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Gaming Unfettered Errantry

GURPS: Mastering Advantages & Disadvantages

The GURPS character creation process with its infinite possibilities can overwhelm new players, so I’ve compiled a list of strategies that have helped (or would have helped) me to acquire the system. Advantages & disadvantages raise the learning curve because each one introduces exceptions to the basic rules of the game. This can present a […]

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Books

Asimovian Diplomacy

The war in Europe — and specifically the tack the West has adopted to oppose it — reminds me of ideas I first encountered in the science fiction of Isaac Asimov. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit how much influence Isaac Asimov’s writing had on me. After reading Asimov’s Foundation series in the fall […]

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Journal Entries

End of Hiatus

I haven’t posted on this blog since 2020, shortly before the pandemic came. Nothing I wanted to talk about occurred for the year and a half of house arrest the Earth imposed on humanity. But the pandemic’s punctuated shift to my rearview mirror has rekindled my urge to communicate and share ideas.

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Quotes

On knowing …

“. . . the implicitly acquired epistemic contents of mind are always richer and more sophisticated than what can be explicated.” Reber, A. S. (1989). Implicit learning and tacit knowledge. Journal of experimental psychology: General, 118(3), 219.

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Journal Entries

Wherefore Converse?

Preface I started this post a couple of months ago–before Covid-19 foisted itself upon the world. The point remains relevant, nonetheless–perhaps more so. On vacation last winter, I booked a tour from Sedona to Antelope Canyon. It was my first time traveling with a group of strangers in a small rental van, and I ended […]

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Education

MEXTESOL 2019: Santiago de Querétaro, Estado de Querétaro, México

MEXTESOL marked my last conference of the 2019 calendar year. Somehow I pulled off three presentations of various mediums in the middle of the fall semester. I chose practical topics this time around–a demonstration on various styles of written corrective feedback, a poster session on computer assisted language teaching (CAPT) with MS Class Notebooks, and […]

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Education

The language carrot …

“I don’t speak,” Bijaz said. “I operate a machine called language. It creaks and groans, but is mine own.” “Dune Messiah” (1969) by Frank Herbert Today, the BBC published an article on what it means to be fluent in a language. Fluency might be the unicorn sighting of the second language universe–that thing everyone carries […]

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Journal Entries

Sun shower in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor

Monday culminated in some shopping in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, where I got locked down by a torrential downpour. The intensity of the sunlight doesn’t show up so well in this video, but the green dot moving around the screen is where the sun was hitting the lens of my phone’s camara.

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Journal Entries

Hace mucho tiempo no nos escribimos

Blog updates succumbed to summer ennui this year, but there’s nothing like refreshing time away from the U.S. to get the words flowing again. It’s remarkable what a reliable metro system with occupants who know how to act in public will do for my overall humor. I’m writing this from the patio of my hotel […]

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Education

The trouble with books …

The next time your students ask if they can rely on books for their research, you can tell them this: Book publishers don’t normally fact-check books. They’ll run sensitive material by lawyers, but otherwise it’s on authors to make sure their work is accurate. Generally, this works out fine. Sometimes, it does not. When books […]