A NOTE FROM GRACE FULLER
When I had seen ink about five times, in mid-1993, I started to keep track of my own performance with a Microsoft Works spreadsheet on an Epson 100 home computer that had two 5.25" floppy drives and no hard drive. Realizing I needed context to reflect my own glory, I went back to the beginning and added the names and numbers of the other ur-Losers -- Hank Wallace, Oslo, Tom Gearty, Chuck Smith, Mike Thring, Bob Zane, Jennifer Hart, etc.
I kept that going for my own amusement alone. In July of 1994, I met the other Society founders, Paul Alter, Arthur Adams, Chuck Smith, and Sarah Worcester, and shortly thereafter a few more, as the brunch tradition started to gather steam. A few of these antique souls professed interest in the stats, so I began to mail out, in hand-addressed stamped envelopes, a dozen copies of a weekly one-page listing of the top 50 or so ink-earners to that point, through about Week 60. (I no longer have paper copies of those earliest mailings, although I do have some old floppies in Bin #225 in the basement that perhaps someday a forensic cybernetician may be able to get some data out of.)
By around Week 100 I had added an electronic typewriter to my publishing empire, and began to produce, in parallel with the stats listing from the mighty two-floppy Epson, a highly mannered round-up of recent events on F2 and the monthly brunches. I affected what I thought was an arch tone and larded it with in-jokes, which of course now are a bit opaque, many of them.
The electronic typewriter was succeeded by a series of increasingly irksome attempts to keep all of this data in spreadsheets on more powerful machines. At some point I learned HTML and began to post the stats on Gopherdrool (this site's predecessor). Soon then came ACCESS, and the attempts to keep it all going consumed my very being.
Now we have put aside childish things. I use ACCESS only to take in fresh data, and then I feed a view of it to the Perl Stats Engine, which builds everything else. It is my hope that one day, long after I am dead, it will continue to run on its own -- it will read the Post, extract the data, upload to nrars.org, schedule brunches, and make up reasons it can't attend LoserFest.
(Losers who have yet to win)
(individual career performances, for those appearing in Year 26 or later)
Master Contest List
All Invitational Text
(all text files from the Master Contest List, in one searchable file)
Some Conversational Text
(all the Style Conversational text files we have, in one searchable file)
Our Social Engorgements
March 9, 1998, by Frank Ahrens
"We made them wait an hour, then packed them into a tiny conference room,
force-fed them bad Chinese takeout, switched on a tape recorder and commanded them to be funny."
January 30, 2000
"After seven months in exile, the world's weirdest weekly context returns. Will the Czar be shot? You decide."
March 9, 2003
"Nothing to see here. Just move on along to Book World."
March 3, 2013, by Pat Myers
"To celebrate, the Empress samples the tops in witty --and witless -- entries"
You're Invited: Loser-created podcasts about the Invitational
Final Standings, Past Years:
All-Time Standings, detailed by Year, two ink credits or more
All-Time Standings detailed by Ink Type, two ink credits or more
One-Hit Wonders, which is most of us
How To Get Ink, by Grace Fuller
Past Flushies Awards Winners
The Origin of Breakfasts, by Sarah Worcester
Frequent Actually-Answered Questions
Raw Loser Data
Inquiries to Grace Fuller.