Your Guide to Wunderland
[Games] [E-Books] [WTS] [Gift Shop]

News Archives
Sketchbook HarvestNanofiction

on hiatus

#12's Nanofics

New this week:
Best to Clean House on the First
By John Seylar


I'm rolling the empty orange lift cart down the hall. John Marketon is behind me, miming something about the alcohol wipes he's carrying. (I translate his gestures as something like "where is the isopropanol?")

Cool Words

stroppy (strop'-pee) adj. touchy, belligierent [by shortening and alteration of obstreperous]

Haiku Reviews

Shanghai Noon :)
A Lo-mein Western!
Kudos to the vulture scene
and the barfight, too.

Daddy-O's Reviews

Daddy-O's been swimming in the ocean all week, and hasn't seen any movies or TV at all.

Tirade's Choice

Emperor of da Universe comix
Fruits of Chaos
World Game
#12's Webcomic picks
The Bench

Thursday, June 8, 2000
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? A Week in St. Augustine

On Saturday, Alison went down to Florida for a reunion of the entire Frane family, and since she considers us a part of her family, Kristin and I were invited to tag along. This gave us an excuse to take the first real vacation we've had since... well, since the last time one of our families had a family reunion at the beach. So, even though I don't really consider myself a beach person, we took a beach vacation for the second time in a row (since we can't seem to make ourselves take time off except when something like a family reunion compels us to). But that's OK, we had a totally great time. It was both fun and relaxing, and it also gave us a chance to make a bunch of new friends among the members of Alison's extended and far flung family, in particular among her branch of the family tree known as the California Franes. Alison's cousin Andy Frane is a kindred spirit as well as a namesake for me... I traded him an Aquarius deck for a copy of his CD, "Frane's Fantastic Boatride."

We also had fun hanging out with Alec Frane, Alison's brother, but this was rather bittersweet. In a couple of weeks, he's leaving for a 2+ year tour of duty with the Peace Corp in China, so this was our last chance to hang out with him for a long time to come. He's a funny guy and it's always fun spending time with him. He and Alison both brought their guitars, and they played together most every night after dinner. Alec would make up spontaneous blues songs about whatever was going on at the time, to everyone's delight. Good luck in China, Alec! We'll look forward to many songs and stories when you return.

As for the setting, I have to say that, much as I enjoyed the beach at Nag's Head last year, I liked the beach at St. Augustine much better. It's wonderfully big, being so wide and flat that cars are allowed to drive on the beach and the tides roll back and forth over a huge distance. The swimming there was absolutely delightful. I swam in the ocean every day, whereas by comparison I only swam once at Nag's Head, where the surf was so rough that Kristin found it genuinely frightening. This time, the water was warm and the waves were comparatively gentle. (But then again, we got to hang glide at Nag's Head...)

On Monday afternoon we noticed a growing column of smoke on the horizon, and after awhile it became clear that a forest was burning somewhere in the distance. The arching column of smoke grew thicker and thicker as it stretched from the horizon, up over our heads, and out across the ocean. The air was thick with the smell of burning wood, and charred pine needles began washing up on shore as Alison and Kristin built a really cool sand cat. It was very disturbing. (The burning forest, that is, not the sand cat.) The smell of burning wood remained strong until long after darkness fell, but by the next day it had cleared off. I guess they finally got the fire under control. (I read in the next day's paper that there were actually 43 wildfires burning across Florida that day, started by lightning strikes...)

We did lots of other fun stuff during the week... Alison got to fly a kite for the first time, and one morning, while I was sleeping in, she and Kristin went out in sea kayaks and got quite close to some dolphins and pelicans. We also toured a chocolate factory, and even worked in a side trip to Daytona to catch up with Dale (who just happened to be vacationing in the vicinity) and check out his parent's amazingly cool house. Plus, of course we played lots of games, including Fluxx, Aquarius, Volcano, and Q-Turn, not to mention some more Chrononauts playtesting...

We also brought the iBook (which is just a totally great machine... thanks again Marv and Elaine!) which allowed us to keep up with our email and made it possible for me to do something I'd never been able to do before, namely work on the creation of this web update *while away from home*, which was extremely cool. It's gonna make travel a whole lot easier.

Anyway, it was a wonderful vacation... but we're home now, and it's time to get back to work. Origins is just a month away, and we've got a heck of a lot to do in order to get ready. Yikes!

Speaking of Origins, this year's Origins Awards balloting has finally commenced, and sadly, Icehouse isn't on the list of nominees, despite Kristin's best efforts to follow the procedures necessary to get it nominated. (The final nominees were selected by the members of the Academy from a broader list of games, which Icehouse was supposed to be on, but then wasn't, which is sad because they pick 5 nominees in each category and there were only 6 other entries in the Abstract Strategy Games category, some of which aren't really very abstract). However, we still have a teensy little shot at it... the balloting is being done on-line, and write-in votes are accepted! Anyone can vote, so do us a favor if you've got the time (and if you think Icehouse is a better abstract board game than Button Men, Deadwood, Elemental, Ta Yu, and Tile Chess), and surf over to the GAMA website and write-in a vote for Icehouse! It's not like we really have much of a chance on a write-in, but if you're a gamer you ought to vote anyway.

AndyHave a great week!

New Iceland cartoonthe story so far

Thought Residue
Late one night we took chairs down to the edge of the ocean and watched the waves crashing in the darkness, and we noticed these tiny fluorescent specks in the sand at the very edge of the surf, like tiny aquatic fireflies. What were they?
In St. Augustine, we got to play with something new called the Toypedo (US patent #5,514,023). This heavy rubber pool toy is 9 or 10 inches long and looks like a tie-dyed zeppelin; the idea is to hold it just under the surface of the water and then throw it. It's really cool! Alison summed up the experience best by likening it to underwater frisbee...
Since most of Alison's Uncles are color blind, we conducted a test and the Icehouse set got a perfect score! They had no trouble telling the colors apart.

Mailing ListsBoostersAwardsFAQTestimonials


Send email to
Contagious DreamsSponsersLooney LabsMakers of:

News Search Gift Shop Games About Us | contact us