Guide to Wunderland
- News Archives
I walk out the main doors from my building into
cold rain, keys and a bottle of flowers in my hands. I'm making
tick tock music noises with my tongue.
nodus (noh'-duss) n.
complication; difficulty pl. nodi from Latin nodus
- O Brother, Where Art Thou? :)
- The Coen brothers
bring Ulysses to the South.
This film's bona fide!
is Hitch's concept of the "McGuffin" more strained
than in this film. This was his nickname for the secret message
or stolen death star plans or whatever it is that everyone in
the film is chasing after. In Torn Curtain, Paul Newman plays
an American scientist who defects to the other side of the Iron
Curtain with a headful of nuclear secrets, which can supposedly
be used to build a "defensive weapon" that would somehow
make the atomic bomb useless and obsolete. For some reason, the
United States military had canceled this project, but then those
peace-loving East Germans said they'd fund Paul Newman's research,
leaving him no choice but to defect, to live and work in East
Berlin, for the sake of peace. Uh, huh. Anyway, you can tell
he's up to something, since he tried to ditch his assistant/fiancée
Julie Andrews in Sweden, without telling her anything about his
plan. This is one of Hitchcock's last films (made in 1966) and
it's got more logic flaws than he usually permits, but there's
still a lot to like in this film, particularly if you fancy Germans.
Robot Stories: Real
Tales of Retail
- "My staff has been going through Looney Labs games trying
them out for the past few days. Aquarius is the first one I have
played with them. I AM HOOKED!!! Aquarius is the most fun I have
had in a good long time.... Now if I could just win a game. I
can't believe I am having so much fun losing."
-- D.P."Vern" Vernazzarro, host, on Delphi's Game Industry
||Between Toy Fair and GTS
we're back from a week in New York City and we've just about
recovered from it. Toy Fair is without a doubt my least favorite
of our annual cycle of trade shows and events; but that doesn't
mean it isn't also one of our most important. Even though it's
a strictly industry-only show, it's also the biggest trade show
we exhibit at, and it's easy to feel rather lost in Toy Fair's
immensity, particularly when so much of what's going on there
has nothing whatever to do with us.
joined us for the first couple of days, but since she also works
part-time at a flower shop and Toy Fair overlaps with Valentine's
Day (perhaps the busiest of all in the florist biz), she had
to head home after the first day. Fortunately, Dawn
lives in New York (though we're urging her to move back to DC)
and she was able to help us on the last day. This made things
a whole lot easier... as with setting up the booth, tearing it
down and moving out is a lot easier with three. Thanks Alison
and Dawn for your help!
Our attempt to increase on-the-spot sales at Toy Fair by giving
away a special new t-shirt was a flop, but that's OK, because
now we have something to use for Prize Support! Expect these
shirts to show up soon on the Rabbit support page. (If you pre-ordered
one of these shirts, we will be sending them out soon. If you
didn't, you'll have to try to win one in a tournament... we've
decided not to sell these shirts but rather to give them away
As is probably evident from the fact that my last report was
titled "Approaching Overload",
we've been even more out-of-control busy than usual, which means
that even with our ambitious and frantic workpace, stuff falls
through the cracks. One area it showed was in our booth design;
we didn't even manage to find time to get new signage made in
advance, and had to throw something together in the hotel to
promote our newest items. But our new catalogs were a hit, we
gave out lots of sample Cosmic
Coasters and demo copies of Chrononauts,
and we made many good contacts, including some we just wouldn't
make at smaller, more niche-oriented trade shows. These included
several promising leads in Kristin's search for warehousing and
fulfillment outsourcing. So, Toy Fair was good. But now that
it's over, we've started looking ahead.
Our next big event is the GAMA Trade Show (GTS), held in Vegas
at the end of March. It's another Industry-Only show, but this
one is focued on the adventure game industry, which is the market
served by most of the stores that carry our games so far. So
although it's a much smaller show than Toy Fair, it's actually
more relevant for us, and we have a lot to do to get ready for
it. We're pulling together and polishing up the retailer support
efforts we have been working on since last summer, when we first
started getting our games onto the shelves of these hobby game
stores. In fact, it was at this show last year that we first
started talking to retailers about what types of things we could
do to help them promote our games in their stores, and our new
catalog, posters, and pretty much everything we have been doing
with the Mad Lab
Rabbits program has come as a result of these discussions.
So in the next few weeks we will be updating and expanding
the pages around the web site that are geared towards helping
our store owners (and rabbits) promote our games. We already
have some notes online about running Fluxx
and Icehouse tournaments,
but we need similar documents for our other games, and we need
to gather it all together into an easy to navigate format (with
downloadable PDF files) etc. etc. etc. Like I said, we have a
lot of work to do in the next 4 weeks.
If you have been following the site for a while, you know
that we have sporadically been working on developing a demo program,
the Mad Lab Rabbits, for fans who want to help us promote our
games. Things on this front have started and then stagnated several
times now, most recently with the Chrononauts Demo Program that
we put in place just before the Holidays, and we still have not
followed through on actually sending out the uncut deck prizes
to all the wonderful folks who helped promote the game this fall.
Sigh. It's one of the many things that fell through the cracks
when we found ourselves dropping everything else to work on packing
orders almost non-stop.
Anyway, if you are a rabbit, expect to hear from Kristin soon
about how to claim your uncut deck. The new software upgrade
to MadLabRabbits.com still isn't ready, and won't be in time
for the trade show next month, so we are going to put on hold
the cool technology side of things (rabbits will just have to
wait a while longer before any sort of ranking system is put
into place) and concentrate on polishing up the program into
something we can present to the retailers next month, as a resource
to find demo support for our games in their stores.
Speaking of rabbits... has anyone out there run an actual
tournament for Chrononauts yet? We haven't done so ourselves,
but we need to in order to create the "How to run a Chrononauts
Tournament" memo that we want to include in the retailers
support package. So I guess we'll be running a Chrononauts tournament
next weekend at JohnCon!
Thoughts? Please share them on the rabbit discussion list.
In Other News:
- Our friends Leslie
(in California) and Michelle
(in Colorado) have both just had babies! Michelle's baby, Anne
arrived early Saturday morning (2/10/01) at 2:15am, and weighed
6 lbs. 12 oz. They're all doing great (including first time sister,
Emily). Meanwhile, Skyler John Walkwitz arrived at 4:20am this
very morning (2/22/01), and weighed 2 lbs. 4 oz. Unfortunately,
Skyler's arrival was 3 months early, after an emergency C-section;
but he's in stable condition and although he'll obviously be
spending the next couple of months in the hospital, things otherwise
all seem OK. And happily, her insurance is covering everything...
- I've also been informed that Ellen
(elsewhere in Colorado) has been named Employee of the Year,
even in the face of many challenges and setbacks in her new position.
Way to go Ellen!
this week's Iceland: clearly, it is not complete. In fact, it's
just a preview of coming attractions. Here you see the panel
I was working on for this week, but even as I was inking it in,
I was realizing that it's just too soon for this scene. Believe
it or not, I am going somewhere with all this, but I'm also making
up the route as I go along and right now I'm in uncharted territory.
Anyway, I've decided that there's still one thing I need to set
up before this banquet scene can begin, and this then requires
I invent a scene to preceed this one, and there just wasn't enough
time to do all that for this week's update. So, make up your
own captions for this panel, and tune in again in a few to see
what I end up using myself.
|The DARE program's own people held a press conference
to admit that their program doesn't work! They announced that
DARE graduates go on to use drugs at an equal or higher
rate than students not exposed to the program, and are scrambling
to invent a new curriculum. Meanwhile, researchers in the UK
have determined that marijuana prohibition plays no role whatsoever
in deterring pot use.
||I finally took (informally) the Myers-Briggs
personality type indicator test, and came up as XNTJ (Introvert/Extrovert
- Intuitive - Thinking - Judging). This apparently makes me a
"Scientist/Field Marshal," whatever that means.
|"That's not how I would have handled that."
"How would you have handled that?"
"I wouldn't have had kids."
-- the father and his stoner brother on this
week's episode of "Grounded For Life"