Monthly Archives: September 2013

More Promotion

Last week, I wrote of attending a small gaming convention in Kamloops that did not promote much. There was another one this last weekend. This one did better at promotion.

It was mainly a wargaming convention. There are wargamers who travel to gaming conventions. The con organisers were very good at promoting to those people. One attendee came from Edmonton, AB. That is about 500 miles away.

They did not promote much to the general public. They did get some newspaper coverage in the week before, but that was about it. As a result, few, if any, members of the general public attended.

I ran boardgame demos in a room with others who were demoing Infinity (a tactical wargame) and Mutant Epoch (a roleplaying game set in the future). Mutant Epoch is written by Will McAusland of Kamloops. (URL: I played both games myself and had a great time.

I did get to meet some people I had not met before, but I would have liked to have been able to introduce some gaming newbies to some of the wonderful board games I have.

Kamloops, being a city of about 90,000, has a lot of things to do. In order to be noticed, you have to promote broadly and often. Get your message out there and often.

Odd Language #15: Who is Clutching?

From _Fate’s Edge_ by Ilona Andrews, ISBN-13: 978-0-441-02086-7, pp. 139-140: “They plummeted through the air, weightless, then, suddenly, the was there, and Audrey crashed down onto a pile of wicker boxes, Ling still clutched to her to her chest with her other arm.”

The issue:
Minor: Possible run-on sentence?
Main point: The last clause is referring to Audrey still clutching Ling, but if the clause stood alone as a sentence, Ling would be the one doing the clutching.

Puzzle #18: Kittens!

Oh, look! A box full of kittens. There are twelve of the beauties. All of them are at least one colour of black, white, and orange. Given the following clues, how many are there of each of the colour combinations?

  1. There is a different number of each of the combinations containing black.
  2. There are six one-colour kittens.
  3. There is a different number of each of the multi-colour combinations.
  4. No kittens are coloured only black and orange.
  5. There is a different number of each of the one-colour combinations.
  6. There are four kittens coloured orange and white and maybe black.
  7. There is a different number of each of the combinations containing orange.
  8. Six of the kittens are black, seven are white, and six are orange.

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Promote! Promote! Promote!

I attended a small gaming convention in Kamloops this last weekend. I had a pretty time, but the con was smaller than it ought to have been. There was not enough promotion.

I found out about it because of a poster. The poster had the place and dates. It did not have the time, the cost, or a contact for further details.

A lack of promotion is one way to cut the legs out from under an event. A member of the general public is unlikely to stumble into your event by chance. If he knows about it, he might attend. If not, he almost certainly will not since there are a lot of other things he could be doing that he already knows about.

Many times, people get into an us vs. them mentality. People can too easily cop an attitude that their group is special and make others subtly unwelcome. The very fact that someone else does not know about the group’s event can be used against others. Someone not in your group might not know about your group’s event, but would be interested if only he knew about it.

Point-of-view is also an issue. Why should the group have to say anything about the event as the members already know about it? But you are in on your group’s plans. Non-members are unlikely to know. Make sure that they do.

There are a lot of messages out there. If you do not communicate, others will not know. Promote, promote, and then promote some more. Then, you stand a chance of attracting others to your event and new members to your group.

Odd Language #14: No English Accent

From Kamloops’s “The Daily News”, Monday, 2013-04-08, p. C5, NEA Puzzles Crossword Puzzle:

27 Down: “Paris pate”, 4 letters

The issue: “pate” is liable to be interpreted as “pâté”. Actually, “pate” without accents (as in “head”) was intended with an answer of “tete” (“tête”). English usually drops accents. Answer confirmed in next day’s issue (Tuesday, 2013-04-09) on p. C5.

Puzzle #17: Marbles

Yet another marbles problem! You have some marbles which are each of one colour of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. From the clues below, determine how many marbles of each colour you have.

  1. The total number of orange marbles and green marbles is equal to the number of yellow marbles.
  2. Three of the colours have an even number of marbles; the same for odd.
  3. The numbers of yellow and violet marbles are both even or both odd.
  4. There are at least two of each marble colour, but no more than nine.
  5. The numbers of red and blue marbles are both even or both odd.
  6. There is a different number of each of the six colours.
  7. From lowest to highest numbers of marbles is the same order as the colours in ascending alphabetical order.

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #15 Solution: The Rest of the Money from Selling Grandma

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Art and Communication

Some people think that art has to do with communication. I am one of them.

I think that art should communicate. If it is does not, someone has forgotten something.

Art can be very effective at drawing attention to things. One can also do a poor job of this. Some commercial art is very nice to look at (and might win industry awards), but if you do not remember the company or product, then the art has failed. Another piece of commercial art, you might not like nearly as much, but if you remember the company or product, then that art worked.

Here are two examples of art gone wrong:

I was a volunteer peer tutor for the Writing Centre at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. (It is my alma mater.) One time, the co-ordinator showed me some art she had gotten done by a student in the Fine Arts program. Neither one of us cared for it. It had nice colouring and such, but it missed the point. It was supposed to be a sign to go on a sandwich board in the hall to promote the Writing Centre. For that, it did not do. It was not clear for all its prettiness.

In another case, I was riding on a bus in Vancouver and saw a beautiful sign. The outside of it had a ring that was of flowers with a long interwoven stem, and there was a smaller, solid pattern in the middle. A Celtic interlace pattern or something similar. Very, very nice to look at. Then, it occurred to me. That is probably a sign for a business. The pattern in the middle looked as if it might be lettering. I tried to read it, but I had been so entranced by the art that I did not have time to read it before the bus went past. I never saw the sign again. If it was a sign for a store, it certainly did not promote the store to me.

So what art have you seen lately that has communicated to you?