Eternal Sunshine #130

March 2020

By Douglas Kent - 911 Irene Drive, Mesquite, TX  75149


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Quote of The Month“You know what your trouble is, Willy? You always took the jokes too seriously. It was just jokes. We did comedy on the stage for 43 years. I don't think you enjoyed it once.” (Al Lewis in “The Sunshine Boys”)


Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the only Dipzine edited by two illiterate black cats.  Since they have no opposable thumbs, they don’t truly edit it as much as walk all over it.  Sanka also crews on the corners of the paper a bit.  Toby and Sanka both feel they should be intimately involved in the production of Eternal Sunshine, since they are both experts at the play of Diplomacy.  Proof of that can be seen below:




I realized this week that this COVID19 pandemic is suddenly making my life of solitude and desperate loneliness a positive, at least in the short run.  If I don’t get sick from work, or from the grocery store, I don’t see how I could possibly get infected.  That’s the extent of my human contact.  I’m still taking the appropriate precautions, like washing my hands frequently and trying not to touch my face.  But it’s a lot easier when I don’t have to try and stay six feet away from other people…I don’t SEE other people, ever.  I’m trying my best to avoid social media, because it just makes me feel so anxious and stressed.  I need to relax, but it’s hard sometimes.  My mind is always in overdrive, and isolation just gives me more time to think about shit.


In zine news, we have a game start of Balkan Wars VI, and a new game opening for Gunboat (the Gunboat opening is in Andy York’s subzine so if you want to play in it email HIM not me, is his email address.  Speaking of Andy York, the latest issue of his subzine Out of the WAY can be found in this issue, immediately before my Games section.  If you’re smart, you’ll read it.  And if you’re not smart…well, read it anyway.  Besides the Gunboat opening, he has a game of Hangman starting this issue.


Back to the zine proper.  The current Diplomacy opening is nearly full as well.  By Popular Demand is underway, with the first results at the back of the zine, and next issue I’ll probably start Kendo Nagasaki, which I expect all of you to participate in.  Don’t worry about losing; I never win that damn game, even when I figure out the location.


Don’t forget there will be a new issue of Diplomacy World out around April 1st.  You can find that issue, and every prior issue, at 


That’s about it from me.  On to the zine, and I’ll see you in April!

Game Openings

Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: Heath Davis-Gardner, David Cohen, Paul Milewski, David Burgess, Mark Firth, needs two more.

Gunboat (No Press): Check out the opening in Any York’s subzine.  Sign up for this opening ONLY through him at

By Popular Demand: Ongoing.  Join in the fun!  You can join at any time.

Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki?: Coming soon, will likely start next issue.

Movie Photo Quiz: I am considering bringing this previous staple of Eternal Sunshine back.  Let me know if you’d be interested in playing.  It was my attempt to do a movie quiz that eliminated the ability of anyone to nudge their scores higher by doing internet searches.  Take a look at the end of an old issue like #68 if you want to see how the game went: (

Coming Soon: Open to suggestions.  I’m even open to running Deviant Diplomacy again (go look at issues like #38 to see what a chaotic variant that is).  Thinking of Woolworth or another Gunboat when Andy’s fills.

Standby List: HELP!  I need standby players! – Current standby list: Andy York, Andy Lischett, Paul Milewski.


Meet Me in Montauk

The Eternal Sunshine Letter Column


John David Galt: It's a shame that you didn't restart in time to do an election prediction game this year.  With 24 candidates at the start of the D primaries it would be a monster.


[[I don’t think I’ve ever done a political prediction game in any of my zines.  Someone in a subzine likely did; I think Richard Weiss ran one in Eternal Sunshine or Maniac’s Paradise.  If I did I might have chosen to run a Bourse.  Too late now.  Plus, I hear about politics WAY too much day in and day out that I use the hobby as an escape from the noise.]]


Richard Smith: Just BPD for now though I will play Kendo and your movie quiz, though I guess with latter you'll have to avoid pictures that spill the beans on the Google image search  or similar (other search engines are available but The Big G is watching you, and the Chinese).


[[Yeah, that does kind of ruin the game.  The whole reason I moved to photos instead of quotes was the ease of “assisted guessing.”  I’ll have to think about that.]]


Andy York: Glad you were able to get out and play some favorite arcade games. I think I was at one of those (or similar venue) about 20 years ago when I was at an IT convention in Dallas. As I remember, loads of fun!


[[It was a blast.  Sadly, it’s exactly the kind of place I think I should avoid until this current health scare calms down.  Cramped quarters and video game machines with people touching all the controls?  Not this week.]]


Haven't seen any of the films you mentioned, though I'd considered going to "Stan & Ollie" when it was in the theater. Last night I did go to a screening at AFS Cinema (Austin Film Society's two-screen venue) of "Come & See". It is a restored, hyper-realistic, 1985 Soviet film of the Belorussian partisans fighting Nazis in 1943. All of the scenes are based on actual events and the writer participated in those operations.


[[That sounds interesting, I wonder if they’re doing a DVD release of the restored version?]]


The Dining Dead – Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews


I haven’t been watching nearly as many movies during the past month.  I’m sure the length of this section will be somewhat random each issue, depending on how much free time I have and what kind of mood I’m in.  This month I’ve been re-watching all of the original 45 episodes of Columbo, as well as the first season of Ricky Gervais’ After Life (in preparation for the next season, due to be released on April 24).  Perhaps I’ll throw in a quick review of either (or both) for those of you with no exposure to them. 


Another reason for the decline in reviews this issue is a large number of movies that I started (95% from streaming services) which I turned off within fifteen minutes.  It’s remarkable how much crap is available on Netflix, Amazon, and Shudder.  If I can’t make it past the fifteen-minute mark without losing interest (if I had interest in the first place) I don’t think it’s fair to even mention the film. 


Ice station Zebra (TCM) – I couldn’t remember if I like this movie or not, as it had been decades since I watched it.  Now my memory has been refreshed: it’s a bore.  The story itself has all the necessary makings of a good film, but the direction and acting is terribly flat.  Patrick McGoohan is the only bright spot.  Even Ernest Borgnine’s character is boring and a snoozefest.  A waste of a good novel.


My Favorite Year (TCM) – This film came out when I was in Junior High School, and at the time it was my friend Alan Licht’s favorite movie of the year (we did the top movie and LP lists for the school newspaper at that time, through our Writer’s Workshop class.  Incidentally, that was the only class I was ever given an F in, as during one quarter I handed in absolutely zero assignments; I’d spent my time writing sarcastic spoof articles that you might find these days in The Onion, as well as morbid haikus.  Mrs. Aquardo, our teacher, approached me at the end of the quarter and almost tearfully told me I’d given her no option but to fail me.  I suppose she expected me to be upset, since this was a school full of kids whose families generally had more money than sense, and who were talking about what Ivy League university they’d be attending as early as elementary school.  I just smiled and shrugged and told her not to worry about it.  My biggest concern at that time was my terrible acne, and trying to find two matching tube socks to wear to school every day.  Having a matching clean pair was like winning the lottery!  Anyway…).  It holds up surprisingly well.  I’ve never been a big fan of Richard Benjamin’s directorial skills, but this film is a big exception.  Peter O’Toole is delightful as the Errol Flynn-like star Alan Swann.  It also reminded me of the great comedic timing Mark Linn-Baker showed off later on in the TV series “Perfect Strangers.”  Bronson Pinchot received all the attention in that show, but Linn-Baker was the critical straight man.  The humor in My Favorite Year works like a fine-oiled machine.  It’s well worth revisiting if you’ve never seen it. 


Columbo (DVD) – I feel sorry for people who can’t appreciate the genius of Columbo.  The formula for the series was pretty well set from the original television movie “Prescription: Murder” from which the series was built.  It went against every mystery series rule that TV had set at the time.  You knew exactly who the murderer was (in all but two episodes, put in for a change of pace).  The star, Peter Falk, didn’t generally appear until at least fifteen minutes in.  He was rumpled, absent-minded, short, had a glass eye, dressed in a tan suit and raincoat; the antithesis of every popular leading man.  Yet this supposedly bumbling detective would walk into a case and inevitably find the little “loose ends” that would set him off on the chase against a polished, egotistical, superior killer.  I’ve heard some people claim part of the appeal of Columbo was class warfare, but I’ve never found that to be the case.  It wasn’t that the killers had money (although almost all of them had plenty); it was more that the series worked best when Lieutenant Columbo was pitted against his opposite in type: someone clean, suave, fashionable, powerful…the kind of person who would initially take him for granted.  In truth, because the “mystery” of the show was how would Columbo catch the killer instead of the more common “whodunit” structure, each episode was dialogue-heavy, a battle of wits between murderer and investigator.  Peter Falk was the perfect actor for the part, and a lot of the quirks that have become well-known parts of Columbo were actually aspects of Falk’s own personality.  The quality of the writing – and the originality of the clues in each episode – were what kept the series going for as long as it did.  It helps to remind neophytes that Columbo was part of the “Mystery Wheel” series of three or four mystery shows alternating, so instead of having an episode every week, there would only be one every three or four weeks.  It was that which helped the show maintain Falk’s demand for perfection for as long as it did.  And for a while, despite cost overruns and schedule delays which were often blamed on Falk’s requirements, Falk was the highest paid actor on television (when measured by salary per episode).  The more modern Columbo episodes, made as occasional TV movies long after the original series had ended, are not nearly as good (with the exception of “Agenda for Murder,” starring Patrick McGoohan and directed by him as well).  Don’t bother with those newer ones until you’ve allowed yourself to enjoy the original episodes.  The only caveat is that after the first season or two, the network demanded that some episodes be made as two-hour episodes instead of ninety minutes.  In general, the two-hour episodes feel a bit padded, and might have improved if they’d been cut to the shorter length.  But Columbo was still head-and-shoulders above most of what the networks were delivering in those days.




After Life (Netflix) – After Life was Ricky Gervais’ latest Netflix series (he’s the genius behind The Office, Extras, Derek, An Idiot Abroad, and lots more).  Of all his series, I think Derek was the best up to this point, but while I have watched that a few times and would be interested in a new season if he ever did one, After Life is three levels above. 


Gervais stars as Tony, a writer for a free local newspaper owned by his brother-in-law.  After 25 years of marriage to Lisa (Kerry Godliman, a major force in Derek), he is now a widower; Lisa died from cancer.  Tony feels hopeless, lonely, and suicidal, but is able to stave off suicide by watching videos his wife filmed for him while in the hospital, and because of the duty he feels to his dog.  Unable to go through with killing himself, Tony adopts a new “superpower”: he is going to do whatever he wants, say whatever he wants, and not care about the repercussions or how if affects other people.  “If it doesn’t work, I can always fall back on suicide” is his Plan B.


The humor in After Life is as dark as you would expect (with a few exceptions), perhaps even darker than you imagine.  Gervais has always been hilarious, and with Derek he also revealed an ability to act with real emotion.  After Life is truly moving; I’ve watched the first season twice and I go back and forth between belly laughs and uncontrollable tears.  I identify with Tony in a number of ways, and in my day-to-day life I have a tendency to be blunt and honest in the same way, although with less bitterness.  Parts of my time with Mara – and afterwards – carried a similar sense of hopelessness.  I’m really looking forward to April 24 when the second season becomes available on Netflix.


The other night as I cried myself through the end of Season 1, I had to ask myself why I felt like I was crying tears of mourning, much like the mourning Tony is doing over his wife.  Nobody that close to me has died recently, what was I mourning?


I thought about it for a while.  I think I am simply in mourning for my lost life, and lost years.  So much feels wasted, and none of it is recoverable.  And that’s one of the driving messages Gervais is trying to give us: cherish what time you have.  When it’s over, it’s over.


In the Mouth of Madness (Shudder) – A sort of low budget John Carpenter film with Lovecraftian overtones.  Sam Neil plays an insurance investigator with a skill for detecting fraudulent claims.  He’s asked to investigate the disappearance of horror author Sutter Cane, who has vanished without a trace and hasn’t delivered his latest manuscript. 


It’s not especially great, but it’s still a generally enjoyable ride.  Plenty of decent performances, including Charlton Heston as the head of Cane’s publishing house.  This was made back in 1994, and since then we’ve seen a lot more films (many better than this one) that deal with the blending of fiction and reality, and what happens when those two worlds begin to meld into one.  I suppose In the Mouth of Madness was a little more original when it was first released.  It didn’t do especially well at the box office, and sems to have been generally forgotten.    It’s also got a bit of the obligatory Stephen King feel to it, who Sutter Cane was obviously based loosely on.  The creatures in the film are similar-looking to what you’ll find in Carpenter’s The Thing, and you’ll get a sort of “made for cable” vibe from the whole movie.


I wouldn’t bother hunting it down – it simply isn’t good enough to do that - but if you have Shudder and want to kill 90 minutes you may as well turn it on.  Even at his worst, John Carpenter is a quality director. 


Drop Dead Gorgeous (DVD) – A mockumentary from 1999 starring Kirsten Dunst and Kirstie Alley.  It seems like a take-off on teen beauty pageants – and it is – but more than that, it shines a spotlight on the hilarity found in small towns in the U.S., especially at the time it was made.  I discovered this movie when it came out and enjoyed it with my first wife Mara, and soon after we split, I introduced it to my girlfriend Andrea.  Later I got to show it to Heather.  All three fell in love with this movie, and I made it a point to buy every copy I could find at Bog Lots for $3 and give them away as gifts.  For a good while you couldn’t find it on DVD at all, but I guess they made a new run (or warehouses finally locate few cases) because it can be bought new online for around $15.  I’d love to see a Blu Ray edition, but as usual I suspect music licenses will be the hold-up.


Allison Janey is hilarious as Loretta, best friend to Kirsten Dunst’s mom (Ellen Barkin).  There’s also the film debut of Amy Adams, who has gone on to much bigger things in the years since.  Denise Richards and Brittany Murphy also appear as pageant contestants.  It’s hard to describe how on-target this movie is, and it’s the sort of comedy you can watch over and over, discovering new little jokes or things going on in the background that you missed previously.  The plot is rather simple: sweet and innocent Amber Atkins (Dunst) is one of the contestants in the Mount Rose, Minnesota local pageant for Sara Rose American Teen Princess.  Her main competition is Becky Leeman (Richards), a mean, stuck-up girl whose mother (Alley) is the head of the local pageant chapter.  Some sinister pitfalls await contestants who might get in Becky’s way to the crown.  Can Amber survive and somehow win the pageant despite the power for Becky’s family?  “Rich family in a small town?  It’s front page news when one of them takes a shit” as Loretta describes it.  There are a few unexpected twists and turns, so don’t expect things to wrap up as quickly as you might have guessed.


There are great performances all around, including character actors like Mike Malloy (who was so brilliant in In the Company of Men) Michael McShane (the dying occupational hypnotherapist in Office Space), and Will Sasso (who more recently appeared in some episodes of Allison Janey’s TV show Mom).  But in the end, it’s just a dopey comedy, a mockumentary made before the genre became tired and overused.  If you spent any time in a small town, this movie should make you homesick.  And if you didn’t, you’ll still laugh a bunch.  On the Sunday before this issue came out, I was really stressing over life and the world and panic, and my place in it.  Watching Drop Dead Gorgeous for maybe the 50th time gave me some much-needed peace.


Out of the WAY #19


by W. Andrew York

(wandrew88 of


Hi there! I’m back, resurrecting my subzine that ran in ES from 2008-2010. During that time, eighteen editions came out so we’re up to number 19 for its second go-round in this ‘zine. Comments, suggestions, letters, game requests and game participation is encouraged and very welcome.

And, speaking of games, I always try to run at least one “everybody plays, join any time” offering so please join in. In the original run, I tried a “Facts in Five” version that had only a lukewarm reception and at the end discussed various ways to improve it. I’m willing to dust it off, tweak the rules and run it again if there’s interest.

In the meantime, I’m starting the variation on “Hangman” that began after “Facts in Five”. It had several very enthusiastic players that sent in commentary on their thought processes and speculations that were edited into a commentary at the end of each round. And, there’s no need to dig into back issues for the last uncompleted round – this is starting afresh with a brand new word! I’ll also open a couple of waiting lists to see what other interest there is – feel free to recommend ones you are interested in playing or would like to see.

I’m still working on finalizing some overall content, thinking on adding bits such as a “Commentary” and a “Spotlight on Texas”. The Commentary will be my personal view on some current topic or trend. I had started one for this issue on the COVID-19 situation, but it is too fluid and anything I wrote would likely be invalid by the time you read it. So, with not enough time to put together a reasonable replacement, we’ll push the start until next time. The “Spotlight on Texas” will be a short piece on Texas history, place to visit, event, people, etc. To tease that column, here are two bits about three Texas governors:


James “Big Jim” Hogg was governor from Jan 20, 1891 to Jan 15, 1895. He named his only daughter Ima. Some inaccurate reports have him naming a second daughter Ura, but he only had the one.

James “Pa” Ferguson was governor between Jan 19, 1915 and Jan 25, 1917. In his second term he was impeached on 10 of 21 charges and removed from office. His wife, Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, then twice ran successfully to be governor, from Jan 20, 1925 to Jan 18, 1927 and again from Jan 17, 1933 to Jan 15, 1935. One her campaign slogans was “two (governors) for the price of one” as her husband, basically, would run the State through her. Both of her governorships were plagued by scandal and controversy.


If you have any suggestions for topics or other things you’d like to see in the subzine, let me know. Be safe, wash your hands and stay well!



Random Review


                Last week, thanks to the Austin Film Society, I had the opportunity to see a newly restored print of “Come and See” on the big screen. It is a 1985 Soviet film about Belarusian partisans fighting the Germans in 1943. Based on a book co-written by the screenplay writer – who participated in that conflict – in a hyper-realistic portrayal. Though not overly graphic, it is a frank and brutal recreation of that time.

                Focused on a teenager who, after recovering a rifle from a past battlefield, joins the anti-German effort. From his introduction to the partisan camp, he is followed into the depths of defeat countered by the occasional bright spot, including teaming with another young female to rejoin the cause after being separated from the group.

There is little attempt to show any compassion to the German side, rather than trying to provide a balance to the cruelty presented. However, the Belarusians are not given a pass as being only benevolent. Their collection of supplies from locals, and some indifference to the ramifications of their actions on the local populace, is also depicted.

Having read a considerable amount of material on the German-Russian conflict, nothing on screen was a surprise to me. However, someone without that background may find events disturbing. In fact, in the introduction by the Film Society’s director of programming, he mentioned that if a viewer needed to leave the showing it had happened before.

The only negative bit, from my perspective, is the tag at the end of the movie prior to the credits. It was a photo/film clip montage moving back in time to the pre-war and early days of Hitler’s rise to power which continues to pictures of him as a child. I’m not sure whether the filmmaker was trying to blame the depredations of the German military solely on him or had some other purpose.

If you’d like to see a snippet of the partisan/anti-partisan battles on WWII’s Eastern Front, you can’t go wrong with this film.



Babylon 5 Quote


Londo in “In the Beginning”:  “The quiet one are the ones that change the universe, Luc Derardi. The loud ones only take the credit.”


Source: But In Purple...I’m Stunning! by J. Michael Straczynski, edited by Sara “Samm” Barnes, copyright 2008.



Mini-Book Reviews

(finished since the first of this year)


Dr. Benjamin Church, Spy by John A. Nagy (2013; 211p).


                Nagy specializes in Revolutionary War spycraft and, in this volume, he focuses on one of the Revolutionary leaders involved in most early patriot efforts in and around Boston in the mid-1770s. Dr. Benjamin Church, one of the most accomplished physicians in the Americas, established the Continental Army medical department and was often a go-between with other leaders and the Continental Congress. He was also providing information to the British military occupying Boston.

                Well written, and thoroughly documented, this is a fascinating look at early spycraft and the birth of America. If this at all interests you, pick it up. Recommended. [February 2020]



Embrace Your Weird by Felicia Day (2019; 257p).


                Day’s book provides a way to remove the obstacles that may be blocking your creativity. She delves into building up your confidence in sparking your creativity, how to overcome enemies (aka obstacles) and enlisting allies to provide support in your effort. In doing so, you will “use up” the book (lots of written exercises, drawings, and even a page torn out).

                I read it in smaller chunks (basically a section each day) and found it quite helpful and a bit inspirational. It’s well worth reading if you’re in a creative rut or looking at a way to “refresh” your efforts. Recommended [February 2020]



Hitler’s Northern War: The Luftwaffe’s Ill-Fated Campaign 1940-1945 by Adam R. A. Claasen (2001; 338p).


                This is a scholarly look at German involvement in Norway and environs during WWII. The author sets up the importance of Norway to the German war machine and the run up for the invasion. The bulk of the book deals with the German invasion of the country, the Allied countermoves and the eventual Axis dominance of the country and sea lanes, with emphasis on the contribution of the Luftwaffe.

                Later chapters deal with the contribution of the Norway based air force in the Battle of Britain, the efforts to disrupt the Arctic convoys supplying the Soviets and the backwater it became after 1942.

                Definitely not for the casual reader, it is well written with solid analysis of the Luftwaffe, its successes and failures vis a vis Norway. Recommended [February 2020]


Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman (2014; 122p).


                A look at a classic children’s show underpins a story about a boy growing up and learning about one set of his grandparents. The graphic novel, masterfully illustrated by frequent Gaiman collaborator Dave McKean, is a bit of a haunting tale that is accentuated by the images.

                For older readers only, but definitely a masterwork of collaboration. Recommended. [January 2020]



Sky-Blue Wolves, The by S. M. Stirling (2018; 451p).


                The final book of Stirling’s Change series tries to wrap up the current threads and foreshadow future events. However, even with the length, it seems hurried and a bit disappointing as I’d hoped for more. Regardless, it was a fun read with plot twists and a few surprises.

                However, it is only for someone who has been reading the series. As an introduction into the Change world, most folks would be foundering in trying to grasp the characters’ reality. [January 2020]



Stormtrooper on the Eastern Front by Mintauts Blosfelds (2008; 207p).


                This memoir, published posthumously by his daughter, is Blosfelds’ story as a member of the Latvian Legion of the SS during the Second World War. The book opens with a brief discussion of his pre-war life and the early months of the German occupation. It ends with a recap of his time in various western POW camps through his release.

                The bulk of the book covers his induction in German military in May 1943, subsequent training and, in being an instructor for later recruits. Eventually posted to the front lines, he sees combat, ends up wounded and sent to the rear for recovery. Eventually, after several postings and many adventures, he retreats to surrender to the Americans. Surviving the war he ends up in Britain.

                The book is a personal view relating the experience of a foreign citizen fighting for his country’s future as part of the Nazi military against the Soviet Union. It doesn’t discuss much of the Nazi ideology, one almost thinks for him it wasn’t so much in support of Hitler’s aims but against the Soviets reality.

                Well worth reading if the topic interests you; but otherwise not recommended. [February 2020]





Recipe of the Month


Recipe Philosophy: Except for baking, recipes are only suggestions. I rarely precisely measure, eyeballing most everything. The listed

                measurements, for the most part, are estimates from the last time I made the recipe. Feel free to adjust to meet your personal tastes –

                and remember, it is easier to add “more” of something than to compensate when “too much” has been added.


For ingredients, if you don’t like raw onions, omit them or replace with celery to retain the crunchiness. If you like food with more spice, add

                an extra jalapeno or use habaneros instead. On the other hand, if you don’t like spicy food, replace the jalapeno with half a bell

                pepper. Optional items are used when I’m looking for a variation or making it for individuals with specific preferences or allergies.


Bacony Brussels Sprouts

by W Andrew York

(last reviewed Mar 2020)


Ingredients (serves 4):


                1 lb          Fresh Brussels Sprouts

                4              Strips of Bacon (about half fat/half meat, cut into 1” or so pieces)

                2              Garlic Cloves, minced (or Garlic Powder)

                ¼ cup      Diced Onion (Sweet preferably, but white or yellow is fine)

Additional Oil, if needed or desired (Grapeseed is preferred)




1)       Trim stem of Brussels Sprouts, remove outer and damaged leaves, slice in half (if large, quarter to make sections similar in size)

2)       Coat a skillet with cooking spray, heat to medium-high, add Bacon

3)       Cook Bacon to render the fat, add Oil if Bacon was meaty.

(Note – you could drain and replace bacon fat with oil if you prefer, though you would lose much of the bacony flavor)

4)       Add Onion and Brussels Sprouts, heat until cooked through and beginning to char

5)       Add Garlic, or sprinkle desired amount of Garlic Powder, continue cooking 1-2 minutes (don’t let the garlic caramelize)

6)       Remove from heat and plate Sprouts from cooking pan with slotted spoon to leave behind excess fat/oil




- An easy way to cut Bacon strips is with kitchen scissors directly over the pan, minimizes contamination from the raw meat

                - To add some heat, add ¼ cup diced jalapenos (or other spicy peppers) with the onions




Game Section


Game Openings: Breaking Away (Kent); No-Press Gunboat Diplomacy (7 openings)


Possible Game Openings: Facts in Five (everyone plays, will run if enough interest)


Suggestions accepted for other games to offer.


Hangman, By Definition


This is a five round game, with each round consisting of a variable number of turns. The winner will be the person who wins the most rounds, with a tie breaker being fewest total number of turns in those winning rounds. Second tie breaker will be the most number of letters guessed (by total count revealed, not by individual letter).


Each round will consist of identifying a word of at least six letters. Along with each word will be the first definition given. All words and definitions will be identified by blank spaces. Words and definitions are verified in a dictionary that was my high school graduation gift (slight hint to those who might want to find the edition).


The goal is to guess the word in as few turns as possible. Each turn, all players will submit one letter to be revealed. The letter submitted by the most players will be the letter revealed in the next turn. Ties will be broken by a randomized method. Additionally, each player should submit a guess for the word. Once the word is correctly identified (spelling is important), that round will end and a new round will begin. All players who guess the word in the same turn will share in the win for the round. If the word is not guessed by the end of six turns with no letter being revealed, no one will win the round.


Along with revealing letters in the word, letters will be revealed in the definition. There are no bonus points for guessing any part of the definition, it is only there to help players figure out the word. No guesses about parts of the definition will be confirmed or displayed except by the letter revealed in that round. The letters “E” and “S” can never be chosen as the letter to be revealed.



Game 1, Round One, Turn Zero:


                Letter Votes: <<pending>>                                                Revealed: tbd      


                Words Guessed:   <<pending>>





                Word:                     __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __


Definition:             __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __     __  __    


                                __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __     __  __  __  __  __  __


                Never Revealed:  E, S                         Already Revealed:  <<pending>>


    Game Words Correctly Guessed: None, yet


Player Comments: <<pending>>




Deadline for the Next Issue of Out of the WAY:


April 15, 2020 at noon – See You Then!


Game entries, letters of comment and other material can be sent to:


                wandrew88 at; or by post to: W. Andrew York; POB 201117; Austin TX 78720-1117


Eternal Sunshine Game Section




Balkan Wars VI, “Bad Way to Go”, 2020Apb08


The Players:


Albania: Mark Firth –

Bulgaria: Jack McHugh -

Greece: Kevin Wilson –

Rumania: Brad Wilson –

Serbia: Hugh

Turkey: Heath Davis-Gardner –


Black Press is permitted in this game (you may write press from any location, as may any other player or non-player).  As per the rules, there are NO season separations in Balkan Wars VI.


Draws must include all survivors, and they must pass unanimously.  Voting is secret.  NVR = Yes.


ALL Players Must Be Signed Up to the ES Mailchimp List at


Deadline for Winter 1909/Spring 1910 Builds, Moves, and Press is: April 18, 2020 at 7am My Time (U.S. central time)


Diplomacy, “Indestructible Machine”, 2020A, Fall 1901


Austria: Rick Davis – - F Albania – Greece, A Budapest - Rumania (*Bounce*),

 A Serbia Supports F Albania - Greece.

England: Mark Firth – - F North Sea Convoys A Yorkshire – Denmark,

 F Norwegian Sea – Norway, A Yorkshire - Denmark (*Bounce*).

France: John David Galt – - F Mid-Atlantic Ocean – Portugal,

 A Picardy Supports A Ruhr – Belgium, A Spain Hold.

Germany: Tim Haffey – - F Holland Supports A Ruhr – Belgium,

 A Kiel - Denmark (*Bounce*), A Ruhr - Belgium.

Italy: Toby Harris – - A Apulia – Tunis, F Ionian Sea Convoys A Apulia – Tunis,

 A Venice - Trieste.

Russia: Bob Durf – - A Galicia – Vienna, F Gulf of Bothnia – Sweden,

 F Sevastopol - Rumania (*Bounce*), A St Petersburg - Finland.

Turkey: Jack McHugh - - F Ankara Unordered,

 F Smyna – Constantinople (No Such Unit), A Bulgaria - Greece (*Fails*), A Constantinople - Bulgaria (*Fails*).


Please Note Tim Haffey’s new email address! .  Also Mark Firth suggests people use for him since some people had issues with his work email



Supply Center Chart

Austria:          Budapest, Greece, Serbia=3                                                                             Even

England:         Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Norway=4                                                          Build 1

France:           Brest, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, Spain=5                                                        Build 2

Germany:       Belgium, Berlin, Holland, Kiel, Munich=5                                                           Build 2

Italy:               Naples, Rome, Trieste, Tunis, Venice=5                                                            Build 2

Russia:           Moscow, Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Sweden, Vienna, Warsaw=6                      Build 2

Turkey:           Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Smyrna=4                                                    Build 1

Unowned:       Denmark, Rumania.




The further adventures of King of the World (well, bedroom (well, his own)) Pfeffel I (aka Bozzer): It was a big door and striking it with his sceptre was rewarded with a sonorous boom that must have reached all the way to Berlin.


Yet of answer, there remained none.


Eng (gov’t) - board: To confirm, my email is mogcate<at> since the work one didn’t for some of you.

Equally it seems at least one player is not receiving any of those I’ve sent. Or is it a post-Brexit snub..?


Athens, Greek Underground News (GUN), Summer 1901

Greco Parvolempmpplois


The news from the North is pretty tame. Looks like England, Germany and France are going to just take neutrals and build in the winter.


Well, on that point England is expected to build a fleet striving to be the sea power in the North.


France is expected to build two fleets and move against England but he could build an army in Par to defend against a Germany invasion. We think the former will be the case.


Germany will get three builds and this may make his neighbors nervous. However, our contacts in Berlin say the Kaiser has no interest in attacking France as England remains non communicative with Berlin. Based on that info we feel Germany will build two fleets to use against England.


Russia seems to be uncertain about what to do in StP. As yet we can't say more than he will take Swe and build in StP(nc). But, we can get no feeling for the army moving to Norway or Finland and we feel he will take it back to Mos.


In the south we see the following


Russia only has one move. F Sev-Rum Supported by A Gal. Nothing else makes any since. Then, of course, he will build a F Sev.


Turkey will undoubtedly take the Black Sea. Bul could move to Rum or Gre. Probably Greece.


Austria will move S Alb-Greece supported by A Ser and A vie-Tri.


Italy will most likely move A Apu-Tun convoyed by F Ion and build F Nap. A Ven will hold again.


In other words all the neutrals will be taken without much trouble. Cheers


Deadline for Winter 1901/Spring 1902 is: April 18, 2020 at 7am My Time

By Popular Demand


I’ve run this game (or By Almost Popular Demand, a slight variant) a number of times in Eternal Sunshine.  The rules are simple: I supply you with five categories.  You send in what you think will be the most popular answer for each category.  Research IS permitted.  You get one point for each person who submitted the answer you gave.  So, if you and two other people send in the same answer that’s three points.  You also get to choose a Joker category, where the points are doubled.  So in the example I gave, you’d get six points in that category if you chose it as your Joker that round.  If you don’t specify a Joker, it gets applied to the first category listed (so you don’t “lose” the Joker).  Always answer for every category: any answer is legal, and will earn a point even if you’re the only person to give it.  High score after ten categories wins.  Any player who joins after the first round starts with the lowest score so far; if you join starting in Turn 3 and the person doing the worst has 27 points so far, that’s what you start with.  Also if you miss a turn, you get the lowest score that round rather than zero.  This makes the game more competitive and keeps you playing even if you arrive late or forget to play one turn.


Turn 1 Categories:

1.    A Johnny Depp film

2.    Something you can’t buy on

3.    A card game that children play

4.    Someone you tip other than a food server

5.    A geometric shape


Joker category shown in BOLD.  Most popular answer shown in italics.


Mark Firth misses the highest possible score by only 4 points.  Poor Kevin Wilson scores the lowest total.


Comments by Category:


A Johnny Depp film: Mark Nelson – “Pirates of the Caribbean could be a good choice, but instead I'll go for "Edward Scissorhands" - was that the movie that first made his name?”  Andy Lischett – “Edward Scissorhands (Not just in this movie, but whenever I see a Johnny Depp movie, I'm reminded of what a bad actor he is).”  Dane Maslen – “If there had been only one Pirates of the Caribbean film, I'd have gone for it, but instead I've gone for his first film.  Maybe other people will do the same.”  Mark Firth – “Couldn’t be bothered typing that huge Cap’n Jack #1 title!”  Andy York – “I’ve never seen Edward Scissorhands.”


Something you can’t buy on Mark Nelson – “Is there something you can't buy on Amazon? I will go for politician in the expectation that no-one else will pick that.”  Andy Lischett – “I was going to pick ice cream or used cars, but SEX will probably be the number 1 answer.”  Mark Firth – “I didn’t check.”  Andy York – “I’ve never bought anything on it.”


A card game that children play: Richard Smith – “Shithead, my nephew taught me this game.”  Mark Firth – “We will attack - and you don’t want dat.”  Andy York – “I didn’t think kids played cards much any more.”


Someone you tip other than a food server: Mark Nelson – “In Australia there is no-one than you tip, you are not even expected to tip the food server! PS You said that research was allowed... I had to do a google search to find out who you're expected to tip in the US... I remember tipping the people who make up the room each day... but I couldn't remember what they are called (!)... in any case I thought that bar tender would be more popular!”  Dane Maslen – “Just for you I translated 'taxi driver' into American English. [[We call them both here, cab or taxi driver if they drive an actual cab.  These days more people tend to take ride-share services like Uber than true taxis]].  Mark Firth – “Our local firm are really nice. They even invited us in for a cup of tea.”  Andy York – “Not that I use taxis very often.  I also thought of Bartender (too close to a food server so exempted) and housekeeper/maid (in hotels, etc.).”


A geometric shape:  Mark Nelson – “I think a triangle would be a good answer here.  I'm tempted to say a circle because it is the "perfect shape".  Have you read "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions"? I haven't - though I have read Ian Stewart's 2001 sequel "Flatterland".” [[No, I haven’t read either book]].  Andy Lischett – “My favorite geometric shape is a circle but my answer is CUBE.”  Dane Maslen – “Joker on 5.  It could well lose out to SQUARE, but I'm even less confident about my other four answers.”  Mark Firth – “Keep it simple.”  Heath Davis-Gardner – “Since I have no sense of how any of these will do I'll joker on this one.”


Turn 2 Categories:

(Don’t forget to specify a Joker category, or it will be applied to Category 1)


1.    A novel by Kurt Vonnegut

2.    A past or current Dutch colony

3.    A horror movie

4.    A flavor or type of cookie

5.    A model of car currently being manufactured – NOT a make (For a Ford Model-T, Ford is the make, Model-T is the model).


Deadline for Turn 2 of By Popular Demand is: April 18, 2020 at 7am My Time



Deadline for the next issue of Eternal Sunshine is: April 18, 2020 at 7am My Time (U.S. central time)


See You Then!