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Sketchbook Harvest

I'm in Jim Butler's office. He sits at his desk, motioning with his hands and saying, "It was big time smoke, down there by the break room..."

Cool Words

geek (gheek) n. a carnival performer often billed as a wild man, whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake (prob. from English dial. geek, geck: fool from Low German geck)

Haiku Reviews

A. I.: Artificial Intelligence :|

lost intelligence
and got more artificial
as it went along.

Daddy-O's Reviews

The Hobbit

The Hobbit is my favorite of JRR Tolkein's books, and I've always loved this animated version of the story, produced by the Rankin/Bass animation team in 1977. The various songs and ballads that we can read only as poems in the book are set to catchy music (or in Rash-speak, "Merry Tunes") and the animation is beautiful and stylish.

Tirade's Choice

Origins '01: Stalking the Booth Babe

#12's Webcomic picks
Real Life

"We would clean the dirtiest bathrooms in the world for twenty-three years if we could get blank Fluxx cards. You guys rock." -- Ingrid of Nashville TN, in comments accompanying an order

Thursday, July 19, 2001
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? We've Chosen a Fulfillment Partner!

Although nothing feels different yet, this week marks a major turning point for us. We have today finally signed a contract with a company that will be taking over our order processing and fulfillment, i.e. the job of warehousing our products and shipping them out as orders come in.

The company is Associated Computers & Mailing Services, inc. (ACMS) located in Lorton, Virginia. This is about a 45 minute drive from our home - and in fact, their location was a key consideration for us. We have been searching for a fulfillment partner for many months, and all the good candidates seemed to be located in North Carolina and other more remote locations, and we really wanted to be able to easily visit our warehouse in person. We were just about to give up on finding someone within tolerable driving distance, when Lauren told us about this place in Northern Virginia. We also really like the people... it's a family-owned business run by two brothers, and we're very impressed with everything we have seen from them so far. Although they will never print any of our card games, like several of the other candidates could have, they have the printing facilities to do our catalogs and posters and any other mailings we might do, and they have far more to offer as far as list and data management than all of our other candidates combined.

So, they have started setting up a zone for our goods, and on Monday a truck will show up to take our inventory away to our new warehouse location, and the next time we fill orders, it will be with their team! It's very exciting, and we will be very busy indeed this weekend getting everything packed up and moved out. But after that, we will actually start being less busy (in theory), since packing and filling an ever-increasing number of orders will no longer be something we have to do ourselves. And then hopefully I'll have time to get caught up on things like the overdue Origins report and the rest of the SF tour travelogue (not to mention Iceland's continuing "spring" hiatus).

Of course, it all comes at a price, but Kristin negotiated a deal we're very happy with and she is sure we can afford. (Meg even looked over the numbers and gave a warm fuzzy thumbs up. Thanks Meg!) Rather than a fixed monthly cost, we worked out a deal that is based on a percentage of monthly sales, so our costs will increase as our sales and our ability to afford to pay them increase. Thanks ACMS for putting together a deal that we can grow into. We are very excited about this new partnership, and look forward to selling lots of games together in the years to come!

Once the transition is complete, (although they will start filling orders next week, it will be several months before all the new software is up and running) we'll be able to focus our attention on increasing sales without having to worry about finding time to fill all the orders that pour in when those efforts bear fruit. It's a turning point we've been building towards for a very long time, and it feels great to have reached it.

In other news:

  • We went coastering for Kristin's birthday at HersheyPark, and had a great time. This was our first time riding the newest of their 8 roller coasters, the Lightning Racer, and it's like the totally best coaster in the park! Gina tagged along with the three of us, and you can read more about it on the GinohnNews. Unfortunately, I lost my little camera (it slipped out of my pocket during a ride on the Wildcat) and the ride attendants sent it over to Lost and Found, where it was promptly lost. I filled out a form; hopefully, they'll get back to me. But of course this means I returned with no pictures of that day.
  • I've decided to change the scoring system I've been using in Nanofictionary. If you've gotten to try it under the thumbs-up/thumbs-down system, forget what you know, because I'm changing it.
  • Fluxx Blanxx is finally moving forward. We signed off on the proofs this week, and with the help of our distributors (in particular Alliance, our largest and most well connected hobby distributor) we have launched a pre-order discount special to retailers to help try to get them out into all the stores who sell Fluxx.Andy

Did you hear I won 2 Origins Awards? I'm so happy!

Thought Residue
Tomorrow is July 20th, anniversary of the first moon landing. I think in 50 or 100 years, Moon Day will be a national holiday. It will be a day to celebrate exploration, and a good day for trying something new. Got any plans?
"Once upon a time, in 1773, a few brave patriots painted their faces, converged upon Griffen's Wharf, and hurled 342 crates of British tea into Boston Harbor. Paul Revere was there. Samuel Adams organized it. John Hancock was a tea smuggler, and actively supported it. Today, we venerate these men as heroes. They all broke the law, because the law was absurd, and deserved to be broken." -- Jeff & Tracy, in a full page ad they placed in their local newspaper, admitting that they smoke pot and urging others to stand with them
"It's nice arriving somewhere at night - night cloaks the mundane with intrigue." -- Brian Eno, on arriving in Egypt on Feb 23, in A Year with Swollen Appendices (his diary of 1995)


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