Boros piece

OOC  *************************

This is the continuum of a post I started in 2020.  I honestly though that I had posted it and then found it this week in my drafts file.  I felt obligated to finish it.  I enjoy writing and this bit  felt like it had to be done right.


They gathered to experience the art Boro had completed and sent.  It was an immersive installation.  It happened all around you demanding you make the right choices, look in the right direction.  Or you played it again, trying to see something new the second, third, fourth time.

As did all things, it started with silence, darkness.  The slowly the music started, filling the space and pushing hard to grow beyond it.  A shaft of light lit a young girl, maybe 9 years old, dancing hesitantly at first but slowly growing faster, stronger, more confident.  Medals were handed to her, she dropped them in place and danced around them, ignoring them.

I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.

Tantas voice came from everywhere, soft in tone but hard in purpose.  The girl spun as the music reached a  crescendo and the light flickered, the spin continued but now the girl was about 15.  Men partnered with her but only for a moment and then they would fade and be replaced by another and another . . .

Dancing with the feet is one thing. Dancing with the heart is another.

Again the voice filled the space and the girl kept dancing, refusing the distractions.  The moves became more confident, stronger, natural.

It never gets easier. It just gets better.

Another spin, in and out of the light, the teen was now a young woman.  Partners still came and went but one kept returning and she danced closer, each time, to him. He was not the best dancer, the best lead, but you could see him fall towards her each time, like a man dying of thirst might fall towards an oasis.  At last they embraced and he spun her, rather than her dancing alone, round and round and her clothing shifted, Dance outfit, party clothes, wedding dress and they spun in and out of the light and the focus shifted.

Réme was the man for me and I was the woman for him between us there was love and what in the world can stop that?

The music stopped then the rattle of drums, high strings became weapon fire, the light was chaotic and the man and woman, older, now carried weapons and moved swiftly through halls, opening doors and clearing rooms.  Behind them slaves could be seen to running, freed. Then she went through a door and was teaching dance again, spun across the floor the students  trying to emulate the grace.  Through another door and back to the battlefield.

It was a harsh time, living with a foot in both worlds but in life as in dance: Grace glides on blistered feet.

More bodies, shadows behind her some rising up, some falling to lay still.  Weeping she moved through the doorways but each time both worlds were a little more crowded.  Then, while dancing, a shadow rose up and touched her with something like a caress.  For the first time, she stumbled.  Older now the door changes were now a window through which she watched the world progress as she stayed in the dance studio.  People would come to the window and she would speak softly to them, hand them gifts and they would move on, fighting.

Knowing when to let others pick up the lead, have their time in the light.  That kind of knowledge does not come easy nor is it without a payment of pain.

Less movement, now she walked slower but the people around her moved at her pace, watching all about as though for danger.  Many bore a family resemblance but many more were from all across New Eden.  Not all were dancers but the moved in time with her, followed her lead.  She steps forward, once more to meet the shadow, almost as one would greet an old friend.  Stepping into the shadow with a last spin echoing the first dance steps of the piece she vanishes.

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

The last word echoes in the silence for a moment and then the music starts up again.  Slowly the group that walked with her begin to dance, others pick up weapons and head out through doors or stand by the window, waiting.

fade to black


sorry this took so long

fly it like you won it


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Other Games OOC

While I do have my fav games and play them a LOT I am willing to try other things and have played a lot of games (some until they died).

Hellgate:London. I loved that game and it was a great stress reliever at the end of a long day of teaching. I actually bought a lifetime membership to it . . . . then it died. Remember correlation is not causation. But that one hurt as it was the first game that I blogged about. I loved the trailer and the setting and the feel of the guns and blades.

Fortnite. Believe it or not I played that ‘before it was cool’ Did okay but then the hordes arrived and I just kind of drifted away. I had the same issue with it that I do with WoW . . . it just feels a bit too cartoony for my aesthetic. I am not saying either is bad, just they do not capture me.

Division and Destiny. Guns lots of guns and targets that seem to think that they are bullet sponges. I mean how the hell can a Garbage man take 5 shots from a sniper rifle to put down?

City of Heroes. Another one that I bought a lifetime sub for. (sigh) Face it half of that game and other superhero ones is the making of your own style and hero. I have made some doozies over the years.

No Mans Sky. I often have binges of that and then drift off and forget everything that I learned. Gorgeous game but no hook that snags and captures me.

Secret World. This one was my replacement for Hellgate and it has gone through a few incarnations and ‘updates’ so I am not competent, anymore. Love the stories and puzzles and atmosphere of some of the set pieces.

All of these are games played with ‘other people’ although NMS was fairly low people per world. If you want to know the solo player games . . .

Skyrim Still kind of the gold standard of open world games and Portal is the one for set piece games (especially tutorials) In CSM 8 this was brought to the devs as the definitive example of how good a new player experience COULD be By myself and Ripard Teg.

portal in skyrim image

Hey, a guy can dream right?

So many games have come and gone. This past week CCP finally stepped away from VR games like Valkyrie and Sparc. I have played Warzone both in 2d and with a VR headset, Sparc I never had a chance to try.

I am fairly sure that nobody has played all the games out there and I am happy with what I have tried and failed at or played until it ended. Our family has a saying that ‘trying new recipes is good but accept that you will not like all of them’. Nor do you have to.

fly it like you won it


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One of the things I love about games is the ability to take me places. That is one of the very few things I miss in Eve is that all space feels the same. I mean vacuum is not conducive to weather, flora and fauna, etc.

My wife and I will go on minecraft binges where we hunt for just the right place to build out houses and set up shop. But not only is the locale important but also what are the neighbouring biomes. Is there snow, water, river, lakes grassland . . . we like the variety and challenge. And sometimes I like to just sit back and watch the sunset over the blocky terrain. It seems my mind smooths out the edges and it is a perfectly acceptable landscape, worthy of taking a snapshot and hanging on a wall. (No I don’t do that but in the moment it is very relaxing)

I have started streaming tours of Elder Scrolls Online where I just walk about and do not go gung ho into delves and dungeons, just admiring the scenery and lore inherent in the ruins and landscapes. It is relaxing, for me to enjoy the art and work that the devs have put into a game, especially when you start looking for the little details and easter eggs that the good ones hide, here and there.

WAAAYY back in the dawn of time when I wen tot University there was a classic Japanese garden maintained on the campus and my Uni level Geography course spent some time discussing it and the subtleties that it contained. It seems that the designers would put an ‘odd rock’ on the ground that did not match the rest of the pathway. Dark grey amongst white stones, for example. It was the designers way of saying that there was something they wanted to show you, right there. One was a carefully trimmed sequences of plants that would allow a view of a distant shrine ONLY if you stood on that rock. Another was a view of the highest variety of plants . . . but one had me stumped for days. I looked all about but could not figure out what I was supposed to see.

Then it hit me. It was not visual. They had even tuned the bamboos stream markers and the way water and across stones and right there, on that stone, you could clearly hear more than any other spot in the garden.

Now I know devs are (probably) not Japanese zen garden aficionados but I bring the same appreciation to games that I did to that garden and I spent a lot of time in that garden while at that university. It was my calming place when life threatened to overwhelm. I have similar spots in games.

If any devs of games that I play read this? Thank you one and all.

fly it like you won it


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Slippery Slopes

“and so we had to restock all the ammo, again, after that fiasco.

Hope that all the family are doing better than expected, we spent a bit of time on our last tour in some of the seedier systems (they call them freeholds) I don’t quite understand but it always seems that when given too much freedom (or power) people always drift towards the shitty end of the spectrum. But if you try to set boundaries they start right in on you for infringing on their god given rights and how dare you tell them what to do?

Basically it feels like asking them not to be assholes is too big of a request for some of them. Of course the job sent us into one of these freeholds and right off I had to turn off some of the comms to keep from being inundated by verbal attacks questioning my parentage, sexual preferences, right to exist at all. Now I know some folks will say that THAT is the solution, mute and move on. But I think that they might be wrong in that.

See the thing is that if that sort of harassment is considered acceptable then they always try to take it to the next level. Bullies do not have some daily quota that they just need to do then they become nice again. So verbal almost always escalates, eventually. If that does not get the hoped for reaction then it ramps up again. Of course that is why the ship has guns, right? But now the powers that be are trying to stop this sort of stupidity, nip it in the bud, as it were.

And of course there are the folks who seem to enjoy arguing the point of whether this is over-reach or even something that needs to be done at all. I don’t know if they are serious or not but we keep the guns loaded, just the same.

Maybe we have been flying in Gallente space too long but the idea of attacking someone based on who they love? Just plain dumb.

Anyways, love to all the family back home, transfer of funds should be accompanying this message


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Support Network OOC

If you have read much of my blog you know that family is important to me, both the bonds of blood and those of friends who have become like family. My kids call my best friend ‘uncle’ and his mom was an honorary grandmother to them.

It is nice to know when folks got your back but when it comes to gaming . . . blogging, this whole internet thing do you have the same support? I mean are you teased about you ‘little hobby’ or do they join in? Are they proud of your gaming accomplishments or do they just half listen to you while doing something else, anything else?

I was tempted to put up the ‘are ya winnin son?’ meme but some of those hit harder than I want to right now. My Dad was proud of my tech skills, for my Mom I am still the IT go-to guy, even if I am a few hours away. She knows that my gaming has given me a lot of friends in a lot of places and that I have even travelled to see them, now and again. I know she doesn’t follow much more than that and that is ok. (She says ‘hi’ to my Eve friends, though, I am up visiting her, today.)

My local friends and neighbours? Well they know I do some game on the internet and that is about the extent of it. My kids are proud and the meme mentioned earlier could be reversed, my eldest does ask ‘are ya winnin dad?’ in reference to the meme.My wife plays ESO with me but she has never felt the urge to try Eve. She does listen, good naturedly when I talk or vent about it. We each have our own interests with some overlap and that has worked for us for over 30 years so I think it is a good way to go.

But you. Are you getting the support for your gaming? Do you care if you do? Do you appreciate when they listen, not understanding one word in three but happy that you are enjoying yourself? If not, I am here and hoping that you are winning, in your own way, in your own games.

Make me proud, kid, make me proud.

fly it like you won it


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Introductions (for Blaugust)

If you already know who I am and what I am about then feel free to skip this and head on to the next post (when it shows up)

Hi, I am Mike. Yes that is my real name. I know, apparently I do not do the internet correctly but then that is about par for the course as I also play games in my own way and tend to have my own opinions regardless of their correctness.

I am 62 as of the writing of this post (age, not IQ) and currently in decent health. Oh I have had cancer (twice) and work done on my heart but right now I am ok. While I do tell stories about my health now and again as an aside in passing when blogging this is not a health blog. You want to hear tales of torture and woe? Well, you will have to buy me a beer or rum, first.

I am a gamer, have been for a very long time. I prefer MMOs and the main two I play these days are Eve Online and Elder Scrolls Online. Most of this blog is IC (In character) posts about my time in Eve Online. If you look at the archives you will see that I have been doing this for a fair amount of time.

In Eve I run a charity/welcome wagon for new characters arriving in the game. In ESO I tend to grind various achievements and set myself odd side challenges to keep the game fresh. The funny thing is that in Eve, a game famous for alts, I mainly play as Mike Azariah and only use alts for lesson videos. In ESO I suffer from a bad case of LOTS of alts and always wishing for another character slot.

I LOVE interacting with folks whether is is when I streaming on twitch or just chatting in local and rookie help chat. MMO means that there are other players around, why wouldn’t you want to play with them?

well, that is me in a nut shell (very appropriate)

fly it like you won it


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The Immortal Blues

Mike walked into the pub and looked about then sighed to himself and grabbed a table. It was a medium crowd but not a face that he knew was amongst them. His comm trafffic was busy but not talking to him and oh so many of the old familiar names no longer seemed to crop up as often.

That was the problem with being an immortal and in space . . . the rest of the universe kept changing, whether you were a part of it or not. He knew a lot of his friends had ‘moved on’ and he felt like a rock stuck in the river of time, stubbornly refusing to move or be eroded. Flying the Bus and spending his newly acquired free time doing bits of this and that. It was not a rut but there was definitely a groove.

He picked at his food and idly read the news feed only to see one of his sources go dark.

He sighed and sent a note of thanks to the editor. He would miss that feed. He missed a lot of the older publications and new sources that had gone dark, through the years. He especially missed the ones he had been a part of, Podside, writing for the Eve Tribune, talking on various shows that left him an invite and a link. Those sorts of invites didn’t come very often anymore.

rock . . . river

He poked at his food, appetite gone.



Yeah I do feel a bit old, today. and I do feel sad when people move on.

Oh I don’t expect them to stay just because I am, but the sadness comes, just the same

fly it like you won it


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The community Feeds

“The problem is” Mike said, “that there is a LOT of places you can get your news from and not all of it agrees. Each has its bias, each has its share of bitter folks who try to convince you that you should never fly ever again or at least not fly with those OTHER assholes.”

The class looked up and nodded. They all had seen at least one of the news media of that slant.

“So what do you do? Some pilots take the simple solution of avoiding ALL the media and just living out their days in New Eden unsullied by the toxic waste of the media. Others find the media that most agrees with them and then form an echo chamber of self confirmation.”

“What do you do?” One asked

“I try to sample all of it and find the truth somewhere in the middle. So let us take a look at a few feeds.”


Reddit r/eve Now here is a VERY active site but the main issue is that there is not a promise that the people active there actually play the game. Some brag that they quit long ago but still actively show up to throw poo like monkeys at the zoo. Memes, propaganda and lordy do they love a scandal.

Eve Online Forums Well, supposedly people here are still connected to flying although I doubt a day goes by that someone does not quit in a huff. (and others ask if they can haz their stuff) You will occasionally find huge running arguments that often devolve into the same core group of pilots repeating their arguments ad naseum.

There are podcasts,Video streams and some of them might cover the news or their own tribes propaganda while others just celebrate the idea is ships in space. In the end it comes down to you to explora and find the media that is right for you is a good place to start. But when you go out to take in the media remember that it is not balanced and there is no outside force even making them tell the truth


“Honestly I wonder if there are Goon pilots out there who have not a clue what has happened over the past week. They fly in their fleets and some of their buddies are still around so business as normal. Boss replaced? That’s nice, I guess. Who we fighting next?” Mike smiled. “Others might even believe Mittens exit speech, it takes all kinds.”

“You do you boos, you find your own sources and or ignore the big picture, wander in the grand forest paying only attention tot he trees near you.”



Few people trust the mainstream media, anymore. It is no wonder if you see how the news is made, chosen, and edited.

Eve is often a microcosm of reality without normal constraints being applied. In this case it is no different. CNN, Fox News, Eve News24, INN . . . .all the same.

Good luck trying to figure out what is going on and what is true and what is bent. But in the wise words of Nosy Gamer In short, friends don’t let friends visit r/eve.

fly it like you won it


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Human Resources OOC

You know? I did not expect to one day be writing about human resources in an in game organization. It was just not on my radar as a thing. But it is more me ignoring reality than it not being needed. Corp and guild drama has been around for a long time as has the occasional objectionable person within a corp no matter what their particular flavour of ‘objectionable’ is.

Groups sometimes have to make a decision about a problem player. They have play or tactical value but is all the stress worth it? If the group as a whole does not make the decision then often individuals will by voting with their feet. One group I know of in Eve are pirates. They will merrily destroy your ship and take your stuff. But when it comes to other interpersonal issues . . . well I will let their leader put it properly

But when it came to the Imperium it seems they took a more solomenic approach, no complaints if the complainers are also booted from the group along with the accused (and you can let the accused back in later).

Now the Goons say they are going to revamp their procedures and make it better, going forward. But tell me, who joins a game about space to listen to complaints of racism and sexism and other isms too numerous to list? They better be doing something to reimburse that poor soul.

I am talking about a game and yet it feels almost too real to deal with

fly it like you won it


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Aftermath OOC

So Mittens stepped down amidst some really nasty accusations that waved receipts.

Now what?

Well that depends on us, the other players of the game. It can go lots of ways and I thought that I might run through a few of them with you.

  1. He is gone and with him all the sins that were committed. I am not a fan of this one. Letting one person take the fall implies that everything was done was done by him alone, with no accomplices, others knowing, aiding and abetting. Which leads to
  2. Witch hunt. We have tasted blood and now we want the heads of anyone even remotely connected who might have known and said nothing/done nothing. That would of course would lead to
  3. Purge. Goon structure needs to be dismantles, forever referred to a groomfleet and groomerwaffe. The SImperium, same. Anyone who stays with them past the next few days is assumed to be a pedophile, sex pest, and probably smell of elderberries.

wow, that escalated quickly

Angry mobs seldom know when to stop and often feed on their own if they lack a more substantive target.

But Mike . . . what should be done?

Well I had a fun chat with my wife about this (she does not play Eve but she lets me ramble on, now and again) and it made me think on what would be the right path that does not end in fire and pitchforks and  auto-da-fé . She asked if anything could be done from the devs side and I told her ‘probably not’ as that would start to make CCP the purity police for the world. And I doubt they want that job.

But it did get me thinking . . . understand that I am of two minds with this. So I will show you both and let you decide which you side with.

a) Object Lesson. Disband Goons, make it clear that if you associate with asshats you will be considered one of them or to use an older saying ‘lie down with dogs, get up with fleas’. Make the name Goons synonymous with such nasty behaviors to the point nobody wants to be known as one. MAYBE this will convince others not to go down this same road and alliances/Corps to see that if they do not police their people WE WILL. ‘Oh, you’re a goon? ew’

b) Trust but verify. Allow the Goons to do their own internal housekeeping and clean up this mess and make sure they have mechanisms in place to handle it in the future. If they show that they are taking steps to do so, fine. If they are just asking for forgiveness and then say moving on . . . well that is less than satisfactory. The mechanism cannot be ‘one guy’. (How the hell did Nom get stuck with that job, anyways?)

Either way? I do hope that the other corps and alliances are taking notes because I seriously doubt that all the assholes were in goons.

fly it like you won it


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