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pyknic (pik'-nik) adj. characterized by shortness of stature; broadness of girth, and powerful muscularity; endomorphic. from Greek pyknos dense, stocky

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Instead of seeing a movie this week, Daddy-O had to take his wife to the hospital for emergency repairs.

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"Very enjoyable. Simple, yet complex. Had fun. I know some people didn't get it, though." - Comments on Cosmic Coasters from a male Mensa Judge between the age of 14-33, collected at the 2001 Mensa Mind Games competition

Thursday, May 10, 2001
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? Kristin's Hand vs. Broken Glass

We had a major crisis on Saturday. Around 3:15 PM, Kristin stumbled in the front hall, lost her balance, and fell backwards onto that trunk filled with shoes that we keep by the front door. This wouldn't have been any big deal, except that when she instinctively reached back to stop her fall, her hand smashed through the front window. And suddenly, a previously busy and productive afternoon was transformed into a nightmarish trip to the emergency room.

The shattering glass slashed Kristin's palm in five places, one quite serious, under her pinkie and ring finger. However, as long as she kept her hand tightly clenched, the blood flow appeared to be under control, so I hustled her out to my trusty old purple Omni and we drove like the wind to a nearby hospital. And then, the waiting began.

A study has just been released, concluding that increasing numbers of Emergency Room nurses are "burning out" and leaving the profession early. This weekend, we got to see for ourselves just why this is so. The ER was so backed up it literally took hours for Kristin to receive even the most preliminary treatment. It was terribly frustrating, waiting helplessly as Kristin sat clenching her bloody fist, awaiting admittance, particularly as it became obvious that some of the patients clogging up the facility weren't really there with emergencies. (A couple of babies who'd had the sniffles for a few days were a prime example.) Although Kristin's emergency did require almost 3 hours of cleaning and suturing, we spent more than twice that time just sitting, waiting for the hospital staff to find the time for us. We went home well after midnight, more than 9 hours after rushing into the hospital.

The good new is, it looks like she should have a full recovery. Kristin's multiple lacerations were skillfully cleaned up and sewn shut by a wonderful Physician's Assistant named Angela (I wish I'd gotten a photo of her for this page), using a total of 38 stitches (8 of which were internal). If you decide to click on the photo above, you'll see a picture of her hand without the bandage, showing that the healing is already well underway. And while Kristin finds her lingering numbness worrisome, she has full mobility of her fingers, and Angela and her boss seemed to think no serious damage had been done (although we'll see what the hand surgeon has to say after her appointment with him tomorrow).

At this point, the biggest problem apart from all the pain, is the fact that her right hand is now useless to her (and of course, she's right-handed). The thing she kept saying (aside from recommending to others that they not put their hand through a plate glass window) was "I wonder how long it'll be before I can type again." Naturally, something like this is going to interfere with her ability to accomplish her usual amazing feats of productivity, and since this comes at a time when we're so swamped that we're accepting resumes, it's just making her overload even worse. But we've got our first interviewee coming in later today, and his résumé looks quite promising. We'll get through this.

We get a monthly trade magazine called Comics & Games Retailer, and for some while now, I've been eagerly flipping to the "Market Beat" Games Report in each new issue, hoping to find Fluxx on one of their lists of hot-selling products. Well, as things turned out it was Chrononauts not Fluxx that first broke us onto that page, but anyway, it finally happened! It's #4 on the "best-selling Family Board & Card Games list" this month, which is actually based on sales numbers from March. We shall see how we do on such listings after our games start showing up at the GameKeeper...

Update on our Quest for Fulfillment Outsourcing: On Monday we drove down to North Carolina to conduct a plant tour of our top candidate for this deal. As I said a couple of times during our meetings and tours with them, we've been around long enough to be burned, more than once, by partnering with companies who were in the process of going bankrupt, so it's become very important to us that we actually visit any company we're considering forging a long term relationship with. Happily, this company looks really good not just on paper, but upon inspection, and although we have one more interview to conduct, we're feeling pretty close to making a decision.

Since this company actually has several installations in different cities in North Carolina (and elsewhere), we took this opportunity to visit Zarf, who it turns out is actually on the verge of moving back to Pittsburgh. We had a great time hanging out at his pad, playing with his toys, getting crushed in a game of Lord of the Rings, and dining at the local Mellow Mushroom with one of his friends from the area. Thanks for the hospitality Zarf! (And good luck in Pittsburgh!)Andy


Have you cast your vote in the Origins Awards yet?

Thought Residue
We got the comment cards back from this year's Mensa games competition, which selected Dao (a game I've heard is as broken as tic-tac-toe) as a winner this year, over Chrononauts and Cosmic Coasters. As I read through numerous complaints from people who apparently found our games too complex and/or confusing, I have to wonder if these people are really as bright as they make themselves out to be. Maybe my mouth is just full of sour grapes, but compared to most of the rulebooks I see Gamers absorb without flinching, our rules are simple, and our games easy to learn. I guess it just goes to show, Mensans are no match for Gamers.
"This game is horrible. Never allow the person(s) who invented this game to breed." - Comments on Cosmic Coasters from a male Mensa Judge between the age of 14-33, collected at the 2001 Mensa Mind Games competition (but hey, he still gave me a 7 for "originality"...)
"Cannabis can also be used as a catalyst to the generation of new ideas. Experienced cannabis users know that under its influence new ideas flow more readily than they do in the straight state. They also understand that some are good and others are bad ideas; sorting them out is best done while straight. ... An illustration comes to mind. ... Would the idea have come or come as easily in a straight state? Maybe." -- Lester Grinspoon MD, "To Smoke or Not To Smoke: A Cannabis Odyssey", presented to the NORML Conference 4/20/1


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