Pizza Box Stained Glass

My five-year-old son loves to play games , but there’s another reason he looks forward to attending the same game convention every year: the individual pizzas in the convention center food court!  I think they’re not that great, but I’m willing to let him eat one each year.  Like many fast-food pizzas, it’s served in a corrugated cardboard box about 8″ square, with a clear plastic window in the top.

Last Saturday, as he was eating his little pizza, Nicholas thought up some kind of elaborate craft project that he wanted to do with the plastic from the window of the pizza box.  I don’t recall what it was, but it involved a lot of materials we didn’t have with us, yet he wanted to make it right away!!!  To soften the blow of telling him that wasn’t possible, Read more…

My kid can play IceTowers!!!

My five-year-old son has learned several new things this month.  He learned how to ride a bike in an impressively short time, and he learned on the same little bike I rode as a kid, so that was a proud and sentimental milestone.  He taught himself to make pizza box stained glass.  But last weekend, at the Origins game convention, I taught Nicholas something I didn’t think he was ready to learn, and he caught right on: He learned to play IceTowers! Read more…

“Ka” Walkthrough

Back in February, Daniel placed sixth in an interactive fiction game writing contest.  His game, “Ka”, has now been archived on the site, and the page includes a walkthrough, a series of hints that will help you get through the game.  Each hint is hidden under a “spoiler alert” until you click it.

This walkthrough is a wonderful thing to have if (like me!) you are not an experienced player of interactive fiction games and have trouble guessing the right words to use.  You have to get around with simply structured commands like, “Take scroll,” and “Go west,” but of course the computer does not understand every word you could possibly use, only the options included in the program.  The wording of the hints may help you reword your commands so that the computer understands them.  (This handy strategy guide on a postcard could be a great help, too, for any interactive fiction game.)

It’s also useful if you get stuck on one of the puzzles, by giving gradually less subtle hints that will help you figure out the solution.

Enjoy your adventure in the Egyptian afterlife!

Why We Love Community-Supported Agriculture

UPDATE: It’s 2015, and we’re beginning our fifteenth summer with the Kretschmann Farm!  We got a crate full of spinach, three kinds of lettuce, radishes, rhubarb, parsley, and multi-grain bread on Wednesday, and we’re bringing a big salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing to a cookout tonight!  I cleaned up and updated this post for Real Food Friday.  It looks as though the farm may be still accepting new subscribers at this point in the season….

Last summer, our next-door neighbors Abby & Franklin, also Kretschmann Farm subscribers, offered to pick up our crate when they get theirs.  This was immensely helpful, as we had a newborn baby at the time and could barely remember which day was Wednesday!  They’re doing it again this year–thanks, neighbors!!

Last summer also was the first time we didn’t split our share with another household.  Our son Nicholas has gotten big enough to eat an adult-sized amount of vegetables, and we’ve gotten better at using and/or freezing things before they go bad.  Still, there are some vegetables we just don’t like or don’t digest well–so we gave or traded them to Abby & Franklin, other neighbors, co-workers, or church friends.  It worked out well.

Last week, my family began our tenth summer receiving a share in the Kretschmann Farm, an organic family farm just northeast of Pittsburgh that practices community-supported agriculture.  It’s kind of like subscribing to a magazine, except that what we receive each week is a crate full of food.  There are several CSA farms in the Pittsburgh metro area, but we chose Kretschmann because they deliver right to our neighborhood–we don’t have to drive anywhere on a hectic weeknight! Read more…

Tuesday Potlucks

On the first and third Tuesdays of the month, our church offers a short service followed by potluck dinner.  Attendance usually is small, between 5 and 20 people.  In order to get there on time, I have to rush from work to pick up my five-year-old son Nicholas from his preschool and trust that the two buses we need to take will be running on time.  In order to contribute food to the meal, I have to either carry it with me to work and then to church, arrange for my partner Daniel to meet us at church and bring the food with him, or drop off the food at church on my way to work in the morning.  Sounds like a lot of stress for something insignificant, doesn’t it?

Yet the Tuesday Potlucks have become an important feature of our spiritual and family lives since they started two years ago.  I wish we had one every week! Read more…