminated the rearmost ‘horse’ and the votes were redistributed according to second choices and third and so on.  Seems that while I was not everybodies first choice I was on their ballots somewhere.”

Scotty smiled.  “Comes from being ‘known’, as you call it.”

“Most likely true.  So almost every elimination tossed some votes my way, it felt like scraps at times but they started to add up.  40 people running and ten seats up for grabs meant that I had to survive 30 rounds.  Round 14 still saw me sweating, not in the back but pretty much the middle of the pack. About round 21 I was breathing down Torvalds neck but he still had a lead.  He was the one I could see edging me out for that tenth seat.  But then the peopl I liked and wanted to work with started to fall, which was both bad and good.  Dutch gunner tossed a lot of votes my way in round 24 then Jurius Doctor fell in round 25 and the same happened again.  Damn, I do not like getting ahead over the bodies of people I would like as allies.  But the scraps kept coming in and I kept moving up through the pack.  It was close until round 29, right at the end of the race.  I was the second choice on a lot of the ballots for Ikarus, it seems.  786 votes all for me.  It was enough to push me across the finish line as, at the time, In was about 300 votes away from it.”

Scotty whistled.  “All the way to round 29 eh?  But that means you got in before round 30.  You did well.”

“Yeah and so did Torvald and  Brisc but that was it from my list of recommended, unless you count myself.”

“Which we do.”

‘”We?”  Mike asked.

“We as in the congratulations party that is waiting for you if you get a move on.  I swear, driving that Bus has made you slower.”  Scotty nodded to the nearest bar where Mike could now see faces, old familiar ones, peeking out at him.

“Food booze and friends and you let me tell you this story out here?  Now I am gonna have to tell it in there, multiple times, most likely.”

Scotty grinned “Most likely and you will enjoy every minute of it, as will we.”

The two crossed the concourse and Mike entered to Pub to a roar of welcome.  He still missed her but being home had both the good and the bad.  This was the good.



Wow, thank you one and all, that was a nail-biter right to the end.  In want to thank my fellow candidates and wish those who did not make it the best of luck in future elections.  I appreciated the support that I could read on the twitch stream and have nothing but kudos for how CCP Aurora put together the presentation.  Worth every minute of the 18 hours that she spent on it.

I played what I thought of as a ground game in this election. I kept talking to people, did not manage to get on all the podcasts but I made a few.  That is the key, for me.  Reminding people that I exist.  About once a week a vet returns and exclaims surprise that I am still in the game doing what I do.  I do not consider myself famous but I am known, in game.  That counted for something, the ground game, enough 1st votes to survive the early bloodbath and then the slow second and third choices pushing me up through the ranks.

Once again, thank you and I will, as always, be looking forward to hearing from you, eve mail, comments here as I do my own take on what is happening that I can tell you about, hell even twitter @Mikeazariah I am your representative, whether you voted for me or not.  That is what I said I would do and dammit . . . . it is what I will try my damndest to keep to.

fly it like you won it




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

OOC CSM15 Election time – Mikes list is the full list of candidates.

Oh, did I mention that I am on that list and running?  No?  Well I am.  Thing is, so are 39 other people for a very limited number of seats.

So let me do a little breakdown on how I plan on voting but before I do?  Word has come to me that the Null Blocks have managed to now make a ‘one click we will tell you how to vote’ ballot.  This means they are making their people into F1 monkeys, again.


40 people, let us see if I can trim the list a bit.  Well if the null blocks have their prefilled ballots and name exchange lists?  I do not think that they need any average Joe votes (there will be an exception or two to that)

So 40 names needs a winnowing of the null blocks

Well, it is a start but there are still a lot of names.  The exceptions I referred to are Brisc and Maria.  One is just someone I like to see serve and the other represents a block nobody else does.  Now for folks

Now I start to look at who does what as opposed to who they answer to. Community minded folks, well that would include a LOT of people who say they will be community so you have to go by record.  Brisc has that record of working with people, so does January Valentine and Insidious, Pandora and Torvald.  Look, community means something to me.

Exookiz is a good wh candidate and an incumbent.  I do hope that he gets in but I do not think that he needs my vote.  I hope I am not wrong in that.

Komi has at thread full of a lot of RP and I love rp as much as the next space geek but it is not translating well in their case. Darius is an odd one and making this cut as a non big bloc but null person.

Dhuras has been fairly low key in the forums but what he has said I find myself disagreeing with.  It looks like he has not thought all his grand ideas through.  The biggest one (to me) is asset safety.  He wants it gone.  I know of players who are deployed overseas or away because rl has overshadowed gaming, sometimes suddenly.  When those players come back and find everything is GONE do you honestly think that they will stay?

There are a few people who feel like they are running on a very similar platform as myself, Dutch Gunner, Jurius Doctor, Ikarus, Rhea

Stich and Loroseco and both good candidates as well with similar foci.

Some folks I think just need a bit more time to refine their ticket, Ironwulf, Ikarus, Fieden fit this bill

Meredith impressed me on our co-appearance on declarations of war. So she stays on the list is only for the industry aspect (damn I miss Steve already). The Oz had a damn good campaign vid and presents well.. Styxx on the other hand has a great paper resume but not a lot of known community contact, etc.  PJHustle does have the resume and while I am on the fence about whether a renter will be beholding to  a larger alliance, for now he stays on.

dammit 17 people still on the list.  Did I mention that you can vote for 10  order of preference?  Well, you can.  Order matters, too.  Top of the list is the person you really want to see get in (I hope that that name is mine)  next name gets some of your vote IF the top name is eliminated OR voted in.  and so on down the list.

So I have to trim a few names.  Well in the end, yes, I am going to vote for myself. I need every damn vote I can get including my pitiful one omega account.  After that I apply the last filter of who I would like to work with if they got elected as well.

This is the most personal of the filters and I do not tend to need to explain my feelings.  They are what they are.

so my list

That was a lot tougher than I thought it would be to finish.  I am sorry for the 7 I left at the last gate and I hope that each reader of this takes the time to do a bit of reading themselves. Please vote.

Now, do any of you want me to make up a one stop vote button with the above list? I will if asked but personally I find it a bit offensive to think that you cannot fill out your own ballot.  You have the vote unless you have willingly abdicated that measure of power to others who tell you what to think, what to do.  In which case?  well you will be voting for the names at the top of this post wit the lives through them.

Good luck to all my fellow candidates.

fly it like you won it


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment