Linking? Use this URL!

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Archives Games

Beatles Rock Band Intro

Tirade's Choice

12 of the World's Most Fascinating Tunnel Networks

"Fluxx is one of the best games ever. That is all." -- tweet by Chris Sadler, June 1, 2009

Rash has done extensive updates on his archive pages (including posting his Around the World travelogue from last summer) and also provides assorted links & comments on topics including popularity in Japan, the Limits of Power, the bankruptcy of GM, the wired homeless, extreme state makeovers, his language students, his summer plans, his iPod, tips for introverted travelers, 'yak shaving', and Why Donald Duck Is the Jerry Lewis of Germany.

The Mysterious Reappearance of Ginohn!

Mo, Eric, Smokey, PDF, & Origins

Greetings Humans! Here are the top 5 news stories from my corner of our planet:

  • Mo: Firstly, as I mentioned last time, we have a new office temp. Her name is Morrigan, Mo for short, and she has an amazing background. Whereas our previous couple of office temps have been college students, Mo got her degree in 1996 and has an impressive resume of work experience, including many years of work in a law office. Moreover, Mo has an active career in the performing arts, working as a singer, actress, and coach. Since this is a difficult field in which to make a living, Mo pays the bills by doing part-time office work, making her afternoons-only availability a perfect fit with our several-hours-a-day needs. Someday she'll hit the big time and won't need to keep working for us, but hopefully by then we'll be needing a full-timer anyway. (Seriously, she's like a rock star. She's the lead singer of Morrigan and the Strays, and she has CDs and fans and everything.) On top of all that, Mo is an active supporter of animal rescue organizations and has worked as a Veterinary assistant in a couple of area animal hospitals. She's also got a charming personality. In short, Mo is a powerhouse of talent and it's an honor to have her help!


  • Eric: My nephew Eric was injured in a car crash! He was in the back seat when another car smashed into their side right where he was sitting, so hooray for side air-bags! He was helicoptered to the Baltimore Shock Trauma Unit (though he remembers nothing of the ride) and is now recovering at home with a fractured pelvis, a walker, and crutches. So obviously, the summer vacation has started out with a major bummer for him, but when you consider how much worse it could have been, it's hard not to be happy just that he's alive. They're hoping he'll need nothing more than a cane in 2-3 weeks. Here's hoping he makes an even faster recovery than the doctors have predicted!
  • Smokey: Even though we love all three of the cats we unexpectedly took in late last year, we've concluded that five cats is just too many for us to manage. So, we've found a new home for the one shown here, and on Saturday we bid farewell to Smokey. Here's wishing him a great life with his new family! (Much as we will miss Smokey, we'd actually like to thin our cat-herd further, so, just in case anyone reading this is looking for a cat, we're also seeking a new home for Princess. She's a real sweetie and she purrs like a champ! And she's a total lap-cat. But she doesn't get along too well with other cats... as her name suggests, I think she'd be happiest as the star of a single-cat household.)

    UPDATE: Not long after posting this, we found a new home for Princess! So here's wishing her all the best with her new family as well.


  • PDF: For the Memorial Day weekend, Kristin and I went to an event called Playa Del Fuego (PDF), which was basically a big camping trip for about a thousand hippies, out in the boonies of Delaware. More specifically, PDF is a local regional version of the Burning Man festival. While I'm sure you've heard of Burning Man, you may not know that a national network of smaller events has developed over the years, with PDF being a semi-annual "burn" that a bunch of our friends have been attending for awhile now. (Our former employee Marlene built a giant seahorse sculpture that was burned at a previous PDF.) Anyway, we had a grand time, and I think it's something we're going to start attending regularly. Whereas I've never considered going to Burning Man, because of the distance and survival conditions involved, PDF is the same sort of thing (albeit on a far less grand scale) with the advantage of being no more challenging than a camping trip with the Boy Scouts. [Actually, this group reminds me of scouting in a number of ways: PDF is like a regional camporee where many local troops gather and camp together, with Burning Man being like scouting's National Jamboree; I've seen campfires at scouting events almost as big as the bonfires going up at PDF; and the burners even have their own set of guiding principles, notably including the LNT (Leave No Trace) philosophy, which jive well with my Eagle Scout ethic.] We had so much fun on this campout, in fact, that we've started hatching schemes for a gaming-themed camp for next time. (Speaking of which, I invented my 19th Icehouse game at PDF, and I'm really excited about it!) Anyway, special thanks to Frank and Leah (and Zyggy) for getting us to finally attend with you, and for doing all that cooking and stuff. It was most excellent!!!


  • Origins: Since it's now just a couple of weeks away, our minds are now almost completely dominated by planning for our biggest event of the year, and with it, the accompanying release of our new game Are You The Traitor?. Fortunately, our plans are proceeding nicely, and I think everything's going to be a huge success. Check back here in a few weeks to see how things went... or better yet, join us at our 10th Big Experiment and find out for yourself!
AndyThanks for reading and have a great whenever!

Thought Residue
Congrats to Erik Dresner, designer of Apophis, winner of the Spring IceGameDesignContest! I was pleased to see this one win, since it was my standout favorite of the entries. I love the theme and the way it does so much with just a single Treehouse set. Most of all, we had a lot of fun playing it, even when we ended up losing, it was always thrilling. My only suggestion for the rules would be to add a dice roll for the fuel test phase as well as the other 3 phases. Seems to me that even if we have enough fuel, there should be a chance of the rocket exploding on the pad. But otherwise, great game! Well done Erik!

I'm digging the Secret Data I learned from Wired Magazine (page 20 of the May 2009 issue): How to enable the 30-second skip forward button on your Tivo remote control! You just enter this sequence, like a videogame cheat code, and suddenly your remote will have the function we've always wanted -- and which the advertisers don't want us to have. It's great! (Here's the trick: press Select, Play, Select, 3, 0, Select.)
"The most successful interrogation of an Al-Qaeda operative by U.S. officials required no sleep deprivation, no slapping or 'walling' and no waterboarding. All it took to soften up Abu Jandal, who had been closer to Osama bin Laden than any other terrorist ever captured, was a handful of sugar-free cookies." -- Bobby Ghosh, After Waterboarding: How to Make Terrorists Talk?

News Search Gift Shop Games About Us | contact us