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The Palmation

Cool Words

stat (stat) adv. immediately. [abbreviation of the Latin term statim "immediately."]

Haiku Reviews

Herbie: Fully Loaded  :|

A cute, wholesome film.
Check out the big headlights!
(The car is nice, too.)

Tirade's Choice
Skills Found Only In China

"It's hard for me to remember what was my first exposure to Looney Labs. Was it a random Fluxx game at Origins? Was it one of the all night sessions of Are You A Werewolf? at GenCon? About a year and a half ago, I decided to get a copy of Fluxx in order to carry it around in my pocket. That was the start of a game collection that has grown to a obsessive compulsive side." -- Lowell K, comments with order #77723

Late for Thursday, July 7th, 2005
by the Writer's Guild of Wunderland

What's New?

What's Going On? It's Hamilton! (Not Montreal)

Well, we're back from Origins, and it was the best one yet. Of course, I say that every year, but this year I felt like it was particularly true, since most of the new things we tried seemed to work out REALLY well. I have a million things to say about it (well, half a million, anyway) which is why this report is so late this week. I had so much to say that I decided to put it onto a page of its own: Andy's Report on Big Experiment #6. (I even gave some of my extra text to Kristin for her page on what it was like Not Having a Booth at Origins.)

With Origins now out of the way, I can get back to the task of packing to move to Canada. Speaking of which, I wrote here several weeks ago about having Montreal on my mind. I said it had become one of our candidate cities, and that we were planning to take a trip soon after Origins to begin checking out Montreal.

Well, we've changed ours minds on all that. Wonderful though it sounds, Montreal has some drawbacks which (thanks to some insightful emails, and a little more research) we've decided must take Montreal out of the running. The key problem is the whole French language thing... their government's requirement that all business be conducted in French first and English second would make it very difficult for us, even given Alison's reasonable skill with the language. Plus, it sounds like taxes are really high and the cost of living none too cheap, Alison points out that Montreal is 2 hardiness zones colder than Hamilton, and I'm still fascinated by the escarpment...

In view of all this, our eyes are fixed on Hamilton again, and we're starting to feel like we've really made up our minds this time. At Origins we met a nice family from Hamilton who told us how much they loved it there. We're getting in contact with Chamber of Commerce types in Hamilton who are described as being "very aggressive in recruiting businesses" to the area.

So, instead of all going to Montreal next week, we're staying home to work on getting art for our newest games off to the printers. Then, when Alison goes back to summer camp, I'll focus on packing while Kristin goes to Hamilton solo to begin really scouting out and learning about life in our new home town. For myself, I don't feel the need to go to Canada again until we're actually moving there. I know now where I want to go: it's Hamilton.

I read an article about Americans moving to Canada (people keep pointing and clipping those out for us) which quoted one guy as saying he was on the "24 month plan." That's about what we're on, too, I think. It was almost exactly one year ago that we first decided that what we really wanted to do was move to Canada. We've spent the past year thinking about where in Canada we'd like to go (not to mention moving the office, establishing a sales department, packing 125 boxes, etc), and while we still have an extremely enormous amount of work to do in order to relocate, I'm hoping we'll be residents of Hamilton by this time next year.

AndyThanks for Playing our Games, and Have a Great Week!

Thought Residue
In the distant future, say 20 years from now, the Looney Labs World Headquarters will be housed in a cluster of buildings shaped like giant Icehouse pieces. The compound of 4 or 5 house-sized pyramids with glass walls will be perched somewhere along the edge of the cliff that runs through the center of Hamilton, known as the Niagara Escarpment. The pyramids will have inner and outer chambers; the inner areas will be the office and living spaces for our business and our co-housing community. The outer rooms will serve as greenhouses for whatever Alison wants to grow, including the marijuana we hope to legally begin farming someday. At night, we'll be able to turn on colorful lamps that will make each pyramid glow with a different hue, making them beautifully visible from far away, and the view from the top room in the tallest of the pyramids will be truly spectacular. This is where I hope to be, when I'm 64. (I wonder how many Fluxx decks we'll have to sell to make that happen...)

"My life climaxes twice every year. Being professional game-manufacturers, Christmas is always very big for us. Games make great gifts, plus we create something cool each year to give away to our friends (that's how we got our business started). Six months later comes Origins, a huge gaming convention, where we hold a gathering called the Big Experiment. For 4 days we run official tournaments for all our games, awarding Olympic-style medallions to the winners. These 4 days are my favorites of the whole year. But now, Origins is over, and the next 6 month cycle is beginning." -- a "Life is Short" autobiography which I just sent to the Washington Post
"I was, in a word, unprepared for my exposure to the game as it's really played, by those who have been playing it a long time. (And those who designed it in the first place, who were among the tournament players.) I had thought the game was just a contest of tactical piece-placement with room for diplomacy; that's how I had played it with all my friends. Oh, no no no. It is actually all about diplomacy, carried out through piece placement. Every important move seemed to be a team effort, with opponents forming brief alliances (very brief, since games have a 10-minute timer) to disrupt other opponents' defensive formations and swap captured "prisoner" pieces, shuffling them around the table to foil attackers in ways that made my head spin. It was an entirely different game than the Icehouse I knew anything about." -- Jason McIntosh, describing his experiences with Icehouse at the 13th International Icehouse Tournament, in the section on Icehouse in his page about his favorite board and card games

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Dates (2005) Event Location
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