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imbroglio (im-brole'-yo) n. 1: a confused mass 2a: an intricate or complicated situation (as in a drama or novel) 2b: an acutely painful or embarrassing misunderstanding 2c: a violently confused or bitterly complicated altercation; embroilment

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Another must-see for any serious quotemaster, this is my favorite of the Monty Python films (with the possible exception of the short film that precedes the Meaning of Life), and even if you have heard all the jokes a million times, it's still fun watching this film, if nothing else for the cinematography. The locations they filmed in are lush and beautiful.

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Everything Jake

Thursday, June 1, 2000
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? Chrononauts in Charlottesville

I realized in retrospect that I probably disappointed my readers last week by launching the official Chrononauts home pages without really revealing any new information about the game. So, to make up for that, here are some new clues to chew on...

The image you see here is the design I just worked up for a new promotional postcard, which we'll hopefully be giving out at Origins. It depicts the Timeline of Alterable History and the interconnections between the 19 Ripplepoints and the 13 Linchpins that make up the 32 card Timeline deck. These 32 cards are arranged on the table in a grid that serves as a sort of de facto gameboard for this boardgame-like card game. The Chrononauts deck itself contains 76 cards, and with 11 character cards, 7 missions, and of course the aforementioned Timeline, the total card count comes to 126. So, it's big, half again as thick as a Fluxx deck. (Even so, we're planning to package it as compactly as possible...)

Over the weekend, we took a day trip down to Charlottesville, to visit with friends and family, and to show Chrononauts to a bunch of fresh test subjects. I've been particularly interested in showing the game to my brother Jeff, since he's a professional historian with a sharp and critical mind, and I'm pleased to say that my timeline held up fairly well under his steely gaze. His only real complaints were with 1881, which I knew had weak events but which were the best I'd been able to come up with thus far. After receiving a crash course in post-civil-war era politics, we decided to scrap 1881 and switch to 1877, the year Union occupation troops were finally withdrawn from the south. But then the Professor came up with something even better still: 1868! The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson! It's perfect. Thanks for the idea, Jeff! In fact, I'd like to extend my deepest thanks right now to all of the people who've helped me create this incredible new game, in particular Kory and John and Jake and toK and Robin and of course Kristin and Alison: your help was vital to my creative process. I've crammed a lot of really cool stuff into this new game, and many ideas were contributed by these vital playtesters as the game evolved from rough idea to beautiful prototype, now in Alpha Version 3.1 and looking really complete. There's still a few drawings to be done and I need to write the rules, but we're on schedule to release the Beta edition on July 13th, at Origins. I can't wait to let you guys start playing it! I think you're going to dig it.

On Saturday night, we attended Dale Newfield's house-cooling BBQ. Dale is on the brink of moving away from Charlottesville, and he wanted to have one last party before leaving. The trick is, he hasn't figured out where he's moving to, yet. He's looking for a job exciting enough that he'd follow it anywhere, and so far, Looney Labs is the most exciting company he's found. Of course, much as we need his help, we can't actually hire him, at least not until we find some serious venture capital or until we get our products into enough stores to substantially increase our sales; even so, he's toying with the idea of moving up to DC to help us build our corporate infrastructure in this our hour of need. Depending on how things go, he could always find a real job in the area (he's already had some interesting nibbles for jobs up here), or if nothing else move on in a few months to whatever city does offer up the exciting (and more immediately lucrative) opportunity he's looking for. Which is all a long winded way of saying that if any of my local readers know of a good, cheap, short-term rental opportunity here in the DC area (ideally metro-accessible) then let Dale know, OK? (Incidentally, the party was great fun, and we got some good playtesting done, too.)

AndyHave a great week!

New Iceland cartoonthe story so far

Thought Residue
"You know, a few months ago I found a table leg just like that in the driveway, and <gasp> IT WAS YOURS!" - Dale, just after I had announced that I'd been unable to find one of the legs for the spare coffee table we keep in our van, it having apparantly fallen out of an open door, without us realizing it, at some point. (Sadly, he'd tossed it out after none of his local friends recognized it...)
The business is taking over more and more of the house... Rapunzel is up and running again (better than ever after the repairs) on a new (well, used) desk that we've just installed in the living room. We're not exactly sure what's going to happen to the chair that used to be there, but at least now our gradually expanding staff has a little more room to work...
"I am a *strong* rabbit!" - Eric Zuckerman, on the success of West Coast Icehouse Tournament #2, as recounted to me by Dr Cool

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