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Washing my hands in the sink and thinking of telling Booda that this is a nice little faucet we found here.

Cool Words

demesne (de-main' or de-meen') n. 1. possession, dominion 2. in law, possession (of real estate) as one's own 3. formerly, the land or estate belonging to a lord and not rented or let, but kept in his hands 4. a lord's mansion and the land around it 5. a region; domain 6. a realm (of activity)

Haiku Reviews

Ice Age :)

Great animation,
strange anthropomorphisms.
That sloth sure was fast.

Daddy-O's Reviews

Sorry, Daddy-O continues to be too busy to get out to the movies. (And other than the conclusion of The Amazing Race, there wasn't even anything good on TV...)

Tirade's Choice

Christians for Cannabis

#12's Webcomic picks

"I'll cast my vote for this one. I introduced it to my wife one weekend, and she insisted on playing it for weeks afterwards. To date, its the only Icehouse game she's played, and the LL game she likes the most." -- Allen Firstenberg, on the Icehouse mailing list, 10 May 2002

Thursday, May 16, 2002
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? Playtesting for Hypo-15 / Downloading Data into Super-Fred

Origins is fast approaching, and since we're planning to release a new issue of Hypothermia at the convention, we're now in the midst of figuring out which games that issue should include. A week ago, I asked the Icehouse mailing list to think about this, and we got quite a few suggestions, most of which are games I have never yet played. Here are the ones that attracted my attention:

  • Epicycle, Ice Age, and Rotationry: All of these games are playable with just one stash of pyramids, and since we now sell Icehouse Pieces a la carte, I'm particularly interested in including single-stash games.
  • Martian Mud Wrestling: Similarly, games that require just 2 stashes are also appealing these days. Plus, I'm drawn to games that are played on a 5x5 grid.
  • Ice Market: Icehouse games with a real-time element always appeal to me...
  • New Solace: This solitaire game takes advantage of the opaqueness of the black and white stashes, which makes it extra cool.
  • Protozoa: I thought Martian Life was pretty cool, and I hear this reworked version is even better.
  • Secret Project 641-CD: Rumor has it that the Pittsburgh Warren will be unveiling a new game next weekend at the Pop-Tart Cafe... I can't wait to see what it is.
  • Casino Hailstorm: I mentioned gambling rules when I first announced this game two weeks ago... now we've got some!
  • Cathouse: This is an Icehouse game for cats, so I can't really playtest it myself. But the rules were amusing...

Of course, not all of the games people suggested made it onto this list. With so many cool new games to choose from and a limited amount of space in the newsletter, we need to focus on games with short, easy rules. Also, we're mainly interested new games... Martian Go was repeatedly suggested, but it's been around so long, it's hard to call it new. Similarly, Blockade is another popular game we considered, but it requires not just 4 but 5 stashes, and we'd rather focus on 1 or 2 stash games at this time. But this list is by no means final... if you've got a suggestion we haven't heard yet, now's the time to make it. We'll be testing out these and other games during the next couple of weeks, and we plan to make our final choices sometime in early June.

Kristin and Dale reached a major milestone this week, towards the launch of our new web server, which we have started calling Super-Fred. They have successfully exported all of the historical data from our old systems, and imported it into the new one. This may sound like it's not that big of a deal, but trust me, it was. We have been mailing things to people for more than a decade, and Kristin has kept really good records. The bulk of the data comes from a system we call Orderama, the system she upgraded us to three years ago shortly after our jump off the cliff. This was in conjunction with the launch of Contagious Dreams, and a new online shopping cart, and I'm proud to say we've shipped out 6400 orders with this system in these last three years.

Although Orderama has served us well, it was a completely flat database, with each of the 6400 records representing a thing that we shipped out, with both a billing and a shipping address, and the details of what products were in the order, how much it cost, and how it was shipped. The new system is a fully relational database, with separate tables for addresses, companies, people, orders, items ordered, mailings, etc. And to complicate things, we also had a completely separate database, TheList, which contained our personal database of friends and family, and records of 2654 other shipments that we sent out long before the days of Looney Labs (old xmas cards and holiday gifts, dating back as far as the invites to our housewarming party back in September of 1990.) TheList was built with the same database engine, Panorama, but had a completely different data structure, only one address for each person, etc.

Kristin did not want to lose her old data (although she often found herself asking, "Does it really matter who entered the Jelly Bean contest of '91?") and she spent more time than she cares to admit these last few months doing some last bits of panorama programming to calculate and link all the pointers for the nine tables that were ultimately exported and inputted into the new system. But it all works! The new system contains 8715 shipments, of which 3789 were sent out free, so we've sent out almost 5000 orders in the last 3 years that people paid us money for! That's over 14,000 line items and more than 64,000 individual items! The data contained 5700 different addresses, and we have a beautiful new roster of 462 game stores that sell our games, which even displays international addresses correctly, and everything! Sorry you can't see it yet, but trust me on this, it is beautiful.

Have you voted for Cosmic Coasters yet?

the story so far

Thought Residue
"A farmboy, a princess, and a swashbuckling renegade unite to lead a rebellion against the evil Galactic Empire." -- film description seen in the Washington Post TV guide (gosh, when you describe it that way, Star Wars somehow sounds really lame!)
"I ask that we all work hard to end the policy of caging humans for using a plant given to us by Christ God Our Father as described on the very first page of the Bible." -- Stan White, of Dillon, Colorado, in the Boulder Weekly, 10 May 2002
"Staggering mental insights more productive than staggering to the toilet." -- Reason #1 on Jeff & Tracy's List of Top Ten Reasons to Smoke Pot Instead of Drinking Alcohol


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