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Sketchbook HarvestNanofiction

Mission Accomplished

Time Policeman Chicago Steel retreated into the shadows, watching as several weapon components changed hands. The bionic Russian spy, Stefan Austinov, now had everything necessary to build a Zorph Photonic Fusion Bomb. This chain of events would lead to worldwide devastation next January. Agent Steel smiled grimly. History was once again proceeding as it should.

#12's Nanofics

New this week: WYSIWYG Saves the World


"Well you owe me some cash, as I recall--"
"Oh damn!"
- Kory Heath and me

Cool Words

perfervid (per-fur'-vid) adj. marked by overwrought or exaggerated emotion; excessively fervent

Haiku Reviews

The Lathe Of Heaven :-)

I dreamed the music
left this great movie alone,
but then I woke up.
Daddy-O's Reviews

Fahrenheit 451

Ever since the night many years ago, when I stayed up to watch this classic on the late late show with my brother Rash, one of my standard interview questions has been this: If book prohibition ever became a reality, what book would you want to memorize for the benefit of future generations? A new version of this Ray Bradbury masterpiece is currently in production (with Mel Gibson), so I recommend seeing the undoubtedly superior 1966 version (directed by François Truffaut) right now, before images from the new release taint your impression of the forerunner.

Tirade's Choice

I can eat glass, it doesn't hurt me
Fruits of Chaos
#12's Webcomic picks
The Boondocks

Thursday, November 18, 1999
by the Wunderland Toast Society

New this week:

What's New? Pop Tarts, Weird Al, and Green Bean

This week has been an intense and hectic roller coaster of emotion for us. It started Friday, when we loaded everything we thought we might need into the van and drove it up to Philly, for Philcon. There we held a smashingly successfully gaming event we called The Pop-Tart Cafe. You'll find plenty of details (and pictures) on that elsewhere; suffice it to say that the initial test of the format went exceedingly well. We showed our guests a really good time, we did brisk business, and we had a lot of fun in the process. So we're figuring this is going to be something we start doing pretty often, and we're already starting to line up future bookings.

With barely enough time for a nap in between, it was then time to go downtown for the Weird Al Concert. We always see his concerts when he's in town, and not just because we love his music... it happens that Gina is a close personal friend of Al, and she always gets backstage passes for us when he's playing in the area. Sadly, Alison forgot her glasses, Kristin had a migraine, and Al was losing his voice, but we all had a great time nonetheless. Al and his band put on an excellent show.

After the show, we got to join a few dozen other VIPs for some meet-and-greet time in a holding tank backstage. Having done this a couple of times now, I was pleased to note that Al recognized me; I got him to autograph a green 3-point Icehouse piece I had in my pocket. But before long, it was all over.

Or so we thought. As it happens, our car got sealed up inside a parking garage that closed early, and we had to go back to find Gina to get a ride home with her. Turns out she was on the tour bus by then, which meant that we ended up having to hang out on the tour bus with her and the band. Naturally, this was extremely cool. I got the other members of the band to sign my little green pyramid (Jim West, the fifth to sign, managed to put his autograph on the inside) and when they opened up a big package that had been sent in by a fan and found that it contained yet another huge tray of brownies, they opened 'em up, passed 'em around, and sent us home with most of the tray. I've been continuing to enjoy those brownies all week long.

Of course, on Monday I had to go back downtown to get our car out of the garage. Naturally, they claimed they hadn't closed early the night before, and made me pay for an extra day's rent. Grrrr. But I enjoyed the subway ride down there... this was the first time I had ridden the newly opened central section of the green line. It's wonderful.

On Tuesday, I awoke to the sound of the most terrifying and gut-wrenching screaming for help that I can ever recall hearing. I came running downstairs to find the household in crisis: Alison's bird, Green Bean, had been let out of his cage and forgotten about, and Kristin was searching in vain for him. All she could find was a small trail of feathers that stopped in the game room, and 3 vaguely-suspicious looking cats, prowling the vicinity. She was, quite understandably, very upset.

Within moments, all three of us were desperately searching the house, but Green Bean was nowhere to be found. We searched and panicked and searched and cried, and with each passing minute it became more and more clear that, wherever he was, he had to be dead... he just couldn't survive very long on the floor with 3 hungry cats in pursuit, and if he were still alive, we'd be hearing his incessant squawks. But where was he? The body, or what was left of it, had to be somewhere.

Finally, with the aid of a flashlight, Kristin found him. One look at the crumpled body lying on its side under the radiator told the story: he'd crawled in there during his struggle with the cats, and died of his injuries.

The 3 of us huddled together on the floor by the radiator and just cried. Green Bean could be pretty annoying at times (particularly when Kristin has a migraine) but he was also really cool and beloved and the sudden tragedy was as devastating as the unexpected loss of a loved one always is. For perhaps 20 minutes we all just sat there, going through those first few stages of grief; then practical matters, like what to do with the body, quickly arose. We talked about where in the backyard we would bury him, and Kristin fetched a couple of candidate coffin-boxes. Then I reached under the radiator to retrieve the body...

"Oh my god!" I shouted, "He's still alive!" Instantly I was pressing the actually-alive bird into Alison's trembling hands. Not only was he alive, he didn't even seem to be particularly injured -- just stunned. We rushed him over to the vet, who pronounced him to be really in very good shape, with no apparent broken bones or gashes requiring stitches. He just had a few minor scrapes, which should heal up fine with a bit of the anti-biotics he prescribed.

So, Green Bean had come back from the dead. Needless to say, emotions now were no less intense than they had been when we believed he was dead, and not just because our sorrow had been replaced by joy. For a long time we all felt this strange emotional hangover. Even though he wasn't dead, that hour or so in which we believed he must be dead was nevertheless very real. It really was like he died, and then came back to life. It was like a miracle.

Immediately following Green Bean's near death experience, we instituted new policies regarding the release of the bird, which should hopefully keep this sort of thing from happening again.

One final note, for those of you who pre-ordered Icehouse sets: you got an even better deal than you thought. Now that the elements are all in hand, and the product is really in print, Kristin's been analyzing the actual numbers, and unfortunately, we've simply got to raise the price. It's vital that we make Icehouse available at wholesale prices, for delivery into stores, and the margins are just too tight for us to make money without setting the suggested retail price at $35. But at least it's still cheaper than the $37 wood sets we used to sell, and the good news is, we're finally ready to offer Icehouse sets to stores. So, if you're a game store owner, surf on over to the Retailer's Back Room and place your order. (Alternatively, if you're just a fan who likes to buy in bulk, you'll find Icehouse available in 6 packs at our new Bulk Discount Center.)

AndyWhat games have you played today?

New Iceland cartoonthe story so far

Thought Residue
"I'm so glad you're not dead!" - something I routinely say to the bird nowadays
Those programming geniuses at Fox totally hosed us this week. Contrary to tradition (and the TV guide), they showed the new episode of "That 70's Show" at 8:00, instead of 8:30. It was ending just as we tuned in! Luckily, Gina tuned in earlier than we did, and taped it.
"Do you ever read the books you burn?" - Clarisse to Montag, Fahrenheit 451

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