about the universe forum commander Shop Now Commanders Circle
Product List FAQs home Links Contact Us

Saturday, October 01, 2011


Steve Cole muses: Just thinking to himself.

1. It's going to be strange, staying home next summer. There seems no point in going to Origins, as most of you won't be there, and the reason we go is to meet with you guys. We considered Gencon, but the dates for 2012 aren't much better for veteran SFU players, so you would not be able to go there if we told you we were going. Gencon is very expensive compared to Origins, and (for us) produces a lot less money. (We'd lose money going to Gencon. Going to Origins produces nice sales, most of which we'd get anyway if there were no Origins, and the rest of which cover the costs.) There are no other conventions that could gather a national SFU conclave (although we might go to a regional show in Dallas during May). We're even considering the idea of meeting Jean for the Dallas show in May and spending some non-company vacation time with her and SPP. We have long thought about Comic Con, but it's very expensive and very little of what we have in the current product line would sell. (Maybe the paperback, the pins, and some of the minis. Maybe an RPG book or two.) I want to think about doing Comic Con sometime.

2. I was, some days ago, driving home after dark. A few blocks from the office I pass through a "rough" part of town. Stopped at a traffic light, a small crowd of "riff raff" were knocking on the windows of the stopped cars asking for the windows to be rolled down. I know better than that, as the "aggressive panhandler" then has the edge, as he can get physical, try to grab whatever is in reach, or even try to open the locked door from inside. I played dumb, waved like I was a simpleton, and ignored their demands that I roll down the window. A minute later, the light turned green and I departed the area. I was a little scared (enough so that I didn't want to stay there, roll down the window, or talk to them). This is one of the reasons that I don't let Leanna work after dark unless we're in the same car. Such "aggressive panhandling" is not common in Amarillo. (I have only seen it twice, both at that same intersection.) I told Leanna about it the next day (so she would be warned) and she said I should have called the police who might have sent a squad car by the area to tell the ruffians to go home.

3. We heard a commercial for SportsClips, a franchise of sports-themed barber shops for men to get haircuts. Petrick and I have decided to launch our own franchise chain called WarClips, where men can get haircuts while watching classic war movies. We may specialize in mohawks and buzz cuts.

4. I went to the annual Chamber of Commerce BBQ a few weeks ago. It's one of those events (I am sure there are hundreds of them across America) where all kinds of teams, groups, and organizations cook BBQ (the meat is donated by some big company, the beer by someone else, the sodas by someone else). There were a hundred or more "stands" or "booths" in four fenced-off city blocks, and 5000 people wandering around balancing plates of BBQ and cans of drink trying to figure out how to eat standing up. (Does it never occur to anyone to provide tables and chairs?) Despite the relatively cool weather (78F) I wish I had worn my boonie hat. I didn't eat much but did taste some really good (and really bad) BBQ.

5. Leanna and I love watching business makeover and business rescue shows like Tabatha's Salon Takeover, Bar Rescue, Restaurant Impossible, Kitchen Nightmares, and others. It never ceases to amaze me how someone can lose money every month for four years and not change anything, or how someone who is losing money can argue with the visiting expert that they should keep doing things the same old way.

6. The case study in one of the Wednesday morning business classes (that Leanna and I attend) was about a woman who owned a business, bought a second location, and (unable to find a manager) put her husband in charge. He knew nothing about the industry and hated the job, and the result was disaster as the employees got lazy and sloppy. It's a military adage that "an army of rabbits led by a lion will beat an army of lions led by a rabbit." The reason that is true is because the followers will pick up the spirit and habits of the leader.