Saturday, September 03, 2011

Day 245 of 362

Hey all... It was a late night for yours truly. After a 28-person draft for FNM we had a 10-person "after draft" event that went until not quite 3AM. Woof!

Loquacious is at the store getting it ready to open. She's also getting it ready for our Armord Gopher Game Day. This is something we're doing in conjunction with a group of folks who call themselves the Gamerati. The Gamerati are touring game stores across the country, and they're making a stop at our very humble abode in the corn. If you're reading this, and have the means and inclination to stop by, you should! We're looking to have a great time!

Beyond that, I have no idea what's going on other than I get to go home early tonight due to Loquacious sticking around to watch over/play in the twice-a-month World of Darkness game that happens at the store. If I go home, I'll be doing laundry and hoping to work on some gaming stuff. If I don't go home, I should still be doing laundry, but I won't be... =P

Happy Gaming!

-- GopherDave

Friday, September 02, 2011

Day 244 of 362

It was 100 degrees yesterday, and I managed to wear the "power sweater" all day. Today is supposed to be almost as warm. I'm packin' a tie bar, just in case this sweater needs to go due to heat...

I'm getting a late start here today, but Lo's covering the store, so it's mostly good. I have a bunch of errands to run before I actually get to the store, so this'll be short. In fact, I can't think of much to say other than this is Friday so it must mean Friday Night Magic. It looks to be a busy night. Can't think of too many better ways to spend it that don't involve my lovely wife and some alone time... ;)

peace... GopherDave

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Day 243 of 362

Red is a good color for a "power tie", but is there such a thing as a "power sweater"?

It's Thursday here in Gopherland. I've got about half an hour before I have to hit the store and open up. Tonight we have another couple of RPGs (Deathwatch (WH40K role playing) and Hellfrost (Savage Worlds)), plus some folks playing some casual MtG.

The mention of MtG leads me to something I've had swirling in my noggin since Sunday. We had an incident in the store where I caught a young man (roughly 14 years old) pocketing some cards in an attempt to acquire an extreme discount. I witnessed him doing it, stopped him and his two brothers before they left, and called him out on it. He tried to make up a weak story about "putting them back" as he was removing them from his pocket, but everyone in the room knew what was happening. This was the second incident with this set of brothers. After taking back what was rightfully the store's inventory, I told each of them, individually but in public, that they needed to leave. I wasn't rude about it, but I certainly wasn't polite, either.

A short time later, I posted on the Gopher Facebook page that I had issued the first three bannings in the store's 4+ year history. I took down the post about 30 minutes later, as I did not want it to explode into this big debacle, and it was already showing signs like it might. Another reason I took it down relates to the history of the store and what the motto of the store has evolved into.

Our store was started out of the whimpering flame-out of another store, "V". V was started out of revenge by a number of folks who had been banned from the other store in town (which is still around and is our main competitor). For this post, I'll call that store "T". The reasons for the various bannings from T were myriad, and many made exactly ZERO sense whatsoever, but almost universally, none of those reasons included proven theft. Anyway V started, but within two years had entered that "death spiral" that we've all seen game store go through right before they shut their doors. Many of the V regulars who had not been banned from T (myself included) did not want to go back to T, for various reasons. We begged and pleaded for one of the most-liked V managers to start a store. So he did... he (along with a friend) started Gopher. How Loquacious and I came to be the owners and caretakers of Gopher is another story and not relevant to my point with this rambling section. The point is, Gopher's initial customer base was built on people from V who had been banned from T.

Due to that history, I have always said I would never ban anyone from Gopher, with the exception of someone who stole from another Gopher/customer while they were in the store. Stealing from us will get you "banned" by the police in terms of punishment, but I was always open to the possibility of people coming back.

In this case, I blinked. Instead of calling the police, I asked them to leave the store and posted the banning. Lo came and spoke to me that day, and got me thinking about what I had originally stated and the history of the store. She also spoke of what the store motto has evolved into DUE to that history... "EVERYBODY Gets To Play". So, I had been rethinking that banning and wondering if, in a fit of minor anger, I had forgotten a core belief of the store philosophy... then I came home that night to Skribl (our son)...

He and I spoke about things, and he was (and is) all for the banning of the three individuals. When I explained to him why I was back-pedaling on the banning (stealing from us won't get you banned, but stealing from another customer will), Skribl came back with deeper thought than is usual for him... I was surprised by what he said, and I'm still mulling over if I agree with him... He said "stealing from us *IS* stealing from another Gopher."  I asked him how that logic follows, and he proceeded to explain...

"What if someone wanted one of those cards for their deck or collection? With them stolen, we no longer have it in our inventory, and thus, can't sell it to a customer that wants it. A Gopher has lost out because we don't have what he wants or needs".

It floored me that he connected those dots. Once again, I'm proud of him. I'm still not certain I agree with him entirely, but Skribl's made a strong argument. The boy's going to be okay in life.  =)

Overall, though, I still need to talk with Loq about it more. We need to come up with a concensus decision soon... or else the wound will fester...

peace all... GopherDave

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 242 of 362

Hey there... It's shipment day at Gopher, so that means an early start. Things were a good kind of steady last night from a business perspective, and that always puts me in a good mood. Tonight, we have a couple of RPGs (War of the Dead (Savage Worlds) and Verdant Vale (D&D4Ee)), so there should be about 10 people or so milling about for the duration.

Looking at the "count", I realize that I am two-thirds the way through this project/resolution of personal upgrade. This "blog" was started as a personal accountability tool for myself to keep me on "the path", so to speak, and to that end, it's worked beautifully. I'm now starting to think what's going to happen at the end of the year. The resolution has pretty much become habit with me, but do I really need to continue to take pictures and write about it after year's end?

Part of me would like to say no, thinking the habit will carry on. I do know myself, however, and if something/someone is not holding me accountable for things, I *WILL* slack. Hmmm... something to posit and ponder over the next couple of months.

-- GopherDave

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 241 of 362

Hey ya!

It's Tuesday, so that means another order day. I'm about to step out to head for the store. the lovely Loquacious is already there, so I'm not in as big a rush as I could be. Tonight will be fairly hopping at the store. We have Casual MtG happening as well as an episode of Gregghawk. It should be a good day.

Looking at things for the next MtG set (Innistrad), I find myself thinking it's a mixed bag. Some of the cards are REALLY well-done, but then WotC done shot themselves in the foot again with how poorly they've implemented a new mechanic called "Transform". The details for Transform, as well as other Innistrad mechanics, are here. Suffice it to say that I personally could have thought of about three other ways to do this that would have been more elegant, and that's saying something if I could do it better.

It has prompted another round of "Wizards has destroyed Magic" doom-and-gloom from fanboys who take this game WAY too seriously. My message to all of them is "Slow down..."  Fallen Empires did not kill this game... Better CCGs have not killed this game (and yes there were better games out there)... Prophecy did not kill Magic... The game has been around 18 years for a reason. It's core design is excellent. Probably one of the best game designs to ever have come down the pipe. This "Transform thing" is a hiccup at best.

Now, I'm going to go order and sell some games...

peace... GopherDave

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 240 of 362

Hey there... late posting Monday, but things have been a good, steady busy in terms of things to do, so I can't complain too much.

Loquacious opened up the store, I came to relieve her so she could go do a "day job" gig, and then she'll be coming back to relieve me and I'll go home to the kids. During which time, I'll do more work because the work stream never ends. It's okay, though... that work stream flows from something that's ours, so that makes the work not only bearable, but somewhat enjoyable.

If I never drop another nugget business-related wisdom on this blog, I will say this. Owning your own enterprise is a roller coaster of a ride. It's filled with stress, worry, and more work hours than you ever thought you could pack into one day... and it's also the most immensely satisfying thing you'll ever do, because, if your venture is successful, it will be something that YOU built. Yes, you may have had some help along the way (employees, business partners, great friends, and what not), but ultimately, when the final say-so rests at your desk and things are going well... that's magic, folks. Pure magic...

-- GopherDave

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 239 of 362

It looks to be a nice, mellow Sunday here at the store today. Some RPGs... a little Monsterpocalypse... and some board games later tonight. Also tonight, my Chicago-based Champions campaign. Things look to be a slugfest given how we left last session off.

Speaking of Champions... I ran my Phoenix-campaign with the potential problems last night... and had very few issues. Things went better than expected, and I finally have the group together. We even have a spot for one more player if someone is interested. Now that I think about it, the Chicago game could use another player as well. Be forewarned, though... the games are the weirdest Champions games I've ever run, and most of that is from the player end.

Now... I get to go play shopkeep. Peace...

-- GopherDave