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Digging for change in my pocket while eyeing a bag of peanut M&Ms in the machine, and thinking about graphics for Demons.

Cool Words

diapason (dye'-uh-pay'-zonn) n. 1. concord, as of notes an octave apart; harmony; a full, rich outpouring of harmonious sound 2. the entire range of an instrument or voice; the entire compass of tones 3. one of several stops in the organ, whose effects extend through the full scale of the instrument 4. the octave, or interval which includes all the tones of the diatonic scale 5. a standard of pitch; a tuning fork

Haiku Reviews

A Beautiful Mind :|

Hollywood can't film
real life, but my proof won't fit
within this haiku.

Daddy-O's Reviews

The Time Machine (2002)

In many ways, this film is excellent: the Time Traveler's machine looks fantastic, and it's even more spectacular in action. The new-in-this-version material surrounding the events of 4 years prior and the year 2037 are all quite good, and even some aspects of life in the year 802701 are well done (the Eloi city, for example, is beautiful). However, I was displeased with many of the changes made to the story it was supposedly based on. (Morlocks hunting during daylight hours? Huh?) And the ending was all wrong! My advice? Stop watching after you've seen the Eloi city, then go check out one of the more faithful adaptations, such as Richard McMurry's excellent webcomic, the 1960 movie version, the 1964 Classics Illustrated comic book (still my favorite adaptation), or even (*gasp*) the original novella from 1895.

Tirade's Choice

Weird Fortunes

"Game play is fast and easy to learn and in our ten or so games, there wasn't one question that wasn't addressed in the rules (pretty good for a game where paradox is a key element)." -- Steve Donohue, in a 4.5 star review of Chrononauts posted to the Gaming Report

Thursday, March 28, 2002
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? We had a Great Time at GTS 2002!

Well, we're back from the GAMA Trade Show and we had an absolutely marvelous time. Of course, it was a lot of work (setting up and staffing a booth like this ain't exactly trivial) but we had so much fun that it hardly seemed like work at all. Everywhere we went, retailers at various levels in the industry made a point of telling us how well our products sell, and how much they personally love our games. And with all the free stuff we were giving out, it felt like we were handing out candy on Halloween! Plus it was in Vegas, which I always find to be a fun place to visit, even though I don't gamble. Oh, and we were featured on a local TV news show!

Here's what we were giving away this time:

  • First, we were offering our "Gone Looney" ribbons to anyone who wanted to add it to their badge. Lots of people wanted them, and as the show went on it became a great means for us to know who'd been to our booth yet (and who hadn't).
  • Similarly, we were giving little "Are You a Werewolf?" pins to anyone who wanted one, and these too were very popular, particularly when we pointed out that we'd give you a free copy of the product if you'd put the button on and wear it for the remainder of the show.
  • Our new all-purpose literature/catalog envelopes worked out really nicely, and naturally, we were giving these away to everyone we could get to take them. They contained not only our catalog (in all three flavors) but also, a new retailer newsletter we created, called "What's Cookin'," which is a shortened version of material from our What's On the Stove? webpage.
  • Finally, we were giving away sample Icehouse pieces and copies of Playing with Pyramids to everyone who placed an order for our beautiful new Looney Games display.

Although the new displays haven't yet shipped, we had a near-final prototype from the box maker who'll be manufacturing them for us, and our retailers absolutely loved it. We're really excited about getting these into stores!

And as if everything weren't already going so well, we were also on TV! On the second morning of the show, the local FOX affiliate TV station did a series of live feeds from the floor of the GTS Trade Show, and we were one of just three companies selected for this honor. (The exhibit hall was otherwise completely empty during the filming of the TV spots, since this was a morning show and the hall didn't open until 12:30.)

We got almost 3 minutes of air-time, and I thought it went really well. A lot of people saw it, too... for the next couple of days, we kept running into people at the show who told us they'd seen us on TV during breakfast. Of course, we didn't get to see it ourselves until much later, but when we got home, we received a tape of the spot that Kristin had ordered (from a company called TV Monitoring Services) and I think we looked pretty good. (We're working on getting it digitized... and hopefully we'll be putting up a QuickTime of it soon.)

The three of us were joined on this mission by Kory, who came along mainly to further his career as an independent game designer, but who also helped us out in various ways all through the event. Thanks Kory! Oh, and thanks also to my Dad, for the emergency taxi service to the airport! (There's nothing quite like the panic you feel when your van breaks down on your way to the airport, particularly when you have so much luggage it won't fit into any vehicle smaller than a van... especially when it's 6 am and it's cold and rainy.)

As is becoming a tradition for me on these trips, I spent one evening just wandering around Vegas on my own, checking out various scenes. This year, I had a particular mission in mind, but unfortunately it turned out to be one of the only real disappointments of the week. I retraced many of the steps I took last year in order to check out the new Venus Lounge at the Venetian, which I'd heard had been designed by Shag, an artist whose work I really dig. But they wouldn't let me in! Posted outside the great looking entrance was a sign reading "Private Party," and because of it, the bouncer guy at the door refused to let me in for more than a peek at the Shag mural in the foyer. "We'll be open to the public at 11:30," he offered helpfully as I left.

But I couldn't just hang around there for 3 hours. By 11:30, I was more than a monorail's ride away, on the street outside the MGM-Grand, where, surprisingly enough, I happened to run into Nathan and Jesse, the Morton's List guys! We wandered about together for awhile, checking out the New York New York casino and comparing notes on the hooker "trading card game" people were giving away cards for on the streets of this bizarre city; but when they decided to go off in search of the Freemont Street Experience, I realized it was late enough for the $3 Steak-n-Eggs Graveyard Special at the Orleans, so I got into a different cab and went back to the casino that is our home-away-from-home during GTS.

When we got back, Alison dug in (literally) to a project she's been planning for quite some time: a "water feature" for our back yard. That's right, she's digging us a pond! It may not look like much yet, but by the time she finishes all the landscaping and planting she has in mind, it will be quite gorgeous.Andy

Happy April Fool's Day!

the story so far

Thought Residue
Cosmic Coasters has been nominated for an Origins award! (It's in the Best Abstract Board Game category.)
Alison came up with a tweak to the Nanofictionary rules that nicely solves a problem that sprang out of simultaneous turns, namely not being sure when everyone is ready to begin the next round. Henceforth, each player must place a finger on the draw pile when ready to draw a card for the next round.
Hearing that someone threw a grenade at the US embassy in Yemen is a lot more distressing when you know someone who's actually stationed at the US embassy in Yemen. (Fortunately, he's OK...)


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