|Chrononauts has been nominated for Coolest Game
Mechanic in the Games
Unplugged Magazine GAMY
Awards! The voting is going on right now till 12/31/00, so go
to their site and vote for the TimeLine!
||I'm really enjoying this online comic adaptation
of the Time Machine.
Like my own Iceland, it moves along at an annoyingly sluggish
pace, even for one who already knows the story; but he's doing
a great job with it. I particularly love the way the language
of the Eloi has gradually changed
from meaningless symbols to vaguely readable English as the main
character begins learning their language.
||"Have a great kwaanzannukah-mas-stice!"
-- Julia Tenney's all-purpose holiday greeting
(which Alison thinks would be more smoothly pronounceable as
|Fluxx hit #3 on the FunAgain.com bestseller
list this week! It's moved back down since then (because
they've sold out of it), but it's up to 21 on the all-time
bestseller list!!! And a bunch of nice reviews of our games have
gone up there lately, too. Yay!
||Well, it looks like we're getting stuck with
another President Bush. Hopefully his lack of mandate will make
him weak, and this mess should end up driving a movement for
Election Procedures Reform, if not a call to abolish the Electoral
College itself. And certainly, people will take their votes far
more seriously for a long time to come...
||"I ordered a copy of Fluxx, so I'm not
feeling as bad about ripping off the mechanics of the game. I'm
on solid legal ground: game mechanics can be patented, but not
trademarked or copywritten. The rules are copywritten, as are
any other text on the card, but I made sure to not copy the text
from the Fluxx cards. Still, part of me feels that this is unethical.
If ever I 'publish' this (on the web, not for money), I'll make
sure to give credit to Andrew Looney and Fluxx." --
LinuxNewbie's OpenDiary journal, 11/25/00
||"My personal favorite is using Get There
First on Videotape of the Creation of the Universe - exactly
where did you get to, five minutes before the creation of the
universe?" -- Chris Byler, in a message
about Chrononauts posted on rec.games.board on 12/2/0
||"My assistant, holding the ladder, was
the annoying chubby skateboard-bully neighbor-kid, rendered meek
with voice a-quaver by the blackout" --
the line that made me bust out laughing as I read of Rash's locked-out-during-a-power-outage
adventure, in the 12/5/00 entry of his weblog
||"The art on the cards is beautiful, but
the game is a big snooze. Imagine dominos with any sense of strategy
or skill sucked out of the game. That's Aquarius." -- Miranda's review
of Aquarius at FunAgain.com (where she also sums up her opinion
of Fluxx with the word "Suxx"). Ouch! Well, at least
she likes my artwork. [And hers is the only Aquarius review on
their site! I hope someone posts an alternate viewpoint soon...]
||"We really enjoy the 'IceTowers' variant
of Icehouse. It plays quickly, has no turns and allows for a
surprising amount of strategy." -- J. Scott
responding to a request on rec.games.board for "Lunch Time
Quickies", games you can play when you've only got 10 minutes
left after lunch
||"I have been anxiously awaiting for someone
to ask about our 'award'. Thank you for being the first. 1) I
voted DAO best game of the year. 2) for the year 2000. I did
not put the year on the sticker since I plan on using them again
next year when I will vote DAO best game of the year for 2001." - Dao company spokesman as quoted on the Seattle
Cosmic Game Night's website, in response to queries about
who exactly had given them the award they tout on their packaging
||"Change history and save the world, all
over lunch. [5 out of 5 stars]" -- Tim Seiger's
of Chrononauts, posted to FunAgain.com
|| I'm happy to tip pizza delivery guys,
because I ask them to do what I'm too lazy to do: drive back
and forth between my house and the restaurant on a cold and rainy
night. And I don't mind tipping waitrons, either, because again,
I'm requesting their help in wrangling up a dinner. But I really
hate tipping hotel bellhops, particularly the ones who just refuse
to let you carry your own luggage. They remind me of those guys
at NYC intersections, who wipe off your windshield while you
yell for them not to, and then expect you to give them a tip.
||"Have you ever thought about becoming a
duck?" -- caption of a cartoon in this week's
New Yorker, of a man standing in his doorway looking down at
two earnest-looking ducks
|When did we move from "To Err is Human,
To Really Foul Things Up You Need A Computer" to this kind
of unshakable faith in machines that Bush supporters now exhibit,
even in the face of tens of thousands of screwed-up ballots?
How can hand-counting be unconstitutional when it's obviously
the only way vote tabulation was even possible in the days of
our Founding Fathers?
|Lemme get this straight: 19,000 ballots in Florida
were thrown out because they were double-punched for Gore and
Buchanan, a direct result of letting a bad graphic designer create
the ballot. And now Bush is winning, by a mere 300 votes. Why
not divide the dual vote ballots between the candidates affected,
in percentages according to the national average? Oh yeah, because
the national average doesn't count.
||"When they talk to the manager, tell him
to fire himself and leave me in charge."
-- overheard waiter at the International House Of Pancakes
|Research has shown there's a link between laughing
and reduced risk of heart disease! Finally, proof for all the
humor-impaired people in the world that comedy is important.
||"I've been in the hospital for three weeks
trying not to die and a friend dropped by his deck of Fluxx to
entertain me. It renewed my will to live! What a fun game. Thanks!" -- Frank Giachino, in a comment accompanying an order
||"Suppose you were a CEO of a large organization.
Suppose your one corporate goal was to reduce the importation
of a competitor's product. Your bonus is riding on this, so think
hard. Suppose, in your first year, that your competitor's imports
were up 50 percent. You go to your stockholders, hat in hand,
and ask for another year and more money. Maybe they give you
a year. But who would look at 20 years of wildly escalating imports
and wildly escalating expenditures and conclude that next year,
you ought to be given more money to do what you did last year?
Well, if you are the drug czar, the answer is Congress." -- Heber Taylor, "War
On Drugs High On List Of Stupid Things", Galveston County
Daily News, 11/5/00
||"Hmm, another broccoli-related death."
"But I thought broccoli was-"
"Oh, yes, one of the deadliest plants on earth. Why, it
tries to warn you itself with its terrible taste." -- Dr. Hibbert and Marge Simpson, in the "G-G-Ghost
D-D-Dad" segment of the recent Halloween episode
||"Between them, Gore and Lieberman support
or have supported Star Wars, the Gulf War, the Drug War, NAFTA,
GATT, Social Security privatization, welfare reform, and the
Death Penalty... and you're telling me this is the best choice
we've got?" -- Sparky, This
||"Halloween. It is undoubtedly the
gamers' holiday. How can roleplayers not be excited about Halloween?
Revelers wear costumes. Strangers hand out tiny chocolate bars.
Orange marshmallow ghosts end up in microwaves as the butt of
important scientific 'experiments.'" --
Emily Dresner-Thornber, "Lost
in the Twilight Zone"
|With sad hearts we note that Iron
Crown Enterprises has moved into the final stages of bankruptcy,
having abandoned hope of restructuring and returning to profitability.
Pete Fenlon and the others at ICE were both our mentors and an
inspiration to us, and their grim news is a big bummer. I was
really hoping they would recover.
||"The average drug trafficking organization,
meaning from Medellin [a Colombian drug cartel] to the streets
of New York or the streets of wherever, could afford to lose
90% of its product, and still be profitable."
-- Robert Stutman, former DEA Special Agent, commenting on a
20 year old internal DEA study, in Frontline's
|It's minor, but Mark Lentczner has discovered
the first real mistake in Chrononauts:
the Time Index on the 1986' Patch should be D-4, not D-3. This
error was made on the earliest of prototypes and was carried
forward, undetected, through the Beta edition and into the final
product. Lots of people noticed that Avert Disaster had the wrong
date for the Lusitania, but no one saw this until now. I guess
that means it's not very noticeable...
||"And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable
naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled
off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips
and deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also." -- One of those humor emails that people circulate
around, with the original author's name long ago lost in the
deleted layers of header info...
||"Looney Labs is a game company as well as
a strange, on-going piece of Internet performance art." -- Brad Weier, who says of this page, "It's
Like a Soap Opera That Doesn't Suck" on his fan webpage
about us and our games
||"Actually, when I say 'entirely different'
I mean more than just different from one another. These games
are different from anything else you've likely ever played. Never
have I seen such a collection of convention-bending designs." -- Lester Smith, reviewing the Icehouse set for Shred
Magazine, Issue #7, Sept 2000
||"If you can look past the tree-huggin'
hippie crap (and it really doesn't take much to do that), what
you have here is a fast, simple, sometimes vicious beer-and-pretzels
game with lots of back-and-forth double-crossing and bluffing
potential. It's fast enough that it's easy to play again... and
suddenly find that hours have gone by. Big fun. Score: 5/5." -- GX-Misuba commenting on Aquarius at Gamers.com
||"There are times when the gap between reality
and rhetoric, between what we know to be true and what our leaders
say, becomes so outrageous as to feel positively surreal. And
the war on drugs -- specifically, the campaign against marijuana
use which makes up a major portion of that war -- has now gone
beyond the tolerable Magritte phase and into full-blown, hideous,
melted-watches Dali." -- Gary Kamiya, "Reefer
Madness", salon.com 10/12/00
|My copy of Time
War arrived, and the rules are daunting; it's a classic chit-based
war game of the sort that always makes my eyes glaze over. But
I'm not disappointed, even considering the level of water-damage
the supposedly mint (but admittedly never-opened) game had suffered.
The board is great and the mission cards are very entertaining.
(They're notched, like IBM punchcards!) And here's an interesting
Plate of Shrimp:
It was designed by Stephen Peek, author of Game
Plan! (I must send him a copy of Chrononauts...)
|It drives me crazy when politicians talk about
ending Racial Profiling without mentioning the War on Drugs.
Racial Profiling is a symptom -- the real disease is Prohibition.
What do you think the cops are searching for when they stop young
black men driving sportscars? That's right, drugs! The best way
to end Racial Profiling is to abolish our insane Drug War, which
is itself racially biased.
|I got email from Mike Richberg regarding my article
recommending a cool time travel board game I'd missed out on,
called Time War,
published in 1979. As I result, I've finally entered my first
auction, and I won! I can't wait to try it... it features
a system of concentric rings, which looks quite intriguing.
||"There's as much chance of repealing the
Eighteenth Amendment [which enacted alcohol Prohibition] as there
is for a hummingbird to fly to the planet Mars with the Washington
Monument tied to its tail." -- Prohibitionist
"visionary" Senator Morris Shepard of Texas, 1930
|I got a call from the Loss Reduction Officer
at Six Flags: my missing credit card had been swiped by a cashier!
They found it concealed on her person when she was fired and
arrested, just a few minutes after bamboozling me with a supposedly
accidental mischarge of $0.07 while purchasing my admission.
And apparently it's all part of a larger conspiracy...
|Last week, 11-year-old Alberto Sepulveda was
shot and killed by a SWAT team during a drug raid in Modesto,
CA. How many more innocent children will be murdered by Drug
Warriors before this insanity can be abolished? I grow ever more
outraged... what about
||"What's karma? He said: You know on pies?
The pie crust? It's the little wrinkles on pie crust. He inquired:
It is? He clarified: Yeah. So there's good karma and bad karma.
So if you go to a restaurant, and you don't like the crust of
your pie, you can say, 'This pie has bad karma' and send it back." -- overheard
and posted on the web
||"There's a whole mystique around Icehouse,
just as there is with Go, for example. People make and paint
their own regulation-sized pieces. One of the authors of Icehouse
even wrote a readable science fiction novel called The
Empty City about it. I liked it. The Wunderland Toast
Society subculture which the authors of Icehouse have helped
build, and of which Icehouse is only a part, embodies the principles
of the philosophy
of Ludism admirably." -- The links
page of the Center for Ludic Synergy
||"Why are we wiping our asses on trees? Why
are we cleaning up our spills and blowing our noses on trees
that take decades to grow back instead of a weed that grows back
in months? At the very least, all toilet paper, Kleenex, and
paper towels should be made from hemp instead of wood."
Objects" by Michael Dare
||"At first, John Lennon's death may not seem
to have a clear effect on the Challenger disaster or the Columbine
tragedy, but Andrew Looney put quite a bit of thought into the
alternate history of Chrononauts -- and the discovery of his
take on events is part of the charm of the game." -- Brad Weier, reviewing Chrononauts for Pyramid
||"I hate the D.A.R.E. program... it has
the exact opposite effect that it is trying to achieve. Sending
policemen to schools to teach children about drugs is like sending
nuns to schools to teach children about sex. Virgins shouldn't
teach sex education classes and cops shouldn't be teaching drug
education classes. If you want to teach children about drugs,
wouldn't it make a lot more sense to send a pharmacist? How about
a doctor, or even an ex-drug addict? Anyone but a law enforcement
officer." -- "Inanimate
Objects" by Michael Dare
||"Love is when you go out to eat and give
somebody most of your French fries without making them give you
any of theirs. Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt,
then he wears it everyday. Love is when mommy gives daddy the
best piece of chicken. Love is what's in the room with you at
Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." -- selections from a list that's been circulating
through the email lately, of responses by 4 to 8 year-olds to
the question "What does love mean?"
||"All casual drug users should be taken
out and shot." -- Daryl Gates, former Los
Angeles Chief of Police (seen quoted on page 567 of ANBIYD,
by Peter McWilliams)
||"Someday, the world will recognize the
obvious -- the counterculture is a persecuted minority group.
There's no difference between creating a gulag prison system
for marijuana offenders and the Holocaust. The Drug War is an
attempt to exterminate our culture. It's happening on a much
more subtle level, but morally, it is the same."
-- Steven Hager, High Times Editor-in-Chief
||"The Constitution Party will uphold the
right of states and localities to restrict access to drugs and
to enforce such restrictions in appropriate cases with application
of the death penalty." -- The Drug Abuse
plank of the Constitution Party's Year 2000 Platform
||"Prohibitionism is an ideology very similar
to Communism and Nazism. It dehumanizes its opponents, suppresses
the truth, justifies the use of deadly force against peaceful
citizens, and in the process destroys the lives and freedom of
those who are supposed to be its beneficiaries." --
Richard Cowan, of MarijuanaNews.com
||"We are here to demand an end to the shockingly
casual placement of dangerous blades in our places of work,"
-- Tomb Raider star Lara Croft, as quoted in
the Onion article, "Video-Game Characters Denounce Randomly-Placed
|It's disturbingly similar to professional wrestling,
but even so I've really been enjoying watching radio-controlled
robots duel to the death on Comedy Central's new show, "Battlebots".
(And speaking of dueling robots, we heard this week that the
ZoidCo guys we
met at Toy Fair got the funding they needed!)
||"No man has ever said 'no thanks, I had
french fries with lunch.'" -- James
||"Cash tells no tales and leaves no trails."
-- Jorge Cervantes
||"If you don't stand up for what you believe
to be right, regardless of the consequences, you will quickly
discover that there is nothing left to believe in." -- George
Monbiot, "A Vote For Nader Is A Vote For Bush. So Be
||"We had a coffee moment one day where we
realized that our contemporaries are basically the biggest wealth-generating
generation of all time and they're all tokers. These are not
the slackers that everybody thought they were--and they're all
forced to toke in their basement." -- Tim
Freccia, one of the founders of iToke
has invented another Icehouse
game, and I like it even more than Volcano! She's calling it
Blockade, and it's kind of a cross between Backgammon, Volcano,
Resistance. It's only for 2 players and you need Black
Ice and dice. We'll try to get the rules up soon!
||"Gene Roddenberry told me that while he
was creating Star Trek, the network and the production
company put enormous pressure on him to include cigarettes on
the starship Enterprise. They tried to get Roddenberry
enthused about how cigarettes might look in the twenty-third
centry. Maybe they would be square instead of round; perhaps
they would come in colors; perhaps cigarettes would light
themselves!" -- Peter
McWilliams, Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do, page
592 (Geez, can you imagine it? Sulu and
Chekov looking like the flight controllers in Apollo 13,
smoking like chimneys as they operate their consoles?)
||"If the personal freedoms guaranteed by
the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the
people, we should look to limit those guarantees." -- President Bill Clinton (seen quoted on mapinc.org)
|I think one of the best human qualities you can
nurture in yourself is the ability to cheerfully change your
attitudes and beliefs when confronted by evidence that you've
been wrong about something.
||"Bush and Gore Make
Me Wanna Ralph." -- A
Letter from Michael Moore to the Non-Voters of America
|It's not as thick nor heavy as I'd like it to
be, but I have to say, it's pretty neat finally having a gold
coin mixed into the US currency. But if it's going to succeed,
we need to abolish the paper equivalent. And now is the perfect
time to do it, too, with the re-designed $5 and $10 paper bills
now entering circulation. The question is, does the Treasury
Department have the guts to drop the $1 bill and issue a re-designed
$2 bill instead?
|The new Fluxx decks arrived! 18,100 of them!
And they look beautiful, inside and out. Moreover, the timing
worked out perfectly... we've just finished selling the last
of the ICE edition decks! (We still had about a hundred left
when they arrived, the last of which shipped out today!)
|Ontario's highest court has declared the law
prohibiting the possession of marijuana unconstitutional!
|We've had to raise a couple of our prices, notably
Fluxx, which is now $10. (But at least all our prices are nice
round numbers now!)
|Portugal has decriminalized marijuana!
|The Kahiki (the self-proclaimed "Most Beautiful
Polynesian Supper Club in the World") is being torn down...
to make room for a Walgreens! They plan to re-open in downtown
Columbus, but I can't believe they'll ever be able to recapture
the glory of this important historic landmark. And to think we
couldn't get in on Sunday night because they were so crowded!
|My dad checked into the hospital today, for tests
that could have mandated an angioplasty; but his arteries are
clearer than expected - he got to go home early!
|LavaLogic, the standalone division of TSI-TelSys
(where I was last officially employeed) has
been bought by Xilinx!
||"I am not a plain M&M. I am a Milk Chocolate
M&M." -- Statement of Self-Affirmation
by one of the new Politically Correct M&Ms
|When I was a kid, one of my favorite playgrounds
was the public library. Yet as an adult, I never seem to go there.
I haven't been to one in years.
|I really hate getting spam that starts off by
saying "This is not spam."
||"Are you gentlemen aware that shirts are
being made from hemp, which are then being boiled down for the
resin by teenagers who then mix the residue with alcohol to create
marijuana?" -- Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey,
proving once again that he's either the stupidest or most dishonest
man in America today
||"The War on Drugs is probably the greatest
domestic catastrophe that has ever struck the American republic." -- Libertarian Presidential Nominee Harry
||"If you can stomach the hypocrisy of government
unlawfully exempting the two deadliest drugs, tobacco and alcohol,
from every drug law, while refusing to allow cannabis to be used
for medicinal purposes, vote for a Republican or Democrat. If
you think it is OK that the government can throw people in jail
for years or decades, steal their homes, cars, cash, and other
assets, and even kill them, for growing plants, vote for a Republican
or Democrat. On the other hand, you might consider voting for
a candidate of some other party, such as: Libertarian, Green,
or Natural Law." - "Major
Parties Equally Dismal" by Tom Barrus
||"Given the tens of billions of dollars
that have been spent on the failed War on Drugs year after year,
we are entitled to ask of the perpetrators, 'What is your standard
of failure?'" - Green Party Presidential
Nominee Ralph Nader
||"Let's call the Drug War what it is: Ethnic
Cleansing American Style." - Green Party
Presidential Candidate Jello Biafra
cancer/AIDS patient, and medical-marijuana advocate Peter McWilliams
has died. Awaiting sentencing for the medical use of marijuana
in a state where it's supposed to be legal, after a trial he
lost because he was forbidden to explain how marijuana singularly
helped his severe medical conditions, he had no choice but to
stop using a vital medication that was helping him stay alive.
He was forced into this by *daily* urine testing, any failure
of which would not just send him back to jail, but would also
allow the government to confiscate his mother's house. With nothing
to effectively quell his intense nausea, he died, by choking
on his own vomit. If this story
doesn't make you question what our government is doing in this
War on Drug Users, you have no soul.
||"He was murdered by the United States Government
as surely as if they shot him. If an individual did what the
federal government did to Peter McWilliams, deliberately deprive
him of medicine that would save his life, that person would be
indicted for murder. And this was murder. Moreover, it was premeditated,
and a part of a pattern of the criminal abuse of power. Consider
the evidence." - Richard Cowan
||"The Federal prosecutor personally called
my mother to tell her that if I was found with even a trace of
medical marijuana, her house would be taken away." - Peter McWilliams
||"Did you re-smoothify yourself?" - Alison's way of asking me if I'd shaved
||"It's good to want things."
- Weird Al Yankovic's reaction to something I said once, when
we were hanging out backstage with a mutual friend
|I had a vision the other day of a detailed pen
and ink drawing (in the style of Tenniel's Alice illustrations)
of a group of rabbits in lab coats playing Icehouse at a little
round table in a cozy underground den (like the Secret
Hideout in the my first Sketchbook Harvest archive) but I
don't know when I'll have the time to draw it. (It would make
a great T-shirt design though...)
|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.
|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
|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...
||"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...
|Wow, did you see the exciting cliffhanger season
finale to "That 70's Show?" What a great ending! Poor
||"I am a *strong* rabbit!" -
Eric Zuckerman, on the success of West Coast Icehouse Tournament
#2, as recounted to me by Dr Cool
|Last night Kristin made a great discovery about
It's actually 3 games in one! My design features action on a
couple of different levels, and previously Kristin had thought
of a way to play solitaire using only a portion of the card set.
Turns out you can play a fast, simple, easy, and very fun (and
Fluxx-like) multi-player game using the cards you set aside for
||"Featuring what can only be described as
a 'classic simplicity,' this little game is a joy to play! This
is one of those truly delightful discoveries that quite simply
has NO real minuses! Way to go Looney Labs! Q-Turn is a winner!"
- from the review
by the San Fernando Valley Gamers
|Marlene (aka Ember)
and her husband
Butch are splitting up. (She's decided that she wants to be a
mom, and he doesn't want to be a dad.)
|For Xmas, Alison gave me a novel by Daniel Quinn
called Ishmael, an Adventure of the Mind and Spirit, and
this week I finally finished reading it. It's an amazing book,
full of insights that make you think about our world and our
culture in totally new ways. You should read it.
|On Monday, I held a Chrononauts card format
design meeting with Kory and the girls, and we ending up changing
from the 5x6 timeline layout we've been using to a 4x8 card layout,
allowing me to add 2 years (1991 and 1999) to the timestream.
We also decided to add an 11th character, and to drop the Impossible
Objects Collection, which is kind of a shame; I liked the concept,
but it just doesn't work well enough.
|Admitting that you're wrong is one of the hardest
things in the world for people to do, particularly if what you've
been doing is basically stupid and you've been doing it for a
really long time.
was passed over in this year's Mensa
Awards, which are supposed to judge new games based first
and foremost on originality, in favor of several lightweight
party games, including Time's Up, an admittedly fun game that's
nothing more than a commercially packaged version of an existing
no-equipment-needed party game called Celebrities.
|I see that Rio Grande will soon be releasing
a game by Alan Moon called Time Pirates. Fortunately, judging
from the sound of the capsule description, my new time travel
game will be better than his. :-) The entire action of Time Pirates
seems to be similar to what is merely a subset of my game, plus
it's only for 3-5 players (Chrononauts
works great with 2, and even has a solitaire option). Lastly,
since it'll have a price tag of $30, I'm guessing it's a board
game, not a card game.
||"I am still trying to figure out which Knizia
Andrew Looney is and which Knizia games he did."
- Richard Hutnik, in a rec.games.board follow-up to Chris Lawson's
assertion that Reiner Knizia doesn't exist: "The truth is
that there are approximately 17 people (at the last count) who
create the illusion that 'Reiner Knizia', the German games designer,
actually exists. How do you think 'he' can produce so many new
games designs every year? It's impossible for one person to have
had 80 games published over the last 10 years."
||"Don't ask me though, I don't even have
an icehouse set. I play Martian
Go with graph paper and colored pencils in math class with
my friends." - Ed, in a posting on the Icehouse list
|No sooner do I mention
that Britney Spears has great hair than she goes and gets it
all hacked off!
||"I am in the Big Chair! Do what I say!"
at the Pop-Tart Cafe
||"Is that Mrs. Frank Cummings? Doesn't she
look ghastly, I thought she was dead. I must get a closer look..."
- Elwood Dowd's Aunt Ethel, in Harvey (recently
portrayed on stage by Alison's
||"Mr. Chairman, sadly, I don't believe that
General McCaffrey can be trusted to give you an accurate appraisal
of our drug situation. Deaths are up, high school kids can get
drugs more easily than ever, drug use by junior high kids has
tripled, drug prices are at historic lows, drug purity is as
high as ever, and we are still not treating most of the millions
of addicts desperate for help. How can General McCaffrey, with
a straight face, tell you and the American people that we are
winning our fight against drug abuse?" --
Eric E. Sterling, president, Criminal Justice Policy Foundation,
to the House Committee on Appropriations, March
a real beating on her taxes this year. Due to the strong stock
market and an badly-timed IRA-to-Roth-IRA conversion, she ended
having to pay income tax on investment money that she isn't allowed
to touch... not even to pay off the tax bill it generated. As
a result, the government just took away most of Alison's life
savings (except for that theoretical IRA money...)
|Today is 4/20, a day for asking this question:
does it really make sense to put people in jail, just for smoking
||"Yellow is the color of freshly-made dough,
and several bananas, all in a row..." -
the only lines I now remember of the poem that provided my first
thrill of publication, when it appeared in my elementary school
|Just after I graduated from it, my elementary
school was torn down, replaced by a new one built in the old
school's ballfield. This week I heard the same thing's happening
to my high school building this summer. I suppose it's every
student's dream, to see their school destroyed... but I'm a sentimental
|I knew that we'd arrived, as a game company,
when we got our first letter from a hopeful game inventor, asking
us to consider publishing the Great New Game they'd created.
But that was long ago; now we get an email like that, on average,
every 6.78 days.
|Have you seen this commercial where a woman puts
an entire angel food cake into her dishwasher, and the dishwasher
soap being advertised completely dissolves away the cake? Man,
what a waste of cake!
|We're starting to see images from the upcoming
film adaptation of Battlefield Earth, and I have to say,
I'm mighty disappointed with the humanlike appearance of Terl
and the Psychlos. I suppose that was inevitable, with a big star
driving the production and wanting to look like himself on the
big screen, but man, it's a blow. Klingons look more like Psychlos
than these guys will. So, I'm still excited about it, but I'm
also filled with dread...
||"HINT: The game space the game button is
moved to should be the game space it is most advantageous to
move the game button to." -- from the Rules
for Pentagonia: The Board Game
||"I was on one of my quarterly business
trips to Nizhiny Novgorod, Russia (used to be called Gorky).
We'd just finished our banana splits for dinner (Russian food
is so high in fat that we decided that we'll only eat banana
splits for dinner so at least the fat will taste good)." -- comments included with a recent order, explaining
how he first encountered Fluxx
|Well, I have one of the new $1 coins, and while
it's certainly an improvement over the Susan B (it's gold in
color and has a smooth edge) it's still a disappointment. The
back is boring compared to the eagle on the moon motif, and it's
still about the same weight as a quarter. So I still think it's
gonna be a hard sell. (The Brits got it right when they made
their coin super-thick, while also discontinuing the paper equivalent.)
||"In any case, you are like a god among men.
I will get people here to erect giant statues in your honor,
and if that isn't enough, I'll make them put hats on the statues.
You Rule!!!! (well, duh, you are the Emperor...)"
-- Keith, in an email giving me all the credit for something
cool that Kristin and Alison did (namely making a set of chess
||"The Three Keys to Successful Leadership:
1) Delegate all the work, 2) Shift all the blame, and 3) Take
all the credit" -- one of those things you
read somewhere and just remember, which I read long ago
|Over the long haul, writing a cartoon is like
doing improv. When you start, you have no idea where you're going,
you're just making up stuff as you go along. But as soon as you
do, you start to establish facts and make decisions that will
affect the storyline forever. So you learn to plant seeds and
toss in hooks that you'll figure out how to use later on.
|Target is currently running TV ads promoting
a compilation of Top 40 Hits called "Positive Interference."
The ads feature a very old Barney Fife getting agitated by the
music, ending his rant by saying "and I gotta tell ya...
I like it!" But as I remember it, nothing sours music faster
for a young person than hearing an old person claim to enjoy
||"There's nothing worse in life than being
ordinary." -- Angela Hayes, "American
|A Guy named King reports that the ink on the
isn't permanent. They won't stand up to furniture polish!
||"It's a plastic world. And because of plastic,
it's a plastic world in a different sense, in the original sense
of the word: it changes its shape easily. And when the shapes
change regularly, which they do, we begin to *want* them to change
regularly." -- James Burke, Connections,
|The new Hasbro edition of Diplomacy features
metal pieces, and they're really neat. Monopoly experts will
recognize the new army and navy markers as the artillery piece
and battleship tokens that disappeared from Monopoly somewhere
along the line, no doubt for being too warlike. Now you can get
piles of them, in rainbow colors!
|It's amazing how many productive hours you can
cram into a day if you simply go without sleep.
||"The well-funded and powerfully persuasive
view that marijuana is dangerous dominates every media outlet,
except one: the Internet. Positive marijuana messages rule cyberspace,
where it doesn't require millions to state your case, just a
mere $20 a month. This, of course, infuriates anti-drug forces." -- Saul Rubin, of the San Francisco Bay Guardian,
writing about the misleadingly named Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation
Act, which seeks to make all "pro-drug" information
||"Ideas float freely in the air, waiting
to be picked like fruit." - Stephen Peek's
Irish Friend, in Game Plan, on the question of why everyone
in the game inventing business is so paranoid
|When I was a kid, any form you had to write
the date onto helped out by providing the first 2 digits of the
year, i.e. "19__". As Y2K approached, this analog version
of the computer bug was gradually phased out, but now, we can
use "20__" on forms, and it'll last *forever*!
||"Since the Office of National Drug Control
Policy was created in 1989, it has been headed by a moralist
(William Bennett), an ex-governor of Florida (Bob Martinez),
a police chief (Lee Brown) and a four-star general (Barry McCaffrey).
Certainly it's time we had a drug czar who has a background in
drug addiction, psychopharmacology or, at the very least, medicine." - Michael Massing, in an article
||"We get along best with kids who act like
adults and adults who act like kids." -
||I can think of no better example of the cruelty
and corruption resulting from marijuana prohibition than the
case of Deborah
Lynn Quinn, a woman born without arms or legs, who was just
sentenced to a year in prison, at a cost to Arizona taxpayers
of at least $126,000 (that's over $345 a day), for selling
$20 worth of pot to a police informant. Is it any wonder we now
have over 2 million of our citizens in jail?
||"Boy, this wedding's gonna be pretty lame
without a trampoline, huh?" - Kelso, on
"That 70's Show"
||On Valentine's Day, my parents will be celebrating
their 50th wedding anniversary! Congratulations, Mom and Dad!
|Why is a population that believes the government
is hiding UFOs so willing to believe what that same government
says about cannabis?
||The York Buttercream Patty. It'd be just
like a Peppermint Patty except with a gold wrapper, a milk chocolate
coating, and a vanilla buttercream filling. Of course, it should
taste like my favorite selection from the box of assorted chocolates;
and while the Peppermint Patty's catchphrase is "Taste the
Sensation," the Buttercream Patty, being non-low-fat, would
probably have a slogan more like "Enjoy the Indulgence."
||We got email this week from a guy named Adam,
who wants to buy customized origami icehouse sets, with no green
pieces and extra red, yellow, and blue pieces instead. Oddly
enough, it just so happens that we ran out of green prematurely,
and therefore have a surplus of red, yellow, and blue origami
||"I hung around with those guys for seven
or eight months before I put them all away."
-- quote accompanying a pair of green platform shoes worn in
the seventies by an undercover narc, now on display at the DEA
Museum and Visitor Center
||Man, System 9 sucks! I don't like the new "features",
the ones I keep wishing for never show up (why can't I undo a
cleanup of the desktop?), and worst of all, it's as buggy and
crash-prone as a speeding car with a hornet's nest under the
seat! Does anyone have a System 8 install disk we can borrow?
|It seems really weird to me that we should be
in favor of throwing a perfectly good space station into the
ocean, just to get cash-strapped Russia to focus more energy
on the construction of a new one.
||"I am going to live on and continue my lifes
work in making yours miserable!!!!!!!!" -
my sister, in an email to her four brothers, informing us that
her tumor was benign
||"As far as we know, the public has never
been told about this research -- for example, the drug-reform
movement seems not to have known about its existence. This work
may have been hushed because its findings are not what the drug-war
industry would want." -- John S. James,
writing for AIDS TREATMENT NEWS about an unpublished two year
old federal study which found that THC-treated rats lived longer
and had less cancer
||"If you are unsure
about taking a gamble but can't chuck the idea [of getting your
game published] altogether, my advice is to go to Las Vegas,
plunk down your ten thousand dollars on the color red at the
roulette table, and take your chances there. The end will come
a lot quicker and be a lot less painful. However, if you answered
YES to all the questions [in the Prospective Game Creator's No-Win
Quiz, then] get ready for the wildest ride of your life. All
forewarnings aside, it may just be the most rewarding adventure
you'll ever have." - Stephen Peek, in the
preface to Game Plan: The Game Inventor's Handbook, which
may just be the most influential book I've ever read
||"Who needs sex and who needs food when you
can have *shoes*? That's all I have to say."
-- a contestant named Cynthia on the All New "3's a Crowd"
|As a kid I really liked Pillsbury Orange Danish
rolls (available in the refrigerator case). So why don't they
make orange flavored Pop-Tarts?
||Judging from the feedback we've been getting,
it would seem that the Q-turn rules
changes I posted last week will take care of the stalemate
problem. And while I still want to encourage players to scrounge
up their own playing tokens, I have to admit that I Iike the
idea of including a set of clear, tinted tiddlywinks with the
16 wooden nickels.
|"This makes work more like play, and play
more like performance." - Leslie Burgoyne,
describing (in the business plan she's been drafting for us)
the way our business and personal lives are intertwined and made
public over the internet
|"They give the illusion of achievement
without any sort of negative consequence in the event of failure." - An anonymously submitted response to our survey
question, "Why do you play games?"
||For the past several weeks, three
beautiful long-haired women have been living in my house, and
no one has been driven crazy!
|Tiki-Tour: Rash tells me that this is
a New Zealander's term for a pointless excursion, as in "Let's
just get in the car and drive around."
|"Togas and whipped cream for all my subjects!" - the guy on the Life of the Party card, in the new
Steve Jackson game, Chez