The Wizard of Oz

[A candid peek behind the curtain Q & A with the Administrator of ReVo]

Hello Everyone, and welcome to the Emerald City! This will be a candid, behind the scenes, one of a kind look at how things are run here on ReVo and just what goes into the day to day and everything that we do, and we’re going to kick this segment off this month. Each month (or more than once a month depending on how we adjust things later) I will be fielding questions sent in by you guys either to myself (on the forums) or the ReVo account (also on the forums) or directly to Smurfy or Rivers to pass on, and attempt to offer as much insight into things that I can, as candidly as I can. 

While it is that I may not be able to answer every single question that is floated in my direction, I will attempt to address each one that comes across in some fashion. We do after all, have to keep some tricks of the trade behind closed doors. 

So without further ado, lets go ahead and jump into fielding some questions and get candid.

Q:  Now that you’re back to work, how does that change the time constraints, do you ever feel like it’s a second job?

A:   Yes, because it is. It always has been. But moreover while that sounds like a complaint, it’s not, because it’s a labor of love. A passion project if you will, and there’s an old saying, ‘love what you do, and you’ll never work a day’. As far as time constraints goes, it definitely changes things, but that’s why we have a team. We try and provide as much around the clock coverage for everything that we can, though it does slow down the turnaround time on some things. Some things are a little more involved and can’t be done on the side or on my phone, or everyone’s at work, so it gets taken care of when we’re available or at home.

Q:   Following up to that, how does that affect your roleplay time?

A:    What roleplay time? *laughs It does a lot, and that isn’t an excuse not to do it, but there are some days when things are really busy that you just wanna go somewhere where NOONE knows your name *snickers* Its like Murphy’s Law, where it never fails, getting out and involved into some roleplay or just chillin and something happens that needs to be fixed. It comes with the territory though, and is what we signed up for, so its kinda like knowing what you’re getting into from the very beginning. Even when in a room or chilling and rping there’s usually multiple discord messages being passed and things being worked on behind the scenes, being updated, etc. 

Q:   Have you ever went with a chatter suggestion or put something into the site that you didn’t necessarily agree with or think would work?

A:    This might be my favorite question for this month, and makes me chuckle, because the answer is absolutely yes. From site rules to room innovations, we’ve pushed a lot of boundaries over the years. Though it’s not often when an idea is brought up to Cabinet that it gets veto’d, especially when we know its something that the chatters want (if its something that can actually be done), but sometimes we might feel it might not work in the long run, or its a little redundant, but if its for the greater good, we do it. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t, sometimes they get iterated on again and again and turn into something completely new or are tweaked and then ‘BAM’, you have that ‘huh, should’ve thought about that earlier’ moment, which is always cool.

Q:   How do you guys decide when to run drives for the site?

A:    We’ve had this question before, (not here in the blog) but the answer isn’t too complicated.

Whenever we want!

>.>

<.<

Ok not really. We usually try and run them twice a year, sometimes it could be three. Sometimes this can coincide with holidays, site events, or something else, but we usually try and have it spread out over the course of the year to assist in financing the site when it’s needed. This usually coincides with like ‘springtime’ and then maybe something in the summer, and then around the time of our Anniversary in November, though we will often try and tie that one in with something for the holidays since they’re so close. The site of course costs funds to run and is solely funded by the memberships and purchases that come into the site. We do these drives in order to finance the site in chunks just in case something were to happen out of the ordinary so that we can ensure that we stay operating (like the pandemic, etc). 

Q:  How much time actually went into coding? Because sometimes the ways the rooms work amaze me

A:   Allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the hours. *laughs* I’m not a coder. I dabble. I know some things. But when Q started ReVo the chat software that we purchased (the same pretty much everyone else uses) was already old and antiquated (which we’re working on fixing), at least in the way it looked. But we wanted it to look sharper. The old rooms didn’t do what we’d wanted them to, and so we started with the layout. Many hours of testing on a private copy of the whochat for a couple of weeks straight just to get the layout and look right, then taking what was learned and applying it towards other little things and touches in the room. Some things came later, but never really easily, such as the file manager and the code’s manager, connecting them to all the rooms, adding previews, etc. The little touches were something we were very excited about, and worked on the coding for the site before we even initially launched for almost a month straight. Work during the day. Meetings during the evening. Coding all night long. Then after that, it was a few more months of adding things in phases, constant testing so it didn’t break anything. There were many nights of staying up all hours of the night until I was finally able to run into Q’s office at 5am and yell I DID IT! I figured it out! Only to see her eyes light up with joy, then summarily tell me she broke the site. That’s when the coffee came in. But there’s a lot of little things out there and available in the rooms that a lot of people don’t even realize, and its fun when they find them out (I’m looking at you, revo world, zenpad, and other things).

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So that’s another sneak peek behind the curtain for our second installment of The Wizard of Oz and hopefully (surely), there’s plenty more questions that people might come up with, or thoughts and things that they’d like me to expound upon in upcoming segments. I’m also open to taking suggestions and feedback for this format and willing to branch things off and talk about my thoughts on other things you guys would like to hear about. 

Until Then. 

That’s British: with Russ

May Day

We love a bank holiday in Britain. Any excuse for a day off. Maybe it’s because we don’t have huge public holidays; Thanksgiving is not a thing here, for example. So Queen’s birthday, yup will be happy to put our feet up thank you very much.

I’ve touch on our quaint British customs before, but May Day has some of the weirdest and quirkiest, as well as one even us Brits poke fun at; Dancing round the May pole with Morris dancers.

To the best of my knowledge Morris dancers are older men who want an excuse to sit in the sun and drink real ale. And not the new hipster stuff I’m a fan of, the stuff they brew in their cellar and seem to ferment in socks. Fair enough, each to their own, who doesn’t love a bit of day drinking? Why in means you get kitted out all in white, tie bells to your legs, and “dance” while waving a hanky, that’s the bit I don’t get. Here is an example of it:

Alongside this a May Queen is crowed; which is in essence a personification of the springtime. She will ride or walk at the front of a parade. Her duty is to being the May Day celebrations.

In Oxford, it is a centuries-old tradition for May Morning revelers to gather below the Great Tower of Magdalen College at 6 am to listen to the college choir sing traditional madrigals as a conclusion to the previous night’s celebrations. Since the 1980s some people then jump off Magdalen Bridge into the River Cherwell. For some years, the bridge has been closed on 1 May to prevent people from jumping, as the water under the bridge is only 2 feet (61 cm) deep and jumping from the bridge has resulted in serious injury in the past. There are still people who climb the barriers and leap into the water, causing themselves injury

Padstow in Cornwall holds its annual Obby-Oss (Hobby Horse) day of festivities. This is believed to be one of the oldest fertility rites in the UK; revelers dance with the Oss through the streets of the town and even though the private gardens of the citizens, accompanied by accordion players and followers dressed in white with red or blue sashes who sing the traditional “May Day” song. The whole town is decorated with springtime greenery, and every year thousands of onlookers attend. Before the 19th century, distinctive May Day celebrations were widespread throughout West Cornwall, and are being revived in St. Ives and Penzance.

Kingsand, Cawsand and Millbrook in Cornwall celebrate Flower Boat Ritual on the May Day bank holiday. A model of the ship The Black Prince is covered in flowers and is taken in a procession from the Quay at Millbrook to the beach at Cawsand where it is cast adrift. The houses in the villages are decorated with flowers and people traditionally wear red and white clothes. There are further celebrations in Cawsand Square with Morris dancing and May pole dancing.

As much as I mock these rituals, I love our little traditions, quirks and folklore. To me the more the world becomes homogenized, the more these little differences in our country can remind us off our identity. The country has an uneasy history with the Empire, so it’s nice to have these little events to look back on and see how they shape and define us.

Russ Old English word of the blog:

‘hugger-muggery’ (16th century): secretive, clandestine behavior for the purposes of deception.

Revealing Roleplayers By Smurfy

In this segment, we will be interviewing roleplayers at random. This is a way to get to know the roleplay community, find out what makes them tick, and delve a little into the raw meat of what makes roleplay special to them

For this interview, we will be delving into the mind of none other than the Monster herself- Xams

………………………………..

THE INTERVIEW

Smurfy: How long have you been roleplaying?

Xams: Since the dawn of time. I mean 20+ years!

Smurfy: What’s your favorite Genre?

Xams: I like fantasy free form. But my first real love was World of Darkness.

Smurfy: What’s your favorite storyline you’ve ever done?

Xams: I have had a lot of awesome adventures in my rp life, to pick a favorite is haaaard. -lmao- One that sticks with me lately is actually an LKH free form story. The Master of the City wanted independence from the Council and to be exposed to the world and to live free and powerful. There was a war. It was hard because there was only three of us playing but fun AF because there was only three of us playing. -lol- It started small with secondary storylines and they all joined into one big storyline where we played all of our characters that we could at the same time and we wrote for each other and it was massive. Our characters stood with the Master risking it all and the Council and others came down on us hard. My friends worked hard making this an intense and rewarding experience and the impact of that war still is present now. We did this a few years ago. It was great because we all are very close and know each other, we just let our creativity and imagination go wherever it wanted.

Smurfy: What makes a good roleplay partner?

Xams: A good roleplay partner is someone you can feed off of and they feed off you. You don’t need to think, you just do it and inspire each other. It has to be someone who understands you and your character (or is trying to understand cause that is how you make friends and how you start the rp experience) and has a goal of both of you having fun. You must have imagination, creativity and be willing to take risks and surprise while respecting your partner. It is an inclusive bonding experience where both partners benefit. A good roleplay partner earns your trust. It is someone who plays WITH you, not AGAINST you. A good roleplayer does not only consider themselves or focus on their own enjoyment and wants, they focus on their partner and the roleplay at hand and realize it is not just for them it is for you both and everyone involved. You are writing for each other not just for yourself. You are giving of yourself.

Smurfy: If you could bring any character back from the dead, who would it be and why?

Xams: I have only had one character die and it was to surprise my friends in a very intense roleplay and I thought it would enhance it. (They might still be mad at me for that. -lmfao-) She was a young necromancer but not an evil one, she had the utmost respect and empathy for our dearly departed, and she helped them rather than use them. The character sacrificed her life to save her friends. I would bring her back because her life was cut short by a circumstance that was overwhelming and too big. She handled it better than most and deserves a second chance at life.

Smurfy: The most important question to a roleplayer of course… Who is your all-time favorite character you’ve ever played, or watched someone else play?

Xams: I don’t really have a favorite character of mine, I play them according to my mood and level of inspiration at the time. One of my favorites is my third character ever who is a World of Darkness Black Spiral Dancer. I did not think she would last this long! Basically she is a warrior type who culls the weak (even her own kind), is a cannibal and works to keep packs strong and efficient in service of the Wyrm. She has had so many adventures and is still around somewhere! As for other people’s characters, my friends have very diverse characters and to choose a favorite would be hard.

Storytime with the Smurf – By Smurfy

In this segment you the reader will get a chance to mail in questions to Smurfy. She will take those questions, and respond with the most ridiculous answers imaginable. “It is my belief that laughter is everything – so, why not share a little silliness with others along the way?” – Smurf

Please send all questions to Smurfy’s pm.

(Please note: Revo does not necessarily agree with the words and opinions of Smurfy. In fact, we reserve the right to deny association with her at all.)

…………………………

Question Submitted by Lexie

Why do hot flashes come at 2am?

Response by Smurf

Like most things women go through, the patriarchy has demanded from the gods that women be tortured even after they stop having aunt flow visit. It is unfortunate that the male gender has chosen to beg the gods for another form of torture towards the female gender, but here we are. Why they happen at 2am, is because it was a specific request from one such dude, we’ll call him Frank – who begged the gods that his wife  give him oral in the middle of the night, unfortunately, her refusal ended in a curse for all women everywhere. So, the moral of the story is – you should just get on your knees when a man asks you to. 

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Question Submitted by Xams

Do you believe in Big foot?

Why yes, I had him over to the house just last week. He drank tea, and ate crumpets. We discussed the theory of evolution. He believes that he evolved from a human, and is the superior species. I of course believed him, because that guy knows his shit. He dazzled me with commentary on Shakespeare’s works, but got a little snotty when we had a heated debate on climate change. He also pooped behind my couch. That guy was a hoot! I doubt that stain will ever come out.

That’s British: with Russ

This month I wanted to talk about something I’m doing. It’s not a well-known event, it’s not world-famous. Its name is mentioned in cycling circles. It’s a challenge in the heart of Wales, it’s know as the Dragonride. It’s one of the toughest events I’ve ever done, in a beautiful and unforgiving environment, that is steeped in history, beauty and legend.

The Brecon Beacons are somewhat legendary and mythical in the UK. They hold an aura, mainly because the SAS selection takes place there. It can be a cold, wet, vast and unforgiving environment. On a bike, it’s akin to heaven for me. Unsurprisingly it’s a place of myths and wonder. There are many myths and legends in this area, but here is my favourite:

The Lady of the Lake at Llyn Cwm Llywch Lake.

 Legend has it there is an island on the lake, accessible only on May day that is the entrance to the land of the fairies and hold the key to the kingdom. Once a year the fairy queen would allow visitors to her island. It was said the Queen would tell you lay ahead for the year to come. The proviso was that no one would take anything from the island, and for a day would partake in drink, dance and fun. The deal lasted hundreds of years, until of course, one day….

A newcomer had planned to steal a fairy apple, to create a magical orchard of his own. As the sun waned, he hid an apple. Thinking his luck was in, he set foot on the human realm once again. Where he was met by the Fairy Queen, who asked the man to empty his pockets, and on doing so, he realized the apple was rotten and filled with Maggots. As he fell to his knees, the Queen wasn’t done and shattered his mind, driving him mad. The Queen banished her visitors, the door shut and has never reopened. Without the Queen’s predictions, crops fell into ruin and the villages starved.

This is why I take my own food on the 140 Miles and 10,000 feet plus of climbing, I have enough things to drive me mad without the Fairies against me! However, the food stations have a infamous rosemary roasted potatoes, which remain the best food I’ve had at a feed station!

I cannot wait for the ride this year, I learnt a lot last time and having missed out with the pandemic last year, I hope to take in the views atop the Black Mountain, Survive the Devil’s elbow and then up the Bwlch and Rhigos. The names are magical enough to me, the roads quiet and stunning. It hurts but of course, you can’t help but be in love with the views and the legends of the area. It’s all a though that has gotten me through the lockdown, that I might make this event, and it feels closer than ever.  I just need to be patient, keep on and hope the day isn’t shut like it was to the fairy kingdom all those years ago.

Phrase of the blog:

huff snuff’ (16th century): one who shares their opinion far and wide but is quick to take offence if anyone disagrees.

Silly English Laws:

King Henry VIII imposed a beard tax that every man must pay to wear facial hair.

Revealing Roleplayers By Smurfy

In this new segment, we will be interviewing roleplayers at random. This is a way to get to know the roleplay community, find out what makes them tick, and delve a little into the raw meat of what makes roleplay special to them

For our very first interview, we will be delving into the mind of none other than the wild woman herself – Wildthing

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THE INTERVIEW

Smurfy: 

How long have you been roleplaying?

Wildthing: 

Since I was 18, and I started in mIRC which when I look back wtf was I thinking… that is so far stretched from where I am now it’s hard to believe it was that long ago.

Smurfy: 

What’s your favorite Genre?

Wildthing: 

Comics.  I love comics… it lets me be free, wild, crazy, experience so many new things without the insane and at times crippling rule sets that some other genres have.

Smurfy:

What’s your favorite storyline you’ve ever done?

Wildthing: 

That’s hard… but one in truth does stand out and that was the Rikers prison Role Play here on ReVo.  We did a slow burn that teased in December back in 2017 when the room opened… and there were bits and pieces here and there… in March more ‘hints’ were dropped as to what was being foreshadowed and then in May the verdict of guilty came down that sent an innocent woman to prison and led to a maniac who was hired trying to kill her both in jail and then the hospital once his first attempt failure left her in a coma… all in all it spanned almost a solid year of work to get from point A to point B and had most of the room involved, so I think that’s probably my proudest and favorite role-play ever.

Smurfy:

What makes a good roleplay partner?

Wildthing: 

Someone who can listen, ask questions and provide ideas and insight as well.  It is not about one-persons needs, wants and end game… it’s about both people having an equal say and being heard.  If someone is not having fun, then that needs to change because role-play should never be a chore.

Smurfy:

If you could bring any character back from the dead, who would it be and why?

Wildthing: 

It would be my medieval character Gwynn who was murdered by a vampire back in my mIRC days… I was a new role player then and this really overly powerful guy having a bad mood basically wiped her out before I ever got any traction with her and I had always wondered what if and what would, have become of her.

Smurfy:

The most important question to a roleplayer of course… Who is your all-time favorite character you’ve ever played, or watched someone else play?

Wildthing:

X-23.  100% no questions asked, hands down, my favorite character I have ever played is X-23.  She is so bent she looks broken and by all rights should be a bad guy but is not, and I am always finding new ways to put spins on her to try to keep her exciting and interesting.  If it is a friends’ character it would be my friend Neo’s character of Deadpool…. I am telling you that is someone who woke up born to wear that horrible red and black suit, and he does it amazingly!

The Wizard of Oz

[A candid peek behind the curtain Q & A with the Administrator of ReVo]

Hello Everyone, and welcome to the Emerald City! This will be a candid, behind the scenes, one of a kind look to how things are ran here on ReVo and just what goes into the day to day and everything that we do, and we’re going to kick this segment off this month. Each month (or more then once a month depending on how we adjust things later) I will be fielding questions sent in by you guys either to myself (on the forums) or the ReVo account (also on the forums) or directly to Smurfy or Rivers to pass on, and attempt to offer as much insight into things that I can, as candidly as I can. 

While it is that I may not be able to answer every single question that is floated in my direction, I will attempt to address each and every one that comes across in some fashion. We do afterall, have to keep some tricks of the trade behind closed doors. 

So without further adieu, lets go ahead and jump into fielding some of the initial questions that were sent forth. 

Q:  How do you all keep up with messages that come into various places, day in and day out, and does it ever get tiring?

A:   This is a great first question, because coming off of vacation and turnaround, the end of the year, a shift in staff, etc, I constantly feel more behind above and beyond the day to day as it compiles. But I’m not alone. While the short answer is twofold. A) very carefully, and B) I don’t., that’s part of the team that we’ve built here at ReVo and part of our daily duties. 

I’ll explain the “I don’t”, first. We receive tons of messages everyday from posts on the forums, support, to personal PM’s, to the ReVo account, emails, and discord. These are checked on a regular basis and passed on to where they need to go and answered as they can be, and sometimes when it comes down to Discord (especially), things may get lost in everyday conversations, sometimes I/We get busy doing other things, don’t see the messages when they pop up, or don’t get a chance to respond (though we always try) right away if someone else has already answered it. I admit I’m personally a little notorious for that.

When I say “we”, its absolutely a collective effort. As far as it getting tiring? Sometimes. But that’s what we signed up for, and for the most part its rare that it becomes overwhelming, and is simply part of our day to day around the other things that we do in our lives. Sure it can be a little tiring sometimes after a long day at work or checking things before going to work, or when something breaks or a situation arises right when you try and settle into some roleplay, but its what we do and that communication is never lost. Our team will always see it.

Q:   How are decisions made on how the events will go. How are the ideas born and put into effect.

A:    Another great question, and one that’s been quite fluid over time as we’ve worked to develop our strategy for coming up with and delivering events and ideas that everyone will love. Normally I’d want to pass this onto Rivers, our current event coordinator, but working with her and that team (and everyone else on staff, including our chatters!) I’ll offer as much insight as I can. Please note, however, Im speaking strictly from an ‘event’ standpoint in the rooms and not say the monthly flavors, as those ladies and that team have some wizardry going on that plans these things out months in advance (though these ‘themes’ will often correspond to what type of event we’re throwing that month, but not always).

The first thing that we do while mapping out events is looking at each month, what we’ve done in the past, what was successful, what wasn’t, and begin building from there. We then begin taking into account holidays, events that our chatters might be putting on, various genre events that the chatters might like (like the gorean fairs), suggestions from our chatters and our teams (we keep notes and lists), and then build a rough list of ideas and begin brainstorming. Brainstorming is an integral part of the process (and probably the most fun!). Tossing out a ton of ideas and seeing what ‘sticks’. Sometimes we’ll source others with random ideas and see what they think of them, if it excites them. If its something they think people might be interested in. Sometimes we just go random and take the constant feedback we get and build the next one from there with a little trial and error.

Most of the events that we try and plan are built to encourage ‘roleplay’ and to get everyone that we can involved, regardless of what genre they might roleplay in or how familiar they are with a particular setting. Once we have an idea in mind, that’s where the magic happens. We decide this is what we’re going to do, then begin mapping it out. What’s the theme. How do we wanna do it. Is this going to be a dice game, roleplay, how long is it going to be? What are the prizes going to be? Do we need Dj’s for it, how do we promote it, etc. Then its advertised and parceled out to the teams and people that are going to support it and we knock it out of the park.

Most events are planned and ready to go weeks before they’re actually announced. 

Q:   How are things are decided, such as new ideas, chatter suggestions, etc.?

A:    This might be my favorite question for this month, because I’ve actually gotten asked this alot over time and know Q did beforehand. The short answer is, if I don’t like it, it doesn’t get done! 

………..

Bueler….

Bueler…..

KIDDING!

Its actually a little more in depth then most people would think. We get alot of ideas floated around to us through all mediums, from our chatters, to our staff, and keep a running list of most all of them. As staff we brainstorm alot amongst ourselves with things that we see moving forward (being chatters ourselves) and toss out there ideas we hear ‘on the grapevine’ since we work to keep a pulse on the happenings around the site. There’s alot of them (and this is a good thing).

We take all of the suggestions put forth by pretty much anyone from anywhere and they all get discussed. Some of the bigger discussions (such as site policy or site changes and suggestions for implementation or improvement to process, etc) will get discussed at our Admin and Cabinet level first, and then passed down to the rest of the staff on what they’ve been seeing, with a collective brainstorming process on how we can implement things, if its good for the site, the best way to go about it, etc. From there if agreed its good, it goes back up top and if its something that we feel that we can and should do, then we draft a timeline to implement these things and communicate it out as soon as we can.

Sometimes it works much quicker then that. Sometimes chatters will have great suggestions be it on something we’ve recently done on how to iterate on it and improve it (we’re always looking for suggestions!) or come up with something completely brand new. Sometimes these are something we’re able to implement and do/will while going through a quick vetting process, and other times we may feel its not something that we can do, or roll it over into another suggestion and combine the two. Sometimes we may feel its better to roll out down the line. 

Its actually quite rare, that decisions are made and new ideas are put forward at an Administrative level without conferring with others. This is usually reserved for quick changes or clarifications to other things. Even while I think it is that I have bright ideas, sometimes, not so much. Every idea and suggestion goes through a discussion and vetting process. 

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So that’s a little insight and a sneak peak behind the curtain for our first installment of the Wizard of Oz and hopefully (surely), there’s plenty more questions that people might come up with, or thoughts and things that they’d like me to expound upon in upcoming segments. I’m also open to taking suggestions and feedback for this format and willing to branch things off and include thoughts on things you guys would like to hear about. 

Until Then. 

Gossip Gurl

……………………

Hey Revoites! This is your gossip gurl coming at you! Have you been roaming the ReVo forum lately. Lots of events going on there. Sir Russ is doing a gratitude auction that sets this year off to a great start focusing on an optimistic beginning. That vote for ReVo thread is growing and several people have generously donated items, with a chance to win for those that are voting to show their support. If you’ve happened to traverse the who chat from time to time you might see all the amazing radio shows going on regularly from the scrumptious DJ Illmatic and DJ Scorch, the scintillating DJ Curbie and ReVo’s very own quirky DJ Wildthing, along with many others. I heard a rumor that there are a few new deejays on board as well, and the rumor has it that some well known past deejays are returning to the deejay scene, so keep your eyes open and your ears tuned in! Well that’s it for the bit, until next time. Remember, if it’s hip, and it’s happening, your gossip gurl will be there to get the juicy scoop!

Storytime with the Smurf – by Smurfy

In this new segment you the reader will get a chance to mail in questions to Smurfy. She will take those questions, and respond with the most ridiculous answers imaginable. “It is my belief that laughter is everything – so, why not share a little silliness with others along the way?” – Smurf

Please send all questions to Smurfy’s pm.

(Please note: Revo does not necessarily agree with the words and opinions of Smurfy. In fact, we reserve the right to deny association with her at all.)

Question Submitted by TaB 

My 19-year-old stepdaughter can’t tie her shoes, is something wrong with her?

Response by Smurf

Just as a mother bird knocks a baby bird from its nest, let nature take its course, and simply hit your stepdaughter in the head with shoes until she learns to tie them. There is nothing wrong with her per se. It is more the question of what isn’t wrong with her. Shoe laces can be used for a great many things – getting out of a situation where one is zip tied for instance, as well as they make excellent restraints themselves. Perhaps let her know what she is missing out on. It may coax her to enjoy tying shoes a little more. 

That’s Just British…
Wit and Wisdom from Across the Pond [by Russ]

That’s British: Pancake day with Russ

Pancake day, aka Shrove Tuesday. I’m not religious, but it’s one of my favourite days of the year. Unlike the States, pancakes are not a regular food here, we don’t have them often. Instead, we have a day devoted to the tasty eggy and fatty goodness. Taking place before lent’s commencement on Ash Wednesday, Anglo-Saxon’s would go to confession and were shriven. Absolved of their sins. How did you know it was time, why you ring the pancake bell of course! Imagine that, oh no I’ve been an arse, guess the bell need to be wrong I’ll confess and eat pancakes. That’ll learn me

The date varies as it’s always 47 days before Easter Sunday this year it’s the 16th February. The earliest recipe book with pancake in dates back to 1439! 

The idea was to use up all your eggs and fat before fasting for lent. Now in the uk our pancakes are a thin flat cake, made of batter and fried in a frying pan. You drown it in syrup, lemon juice and caster sugar, and if you’re me, banana (ice cream sometimes) and hope you don’t fall into a sugar coma. 

Everyone knows to be a good pancake maker you have to be a good tosser. You have to toss the pancake to flip it over, no spoon or spatula.  This resulted in much comedy in life, from seeing them stick to the ceiling (dad), land in the sink (mum) or the dog bowl (me) 

So who wants a pancake, Brit style will here is what you do. 

Mix all together and whisk well. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, pour in enough batter to cover the base of the pan and let it cook until the base of the pancake has browned. Then shake the pan to loosen the pancake and flip the pancake over to brown the other side.

But Russ, I don’t wanna eat my pancake. Ok take it racing. What’s a pancake race? Glad you asked.

Ok so it’s a race, with a pan and pancake, running and tossing your pancake, first to cross the line wins. Wanna make it harder, then it’s fancy dress. 

The most famous pancake race takes place at Olney in Buckinghamshire. According to tradition, in 1445 a woman of Olney heard the shriving bell while she was making pancakes and ran to the church in her apron, still clutching her frying pan. The Olney pancake race is now world-famous. Competitors have to be local housewives, and they must wear an apron and a hat or scarf. Each contestant has a frying pan containing a hot pancake. She must toss it three times during the race. The first woman to complete the course and arrive at the church, serve her pancake to the bell ringer and be kissed by him, is the winner.

So there you go, another weird tradition here. 

Next time I wanna go reader’s choice, so give me some questions on the UK! 

Till then, I’ll leave you with Russ’ Brit word of the blog:

‘quockerwodger’ (19th century): a puppet-like individual whose strings of action are pulled by someone else.