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Friday, April 29, 2016

The Texas Zone

Somewhere in a lonely office
There's a girl starting to realize
That east coast fate has turn its back on her
It's two A.M.

It's two A.M., the work is done
She's sitting here shakin', the ink's still warm
Maybe her proofreading is tired of checkin' morons

Yeah, there's a pen on the loose, bottles smackin' heads
Wrapped up in silence all the sense is dead
Cannot proofread, her whole life spins into a frenzy

Help, she's stepped into the Texas zone
This is a madhouse, should have stayed at home
Her starships been moved past the moon and star
Where is she to go now that she's gone too far?

Help, she's stepped into the Texas zone
This is a madhouse, should have stayed at home
Her starships been moved past the moon and star
Where is she to go now that she's gone too far?

She'll be in a rage
When the purple hits the page
She'll be in a rage
When the purple hits the page

She's falling into madness -- destination unknown
Double-crossed proofreader -- all alone
Can't get no respect, can't get reprieve
Where is Steve?

Well the pen weighs heavy on her shaking hand
This far from the promised land
When the purple comes
He'll know damn well he has been graded

Help, she's stepped into the Texas zone
This is a madhouse, should have stayed at home
Her starships been moved past the moon and star
Where is she to go now that she's gone too far?

Help, she's stepped into the Texas zone
This is a madhouse, should have stayed at home
Her starships been moved past the moon and star
Where is she to go now that she's gone too far?

She'll be in a rage
When the purple hits the page
She'll be in a rage
When the purple hits the page

When the purple hits the page

Help, she's stepped into the Texas zone
This is a madhouse, should have stayed at home
Her starships been moved past the moon and star
Where is she to go now that she's gone too far?

Help, she's stepped into the Texas zone
This is a madhouse, should have stayed at home
Her starships been moved past the moon and star
Where is she to go now that she's gone too far?

She'll be in a rage
When the purple hits the page
She'll be in a rage
When the purple hits the page

She'll be in a rage
When the purple hits the page
She'll be in a rage
When the purple hits the page


She'll be in a rage
When the purple hits the page
She'll be in a rage
When the purple hits the page

She'll be in a rage
When the purple hits the page
She'll be in a rage
When the purple hits the page


(parody by Steve Cole)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

TV Show Writers Sometimes Do Poor Research

This is Steven Petrick posting.

There was one of those moments, among so many, that showed up recently on "Grimm" (and got us speaking at lunch about many similar scenes).

There is an accident involving a handgun. specifically a revolver of the type used by police back in the day.

Three young men are drinking and "doing a little weed," and one shows off one of his father's samurai swords. This prompts the kid whose house they are all in to go upstairs and get his grandfather's pistol. None of these kids (all teenagers, probably all at least 18) apparently know nothing of gun safety.

Having retrieved the gun from under his mother's bed to show his friends, one of them immediately grabs it, pulls the hammer back, and pulls the trigger.

Rule #1, Treat Every Firearm as if it is LOADED. Even if you personally observed someone unload a firearm before handing it to you: CHECK.

Okay, the pistol has discharged, but apparently that bullet went wide, i.e., no one was apparently hit.

However, this being "Grimm," one of the two kids NOT holding the handgun is a "Wesen," and the "startle response" from the gunshot causes him to reveal himself to his friends.

The startle response to his appearance causes the kid holding the pistol to drop it, whereupon it hits the floor and discharges a second time, killing the Wesen kid. Just bad luck.

Also, impossible.

Unless someone actually cocked the hammer (and even then it would be unlikely, although within the realm of possibility).

But if you drop a revolver on the floor with the hammer currently resting on a discharged cartridge, all the gun is going to do is make a big "thud" when it hits the floor. It cannot fire.

If it was an automatic, you might (MIGHT) make a case that the defined circumstance happened (because once an automatic fires, it automatically ejects the spent cartridge, loads a new cartridge (assuming a magazine with cartridges is loaded) and cocks the hammer. In such case an rather shot out (heavily used over a long time) automatic might have enough wear that the hammer will fall as a result of the drop.

But the situation is impossible with a revolver if no one has cycled the weapon (pulled the hammer back which would simultaneously rotate a new cylinder with an unfired cartridge into position to be fired).

The upshot is that when I saw the scene as it was described by the surviving kid (the other non-Wesen kid had been murdered, prompting the investigation) the one thing that went through my head was "he is lying, it cannot have happened that way.

Unfortunately, it was just another example of bad story telling, and when has that ever happened before on a TV show?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Got Any Marketing Ideas?

ADB, Inc., is always interested in great marketing ideas, ways and places to sell our products, as well as new products to sell. Our page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amarillo-Design-Bureau-Inc/231728653279?ref=mf) exists to put our products in front of other groups of potential customers. You will find us on Twitter as ADBInc_Amarillo. We also are releasing YouTube videos that show what you'll find in "the box" and our latest releases. You can catch our videos on our channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/starfleetgames.

We tried a lot of things that didn't work (Google Pay per Click, full-color ads in trade journals) and a lot of things that did work (banners on gamer websites, Star Fleet Alerts) and are always looking for new ideas. If you have any, send them to us at Marketing@StarFleetGames.com and we'll think them over.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

RANDOM THOUGHTS #261

Steve Cole ponders various thoughts that came to mind.
  

1. Why are there pyramids all over the world? Did they use plans left by ancient astronauts? Hardly. A pyramid is the logical shape of a loose pile of dirt, rocks, or anything else. The sides slope inward because with low-tech building technology that is the only real way to produce a massive structure that is stable. If you build a cubic structure from stacked stones or mud bricks you cannot get it very high (fifty feet is pushing it with good cut stone blocks) because the internal pressure will cause it to sag outward, split apart, and fall down. Having the sides slope in results in the pressure going inward against other stones leaning in the other direction, producing a stable structure. Steel beams will allow you to build vertical walls, but those weren't really available in ancient times.
    

2. Why are UFO abduction stories so consistent that they must be real? I don't really know. Could it have anything to do with people reading the books by other abductees? A better question my by why the alien who examined Betty and Barney Hill looked remarkably like the one on Outer Limits a few weeks before their interrupted journey.
        

3. Immanuel Velikovsky was the earliest of the non-mainstream science writers. A Russian-born psychologist, he began to write astronomy books while seeking answers to the question of why so many humans had so many psychological problems. His general idea was that some astronomical event had so deeply scared the psyche of the entire human race that we were all crazy. In his view (expressed in is book Worlds in Collision), the original Solar System was Mercury, then Mars, then Earth, then the asteroids, then the four gas giants. At some point something ran into Jupiter causing it to emit a blob of material that became the planet Venus. This planet then spiraled into the inner system, narrowly missing Earth (but inspiring many ancient legends), and stabilized in the second orbit. This pushed Mars out of the second orbit, past Earth (another narrow miss, causing another round of ancient legends a few centuries later) to eventually end up in the previously unoccupied fourth orbit. While his theory was nonsense, he was the first writer to theorize that planets moved around in the early Solar System (turns out they did, but not those planets or that way) and that astronomical events could have an impact on human history. He also proved that if the book was interesting enough, there were millions of people willing to read scientific nonsense. Except for his books, we might never have had the whole ancient astronaut thing.

Monday, April 25, 2016

This Week at ADB, Inc., 17-23 April 2016

Steve Cole reports:

This was a week that focused on Captain's Log #51. The weather this week was mild; we even got a little rain.
        

New on Warehouse 23, DriveThru RPG, and Wargame Vault this week was Star Fleet Battles Module X1R Rulebook.
      

 


Steve Cole worked on Captain's Log #51, sent a graphic to SFBOL3G, and kept up to date with a few minor fixes to A Call to Arms: Star Fleet Deluxe.
   

Steven Petrick worked on Captain's Log #51 and did quality control on large shipments of miniatures.
  

The Starlist Update Project moved forward with one new entries and two updates.
 

Leanna kept orders and accounting up to date.
   

Mike kept orders going out and rebuilt the inventory.
   

Simone did website updates and some graphics.
   

Jean worked on the Prime Directive page Captain's Log #51, managed our page on Facebook (which is up to 3.066 friends), managed our Twitter feed (184 followers), commanded the Rangers, dealt with the continuing spam assault on the BBS, managed the blog feed, proofread Captain's Log #51, took care of customers, uploaded PDFs, and did some marketing.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Join us on Facebook and Twitter

ADB, Inc.’s page on Facebook is now up and running, and we’re finding a lot of new faces who haven’t been around the BBS or Forum. We have pictures up of ADB, Inc. staff, links to many of our videos, snippets of information, and interaction with our fans. Jean Sexton is the main voice you will hear on our page on Facebook. If she doesn’t know an answer, she’ll ask one of the Steves and ferry the answer back.

All that is left is for you to "like" the page for Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc. if you haven’t done so already. Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amarillo-Design-Bureau-Inc/231728653279?ref=mf.

Many people on our page on Facebook have not been on our BBS, so perhaps our new outpost on Facebook will become the place for those who want to keep up with current events without the intense atmosphere (and flood of information) found on the BBS. If you are very busy on a given day, checking our page on Facebook would tell you quickly if something important has been announced. The page also has its own art galleries, plus a place where you can post a review of our products. It also has discussions where you can link up with fellow gamers.

We've also added a Twitter feed which you can follow at https://twitter.com/ADBInc_Amarillo.
 Be sure to follow us for a quick look at what is going on!

We hope to see you there! For Facebook users, be sure to add us to an interest group to see all of our posts.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

RANDOM THOUGHTS #260

Steve Cole muses about things that make him feel good about the future of the Star Fleet Universe.
   
1. Continuing cordial emails with Paramount.
   
2. The steady stream of Starlist requests, averaging about one per day.
   
3. Emails every week from players returning to the game after a break of several years.
   
4. The surge in orders for SFB Basic Set by Alliance, the largest game wholesaler.
   
5. The steady growth of our page on Facebook, which recently passed 3,000 friends.
   
6. The reliable performance of the staff, who have worked hard to improve the quality of our products.
   
7. Warehouse manager Mike Sparks constantly ordering yet another restock of miniatures from the casting house.
   
8. Leanna coming to me every week with a list of parts we need to reprint for old products that still sell (white boxes, map panels, countersheet, even dice).
   
9. Every week, two or three players write in to thank me for doing the games and providing so much entertainment and so many valuable lessons.
   
10. Every week, somebody less than half of my age who runs another game company asks me for advice and thanks me for it.