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Month: December 2003

Merry Christmas

Look, I’m the most cynical guy in the world, and I can let go of all the annoyances of bad Christmas music and overcrowded stores and equitable gift-giving and so on. It’s happy day! It’s happy season!

Merry Christmas, y’all.

Spider-Man, Ur-Woman

The New Rosetta Stone — parody or a serious challenge to Dave Sim for the misogyny crown? I honestly can’t tell.

My theory is simple and is, essentially, an analogy. By projecting the characteristics of “woman” onto a character which is more straightforward and more readily understood by the general population, I wish to make the behavior of “woman” comprehensible. I offer to you Spider Man as the best model for “woman.” My argument is sixfold:

  1. Spider Man wears tights.
  2. Spider Man wears a mask.
  3. Spider Man weaves webs.
  4. Spider Man has a sixth sense.
  5. Spider Man shoots strings.
  6. Spider Man can climb walls.

WISH #77: Contributory

In this week’s WISH, Ginger asks:

What do you think the value of contributions to a game is? Do you think it’s fair for the GM to give out experience or character points for contributions? If so, what qualifies? What about the informal value of contributions? Do they balance or unbalance a game?

I think contributions can add a lot to a game (he said modestly). They’re not essential, but they can really help set tone and feel and they definitely make players feel more of a stake in the world. That’s not always a desired effect, but it’s an effect I happen to like, so I’m all for it. It takes a certain willingness for the GM to let go control, but that’s OK.

On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of giving out extra points for them. This is more a sign of my uncertainty about experience points as a whole, I suspect — but what exactly are you rewarding? Contributions don’t much reflect additional training/learning/experience gained by the PC in an in-game sense. If you give experience points “just for showing up,” then sure, contributions are another sort of “showing up.” But then you get into the problems of lack of balance. I just think it’s a bit of a risky wicket.


This David Eyre’s Pancakes recipe is ripped whole from the pages of Kids Are Natural Cooks, a cookbook I remember fondly from my childhood. Despite the fact that my name is clearly written in ink on the inside front cover, the cookbook itself is lodged firmly in the hands of my mother. Well, it’s Christmas time, so I shaln’t steal it back. But I will transcribe the recipe.

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons butter into a 10-12” skillet, and put the pan in the oven until the butter melts.
  3. In a bowl, combine:
    1. 1/2 cup flour
    2. 1 pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, but Mom doesn’t use either
    3. 1/2 cup milk
    4. 2 eggs
  4. Stir until flour is mixed in, but leave some lumps in the batter.
  5. If you want, you can stir in some fruit, such as blueberries or chopped apples.
  6. When the butter has melted, pour the batter into the pan.
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Take the pan out, and sprinkle on 3 teaspoons sugar.
  9. Bake for another 5 minutes.
  10. Squeeze the juice out of one lemon, take the pancake out of the oven, and pour the lemon juice over the top.

This serves in theory four people, but Mom uses three times the above amounts to cook for four, so you be the judge. I think you’re going to want more than 1 wedge per person, myself.

Mom adds, reading over my shoulder, “Did you say it was best made in a cast iron frying pan? Because I think that’s important.”