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Monday, January 04, 2010

This week at ADB, Inc., 27 December 2009 to 2 January 2010

Steve Cole reports:

This was the week of Jean Sexton's annual visit. We showed her a good time, and drove her all over Amarillo (even to the Cadillac Ranch) in an attempt to convince her to move here and work for us full time. Maybe next year! We did arrange for her to take tours of two of the major printing companies that do our color covers, and of course, of we enjoyed touring and working in our own building. We did very much enjoy having Jean attend the annual company Christmas party.

The weather was cold all week; Jean enjoyed seeing blowing snow for the first time. We never really got enough snow to cover the ground, but we always had snow in sight. Driving conditions were never very bad, although Jean (unused to seeing much snow) felt that North Carolina would have closed any time they got as much as she did. Jean did not really understand why her assigned driver kept yelling "Yee-Haw!" when the car started to fishtail on the packed snow. Jean was fascinated by "freezing fog" that turned all of the trees into crystal puffballs.

With Jean here, Steve Cole's week was totally dominated by working on Prime Directive Federation. When Jean got here, only about 50 pages had been finished, and a huge 30-page section reserved for SVC to do had never been started. By the time Jean left on 4 January, we had 137 of the 146 pages done, although we still need to do some editing and get the interior art ordered. This was considered major progress. We hope to be in a position by 10 February to announce firm release dates for the GURPS and PD20M versions, perhaps in April or May.

Steve Cole did manage to get Communique #49 done, and to send to FCOL three more ships from Federation Commander Hydran Attack.

Steve Petrick spent the week working on C3A and doing whatever Jean and SVC needed done on PD Federation. We could not have finished the starship section without him. Steve Petrick taught Jean Sexton how to shoot a pistol, and she was able to nail targets smaller than a man at 30 feet without any difficulty. At twenty feet, she can put the bullets into a three-inch bull's eye every time. (Steve Petrick bought Jean her first pistol for Christmas.)

We were supposed to be in Mail Order Blackout, but so many orders came in that Leanna took an entire day to ship as many of them as she could before she had to complete the year-end bookkeeping cycle. Jean and Leanna had some kind of secret conversation that resulted in the five "political" topics disappearing from the BBS. Leanna issued a firm order: "The business of ADB, Inc., is publishing games, not putting out flame wars in topics that should never have been on the BBS to start with." Jean (who had to put out the flame wars) apparently agreed with this sentiment.

Eric Olivarez got a lot of stuff uploaded to the website, and the third video sent to YouTube. Jean Sexton created our Facebook page, but it will be next week before Eric gets much loaded into it.

Mike Sparks worked with Eric to get the third video finished and with Jean on some customer service stuff, plus getting orders out. Mostly, he spent the week rebuilding the inventory, which had been reduced to bare shelves by the huge mail orders going out this week. We even had wholesalers restocking, which is unheard of.