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“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
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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