“Through the Force, things you will see. Reaches across time and space it does. Other places. The future… the past. Old friends long gone.”

“Old friends long gone.”  Hmmm.
For the (almost literally) two or three people that have ever read this blog, you of course know why it (along with YFS itself) has been conspicuously silent for some time now.  A few months ago, the other half of this two-man endeavor, (and one of my best friends ever) Gregg, died of cancer.
It has impacted upon me in ways I still cannot describe, and even as I write this, I realize that I’m doing an absolutely terrible job articulating what it has meant to me.
I’m not here to relate any grand stories, or spew words of any sort of insightful or profound nature.  Truthfully, I’m not even sure what I want to say.
“O judgement, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason! –Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.”
I can tell you this: Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Gregg for some reason, whether it’s laughing at a particular memory, or wishing he was around to lend an opinion about something, or even to simply mourn.  I know that last part might sound somewhat (melo)dramatic, but I’ve come to realize that I’m still doing exactly that– mourning.  I guess I just can’t help it.  Just like I couldn’t help it when I completely teared up while watching the new Star Trek movie.  Just like I couldn’t help finding it extremely difficult to work in my garage for the past couple of days, staring at all of our shop equipment that has gone unused for months now, most of it falling prey to the bad cliché of doing nothing but collecting dust
I just can’t help it.  I miss my friend.
I don’t know if this is weird or maybe even morbid, but I have a small note written by Gregg not more than a month or so before he passed away.  It was meant to be his first entry here on the blog.  I gave him so much shit because he never posted anything!  Every time we’d talk, I’d ask him if he wrote anything for the blog yet.  It became a requisite part of our conversations.  And when he finally did write something, I gave him even more shit because it was so short.  And what’s worse, I never posted it!  It’s not because I didn’t want to– it was just one of those things that I never did.
So now, it finally makes its way to our blog.  Reading it now is even more upsetting.  But for better or worse, here it is:
 
Hello For The First Time?
OK! OK! I know I haven’t said hello yet ,but I’ve been busy. You know with Christmas, New Year, having cancer. Wait, wait. What? Yeah, that’s right– the big C. It’s OK… I’m doing great; it’s just a little slow going sometimes. Cristar and I joke about it a lot, so if you see an unusual blog [entry] by him don’t worry– I get the joke.
Anyway, I just wanted to say hello and let you know there is another sabersmith in this company.
Yannus Nosevi
 
I’m not sure what I mean to accomplish by posting this now, but I just felt like it was something I had to do.  Does that make any sense?  Absolutely none.  But that’s okay.  I often don’t make any sense.
So there it is.  I unfortunately have no brilliant and engaging way to end this entry, so I’ll just cut my losses and end it here.  But I will ask this of you: Let’s never forget our friend Gregg.
 
~Cristar

A Return to the Smithery

It’s true.  We’re sabersmithing again.  It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  I’ve been busy with the end of the semester and getting the “kids” their grades.  Gregg has been busy being a broody Sith wannabe.  But all that ended today.  We finally both had some time and were able to get together and work on a saber.
In the end, it wasn’t a terribly difficult project; just an MR Vader ESB conversion. But we think it came out pretty damn good!  We got a replica MPP clamp from Parks because we really wanted to get rid of that nasty plastic MR version. It seemed simple enough, but it of course was slightly more difficult.  It too some finagling to get the switch to work, as we couldn’t use the stock MR bubbles, etc.  We got through it, however, and it works great now.  It’s just a bit tight now– but in a good way, as it isn’t nearly as easy to accidentally turn off while spinning or dueling.  And the stock plastic bladeholder was replaced with one of the newer TCSS conversion kits— which makes it one hell of a beefy saber!  There are still some of the little details to finish up (the ornamental wires and so forth), but it’s mostly done.
So there ya go.  One fine day of sabersmithing.  It was fun.  Now if I could just get around to wiring up those damn UltraSounds…
 
~Cristar

A Tremor in the Force… from France(!)

Crystal Focus Saber Core… the mere words send chills up any sabersmith’s spine.  It really is the Holy Grail of lightsaber sound/light controllers.  And there is a new batch of them on sale today.  There are apparently only 100 to go around this time, so the Jedi (or Sith) who get their hands on these will be few.  I, of course, am hoping to be one of those few.
It’s been a long time since I first submitted my design for my personal saber to Ryan over at Random Sabers, and I’ve been slowly but surely moving up the queue.  I’d say there are about 25 sabers a head of me.  And when Ryan does get to my saber, I want one of Erv’s boards to power it.  (While 25 sabers might still seem like quite a bit to get through, the CF boards are offered only once in a rare while, and I’m not sure if there’ll be another batch before my saber goes into production– so I figure the time to grab a board is now!)
I have to be completely honest here and say that I’m not completely optimistic that I’ll snag one of these things today… but I am hopeful.  So let’s hope that the Force is with all of us today… at least, all of us who are seeking the technological marvel that is the Crystal Focus Saber Core.
I’ll update this a bit later, and let you guys know how the fates treated me…
~Cristar
* * * UPDATE! * * *
Ah… fortune has smiled.  While I missed snagging one of the boards in the first round, when the second batch came up, I got one.  Very lucky indeed.  The first batch went on sale at 8pm Paris time, and by 8:02, they were already gone.  Acquiring one of these things is harder than getting Super Bowl tickets.  But I’ll have one now.  All I have to do it wait until it arrives.  …um, and wait until I have the saber in which to put it.  Yeah.

Quantum Of Solace Widget

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Nothing major to report on this one… I was just visiting the Quantum of Solace website, and saw that the gadget was “grabbable,” so I thought I’d post it here.  I’m definitely looking forward the film.  I’ve heard some advance reviews that say it’s not as good as Casino Royale, but still a pretty good flick and most definitely action-packed.
The other reason I want to see it right away (and I’d be going opening day regardless of this) is the fact that the first true trailer for the new Star Trek film is supposed to be shown along with QoS.  I know that some people (who will remain nameless, but are partners in YFS and never go to the website or have never even posted the shortest of comments here on their own blog) want to see the movie more for the Trek trailer than anything else.  Hmmm.  Priorities.  (Maybe that not-too-subtle public nudge will also get him off his butt and here posting something.)
Until then…
~Cristar

Keep On Trekkin’

The new old crew.  (Photo originally from UGO (ugo.com))

The new old crew. (Photo originally from UGO (ugo.com))

So.  There’s a new Star Trek film in the works.  They’re going back to the Original Series era and recasting everyone.  Hmmm.  Recast William Shatner?  That’s tough.  How do you recast the role played by the greatest actor in cinematic history.  Not so easy.
I (mostly) trust J.J. Abrams, but the writers– as geeky as they may be– are also responsible for writing Transformers, which is quite possibly the worst film of the last twenty years.  I’d rather watch the Star Wars prequels or Spider-Man 3 or Batman & Robin than that movie.  Not a single frame or word of dialogue is worth anything.  It’s that bad.  It’s the perfect example of what’s wrong with Hollywood nowadays.  Not because it’s big-budget (big-budget can be great!), but because it commits the worst sin any piece of art can do: it caters to the lowest common denominator.  The dialogue is inane.  Everything is a joke.  Everything is a mockery.  It takes away all credibility and power from characters like Optimus Prime, for example, who is supposed to be the venerable leader of an entire race of beings.  When you give him lines like “Oops… my bad,” and put him in constant slapstick situations, you destroy all that the character means.  And characters like John Turturro are Naked Gun-like parodies.  They have no place this sort of film.  Everything plays for a cheap (and misplaced) laugh… and they’re not good laughs at that.  The creators assume that the entire audience is comprised of mindless assholes who can’t simultaneously suspend disbelief and understand a serious movie.  And I hate them for that.  It’s a hell of a leap to believe that there are sentient alien robots who can walk and talk and transform into vehicles.  Let the audience take that jump, and then don’t insult them.  Don’t make a bunch of teenagers talk back to government officials using teen jargon-of-the-week (only illustrating how mindless they really are), and then subsequently save the world using only their theretofore nonexistant intellegence.  Don’t assume the audience can’t comprehend a complex plot.  Every time a movie like that is made, it lowers the bar, and perpetuates the vicious cycle of stupid people watching stupid movies, who then expect less, so the studios make stupider movies, which in turn makes the audience stupider… you get the point.
So that’s why I’m a bit scared.  But I’m also a bit cautiously optimistic because of Abrams’ involvement.  (And because I think the costumes look good.)  I want to see where this is going.  I just hope it doesn’t talk down to us, or lower our bar, as it were.  Star Trek never did that.  Hell, Star Wars never did that– until the prequels.  Let’s keep this one intelligent.
In the meantime, there are only a few photos that have surfaced so far.  Here’s a link to a site that has those precious few all in one place: http://www.cinematical.com/photos/star-trek/
Live long and prosper.
 
~Cristar

‘Yannus Furzon’

  
So you may be asking yourself, “Why Yannus Furzon?”  As with most of your questions, I’m glad you asked.
It’s a pretty silly story, actually.  When Gregg and I were working on our very first MR conversion– the Darth Maul staff that eventually became Heliotrope and Viridius– we used several button-head hex bolts either as cosmetic features, or as functional pieces which of course held parts of the hilt together.  The black screws that we used had the initials “YFS” stamped on the heads.  At first, we were a bit upset by it.  I mean, who wants some useless writing all over our saber components?
But then, we got to thinking.  (There might have even been smoke coming out of our ears at that point.)  What if we said that “YFS” actually stood for something?  What if it was the name of our saber company or smithery?  Not a bad idea!  Then the imprint would actually have some relevance!  But what could it mean?
Our first thought was that the “S” must stand for something to do with “saber.”  Initially it was “Sabershop,” but we quickly realized that we didn’t want to make it sound like we were stealing from The Custom Saber Shop.  So I thought that “Saberworks” would be a good choice.  As for the “YF,” we thought that those letters should sand for the place where the ‘works is located– a planet in the Star Wars universe, perhaps.  Yavin Four immediately sprung to mind, but we then thought that instead of using an such a recognized planet, we’d use something a bit more unusual.  So Gregg and I sat in front of my computer and looked up the names of planets on Wookieepedia.  After about an hour of bad combos like Yugami Felucia, we though that it might be better to come up with something of our own.
“Yannus” was actually a pretty easy choice.  It’s a derivative of Janus, the two-faced Roman god, which is appropriate, as Gregg can’t make up his mind of he’s a Jedi or Sith.  “Furzon,” however, was a bit more difficult to come up with.  I figured if we’re using an F, I have to work “Fur” in there somehow.  (For those of you who may not know, Fur is my nickname– the slightly more phonetical spelling of the last syllable of Christopher.)  I had just finished playing Metroid Prime Corruption for the Wii, and was reminded that there is a radioactive substance in the game called Phazon— a substance which kinda glows like a lightsaber blade.  So I mixed Fur with Phazon, shook well, and got “Furzon” as a result.  We then had to go back and add another N to the original spelling Yanus to make the amount of letters the same, as to better facilitate a symmetrical layout of the (then) forthcoming logo.  (It was alternatively going to be Yaanus or Yanuus, but the double Ns won out in the end.)
So there you go.  That whole long story, and a grueling mental process on our part (Did I mention the smoke?), just to come up with a good reason why those damn screws on our sabers have “YFS” on them.
Aren’t you glad you asked?
(Incidentally, if you’re interested, the “YFS” on the screws we use is in actuality the product mark of the Fang Sheng Screw Co., Ltd.  I’m sure they’re pleased as Praxis punch to know that we’re co-opting their stamp.  Good thing we don’t make any money out of this gig…)

 

~Cristar

May the Force be with you.

Greetings, ladies, gentlemen, and invited transgendered species.
This is of course the first official entry on the Yannus Furzon Saberworks blog, and I’d like to welcome all of you to our blog-world… blogalaxy… er, blogiverse…(?)  Any which way you’d like to refer to it… welcome!
I’d like to say that I’m going to be completely diligent in my blogging duties and post something every single day and keep the conversational topics flowing.  I really would.  But I’ll at least say that I’ll do my best.  But part of that is of course up to you guys too.  You have to participate to keep it all running like a finely-tuned hyperdrive system.
What are we going to talk about?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  I suppose the simplest answer would be, “anything.”  Maybe that’s a little vague.  But it’s true.  Sure, this is the Yannus Furzon blog, and one would assume that the main topic is going to be about lightsabers or Star Wars in general.  And that’s true as well.  But who knows?  Whatever might be of current interest to me or whatever I might feel necessary to share with the rest of the known worlds when I’m sitting in front of my computer at 3am is all fair game.  It really is just a place for us to shoot the poodoo.
So at the risk of sounding like a broken holo-transmission, I once again bid you all welcome.  May the Force be with you all.
 
~Christopher J. Navetta
 (Cristar Attevan, Jedi Knight)