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Sketchbook HarvestNanofiction

The Phantom Chocolate Factory

Exactly one year after the fire, Gunther found a carton of chocolate bars while exploring the burned-out ruins of the factory. They seemed fresh, and were astonishingly tasty! After eating three, the hoarding instinct kicked in... he refrigerated the rest. But the next morning, the box contained nothing but dried out, burnt smelling wrappers.


As I cross Roosevelt Center toward Generous Joe's, a persistent burglar alarm from an unknown direction suddenly stops.

Cool Words

gloze (glows) to minimize or underplay; to gloss. Used with 'over'. v.intr. archaic to use flattery or cajolery [from ME glosen "to gloss, falsify, flatter"]

Haiku Reviews

The Princess Bride :-)

A rare example --
the film's as good as the book!
(Now go read the book.)
Daddy-O's Reviews

The Nightmare Before Xmas

This stunningly animated tale of the hostile takeover of Christmas by the folks who bring us Halloween is best watched in early November, when the Halloween spirit hasn't quite faded and the Christmas spirit is just starting to emerge from hibernation. I just wish it didn't have quite so many sappy songs.

Tirade's Choice

The Board Gamesbook
Fruits of Chaos
#12's Webcomic picks
The Lemmings of Norstrilia

Thursday, November 4, 1999
by the Wunderland Toast Society

New this week:

What's New? The Eye of the Storm

A few weeks ago, I compared the state of things in our life to the calm before the storm. This week, we've been weathering the storm, and things have been pretty darned frantic. The Executive Summary is that all of the pre-ordered Icehouse sets have been mailed, and they are magnificent. As for the details...

Our new catalog: The first big task of the week was getting our new catalog printed. With Icehouse now in our regular product line, we needed a new paper catalog to include with orders, and to fax or mail to those unfortunate souls who don't have internet access. (We also needed a new flyer to include with the Kadon mailing described below.) Our new catalog fills out a regular double-sided copy: on the front is the Icehouse splash panel shown here, with product descriptions and ordering info neatly arranged on the back.

Orderama programming: The second big task of the week was a major programming push on Kristin's order tracking system, which we call Orderama. In order to stop using a kludge I'd written in Perl awhile ago, we had to re-implement its functionality in Panorama, plus we had to completely re-do/re-design our invoice. Kristin did most of the programming, while I served as a sort of human expert system, looking up functions and writing tricky lines of code for her. It was actually a very good working relationship, and made programming more fun for both of us.

Halloween: The eye of the storm passed over us on the weekend, when we took time out to enjoy our favorite holiday. It felt a bit rushed, but we nonetheless managed to carve pumpkins, go to a costume party, give candy to several dozen kids, and even skulk about ourselves in the middle of the night, putting candy bars into our neighbors' mailboxes. We didn't get around to assembling the costumes Alison had designed for us until about an hour before the party, but they came together wonderfully -- we went as the 3 Blind Mice. Number 12's Spooky Halloween Party was held at the big old Gilder-Murray house, which was wonderfully lit up and decorated and which was just the perfect setting for such a party. (It's too bad the owners are trying to sell the place off; it's probably destined to be turned into a Burger King someday...)

Kadon mailing: One of our local game company peers is Kadon Enterprises, run by Kate Jones. (Perhaps you've seen her shoppe at the Renaissance festival.) Kate has been marketing her games direct-to-consumer for eons, and was an inspiration to us 10 years or so ago, when we first decided to go into business making Icehouse sets. About 7 years ago, we did a joint marketing thing with her, in which we inserted our single page flyer into her annual catalog mailing (and paying a share of the postage). It worked out well, and with the release of the new Icehouse sets occurring at the same time as her next catalog mailing, we decided to do it again. We spent Monday hanging out at Kate's really cool house/game factory, stuffing about 3500 of our flyers into her catalogs, and folding folding folding. If you're on her mailing list, you probably got one in today's mail. If you are a game/puzzle fan... be sure to check out her extensive web site.

Icehouse Pre-orders: Lastly, we put together the first 300 Icehouse sets, and packaged most of them up for shipment. The assembly work is very time consuming (although I was surprised to find that the slowest step was the shrink-wrapping), and between that and everything else we were doing this week, we didn't manage to get them out until the very last minute, rushing to the Post Office at 4:55 PM yesterday. But if you've ordered one, it's on its way to you now. Enjoy!

AndyHappy Guy Fawke's Day!

New Iceland cartoonthe story so far

Thought Residue
"Anyway, we've tried for 8 years to make Icehouse fly, and we now find ourselves at the end of the runway, still on the ground. And we don't even have an airplane. So, we're going to call it quits." - me, in November 1996, commenting on the disbanding of Icehouse Games, Inc., in the final issue of the Hypothermia newsletter
Maine's Medical Marijuana ballot initiative passed, by 62%! Meanwhile, their anti-abortion bill was rejected with a narrower margin (55%), revealing greater support for cannabis freedom than for women's reproductive rights. If you count DC as a state, this makes 8 states that have voted to legalize medpot in the past 3 years, and zero that haven't. (So why are the politicians still so afraid to take the position of the people on this issue?)
"It doesn't matter if they say, 'I'm doing this to save my life.' It's illegal to manufacture or cultivate marijuana under federal law." - Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the US Attorney's Office, explaining why California's laws are being ignored by the feds, who are aggressively prosecuting medical marijuana users like Peter McWilliams (best-selling author and AIDS/cancer patient), who credits marijuana with having saved his life

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