This has not been a quiet week at Lake Wobegon. We at Castle Ridenhour are busy preparing for the Chicago Toy and Game Fair, where Ian will enter his game “Animal Attack” in the Young Inventors’ Challenge. As he likes to say, “this is going to be EPIC.” And it is. We leave this Wednesday and travel to Minneapolis, where we spend the night with lovely friends. On Thursday, we’re up and off to Chicago, and on Friday, the kids and I will tour the sights – The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Field Museum, both of which have been highly recommended to us by everyone to whom we mention the word “Chicago.”
Saturday is the Big Event, where Ian will pitch his game to anyone and everyone he can get to stop for a moment or two. He’s very outgoing, and pitching Animal Attack is something that comes very easy to him, so this will be fun. Our hope of hopes is that he finds a company who is interesting in licensing the game. We are very aware that this is much like finding a needle in a haystack, or finding a publisher for a novel. But, as the adage goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” So we are venturing.
Awards will be given out Saturday night, and then the kids and I will be rewarded with free tickets to the game fair on Sunday. On that day we’ll see all the other hundreds of gaming booths, try out new inventions and oogle over existing ones, like Pokemon and Heroscape (I wonder if they’ll be there). Then a two day trek back to North Dakota, just in time for Thanksgiving.
So that’s the plan. We’ve been working on this game for two and a half years now, so all should be ready yes? Well, no actually. Last week, I took my computer in for some fixing up. My online backup had not been working for some time, and I had even wiped it clean to start again (foreshadowing here!). But that didn’t work either. Also, updates weren’t being able to update. So to make sure nothing Terrible happened while in Chicago (more foreshadowing!), I took the laptop in to get it all fixed up. Turns out, they needed to wipe the drive and reinstall Windows. I would have to reinstall my software. No worries, though, because they would back up all my data, and I wouldn’t lose anything important.
And they backed up a lot. But unfortunately, just nothing in My Documents folder. Which has everything. The kids’ projects (including Animal Attack), all my teacher planning, my family’s financial records. Everything. To make a long story short, the data cannot be retrieved. I do have a backup from last February, and it turns out that Ian had a lot of Animal Attack on another computer. Still, we’ve lost a lot. And, they had my computer for a week. So all weekend, we pulled old Animal Attack files, revised according to our most recent printed revisions, added more revisions, created new marketing materials, fixed up his presentation board, etc. By last night, both Ian and I felt sick, with body- and head-aches. But it’s mostly done, and with a good night’s rest, we are both entering into this week feeling much better and ready to go.
Homeschool has been totally out of whack because of all this. I’ve retained daily math class, and I assigned Eva a novel (which she finished). I’ve let the kids experiment with Legos and assigned them projects to build a variety of simple machines with them. They built a kicking catapult, and Eva designed a paint roller, which turned out not to be very sturdy. They studied gear functions, including gearing up, which in conjunction with Murphy’s Law, became the theme of the week.
So here we are! Today will be a “normal” homeschool day with math and science and music theory (we were able to recover a recent version of Ian’s composition – yea!). This afternoon, they have book club and the library, and I will use that quiet time to print out Chicago maps and catch up on laundry for the trip.
My next post will of course be about this amazing upcoming trip. I’ll be sure to take lots of photos!
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