Linking? Use this URL!

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Archives Games

bumblebee's back! | serious martini

Cool Words

incondite (in-kon'-dite) adj. badly put together; crude. [From Latin inconditus: in- "not" + conditus, past participle of condere "to put together" from com- "together" + -dere "to put."]

Haiku Reviews

Baby Momma :|

A surrogate film
made by an excellent cast,
with standard results.

Dangerous Pathway

Tirade's Choice

List of Regional Pizza Styles

"A local gamer who belongs to our church hosts a quarterly game night there. The last one was attended for the first time by a young, Fluxx-owning couple active in our congregation (luckily the ones who frequently watch our ten-month-old for us, so we've seen them & played Fluxx since!). Everyone loved it & no one wanted to leave when the night was supposed to end! Thanks for making us want to own our own! : )" -- Comments with an order for a Christian Fluxx bundle, from Pastor Natalya of Tower City, PA

Trains, travel, moving, a broken computer, etc

Building Stuff with Alison, Part 2

With Origins now just 4 weeks away, a lot of our attention is now being devoted to preparations for this, our biggest event of the year. It's been a long time since we ran our own sales booth at Origins (having partnered with Paizo Publishing for the past couple of years, and other companies before that) but since we're back to doing everything ourselves, we need new booth fixtures. We really liked the slatwall-mounted hardware our products were displayed with in the Paizo booth, so we decided to use that same technology into our new booth fixtures.

Here you see Alison putting together the first of two slatwall units we're in the process of constructing. The unit consists of 3 strips of plastic slatwall material attached to a framework of plywood and 2x4s. The whole thing sits on a folding table bringing the product line to eye-level and providing us with storage space behind and below (we'll be draping that table with tie-dyes to hide what's under it). The pieces comes apart for compact shipment and everything can be assembled using just a set of wingnuts (i.e. we don't need any tools, which can sometimes be an issue in convention halls controlled by unions).

These excellent new display fixtures will serve us well for years to come. Alison did a great job of designing them and she did most of the work in building them too... I just helped out with stuff like sawing and drilling holes in various pieces of wood.

Speaking of construction projects by Alison, here's an update to my report from early April about the new latrine for Franeland, which she finally got installed this weekend. Since I opted to stay home that day (I wanted to get some work done while I had the house to myself) I'm going to let Alison finish up this article in her own words:

"On Monday (since it was a holiday) I went with Kristin and my mom to my parents' land in West Virginia. We used to go out there a lot when I was a kid. We want to fix it up a bit so that we can spend more time there, and perhaps invite friends. I had built a new latrine - a structure to hold a toilet seat over a hole. So we took the parts up there, and dug a hole, and put the latrine together. Digging the hole was very hard, because the soil was VERY rocky.

"We also built a fire, and cooked salmon and chicken for dinner. It started raining really hard while I was trying to cook. We stayed in the shelter there (just a floor and a roof, but it keeps the rain off). The fire was out in the open, however, but I found a piece of sheet-metal and put it over the fire so it wouldn't go out. I finished cooking when the rain let up a bit. It was really cool watching the fire burn under the steaming sheet metal during the pouring rain -- I wish we'd thought to take a photo of it!"

AndyThanks for reading, and have a great fortnight!

Thought Residue
Last weekend, while visiting Alison's aunt & uncle, her aunt Gray served up a cake she described as a chocolate pound cake. Alison liked it so much she asked for the recipe, and it turned out to be almost exactly the same cake recipe as Wacky Cake, a popular dessert in my family since before I was born! Moreover, when they actually looked at the recipe, the original name was there too! So I googled the phrase and look! It even has a wikipedia page! The entry seems incomplete to me, though... it doesn't explain the strange name, calling it unique only because of its vegan properties. But the recipe page it points to does provide this info -- it even includes photos showing the "wacky mixing method" (in which you make 3 little holes in the dry ingredients to pour the 3 liquids into). But perhaps the most amazing thing I learned from all this was the *reason* for the wackiness: it's about chemistry! The bubbling action of the soda & vinegar is what makes the cake rise, so you need to keep them separate until the last moment. Thus, the batter is mixed right in the baking pan, which must go into the oven as soon as possible after the chemical reaction begins. (Dad probably explained all this to me when I was a kid, but obviously I'd forgotten it.)

Three things I remember creating as a kid which I wish I still had a copy of:

  1. A short story called Sir Brian the Brain, about a knight who overcame his challenges using his intellect instead of violence
  2. A new final chapter to Charles Dicken's Great Expectations (written as an English class assignment) in which Pip meets a scientist who'd just invented a time machine, which Pip then uses to go back in time to warn Miss Havisham about her linchpin day
  3. A tiny homemade boardgame I created (probably my first such effort) which was based on the American Heritage series game about the Civil War, but used a much smaller set of army pieces and was played on a very small board, intended to be both portable and much more quickly played than the original
"Our enormously productive economy... demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption... we need things consumed, burned up, replaced, and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate." -- Victor LeBeau, circa 1950, seen quoted in the Story of Stuff

News Search Gift Shop Games About Us | contact us