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Sketchbook HarvestNanofiction

Paper Clips in Love

They lived happily together in the jar on Gertrude's desk until March 13th, when one clip was used to bind the Perkins report and wound up on Arthur's desk. The other clip eventually got delivered to Arthur's desk, only to find the first clip horribly mangled. "Run!" he groaned! "Arthur bends us up for fun!"


I'm asleep next to Gina, having unrecoverable dreams.

Cool Words

boyism (boy'-ism) n. 1: the characteristic nature of a boy 2: a boyish characteristic or trait; a puerility

Haiku Reviews

Almost Famous %}
Mom, why didn't you
let me tour with a rock band
when I was fifteen?

Daddy-O's Reviews

Almost Famous

Rather like That Thing You Do!, this is an evocative and nostalgic story of a non-existent rock band, which in this case is seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old journalist writing his first story for Rolling Stone magazine. But Stillwater ain't no Wonders... maybe what this film needed was a better hit single.

Tirade's Choice

Seattle Cosmic Game Night Newsletters
Fruits of Chaos
Satellite Imagery

Thursday, September 28, 2000
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? A Visit to Carta Mundi (by way of Ashe- and Charlottes-villes)

The Chrononauts cardsheets have been printed! And we were there to see it! And they look great! Everything is on schedule for our official release this Halloween. Yay!

Our card printer is Carta Mundi, headquartered in Belgium but with a "local" office in Tennessee. They print practically everything, including Magic and Pokemon and lots and lots of Uno, plus Fluxx, Aquarius, and now Chrononauts. And while they may have some problems in the past, they really seem to have their act together now. Many weeks ago, they said they'd be printing the fronts of the cardsheets for us on September 25th, with the backs being done the next day, and since they seemed so confident and we had enough time to plan for it, we decided to take a road trip down there and see the job being done, live and in person. And true to their word, our cards were printed, right on schedule, and they came out looking simply spectacular!

This was our first visit to see one of our card games being actually printed, and as you might expect, it was very cool. The equipment they use to print these huge card sheets, and automatically slice them up into stacks of cards, is most impressive. And while this was in many ways a vacation for us, it was good for us to be there... by being on scene as they started printing each new sheet, we were able to examine samples in real-time and point out any printing flaws we found. They do great work, so there wasn't much to find, but Alison noticed at least one genuine glitch, earning her a "good catch" from the guy who runs the machines.

The sheets won't be sliced up into cards for a week or two, due to drying times and other scheduling issues, so as soon as we had a complete set of finished sheets in hand, we scissored them up and Kristin and Alison and I played the first game with the real cards right there on the coffee table in Customer Lounge B. They printed the boxes later that day, and we cut once of those up too, so although it's imperfect and has uneven edges and square-cornered cards, I'm now in possession of a real deck in a real box and I'm really really psyched about it.

We spent two days in Kingsport TN, overseeing the factory work and being taken out to lunch by the sales team, but we lodged with friends in Asheville NC, a 90-minute drive away. Most of our time away from the factory was spent hanging out with Erskin and Marcella, and their housemates Liam and Jess. (Marcella is the one on the right, above; Liam isn't pictured, but will be familiar to those who went to Origins: he won several medals in the Big Experiment, which is where we finally met Erskin and Marcella in person as well.)

When we first arrived in Asheville, our friends had lit up their porch with a balloon-based "Welcome Looneys" sign; similarly, when we arrived at Carta Mundi, white letters on their special events board in the lobby said "Welcome Kristin Looney / Chrononauts / Looney Labs". Here's a picture of the balloons; when I asked if I could take pictures inside Carta Mundi's facility, they said no, so the only picture I have of the factory is this external view.

We had a great time hanging out with Erskin and Marcella and Liam and Jess, and we greatly enjoyed visiting Asheville as well. It's a really cool town, with a wonderful, funky personality, entirely surrounded by beautiful mountains. We did some shopping in their comfortable downtown area and dined in several of their cool local restaurants, including McGuffey's, where the menus are styled like old fashioned children's reading textbook, and the Mellow Mushroom pizza parlor, a place filled with stunning psychedelic artwork and bowling balls embedded in the walls.

And of course, we also played a lot of games. A new one for us was Harvest Moon, on the Nintento 64, known among friends as The Farming Game. Since we're a Mac/Playstation household, we'd not had a chance to experience this particular gaming treat before. Distinctively Japanese, it's a charming and unexpectedly addictive sim-game focusing on a farmer and his local community. Our Asheville friends have clearly spent an extraordinary amount of time exploring this remarkably rich virtual world, and we (and in particular, Alison) became instantly hooked on it as well. It's amazing. The experience left me planning to finally put an N64 on my Xmas list, but Alison has made it clear that she's going to go right out and buy one for herself this very weekend. "I want to play the Farming Game," she says with quiet intensity. Repeatedly.

During the drive south, and again on the way back north, we stopped off in Charlottesville to visit with Jeff and Judy (my brother and his wife) and James and Sharon (their 3+ year old twins). On the way down, we just stopped off with dinner and an awkward piece of furniture that really needed to be transported in a big vehicle like our van; but on the way back we stayed for a longer visit, and got to spend some quality time with the twins, who are currently mastering both the power of speech and the use of toilets. We had a great time playing with the kids yesterday, and even got to share in their first experience with a board game. They had recently acquired Clue: Little Detective, which is basically just Candyland set in a spooky house, but with one addition: the "Boo!" card, which causes you to lose a turn card. The "Boo" card turned out to be their favorite thing to receive, since at their age, the thrill of being scared is much greater than that of mere victory. Ah, youth.

We also gave Sharon a special gift since she's my Goddaughter and we're forging a tradition called Sharon's Day, a special event each year that she doesn't have to share with her brother. For the first time, this was actually understood by the kids, and it became a sad moment for James -- a lesson in the inequities of life. Sharon however was delighted. With great sincerity she proclaimed of the zippered, plush peanut butter and jelly sandwich we'd given her, "This is a good gift." She even took it to bed with her that night, an action regarded by the local experts as indicative of true gift satisfaction. After the kids were in bed, we hooked up their computer and stereo equipment for them, as we always do when they move, which they just did. Hopefully this will be the last time, at least for a long while... their new house is nice and big, with a great yard and a garden, in a great neighborhood, walking distance from the High School they'll eventually attend, which Jeff made a point of showing us during a long walk with the kids in the afternoon sunshine.

It was a great day at the end of a great week and my only regret about it is that I didn't take any pictures during Sharon's Day. I guess I wanted to focus on being social rather than making it a media event. Well, that's a mistake I won't make next year. And luckily, I saw Jeff taking some photos here and there during the day... if he gets something good, perhaps I'll retrofit this page to include it, as I'm still planning to do soon to last week's page. The good news there is that most of my missing photos finally turned up, and the one roll that's still AWOL is the least important of the bunch.

AndyRemember Peter McWilliams!


PS: Sign the petition to get Nader into the debates!

the story so far

Thought Residue
I got a call from the Loss Reduction Officer at Six Flags: my missing credit card had been swiped by a cashier! They found it concealed on her person when she was fired and arrested, just a few minutes after bamboozling me with a supposedly accidental mischarge of $0.07 while purchasing my admission. And apparently it's all part of a larger conspiracy...
Last week, 11-year-old Alberto Sepulveda was shot and killed by a SWAT team during a drug raid in Modesto, CA. How many more innocent children will be murdered by Drug Warriors before this insanity can be abolished? I grow ever more outraged... what about you?
"There's a whole mystique around Icehouse, just as there is with Go, for example. People make and paint their own regulation-sized pieces. One of the authors of Icehouse even wrote a readable science fiction novel called The Empty City about it. I liked it. The Wunderland Toast Society subculture which the authors of Icehouse have helped build, and of which Icehouse is only a part, embodies the principles of the philosophy of Ludism admirably." -- The links page of the Center for Ludic Synergy

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