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{ Monthly Archives } September 2011

Cat Out of the Bag

William Kristol, over at the conservative Weekly Standard, summarized the staff’s reaction to the Republican presidential primary debates as: “Yikes.” He quotes a “bright young conservative” who puts it less succinctly but more eloquently: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!” Indeed. Liberals have known this for decades. Too many democratic […]

The Continuing Story

Eileene and I have been watching Downton Abbey together. It’s very much in the spirit of Upstairs, Downstairs or Gosford Park (which latter shares writer Julian Fellowes with Downton Abbey): an ensemble casts portrays the trials of gentry and their servants on the eve of WWI. It’s good but not great. It stretches the limits […]

Pork Couture

While shopping for groceries today, I again received a compliment on my Spam shirt. This is easily my most popular article of clothing. I receive more compliments on it than on the entire rest of my wardrobe combined. (My fedora comes in a close second, with nothing else receiving much attention at all.) WHY?!? I […]

Until Morale Improves

My classes at MSU included some perfunctory discussion of morale in the school. Bad morale is an insidious problem; it moves easily from teachers to students, or from students to teachers, or from the general community to the school. Because it can start at and spread from any level of a working school community, it’s […]


So the General Knoxx expansion to Borderlands has a boss creature, just as you might expect. Crawmerax, a really, really big version of the Pandoran craw worm, a burrowing lobster-like horror, is the ultimate challenge and the ultimate loot source in all the game and its add-on content. I stumbled on its lair early, but […]

Casualty of the Class War

Cuh-ree-pee! I don’t know whether you followed the Republican primary debate. I didn’t, preferring to let someone pick out the relevant bits in the post-analysis rather than expose myself to all that crazy, hateful ideology, known as “red meat for the Republican base” in one go. Apparently, there wasn’t much to miss. Even liberals who […]

Three-Time Loser

I got the Black Adder series. All four seasons, plus a fifth DVD of supplemental material, are available in one box at our local public library. I’d seen a couple episodes before, and never understood what all the fuss was about. But it’s certainly popular in the geek crowd, so when my eye fell across […]

Dilemma of FATE

Dave loaned me his copy of Legends of Anglerre, the fantasy incarnation of the FATE RPG. Predictably, LoA varies from other FATE titles—not just by addition of rules specific to the setting, but in rules one might expect them to share. This variation is born of an open gaming license and a do-it-yourself attitude. There’s […]

Turn the Page

PC Gamer magazine is trying something new. A few weeks ago, I got email announcing that my “online copy” of this month’s issue was available online. I was somewhat concerned: did this mean our copy was available in addition to, or instead of, the print copy our subscription had paid for? Were we still getting […]

Livin’ Magnum

In Hawaii, I succumbed to temptation and bought myself a Hawaiian shirt, callow and touristy though the decision may have been. Yesterday I tried it on, fresh out of the wash. And y’know? Having tried it on, I really like it. And, to Eileene’s horror, she likes it, too—on me, that is. Printed in a […]