Ecorider

Showing posts with label Mf8. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mf8. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Guangzhou toys fair

Once again, I've been a lucky lady.  I had another 20 hours in Guangzhou last week with some great friends.

As usual Michael gave me very late notice but he did send me a message asking if I wanted to go to Guangzhou on 9 April.   He told me that Da Yan and Leslie and couple others would be there. I was very lucky because we've just effectively finished the semester and I didn't have classes on Tuesday or Wednesday so I left Tuesday morning and went to GZ by train.  on Wednesday morning I had a meeting so for me it was just one night GZ as usual lately.  but hopefully this summer we will be able to get together again a few more times and I can spend more time up there. I'm hoping as long as I get more notice Michael.

When I got to GZ mean my my dear friend picked me up at train station and we stopped and ate some breakfast and then we headed off towards the torture appetizer we met at the angel and one of the owners of cube twist.
Now I've been to the toy fair in Hong Kong many times. I think about 15 years 16 years now I've been going and in Hong Kong it's very active and it's very busy. There are thousands and thousands of vendors. The walkway is very thin you're constantly bumping into people so when I got to GZ I was very very surprised.  There are less booths. It only covered two floors of the building but it was a very large building. The walkways were very wide. As I was walking I didn't bump into anyone. There was a lot of activity; a lot of people walking around a lot of talking.

We were very lucky because Happy Angel had been to the toys fair before and he acted as to a guide for us. We went around not looking at toys but looking at puzzles and puzzle companies. Very interesting in GZ the companies that we on Tuesday puzzles consider copy companies were all their selling or showing their puzzles. 

We went to was SS and we met the owner and the designer of the puzzles.  Neither men spoke English but the owners son was there and we spent a great deal of time sitting down and talking. As is usually in China the first thing they did was give us tea and of course we drank 10 cups of tea. The designer gave me two puzzles that he had designed the first is a 3 x 3 that glows in the dark and it's a little bit different.  It is blue instead of the usual green glow-in-the-dark. He also gave me a mini version of the 7 x 7 that they have made it's probably a half an inch smaller than the other 7 x 7 that they have developed previously.

They've also come out with a new 4 x 4 puzzle and I asked them to look at the inside of it very interesting thing to me it still looks the same as the v-cubes, but they've added an additional piece inside it.   I kind of thing so it's slightly different but it still reminds me of the same.   

From here we went on and looked at a giant helicopter and the company was selling remote control helicopter toys but this one is a toy for kids but you can sit two people in it and fly around.  It look pretty cool but not for my house.  It's it's the size of my house, literally!  From there we went to YJ and I saw quite a few puzzles that are relatively new, but I've picked them all up at the Hong Kong toys fair in January. They had the the golden Chinese tael, they had the silver potato (the one they are calling an egg) and many others that are pretty standard that they've had for for many many years.  They did have a burr type puzzle which was very interesting.  I have never seen it before and very nicely they gave me a copy of it.  The designer at this company recognized me from Twisty Puzzles from my blog and from many trips to China and posts on Mf8 so he was very nice. I did want to leave the before the owner of the company recognize me because I had met him previously when I was working the toys fair with v-cubes and so we left there and headed out to see a couple more puzzles.

 Next we went to see was Ghosthand but that was just normal 3 x 3 cubes.  We also saw the Chinese company that the toys company that made the Chinese knot puzzle at the Chinese new year last year. They had some three by threes they have some 4 x 4 expect basically nothing new. From there we went to see LAN LAN.  This is the first time that I've met the people from LL. They were very nice as well.   They had two new diamond geared type puzzles, not the same as the one that Calvin has produced, but unfortunately they wouldn't give me a copy of it so I'm I'm still trying to find that somewhere.  I'll probably buy it online somewhere and again more tea more more photographs but nothing new at this booth either.

QJ is another company that we saw and QJ had a number of puzzles out but we didn't stay very long the fair was closing soon and we wanted to get over to Dian Sheng.  QJ also had nothing new that I hadn't seen already.

The final stop of the day was Dian Sheng and I was very surprised as we walked up I saw it some posters on the wall.  The posters had a couple of cubes that I had never seen before so I was hoping they would have these puzzles in their booth.   The booth was very very large and as we went and they did have these  new puzzles however they look very much like a Meffert's ball cube.  But he's just produced two of them.  The texture on the outside of the balls is slightly different but otherwise they're effectively the same.  He also has made a new 4 x 4 puzzle with a textured surface on it so it isn't for use in competitions.   but it does look nice Dian Sheng also produced a number of 3 x 3 and 4 x 4 puzzles that are made of colored plastic so no more painting on colors and no more tiles on their puzzles.  Their third different colored plastics put together much like Mf8  and Da Yan have been doing over the last year.

at 5 o'clock it was very interesting because there were security guards standing around with megaphones telling us to leave the fair.  The fair is closing leave leave leave!  In Hong Kong they don't do that to make an announcement but that's it. People take their good sweet time to get out here they turn off the lights on us and there was a mad rush to leave the building.

I think at the end of the day we saw something like 10 different manufactures. It was as always very interesting for me to go to the fair from the standpoint of non-buyer and to look at it from that perspective.  It's not very often that I get to do that usually I've been working the fair for different companies. They had nothing new but I did meet the guy from Dian Sheng and he's going to send me some but I've been asking for him to send me.

Santa Da Yan
When the fair was over we went over to the MF8 warehouse and we met with Mr. Faulk and Diane says they work with you then and Leslie and his wife so everybody except Tom had come back to for the couple of days. Da Yan pulled out his new puzzles that he made lots of photographs have been running around the Internet of these things and they're a lot of fun to a lot of fun to twist and to play with he passed out blue to buy two to all of the puzzlers.  That I didn't get that I got a remake of a Gem puzzle that he had made before he's retooling all of the puzzles to make them better so very nice he signed them for us after this we went to dinner and and of course the dinner it was puzzles the Plenti we had Diane's puzzles on the table no one else brought out puzzles no no new puzzles coming out I should say or none that I can talk about I brought along a number of IPP puzzles that I had received that I thought that the guys would be interested in.   A number of other people joined us in the evening later in the evening and I think it dinner we had about 15 people in total. Teacher  didn't come but I give about five puzzles for him to use in his classes in the coming weeks.  He teaches middle school middle, school mathematics and he enjoys the packing puzzles for using with his students.




One puzzle that was a big hit was again Stephen Chin's mouse house and I played with it with a lot of people I took it out at the toys there and showed it to couple of the designers or owners that I know just goofing around and let them photograph it or anything.  At dinner everyone  had to try and solve the puzzle. That one was  a big hit! Leslie brought his wife alone and she managed to solve the puzzle.  Very interestingly, Eric Fuller's topless box is still unsolved. We didn't get that one done and dinner as usual lasted about three hours.  After dinner we went back to Mr. Fox warehouse to pick up our bags and from there we headed out to karaoke.  Karaoke lasted a long long long time and yes I sang this time.


Afterwards it was breakfast as usual in the same little shop just across from the hotel and we headed back to the hotel around 4:30 5 o'clock.   Because I had a 10 o'clock meeting I had to leave GZ very early and Ming stayed with me.  We left for the train station at around seven and I managed to make it back in time for my meeting. I'm really glad that I made notes for myself the day before on the train on the way up or I would never would have managed to survive the two hours that I had to survive.  GZ is great fun I love the guys I love going up and spending time with them.  I love playing with the puzzles and I just have an amazing good time when I when I go up there. I'm hoping that this summer I'll have a chance to go couple more times.  My schedule is a bit  more flexible than it was during term time and I look forward to spending more than just 18 hours over 20 hours in GZ. I guess I need three or four days in a nice long session would be good again. I hope you enjoyed the photographs of the toys. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One night in Guangzhou.....

Ok I want you all to start singing to the tune made famous in the 80's by Murray Head.

Now that I have half of you smiling and humming along, and the other half searching google.....
guard cats
That's exactly what we just did. One night was enough to recharge my (puzzle) batteries and make me feel like me again.

Michael (aka SmaZ) and I left for GZ after my class on Monday. This meant a late arrival in GZ, but the professional (keener) in me wouldn't allow me to cancel classes. Upon arrival we headed straight to the warehouse of Mf8 (Mr. Fok-who I've been told has a different name in Putonghua) and chatted for a bit.  I snapped a nice photo of some rock candy I saw sitting around.  Sadly, I couldn't get photos of the cats by the puzzles. Silly things left every time I tried to snap a picture of them.  I really enjoyed taking photos of his guard cats! as well as new puzzles. We sat and chatted for around an hour before heading out to dinner with a nice little group of puzzlers-13 of us in all. Ming even brought his girlfriend who is WAY too pretty for him. Throughout dinner the puzzles kept coming out. By the end of the night we had no less than 50! on the table. Everyone always brings something they have been enjoying and I bring some if my recent finds or my favorites from IPP. Sadly, this trip followed immediately after the first 1/2 marathon I've run with my husband and I only had time to grab a few gifts and a bag that was on my desk. My contribution this time was pretty sparse and it only highlighted how long it's been since I've had a boys and toys! (And how much I missed them!)

Of course, no buys and toys can be called such without copious amounts of beer, but this time I had a surprise in my bag! Oyster Bay! I needed a bottle for the train ride and...well, it needed finishing! All had a glass of my (second) favorite wine and the fun began.

Food is almost as important as puzzles (and beer) and the meal lasted a whopping three hours, but when you are with such great company it seems like only minutes.  It was great to see and play with AJ's new puzzles.  Although the blue one doesn't work as well as he wanted, but I have a feeling he'll come up with a solution for it soon enough.  A few Hanayama puzzles were brought out onto the table to be twisted and separated as well as a few brass puzzles I brought along.    
the Hanayama toys
a broken lock
 Ming brought out out a pile of the Hanayama mini puzzles that have recently come out.  He managed to find them somewhere at a good price and was passing them out to all who purchased them.  Nice guy gave me a number that I don't have.

Ming's girlfriend managed to take apart a lock puzzle that was exchanged at IPP, but she pulled it a bit beyond the spot of solving.  No problem, 2 puzzles.  They got it back together again and the play  carried on.

After dinner Mr. Wong, Michael, Ming and I went on to have a 'second dinner' a 1/2 dozen bottles of beer and a lot more puzzle talk!
puzzle purchases

The next day we met again and spent a long time running around looking in a place I'll call "Mannings" because I'm just not sure of the name of the place but I sure enjoy going there. It's 7 floors of wholesale shops.  4 of which are girly things and toys!  Heaven.  I purchased a few toys there, but not my usual haul.  It seems I've got most of what I've been looking for.  Can anyone tell me how that happened?

We ended up back at the Mf8 warehouse for a bit of talk before our last dinner together.  Mr. Fok very kindly gave Michael and I a copy of Eitian's star and a sweet desert cake.  At dinner he brought out a couple of his new puzzles.  The crazy puzzle was molded a few years back but had flaws so it's being redesigned.  If I understood write, it should be coming out within the next half year.  The other holey puzzle shown here is on the way as well.  A couple of nice little toys to play with so save your pennies!

As always, it was hard to leave.  I'm hoping the next trip isn't as far apart as this one has been.

Rock candy




Friday, December 28, 2012

On the 4th day of Christmas


On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me,
4 Mr. Fok's
3 Da Yan's
2 Brian Young's
And Stickman in a pine tree.

I met Mr. Fok way way way back in 2009. Ok, not so far back in terms of real years, but in puzzle years it's an awful lot.  My very first time to meet him Smaz, Luckystar, and I went on a factory trip.  I never said, but I think enough time has gone past now that I can say the visit was with Mr. Fok (Mf8) and that the puzzle was the crazy 4x4x4.  Wow do I feel better now that that secret is off my chest.

Mr. Fok is another of those gentle quiet men that I like so much.  He's incredibly bright and very hard working.  He'll join us for dinner and a short puzzling time, but  then he's right back to the warehouse designing and building and doing what ever else it is he does.  I'd love to show you a photo of him, but we have all sworn upon the threat of never getting another puzzle again that we will never show his face.


Instead, I'll give you two of the early puzzles that he is responsible for designing.  See, there was a time when Mf8 didn't exist...and Ultraman did!  Fun little puzzles that are a 2x2x2.  If you can find one, I would say grab it just for a piece of Mf8 history.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mf8 stars

Yes I know that's not the official name for these puzzles but it fits the overall shape nicely. Well, the shape of the center bits anyway.

I've been blessed to meet the owner of Mf8 back in the summer of 2009. (Incidentally, that first puzzle was the crazy 4x4)  Since that first meeting, I've had the pleasure and privilege of meeting up with him quite a few times a year since then.  Dinner, drinks, a bit of peaking into the dark corners and parts bags in his warehouse.....He's trusted me with secret puzzle releases for quite some time now and has allowed me to play with many puzzles, take photos of many more and every now and again take one home.  And each and every time someone beats me to the information release over on TP.  But hey, I'd rather know and play than brag and tell.  Add to that his making my exchange puzzle for me this year as well as helping SmaZ with the manufacture of a few puzzles and you have one great guy on your hands!

It dawned on me today while I was reading Kevin's blog about his set of DaYan gems that I have not blogged about these so I'll make it up to you now.  Or should I say I'll make Kevin go spend more now.  :)

First up is the corner turning star.  I know I've not got the names right, but they are one thing on TP and something else on Mf8 and something else everywhere else you look so I'll just call them stars!  My toys, my choice of names!  This one came out in 2010, but didn't hit the market until 2011.  A nice one to play with, and not too difficult to solve.  It messes up nicely, but doesn't jumble so there is no 'real difficulty' in solving it.  Other than the obvious solving issues one has with puzzles.  I also have this one in ice-blue plastic, but since it is effectively the same, there is no point in showing another photo.

 Next we have the edge turning version of the star. This one does jumble, but in my photo I had a bugger of a time just turning the edges.  This one is very stiff. The screws are tightened down and as with all the puzzles in my collection, there is no lubrication. The corners on this one don't turn unlike the first star puzzle shown above.  This one is really pretty to me.  It reminds me quite a bit of TomZ's Curvycopter.  I think the first person to make one of these might have named it something along those lines.

Eat your heart out Kevin!  This one turns across the middle and that squiggle you see on there?  It's a signature.  We had a lucky draw at one of the Guangzhou meet-ups and I won this one as my prize.  Otis was there and was nice enough  to sticker it for me. I made Mr. Fok sign it before we left.  This has got to be a rarity.  He's such a humble man that it took me 2 years to get a signature out of him.  I don't know of anyone else who has one, but if there is someone out there, do let me know. I'd love to change my posting here.

Finally we have the last of the stars.  The Bauhinia.  That name hasn't been taken yet, and is absolutely perfect for this puzzle. IT looks just exactly like the Hong Kong flower!  It's so commonly found here, it's even on our coins!  This puzzle is just beautiful!  I first saw this one in 2010 as well, but at the time it had so many problems that it simply couldn't be made.  If you think back, Mf8 has made at least 20 puzzles either by himself, or in conjunction with DaYan and others since that time.  He did me a HUGE favor by making my puzzle, so the time from conception to production isn't that long afterall.  He did say he had a lot of projects in the works and no time to make this one...last January when I asked after it again.  I managed to steal this one after the HK Asian Championships of the WCA Cube competition kind.  We had an exhibition and Mf8 sent this new one along for display.  As we were packing up, I stole it!  But I'm an honest thief, when I see him next I'll give him the cash for it.  There's a video of it on my YouTube channel, but as usual it's mostly me blabbering on.  Watch at your own risk, I've been told I'm in need of a new camera. I'm really wondering if I'm in need of a new set of eyes because the videos look fine to me....

So there you go Kevin.  Enjoy!  And then go buy.  It's only around US$160 for the lot of them.  You can afford it you know you can, and Mrs. S....Well, a girl can never have too many shoes can they????  And for the record Kevin, I know.....







Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Another successful puzzling weekend.

As always, it's a sad time when friends go their separate ways.  Sunday was the end of the event and it was doubly sad because it was time to say good bye to friends.  I always hate that part of the puzzle events.  Saying good by is painful even at the best of times.  This weekend it was extra hard because I know it might not be until after the first of the year that I see my friends again.

Because I'm so bored at these things, I first decided to go to my favorite shop and get a few puzzles for Otis.  Every time he comes over he brings me some so I decided to return the favor.  This time I picked him up a few classic puzzles, Make the letter: A, K, M, T.  A Hanayama (or maybe Beverly) soma cube type puzzle and a Lotte Crunky bar game/puzzle/toy.

When I got there, it was just bug and I for a short while, Michael came next and Da Yan.  It was a real treat because I enjoy watching all the kids faces when they realize who they are talking to.  When Uwe showed up, I think they were all in puzzle heaven.  I could give a more vivid description, but all I can think of right now is a tad bit vulgar so I'll pass.

After a while, a chap brought out some dice and showed us how to stack them using cups.  It was good fun and we all had a go.  Me?  I could get 4 to stand up.  Bug managed 3. I'm not sure about the rest of the guys.  Matt came around 7 to pick bug up as it was a school night and I took the opportunity to introduce him to Da Yan.  I've been going and spending weekends with the guys for around 3 years now, and this is the first one Matt has met.  See all you non believers, I'm such a good girl my husband trusts me. All I get up to is good clean fun.  Had to snap a photo with him in it just to make sure he was there.  It might have been a dream otherwise.



After Matt left, I had to take some photos for Uwe.  Turns out he pulled out some of the 4 layer pyraminx's and gave them out to a bunch of kids.  The deal was if they could solve them he would let them keep the puzzle, if not, they paid for it at a slightly reduced cost.  Good deal hey?  This was as close as they got on Sunday, but all were given a weeks grace period and trust to be honest.  Here's hoping one of them solves the puzzle.  

After Matt and bug left, the awards ceremony began.  Michael was up first, I followed as did Da Yan and Uwe.  There were a lot of awards and I bet this took over an hour to do. I think The Japanese ruled the day, but I could be wrong.  Remember, I don't take much interest in the competing bit so I take about as much in the awards.  All that won though were lovely kids and they had huge smiles and all wanted to shake hands with us.



When all was said and done, We took the time to snap a photo of the four of us in front of the stage.  And I enjoyed watching all the different countries competitors take photos in front of their flags.  I'm pretty sure they enjoyed it as well. The kid with Michael was the youngest competitor, the girl with me was a pyraminx winner, and the one with Uwe won on one of the Meffert's puzzles.  Gear cube I believe.   




Time to head out to dinner before removing all our puzzles and taking them home. Otis joined us and it was another first.  We had never all had dinner together before.  Michael pointed out that we have never been at the same place before so that makes perfect sense.  The food was good as was the beer. Even Uwe had a Stout with us.  But we did have a slight problem.  The photo on the right shows Otis and Uwe so engaged in conversation that you will notice, the rest of us had empty glasses--Otis was in charge of the pouring.  He got so engrossed in the conversation he forgot his beer duty.


Around 10:30 Otis took Uwe to the train so he could make the border crossing and we all went down stairs to pack up.  30 minutes later and we were in a taxi heading to Michael's shop to store the toys for the night.  As always, we ended up in a bar somewhere playing drinking games.  This time I joined in the fun and learned how to count to six in Mandarin. I still lost quite a lot even after learning because I had to count on my fingers.  A poker player I'll never be.  Otis at the end of the night was looking a bit forlorn at the cube I just stole.  Thank you Michael for talking Mf8 into letting me keep it!  It is just so pretty!  I've lusted after it for around 2 years now and can't wait until the rest of you get a chance to play with it. Brilliant puzzle it is.
As for other puzzles, well, Da Yan was his usual generous self and gave me a crazy pillowed three sided puzzle that he made, and another that I can't tell you about because it isn't out yet.  During dinner I pulled out TomZ's constrained cube (the Shapeway's version) and because we were discussing it, He made me another using the pieces of another cube he has made....And that one I"ll leave alone because it still isn't my place to say.  I gave him a copy of my pionir pyramid along with a bracelet puzzle I've put together and a copy of the square in a bag.  And no, I know he won't copy it!  He's too honest, and quite frankly, too bright to have to do that.  

All in all, it was a great weekend and as always I look forward to the next one. I hope Tom and Leslie and Ming and Aj and.....can all join us!  I'm thinking December when I head over for a conference. Boring English lecturer by day, not so boring puzzler by night.....

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's a small world

 I know people say that, but really, it is!  I have proof right here!


Apparently I know this guy.  Ok, so here is a story for you.  At IPP last August, we took this boat ride.  Katherine being herself got bored and decided to go bother people.  Me being me went hunting for her.  She found this little guy that she thought was adorable and began chasing him around the boat.  I'm not sure who enjoyed that more, him or her.  So IPP is over and we all go on our merry way...
Fast forward 6 months and enter SmaZ's shop. It was one of those days.  I spent a good 3 hours in a meeting, fielded around 70 emails about wiki being down-at least 50 came from one rather um....challenged....young person who couldn't find the library even though it's right in front of you when you enter the campus, and when he did find it didn't know how to use the card catalog, even though it's on line, dealt with some puzzle nonsense that I'd rather not deal with, and Michael asked me a question.  Well that was all it took.  I was on a Rant!  A long winded rather vocal one.  And all the while the man in the photo above is standing in the shop.  I paid no attention until he asked a question about a cube.  And there you have it folks.  Rox sticking her foot in it again.  Well, he stayed and chatted for a bit.  Solved a mimi puzzle, played with the washer cylinder and discovered a little something I hadn't (still not solved though).  SmaZ gave him a gift of a puzzle, and he purchased a dino barrel and left to go back to Denmark.  Talk about great timing.  Things like this just don't happen do they?  Ah, and go take a look at his webpage.  A bit of eye candy there, that's for sure.

So why go to SmaZ's in the first place?  My friend Otis is in town for the holidays and we agreed to meet up over there.  (I'm sure he'll come to the house and play for a while next week, but we had some puzzles to swap out with each other....) After we met at 6:30 or so, we stayed a Michael's for a few more hours before heading out for dinner.  As always we each brought a few puzzles along to play with/brag on so out they came during dinner!  Otis brought that beauty of a TomZ puzzle with and I quite enjoyed twisting it around.  Lots of puzzle talk, lots of playing, one unsolved as I left, and no puzzles harmed during the night!

And now for the real reason to get together last night.  Puzzle exchanging!
I gave Otis my 'springtime in Wisconsin' and a puzzle monster.  I think he liked them.  If not, he smiled nicely.  He brought me a set of 6 dice boxes from mimi puzzles that Gabriel blogged about, and that I can't get locally.  Surprise, surprise, he ALSO brought along a BLUE puzzle for me, and 3 chinese knots....

Michael and I did a bit of swapping as well.  I got one of his new Soduko cubes, and gave him a Oskar's treasure chest.  Yes, I'm generous like that.  Don't tell on me though.  I'll get in trouble.  The full set of what I brought home is to the left.

Now when I got home, I had another surprise waiting for me!  I picked up the mail and inside was a late Christmas gift from my friend Charlie!  I thank you so very much.  A nice job it turned out to be.  And how ever did you know that blue is my favorite color????  Thank you again my friend!
 reviews of these will all come eventually.  In the mean time, I have this thing called a job that I'm supposed to be doing, and I've got about 10 minutes to cut off my time so I need to get back out and get working a bit more.  I can't let a person 10 years my senior beat me in the next race, and as it stands, if I don't start moving and stop puzzling that's exactly what is going to happen.  Have a great weekend all!  And in case I don't get another post in before Monday: 
新年快乐

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pre-Mf8 8th anniversary MOD dinner

The 8th of January was the 8th anniversary of Mf8.  Now if you know anything about the Chinese, you will notice that the previous sentence had 3 8's in it. And that my friends is super lucky!  Well such an auspicious event needs celebrating, and that is exactly what we did!

My friend SmaZ and I met at the Hung Hom station around 7 pm and headed off to Guangzhou.  We stayed in the same hotel as usual, and once we dropped off the suitcases we headed out to meet Mf8 and Ming.  Over to the warehouse for a bit of a chat and then it was off to dinner.  When we entered the place, Mr. Fok very nicely (er....right-I should say very jokingly) handed me the new 3x4x5!  It's a nice puzzle.  I've just been chastised and told it shapeshifts, not jumbles and I knew that, I'm just still very tired. It's been one heck of a week for me!
Over dinner we got to discussing my exchange puzzle and I'm pleased to hear that Mr. Fok sees my vision exactly like I do.  Not like SmaZ who had a different thought in his head.  :-)  We didn't make a late night of it because we knew Da Yan and Tom would be in the next day.

Sunday morning saw us up and running to a very different shopping area than I had been to before.  (I hope that link will work) I told Michael (SmaZ) that every time we go I see something new and exciting.  This time we were hunting balls for something else, and I snagged a few packages of beads for the bug who has a new hobby.  We went from bead shops to man tool shops to hair dressing supplies to wooden bathtubs all on one street!

While out and about, Tom called to tell us he was waiting at the Train station and we ran over to pick him up. Upon entering the station, who should we see but Da Yan.  Now all that we needed was Leslie and we would be all set.

Next stop, Late lunch over near the hotel and drop off those morning purchases.  We got a bite to eat then went out to do a bit of shopping and finally ended up over at Mf8's warehouse again.  While there, the people started piling in. By the end of the night, I think we had 19-20.  It was a good gathering!  A lot of puzzle playing before dinner was done by all.  I brought along hard eight easy eight by Bob Hearn and that was a real hit.  A couple of packing puzzles (football and  triangle ) that I later was given were a great hit too.  It always tickles me when I see these "twisty people" enjoying a packing puzzle or some other non-twisty!  Spreading the puzzle bug I am. :-)


Ok, so an hour or so later and we headed off to dinner and loads more fun.  But that is for tomorrow because  even though it has been a week, I'm still very tired.  (HK toys and games fair followed immediately after and I worked the v-cubes booth a bit again this year)  There has been no time for real sleep!  Don't worry, by the time I'm done you'll have learned all there is to know about my past week.