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On Game Design: The Kitchen Sink

I am an unabashed sucker for Kitchen Sink games.  I don’t know where I first heard this idiom applied to game design, but I definitely can’t claim it for myself.  I’m using the term to describe the following kinds of games: They have lots of complex, interconnecting rules They have multiple game mechanics to learn, […]

Games: Why you should be a Cheapass

  One of the first game companies I learned about back when I started collecting interesting games was Seattle’s own Cheapass Games, headed by James Ernest.  In my collection, I have old copies of Kill Dr. Lucky, Deadwood Studios, and some kind of space game with rabbits  (I have to admit, of those three, I’ve […]

Whither game reviews?

How shall I write about games on my blog? As you’ve surely noticed, I’m playing a lot of board games lately and would like to write something about them on my blog.  I hesitate to do reviews because there are lots of good game reviewers who give games several plays before they review them, and […]

2014 in Review: Books

Top books I read in 2014 — Listed roughly in order of “favorite,” though this is not precise. Fiction (click the image to read my review): Southern Gods by James Horner Jacobs A creepy, Lovecraftian tale buried in the Louisiana Bayou.  Startling and amazing. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey Deeply heartfelt, […]

Jolly Hallowe’en

I love the note at the bottom: May Fortune Smile On You.  Hear! Hear! [ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | […]

Railroad Crossing – 3 Tracks

New Orleans, October 2011 [ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | […]

Chicago in the springtime

Behold, the hoary fog of Chicago in the springtime. [ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | […]

Throwback – Riddikulus! (on gerrymandering and Chicago politics)

Originally published on 5 November 2011. Sometimes when I think about politics, I feel like Neville standing in front of the Boggart cabinet in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkiban.  But alas, our leaders dressed like ladies would hardly embarrass them. When I was preparing my Open Letter to Congress last week, I looked […]

Throwback – The Coming Monkey Apocalypse

I’ve been keeping this blog for near-on 10 years, so there’s lots of good stuff in the archives.  I’ll make use of the common Twitter hashtag #ThrowbackThursdays to re-post links to old but great posts.  Enjoy. In the past few months, I’ve become more and more convinced that one of Avery’s children’s books is actually […]

Kickstarter update

I did a post about Kickstarter in September, noting which projects delivered on time and which were late. When both The Agents and Santa Vs. Dracula showed up at the same time yesterday, I thought it was time to update you.  Here’s an update, with changes marked using “strikethrough” and new notations Here’s a breakdown […]

Happy Thanksgiving, friends

We’re spending the day with family, enjoying ourselves and eating a lot and trying to stay warm.  Here’s hoping you do the same. Here are a bunch of pictures of Thanksgiving dinners from Flickr. (Thanks to all you folks who put your dinners online!) Happy Thanksgiving. [ | | | | | | | | […]

You’re Not Doing It Right

You’re Not Doing It Right: tales of marriage, sex, death, and other humiliations by Michael Ian Black MIB is one of my favorite voices in comedy.  He plays smarmy and snarky and disconnected, but there flows underneath a current of thoughtfulness and nervousness that’s moving.  While I enjoyed his collection of essays, My Custom Van, […]

My daddy would never tell me anything that wasn’t so, would you, Daddy?

The annual Miracle on 34th Street post We had a mini-Thanksgiving dinner last night because my mother is visiting, so it feels like it’s a bit later in the month than it actually is.  To follow it up, we watched the best Christmas movie ever made — A Miracle on 34th Street. We also made […]

Changing the story: on plot moments that rewrite a series

Spoiler alert This week’s episode of Castle had the usual formula for the non-serious episodes of the show: murder, something funny or weird is discovered, Castle imagines a bunch of amusing plots, it all works out in the end.  The amusing plot this time around was time travel.  Quick plot summary: Joshua Gomez (Morgan from […]

I know where I’ll be October 17th…

At the Simon Winchester reading at Unity Temple. Viz: The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible Please join us for an evening with Simon Winchester discussing his new book, The Men Who United the State: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the […]