Geeks Doing Good.

Comic


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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Busted!

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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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Organization

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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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JEeEeEff!

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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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Inventory Karaoke

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Inventory days at the Tinker's Packs happened last week. Nicole, Adam, and Jenny spent a few days counting every single item in the store, updating counts, and sometimes panicking a little. Everyone had their headphones on for concentration. Nicole was actually listening to Pentatonix, but tends to switch between them and Man With A Mission. Adam had his normal 90s rock and grunge, so we're assuming much Linkin Park was had. Jenny listened to some complex jazz that made us question reality.







She also had the most stand-offish headphones.

Inventory or not, Nicole usually bursts into song randomly throughout the day. That's when we close the office doors or put on our own headphones.

If you'd like to sing along with her, here's what she's listening to:

 
 
 

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Pokemon Literary Edition

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Adam started this. He wandered through Brett's office and mused, "Wouldn't it be cool if Pat was a Pokémon?" They riffed on it for a couple minutes, trying to amuse each other, and Brett declared this needed to be shared with the rest of the world.

Think of it: Delilah S. Dawson could use sarcasm and butt jokes as attacks. Neil Gaiman could use obscure literary references to confuse his enemies. Sam Sykes would win by baffling his enemies with insane logic, eventually evolving into Myke Cole (oooh, Charmander burn, Sam!). John Scalzi's weakness could be the Oxford comma.

Okay, maybe we're going a little nuts juggling Geeks Doing Good fulfillment and Gen Con preparation. But we think Literary Pokémon would be awesome!

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Self Control

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Whenever there's a cool Kickstarter project that we think Nicole will like, we tell her. Then she curses a blue streak, because she knows she's going to back it for all the money. If you ever run a Kickstarter campaign and Nicole pledges, she'll be the one that pledges enough for the thing, and only the thing. But she'll get one for every member of her extended family.

The Secret Hitler team were at Gen Con this year, and if you signed up via email to say you wanted to pick up your Kickstarter rewards at Gen Con, they would bring them and you could grab 'em. We were pretty stoked, because we've been waiting a year for this to be a thing, we all contributed to the Kickstarter campaign, and we can't wait to play Secret Hitler again.

We're sure Nicole's six-year-old cousin can't wait to get Secret Hitler for Christmas.

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Tin Two

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When Jeff was still "new" around the Worldbuilders office, we would make fun of his Southern accent because we're horrible people. Amanda and Maria got tremendous glee from the way he said "ten." Since then, Jeff has gone native, and more often than not pronounces it "ten" instead of "tin." But at this point it's a thing, and it's all Jeff's fault--for real this time.

If you didn't click the link above, here's how it started. It used to be that Jeff would say "tin" instead of "ten" and someone (usually Rachel, Amanda, or Maria) would leap in, saying, "How many?" Then Jeff would come up with an equation that equaled ten instead of pronouncing it the right way. But soon, Jeff found out how to completely turn the tables: whenever we say "ten," he'll voice check us with "HOW many?" Then it's up to us to come up with a different way to say it. This now gives Jeff endless joy. And that's how we found out too late that Jeff is a devious beast.

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Space: The Final Frontier

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We've got most of our stuff in for Geeks Doing Good fulfillment, and tee shirts just arrived this morning! They're being folded right now, but prior to the shipment arriving there was a lot of artful rearranging of pallets and boxes.

Rachel and Jenny have been on top of the organization, so we're actually using our tiny space efficiently...it's just tiny. And if the Draccus plushies get here in any more boxes than the estimate the manufacturer gave us, we just might have to use the roof after all.

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Draccus Plushie!

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Of all the products we launched during our Geeks Doing Good 2016 campaign, Amanda is obsessed with the Draccus plushie. From Brett's first sketches to the photos we've received of the mockup, Amanda just loses it. It's funny. Amanda has strong feelings about things.

 
 

Well, now the prototype plushie is in the office, and it's gone from funny to a little scary. Like, feeding-a-20-foot-alligator-by-hand scary. Once Jenny gave Amanda the plushie, though, everything was right with the world. No Dracci were harmed in the making of this comic.


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Fire Inspection

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This actually happened, exactly like this. After two pallets of The Princess Who Saved Herself arrived, Jeff made a crack about getting a fire inspection during the brief time we had so much stuff here, and lo and behold, THE NEXT DAY the fire department showed up. If we were spinning tales to our friends, they would call us out on that as not remotely believable.

Mindy answered the door. All of us immediately went into a sort of resigned shock. We keep the place as neat as possible, all the exits are clear, but we honestly have boxes piled to the ceiling. We knew we’d get written up, we just wondered how written up. But the only complaint they had was the address. Seriously? All our fire extinguishers are up to date, but there's SO MUCH STUFF and it’s an objective mess around here.

Whatever the reason for our passing grade, we were absolutely floored when they left us. As the door was shutting, Jenny, and we are NOT making this up, cheerfully yelled, “Don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook!” And that was the best thing ever.

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Twelve Parsecs

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Happy Monday everyone! Let's welcome our guests Mary, Chris, and Lisa--these three wonderful folks laid down some hard-earned cash during our Geeks Doing Good campaign for the dubious honor of joining us in here in the comic.

If you were here last year, you might remember last year's guests, Donny, Hans, and Hunter. They showed up for a solid week to help us with fundraiser fulfillment. This year's guests have slightly longer-term projects, so you'll see them pop up throughout the year. Mary will be helping us around the store (as she does in Real Life), Chris will be upgrading the equipment in our conference room, and poor Lisa will be trying to install a Star Trek transporter in the office (you know, to save on gas).

Oh, by the way, Lisa is wearing a very fashionable xkcd tee-shirt. You should read that comic--it'll make you smarter.

Say hi, and wish our guests the best of luck!

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Everyone Needs Coffee

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This happened on Wednesday. There was a little Spider Bro hanging out by the coffee pot when Brett got into work. He figured the spider would wander off on its own, and left it there. A few minutes later, Jeff came in, and Spider Bro was still there.

Brett was surprised at the little guy's persistence, and Jeff said that maybe he just wanted coffee. So he offered Spider Bro some coffee. When they went back downstairs, Spider Bro was gone, probably happy with his coffee and off purging our basement of those awful centipedes that keep showing up in the kitchen sink.

Spider Bro has our back. The least we can do is offer him coffee.

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Computer Business

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Last week, Amanda was having some issues--she had a Skype call with Pat, and Skype wasn't updating. It wouldn't open until it updated, but her computer was being a punk and things were just not working. Usually the call of "Jeeeeffffffff!" would ring out, but he was busy, so Amanda got Brett instead.

Literally, Brett was just trying to open the Services panel to restart the Skype updater. Amanda's computer didn't respond when he clicked the Search bar. He was halfway through typing "services" before he realized it. So he clicked again. And again. Amanda told him to be patient while her computer caught up, and he started to get that horrifying realization that Amanda was used to a disturbingly slow computer.

Everything worked out--Skype updated and Amanda didn't miss the call. But we're thinking her computer might be an unnecessary stressor in her life, since it certainly gave Brett some nightmares. Steps may need to be taken

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