Chit-chat from Imaginatorium Shop

Tenth anniversary!

Blog entry for April 2012

It does seem incredible to think that we started the puzzle shop just ten years ago: it opened on 15th April 2002. I suppose at first I thought of it as a hobby/experiment, since we started with a fixed page containing six scenic puzzles, but things grew and grew in that amazing Internet way.

Unfortunately, everything changed with the financial crash in 2008, as the yen exchange rate climbed to crazy levels. In a time of general economic depression, our prices have kept rising in terms of other currencies. There is not much we can do about this, but we give discounts to try and compensate. For our tenth anniversary we have had a special 20% discount off all puzzle prices, which is due to revert to the previous 10% at the end of the month. When I was changing the discount figure (yes, I know this looks a bit hacky, but) I found this fragment:

// ****************************************
// while yen index < 400
if ($puzcount > 0) return 10;
// ****************************************

This "yen index" is a crude assessment of the yen level: add together the number of yen you get in a PayPal conversion of one pound, one euro, and one US dollar. Currently the figures are €=103, £=127, $=77, total 308. Not much chance of getting back to 400, but for the time being at least I've decided to make the standard discount 15% while this index is below 350.

* * *

On a personal note, I underwent hip replacement surgery on March 14th. I was out of hospital on the 24th, and I am now well on the way to recovery. Hip replacements are definitely one of the great success stories of medical engineering — basically I have a new bearing! But after three or four years of being a "passenger", my left leg has a lot of muscle to restore, so I am engaged in a strenuous, but enjoyable rehabilitation regime, of long walks every day. It's wonderful that walking can be fun again. Thanks for the many messages of support.

Brian Chandler

"A kind of blog..." My sporadic comments, mostly topical, on shop matters. (Brian Chandler)