I think I’m going to do more “random stuff” posts this year, as I often have little things I’d like to mention or talk about, but they are either not enough for a full post or not really of interest to a wide group of visitors. Anyhow, here is one of those posts now.

New phone/First Soldier
After the church and school paid me for the year I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a new phone. The one I had, my Moto Z3, was in good condition and working well, but I’d been thinking about upgrading to a Moto Z4 for the past few months, since the model is a little older (it came out in 2019) and new, unopened ones are showing up less and less on eBay. That being said I went ahead and grabbed one and, so far, I’m happy. Its the same build quality as the Z3, which is PHENOMENAL, though its a tad bit narrower, which makes the mods, that snap on to the back, stick out a little, creating a small ledge. Its kind of annoying, but with the bumper case I ordered it won’t be noticed. Overall the Z line of phones have been the best mobile device I have ever owned, and I am slightly irritated that Motorola has seemingly decided to end the line with the Z4. I still use my mods to this day, with the speaker, controller and camera mods being the ones I most often grab for a day.


On that note, early last year I participated in the beta for Final Fantasy 7 First Soldier, a battle royale style game set in the Final Fantasy 7 universe, taking place some 30 years before the events of the actual game. In it you play as a customized SOLDIER, one of ShinRa Electric Companies top warriors, vying for your place as an ace killer. You’re dropped into Midgard along with 74 other players, running and gunning until only one remains, and hopefully that one is you. You’ll find weapons and materia, used for casting spells just like in the FF7 game, in equipment boxes around the map which you can upgrade by picking up more or by defeating monsters for Gil, which you can spend at vending machines. Picking from five classes (Warrior, Sorcerer, Ranger, Ninja and Monk) which level up as you play, it makes for a fun and interesting play. So far I’ve played nearly 300 matches with only 9 #1 wins to my name. You can also play team matches where you can form squads of three, but I have yet to attempt one.  If you are interested you can check out my Discord channel (link in the sidebar) where I will sometimes live stream matches. The game is mobile only, though that may change if it keeps doing well.

Now unfortunately I started playing on my Z3 phone and when I switched to my Z4 phone I didn’t realize that, unlike the other FF mobile game I play, you have to manually back up your data to your Google account, and I failed to do that, which meant that for a short time I lost my player. All my ranks, levels and equipment – LOST! Fortunately, though, tech support was able to verify the account was mine and restored it.

We can rebuild it…..
I haven’t done anything woodworking related since BEFORE the lockdown, so roughly, what, two years? I started on something a few months ago, but the overwhelming mess in my garage frustrated me and I quit. Well after some cleaning and tidying up I got back to work on a couple of different items:

A2 Wrath (First Soldier)

The first is the A2 Wrath revolver from FF7 First Soldier. I’ve wanted to make a handgun replica for some time but never got around to it. I like this one because its chunky and my in-game model is purple and black, which is just cool. Unfortunately instead of doing what I normally do and using carbon paper to trace the design onto the board for cutting and shaping I tried something different and used spray adhesive to past the paper template directly on top of the MDF. Ill never do that again. The template in this picture got thrown away because the paper, and thus the template, got shredded, leaving me with nothing to follow. Ill start it over again.

Flametounge (War of the Visions)

This curvy blade is the flame sword, Flametongue, from another FF game I play, War of the Visions. I liked it because of the colorful red/yellow motif of the in-game version. When its done Ill try to do a cool red/yellow sunburst stain on it, like you see on guitars and the like.

Sword of Light/Braver

The Sword of Light is one of my favorite FF weapons and comes from the original FF1 game (well, the illustrations, at least). Held by the Warrior of Light its thin blade and sweeping hooks just looks cool, and I’ve wanted to make one for a long time. Finally decided to get down to it and so far its turned out pretty good. We’ll see how things go when I actually start cutting one.

At this point I’m really hoping I can get a large format CNC like the Maslow to eventually start making builds. Though I would use the CNC in unison with standard tools and shaping, cutting the base of each weapon design on the CNC would be amazing, since some of the sweeps and curves and be difficult to smooth out by hand. I’ll post more updates as they move along or you can jump into my Discord channel for more frequent updates (link on the sidebar).

Florida bound?
So I still haven’t gotten around to moving to Florida and I’m starting to feel a bit more anxious about staying here in California. Recent laws proposed in Washington state and New York would give health officials the ability to arrest/detain individuals resistant to taking the poke or who speak poorly/question it and place them into “facilities” for undetermined periods of time. Last I heard the law passed in NY and is simply awaiting the governors signature. If these laws pass in NY and WA then I can expect them to pass in CA with tons of support from libs. As before, though, my plans for moving are still facing pushback from the wife, but I’m getting to the point where I may just have to tell her “I’m moving. You are either going with me or staying here”. Some people will think its wrong for me to do such a thing, but I’m thinking more along the lines of, “Secure your own oxygen mask before you assist others”. I have little doubt the hammer will drop in CA, and if that means I have to alienate my wife and kids to set up a safe haven elsewhere, then I guess that’s what it means. I don’t know any other way of doing this. Unfortunately that means I might have to simply walk away from my mortgage, which I don’t want to do. It means a lot of lost capital and some heavy credit problems going forward, but I’d rather have those problems than be stuck in a communist state when the state government gets up the guts to just start going after people, which they will. Just take a look at Australia. California isn’t that far off.

Well thanks for checking in. That’s all I’ve got for now. Looking forward to another work week spent out of town at the coast, where people are still going ape over lockdowns, masks, social distancing and the like, all while sporting some of the highest koof numbers around.

Florida, wait for me, please.