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Sketchbook HarvestNanofiction

on hiatus

#12's Nanofics

New this week:
I know you're not there anymore


"Now *that* I'd be interested in going to."
"It was neat!"
- me and Rob Levy

Cool Words

vespertilian (vess-per-till'-ee-an) adj. of or relating to bats

Haiku Reviews

All About My Mother :)
A bittersweet tale
of persistent struggle through
loss and suffering.

Daddy-O's Reviews

Battlefield Earth

Well, another of my favorite books has been destroyed by Hollywood. What was an intricately detailed and carefully plotted masterwork of epic storytelling has been compressed and simplified into a haphazard and confusing mess that bears little resemblance to the original. [more] My advice: Avoid the movie. Read the book.

Tirade's Choice

Religious Tolerance
Fruits of Chaos
Degree Confluence Project
#12's Webcomic picks
Minimum Security

Thursday, May 18, 2000
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? The First Shirt and the Last Dance

Two weeks ago, I put up the design I'd just created for a new Fluxx T-shirt. One week ago, along with instructions for placing pre-orders, I put up a drawing of what that shirt might look like. When Scott (of Pegasus Publishing, the merchandising company that's releasing the new shirt) saw last week's posting, he got so excited that he stayed up practically all night Thursday, immediately printing up a dozen or so sample shirts and mailing them out on Friday to his key distributors, to get them excited about the new release. He sent us one as well, of course, so this week, I'm pleased to be modeling the shirt that was merely a sketch last week! We expect to receive the real shipment in another week or so, which hopefully means we'll put them in the out-going mail on or before May 30th. And thanks to all of you who placed pre-orders! It was very useful knowing how many to get *before* placing the order...

On Friday night we went to Renee's Master's Thesis Lecture/Performance thing with various other Toasters. That story is told in a little more detail in the GinohnNews, so I'll just say that, unlike Battlefield Earth, it was actually very entertaining!

On Saturday night, we went to the Last Dance at Northwestern High School, and it was a real hoot. As I mentioned in a recent Thought Residue, my old high school building will soon be torn down, so this Last Dance was a big party intended to bid that school building a fond farewell, and celebrate 50 years of memories in the process.

I've been to several high school reunions in the last dozen+ years, and this was by far the best of the bunch. It made such a difference to be gathering at the actual place we were reminiscing about, instead of in some dumb hotel ballroom somewhere. I mean, there we were, standing in line together in the very same cafeteria we'd stood in line together in all those years ago, except this time, instead of that scary lasagna we had cake and finger sandwiches. This just beats the pants off of a buffet in one of those uptight places where you have to wear a suit.

It was sad to think they were tearing the place down... it looked almost exactly like I remembered, and I wondered why it was deemed worthy only of demolition. Sure, it's 50 years old, but the house I'm living in now is 63 and it's still doing fine. But I suppose it's a good thing our county can afford to improve our educational facilities. As part of the event we not only got free range of the halls of the old building, but even got to tour the new one, which of course seemed lavish and deluxe when compared to that which it's replacing.

Naturally, there were reunions with old classmates, including my sister Kathi, as well as friends of my older brothers (more than once I was mistaken for Rash); but considering how well attended the event was, I actually found very few of my old classmates. The place was packed; I heard they'd sold over 1500 tickets. The alumni had stickers on their nametags, color-coded for the decade they'd been students, and this helped a lot as we searched the sea of faces for that occasional, greatly-changed but still-familiar face of someone you once knew.

But it didn't even matter that I hardly knew anyone there... we all still had something in common. Even though we were of many different generations, we had all been teenagers in this beloved old building (beloved of course to anyone who would attend such an event) and we all felt good about it. Everywhere you looked, you could see the teenagers inside the middle-agers as we clustered together in those same places in the hallways where knots of students always formed.

Of course, as the name suggests, it was a dance, with great live music (by the Fabulous Bel Airs), and Kristin and Alison had a great time shaking it there... but for me the highlight was simply roaming those old hallways one last time. It provided a wonderful sense of closure. It was also fun remembering how big a part of my life gaming was, even back then. I found the spot in the cafeteria where we always played Spades... and the place in the library where we played Nuclear War... and the spot on the floor in the hall outside the auditorium, where we played Cosmic Wimpout during breaks in the South Pacific rehearsals, just down the hall from the locker I'd been rooting about in when I first heard that Reagan had been shot. So many memories...

Other than all that, we've just been pounding away as always on the huge list of things we need to do. Origins prep is now the big thing on our minds... we're running a whole slew of tournaments, we're releasing the beta-test version of my new game Chrononauts, and we're promoting the release of Icehouse with a full color close-up photo of pyramids on the back cover of the on-site program book.

This last item is currently the most urgent on the list. The final art for this ad is due in the printer's hands on May 29th, and I still don't have the perfect photo. It's not for lack of trying... I've conducted 5 separate photo sessions with pyramids (not counting test sessions done with the digital camera) and as of my last batch of prints I still don't have something I'm completely happy with. With each new roll I shoot, I learn a little more about how best to take pictures of these little pyramids... I shot the first couple of rolls outdoors, with natural light, then I decided to move indoors and use lamps, so that I could vary the lighting and use the best setup I could arrange. Then I got smart and built a quick-and-dirty light table to arrange the pieces on, and then I realized I should have been using a blue filter, and then, just when I thought I'd have the perfect picture finished in time to publish here, I had the ultimate disappointment: I went back to the photolab to pick up my pictures... and they weren't there. They're Missing In Action. Hopefully they'll turn up tomorrow... I really don't want to shoot a 6th roll. Anyway, tune in next week, by then I've simply got to have the final image in hand.

Finally of course, there's the whole Product-Backed Investments thing... I'm happy to say we've been getting lots of nibbles and plenty of email and we're generally feeling pretty good about the whole thing. As always, stay tuned!

AndyHave a great week!

New Iceland cartoonthe story so far

Thought Residue
Marlene (aka Ember) and her husband Butch are splitting up. (She's decided that she wants to be a mom, and he doesn't want to be a dad.)
For Xmas, Alison gave me a novel by Daniel Quinn called Ishmael, an Adventure of the Mind and Spirit, and this week I finally finished reading it. It's an amazing book, full of insights that make you think about our world and our culture in totally new ways. You should read it.
On Monday, I held a Chrononauts card format design meeting with Kory and the girls, and we ending up changing from the 5x6 timeline layout we've been using to a 4x8 card layout, allowing me to add 2 years (1991 and 1999) to the timestream. We also decided to add an 11th character, and to drop the Impossible Objects Collection, which is kind of a shame; I liked the concept, but it just doesn't work well enough.

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