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2001 was an excellent year for us minions. Our adventures carried us around the USA and across the World Wide Web, bringing us in touch with such magnificent things as Macromedia Flash and Harlan Ellison. In case you missed our mischief in 2001, here it is in all of its glittery glory.

News Archives: 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2006

12212001 Look, ma! Real news!

Here's some very exciting stuff on the cephalopod front. Scientists have discovered a new species of giant squid that lives three miles beneath the ocean and grows up to 23 feet in length. It's a bizarre-looking critter (should fit right in with all those other deep-sea oddities, such as Ed Harris) with 10 indistinguishable tentacles (as opposed to the 8-2 plan of a normal squid). Check it out in an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. According to fellow minion and diving-guru Kyle, "...the photo came from a Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's R/V Western Flyer (with her ROV Tiburon) took last spring. More pictures, including video clips, can be found here." Definitely check out those video clips; they're amazing.

Also on the cephalopod front, the venerable Toy Vault has created two new plush Cthulhu toys. The first is a Beanie-Baby sized green Cthulhu, superbly detailed, oh-so-adorable, and readily available at swank places like The Source. The second is a delightful Santa Cthulhu, which is pictured here and is already in transit via the post office to my door, thanks to the Toy Vault Toy Club. I heartily thank Dale Conklin at Toy Vault for personally bringing these fine critters to my attention.

And speaking of Cthulhu toys, here's another delightful thing I came across at The Source: a Carl Cthulhu figurine. Carl Cthulhu, if you're not already familiar with him, is one of the characters in a fun little comic named Little Gloomy. As the box reads, "Carl likes DAISIES!" and "Carl needs a hug". He comes with a puppy-dog gaze that turns into the gaze of LED-enhanced madness when you push the switch on the back of his head. Very cool. The packaging alone is worth the price of the toy. He can be found on Toyzz.com.

On the gaming front, Steve Jackson games has come up with their own version of Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu... and it is called GURPS Cthulhupunk. Oy!

And if GURPS ain't your thing, and Chaosium leaves you cold, you could also try De Profundis, which strives to really push the envelope of gaming. Neat!

12192001 Happy holidays!

12082001 Okay, I admit. I got bored, and I began playing with JavaScript. Thus, we now have a new toy: a Convention Chooser! [chooser page now defunct: 112406] It's kind of fun, but it seems to come up with CONvergence a lot. I'm going to have to refine the logic a little... but only a little...

12072001 Though I am a cynic at heart, I am still frequently amazed by the stupidity of humans in general. Check this out: an article in yesterday's Minneapolis Star Tribune announced that a woman flew to America from Tokyo and went traipsing around Minnesota in an attempt to find the buried loot chronicled in the movie Fargo. She was eventually found dead by a bowhunter. You can find the article here. I took it upon myself to submit the tale to The Darwin Awards.

That said, I've done some more link-pruning to kill off links that just recently went bad. You know what that means, right? Yup, gotta add more links! Here's some new things to play with:

  • First of all, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Arizona (Susan Gleason) at Loscon 28, and so here is a link to her flintknapping web site.
  • Now, after you have bought loads of Dr. Arizona's fine items, hie your hinie over badmovies.org. This is a site after my own heart. Dedicated to the movies that are so-bad-they're-great, this site is an immeasurably useful tool to the conneseur of terrible/wonderful films.
  • Finally, dig out your old version of Pong and have a gander at this. Requires Flash plug-in.

11302001 Alright, I'm not lying this time. The Loscon 28 convention report is finally here!

11282001 Lots of new stuff today!

First of all, Loscon 28 finally came and went this last weekend, and Melissa was there to witness the whole thing. Jedi cars! A Charlie Brown Armageddon! Shaved heads! Legos! And whiskey from Thailand! How could you possibly resist reading this convention report? Well, you can, because it's not done yet, but at least the photos are pretty.

After you're done with that, you might enjoy the second installment of The Cth'Harvey Papers, in which Cth'Harvey meets Jimmy Hoffa.

The convention calendar [calendar page now defunct: 112406] has also been updated with more guest information, dates, and other good stuff.

11102001 Courtesy mostly of Dan, we now have two more fun toys to offer you: The Miskatonic University Dictionary (best known as the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Mythos), and the first installment of The Cth'Harvey Papers. Enjoy!

10302001 Finally! The MadCon 2001 convention report is here! See Melissa make obscene gestures with Jerry Doyle! Read about how Ted griped about greasy food with Harlan Ellison! Find out who won in the weekend-long game of Hearts!

10282001 We have survived MadCon, and a full report will soon be complete and uploaded within the next few days. This report will be an interesting one, since our weekend involved such mischief as dinner with Babylon 5's Jerry Doyle, two-hour rants with Harlan Ellison, poetry readings by Neil Gaiman, and random run-ins with actors and writers and producers of Futurama, Andromeda, and Free Enterprise. It was glory that sprang from chaos, and I'm dying to write about it. Besides, I finally have a great set of photos from this convention to ornament my ramblings. I think I'm beginning to get the hang of this convention report thing.

10192001 I buckled down and did some major tweaking on the site. I've finally killed all the bad links, a project brought on by the unfortunate fate that has befallen cornwuff.com. Since I've had to pull those links, I figured I should kill the other problematic ones as well.

Cornwuff.com has been snatched by a cybersquatter, and is now currently forwarding to a "teenage euro sluts" page, instead of Jim's insightful furry fandom writings. Jason is pissed, saying, "This will end in fire," or something of that effect. I'm pissed, too. Cybersquatters are vile and should be inflicted with cholera. That said, I am happy to say that one of Jim's other projects, flayrah.com, is still up and serving the furry community.

To make up for the lost links, here's a few fun new things to check out:

  1. Post-It Note Theater: Animation drawn on Post-It Notes. Check the archives!
  2. The GPS (Giant Penguin Slingshot): A fun little Shockwave game that it incredibly addictive. Rick is in treatment, but recovery has been slow.
  3. USA Banzai Movie Friday: You not know what USA Banzai Movie is? You not worthy! You look now! USA pick cheesy movie every Friday night. Japanese guys make skits and challenges during commercial break. Log onto web site during movie and vote. Maybe win something! We not responsible for bad Japanese accent you pick up during show. You talk like this for week. Look for Cthulhu Coffee friend Tadao Tomomatsu as Mr. Shake Hands Man.
  4. Bizarre Stuff: Remember making that papier mache volcano in grade school and watching it spill pink goo all over the classroom floor? Well, maybe not, but you probably saw it on The Brady Bunch and wanted to make that mess for yourself. This web site not only tells you how, but it also informs you of non-dairy creamer ballistics and stupid egg tricks. This site is a grade-school science teacher's wet dream: every cool, home-made, messy, flour-based experiment that you can make in your own kitchen. Sweet!
  5. Flash Fu: Stick-man ninjas! Little martial arts movie entirely rendered in Flash. It sounds cheesy, but it's really well done.

Also of interest is an excellent article on Stephen King's new magnum opus with Peter Straub, as seen by salon.com. I've always had mixed feelings about Stephen King, and the article is a very good exploration of what he is and isn't good at, as well as a look at why the genres of fantasy and horror probably shouldn't be combined. It's interesting even if you haven't read much Stephen King.

Yet more convention news...

MadCon is creeping up very quickly... it's next weekend. You very well might see yet another convention report as soon as October 29th. I am very excited! Not only will I be traveling with Ted, we will also have the PIGS crew with us (you might remember Joe and Erica from our CONvergence 2001 report). Plus, MadCon boasts of a host of very cool guests, such as Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman, and Jerry Doyle, as well as those swank guys who gave us the movie Free Enterprise.

And last but not least, Cthulhu Coffee will finally have a presence at a non-Midwest convention. Yes, I will be attending Loscon 28 in Burbank, CA in November, accompanied by my native guide, Tadao (yes, that's Mr. Shake Hands Man). It should be an adventure!

Yet another Worldcon has popped onto the Convention Calendar [calendar page now defunct: 112406], and this time, it's almost in my damn backyard. Yes, the World Fantasy Convention 2002 is being hosted right here in Minneapolis. Sign up fast if you're interested. It's "only" $100 admission if you sign up before November 4th, and the price will go up from there. I'm not sure if we'll be there; most of us are horror freaks, not fantasy freaks. I'd personally rather save my cash for the swank-sounding World Horror Con 2002 in Chicago (or the Kansas City World Horror Con in 2003).

10152001 Lots of news today, kids!

ICON was an absolute blast and resulted in many interesting events, which included me getting covered in acrylic paint by artists Karen Hollingsworth, Mike Cole, Erin McKee, John Garner, and Guest of Honor Denise Garner. Read the full tale in our ICON 26 convention report, and see the photos of my transformation at the hands of five skilled artists.

At ICON this weekend, I picked up a flyer for the 2003 World Horror Convention in Kansas City, MO. Sounds interesting! I added it to our Convention Calendar.

The MISFITS and The Dead Zone are hosting a special Evil Dead movie marathon at the Plaza Maplewood Theater in Maplewood, MN this weekend. All three movies are running in a row; admission is only $4.00 per film or $10.00 for all three. The marathon runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with Evil Dead at 9:00 PM, Evil Dead II at 10:30 PM, and Army of Darkness at midnight. The theater is at 1847 East Larpentur in Maplewood, and their phone number is (651) 770-7969. I will likely be there for the whole trilogy on Saturday night, if anyone would like to join me!

10122001 ICON begins this afternoon. Ted and I will be leaving in a couple hours to trek across beautiful southern Minnesota into the wilds of Iowa to attend. Wish us luck! What for, I don't know, since we will primarily will be just hanging out and casually schmoozing/boozing with the natives.

10052001 I have further updated the Convention Calendar to reflect the conventions that just rolled past. Demicon has also managed to get a web site up, so I now have sent in my registration. Demicon would be an obvious convention to have a Cthulhu Coffee room at (since the Ghost of Honor is H. P. Lovecraft this year); however, it lands smack in between MarsCon and CONvergence, so I haven't decided what will happen yet.

So, dammit, I'm registered. If anyone is willing to help with a room party in Iowa next May, please get your butt registered and let me know!

ICON is a little more than a week away, and Ted and I will be venturing down there to have a serious good time. Rest assured, a proper convention report will be added to this site within the next two weeks.

10042001 I just read the MarsCon progress report that came in the mail today, and it turns out that they are switching hotels from the Radisson South to the Airport Hilton. I have updated the Convention Calendar to reflect the change.

09282001 Yet another minion has joined our ranks, though quite inadvertently. My friend Kyle stumbled into our midst by coining a fantastic phrase in an e-mail to me this morning, and I said, "YES! That MUST be turned into a slogan!"

Thus it came to be that Kyle is now a minion, and quite a worthy one at that. He has at least deserved honorable mention for many years now, since he has supplied us all with enough fine scotch to drown a small country in.

So, while you wait for the slogan to appear on the CONvergence signs next year, you can peruse the CONvergence 2000 report, in which Kyle introduced 18 different fine scotches into my digestive system within a very small time frame.

09262001 In a late-night haze of creativity, Dan sent me an e-mail describing a late-night quest to find his roommate's cell phone, which would have been unremarkable save that it was written in the manner of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven". I found it so silly that I simply had to do something with it... and thus, "The 'Wakened".

09252001 Well, Rick picked up the new Lovecraft-based PC game, Necronomicon, and I took it upon myself to play a bit of it tonight. Don't waste your money or your time. It's simply a Myst-type "game" made up of a lot of 3D graphics and very, very little game. In fact, it's little more than object placement, and there's no challenge at all. You go fetch something from one screen and bring it to another, which unlocks something else that you have to fetch and bring somewhere else. You can do only one thing at a time, and the game is so involved in its storyline that it gives absolutely no opportunity to deviate from it. Terrible. I dropped Necronomicon after an hour or so, and I dropped it like a boulder in a vacuum. I have no intention of going back and finishing my game.

09182001 After a very long week since the sad tragedies on the East Coast, we've finally gotten the gumption up to start working on the site again. I'm working arduously on the Short Story Summaries, but the updates won't be seen until all 70 pages are done.

In the meantime, I've also rearranged the Features page, created The Bookshelf, and added a nice quote to The Recipe Box.

09112001 Please pardon me for taking space on this humor site for some very somber and serious comments.

We are shocked and saddened at the events in both New York City and Washington, DC today. I believe most of us here at Cthulhu Coffee were fortunate enough to not have lost family or friends in this terrible event, but I think we all know people who have had very close calls today. My thoughts and feelings are with the people who are seeking medical assistance in New York, with the brave rescue workers who have given everything they have to ensure others might live, with the potential thousands of innocent people who were very, very unlucky, and with all of their families, who might not know yet what has happened to their loved ones.

Please consider donating blood to the American Red Cross and giving your extra clothing to the Salvation Army. When you go to work tomorrow, make sure the flags outside are flying at half-mast. And most of all, call your friends and family and tell them that you love them.

Thanks.

09052001 Dan was kind enough to jump in and help out in writing the Life's Little Insanity Book, and he donated so much material that we had enough to go ahead and make it live. See it here!

08302001 I added a few things to Cthulhu's Recipe Box today, including the preliminary recipes for Pickled Cthulhu and Raspberry Psychosis. Eat them up, yum!

Also, it seems that the Top 100 Mythos Sites web site blew up, and all of the vote records vanished. Time to start voting again! Click the banner below to vote for this site.

08272001 Dan's bio is now complete and on the web. Damn, and I just got his Doomsday clock working, too...

08242001 Yet another mortal has achieved minionhood! Jason's significant other Jen has (willingly!) joined our ranks by donating several slogans for the room parties in 2002. Thus, Cthulhu Coffee now covers Milwaukee as well as Minneapolis, Chicago, Rochester (MN), and Duluth.

Cthulhu Coffee now has 110 slogans ready for 2002, and it's not even September 2001. I hear mad piping already!

Now, as I have mentioned before, it is becoming increasingly more likely that Cthulhu Coffee will host a room party at MarsCon next year, in addition to the usual CONvergence gala. Thus, fellow minions, we need more slogans! If you think of new ones, send them to me! I am hoping to gather at least 150 slogans before next March (which shouldn't be a problem at this rate... we'll probably hit 150 by the end of September). Ideally, we'll have 100 slogans for each convention. However, if we don't garner 200 slogans this year, 100 will appear at CONvergence, and whatever remains will appear at MarsCon. MarsCon is smaller, and thus won't need as many signs. Plus, CONvergence is home. They'll get the best stuff.

08202001 Happy birthday to you.

Happy birthday to you.

Happy birthday, Mr. Lovecraft!

Happy birthday to you...

Yes, today is the day that our beloved H. P. Lovecraft would have turned the mystical number of 111 years old if he hadn't died in his forties. Curl up with a good tale today!

08142001 Oo, lookie here! A new toy!

Yes, it seems your Humble Web Minion has caught the Flash bug. Here is yet another excursion into the realm of Flash toys: Nyarlathotep's Fashion Plates. [page now defunct: 112406] Create your own cyclopean horror, and then give it a nifty wardrobe!

08132001 Happy birthday to our server guru, Jason!

08102001 Calling all minions! I am looking for willing minions to accompany me for some good convention-hopping! Let's chat in the Cafe.

08062001 The Diversicon Report is up, as is the spiffy new convention calendar. Enjoy!

Plus, I also added biohorror.com to the links page. I highly recommend having a look around this site. It is a very intelligent and thoughtful site about biology and biotechnology as it appears in horror and sci-fi films. Neat stuff!

08052001 What a weekend! I just got back from Diversicon, and I will be posting a convention report shortly. I will say briefly that it was thoroughly enjoyable, though very, very different from my experiences with much larger conventions.

I am also working on a convention calendar for the site. That should also be up in the next day or so.

08012001 I can't believe it's August already.

First, I have a correction on the photo of the submerged rollercoaster that I posted here in April (click here to refresh your memory). Sharon pointed out that it is not the High Roller at Valleyfair (which is what I had identified it as), but the Excalibur, which is only about twelve years old (not 25). Both are wood rollercoasters, and since in the photo the coaster looks white, I automatically assumed it was part of the High Roller (though I am familiar with the two coasters that I would have recognized it as the Excalibur if I had looked closer; the High Roller does not double-back under itself). Since the Excalibur is unpainted, it is usually rather grayish in person and not white, hence the confusion. I humbly apologize to all roller coaster afficionados!

No wonder nobody was riding on the Excalibur last week when Sharon and I were there. Hmmm...

Now to business. I've switched our shopping cart from VirtualCart to PayPal. PayPal isn't quite as fancy, but it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

Diversicon is coming up this weekend! Ted and I are going to make an appearance there in our quest to find Cool Conventions That Aren't CONvergence. Of course, CONvergence will always be the best convention in our hearts, but we are fairly certain that not all other conventions suck stale rocks like WindyCon did. We have heard promising things about Diversicon, and since it is in its ninth year, we think it's due time that we check it out. Plus, it's in our own backyard (at the Bandana Square Holiday Inn in St. Paul, MN), so we can't make many excuses not to go. We're pretty sure that Diversicon will not suck like WindyCon, though that's not saying much. It's hard to suck as much as WindyCon.

07312001 I tweaked the Insanity Test a little (hey, it works now!). I also chugged out an Asylum Poetry Kit. I might yet change the plain white background, but it seems busy enough with 250 words scattered across it. It reacts a little slow, and I'll have to work on that...

07302001 I finished a couple more things for the site, and I am quite pleased... After about a month of brain-crunching, the Insanity Test is finally finished. Dan now has his own "bio" page, although there's nothing really on it yet. And we now have an H. P. Lovecraft Drinking Game ready for your imbibing.

07272001 I just went to see the new Planet of the Apes.

The experience reminds me of when I was a child. My mother, who is quite possibly the grooviest mom on the planet, couldn't cook to save her soul. I remember incidents of her somehow botching both frozen pizza and breakfast cereal.

One fine day, my mom invited several people over to our home for brunch. She decided to make quiche. She mixed it up and put it in the oven. Everyone arrived at our house. Everything seemed to be going fine. Then she took the quiche out of the oven. And looked at it.

She had forgotten the eggs.

Don't ask me how she managed to make quiche without eggs, but she did. Somehow, our guests managed to be polite enough to choke down what amounted to a rather dry biscuit.

Well, Planet of the Apes is missing an ingredient or two (though I'm nut sure what they are). It is not as disasterous as eggless quiche, but it definitely needs salt. It looks awfully pretty, it even smells great, but there's just something missing from what should have been a great meal. It's not bad, it just missed the mark.

A few notes:

  • Mark Walberg is great in an ensemble, but he can't carry a movie by himself.
  • Unfortunately, you'll see the "twist ending" coming from a mile away.
  • Why is the blond chick in the movie at all? What is her purpose? She had no reason at all to be there.
  • I think sunlit scenes suck the spirit out of Tim Burton's visions, just as the sun saps the powers of a vampire. Half of this movie takes place in a desert, and it just seems kind of wrong for some reason. David Lean and Terry Gilliam can shoot in midday deserts and make them come alive. Tim Burton just can't. He should have stuck the apes in Gotham, shot every scene at night, and revelled in what he does best.
  • Rick Baker is God. Worship him. Plunk money to see this movie just to watch the artistry of the makeup. However, it is still a nearly impossible task for an actor to transmit a performance through three inches of latex.
  • Whoever did the motion coaching for the "apes" should be given a big raise. The actors may not be able to transmit much emotion through the costumes, but they really do transmit the concept of "apeness" through the way they walk, fight, and touch.

07262001 Wow. WOW. Remember when I said a few posts back about our rate of Year 2002 slogan turnout this year? You know, about hitting 100 slogans by mid-August?

We have 98 RIGHT NOW. That's more than we produced in the YEAR between CONvergence 2000 and CONvergence 2001. It has been roughly three weeks since CONvergence 2001, and we have 98 slogans.

What happened? So far, Jason has submitted twenty-two. Sharon coined two (but only one we can use). Now, Rick just sent me seventy-five slogans. Now I know for sure that he's not busy enough at work.

The real tragedy is that they are all wonderful, and everyone has to wait until next year to see them.

07232001 It's official. Rochester Dan is our newest minion. He has named the "Cup Guardian" on our home page and has written its sordid tale. You can now click on the eyeball critter on the main page (now named Fol'Juurs) to find out more about it. Or, if you're lazy, you can click right here. The tale will pop up in a new window.

07192001 I told myself I wouldn't work on the web site... I told myself to take a day off and finally grab my roommates' DVD of Unbreakable and watch it... But no. I heard the mad piping, and I answered. I added a recipe for pickled octopus to the Recipe Box. And I just might re-write my bio in the Who section.

Rochester Dan (who, I feel, is very near miniondom) has been filling my head with ideas, and I just might have to finish up all my little lame projects in short order just so I can take on his grand schemes.

07182001 Alright, the race for the 2002 slogans continues, and it now looks like Jason has actually won the "First Official 2002 Slogan" prize again, but only on a technicality. Unfortunately for Sharon, the phrase "Cthulhupalooza" is already the title of a Mythos fan magazine. Bummer! Though I'm glad we found that out before I printed T-shirts.

It looks like we may have a new minion on our hands. The intrepid Rochester Dan has been tossing ideas our way. Can we convince him to join? Will he be our seventeenth minion? Will we soon have two minions in Rochester? Tune in next week!

07152001 Okay, it looks like Jason is not about to let Sharon get away with sole credit for creation of the first slogan of the year. I just received twenty-two more slogans for the year 2002, all from the intrepid Jason. At this rate, we will have all the slogans necessary for July 2002 by, oh, the end of August.

Also in the news, I was actually recognized yesterday, by a complete stranger, as having something to do with Cthulhu Coffee. As in, "Hey, aren't you... that girl from Cthulhu Coffee?" I wasn't even wearing anything Cthulhu Coffee related. Yikes! I imagine the convention had something to do with it, but still...

07152001 I finally put another cartoon offering up on the site. Check out my pen and ink work in "A Bad Day for the Jedi Mind Trick."

07142001 Happy Bastille Day, everyone! I have several giblets of info for all you fine folks out there in Cthulhuland.

The first is that, yes, a couple of Cthulhu Coffee ambassadors are going to check out Diversicon on the first weekend in August. We have never been there before, and we have decided to check out this unknown territory. While Cthulhu Coffee will not be holding a room party there, we will be roaming around in our fetching polo shirts. If you see us, please stop us and say hello!

The second bit of news is that I have added yet another page to this web site. In the Cthulhu Coffee cabana at CONvergence, we had a large action figure of Terl (John Travolta's character from Battlefield Earth) with a sign that asked, "What should we do with Terl?" Well, here are some of the suggestions, and your chance to add your own thoughts.

Next in the news, I am proud to announce that Sharon has successfully coined the first Cthulhu Coffee slogan concept for the year 2002. (The bad news is, you won't see it until next year's CONvergence.) This beats our record for Earliest Slogan by at least six months.

The last bit of news is that I went shopping today, and came up with three very nifty things... the first is the Pokethulhu adventure game! Pikathulhu, I choose you! I found it for about $6 at The Source.

While at The Source, I also ran across the Batman: Arkham Asylum comic, written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Dave McKean. The art is absolutely lovely, and I recommend tracking it down just to have a glimpse at the pages.

The third thing I picked up at The Source today was the Illuminati Brainwash expansion rules for the Steve Jackson Illuminati card game. It has been out of print since 1985, and now it's back!

07122001 Well, I am finally trying a new look. I have slowly come to the realization that, yes, blue on a black background really is hard to read, so I am now changing the links to gray.

07112001 Finally, now you can read about our adventures at CONvergence 2001. Well, really, they are my adventures at CONvergence, but I am hoping to convince a few other people to write down their tales, too.

I want to thank everyone and their mothers for all the help and fun at the convention:

    All of the Cthulhu Coffee minions, especially Rick, Sharon, Ted, Jeff and Rob for helping at the room

    Paul for his wonderful brownies

    The MISFITS, for throwing the convention in the first place

    Linda and Anton Peterson, who made a large chunk of it all happen

    Joe Lyon and PIGS, who fed us all

    Richard Caylor, who lent me power tools

    The guys in 232 for being the real Dead Dog party, and for making my life very surreal for a while

    Guy and Wendy Bock, who are too cool for words

    Dan and Tadao for listening to me drone on and on

    Rudy, who has rescued my butt more than once

    All of the contributors to the Jar-Jar Jar and the Sink NSync tank, and everyone who picked up a shirt or a mug -- every little bit helps a lot!

07092001 Well, the convention is over and done with, and I had an absolutely rip-roaring time! I think a lot of other people did, too.

Once I have a chance to recover a bit, I will post the convention report, but for now, you will just have to be mollified with the new Year 2001 Slogans. (Yay!) Yes, all of the slogans link to their associated .pdf file, so you can download them, print them, and have your own little piece of Cthulhu Coffee.

Now, I think a nap will do nicely...

07042001 One day and ten hours left until the convention. We're getting a little punchy here. Anyone know where to get a good image of the Wonder Twins from Superfriends? Or where I could find fresh octopus here in Minneapolis? Ah, the trials of running a room party...

07012001 First, let me say that I am working on a minor in film, which is why I'm going to get up on my soap box for a bit here.

Okay, so there I was on Friday, sitting in one of the Mall of America theaters watching Steven Spielberg's newest opus and Stanley Kubrick's last curtain call, A.I. Now, despite all the mixed reviews that this film is getting, spend a few bucks and go see it. It is not a success, but it is also not a failure. There are fantastic moments in the film that are certainly worth the price of admission. Whatever you do, don't go in with high expectations; you will be pleasantly surprised instead of disappointed. The acting is fantastic, the visuals are fantastic, and the special effects are flawless.

There is almost no way this film could have worked. Granted, the premise is incredibly ambitious, and you desperately want it to succeed, but the film, like a Shakespearean character marked for death, has a tragic flaw. It has both Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick. Now, it would have been putrid crap if only Kubrick (think Eyes Wide Shut with androids) or only Spielberg (think Batteries Not Included with androids) had helmed the project. Unfortunately, having both improves the quality of the film, but it could never work entirely. Kubrick is an icy intellectual, and Spielberg is warm and fuzzy. The inherent dogma of both directors, their key traits that make them great moviemakers in their own rights, are at opposite ends of a spectrum. The ideals of one grind against the grain of the other. Unfortunately, the medium between the two is bland, and A.I. winds up trading off between the two styles and ultimately winds up making both styles fail. Spielberg, in faith to Kubrick's vision, works hard to distance the audience from the mechanical child in the beginning of the movie, but then later tries to get the audience to sympathize with the boy. The switch not only fails (because the audience has been distanced from the character), but it also deadens the sense of "other", harming Osment's fantastic performance.

I also think this directorial schizophrenia is responsible for the single worst feature of the film: the last 20 minutes. You can easily tell when Kubrick would have ended the movie (and you know it when you see it), and then Spielberg somehow felt that we needed absolutely no ends left untied and slapped on another bizarre 20 minutes. Now, some of the coolest visuals in the movie are in this 20 minutes, but it is completely unnecessary. In this case, leaving the tail of the movie open-ended would have resonated more strongly with the audience. The last 20 minutes actually made me very hostile: "Spielberg, you twit, what the HELL ARE YOU DOING? Bad dog! No biscuit!"

That said, I will get off my soap box and reiterate that there was probably no better way to do this movie, other than by chopping off the last 20 minutes (well, in my opinion, anyway). The film is not terrible. It is, in fact, fascinating, and it stays with you for days. It is a very brave movie for Spielberg to make. You watch it and you would swear that Kubrick was still alive. Rouge City is a Kubrick playground (but then Spielberg puts Doctor Know in the middle of it, and you want to bitch-slap him). The film is thoughtful, original, bizarre, and often effective. Moments are brilliant. When the android boy finds himself in a lab full of replicas of him, I wanted to crawl out of my skin.

Anyway, for as unsuccessful the movie is as a whole, I would take an A.I. over a dozen spiritless Grinches and Phantom Menaces. It is genuinely well-conceived, it is honest with itself, and, like all good science-fiction should, it makes us genuinely think about the state of the human condition.

06282001 Disturbing. Only seven days left until the convention, and I've been writing drinking games.

06262001 Only nine days left until we hit CONvergence, and here I am at work, spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to remove all metal from a Chinese carryout container so I can just stick the thing in the microwave and have reduxed rice for lunch. Just so you know, Scotch tape doesn't stick very well to Chinese carryout boxes.

For as slow as today is going, I had a fabulous evening last night at a Perkins chatting with the CONvergence party head and one of the other room party leaders. Among other things, I am pleased to report that the Pangalactic Interplanetary Gourmand Society (not to be confused with the Transgalactic Interdimensional Gourmand Society) will be hosting an "Iron Chef" sort of thing in their room party, which I am anxious to see. I will be bringing squid rings for their chef to fry up.

On an interesting note, your humble Cthulhu Coffee web minion has been asked to appear in a CONvergence panel, namely the How to Host a Room Party panel at noon on Saturday. So, if you are wandering the convention around noon (and you don't feel like attending the Harry Knowles panel), stop in and say hi!

I am also pleased to report that the Cthulhu Coffee party is on the main floor, poolside, in room 126. We are nestled between the Rake'Hell and ROG, which makes us something of a demilitarized zone. This also means that Cthulhu Coffee is in the Lineup of Party Power, which also includes (besides Rake'Hell and ROG) Club Adventure, the Gravediggers Union, the Marscon party, a groovy-looking Land of the Lost party, and both the Transgalactic Interdimensional Gourmand Society and the Pangalactic Interplanetary Gourmand Society.

Other exciting parties include the Cinema Apocalypse room (which has the ambitious task of running independent film for 24 hours a day during the convention), and the good ol' mainstays of Xenaversity, Qvark's and U.S.S. Nokomis. AnimeIowa, ValleyCon, MNSTF, and Diversicon will also be hosting their usual rooms, and there are probably a dozen other parties that cover just about every theme from video games to South Park to bondage. Exciting stuff! Even more exciting is that a swell smattering of celebrities will be wandering about these parties. British character actor Michael Sheard will be gracing us with his presence, as well as Peter Mayhew (best known as Chewbacca), Jay and Harry Knowles (of the Ain't It Cool website), and makeup artist Crist Balas. I wonder if Chewbacca likes coffee?

There are other neat things planned for CONvergence, dealer's room and art show aside. The Gadgeteer's Petting Zoo, hosted by Cthulhu Coffee's buddy Richard, will be once again putting on a Robot Sumo Wrestling match. Think Robot Wars without remote controls. Yes, these little robots fight only with their own built-in programs and their external designs. They are switched on in the ring and left alone to battle. Very interesting stuff for those who admire gadgetry in all it's myriad forms.

So, if you're not signed up to go to CONvergence, go sign up now and join us!

06212001 I stuck yet another link on the Links page [links page now defunct: 112406]. Check this out. I just about peed my pants reading this stuff. If you have ever worked help desk, you will cry in sympathy. If you have never worked help desk, well, it's funny anyway. The site is merely 30 pages or so of help desk tickets from an exceptionally daft gent named "George." He is incredibly vague. He does not know how to troubleshoot. His grammar is staggeringly bad. He seems to have a fetish for using some strange word called "havening," as in, "he's havening a problem with..." When you start reading this site, keep in mind that:

    a) George actually IS a native English speaker.

    b) George may not be dyslexic, and is also being lazy enough to not use a spellchecker on his tickets. (This is discussed on the FAQ page on the site, which is interesting reading in itself.)

    c) George's problems extend well beyond his tremendously bad grammar and spelling.

    d) George, despite his gratuitous shortcomings, has remained in his help desk job for years. Why? "Nepotism."

06212001 I still haven't finished the Insanity Test. However, I have been reading the news. A couple of things...

First of all, I just saw an interesting article on Salon. From the first version of the Cthulhu Coffee links page, we have always linked the surprisingly effective Google search engine, and here is Salon's interview with Google's director of research, Monika Henzinger. Interesting stuff.

Secondly, I have just added Twin Cities Mechwars to our Links page [links page now defunct: 112406] (among a few other things). Friends near-and-dear to Cthulhu Coffee have put some serious time into these shows of robotic carnage, and I hope that Cthulhu Coffee readers in the Twin Cities might consider attending and supporting (or even entering a robot into) these grand arena battles.

Third, speaking of grand arena battles, any of you keeping up on the news know that the Land of a Buh-zillion Lakes [Minnesota, for all you auslanders], where most of Cthulhu Coffee resides, is currently facing a government shutdown. It should be interesting if the Senate does not reach an agreement on the budget by the end of next week. Come 4th of July weekend, it is likely that most of the Minnesota population will be driving twice the speed limit because of the lack of state troopers. I'm glad that I will be safe at CONvergence. In a large hotel. With thousands of fanboys and fangirls. Many dressed as Klingons. Many of them drinking. A lot. And you just know someone is going to be playing Incubus on DVD at their room party. Or Mr. Vampire. It might even be the Cthulhu Coffee party.

Safe is, of course, a relative term.

06192001 I am continuing work on the Insanity Test. In the meantime, check out the nifty new top navigation! It's a little redundant with the eyeball tree sidebar, but it should make navigation a lot easier, especially for those users who don't use frames on this page.

06152001 Boom, baby! I have finally gotten around to making The Magic 8 Tentacle! Check it out!

I also managed to rearrange the Where page so people can find what they want.

06142001 I'm starting to absolve myself from my lack of attention to this site for the past couples months. I have finally begun tweaking the site again. Here are the changes I made today. More tomorrow!

  1. I made new downloadable copies of both the Tick and the Buffy poster from 1999. Now, instead of a crappy .gif, you can see them in their proper glory as .pdf files.
  2. I added C.H.U.D. to the links page. If you dig movies and haven't witnessed the glory of the C.H.U.D. web site (it stands for Cinematic Happenings Under Development), you really need to have take a look.
  3. I took the legal jargon off the main page and made a separate page just for legal jargon.
  4. I revamped the Who page and cut down my bio.

06102001 Yes, I have been naughty. It's been far too long since I have done an update, and I have so much planned to get done before CONvergence. Well, this morning I tossed about 10 more links on the links page, removed the decrepit Pump Monkey links (the site has disappeared), and did some general tweaking. I have a lot of treats planned: the Miskatonic University Worst-Case Scenario Handbook, Everything I Know I Learned From The Necronomicon, Deep Ones' Thoughts (by Jack Handy), new navigation bars, the Magic 8 Tentacle (finally!), a personality test, a lovemeter, and revamped bio pages. So, we'll see if I can get that all done before the convention...

04252001 Okay, this really isn't Mythos-related (and is actually more in the realm of current events), but I thought this was an amazing photo by photographer David Brewster, featured in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on April 18th.

Weather is the normal default conversation topic here in Minnesota, and as you may have heard, Mother Nature has been giving us a lot to talk about these last few weeks. For those of you who aren't familiar with this Minnesota sight, this is the 25-year-old wooden roller coaster (the High Roller) at Valleyfair in Shakopee, MN. No, it's not supposed to be anywhere near water, much less submerged.

Now, all we need is a few dripping tentacles reaching out of that large pond...

04162001 IT'S NOT FAIR! Yes, it was 70 degrees here on Saturday, and now, on Monday, it is snowing. Damned Minnesota weather!

Now that I have that out of my system, I am pleased to announce that Cthulhu Coffee is now safely residing back on kittyfox.net. You now don't need to deal with those nasty little ad banners.

I also found something quite intriguing and highly amusing today. Apparently, a performance artist in New York City has taken to an anti-Starbucks/anti-mass-commercialism campaign. He assumes the persona of a soapbox preacher and he teaches his followers such toe-tappin' hymns as "I've Got Nike Swooshes on My Underwear". This character's name is Reverend Billy, and you can read a great article about him here on salon.com.

04122001 Well, I seem to have migrated the site successfully to the new free hosting service. I promise that those nasty ad banners will disappear as soon as the wonderful kittyfox.net is resurrected. Please, please, please let me know if you find anything that doesn't work.

I just added something that may actually be useful to some people. A few times now, I have been asked, "So, how do you host a room party at a convention?" After doling out a few very long-winded e-mails, I have decided to publish all the knowledge that we learned the hard way as Hastur's Guide to Hosting a Room Party. Please check it out, and if you are one of those fellow wizened individuals who has held room parties before, please let us know anything we have forgotten to discuss!

I also urge you to check out the newest features of the site, most of which I managed to put up just before the site went dead a week and a half ago: The Recipe Box, Cthulhu Coffee's Chaotic Cafe, and, of course, our online shop.

I just checked the 100 Top Cthulhu Mythos Sites list. We are currently sitting at #9, even beating out Chaosium, Inc. (!) Yeah, yeah, I know I keep pushing this, but it's my competitive spirit. Vote now! Click on the banner below to help Cthulhu Coffee rise above the other minions!

04112001 So much for being back on track "in a few days". I am still refusing to shoot Jason, even though he has repeatedly requested me to do so. He has resorted to using AOL, and I hear that he has begun taking several showers a day, murmuring, "I just can't get CLEAN!"

I, in the meantime, have resorted to moving the site, since Jason is having problems finding a place to co-locate kittyfox.net in Chicago. The site is currently being hosted by directNIC.com, which is a free service, and thus they have slapped (ugh!) evil evil AD BANNERS on our lovely pages. The banners will go away as soon as kittyfox.net has returned. I promise!

By the way, directNIC.com has decided to delete all our anchor tags (EVIL! EVIL!). The anchor links on the Recipe Box page and the Story Summaries page have disappeared for the time being.

03292001 What a day! I have been notified that kittyfox.net, the server that hosts our venerable website, has disappeared off the Internet for a few days due to the NorthPoint freeze and bankruptcy. (You'll probably be reading this a few days from now, once Jason has figured out a new spot for kittyfox.) I asked Jason if there was anything that I could do to help. He said, "Shoot me now."

Aside from that, it's a good day for Cthulhu. He has just made an appearance in User Friendly today, asking mortal Sid for XML support. [Follow the "Next Day's Cartoon" buttons to follow the two-week long appearance of the Great Ancient One.]

03272001 all right, I was bored at work and I have conceived of another feature for Cthulhu Coffee: Cthulhu Coffee's Chaotic Cafe! Yes, we now have a message forum where you can chat about anything you please. Go post something! Now!

03262001 Last night, like many people, I sat down and watched the Oscars. Or, rather, I dressed in sweats, and sat down with a six of beer, a bag of chips, a jar of salsa, and a huge bowl of popcorn and roared, "BRING IT ON!" As a movie fiend, this is the one night a year that I allow my brain such junk food as the Oscars. I must say, there was a noticeable shortage of geek-cool movies up for golden statuettes (unless you count the over-hyped Gladiator) and the evening overall was rather bland. And no cephalopods to speak of, dammit.

It is sad that Alien director Ridley Scott, who is getting on in years, did not win an award for directing Gladiator (seriously, he's not going to have much more time left to direct something that the Academy will reward him for, and he richly deserves something), but, frankly, it was Soderbergh's year to get kudos.

I was thrilled to see make-up god Rick Baker up on the stage again, accepting statuary for his work on The Grinch (an awful movie, but great make-up). Not like he doesn't have, like, a dozen of those shiny awards on his mantle for things like An American Werewolf in London, but like I said, he is a god of his domain. He keeps looking better as he ages, too, unlike Willem Dafoe, who just looks creepier by the minute.

Speaking of Willem, it absolutely sucks that he had to lose the golden statue to the likes of ill-humored Russell Crowe, especially since Dafoe's role as Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire was probably much more challenging than Crowe's reenactment of Richard Burton's Greatest Hits.

Anyway, that's enough of my post-Oscar ranting. I have much cooler things to report.

Last week, I was treated to a copy of The Whisperer, a magazine "devoted to Call of Cthulhu and things Lovecraftian". Issue #4 is now out, and I was sent a copy all the way from the UK by Mike Mason himself, the magazine's editor. It's an excellent resource for CoC gamers, and it's fun to peruse even if you're not a gamer. I highly recommend it. Check out the web site at www.starrywisdom.co.uk.

The SPONGE website has come up with a seriously cool toy. They have created a "Choose Your Own Adventure"-type interactive story on the web. Log on (or register as a Historian, then log on), and you will be able to choose your own route through the story. And then (and this is the cool part), when you hit a spot that has not yet been written, YOU get to write what happens next. Really worth a look!

Oh, also on SPONGE... they are hosting an "Elder Sign Contest", deadline March 31st. Submit photos of your own homemade Elder Sign!

Another fun place to visit: the Mad Scientist web site. This really is uber-cool. A bunch of real scientists have banded together on the web to answer any scientific question you might have. Check out the Random Knowledge Generator and the Experiments Section (separated into Edible and Non-Edible procedures).

And one more thing. It's almost Easter. It's Peeps Time. Get your little yellow marshmallow birdies and par-tay. Check out one of my favorite oddball web sites: The Peeps Research Site.

03132001 ...and so the stars aligned and there was much rejoicing among the minions of Cthulhu Coffee! Finally, you can buy Cthulhu Coffee mugs, polo shirts, and buttons over the web on your credit card! Click here to peruse and purchase our vile goodies.

Also, I just ventured to Chicago to visit our Server Minion, Jason. Jason officially gets the award for first person to come up with a Cthulhu Coffee slogan for Year 2001. (But I'm not telling you what it is. You will have to wait until CONvergence like all the other minions.)

Jason, despite (or, perhaps, because of) being clubbed in the head by a ceiling tile during the Seattle earthquake, found the desire to bestow upon me all sorts of other really cool purchasable Cthulhu-related goodies. Of course, I am absolutely thrilled and tickled pink to be bestowed with such goodies. Check out these items, all available at Wizard's Attic:

Cthulhu Cola t-shirt: Just for the Taste of You.
The Cthulhu Fish. Unfortunately, it's a magnet, so it would be swiped off my car if I put it there. The fridge seems to be a good place for now.
Super, uber-cool... Jeffrey Combs reads H. P. Lovecraft's "Herbert West -- Re-Animator".
Chaos Inside sticker, with the Nyarlathotep Soul Processor. This one will go on my car.

02222001 Yes! Finally! The end is near! I have done battle with the darkness, and it is almost time for Cthulhu Coffee to accept credit card orders! By next week, you should be able to spend all the unsecured credit you want here! Yahoo!

And check it out: the Lovecraft Story Summaries are continuing to grow in number.

01252001 Cthulhu Coffee has now been added to the 100 Top Cthulhu Mythos Sites list. Click on the banner below to help Cthulhu Coffee rise above the other minions!

01252001 Cthulhu Coffee has now been linked on the venerable authority on Cthulhu Humor, The Evil (yet strangely hilarious) Gallery of Yog-Sothoth. Check out the Gallery for all sorts of other Cthulhu humor sites and images, including Cthulhu Cola, Hello Cthulhu (which is something like Hello Kitty), and a Cthulhu made out of Legos. Highly recommended! Plus, as an extra bonus, check out the link to the Crystal Palace dinosaurs. It should tickle any dinosaur fan, whether or not they've seen the 1925 version of The Lost World.

Also, check out something Jason found: an epic (?) battle with Cthulhu in the comic Exploitation Now. Make sure to follow the thread for a few days, too.

I am so proud! I just spent the whole day mothering this site and sticking a lot of graphics everywhere (hence the improved sidebar). Please let me know if you find anything that doesn't seem to be working properly. I've been strung out on Red Hots and frozen pizza all day, so I probably missed something.

In Brief

11252006:
First update in two years! Unfortunately, the update says that this site will no longer be updated. Click here for more details.

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