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Thursday, August 14th, 2008

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Haiku Reviews

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Yep, I still enjoy
watching those Hanson brothers
play with their toy cars.

Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Tirade's Choice

Threadless T-shirt Designs

"I just played a fantastic game of Zombie Fluxx with some friends at a party. It was one of the few games that made my token "nongamer" friend want to be a part of the game. That inspired me to track down some more Zombie Fluxx items to make the game even better." -- William D of Raleigh, NC

Rash is back from his trip around the world!

Alison Bought a House!

Four years ago, I posted an article announcing that we'd decided to move. We needed space to grow, and we had this crazy idea about doing a major relocation as part of the process of moving to a bigger place. We thought seriously about moving as far away as Canada, and we've spent a lot of time traveling to candidate cities and pondering all the possibilities. But although we find a lot to like about a lot of places near and far, none has yet stood out above all others as the place for us to choose.

Meanwhile, despite all our talk of moving away, we've become yet more entrenched. Of particular note here is Robin, who joined our team a couple of years ago and quickly became a vital and critical part of the Looney Labs team. Much as I love the idea of living in another part of the world, I'd rather stay here than lose Robin, and she doesn't want to move. And of course, Robin is just the prime example... we have many friends & family members in the area who don't want us to leave. (Plus we've just been joined by Nikki!)

Lastly, we've watched as the housing market has gone from bubble to bust. There was a time when we'd have made a lot of money by selling our house; now we'd have a hard time selling it at all. We're surrounded by houses being offered for sale, at increasingly bargain prices.

So, with all of these factors in mind, we started looking at the houses for sale on the streets in our neighborhood... and quickly fell in love with this big old place just a few doors down from us!

And so, long story short (I know, too late) we just bought a house which is so close to Wunderland you can actually see it (from the right window). Or to be more specific, Alison just bought a house (with a little help from her family). Kristin & I will continue to own our original house for the foreseeable future, but we'll also be hanging out a lot at Alison's new house, particularly since that's where the new Looney Labs Offices will be. As you can imagine from watching the video tour of our current office space, our company needs more room, and a lot of why we liked this new house so much was how the basement was set up in ways well-suited for us to use as the new Looney Labs HQ.

So, that's the scoop. After years of talk, we've decided to just stay put, and expand into a house nearby, rather than moving everything into a whole new space. This decision is very exciting, since it means we can finally move forward with long incomplete relocation efforts, and it's going to be great fun setting up the spaces at the new house. But of course, it's also bittersweet decision for me, having never lived anywhere else but always wanted to. It's also ironic, since I've long been describing these feelings as GeorgeBailyitis, an imaginary medical condition named for the main character of It's a Wonderful Life. Like George, I've pined for the adventure of a life lived somewhere other than the town I grew up in, yet circumstances have always kept me tethered here. And now, once again, I'm not leaving Bedford Falls. But hey, I do have a wonderful life here.

But enough about why we decided to stay, let's hear more about the new house! It's a really cool old place, built around the same time as Wunderland (i.e. the mid-thirties) but more heavily renovated over the years. (For instance, it has central air!) And it's HUGE! It's a barn-shaped building with 3 levels divided up into 4 distinct zones. Since we live next to the University of Maryland, a lot of houses around here are broken up into small units which can be rented by students. This is perfect for us, since the entire basement (which has its own entrance right on the street) is to be the new Looney Labs HQ. As for all those upstairs rooms -- well, all I can say right now is, Alison has some pretty elaborate redecorating ideas in mind. If you know Alison, you can imagine what I mean by "pretty elaborate."

Anyway, it's all very exciting. Even though it's not at all what we were imagining, we're finally moving forward with moving! Yay!

AndyThanks for reading, and have a great fortnight!

Thought Residue
A topic of great debate this week has been the name to use for the dead parrot card. Monty Python Fluxx will include a Keeper with a picture of an undeniably dead parrot; however, in the spirit of the pet store clerk, the title of the card will refuse to acknowledge the deceased nature of the bird in question. Up until now I've been calling it the Sleeping Parrot, a title which I think best sums up the situation, but since purists will complain that the sketch doesn't use that exact phrase, I've decided instead to call it the Resting Parrot.

"The idea that a man returning to his home and moving a package from his porch to his hallway, should trigger a SWAT raid, by a team that had literally been waiting in hiding to see him move the package, is criminally insane. They didn't wait for the package to go inside because of any tactical purpose. They waited because they wanted to use the action of bringing the package inside as evidence. They had literally all day to figure out some way of being able to search the home without murdering their dogs! They didn't even have to bring the package to the house -- they already had the address with which it had been marked. They could have simply called the individuals in for questioning, or conducted an ordinary search or arrest warrant, waited for Mayor Calvo or his wife to walk up and approach them on the street, almost anything other than what they did. And as evidence goes, moving the package inside the doorway is worthless anyway, or should be. Would you bring a package that arrived in your mail inside, maybe even open it to see what it contains? Doing so would prove nothing about your knowledge of the contents. So even that weak rationale falls to pieces." -- David Borden, "Two Dogs Dead, a Family Traumatized, Another Day in the Drug War"
I think what happened in the Calvo case is that drug smuggling has merged with identity theft. Mayor Calvo and his wife were obviously innocent victims -- someone else was clearly supposed to intercept that package of weed before it ever reached the Calvo's front door. Perhaps the real recipient was staked out watching the Calvo household as well, intending to swipe the package from the doorstep, or maybe it was someone who works at the post office, who was supposed to watch for the package and steal it from within the system. No complaint would ever be made about the package having disappeared, since the Calvos didn't even know it was coming, and who better to choose as your hapless fall guy than someone nice and respectable, like the mayor's wife? In any event, the plan obviously went awry when a drug dog in Arizona detected the box, causing the cops to take over the delivery as undercover package carriers. [After writing this, I read that some arrests have been made, including of a FedEx employee, and that the Calvos have been officially exonerated.]

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