July 11th, 2007

Party Guy

Happy Birthday, xoagray!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk)!

An alchemical vessel in the form of a vulture's egg.
--James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

Birthday of Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665),
colorful English writer and Oxford dropout, who was three when his father was hanged as a member of the infamous Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament. His continued interest in many of the "six follies of science" -- the squaring of the circle, perpetual motion, the philosopher's stone, magic, astrology, and the elixir of life -- earned him intermittent derision among his peers. Diarist John Evelyn privately described Digby as a "teller of strange tales" and "an errant mountebank," yet he eagerly sought Digby's company. Digby's collection of recipes, published posthumously as The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Opened (1669), reflected his sensible interest in food as medicine, but it was riddled with what would be seen later as archaic absurdities. One of the over fifty mead-making recipes, for example, specifically called for "Hyde Park water," while another, ambiguously named "An Approved Remedy for Biting of a Mad Dog," was touted by the author as "excellent for man or beast."

Hey, some of my best friends are errant mountebanks who tell strange tales!

-The Gneech
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Taishi Conquest

Post-Morty Post, Part 2 -- "What's New at This Table?"

Pursuant to yesterday's post, my other big problem at AC was simply that I didn't have very much new stuff at the table. Specifically, I had one new item, the Kitten Kaboodle shirt, which to some extent got lost in a sea of other black-shirts-with-white-text. The KK shirt did sell, but it didn't make a big splash.

But the main question I was fielding over and over again was, "What's new at this table?" And I didn't have a lot to answer with, simply because I've been too busy to really generate any new content. I bought a house, I rescued a deteriorating cat, I dealt with ailing parents and relatives -- I've had a heck of a year. 0.o But people come to cons hoping to see NEW stuff. The truth of it is that most of the things I had at the table had been to previous AnthroCons -- a few of them to several previous AnthroCons -- and are more or less in the receding end of their "product lifespan".

So my other big Lesson Learned from AC 2007 is that my merchandise needs a vigorous overhaul. Since everything is paid for, several old items need to be sold off at slash-to-the-bone prices just to get rid of the stock, and I need to put some heavy-duty work into coming up with new things to put on the table -- particularly at least one new book. I'm not sure if there's enough content yet for a new NeverNever book, but that's the prime candidate right now.

I definitely don't want to turn into That Guy -- I imagine you know one or possibly several -- who hasn't really produced interesting new stuff for years but goes from con to con with the same dingy old stuff and complains bitterly about how these young punks are too cheap to buy anything. You can coast on a name and a reputation for a little while, but you can't keep doing that or you get a new name and reputation as a perennial coaster.

Plus, if you don't keep making new things, you never improve! And since I have a lot of improving to do, there's only the one way to do it.

-The Gneech

Dance Dance Revolulion Revisited

laurie_robey and I hooked up the PS2 and the X-Box and played an hour's worth of DDR. One of our pads is pretty much hosed, but the other one worked better than ever thanks to being on a concrete floor instead of the creaky old floorboards of our old apartment.

Since we only had the one pad, we alternated doing five songs each. I got a few 100+ combos, which is much better than I expected considering how long it had been since we played last!

Now ... dinner. Then ... drawing!

-The ... Gneech
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