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{ Monthly Archives } June 2011

Flight Theme

Ella just returned from her trip to…Costa Rica? I’m pretty sure Costa Rica. Her description of a zipline adventure sounds terrific. Essentially, they rig up a line—or rather, several in series—stretching from somewhere on a mountainside to somewhere lower down. You climb into a harness dangling from the line by a pulley wheel, make sure […]

What the Gentleman Saw

Eileene borrowed a documentary video on pornography, subtitled “the Secret History of Civilization.” She’s cautioned me that the last couple episodes are pretty dull, but the first two, and especially the first, have been informative and hilarious. It begins with a discussion of the sexually explicit art of Pompeii, and especially on its discovery by […]


First day of actual vacation. Yes, school ended Friday, but I’d have Saturday and Sunday off, anyway. This is real vacation, and I’m going to take the day for myself. I’m not gonna write, and you can’t make me.

Lessons High and Low

School is out at long last. Gargantuan confetti in the form of notebook paper litters the halls, grades are being withheld from students who haven’t returned their textbooks, and nobody’s bothering to take attendance. I’d say it’s time to take stock of my kids’ grades, and what that says about my performance, but honestly I’ve […]

Health Hazard

We got joggers in this neck of the woods, and now that summer’s here, we’ve got ’em in large numbers. And those fuckers insist on jogging in the street. This morning, I passed three jogging abreast on a major residential artery. Last week I nearly saw one hit by a car bouncing off a particularly […]

Good Bad Weird

Got a chance to see The Good, the Bad, the Weird, which I shall henceforth call GBW, tonight. Somehow I’d stumbled across a trailer a year or two ago, and we decided to see it, but never got around to it, and then it was gone. I consoled myself with Joe’s observation that the movie […]

Sampling Fiasco

The other system I got to try last weekend was more rewarding. Fiasco is GM-less, rules-lite, and just generally the greatest departure from the traditional RPG I’ve tried. (Although it shares much with Executive Decision, I don’t consider the latter an RPG, strictly speaking, despite encouraging roleplaying while seeking to win by scoring victory points.) […]

Sampling Mouse Guard

NerdNYC held one of its Recess game conventions this weekend. (“Convention” is an overstatement for a one-day, two-slot event with maybe eighty to a hundred participants, but it’ll have to do.) I value Recess for its high incidence of new, experimental, and/or indie RPGs. D&D is still the biggest boy on the block, but even […]

Moldy Charcoal

I’ve loved playing with fire since I was a kid. Lots of pyros are drawn to its beauty, its destructive power, its mathematically chaotic nature. I’m drawn to its self-sustaining behavior, its propagation and eventual exhaustion. A systems analyst to the end. And experts will assure you there’s always something to learn. They say the […]

All They Need is a Miracle

I was warned that some people have unrealistic expectations of teachers, but I wasn’t given all the specifics. Parents’ unrealistic expectations usually involve better grades. Some of them take the genius of their children on faith and can’t understand why little Billy doesn’t get straight A’s. Some of them have been ruined by a generation […]