A Riddle

Voice Card  -  Volume 13  -  John Card Number 18  -  Sat, Apr 28, 1990 04:07 AM

Explain this:

Two consecutive voice cards appear in the same issue. The first is dated February 22. The very next card is dated April 17. How can this be?

If you don't believe that such a thing could happen, just take a look at Larry's cards. Archipelago is slowing down! We've GOT to pick up the pace.

Whenever I push Archipelago deadlines, I can't help but to picture myself as the balding, cigar chewing Archibald Pelago, the demanding editor who appeared in one of Stuart's crab stories. I have a hard time accepting my role as a deadline pusher. After all, in this society of procrastinators I am a first among equals.

First Stuart was silenced by a tragic hard disk initialization. Then I decided, as long as we were running behind schedule anyway, it would be worth waiting a few more days to hear Robert's tales of Moscow. And then the postal service sent Robert's packet into limbo for an additional week. And just when everything else seemed ready to go, I was forced back to Idaho and delayed by various other distractions for yet another week.

And so here we are at May's doorstep in an issue that was due March 12! There is no need to fix blame (especially since I am as much to blame as anyone), but we have to do better!

Paul and I have kicked around a few ideas. Paul seems to favor a drop-deadline: after a week's grace period I launch the next issue NO MATTER WHAT. But there are several difficulties with this approach. If I haven't received someone's packet, I have to come up with three new transit disks for each member each time. And if packets pass each other in the mail it becomes very confusing and causes extra work for me. And I just hate leaving anyone out.

Here's another idea: what if I send postcards to everyone at deadline time. The postcard would just say "Surf's Up!" or something like that, so that your memories would be jogged. What do you think of that?

In the meantime, PLEASE consider this suggestion: if you find yourself a week past the deadline with little hope of finding enough time to send the kind of voice cards you'd like to send, DO THIS: Turn on your machine and whip out a very short HELLO CARD and then drop the packet in the mail. This can be accomplished, start to finish, in less than ten minutes, and at least I will have your transit disks and will not be kept slowing twisting in the wind. This is in part what Hello Cards are for.

Also, let's make a special effort to get volume 14 out in record time. Come on men! So far the two women in our group have put us to shame! Let's go out and win one for the Gipper! Onward! Onward! Onward to Glory!