Guide to Wunderland
- News Archives
The Phantom Chocolate Factory
Exactly one year after the fire, Gunther found a carton of
chocolate bars while exploring the burned-out ruins of the factory.
They seemed fresh, and were astonishingly tasty! After eating
three, the hoarding instinct kicked in... he refrigerated the
rest. But the next morning, the box contained nothing but dried
out, burnt smelling wrappers.
As I cross Roosevelt Center toward
Generous Joe's, a persistent burglar alarm from an unknown direction
(glows) v.tr. to minimize or underplay; to gloss. Used
with 'over'. v.intr. archaic to use flattery or cajolery
[from ME glosen "to gloss, falsify, flatter"]
- The Princess Bride :-)
A rare example --
the film's as good as the book!
(Now go read the book.)
The Nightmare Before Xmas
This stunningly animated tale of the hostile takeover of Christmas
by the folks who bring us Halloween is best watched in early
November, when the Halloween spirit hasn't quite faded and the
Christmas spirit is just starting to emerge from hibernation.
I just wish it didn't have quite so many sappy songs.
Lemmings of Norstrilia
| The Eye of the Storm
few weeks ago, I compared the state of things in our life to
the calm before the storm. This
week, we've been weathering the storm, and things have been pretty
darned frantic. The Executive Summary is that all of the pre-ordered
Icehouse sets have been
mailed, and they are magnificent. As for the details...
Our new catalog: The first big task of the week was
getting our new catalog printed. With Icehouse now in our regular
product line, we needed a new paper catalog to include with orders,
and to fax or mail to those unfortunate souls who don't have
internet access. (We also needed a new flyer to include with
the Kadon mailing described below.) Our new catalog fills out
a regular double-sided copy: on the front is the Icehouse splash
panel shown here, with product descriptions and ordering info
neatly arranged on the back.
Orderama programming: The second big task of the week
was a major programming push on Kristin's order tracking system,
which we call Orderama. In order to stop using a kludge I'd written
in Perl awhile ago, we had to re-implement its functionality
in Panorama, plus we had to completely re-do/re-design our invoice.
Kristin did most of the programming, while I served as a sort
of human expert system, looking up functions and writing tricky
lines of code for her. It was actually a very good working relationship,
and made programming more fun for both of us.
Halloween: The eye of the storm passed over us on the
weekend, when we took time out to enjoy our favorite holiday.
It felt a bit rushed, but we nonetheless managed to carve pumpkins,
go to a costume party, give candy to several dozen kids, and
even skulk about ourselves in the middle of the night, putting
candy bars into our neighbors' mailboxes. We didn't get around
to assembling the costumes Alison had designed for us until about
an hour before the party, but they came together wonderfully
-- we went as the 3 Blind Mice. Number 12's Spooky Halloween
Party was held at the big old Gilder-Murray
house, which was wonderfully lit up and decorated and which
was just the perfect setting for such a party. (It's too bad
the owners are trying to sell the place off; it's probably destined
to be turned into a Burger King someday...)
One of our local game company peers is Kadon
Enterprises, run by Kate Jones. (Perhaps you've seen her
shoppe at the Renaissance festival.) Kate has been marketing
her games direct-to-consumer for eons, and was an inspiration
to us 10 years or so ago, when we first decided to go into business
making Icehouse sets. About 7 years ago, we did a joint marketing
thing with her, in which we inserted our single page flyer into
her annual catalog mailing (and paying a share of the postage).
It worked out well, and with the release of the new Icehouse
sets occurring at the same time as her next catalog mailing,
we decided to do it again. We spent Monday hanging out at Kate's
really cool house/game factory, stuffing about 3500 of our flyers
into her catalogs, and folding folding folding. If you're on
her mailing list, you probably got one in today's mail. If you
are a game/puzzle fan... be sure to check out her extensive web
Icehouse Pre-orders: Lastly, we put together the first
300 Icehouse sets, and packaged most of them up for shipment.
The assembly work is very time consuming (although I was surprised
to find that the slowest step was the shrink-wrapping), and between
that and everything else we were doing this week, we didn't manage
to get them out until the very last minute, rushing to the Post
Office at 4:55 PM yesterday. But if you've ordered one, it's
on its way to you now. Enjoy!
Guy Fawke's Day!
we've tried for 8 years to make Icehouse fly, and we now find
ourselves at the end of the runway, still on the ground. And
we don't even have an airplane. So, we're going to call it quits." - me, in November 1996, commenting on the disbanding
of Icehouse Games, Inc., in the final issue of the Hypothermia
Medical Marijuana ballot initiative passed, by 62%! Meanwhile,
their anti-abortion bill was rejected with a narrower margin
(55%), revealing greater support for cannabis freedom than for
women's reproductive rights. If you count DC as a state, this
makes 8 states that have voted to legalize medpot in the past
3 years, and zero that haven't. (So why are the politicians still
so afraid to take the position of the people on this issue?)
doesn't matter if they say, 'I'm doing this to save my life.'
It's illegal to manufacture or cultivate marijuana under federal
law." - Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the US
Attorney's Office, explaining why California's laws are being
ignored by the feds, who are aggressively prosecuting medical
marijuana users like Peter McWilliams (best-selling author and
AIDS/cancer patient), who credits marijuana with having saved