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Monday, November 24th, 2008

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Haiku Reviews

Pineapple Express :|

Take the three Stooges,
then add some reefer madness
and blood. Lots of blood.

Plus: Lars and the Real Girl and Surfwise

Sick Manager

Tirade's Choice

389 Years Ago

"Been playing Fluxx since it first came out. What a great game. Donated several Ecofluxx games to the school science class! My kids love Zombie Fluxx. Can't wait to try Monty Python Fluxx!" -- comments with an orer from Linda S of Leesburg, VA

The results of a Japanese job Interview, Van Gogh, various links, and a quote about Dogs vs. Wolves

  • Two new Monty Python Fluxx FAQs:
    • Can you Smite using The Animator?
    • Can you win with The Cheese Shop while Getting On With it?

New Webstore / RIP Green Bean / RIP Spevaks

It's been a heck of a Whenever. Firstly, we've finally gotten our long-awaited new webstore up and running; secondly, we mailed out thousands of free copies of my newest game as our Holiday Gift for this year; thirdly, Alison's pet bird Green Bean passed away; then I went to Michigan for the weekend to be the Guest of Honor at a gaming convention called U*Con, and while I was away, something shockingly horrible happened.

This week we achieved a goal we've been working towards for years: we have a new webstore! Yes, SuperFRED, our original custom-built e-cart, has finally been put out to pasture. The new kid on the site, which we call Sweetie, was built using a commercial tool called NetSuite. We've actually been using NetSuite for several years already, but until now it's only been for behind-the-scenes work. But last week, after many months of planning, development, and customization, we switched everything over from the old shopping cart to the new, and so far it's all working great!

As you might expect, our new shopping cart is loaded with new features and improvements. If you remember what things looked like in SuperFRED, you'll immediately notice how much better the new system looks. Sweetie also provides us with a lot of benefits that aren't obvious to the shopper, but which will make it vastly easier for us to deliver your order and provide customer support.

Of course, there are some downsides as well. For example, while we can now offer Gift Certificates and Coupon Codes, it's become more difficult for us to offer bundle deals and combo-style special offers. More importantly, turning off SuperFRED means Rabbits will temporarily not be able to make automated changes to their Rabbit Bio pages. We're in the process of figuring out new ways to provide similar functions, but right now, with the holiday shopping season just about to start, our focus has been on getting the shopping cart fully operational.

Even if you don't plan on shopping right now, you might want to read the instructions for how to login to the new webstore, so you can get your account set up for when you become ready to do your online shopping.

I'd like to thank and congratulate everyone on our team for this major milestone, in particular Alison and Robin, who've been working way more than full-time on this for as long as I can remember, as well as Kristin, our programmer Craig, and our support helper Nikki. Special thanks also to our beta-testers, who placed orders and gave us feedback just before we went live: Gene Homicki, Scott Myers, Daniel Johnson, Kimberly Terrill, Rebecca Hoop, Seth Ruskin, and Carlo Gozzi. Also, a big thanks to the NetSuite corporation, for the underlying system, and to Andrew Andreoli and the other folks at Kuspide, for assisting us with the implementation and customization of our webstore. Lastly, thanks to Brian and his team at PMC for all their hard work in filling our orders, particularly during this complicated transition. Thanks and well done everyone! Our new webstore is a thing of beauty!

On a sad note, we lost a beloved pet this week. Alison's little green bird, a Quaker parrot named Green Bean, passed away on Wednesday night. Green Bean was a very entertaining little friend, who'd learned to say lots of things, like "How ya doin?" and "Peekaboo!" and "Stick out your tongue!" and a bunch of other words and phrases, plus he often made a laughing noise that sounded just like Alison's laugh. Of course, he also made a lot of other noises, some of which weren't so endearing; in truth, his piercing squawks were sometimes very annoying. But on the whole I really enjoyed having him around and will dearly miss him now that he's gone.

Unfortunately, Green Bean had this nasty habit of picking at his feathers so much that he frequently did himself harm. (It's sadly common for this type of bird, so much so that it has a name, QMS - Quaker Mutilation Syndrome.) We nursed him back to health on many occasions, often after much worse injuries than he'd given himself this week, but no one lives forever and now Green Bean lives only in our broken hearts. The kitchen seems so empty now... the spot where his cage had been is now marked with this lovely memorial Alison and Kristin made using his favorite toy and a few of his tail feathers. So, goodbye Green Bean. Rest In Peace.

Lastly, in news that's just incomprehensibly worse, a dear friend's parents were brutally murdered in their home on Saturday.

One result of this tragedy is that the Looney Labs offices are currently serving as a foster home for the displaced family of cats, until decisions can be made about where their permanent home should be.

I don't even know where to begin in saying more about these events, so I won't even try. I'm just too shocked at this time. You can find out about as much as we know right now from the news coverage.

AndyThanks for reading, and have a great whenever.

Thought Residue
I love doing a Twitter search on the word Fluxx. For years I've been enjoying the thought that somewhere, at any given moment, people are playing one of my games and having a great time doing so. But now I have a window into that fun!

"Bad Week For: British transportation officials, who sent an e-mail to a Welsh councilman asking for a translation of a road sign they wanted to erect: 'No entry for heavy goods vehicles.' When the reply came back, the officials dutifully erected a road sign that said, in Welsh, 'I am not in the office at the moment.'" -- The Week magazine, 11/14/8 issue
"A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of." -- Burt Bacharach, seen quoted in The Week magazine 11/7/8 (originally quoted in Piano World)

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