Posting the below for acerocket.
As some people have noticed, I have been less active on this forum as of late. Run progress updates have become less frequent and I realize I owe people an explanation. I have been working as much as possible on all of my run commitments. Recently however, the last few updates have been met with anger and accusations. Because of this, I decided to stop posting updates on my projects. I will address the 'why' runs are taking longer in a bit, but I want to address why I am no longer posting updates. I have 5 different runs that I am currently working on, and while I have now come to realize my mistake in taking on so much work (again, I will address this in a moment), I have tried to be fair and work a little of each run and make the rounds so progress on all runs could be reported. When I would post progress on one run, people would post, PM and email me about why I wasn't working on a different run. It got to the point where some run participants were demanding I work on their run and not others. I grew tired of the constant battles with each new update and made the decision to stop making update posts. I now am reaching the conclusion that, without explaining this, I have made the issue worse as people are viewing the lack of updates as me 'hiding from my obligations'.
I have already completed all machine work on the Vader's Vault TFUII run. I am just waiting on the parts to return from the anodizer to complete minor assembly and ship them out to Vader's Vault.
I have completed all machining (with the exception of the brass circuit
card) on the Chewbacca/General Grievous Obi ROTS run and they have shipped to Chewbacca.
All turning work has been completed on the Skinnyflex run. The bottleneck is mill time as there are a dozen different parts, each with
70+ pieces per part and each piece requiring several mill setups. They
are taking time.
The Obi TPM run was started and then put on hold as I worked to finish
up some other runs, thus allowing me to have more time to focus on it.
Now that the VV TFUII and the Chewbacca Obi ROTS run are shipping, I
will get back on these.
The Black Mamba is on a hold at the moment as I am having issues getting
payments from some run participants, and this project was always
expected to be a longer one. I will tackle the next section as soon as
I can free up a machine.
Beyond these five runs, I am not involved in any other saber work
(except for TCSS work which is my M-F work). As has always been the
case for the past 9 years, TCSS work has always been Monday through
Friday and my runs get done on weekends. I don't have any intention of
taking any further runs until all of my current runs have been completed.
Now, as to why the runs have taken longer than expected. This is where
it gets much more personal and is more difficult for me to share,
because of the personal nature. In the past few years, some personal
health issues have had an effect on my business obligations. As some
people are well aware, I announced back in October 2013 that I would be
undergoing spinal surgery. I had been having increasing leg pain for
several years prior to that that was making work harder and harder. I
dislocated both of my hips in my early teens and had 4 surgeries to
correct those issues. I also worked in the steel construction industry
for 25 years before getting in this community. Suffice it to say, I have
not treated my body like a temple. I have had to deal with leg pain and
cramps since I was 13. I also tend to have a higher pain tolerance than
most so I did not realize how much pain I was actually dealing with.
After an extremely pain filled week, I sought medical treatment and was
diagnosed with a whole plethora of issues. X-rays found arthritis in
the spine, occlusions, bony growths and bunch of other 'old man'
things. They also found a 2.1 cm kidney stone. An MRI found two
bulging and two herniated discs in the lower back. The two herniated
discs were impacting the spinal column pretty good. In the span of two
weeks, I had surgery to break up the kidney stone and surgery to remove
portions of two discs. One disc had been herniated for well over a year
given the level of calcification of the disc material, and the other had
impinged pretty good on the spinal cord. After the surgery, the leg
pain, numbness and cramping did not abate as much as I would have
hoped. Some issues seemed to go away, but others took their place I
was prescribed a med to help with the nerve pain. But after a month, it
was clear it was not working and a second med was prescribed. This
medicine appeared to help, but after a few weeks, I started getting
dizzy, feeling light-headed and started having trouble with my memory.
I had to go off this medicine and there was nothing else to try. I
still have to deal with the nerve/leg pain. It took a few months for
the light-headedness and dizziness to stop, it took about 6 months for
my head to get clear, and from time to time, I am pretty sure I still
have bouts of forgetfulness. During this time, I made several unwise
decisions to take projects I probably should have passed on.
Just as I was starting to get my head clear and get back on top of my
projects, I was offered an opportunity I could not pass up. Instead of
being a behind the scenes player, I was going to join the TCSS family
and 'officially' become the shop machinist. It meant I would be able to
add more machines to the shop and get some help. It sounded like a
win-win situation for Tim and myself. As you know, a new Star Wars
movie was on the horizon and we were caught off guard by the enormous
surge in sales. It's not just TCSS, ask anyone on this forum and they
will tell you they were caught by surprise by the shear amount of
interest and people looking to buy sabers/parts. As a result of this
crush, the workload has increased substantially and that initially
caused some issues with my weekend work.
A few months ago, I started to have back pain again. An MRI conformed I
had re-herniated one of two previous discs I had repaired. So, in
November I was back in the hospital for a second spinal surgery. And
just recently, I have run into more kidney stone issues with several of
the fragments from the initial breakup passing (or trying to pass).
So to be truthful, my health has been a major issue with my ability to
complete work the past few years. Every time I think I am mended and
can get back on top of my game, I get sidelined again. I have been
loathe to post about this because I do not people to think I am trying
to take the path of 'poor me' and blame my health issues. But it is
what it is, my health has affected my capacity to get work done.
Rest assured however, runs are getting worked on and substantial
progress has been made.