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I'm watching a game of Zagami. "I don't know," says one of the players (Pat Mitchell), "I think when the meteor gets to earth there isn't going to be much left."

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delenda (dee-len'-dah) n pl. things to be blotted out or erased.

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Cute, enjoyable film
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murderer inmates.

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Surviving Gilligan's Island

This delightfully informal documentary movie-thing features the surviving cast members [minus the stuffy Ginger actress] reminiscing about the show, with recreations of behind-the-scenes events starring some pretty serviceable modern substitutes (in particular, the guy playing the guy who played the Skipper got his voice exactly right). Great fun, at least for anyone who grew up watching a lot of Gilligan.

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Stop John Walters

"[Cosmic Coasters] is really a game for anyone. I introduced some friends who rarely play games of any sort to it, and they fell in love with it instantly, refusing to stop playing until they had won. The kind of game you could play at a bar with pretzels and beer nuts, Cosmic Coasters makes for the perfect coffee-table game. It's a great little game and worth the small price." -- Derek Guder, in Games Unplugged issue #11

Thursday, October 18, 2001
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? John's Birthday / Mar's Departure

We started off our week with a party-party weekend. First, we hosted a surprise party for John, on the occasion of his Second Annual 39th Birthday. Here are a couple of photos of the event; for more details, be sure to read John's own account of the events. (You can even get the recipe for the cake Gina secretly made.)

Then it was time to say bon voyage to Mar, as she begins her Californian adventure. There were several parties held in her honor, including a dinner arranged by Number 12, and a party at Renee's apartment. On Monday morning, she drove away, and by now, she's somewhere in the heartland, driving to San Francisco in a Beetle filled with her stuff. Her heart is filled with excitement, and her Mom is riding shotgun, so I think she's off to a good start.

Back in the 80s, Rash moved away to California in a similar fashion. At the time, I was working at the Goddard Space Flight Center, and one chilly morning I left my office to meet him at the back gate as he began his journey across the country. I took his picture, and he gave me the keys to the apartment he was turning over to me (now long since taken over by Number 12). Then he drove away, in his Beetle filled with stuff.

So, on the morning Mar drove away, we went out to that same spot behind GSFC, to take a matching photo:

...and then she was gone. And just as Rash's departure left a hole in my life way back when, we're all really going to miss having Mar around. But at least now we have the internet to help us stay in touch. Anyway, good luck, Mar! Send us a photo when you arrive!

I'm still hard at work on pictures of various types for Playing with Pyramids. I've temporarily turned the Zarcana lounge into a photo studio, and the new camera I got for this task is working out wonderfully. However, various illnesses have been slowing us down, and there's still a great deal to be done. But it's gonna be great! Check out this new title plate illustration I just finished for the introduction section... then compare it to the original piece I based it on, which I did two years ago.

Have a great fall!Andy

Thought Residue
I got a Notice of Allowability yesterday! My IceTowers patent application has been approved, as submitted! I'm getting my second patent! (Odd fact: the same examiner handled my case a decade ago, when John and I were granted patent #4,936,585, for that other real-time pyramid game.) I don't know yet what number this patent will get; hopefully, we'll have the number in time to make mention of it in Playing with Pyramids.
Chrononauts made this year's Games 100! That bring my total such listings to six: Icehouse, Icebreaker, Fluxx, Aquarius, Icehouse:TMCS, and now Chrononauts.
In my experience, standard helium balloons have a life expectancy of 12-18 hours. But some of the balloons Alison got for John lasted nearly a week! This dramatic increase in balloon lifespan was apparently achieved with some sort of sealant they glop inside the balloon before inflation.


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