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Thursday, August 13, 1998

There isn't much New Stuff this week.... we were at Gen-Con, and I guess everyone who wasn't there went to WorldCon, 'cause no one's created much that's new this week. But I do at least have Chapter 46 of the Empty City. (This week, Bill learns that his time machine isn't a complete failure after all.)

Anyway, we're back from Gen Con, and we had a grand time. Our living room under a tie-dyed tent was once again very popular, and we demoed Fluxx and Aquarius continuously therein. We got help this time around from Renee, Ellen, and Keith (thanks you guys!!), not to mention the friendly folks at Iron Crown, who took care of all the sales work for us at their nearby retail counter (and even hauled our stuff in and out for us - thanks guys!!). We gave out thousands of postcards, Kristin gave hundreds of purple submarine buttons to people with beautiful long hair (directing them to the tie-dyed tent in the corner for a demo of a game they'd get to go first in), and I did a lot of demos. (On Day 2, I was even captured on video giving my schpiel.)

It wasn't all work, though - during the evenings, I got to play games with other game designers, including Richard Garfield and my arch-rival James Ernest. On Saturday night, a group of 9 of us found ourselves so into playing Looney Labs and Cheapass games that we started playing 4 different games at the same time: Fluxx, Falling, Aquarius, and Lord of the Fries. I'm not sure who won, but it was a totally enjoyable, if rather complicated, gaming session.

Even the food was good - they have Giordano's pizza in Milwaukee (I had thought they were only in Chicago... I wish they were here in Washington DC). More importantly, I finally got to visit the Safe House! (I'd like to tell you all about that, but of course, it's all Top Secret. Sorry.)

Getting to and from Gen-Con, however, was Travel Hell. Going both ways, my connecting flight got canceled. On the way out, it was due to flash floods covering the runway in Milwaukee; on the way home, the plane broke down. To get to the convention, I had to fly into Chicago and then take a bus the rest of the way, a bus so crowded I had to stand in the aisle during the first hour. On the way home, we had to spend 6 hours waiting in the airport for the next possible flight. While this was painful, it was doubly so for Kristin, who got too close to a heavily-cologned pilot and was struck with a migraine. Now, there are only 3 things we know of that help her migraines: Ergomar, which she must take prior to the onset of serious pain, else it just makes her nauseous (which is what happened); DHE, which is delivered by injection; and cannabis, which is unjustifiably illegal. So she had no option but to suffer, and the noise factor was so bad (the incessant beeping of those little electric cars was agonizing for her) that we had to retreat into the airport's nondenominational chapel to wait out most of the layover. It really sucked. And what did U.S. Airways do to help alleviate these inconveniences? A refund? A free flight? Nope. Even though they had earlier been offering free flights to anyone willing to be bumped from our over-crowded flight, all we got for being involuntarily bumped was a free meal at an airport eatery. Gee, thanks.

On a much more positive note, we got our official notification yesterday... Aquarius made the Games 100! GAMES Magazine publishes a Buyer's Guide each year with their picks of the best adult and family games on the market. It has a cirulation of more than 225,000 and hits the newsstands in mid-October.

On the technical side of things, Kristin is looking to hire a tutor... we are going to be moving Wunderland.Com over to a virtual server hosted by Verio, and her UNIX skills are a bit rusty. She is looking for someone who is familiar with the configuration files for an Apache web server, and can help her locate, modify, and/or write a couple of simple cgi scripts to run our gift shop and search engine. Considering how busy we are right now, the idea of just hiring someone to initially get it all set up and running has a lot of appeal. If you are skilled in these areas, and would like some short time consulting work helping us get Wunderland.Com moved over to it's new home, drop Kristin a line.

Random things I'm noticing this week:

  • The political pundit talk shows are using the word "impeachment" quite a lot
  • Madonna has a great new video, for the song "Ray of Light" (it's an even better rip-off of Koyaanisqatsi than was the "2 into 1" video by the Spice Girls)
  • Popular Mechanics has an article (with pictures!) on the rebuilding of the Titanic, and it now seems that 2 different companies are working on Titanic replicas!

Be careful today, it's Thursday the 13th,



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