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Thursday, October 13th, 2016
2:37 pm - 135 - I Don't WANNA Grownup Today, Though :(
I'm officially a Grown-Up I guess - I woke up and saw a stream of terrible things on The internet so decided that today would be one of those days where i just turn off the computer and focus on the important things in life, like watching a ton of 70's cartoons. Unfortunately, my cartoon marathon today was interrupted THREE TIMES by pollsters calling to get my opinions on politics! And that's after TWO such calls yesterday! I'm assuming that they are sponsored by The Republican Party because they all go like this:
So are you planning on voting Republican, or Democrat?
Okaaaaaay... and what if I were to tell you that the Democratic Candidate wants to raise your taxes so she can make puppies and kittens get mandatory gay-married? Would you say that this information makes you LESS LIKELY to vote for the Democrat, VERY less likely to vote for the Democrat, EXTREMELY less likely, or Unchanged?
Okaaaaay... and what if i were to tell you that the brave, handsome Republican just wants to protect you and thinks you're, like, really cute and he overheard the Democrat talking smack about you behind the gym and the Republican said "That's so not cool, you need to stop NOW"? Would you say that this information makes you LESS LIKELY to vote for the Democrat, VERY less likely to vote for the Democrat, EXTREMELY less likely, or Unchanged?
*SIIIIIGH* Okay, Mister Pierce, thank you very much for your time this evening *click*

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Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
10:26 am - 134 - Game Idea Journal: But is it racist?
Since the theme of OraCon (a local tabletop gaming convention) is "Race & Accessibility", I came up with a vague game idea and I'm not sure if it's racist or not...

It plays a lot like Monopoly with buying and selling of stuff as you go around a board, only you have multiple pieces you get to move each turn and you'll get more pieces as the game progresses; but the main difference is that the person who is winning the game gets to decide what the rules for the game are each turn. As long as you are still winning once it becomes your turn again, you get to either make a new rule or amend another one.

your turn comes. You draw a card from the Rules Deck and then decide which players are effected by it. "Every time you roll the dice, collect $100 from the bank" - Oh, well, I think THAT rule should only apply to *me* and my little orange tokens on the board. "Every time you roll doubles, go to jail and skip your next turn". Yeah, that's gonna have to be something that affects the Red, Purple and Yellow tokens *only*.

Cards will also have simple "Gain three tokens and place them on the board", "Collect $50 from every player", "Loose $200" type cards, as well as complex game-changing "The Color with the most rules effecting them is now the "Winner", place as many tokens as needed in order to have one more token than anyone else on the board"

The way to win is to get 20 tokens on the board. The "Winning" person is the one with the most tokens on the board at the start of the current winner's turn each round.

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Tuesday, October 11th, 2016
1:16 pm - 133 - Andakosh
Trust me, there's a classic pay-off at the end of this, I swear.

I spent two hours today trying to get a refund for an old "Amazon Local" voucher (it was Amazon's version of Groupon) that we never used.

The website says "Simply request a refund and you will be credited within 3 to 5 business days". No mention of *how* to request said refund - no link, no phone number, nothing.

So I click on the "Contact Us" link, which takes me to a web form. I put in all the information, describe the situation, hit submit and... "OOPS! Something went wrong! Please use *THE WEB FORM* to notify us of what you were trying to do!"

Multiple tries on the web form all lead to that same error, so i click around their Help Section looking for ANY other way to contact them and find a phone number. "Havng trouble with our Web Form and wish to speak with a Customer Service Representative? Call this number during regular business hours Monday thru Friday blah blah blah" COOL! It's 11 in the morning on a Tuesday! You don't get more regular than THOSE business hours!

I call!

I get a recorded message saying "Thank you for calling Amazon Local during regular business hours! For assistance with your Amazon Local order, please hang up and use the Web Form located at Local.Amazon.Com"

This in and of itself is plenty frustrating, that they have a special recorded message at a special phone number that you can call to have them tell you not to call them. But this was only the beginning!

I foolishly decided to call Amazon Customer Support.

I gave my information, order number and story to SIX DIFFERENT PEOPLE. SIX DIFFERENT PEOPLE assured me that they could help me. SIX DIFFERENT PEOPLE tried and failed, regardless of how much I told them "I already tried that" and/or "The last person already tried that". FIVE DIFFERENT PEOPLE transferred me to different departments that would surely be able to take care of this issue - Customer Service to Prime Customer Service, Prime Customer Service to Kindle Support(?!?), Kindle Support to Business Billing (!!?!?), Business Billing to Prime Customer Service, and Prime Customer Service to General Customer Service.

The last lady I spoke to finally gave up after doing all the things I told her that everyone else had already tried ("Well let me just call that department and... hmmm, just the recording asking us to use the website. Well then we'll just use the web form to - Error? Guess I better figure out which department to transfer you to next..."). When I protested at the thought of yet another transfer, she said "Well then I will give you a SPECIAL TREATMENT and call you back TOMORROW".

Ugh. Fine. I've wasted two hours today on this, whatever. Good luck, lady.

But then - and here's that payoff I was telling you about - she ended the call with "But before I let you go, Mister Pierce, please to let me know, have we answered all your questions and are you satisfied with the service that we have provided you today?"

***UPDATE*** Mere SECONDS after I posted this, I got an email from the last lady I spoke to, where she said (copy and paste here)
I relayed your information to the team trained to handle this scenario. You should hear back from them in the next 1-2 business days.

I wonder if this means I won't get my "Special Treatment Callback" tomorrow?

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Monday, October 10th, 2016
11:31 am - 132 - Challenging Day
Since we just committed to one of our "The Only Way We Could Go If *This* and *That* and *The Other Seventeen Things* Happen But There's No Way Those Things Would All Happen At Once So Why Even Bother" trips to Disneyland, I'm officially on one of my Self Improvement kicks. Diet, Exercise, Cleaning, Making Lamps... all that stuff that I would always have time for in a perfect world. I low-key started it over the weekend, with a hard set start day of TODAY.

And today, everything fell apart pretty danged quick. Salvageable, but challenging.

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Friday, October 7th, 2016
11:22 am - 131 - The Four Episodes of Christmas
When it comes to Christmas Episodes of TV shows - That is, TV shows that exist year long or in a historical context such as Sit-Coms, Soap Operas and Saturday Morning Cartoons, as opposed to Christmas Specials such as Rudolph or Frosty - there seem to be only four main options:
  • A CHRISTMAS CAROL, where they attempt to put their own spin on the classic tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge with the whole "Three Ghosts" bit.
  • IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, where an Angel of some sort shows one of the characters what life for their friends and family would be like if they had never been born.
  • MIRACLE ON 34TH ST, where one of our characters that doesn't believe in Santa Claus meets the REAL Santa and becomes a believer by the end of the episode.
  • HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, where a VERY anti-Christmas person finally learns the *true* meaning of the Holiday (which may be family, presents, togetherness, happiness, joy, jesus, etc).

Try and give me an example of a Christmas Episode that does not fit into one of those categories. I've managed to stump myself.

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Friday, September 23rd, 2016
12:14 pm - 130 - Trying Not To Capsize This Boat!
I'm a HUGE fan of horror films. Not "Torture Porn" or "Grossout Cinema", but real, honest-to-gosh HORROR FLICKS. All the classics and not-so-classics of the 70's and 80's, all the genre-defining moments of the silver screen, the brilliance of the 1960's Hammer Films... LOVE THEM.

My daughter, however, has always been a bit of a wuss and so I haven't really been able to flex that particular bit of brain-muscle except for the rare occasions when I have a few hours to myself so I can try and catch up with the past 90 years of scary movies.

But recently... Molly has been showing signs of interest. She likes "creepy" videos on YouTube. She adores the Spirit Halloween Store. I *think* she's ready to take a few steps into horror, as long as their the "fun" kind.

As backwards as it may seem, I'm thinking of starting off with Army Of Darkness, then let her go backwards in that franchise if she likes it.

Trying to come up with some other films she might enjoy which aren't just teenage sex films with a killer in them (I'm lookin' at YOU, Friday The 13th)... what else?

I really need my Nieces to ring in on this one, as they all made the transition to Horror Flicks independent of my tutelage...

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Monday, September 19th, 2016
5:19 pm - 129 - Words We Never Needed Before
Just found out that a person I never met but changed my online life dramatically is most likely dead and had tried to reach out to me before it happened. I have no word for how that makes me feel. Is there one?

It's somewhere between "Supporting Character In A Good Book You're Reading" and "That Kid You Went To Grade School With That Moved Away".

Somewhere between Cedric Diggory and Nicki Tassovack, THAT'S where my sorrow lies.

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Sunday, September 18th, 2016
9:52 am - 128 - Unexpected Glory
Feeling like a Big Shot today, after a weekend where I was able to wheel-n-deal my way into helping find an indoor venue for a last-minute Birthday party that was originally supposed to be held outdoors but got rained out.

I was high on Antihistamines and Nyquil as I called in favors, made deals and squeezed my way into a place that we really shouldn't have been in. It felt GLORIOUS!

I felt like I was in an episode of Three's Company, running three different "scams" in hopes that none would discover that i was running the other two. All I had to do was convince the Spanish Immersion Preschool Teacher that I was there as part of the building maintenance crew setting up an event for later in the day, give a tour of the facilities to a HUGE GROUP of folks from India who would be renting the Clubhouse for teaching English as a second language starting next week, and maintain the illusion that the "Birthday Girl" that our party was for was actually my Niece.


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Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
9:43 am - 127 - The Return of Normality
After an entire Summer of being "off" in chaos and disorder, Molly is fighting the return to normality that comes with the beginning of a new school year. Her Chore List is back (All chores need to be done before she is allowed to touch her computer), and tonight is the official return of No Tech Tuesday - or at least it is *kind of* the return.

No Tech Tuesday had originally been conceived as a day when we as a family would not touch any form of personal electronics from 3pm till Bedtime. No television, no computers, no laptops, no tablets, no e-readers... the most complicated electronic device any of us were allowed to use was a simple radio. We filled the day with trips to the library, playing board games and reading.

I loved it.

Unfortunately, I guess I was the only one. Crystal somewhen decided that Tuesday, since we weren't doing anything else, was THE PERFECT DAY to pay bills on the computer - probably the fact that we actually take time to read all our mail on that day, which usually includes a pile of bills, which sends her into panic mode with a NEED to pay the bills while she's thinking about it. I'm sure there were other reasons as well, but that's the one that sticks in my mind the strongest as the catalyst that triggered the end og No tech Tuesday.

(EDIT: I just thought of how it happened - I would start working on making dinner, Crystal and Molly got bored, there wouldn't be enough time to set up a game before dinner and then have to clear it off the table for dinner, so Crystal would just jump on the computer real quick to pay some bills while we wait, Molly would complain about how unfair that was, the night would get miserable, eventually we dreaded No Tech Tuesday because it would always end up like this).

It evolved into "Game Night", which was the night where we try and play at least one of our gazillions of board games so i don't feel so terrible about having the vast and expansive collection of games we never play, but even that aspect of the day dissipated as the "No Technology" rule became more and more relaxed.

So my new strategy for No Tech Tuesday is to make it happen secretly (well except that Crystal will see this post and know about it). Molly has chores to do, which will keep her occupied while I prepare dinner. We have plenty of quick, small games for before dinner and then cap off the night with a bigger game of some sort. I need to read the rules for all games and be sure I know how to play before we sit down. I need to have the table and the kitchen and the living room cleaned before they get home at 3. If I can get all this done, I'll be able to make this happen!

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Monday, September 12th, 2016
9:32 am - 126 - Need To Update My Skills
  • Yogi Bear
  • Bullwinkle Moose
  • Barney
  • Snagglepuss
  • Freddie Flute
  • Steve and/or Blue
  • Baby Fozzie and Baby Animal
  • Urkel
  • Cousin Balki
  • Huckleberry Hound
  • Speed Buggy
  • Mr. Jinx
  • Mighty Mouse (Ralph Bakshi version)

  • Sylvester The Cat
  • Road Runner
  • Popeye
  • Pee Wee Herman
  • Ren and/or Stimpy
  • Uni The Unicorn
  • The Swedish Chef

  • Mickey Mouse
  • Kermit The Frog

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Sunday, September 11th, 2016
9:39 am - 125 - Nazi Cats
Much like the Volkswagen Bug, Cats were created by Nazi scientists during World War 2 as a part of their attempt to conquer the world. Created by and named for famed scientist Otto Von Katzenheimer under the direct supervision of Josef Mengele, they were looking for a way to exploit that feeling that all young adults get where they crave the stability of a relationship but aren't quite ready to "settle down", while also feeding off of loneliness and depression. The end result was to demoralize the enemy by having them enter into sick, abusive relationships with fluffy little sadistic dictators that would make horrendous demands, such as "OPEN THIS DOOR SO I CAN WATCH YOU PEE" and "YOUR BATHROOMS ARE INADEQUATE I WILL POOP IN A BOX AND YOU WILL CLEAN IT UP".

Check the Wikipedia Page if you don't believe me!

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8:25 am - 124 - We Did This For You
Before us, the groundwork was all done. Wax, Vinyl and Celluloid at first, capturing sounds and eventually sights from then and presenting them to you here in the now as though it were happening right in front of you. Then we started transmitting light and sound through the very air we breathe in the name of communication and understanding. Little boxes everywhere that could reassemble these signals into crackling sounds and flickering images that could fool our senses into believing that we were seeing and hearing things that were happening thousands of miles away.

Then WE came, and we started to archive. We started to curate. We looked at these captured images and knew there was a world which had come before us, a world that needed to be preserved and celebrated.

We found ways to save these special things onto magnetic tape, and it exploded from there.

We created an inter-connected web of computing powerhouses and stuck one in practically every house. We layered on cellular and wireless networks as well, pushing information through the unknown SO FAST that information could be seen simultaneously all around the world at once.

We took our magnetic tape idea and applied it to the webbed networks, and we put every bit of our carefully archived information onto those computers so that everyone could see them whenever they wanted to.

We did this for you.

We did this specifically so that once you had finished Season 1 of Stranger Things, you would have 80 years of collected humanity to get you through the one whole realtime year it would take for Season 2 to come out.

In essence, we created Alternate Dimension Time Travel Windows.

Windows that can to take you to alternate realities much like our own, like a world where the Korean War lasted 11 years and was often hilarious, or a world where puppets and humans live in harmony together.

We did this for you, so you wouldn't have to be bored like we were. We created this for you!

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Friday, September 9th, 2016
9:30 am - 123 - Friday Five for September 9, 2016 (Star Trek)
1. Where were you on September 8, 1966? Did you watch the first episode of Star Trek that evening? If you are too young -- did your parents watch it? - I wasn't yet born, and my parents weren't the types to watch that sort of thing. My Grandmother, on the other hand.. she had been watching it in reruns thanks to my older cousin and always suggested we watch it whenever it came on TV. I never considered till just now that mybe she was suggesting it for herself rather than as an entertainment for me...

2. Who is your favorite Star Trek captain, and why? - At the moment, it's William Shatner's Kirk, but that's only because I've been watching TOS recently and he's just SO VERY Captain Kirk! Picard is an excellent leader and the one I would follow if I were a crew member, but KIRK is just... there is no other captain on any show that you can just say their name and everyone thinks of the exact same thing. He is such a flawed character and I love him for that!

3. Who is your favorite Star Trek character of all time, and why? UNPOPULAR OPINION, Wesley Crusher. Every other character is *done*. We've seen where they were heading, we see where they went, every character got their Happily Ever After EXCEPT FOR WESLEY. He's the ultimate untapped corner of the Star Trek Universe, a child prodigy who will bridge the gap between Time Travel, Mysticism and Engineering in the name of the Federation! I want to see that character brought back and finished!

4. Which Star Trek series is your favorite, and why? Next Gen, it's the Star trek I hooked my wife with and we have far too many good memories of watching together :)

5. Which Star Trek movie is your favorite, and why? "Galaxy Quest". It was EXACTLY what a Star Trek movie should have been, and I wish they would make it more of a franchise!

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8:13 am - 122 - Netflix Saturday Mornings
This morning as we are watching "Kulipari: An Army of Frogs" on Netflix and i realized that OH MY GOSH NETFLIX HAS BROUGHT BACK SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS!!!

We've been watching Netflix original Animated Series for a while now and been somewhat underwhelmed with the Dreamworks schlock ("Puss in Boots" and "Turbo" having been some of the weakest shows we ever tried to follow), but now? Their Voltron reboot in and of itself was reason enough to be happy, and now with Kulipari being so good I've been looking into other Netflix Original Animated Series that's coming up and WOW IT ALL LOOKS SO GOOD!!!

They have a traditional Saturday Morning line-up coming! "Kong: King Of The Apes" is one we still need to check out that's already got a full season done, mix in Voltron and Kulipari you've got a great "Action Block". Pepper in those dreadfully mundane Dreamworks shows, and all their New Stuff that is coming over the next year, you've got enough cartoons to make a solid six hours of Saturday Morning Television!

Netflix NEEDS somebody to make an 80's-style promo reel for these shows, complete with guest appearances from all their other original programming - Kevin Spacey comes by to talk about the new Spy Kids cartoon! The cast of Orange Is The New Black rave about Voltron! The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt drops in to talk about the bravery of those frogs on Kulipari! And it's all hosted by some 80's icon, either Mister T or Alf (probably) who is just trying to get home in time for Saturday Morning so he can watch all these great shows - only to find that he can WATCH THEM ANY TIME because they're on Netflix!

The final shot is of our hero (let's assume it's Mister T) in bed, late at night, wearing one of thos eold-time sleeping caps and nightgown, watching Netflix on his Laptop and talking about all the great shows that he can watch whenever he wants, recounting each show along the way. Last dialog:

"Well since all these great shows are available to watch whenever I want, I guess I should get some sleep! You okay with that..." Camera pans out to show this is a HUGE bed full of all the celebrities he's encountered so far) "...Kimmy Schmidt? Kevin Spacey? Orange Is The New Black? C'mon, let's get some shut-eye" And Crazy-Eyes (from Orange Is The New Black) says "But Mister T! I wanna watch Voltron NOW!" and everyone turns to her and says "CRAAAAAYzy Eyes! Aww MAAAAN!" and of course Mister T says "Well maybe a little bit of Saturday Morning on a Wednesday Night would be okay" and they all crowd around his laptop to watch Voltron.


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7:44 am - 121 - Comics List Check-In Part 1: DCHB
In which I write about the comics currently on my "Pull List" and decide if i should keep collecting them or not. Feel free to skip unless you want to hear about what's awesome, this is mostly just for me because typing stuff out is the only way to really put my thoughts together and see if they make sense :)

PART ONE of the list is all those DC Comics Hannah Barbera comics. Not reboots, not continuations, but... closer to a reimagining I guess? Reimagined classics with a full and embracing knowledge of the iconic versions.

SCOOBY APOCALYPSE - This book is so much better than the one-note gimmicky cover idea of an updated Scooby Doo in a grim-n-gritty zombie apocalypse. Written by my favorite comic book writer Keith Giffen, they've managed to make a very real, very awesome adventure based around a very silly premise. Each issue leaves me satisfied and wanting more at the same time. KEEP

FUTURE QUEST - I would love to see this as an animated movie. As a comic book, though, it's too drawn out with it's overlapping, interconnecting storyline that seems kind of tacked-on and forced. A simple anthology series would have been better here, letting new artists and writers take on various HB characters. As it is, though, I'm just having trouble keeping track of all the characters and so far I'm not really having a good time with it. DUMP

WACKY RACELAND - I feel bad for this comic because I see what it's trying to be, and it can't be what it wants to be. it wants to be super-edgy, super-controversial, super-cool and super-stylish, but the artwork is too muddy and the writing has to be tamed for some reason... it WANTS to be and DESERVES to be a 1990's Vertigo Title, but it's stuck in the regular newsstand rotation. KEEP, BUT MIGHT NOT MAKE IT THROUGH ANOTHER CUT

FLINTSTONES - This is BY FAR the BEST book of the entire "Gritty Hannah Barbera" reboot, a perfect satire/parody that is as brilliant for today as the original Flintstones was back in the 60's. Wickedly poignant with tons of laugh-out-loud moments (literally!), this one is the best comedic comic book I think I've ever read - and I read A LOT of comedy comics! The goal of pretty much any cartoon-based comic book through time has always been to give you a few chuckles and/or smiles as they told you stories that weren't good enough to be made into cartoons. THE FLINTSTONES, however, has been a dormant intellectual property for so long that it's had time to rebuild and become better than ever. KEEP AND GET AS MANY PEOPLE TO READ IT AS POSSIBLE

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Thursday, September 8th, 2016
8:06 am - 120 - Look Back & Laugh
I had been the first to show up at the hospital some two hours before the appointment, meaning that I had been in that waiting room for 9 hours before the surgeon came out to address us. The surgery had taken nearly two hours longer than scheduled, which filled us all with an unspoken dread. They had warned that though very rare, there *could be* complications - and complications are NEVER good. Since I had been there the longest, she came to me and tapped me on the shoulder before removing her blue mask. She looked tired underneath, all the way to her posture.

"Mister Pierce? Are you the only one that made it this far?" Oh, no, I just came over here to get some quiet - the rest of the family is right over there. She forced a half-hearted, weary smile and said "Okay, you want to gather the rest and bring them over here so we can...?"

The family stopped talking and prairie-dogged their heads towards me as I walked across the waiting room to wake my brother who had nodded off while sitting upright in his chair in the classic "I am awake or at the very least dreaming about being awake in this position" position. "C'mon... surgery is over, the surgeon wants to talk to us".

We all started walking towards the doctor, who was slump-leaning against a wall. We walked a bit slower as we all saw the sad, tired expression on the doctor's face, and my Sister admitted later on that her knees almost buckled when we saw the surgeon wearilly wipe a tear from her eye as we approached.

The surgeon looked at the group of us and then looked to me, asking "Is this...?" I nodded. She took a deep breath, sighed, and said "Okay then..."

"The surgery went just fine. They'll be moving her to the Recovery Area as soon as the anesthetic wears off. Things look good, no complications or anything".

There was much crying and hugging and thank-yous going on, and i couldn't stop my inappropriate laughing at how we had just lived through a scene directly taken from an Arrested Development script :)

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Friday, September 2nd, 2016
9:04 am - 119 - The Big Plan
The game Swap has come and gone, AND I've had a week to recuperate. Time to move on to the next projects!

LAMPS! Next Oddmall is on November 19th, and I would like to have two dozen new lamps made before then. This means I need to clear out all my old inventory (aka "Get It Listed On Etsy"), clean up my Workbench Area, reorganize my entire "workshop" and, y'know, MAKE LAMPS. Must remember the three big sellers are Star Wars, Video Games and "Critters". Must remember the three most requested types of lamps are Super Hero, Steam Punk and Nautical.

80'S HOLIDAY PROJECT! Some time before that Oddmall in November, I would like to be done with my 1980's Gift Pack Project. An old Video Cassette Rental Box that includes a pack of 1980's trading cards, a miniature 1980's comic book, a Christmas-themed 1980's coloring book and a little pack of crayons. There may also be pins in there as well, buttons from movies and TV shows, depends on how much time I can devote to this.

HALLOWEEN CRAFTING PARTY! We like to have a great big Halloween Crafting/Decorating party on the last weekend of September, or the first weekend of October. This will mean CLEANING THE HOUSE, like, A LOT. Clearing stuff off shelves, making room, digging stuff out of storage... a lot goes into these parties BUT they also kick us into gear for the entire Holiday Season so I'm stoked for it!

ONLINE SALES! As mentioned with the lamps, I fully intend to get my Etsy shop loaded with lots of fun stuff for the holidays - INCLUDING my lamps! I have plenty of vintage books and toys laying around that i could make some holiday cash with - or maybe just sell it all as one big lot to some of my retailer/dealer friends out there?

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Thursday, September 1st, 2016
5:32 pm - 118 - Just call me Hector
I'm feeling sick to my stomach for no real good reason right now, other than the fact that I just sold a TON of board games to Half Price Books for WAY less than I spent on them. Like, about a buck per game.

BUT! These are all games we wanted to get rid of because we rarely played them and never intended to play them again! They were just cluttering up our collection and our house with their very existence through my sheer inability to let things go!

ALSO! These Games had their chance at a second loving home last weekend, during our giant North End Game Swap! A good chunk of the games that we took there did indeed find homes, and I made more money last weekend when I *wasn't* trying to make money off my games, than I did today when I *was* trying to make money!

PLUS! Even if it was a lot less money than I paid for these games, it was also a lot *more* money than I would have gotten from letting them sit in my storage unit, unplayed and unloved till the next time I got tired of hauling them around.

All the way up till and through the Game Swap, Crystal and I only cursorily mentioned the question of what we were going to do with all the games that we didn't manage to trade away. In the back of my head I had always assumed I would just take them to Goodwill or Value Village to be done with them, but then i remembered that I had a Dentist Appointment today near a Half Price Books... those folks will buy ANYTHING!

So really, I *should* be happy that I got anything at all for that pile of what was essentially *garbage*. I should have no regrets! I wouldn't have been this upset had I just taken the games to Value Village and gotten a few stamps on my "Frequent Donation" Card, so why is THIS bothering me so much?

Hector the Collector
Collected bits of string,
Collected dolls with broken heads
And rusty bells that would not ring. Bent-up nails and ice-cream sticks,
Twists of wires, worn-out tires,
Paper bags and broken bricks.
Old chipped vases, half shoelaces,
Gatlin' guns that wouldn't shoot,
Leaky boasts that wouldn't float
And stopped-up horns that wouldn't toot. Butter knives that had no handles,
Copper keys that fit no locks
Rings that were too small for fingers,
Dried-up leaves and patched-up socks.
Worn-out belts that had no buckles,
'Lectric trains that had no tracks,
Airplane models, broken bottles,
Three-legged chairs and cups with cracks.
Hector the Collector
Loved these things with all his soul--
Loved them more then shining diamonds,
Loved them more then glistenin' gold.
Hector called to all the people,
'Come and share my treasure trunk!'
And all the silly sightless people
Came and looked ... and called it junk.

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Monday, August 29th, 2016
10:42 am - 117 - North End Game Swap Recap
Our first ever North End Game Swap was a HUGE success! Blogging about it now and still getting huge smiles on my face :)

The first ever North End Game Swap was a HUGE success! I have no idea why I was so worried about it, Crystal and I ALWAYS pull off an amazing event :)

We probably had at least a hundred people come through the doors, either to set up a table or just look around. As I suspected, there were no jerks or thieves in our community who would run wild and make things miserable for others, just gamers interacting with gamers and having a great time!

There were three things that made this event a HUGE SUCCESS, imho - the three bits that I will need to remember for next year and make sure they remain the cornerstones of the event:

- Dedicated Gaming Space

- Donation-based refreshments

- Lack Of Structure

That last one, I'm super-proud of how it worked out. Each person who came in, I told to find a table space and set up, if we need more space for people we'll ask folks to start squishing together. I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW WELL THAT WORKED! All day long I saw people consolidating, stacking, moving to new tables... it was great!

Another big part of it was the Abecorn Math Trade. There's a website set up for handling events like this, that allows people to set up multi-person trades ahead of time. This is great for people who don't like to browse and know exactly what they want ahead of time. That brought A LOT of people into the event as well - people who didn't even know this was an event! I heard multiple time from people who wished they had known there was more than just the Math Trade going on! Apparently, most Math Trades are just a table at a Game Cafe somewhere that everyone knows to show up at during a specified time and that's it - done and done. Having the ability to then browse around, talk with people and maybe even play your new game... that seemed like such a novel concept to most of these folks!

So next year, here are changes that I may need to make:

- MORE PROMOTION! I used Facebook, Reddit and Livejournal to get the word out about this thing, looks like I should have also posted about it on Board Game Geek as well. I don't want to go so far as to list it on Craigslist or anything, I want a *very specific* group of fans coming. I don't want the room clogged with looky-loos and folks who are just looking for something to do on a weekend even though the only game they've ever played is Monopoly :/

- BETTER AUCTIONS! I really dropped the bal with my idea of Silent Auctions. First of all, I need some "Weenie" games in there that will actually draw people to the table, then I also need to have the table better organized. Of all the stuff that DID make it to the auction table, only a fistful of things actually sold :/

- GIVE A GAME/TAKE A GAME! Despite much concern over people potentially abusing such an unattended thing, the "Give A Game / Take A Game" table was a huge success as well! I got rid of a dozen games this way that I would never play and no one would actually *pay* for used, but when you see it on a table for free hey why not? I also grabbed a few games from there as well, and they just might end up on the table again next year ;)

- MORE TABLES??? We had 16 long tables and 5 round tables set up for trading, then another four long tables set up for gaming. This seemed to be just about right, but if more people come next year... we're gonna need more tables. I think the clubhouse had maybe another 5 or 6 tables downstairs we could use, will need to consider that next year...

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Saturday, August 27th, 2016
2:20 pm - 116 - The internet is not a valid sampling of Society
Tomorrow is out great big Board Game Swap at the Holly Hills Clubhouse in Bothell (if you wanna come just comment below and I'll give you all the "Deets"), and I'm worried that is going to suck for a bunch of contradictory reasons:

I'm worried that only a fist full of people will show up because one person on the internet said "I don't know, I don't want to come there if I don't have any confirmed trades before I go", despite the fact that we have 50 people signed up through an electronic trade system, 38 "Confirmed" RSVP from the Facebook event page and another 71 "Interested" parties who say they're going to try and come, which doesn't even begin to cover the multiple others coming via LJ, Reddit and in-person confirmations.

I'm worried that no one will actually want to TRADE once they get here because three people said "I have a lot of games to get rid of, not really looking to trade right now", despite that being less than 1% of the total amount of people who are attending.

I'm worried we won't have enough space and/or snacks because based on those internet numbers we have anywhere between 20 and 120 people showing up!

I'm worried no one will want any of my games because a few people online are meticulous about listing every scuff, pencil mark and impurity of their games, even though I know there are plenty of gamers like me that don't care if the bos top has a split corner or if a few of the cards are bent.

I'm worried that all of this planning will have been for nothing :(

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