Notes from Puzzle Palace

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Videos of exchange puzzles

 Due to travels and seeing family, my blog is all out of whack.  I will be posting about the IPP proper in a week or so when I get back home and everything calms down a bit.  

In the mean time, here is a preview of all of the exchange puzzles that were given out.  With the exception of George's and mine.  For some silly reason, we always end up giving them all away.  

I hope you enjoy this brief interlude.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Ipp 41 Houston Texas

You know the drill.  I'm not allowed to say where the IPP is being held other than the city, but some folks have already posted the location.  Different rules for different people I guess.  We were lucky and able to check in at 2 when we arrived.  We headed straight up to the room and ran into Marti.  She's right across the hall from us so we've seen a lot of her.  

We brought our luggage in, I unpacked and we headed down to the lobby to chat with the early arrivers.

We were supposed to go to dinner with Bill and Scarlet, but it was a (mostly) fish sushi dinner and that just didn't appeal to me.  George and I have been maintaining our juice diet and the thought of fish was enough to make me sick even before I ate it.  Instead we made an even bigger mistake and had diner in the hotel restaurant with Marti.  The ribs were what we opted for, and it should have not even been on the menu.  It tasted like someone dropped an entire bottle of black pepper on it.  The waitress kept saying it was spicy when we complained.  Spicy I can handle. A ruined tongue I cannot.  That was an insult to the rib.  George was smart and made a salad out of the left over guacamole.  Marti and I suffered.

The next morning was just a day to relax and chat with friends, and boy did we.  We had a puzzle box workshop with Kelly Snache in the afternoon.  George signed up for it, but I built it.  We sat at the table with Allan Stein, Jules Constantine, Louis Toorenburg, among others.  We had so much fun laughing at ourselves with the mistakes we were making.  In the end though, we all had semi-workable puzzle boxes.

When this was over, George went up for a nap and I headed to Daiso.  That was a bust.  I did buy some chocolate for the family up north and some grapefruit drink for George and I but really, they had nothing.  It was a sad little store.  I did however get my Lego passport stamped when I visited the lego store and I found a supercharger and filled up the car.  

We had juice for dinner and continued to chat with friends and puzzle away the evening.

I helped George set up his 3D printer and we made up the rest of the Roxanne and George figures for my exchange puzzle.  He also made about 4 or 5 bucolic cubes to bring to family up north when we go.  Marti got a mini lesson in how to set it up.

Friday morning I headed out to yet another Daiso up north of us.  This one did not disappoint.  I was able to get great new kitchen gadgets!  I also hit Barnes and Noble to pick up a few puzzle books we didn't have (Murdle Most Puzzling volumes 1-3) and got a bit more OJ and milk for our breakfast.  When I got back to the hotel it was time for Rob's workshop to make yet another puzzle box.  This time I was with Patrick, and Haym.  

Mat and Lee gave us all a bit of help.  As I was going through the solve steps, I managed to have one piece go flying off my box so Rob himself came over and rescued me.  He glued it up, clamped it, and I hope it works when we get home.  

The Founder's reception was held in a BBQ joint a few blocks down the road from the hotel and we all piled in busses to head over.  Have I mentioned the heat and humidity here?  No, well it's hot. At one point earlier today I noticed the outside temperature was 105!  The BBQ was massive.  3 types of meat, one of which was a half a chicken! The biggest loaded baked potato I have ever seen, mac and cheese, and a tomato salad.  They aren't big on vegetables here I guess.  Sadly, I forgot to take photos of the meal.  There was enough food on that plate to feed George and I for a week at least.  I'm pretty sure everyone enjoyed it.  Jerry introduced the new IPPers, but the noise from the fan was so loud, where I was standing I couldn't hear a thing.  As it was Jerry's birthday, the band played a song and all sang along. A few minutes later they announced a bus going back to the hotel and the joint emptied out.  I was told later the usual suspects stayed behind, listened to the music and enjoyed the drinks and company.  I was also told a beer was $5 vs. a $21 glass of wine in the hotel. 

When we got back there was the design competition room to visit.  I spent a good hour with one of the guys from a puzzle company we all know and love and tried to sort out a few puzzles.  We also picked a couple to analyze for bringing to market at a future date.

I retired semi-early as George had already gone to bed and I was missing my emotional support human.  2 hours away from him and I get antsy.  

Stay tuned for IPP exchange and the puzzle party.

Monday, July 8, 2024

We have winners!

I thought you all might like a brief interruption in my usual rantings to learn about the Design competition winners. So here you go. Photo of the award first, then the winners below it.

And Finally