Geeks Doing Good.


Teach Me

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This is a little mean, since Mindy is actually really good at anything we have her tackle. But we thought it was funny.

Jenny's still showing up for work, so it looks like we haven't driven her away (yay us!). We've all be passing on weird little nuggets of information, and Jenny just smiles, nods, and takes notes. She listens so well it's kind of scary.

For the next few days, Jenny will be learning a bunch of stuff in the Tinker's Packs, so if you order something from our online store this week, odds are pretty good Jenny picked, processed, or packed it!

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Today's Comic

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This is today's comic!

Everybody in the office enjoys reading the comic, so as soon as it's uploaded and ready to go, Brett lets everyone know. If he's running late or he's run out of the strips he wrote ahead of time, it takes a little longer to post. And everyone gets a little impatient.

Also, it's been awhile since Nicole got to do something in the comic. So: Hey everyone, the comic's up!

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Meetings with Pat

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We had an IndieGoGo planning meeting last week for the mid-season fundraiser. Maria was out with a cold, so we held the meeting without her.

During a lull in the meeting, Pat decided to text Maria all sorts of horrible things, mostly that he had talked to a bunch of people and committed Worldbuilders to produce a ton of really bizarre products. He probably composed about eight text messages, and spaced them out while we were on break (it was a long meeting) for maximum effect.

His last text was pretty outrageous, mostly to tip Maria off that he was kidding the whole time. She did not call him a jerk, but this is a family comic, so we can't say exactly which names she called him.

The best part of this prank was watching Pat grinning like a weirdo and giggling.

Yes, Pat was giggling. It was the best thing ever.

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Pocket Sized

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When we hired Jenny, the first thing we noticed (apart from her being a fast learner, fun to work with, polite, etc.) was that she wasn't very tall. In fact, Maria was the smallest for a long time, until Trina came on board, and Trina's pretty darn small. So we know small.

Of course, the first thing Trina declared when she and Jenny met was that they needed to find out who was taller. This actually happened.

In reality, Jeff wasn't involved. They just volunteered their height, and it turns out Trina really is a quarter-inch taller than Jenny, though Jenny's hair is bigger.

Brett made the crack that we're hiring based on volume, since we're seriously cramped in the current Worldbuilders office (Maria, Jenny, Rachel, and Brett share an office the size of a dorm room). And, volumetrically, Jenny and Trina don't take up a lot of valuable space while still working harder than all of us. Any way you look at it, that's a win.

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Spring Addiction

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So last week we got hit by the last gasp of Wisconsin's winter, and now that the snow is gone (again) and the temperature is finally above freezing (again), everyone's in full-on spring mode. Again.

When most folks start cleaning, redecorating, and finding all the dog poo they were too lazy to track down in the snow, crazy people like Brett who ride motorcycles start itching to get back on two wheels. This leads them to do...less than intelligent things. Things like riding to work when it's barely pushing 40 degrees (that's about 4 degrees celsius) if the weather report promises it'll at least reach 50 (10 degrees celsius) by the end of the work day.

You'd think Brett would have figured out over the years that no matter how much he bundles up, 50 degrees is waaaaay colder on the highway when there isn't an entire car wrapped around you. We're calling this comic true, even though he hasn't done this.


This year.

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Dad Jokes

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When we hired Jeff to do our payroll and other accountant-y things, we were a little worried. He was the first person we hired to do a very business-specific thing, and we were worried that we just wouldn't be professional enough. He'd find out what a bunch of freaks we were and leave.

Jeff has a family. He moved here from out of state to do this job. He can count without using his fingers. We need him, and our random geekery was in danger of driving him away.

Then...we found out what a freak Jeff really is. He will say the most random things. He sings to himself. He'll listen thoughtfully to an entire two-hour conversation, and then crack THE WORST joke right at the end. Then he'll just start giggling at his own cleverness, which is when it gets genuinely funny. This comic literally happened last week, and we feel bad for Mindy.

TL;DR: Jeff is just as much of a freak as the rest of us, and it's the BEST.

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Photoshop Lessons

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Rachel and Brett have been giving Jenny some basic lessons in Photoshop so she can help out with photos and graphics around the office. Jenny's a fast learner and seems to enjoy doing this sort of thing. Last week, the three of them had a graphics contest for the Tinker's Packs--each of them started out with a donkey graphic and they all designed their own share image for Twitter. It was a lot of fun.

Jenny's still not super confident with her Photoshopping prowess, but so far there haven't actually been any fires.

And she does a nice share image!

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Bad Joke Nicole

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All of us in the office are pretty darn funny, if we do say so ourselves. Amanda and Rachel wield sarcasm like a keenly honed blade, Jeff is master of dad jokes, Adam excels at deadpan delivery, Mindy draws the strangest (and eerily accurate) parallels, Maria announces non-sequiturs out of the blue, and Brett...we're not sure what he does. Even "new girl" Jenny turns a wicked phrase as well, though she's still timid about it.

Then there's Nicole.

Nicole will make the worst puns. Not "worst" as in "wow, that was clever but groan-inducing," but "worst" as in, "that is the worst thing any living being has let slip from its mouth in the history of ever." She will belabor the setup, telegraph the pun, say the pun, and then give us that breathy, open-mouthed laugh as though she just delivered the most valuable gem of modern wit to grace polite society. We ignore her. Then she explains exactly what the pun was, and why it was clever. And we continue to ignore her

Our trauma is so great that we needed to share our burden with you. We are truly sorry for this.

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As Wisconsinites, we tend to dress for most weather conditions, since most of the conditions will kill us if we're not paying attention. This is a talent, because Wisconsin weather will fluctuate a bit. Live in Wisconsin for a couple months and you'll have at least one day where you experience every seasonal weather condition available in the span of a light afternoon.

One thing we (Worldbuilders, not Wisconsinites in general) don't take into account is rain. In the office, the only one of us who actually has a raincoat is Nicole. We're complacent, since the walk from the parking lot to the building is about five seconds. Jog, and you don't even feel weather happening around you.

Today, the rain is exactly the type of rain that will soak you to the bone within that five seconds. Adam has been watching all of us arrive in various states of drenched, and it amuses him to no end. We figured it might amuse you as well.

"Stay dry, my friends!"

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Sushi Weakness

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Last week, we decided to order out for sushi from a local restaurant we're all a little obsessed with. It's a really good sushi place (it's won awards and accolades from folks who know more than we do), but every spring they close for a month to visit relatives out of the country. So when they opened back up, we had to order. We just had to, you understand.

Mindy had brought her own lunch that day, because she's an adult. So she didn't have sushi with us. But the very next day, she just declared out of the blue: "If everyone was going to order sushi again, I wouldn't say no." And we all shouted at her and carried on, and then threw money at her and ordered sushi again. Because we had to, you understand.

Sadly, Mindy now realizes the power she has over us. It's a frightening shift in control. A frightening...delicious shift....

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No Regrets

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As we gear up to the mid-season IndieGoGo fundraiser, we're starting to miss Maria a little. We're not as overwhelmed as comic-Rachel, though. We got our ducks in a row (heh) before Maria left, but the mid-season fundraiser has always been Maria's baby, and it feels weird doing it without her.

Well, not exactly without her. She's been Skype-ing in, attending meetings, and making decisions. For the most part, though, Rachel's taken over a lot of the organization and decision making (and she's doing great).

Maria, still being in charge long-distance.

Favorite baby story so far: Maria was stuck at home when they had a manager's meeting scheduled, but Pat was headed out of town the next day, so they couldn't reschedule. So they took the meeting to Maria. Everyone gathered around Maria's dinner table with their notes, and the baby was the centerpiece. She lay bundled in the middle of the table, sleeping the whole time.

That's how we handle meetings too: sleep through 'em. Kid's got the right idea already.

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Baby Rabies

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We're filming the introduction video for our upcoming IndieGoGo campaign today, and Brett had a prediction for exactly how much we'd actually get done. Since we're filming on Maria's farm (which is absolutely gorgeous, by the way), Maria and her baby will be there. The baby is still a little too young to help with the intro (maybe next year), but she'll be there.

The problem with this is the fact that when Maria even Skypes in for a meeting, everyone has to ooh and aah over the baby. In real life, the gravitational pull of cuteness will be overwhelming. Brett says we won't get anything useful done. We aim to prove him wrong...after some baby ogling.

...and a bit more baby ogling.

We think something might be wrong with Brett's vision. He claims Maria's baby looks like Vizzini from the Princess Bride. We say he's broken.

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Environmentally Unfriendly

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This might not actually have happened, but it's true anyway.

Adam likes the bright, fluorescent orange Post-Its, but the series that 3M manufactures using recycled paper only comes in muted colors. The vivid, bright orange isn't available. Nicole feels guilty about how severely our office runs on Post-It notes, so she tries to be as environmentally friendly as possible. This means, of course, that some people's color choices just aren't available.

There may or may not have been a small revolution because of this

Have we mentioned we take our Post-It notes very seriously?

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The office is closed today, but that didn't stop Brett, Mindy, Amanda, Rachel, and Jenny for showing up to get some work done on the summer fundraiser.

It's a weird sort of work day. Since it's basically a bonus day, we're all pretty laid back and relaxed. It's like a warp zone in Mario World--it's all gravy, so if you miss a few coins, no big deal.

Of course, now we've been outed, so Pat might give us the Dad voice next time we see him to remind us that we have days off for a reason, and the last thing he needs is for us to burn ourselves out.

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We Got Dis

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Amanda was gone at the Phoenix Comic Con all weekend while Rachel and Brett got the last of the mid-season fundraiser together for today's launch. That's not to say Amanda couldn't help--she even managed to hijack Pat's blog!

This is Rachel's first time as Official Showrunner, and without Maria in the office, she was a little nervous. Luckily, when she gets nervous, she gets SUPER organized, so everybody had color-coded to-do lists and there really weren't any catastrophes.

Of course, we can't let Amanda know that without a little sarcasm.

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Let the Wookie Win

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So a little bit ago, Pat and Amanda played Tak on Pat's Twitch channel, to show the game in action. They played two games and recorded the whole thing for posterity.

Pat is very competitive when it comes to games. He doesn't like to lose. But he's also got a great sense of humor about the whole thing, so we feel okay poking him a little. This goes double when Amanda is involved, because the two of them work really well together, and smack-talk even better.

Watch all the grisly action!




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We're exaggerating a little, here. Mindy is extremely organized, and has tried to make us all better people by sharing her organizational skills. We're just a little too resistant to efficiency.

Mindy's the one who takes meeting notes, times our meetings so they don't go long, and keeps a lot of us on task. She's usually the one who runs errands whenever we (or Pat) need something. And she does have an errand list--a dry-erase board. If it's not on the board, she won't do it. That's fair, but...

We block her efforts at every turn, just by our disorganized nature. She doesn't get mad like in the comic, but we totally wouldn't blame her if she did. Also, Rachel is tremendously organized, though she would probably claim she has forgotten shoes on occasion.

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Perfect for Games

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This happens. A lot. We'll gather at Amanda's place because she's the most centrally located, and she has most of the board games. She hosts D&D every week, where Rachel and a couple of her other friends show up. She'll host game nights for other stuff, and everyone's been over to play Mysterium, Dixit, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Kill Dr. Lucky, Love Note, and Secret Hitler. It's a thing.

In our own defense, when it's a nice day, we'll play lawn games and grill out. But since Wisconsin's summer only lasts about one usable week, we usually play board games at Amanda's.

This year we mixed it up a bit. Amanda's boyfriend puts on a killer fireworks show (he gets a license and everything), so we did that. But we also talked about games quite a bit.

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Pokemon Stop

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So Maria is officially back in the office as of today, but it was a few hours before anyone noticed. Jeff, Rachel, Amanda, and Adam are all addicted to Pokémon Go, which seems to have taken over from NERF guns as the battle of choice. While this really has happened, we honestly have too much work to do to just play games. However, there were several battles over lunch, so the sentiment holds.

Then of course, during our post-lunch walk, much hunting was had.

The route of our normal walk has changed a bit, since there are a couple places nearby to find various Pokémon critters, and our resident trainers were eager to see what they could catch.

They lagged behind some.

For real, though, the office actually is an official gym, and as of this writing, Jeff and Adam currently rule the gym, with Rachel and Amanda challenging them when possible. Lunch is going to be pretty interesting for a while.

Welcome to the Worldbuilders Gym!

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The internet service in our office is a little flaky. We'll lose connectivity every couple days for about five minutes. Since we're an internet-based business, we're almost always doing something that needs internet goodness, so we notice right away.

Now, Jeff, through no fault of his own, is our default IT guy. Not because we hired him to do that, but because he did it in his previous job and got good at it. So if there's any sort of computer thing that needs attention, we call Jeff. We used to just walk into his office and tell him what's wrong. But as the technical issues got more regular, we got more lazy and just started calling him. After a while, we deliberately got more obnoxious about it and started whining like a little kid who doesn't want to tie his shoelace, even though most of us can actually tie our own shoes (with one exception, *ahem* *cough* BRETT).

We all know the internet will return in a few minutes, so Jeff just keeps doing whatever he's doing, and we fill those three minutes trying to whine his name as irritatingly as possible. It doesn't take much to amuse us.

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