Eternal Sunshine #133

June 2020

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


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Quote of The Month“Your body, madam, was a desert that duty forced me to wander in alone. But you have never been a wife to me!” (King Henry II in “Becket”)


Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the official Dipzine of losers, failures, and derelicts everywhere.  I am their Patron Saint, as it were.  What have I ever done with my life?  Nothing, and that’s a depressing realization to have.  All these years, all this effort, and effectively I’ve accomplished nothing.  I’m replaceable, unimportant, forgettable, alone, and unnecessary.  Minor holes can be poked in each of those statements, but nothing substantial enough to make them wrong.  My friend Gorman keeps telling me “it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.”  I don’t know if that’s accurate, but I suppose we’ll see.


In the meantime, I continue to search for ways to get exposure and publicity for my new book “Helplessly Hoping” (available in Kindle format from Amazon, and in paperback from Amazon or special-order from any book retailer, with a link here: ).  I hope any of you who have purchased it (or plan to purchase it) will tell your friends about it, and post a review on Amazon and Goodreads (and any other applicable site) if you like it.  So far I’ve only managed to pick up two reviews on Amazon and one on Goodreads.  Word-of-mouth and reviews are the lifeblood of any independent book attracting more eyeballs.  If anyone has media contacts that might have any interest in the book and the subject matter, please mention the book to them, or ask them to contact me.


I’ve been posting about my book anywhere I can find, but this time around I’m avoiding the most common book promotion services.  In the last five years many of them have slowly degenerated into nothing more than mass social media posts that nobody pays any attention to (unless your book is free in Kindle format…that may happen eventually but for the time being I want actual readers who are interested in the book, not mass downloading by people who will never bother to look at it).  And these services are more and more expensive each year.  I contacted some authors who paid for premium placement with a few of these services, and all of them were sad to report that they saw no bump in sales after being featured.  They’re simply money down the drain.


One service I never tried before (and I’m not sure if it even existed in 2014 when I released It’s Their House, I’m Just a Guest) is working to get mentioned on some book blogs.  I don’t know how many people read those things, but there are no many blogs out there, somebody somewhere must be reading each of them.  At first I tried going to the sites individually, but each of them have individual requirements for submitting books for possible review, and they are all overwhelmed with requests.  Instead, I found a service that offers a “virtual tour” of book blogs for a fee.  For a very reasonable price, my book will be mentioned or featured on between twenty and twenty-five blogs over the course of a month, one every day or two.  Some of the sites will do a personal interview, others will have a standard interview form to fill out, and some ask authors to do a “guest post.”  With luck some of the blogs will review the book as well.  The blogs don’t charge individually, only the service does for arranging the whole thing.  The blogs get their bit with click-through fees to Amazon is someone buys the book, and of course on the hope that they’ll attract a wider audience for future blog posts.  My tour is supposed to start on June 22.  I’m interested to see how this works out, and if it helps generate new readers.  Most of the books I checked that used this service are fantasy fiction, but the organizer assures me they do all sorts of books, it just happens that the fantasy or paranormal fiction genres are the most frequent clients.  I believe part of that is because you make more of an impact if your book is part of an ongoing series, as many of those books tend to be (even the independently published ones).  Win or lose, at least I’m trying something different.

In zine news, Harold Reynolds heard my call, and spent a good deal of time building Realpolitik files for both Balkan Wars and Woolworth.  It was more for the nice maps that I wanted Realpolitik to have the variants included.  I generally hand-adjudicate games before doing so in RP; it gives me a better feel for what’s going on in the game, and thereby I enjoy GMing them much more.  But I’ve used RP maps for this zine for a long time, and since players and non-players alike have asked that I start including them for BW (and if it fills, for Woolworth) I’ll now be able to use RP to produce those maps.  That’s a step in the right direction!  So, if you’re considering signing up for Woolworth, now you know there will be a map with the game.


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

Game Openings

Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: None, needs seven.

Woolworth II-D (Black Press): Rules and map at the end of issue #132.  Each player controls one power publicly, and one secretly, on a slightly revised board.  Signed up: John David Galt, needs four 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?: Turn 2 this issue.  Join in and play NOW!

Also In Andy York’s Subzine – You can find his ongoing “Hangman, By Definition” and Facts in Five, plus openings in Gunboat (listed above) and Breaking Away.

Coming Soon: Open to suggestions.  Anybody want to play Acquire or Kremlin?

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


Meet Me in Montauk

The Eternal Sunshine Letter Column


Robert Lesco: It was very nice that so many listed the Montreal Expos under the category of a baseball team that no longer exists [[in By Popular Demand]] but I have to admit it hurts a bit that no one mentioned those marvelous Seattle Pilots. Did Jim Bouton go through all that he did for nothing?


[[He got a good book out of it, at least.  As a kid I was fascinated by baseball cards with the name of a team I’d never heard of and that didn’t exist.]]


John David Galt: This one isn't in my game but I thought I would bring it to your attention as well.


The Woolworth IId rules refer to a "direct passage" link between Naples and Sicily.  In my earlier version of the map, this is drawn as a "bridge" because the water passage between them still exists.  But your map shows the two spaces as adjacent.


The only difference it makes is that if the spaces are adjacent, then Naples has to have two coasts, while on (what I consider to be) the correct map it has only one.


[[You’re correct, although I think the rules do make it generally clear “There is a 'Direct Passage' link between Sicily and Naples. This allows units to move directly from one of these provinces to the other without in any way affecting fleet movement between TYS and ION.”  Harold Reynolds has put together a nicer map in his Realpolitik build, so I expect I’ll use that in the zine.]]


Andy York: Hope you're doing well up there. We're getting the usual May storms, but have been able to do my regular walks and run errands without too much shuffling, not that I'm out and about all that much (today was pay next month's rent, renew my phone for another month, pick-up mail then comics and a stop at the bank to pay some bills). I'm probably in until Saturday when I'll do another mail run. Hopefully I'll be able to do my walking a couple times in the next few days.


My gym is back open, but I'm going to give it a bit until I feel comfortable going back. They don't require masks to enter the gym or move to the equipment (I can understand not wearing it while working out), but you're required to provide and wear your own gloves. If you don't have a pair, they'll happily sell you some for only $5. Fortunately, I was able to pick-up a package of 50 at the store on Monday for only $6.


Turning to the zine itself, that's too bad about Toby. I know he's been a good cat for you for many, many years and it will be difficult to say 'goodbye'. However, I think you have the right attitude - enjoy his company while he can enjoy his life and, when that time passes, take the next step But, he'll always be in your heart regardless if it is six months or two years.


Thanks for the nod regarding the book, very glad to do it. Last I checked I couldn't order the book through BookPeople but I'll keep checking. OK, I'll take that back as I just checked and it is now listed. Last weekend it wasn't. I've sent in my order!


Don't recall having seen any of the movies you list, except maybe part of "The Twilight Zone" movie.  Have been catching some additional ones of late on various channels (Sundance, FXMovies, Movies! to name a few). Watching "Midway" for the first time last night, "Logan's Run" is being taped now (have seen that many times) and have a few Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes ones pending.


[[I have always loved Logan’s Run, and even remember watching the – in retrospect – terrible TV show as a child.  But I think David Thorne’s anti-Logan’s Run rant in his “Blockbuster Late Fees” email series is hilarious.  “If I had to live in an empty shopping mall and wear jump suits, I wouldn’t want to live past 30 either.”  That gives you an idea of the sarcastic flavor; in the same bit he explains why he “loves” Waterworld.  I own the DVD, but most recently I think I caught it very late one weekend on TCM.


You’ll notice I mention Midway at the top of my movie section this issue.  I’ve been spending a bit of time on Sundance lately too; the Law & Order marathons on Thursday and Friday are great things to turn on when it’s late and I want to be free to get sleepy.  I jokingly asked my stepmother if she’d become head of Sundance programming, as Law & Order and Monk are two of her favorite shows, and they have marathons of those a total of three nights out of the week.


I have a DVD set of Rathbone’s Holmes, I think.  I should dig it out, but as I mentioned recently I also need to break down and work my way through all the Rockford Files seasons I have…and I still have the last three seasons of Columbo to enjoy.  I’m watching less TV now that I’m back in the office, even if my total hours worked drops slightly.


If you have a Roku or some streaming device, check out Tubi.  Plenty of great movies on there.  There have been a couple of movies I don’t own that I’ve wanted to watch recently, but they don’t seem to be on any streaming platform that I can access.  Becket and Jagged Edge, if I remember right.  Time to look for cheap DVD or Blu-Ray copies.  Oh wait, just found Becket (with breaks for ads), I can watch it now, and look to buy it later.


So far Toby hasn’t shown any signs of being ill, which I’m thankful for.  In fact he’s been a little more playful these past two weeks, which I attribute to him missing me now that he can’t sit on the couch next to me all day.  His timing is not always convenient, but I’m making it a point to stop what I’m doing and play with him whenever he asks.  I know I’ll regret it later if I don’t.


I don’t have a gym, but I have been riding a cheap, old exercise bike a minimum of 15 minutes a day.  It’s not much but it seems to help increase my stamina, and between that and watching what I eat I’ve dropped about ten pounds.  If nothing else I’ve avoided the “lockdown weight gain” that a lot of people suffered from.]]


Richard Smith: I think reading about your poorly cat may have unconsciously influenced my Kendo choice.


[[Seems like it.]]


Rather than the GPSVisualizer site that Tom and Dane favour, I've put the lat / lons into my home-made tester page at . It works reasonably well for "click on the map and see who's nearest for each round" but I think the code that creates the polygons is a bit dodgy (for example it can crash with too much recursion / out of stack space).


[[I kind of wish I had a big wall map with push pins to GM this game with.]]


Mark Nelson: Last time I gave you an account of a few minutes I caught of a Colombo episode. This time it's an even briefer account of a Rockford episode. Briefer because I didn't watch The Rockford Files back in the day, so I didn't have any reason to hang around.


Anyway, as far as I could make out Rockford was visiting a haulage company, posing as a representative of one of the businesses that used the company. He asked to look inside one of the vehicles which was supposed to be empty, but it turned out it was full of ammunition and weapons. Please fill in the rest of the details for me!


[[Maybe when I watch all the complete season sets I have, I’ll be able to do this for you.  But most episodes followed a generally similar plot, with fun variations.]]


When I kicked the comic addition I didn't sell of my comics.  I don't suppose that they would have had any great value, though I did have a complete run of Swamp Thing: both the original series and then the revival. I see from wikipedia that they are now called Volume One and Volume Two. I also had a complete run of Hellblazer, but given how new that was I can't imagine it having any value.


[[Some early issues of Hellblzer can sell for $40 in graded condition, but the rest are worth $4 or $5 each.]]


In any case, most things now seem to have been reissued as Graphic Novels. (Though in my book bundling together issues of a series that was originally issued as a comic does not a graphic novel make).  The only title that I've rebought as a graphic novel was Strangers in Paradise. That hadn't finished when I kicked comics in 1997. I bought some of the Graphic Novels cause I liked it so much.  Though I see (on Wiki again!) that these are referred to as "Collected Editions" which does make more sense!


[[I got on the SiP train from the ground floor, and when the miniseries was collected in TPB form I bought that I sold my copies of the original miniseries for about $300, which was a ton of money for me and Mara at the time, and much needed.  I tired of the series by around issue #15, but it was a lot of fun while it lasted.  The only comparable “home run” I had with selling comics was the first Valiant comics, like Magus: Robot Fighter and Harbinger.  I was reading from the beginning.  I remember Harbinger had a deal where the first few issues had coupons in them.  Collect the coupons from the first four issues and you could get a copy of Harbinger #0.  I bought myself two copies of each, so I could keep one “intact” and still get the bonus comic.  The print runs on this stuff were only a thousand or two, so when Valiant suddenly exploded (especially the titles I mentioned and Solar) the prices went through the roof.  I went to a comic show in some Holiday Inn in New Jersey and sold my “intact” copies for $500 and $300 in product (I think those were mainly old Justice League issues I wanted to reread).  Soon they added about six more titles to the line, and it collapsed under its own weight and the typical predatory marketing.  The new movie Bloodshot is, I believe, the Valiant Comics character making a movie appearance decades later.]]


"No Hope"... not sure about that one. It rings a bell, but is it because I got some of the mini comics through you or I bought some myself? I did grow into the more mature independent comics, though the names have left me. Moving onto Magna, Maison Ikkoku was one I liked... and I bought some of the Collected Editions when I was in Canberra... perhaps one day I will try and finish the set!


[[I’ve managed to avoid wandering back into the comic world.  I hope I maintain that resolve, as I really don’t need to be buying more “stuff.”  I’m busy enough selling books on eBay.]]


You are right, by video machine I meant VCR. I knew the abbreviation, but I had to look up what it means.


I guess Gary Duke's map is convenient for publishing in a PDF fanzine, but it is certainly lacking the visual appeal of Andrew Poole's map - do you have access to that?  The map is topologically correct but looks quite different from the `usual' representation. That puts me in mind of a topological correct variant, that is not really a variant since it's identical to the regular map. The variant I am thinking of... Bruce Linsey's Inside Out Diplomacy. Do you have that one?


[[I emailed you two other Woolworth maps.  Hmm, Inside Out?  I will have to check; it doesn’t ring a bell.  Oddly, here at my desk at work I have an envelope containing the “Science Fiction and Fantasy Package” of variants.  I have NO clue why I have it in the office; it was distributed Lewis Pulsipher (I believe) in the late 1970’s, since he designed more of these than anyone.  It contains:


·         Barsoom by Lew Pulsipher

·         Between Galaxies II by Lew Pulsipher

·         Downfall of the Lord of the Rings and the Return of the King I by Hartley Patterson

·         The Dying Earth by Lew Pulsipher

·         Hyborean Age of Diplomacy II by Burt Labelle

·         Lunatic Diplomacy II by Thomas Galloway

·         Middle Earth Diplomacy II by Don Miller

·         Middle Earth Diplomacy V (revised) by Lew Pulsipher

·         Quantum Space Diplomacy by T.A. McCloud

·         Simple Rules for Fantasy/Science Fiction Variants by Lew Pulsipher

·         The Star Kings by Lew Pulsipher

·         Timesteps by Lew Pulsipher


With all the Science Fiction books I’ve been listing on eBay lately (for a seller who consigned them to me) maybe I should look these over again?]]


The Dining Dead – Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews


There are a lot of movies I started and didn’t bother to finish this month.  Most of them weren’t specifically bad; I just lost interest in them.  So, you don’t get reviews of those, and it’s unfair for me to critique them when it could just have easily have been my mood that made me lose interest than any flaws in the plot or acting or anything else.  And then there were movies I watched that I’ve seen too many times to write a review, and I was either watching them because they were on cable (Casablanca, the original Midway) or just to kill a bit of time before I went to sleep (Hellraiser).  I prefer to reserve the reviews for the movies I actively watched and paid attention to...or those I tried to pay attention to, but couldn’t because of how bad they were.


The Ninth Gate (Tubi) – I’ve seen this movie a number of times, and found myself in the mood to watch it again this week (although the lateness of the hour forced me to break it up into two parts).  I’m not a huge fan of Depp in general, but his understated performance here serves him well.  Depp plays Dean Corso, a sort of “hired gun” expert on rare books, often paid to locate copies of elusive volumes (when he isn’t lying to relatives of ill or dead book collectors in order to secure himself a valuable book at a low price).  Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) hires Corso to investigate his copy of the occult book “The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows.”  Balkan has purchased one of the three known copies from famed collector Andrew Telfer, just a day before Telfer hung himself.  Now he wants Corso to determine if his copy is authentic or a forgery, by travelling to Europe and comparing it to the two other remaining copies.  It seems the author of the book was burned alive for ever producing it (along with all but these three copies), and rumor has it he wrote the book with a mysterious collaborator (supposedly Satan himself).  Things start to spiral out of control quickly, in a pseudo-Hitchcockian style, including a mysterious woman, a dangerous-looking thug, and too many deaths for Corso to feel the least bit comfortable.  Part mystery, part suspense, Roman Polanski sticks to the slower European pacing that Hollywood generally avoids.  I admit my fondness for the film is enhanced by my fascination with rare books, but either way The Ninth Gate is an effective thriller and worth a watch when you’re in the right mood.  I think I’ve seen it listed on Amazon Prime right now as well.  I actually have it on DVD somewhere, but I didn’t need to pull it out to enjoy it.  For those who don’t know, Tubi is a 100% free streaming service that incudes advertisements before and after the films and shows it carries, plus a few commercial breaks carefully placed during the film.  I stumbled across the service on my Roku and after a filmmaker friend mentioned that he’s been getting bigger payments from Tubi than from any other streaming service his movies are on (sadly he has nothing on Netflix).


Super 8 (Amazon Prime) – I vaguely remember watching the very beginning of this film, probably five years ago.  But somehow I completely missed it in the theaters, despite it grossing about $250 million globally.  The film deals with a group of adolescent friends in 1979, working together to finish a zombie movie shot on (obviously) Super 8.  While filming a scene at a train station late at night, they witness a tremendous train derailment, which apparently is not an accident.  And soon there are strange things happening all over town, including missing people, stolen electronics, and military trucks swarming the roads.  Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning lead the cast of youngsters, with Kyle Chandler as the boy’s Deputy father.  It’s a bit of a nostalgic film, in the same way that Stranger Things (which I thought was okay but overrated) is nostalgic for a few years later.  It has some of the same Stephen King/Steven Spielberg vibe that Stranger Things has (less surprising since Spielberg was one of the Producers of this film) but without the multi-dimensional stuff.  There’s no super hero kid here, just friends working together to solve a mystery and save themselves (reminiscent of It in that way, I suppose).  The only drawback is what felt new and fresh in 2011 (when Super 8 was initially released) now seems a lot more cliché and overused.  It’s a nice little journey, if you don’t expect anything too impressive.  The kids’ performances are what give the movie its soul, and it still has that going for it, even if the adults all act like cardboard cut-outs of their designated territory: sneaky military officer, drunk, Deputy who doesn’t know how to be a father, etc.  And there’s one part in the climactic scene that was far too corny, to the point that I rolled my eyes.  Thinking about it, it’s possible I skipped seeing this in theaters simply because the trailers I saw at the time felt too derivative, even in 2011.  It’s hard to tell a formulaic story and make it feel fresh.  Super 8 is at least partially successful in that endeavor.


Devil’s Mile (Shudder) – I’m not entirely sure why I watched this film.  I think, in part, it was because once I realized what it was about, I wanted to see if it would be any different than the other “no matter how far you drive, you just keep going in circles” movies I’ve seen over the last few years.  Honestly, it isn’t much different.  This one focuses on a group of three kidnappers, with two Japanese (for some unknown reason) girls as hostages in the trunk of their car.  They take a seldom-used highway, and….well, you don’t need to know the details.  They’re not very important, and if you watch this film or any of the others with the same general premise you’ve already encountered them.  For some reason, while I was writing this review, my mind passed to another independent film that had some ORIGINAL ideas: Time Lapse.  It has almost nothing in common with Devil’s Mile, and it isn’t about being stuck in a car on a road that never ends…but look it up and try watching it.  Time Lapse isn’t brilliant, but it’s interesting.  I see it’s available on Tubi, so you can stream it for free.


The Medusa Touch (Amazon Prime) – I may have seen this film decades ago, but I’m not entirely sure.  As it was, my preference for Hammer films must have convinced Amazon to suggest this one for me.  It’s not actually a Hammer film, but it has a lot of Hammer faces in it.  Released in 1979, the film was one of the better (or less awful) films Richard Burton made late in his career, when he was having trouble securing desirable roles but still needed to earn a living.  It stars Burton as John Morlar, an author who believes he has the power to will tragic things to happen to people.  Lee Remick costars as his psychiatrist, and Lino Ventura plays the French Police Detective (on exchange with Scotland Yard) assigned to investigate an attempted murder of Morlar.  Much of the film is told in the form of flashback scenes while other characters are recounting experiences, they had with Morlar.  Adapted from a novel by Peter Van Greenway, there isn’t that much mystery to the plot.  It’s mostly a question of how things are going to play out.  Still, the film does a decent job of building suspense, and it’s enjoyable overall.  Despite it being a step down from his glory days, Burton at least gives a decent effort rather than sleepwalking through each scene or overacting.  I wouldn’t say he’s restrained, but his character feels like a usual Burton part, in as much as he makes it his own.


Hopscotch (TCM) – Anyone who knows my taste in movies knows I have great admiration for Walter Matthau.  Charade, The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, and The Bad News Bears have been lifelong favorites (Charade was the first movie I bought on VHS).  I seem to be bumping into a lot of his films lately, including A Face in the Crowd and Fail Safe.  I don’t think I’ve seen Hopscotch more than once, so I made sure to enjoy it when I saw it on the TCM schedule.  It’s a rather overlooked tour-de-force for Matthau.  He plays Miles Kendig, a lifelong CIA field operative who is getting a bit long in the tooth.  Relegated to a desk job by his section chief (played by Ned Beatty), Kendig disappears and goes off to decide what to do with the rest of his life.  He hits upon the idea of writing his memoirs, revealing all of the CIA’s dirty little secrets (along with those of the KGB and other intelligence agencies).  Naturally, this draws the ire of those in power, and Kendig is forced into a cat-and-mouse game with agents out to find him and stop the book’s publication, including Sam Waterston (it’s always nice to see Waterston in a role where he doesn’t need to yell all the time).  By this description, you’d have no way of knowing that the film is really a comedy rather than a suspense picture.  We’re treated to Kendig always trying to stay one step ahead of those chasing him.  It’s done with intelligence and panache, which may be why the film isn’t so well remembered; it’s always easier to sell broad, over-the-top comedy.  In a way the film reminds me of the way Paul Newman’s character gets his revenge in Absence of Malice, knowing how his opponents think and moving according on the chess board.  Glenda Jackson is paired with Matthau here (as in House Calls from two years earlier) as Matthau’s love interest and accomplice, and performs admirably as she always does.  I think in some ways Matthau’s close association with Neil Simon causes people to forget what a great actor he was (and, of course, his stage work is only remembered by those lucky enough to have seen it).  There are plenty of other great Matthau films, including The Laughing Policeman and Charley Varrick, that you may not have seen.  Go watch them and include Hopscotch in your travels.  The ending is a little obvious but it’s more about the journey than the destination.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I want to go watch Absence of Malice.


Out of the WAY #22

by W. Andrew York

(wandrew88 of




Summer’s here in Austin, we’ve already had our first 100 degree day (that’s 38 for the centigrade crowd) – 20 days ahead of our normal first 100 degree day. This could be a long, hot summer. Though, hopefully, not close to the record number of 100 degree days which was in 2011 with 90 of ‘em (I was here and remember it!).

Which brings me to my first tipping point with C-19. I’ve been walking to replace my gym time which has positives – I’m outside with fresh air and I usually spend more time as I don’t have machine time limits and I can’t stop at a certain point if I’m still ½ mile from my home. For instance, last week, I walked 440 minutes over five days. It also has negatives, I can’t easily read while walking (lost reading time!), every walking route takes me by tacos/BBQ trucks that emit tempting smells to draw me in and some other folks that have no concept of social distancing (I prefer the term “physical” distancing, but I don’t have the platform other folks do that have made “social” distancing the default choice). Several times I’ve commented at bike riders something akin to “no problem, I’ll walk in the bike line while you ride your bike on the sideWALK”.

The tipping point is, as mentioned above, it’s summer. So, temperatures are rising. Right now, presuming I get up early enough and delay reading the paper/email, I can get the walk in before the sun beats down and the heat index becomes uncomfortable (it was 111 on the day it edged over 100 degrees). However, that window’s becoming less approachable unless I get up VERY early, walk in the dark (not a smart idea around here, few street lights and limited sidewalks in places) and soon the nights won’t provide much of a break in the temps. Gyms are open now, with a 75% limit (or will be in a couple of days if it’s still at 50%). My gym is doing temp checks at the door, requires you provide your own gloves (they’ll be happy to provide some for only $5) but no face coverings while not working out and, apparently, expects the users to clean the equipment between uses (based on what I’ve gleaned from the Emails/videos the company sent out). They also enforce some social distancing between in use equipment and does solid cleaning at least overnight. So, I’m likely going to check it out for at least a “look/see” visit in the next few days to get the lay of the land. From that I’ll make a decision if I continue to walk or shift back to the gym for at least some of my workout sessions.

On the plus side, last week I had a couple that I’m good friends with invite me over for a fish fry. They are avid fishers, both in the local lakes and in the Gulf of Mexico (primarily in the vicinity of Port Aransas). Once we came up with a definitely rain free date, I went over, walked through their side gate and had an el fresco lunch. They had some recently caught filets, and fried them (using a gluten-free batter) with homemade onion rings (panko breading), some cole slaw and freshly fried hush puppies. Great food, wonderful conversation – it was nice to spend some time with friends that I hadn’t seen in months.







On June 10th, in response to the continued limitations on gigs for artists and for live music clubs to open sustainably, Willie Nelson with Paul Simon and Edie Brickell put together a two-hour live streamed concert as a fund raiser (also carried on the local CBS affiliate). During the event well over $500,000 was raised to support Central Texas Food Bank, HAAM (Health Alliance for Austin Musicians), Red River Cultural District (live music venues on Red River Street), Six Square (supports artists and creatives of color), Southern Smoke (supports Austin area bars and restaurants including their staff) amongst others.

Willie opened up with a short welcome, followed by Paul and Edie performing “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard.” Local performers included Gary Clark Jr. jamming solo in the empty Antone’s club, Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel on stage at the Broken Spoke, Charlie Sexton with Doyle Bramhall II via split screen, David Ramirez from his home and Jimmie Vaughn & Tiltawhirl Band at the tiny C-Boys venue. Other appearances were from Boz Scaggs, Rene Zellweger, Ethan Hawke, Lyle Lovett, Bonnie Raitt, Vince Gill, James Taylor and Norah Jones. All in all, it was a wonderful event and I’d recommend anyone watch it (though I can’t find it archived on the internet, at least so far). The host url is and, at the time of writing, was still collecting donations, if you are so inclined.

It definitely reflected the Austin vibe, variety of music and Texas spirit. The photo montages of the clubs, favorite spots, wall art, statues and even the Peter Pan Mini-Golf course with the namesake statue properly sporting a facemask. Also featured was Waterloo Records, recording studios and a guitar manufacturer.

It really makes me want to get back out to see live music, even though I don’t go that often – the last time was to see an opening act at The Garage at Empire (Andy Suzuki and the Method) at the beginning of February. However, I expect it’ll be some time before I feel like I want to take the risk – though an outdoor event with plenty of space might be doable.




Texas Talk


Before I get into this month’s bit, just a quick mention about someone that I’m planning a column on in the future. June 19 on PBS’s “Great Performances” at 8p in Austin (check your local listings for when it’ll air in your area, or for repeats), they are showing “Ann” – the one-woman Broadway play by Holland Taylor about Ann Richards, Governor of Texas (2nd female governor, after Ma Ferguson). I had the fortune of seeing an early version of the show as a part of a pre-Broadway run here in Austin at the Paramount in 2011 (or thereabouts) – thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to seeing it again!




                First, my apologies, the article I was working on isn’t quite ready. I had a bit of trouble vetting a few of the bits and really need to take a trip downtown to double check a few things. But, with the current environment and access limitations, I couldn’t. I’m hoping things will open up enough that I can do so shortly. If not, I’ll work on an alternate column so this can return next issue.

Random Fact: The largest county, of 254, is Brewster (which hosts Big Bend National Park) in the southwest area of the state. In land area it is bigger than Connecticut and Rhode Island – combined! It is also larger than Delaware and nearly as large as Hawaii (shy by about 270 square miles).





Letter Column

(always welcome, send them in for consideration!)

(if something shouldn’t be included here, clearly mark it as a personal comment)


[Matt Velentgas] – Funny, your recipe sounds like something I’ve been doing recently. A few months ago I did a wrapped up and baked Greek lamb dish called lamb kleftiko. It came out amazing and was super easy. I figure cooking anything like that is super easy and will come out well. And you can pretty much add anything, any kind of meat or fish or fowl, any kind of vegetable and spices and herbs and it would make you happy. [WAY] - Quite right, easy and flexible way to make dinner (can reportedly even use a grill, though I’ve never tried it – apartments generally don’t allow you to own one). You’ll have to have me over some time for that lamb dish, sounds excellent!

                [MV] – A friend of mine gave me two Sharpe series books. I have gotten to them yet, but hope to. I’m stuck into George MacDonald’s Flashman Chronicle book right now. I like that series a lot, have read others in the series and am having a good time reading this one. [WAY] – At some point I’ll look into that series, have plenty in the plate but always looking for new ideas. If you want to start at the beginning of the Sharpe series (presuming it isn’t one of the ones you already have), holler. I can bring it next time we do lunch or a gaming afternoon.

                [MV] – It was interesting reading about the Texas capitol. I knew about the story, but hadn’t heard it in detail. [WAY] – glad you enjoyed it! I’m willing to take suggestions if there’s something Texas-centric someone would like me to look into.


[Richard Smith] – There are some variants [for Breaking Away on the Variable Pig website] that don’t get played very often, which might interest you. [WAY] – I’ll check them out, still evaluating other things to offer, thanks! [RS] – As for Choice, I’m sure you’ve seen that Dane’s Games is about to start it’s 13th outing, using Dane’s custom rules. I really like the game but did find it surprisingly tricky to GM in the past as one small mistake can scupper everything. [WAY] – thanks for the head’s up. From my initial look at the rules, it appeared to be a bit convoluted to GM. I’ll monitor Dane’s new outing as a way to gauge whether it will be something I want to attempt.





Random Review


                **Disclaimer** most of the numbers are by memory and I may get them wrong, or attribute an event to one Hunt when it was actually in the other. But, the overall tone and idea is still given of what this is.


                Over the past few years I’d heard of the GISH (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt) competition and fundraising effort founded by Misha Collins (of Supernatural fame). I’d passed over joining the events as they are week long, multi-person team, efforts that I wouldn’t have had time to do without taking time off of work or would conflict with a convention or a baseball home stand. However, in April and May GISH conducted one-day events that, though you were still grouped into teams, most of the challenges were designed for solo or family sized groups. So, I signed up.

                When signing up, you have two options for the type of registration (as well as to request a scholarship). The smaller amount (around $15) included a donation of 10 meals to kids who were out of school due to C-19 and not getting school meals. The more expensive rate (around $60) included a donation towards 40 meals and some swag (mine has yet to arrive). You also have the option of joining with a goal of being on the winning team or playing just for the fun of it – I chose the latter.

                After joining the Hunt (as each event is called), you can choose to join an existing team, create a new team or letting the system group unattached players into existing teams that have space (teams consist of 9-15 folks). In both cases I let the system add me to a team. Both teams were international in scope, though I don’t remember locations of the first team. The second included a person in England and one in Indonesia. Interestingly, in the second team, there were two others from Central Texas within an hour drive.

                The first team was not very communicative, moving off the app to use a Facebook messaging system that I’m not on. I did say that if they would enjoy it more, feel free to move there and anything that is for me should be sent to my Email or on the app messaging system. The second team had several folks that were much more open and used the app messaging, though not all shared with others – which is fine.

                The day of the Hunt, it begins with an opening ceremony with Misha saying a few words, then the list of tasks is posted on the GISH servers. I missed the opening ceremony in April, so can’t speak about it. The May ceremony started a bit late (which, from comments, isn’t unusual). Unfortunately, the server that hosts GISH crashed both times the list was posted and the app kept losing connection and rebooting. Finally, when you were able to get into the list of tasks you found a wealth of things to attempt.

                In the first Hunt, unfortunately, most of the 70-odd (by memory) tasks I couldn’t do. They included having a child cut an adult’s hair and share a photo of the results, provide a picture of your pet doing something they are never allowed to do, film yourself waking up a housemate by throwing the newspaper onto their bed from your bicycle. Lack of someone to film something, or throw a newspaper at, and no pet made those tasks a “no go”. The few I could have done were already reserved by the time I got to them (you can click on a task and assign it to you to avoid duplication of effort). They included tasks like microwave a frozen dinner and photograph the results next to the picture on the box.

                The second Hunt had well over 100 tasks including about two dozen for children to attempt. These were also much more approachable, having learned a bit from the feedback from the first mini-Hunt. The kid’s tasks included taking a picture of “a pink or purple flower” and “with help of an adult make a meal for your family”. I decided to do one solo task and participate in one multi-member event. I figured I’d leave the rest open for others and felt that if I had some extra time at the end of the 24-hour period (actually a bit over 25 hours due to the server issues). The multi-member challenge was to send a collage of photos of individual team members watching a hosted hour-long event with black community members as part of the overall Hunt (replaced some previously announced lighter community streams due to the recent events). I believe it was the team leader that collected the photos and uploaded the collage.

                The challenge I did work on was “In the vein of Tolkien, make a map of your apartment or house, and the yard if you have one, including both the Light and Dark areas”. So, my bedroom became “The Land of Darkness and Loud Snoring”, the refrigerator an “Entrapped Ice Demon” and the balcony where I sit outside and read was the “Overlook of the Land of the Wailing Child”. It was fun to do and got a couple chuckles and compliments.

                A couple other of the challenges included creating a “Tea-Rex” composition from tea leaves and submitting a picture. Another was to take a picture of the contents of your refrigerator and have a celebrity (over 500,000 followers) post it on their social media.

                At the end, Misha hosted a Closing Ceremony and shared a few of the various teams’ submissions. Up next is the voluntary HARSH (Human Analysis of Really Strange Happenings) where the submissions are rated by some selected GISHers to individually determine their top five in a specific challenge. I just did the kid’s pink or purple flower one and whittled the 59 original entries down to my top 5. Some didn’t have the right color, some had multiple flowers (it did say “a”) and, in the end, had to use personal preference and presentation as tie-breakers from the last 10 or so.

                The first Hunt I judged one for “Draw a little birdhouse in your soul. Leave the nightlight on inside the birdhouse in your soul.” Highly subjective and interpreting what fits wasn’t easy. Folks’ used lots of creativity though and some of the entries were amazing!

                There are also some pop-up events that also happen. In the lead-up to the second Hunt Misha held a webcast to drum up interest and get a little feedback. There were several hundred folks from around the world with him inviting someone from Alaska, Great Britain and Germany to chat one-on-one with him. Some guy from Austin was also picked (no idea why), we chatted a few minutes about Austin (his two co-stars live here and, no, I haven’t met them), SXSW (he was just about to leave to it this year when it was cancelled) and a few words about the April Hunt.

                To be honest, I didn’t enjoy the first Hunt and likely wouldn’t have ponied up for the second if I hadn’t been chosen to chat. It was nice that part of the registration fee helped kids (515,000 were funded) and was the reason I signed up the first time, and it was still valid for the second. I did enjoy the second hunt, the team interaction and likely would join in another one-day “at home” event. However, I am not likely to try the week-long Hunt August 1-8 as I’m not that social with strangers and don’t have folks to join into a team.

                If it sounds at all interesting to you, certainly check it out. Overall, it was a positive experience when the two Hunts are looked at together. If there were folks I actually knew and wanted to socialize/work with I likely would enjoy it even more.

                Note – the week-long Hunt is a significant fundraiser, one year sending money to help remove land mines in Laos (if memory serves, could have been Cambodia). The winning team goes on an excursion with Misha. Once, I think, was somewhere in Europe, another was a trip to New Zealand. So if this interests you it certainly has an impact and a potential memorable reward if your team wins.





Mini-Book Reviews

(finished since last issue)


big wonderful thing by Stephen Harrigan (2019; 925p).


                I’m sure if I start this review out by saying ‘this is a history book about Texas” most of you would immediately pass on it. But don’t, this is a very affordable, very approachable, look at the history of Texas. Harrigan is primarily a writer (longtime contributor to Texas Monthly), a novelist (three novels) and a screenwriter (TV movies). So, this is not written as a classic textbook with lists of governors, though many make an appearance, dates, though the vignettes are put into their chronological context, and sterile analysis, though many stories are told.

                I found this a fascinating look into Texas from the paleo-indigenous hunter-gatherers into the 21st century. The stories are individual vignettes most lasting only a page or two with the longest about 10 pages. As mentioned, the style is that of a reporter or novelist, so the read is very easy and it is something you could dip into a bit at a time in the evening or just before bed. When you finish the book, you’ll have a great feel for what “Texas” is and what it means to people of the State.

                The last selling point, literally, is it costs a mere $35 for the hardback edition of 925 pages (I have no idea if a paperback will eventually be issued). The goal of the publisher (University of Texas Press), from what I gathered from the author’s book launching interview at the Texas State History Museum, was to create something that covers the breadth of Texas and its rich past in a form that would be easily accessible to most folks – all the better to let them find out about it. You can’t go wrong with picking up a copy and reading through it at your leisure, you won’t be disappointed. It would be well worth the efforts of all states to publish their own history in a similar style and price point.

                My highest recommendation! [June 2020]


The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett (1983; 277p).


                This is the first of Pratchett’s lengthy library of Discworld novels, and I finally took the plunge into that universe after being tempted for many years, I haven’t read much Pratchett, though thoroughly enjoyed his collaboration with Neil Gaiman in creating the book Good Omens. When reading this book, I found many elements from the collaboration that I particularly liked were Pratchett’s (well, apparently, that is).

                The book itself is actually four short stories with the same main characters that introduce Discworld, its magical environment and some of the dynamics of the varied governments, economies and societies. The underlying theme is a tourist from a fabled land visits to see and experience things he’s only heard of, from heroes to food to dragons! He pairs up with a failed wizard as his guide and, accompanied by his sentient luggage, has four of the encounters documented in these vignettes.

                Light reading, fun and humorous – it was a joy to read. I’m definitely going to delve further into this series of books, and other Pratchett stories. Recommended. [May 2020]


The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (2001; 998p)


                Bill James is a stats man, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball, which is what this book consists. Though I will point out that I’m reading a 20-year old copy that a friend passed on when he replaced it with a newer reference. However, I still found it of interest and well worth going through, if dated and filled with James’ personal thoughts and opinions.

                Broken into three main sections, I found the first was the one that interested me the most. It is a decade by decade breakdown of the state of baseball starting with the 1870, along with a section specifically on the Negro leagues. In this he discusses the macro events, new and shifting teams, league adjustments, new stats and rules, etc. He also, with his wife chiming in on some categories, identifies the ugliest player, uniform trends, “award” for the worst talent scout decision and highest paid player. He often includes little asides or comments with these featurettes and lists. Once example, for the heaviest player in the 1990’s he writes “Probably Cecil Fielder” with the comment “Fielder acknowledges a weight of 261; leaving unanswered the question of what he might weigh if he put his other foot on the scale.” (pg 312)

                The second section is the most straight forward, and one I barely glanced through. It is a detailed description and analysis of his personal Win Share rating system that he uses to determine player value. Though I enjoy baseball, it is from an enjoyment/fan perspective not as a major focus of interest and detailed analysis. Thus trying to determine if player A from 1920 is fractionally better than another player from 1985 is of little significant interest and not worth, to me, the time to fully understand that “edge”.’

                The final section uses the Win Share rating system to determine the 100 best player at all nine positions (each outfield position is ranked separately, while designated hitters aren’t broken out and all pitchers, relievers and starters, are lumped together). I skim/read through this which is mostly the name of the person and some information on them. However, some player’s commentary is brief (one sentence, such a Jeff Kent’s “One of the best RBI men to play second base.”) while others go on for much longer (such as the next second baseman, Manny Trillo, who’s commentary is a page long). Yet, in other cases, mini-gems are included in the player commentary. For instance, in Paul Moliter’s page nearly one pager, 2/3rds is a listing of records held by third baseman other than himself and Tony Conigliaro’s right field bit starts with a list of the 19-year-old All-Stars since 1900 (Conigliaro is included as the left fielder!).

                The book wraps up with a reference appendix (please note that the table of contents actually has this as section three, combining my sections two and three into the book’s second part).

                For the baseball fan, either a serious number’s cruncher or long time casual fan that has an interest in the history of baseball and insight into the top players of the first 130 years of the sport, this is a wealth of information and something to keep handy. It can be a reference when watching baseball and a color commentator mentions an older star (and, yes, we will be watching and listening to baseball soon!). Or, it can be something to pick up and take a quick read about the days past while the umpteenth pitching change occurs or during a (finger’s crossed) short rain delay.

Recommended for the fan of the sport, though as a more current edition (unless it is given to you!). [June 2020]





Babylon 5 Quote


Sheridan in “The Geometry of Shadows”:  The universe doesn’t give you any points for doing things that’re easy.”


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





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.




Breakfast Tacos

by W Andrew York

(last reviewed June 2020)


Ingredients (serves 1 each) – based on the last time I made this:


1                     Pre-made Flour Tortilla (if corn, use 2)

1                     Large Egg

1 slice     Deli Ham, Chopped

1-2 oz     Chopped Sweet Onion

1-2 oz     Chopped Jalapeno Pepper

1-2 oz     Sliced or Chopped Button Mushrooms

1-2 oz     Shredded Cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

1+ tbp    Oil (I used Grapeseed)

1 tbsp     Milk (I use 2%)

                Garlic Powder

                Salt and Pepper




1)       Break the egg into a small bowl and whisk to scramble. Blend in milk. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.

2)       Heat oil in a small sauté pan, coating the cooking surface – add a bit more if needed. When hot, add in onion, jalapeno and mushrooms.

3)       Once caramelized to your satisfaction (I like them cooked through with a bit of browning), add egg mixture.

4)       Once eggs start to set, warm tortilla for 10 seconds in the microwave. Also, begin stirring the pan contents to incorporate the veggies throughout the eggs. Note - by stirring the eggs from the middle to the outside, will make them a bit more fluffy and with a lighter “mouthfeel”.

5)       When eggs are almost set, add in cheese to allow it to melt and spread through the eggs.

6)       Remove tortilla from microwave and top with cooked egg mixture.

7)       Enjoy!




-          This is an extremely versatile recipe that is easily scaled up to provide multiple tacos for one person, or a family.

The only warning is that you don’t over pack the tortillas as they’ll likely split – if there’s too much filling, warm up another tortilla or just let it spill over on the plate and eat with a fork.

-          Veggies can switched out based on what is in your fridge or available to be prepared. I’ve put in other types of peppers, diced potatoes (including frozen out of the freezer), sliced avocados, shitake mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, celery – you get the idea.

-          Ditto with meat, I’ve used diced ham, pork sausage (without casing), chopped raw bacon (cook as a “Step 0”, cutting back on the oil if you leave the bacon grease in the pan), chopped cooked sausage links/patties. Alternately, a slice of cooked bacon or breakfast sausage link can be warmed separately and put into the tortilla prior to adding the egg mixture.

-          Other spices or sauces can be added to the egg mixture, I’ve used Tony’s C’s Creole Mix, added in Chalula (your favorite hot sauce is fine), salsa, Worchester sauce, etc.

-          Once built, the breakfast tacos can be topped with pico de gallo, salsa, taco sauce, chopped green onions (nice bit of crunch), avocado slices, shredded lettuce, etc.

-          To make a Migas taco, add in crushed (into bite-sized chunks, not into a powder) tortilla chips with the cheese to incorporate throughout the mixture. If you don’t have tortilla chips, you can substitute a torn piece of bread (preferably a heel or a day-old slice) with the veggies – you may need to add a bit more oil. (Bread idea compliments of Chef Mark Bitman, successfully tried it once).





Game Section


Everyone Plays Games: Hangman, By Definition; Facts in Five


Game Openings: Breaking Away (Kent, Burgess, Smith); No-Press Gunboat Diplomacy (5 players, 2 openings)


Possible Game Openings: Fragments (under consideration), Choices (under consideration)

Suggestions accepted for other games to offer.


Standbys: Breaking Away (none); Gunboat Diplomacy (none)





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 Final:


Word Successfully Uncovered by 5 of you!

New Round Starts Next Issue


                Letter Votes: I x2; M x1; N x1; P x2; Q x1                    Revealed: All of Them!


                Words Guessed:   [Doug Kent]: Infinitesimal; [Kevin Wilson]: Infinitesimal; [Richard Smith]: Infinitesimal;

[Andy Lischett]: <No Guess Submitted>; [Heath Davis-Gardner]: Infinitesimal;

                                [Mark Firth]: Infinitesimal; [David Burgess]: Parasiticidal




                Word:                     Infinitesimal


Definition:             Immeasurably or incalculably minute


                Never Revealed:  E, S                         Already Revealed:


    Game Words Correctly Guessed: Infinitesimal (David-Gardner, Firth, Kent, Smith, Wilson)


Player Comments:


[Kevin Wilson] – I think the definition is: Immeasurable or incalculable quanta/digits? [WAY] Darned close!


[Heath Davis-Gardner] – I think the last two words of the clue could be “incalculably minute”. [WAY] – Spot on!


[Doug Kent] – The hardest part of even making a guess for me is coming up with a word that doesn’t have a used letter in one of the empty spaces. [WAY] – True, but that’s the only way to find the right word! You did just fine this time!


[Richard Smith] – One of the words in the clue looks like it might be “incalculable” [WAY] – almost got it!


[Mark Firth] – Clue: Immeasurably or incalculably minute. [WAY] – Perfect, all the way around!




Previous Turn Comments on Strategy:


Hangman Game 1, Round 1, Turn 1 Comments:


[Mark Firth] - with a guess at the clue of “independence of governmental powers”, I haven’t quite come up with an appropriate answer. Nevertheless* I’ll proceed with an associated word:  Deliberative 

[* also 12 letters]


[Tom Howell] – Here’s one anyway: Transcription.. Look at mine from high school, and you’ll see how BAD a student I can be. Look at mine from Jr. College, and you’ll wonder if it’s the same guy… ;)


Hangman Game 1, Round 1, Turn 2 Comments:


[Heath Davis-Gardner] – I vote again for “I”, because I read somewhere that for a 13 letter word, I is the best guess. (T was the next best guess aside from E, if my source is correct). My word guess is “Woolgathering” – found this while searching through random 13 letter words that have at least one T in them, and I’m going to be using this word going forward. I am a woolgathering individual, I had no idea.


[Dane Maslen] – The more I think about it, the more I think it’s possible that the word end ‘TICALLY’, but I won’t try to confirm that, lest I thereby help other players come to the same conclusion.


[Andy Lischett] – I confess to using the internet to find 13-letter words with a T in position seven, and there are a ton. However, I’m not submitting a guess, as I love words and I love games and I don’t want to cheat (even you allow it, it feels like cheating). I only looked out of frustration. After a week I only came up with two 13-letter words with a single T, and both in the wrong spot: serendipitous and eclesiastical, and eclesiastical is misspelled. If I wait any longer I’ll probably forget to guess a letter.





                                                                        FACTS IN FIVE


Rules:     There will be five rounds, the cumulative high score at the end of the fifth round will be the winner. Anyone may join anytime with a starting score matching the lowest total from the previous round. Anyone missing a round will add the lowest score of that round.

                Each round will consist of five categories and five letters.  Each player submit may an entry for each category which has a key word that starts with each of the letters (twenty-five total entries). Key words are generally the first word; however articles (the, a, etc.) and modifiers (“red” in red bicycle for “R” in “mode of transportation” or “general” in General Lee for “G” in “Military Leaders”) are not key words. A word in the category may not be the key word (“bank” in “Bank of America” for “B” in the category “Banks”). For given names, the last name is the key word, if married it will be their post-marriage last name. However, in the case of commonly used stage names, that name should be used (in a category of female singers, ”Q” could be “Queen Latifa” and “Cher” for “C”). An entry may only be used once per round.

                One point will be scored for each entry that unarguably meets the letter and category. An additional point will be added if anyone else also uses the same valid entry for the same category. Maximum possible score in a round is 50 with a lowest possible score of 25, presuming an individual submits a valid entry for each category and letter in that round.

                Research is allowed, collaboration between players is not.





Round One


Bolded - Scores 2 points for matching another entry; Crossed Out - scores 0 points; otherwise scores 1 point.


REMINDER - Last names are generally the key word, not first names.


  Players                                 D                             F                              B                             O                             S


Liquid Edible Products

    Heath Davis-Gardner     Dalithoy                French Onion Sp  Boost                     Oxtail Soup          Stew

    Mark Firth                        Dissolved Sugar   Ferley’s Rusks… Blackcurrant Puree Orange Juice   Smoothie

    Doug Kent                        Daquiri                   Freca                      Beer                       Orange Juice       Seltzer

    Andy Lischett                  Duck Soup            Flagyl                     BBQ Sauce           Olive Oil                Steak Sauce

    Kevin Wilson                   Diet Coke              Fanta                     Beer                       Orange Juice       Soup


Popular Music Title

    Heath Davis-Gardner     Dear Prudence    Fixing a Hole        The Beatles           Oh Darling            Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts…

    Mark Firth                        Don’t S S C T M Furlough Me…    Burn                       Once in a Lifetime Summertime Blues

    Doug Kent                        Don’t L M Down Free Fallin            Born in the USA   Open Arms            Saturday Night

    Andy Lischett                  Dear Prudence    Fun, Fun, Fun       Barbara Ann         Oklahoma             Satisfaction

    Kevin Wilson                   Dancing Queen    Family Affair       Bohemian Rap     Over the Rainbow Stairway to Heaven


Past Religious Leader/Figure

    Heath Davis-Gardner     David                     St. Francis           the Buddha          Omar                      Sarah

    Mark Firth                        Dalia Lama         Fatima bint Muh  Bede the Vene      Osiris                      Statue of Zeus

    Doug Kent                        B J Daughtery      St. Francis           Buddha                 John Osteen          Joseph Smith

    Andy Lischett                  David                     Jerry Falwell         Barabbas               ?                              Simon Peter

    Kevin Wilson                   Dalia Lama         St. Francis           Buddha                 Olumba Olumba Oby  Joseph Smith


No. American Port City

    Heath Davis-Gardner     Detroit                   Ft Lauderdale     Boston                   Oakland                San Francisco

    Mark Firth                        Duluth                    Ft Lauderdale     Baltimore             Oakland                San Francisco

    Doug Kent                        Detroit                   Fall River              Boston                   Oakland                San Francisco

    Andy Lischett                  Detroit                   Freeport               Baltimore             Oakland                San Francisco

    Kevin Wilson                   Detroit                   Freeport               Baltimore             Oakland                Savannah


7+ Letter German Word

    Heath Davis-Gardner     Dienstag                Freitag                  Benutzen               Oktoberfest           Schwierig

    Mark Firth                        Deutsch                 Feutche                  Bahnhof                Oktober                Schluss

    Doug Kent                        Dienstag                Freitag                  Brustkorb              Oktober                Sekunde

    Andy Lischett                  Deutschland         Fraulein                 Blitzkrieg               Osterreich              Schwartz

    Kevin Wilson                   Danke Schon        Flugzeug                Bestimmt              Obersleutnant       Sauerkraut


WAY’s Notes on Heath’s Answers: The Beatles album is better known as The White Album; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts… is Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; St. Francis is St Francis of Assisi; Omar was a Caliph and companion of Muhammad (name more properly spelled Umar); Sarah is the wife of Abraham

WAY’s Notes on Mark’s Answers: Don’t S S C T M is Don’t Stand So Close to Me; Furlough Me… is Furlough Me, Furlough Me; Fatima bint Muh is Fatima bint Muhammad; Bede the Vene is Bede the Venerable; Statue of Zeus is Statue of Zeus at Olympia which was destroyed in 5 AD (Mark, thanks for that clarification with the response)

WAY’s Notes on Doug’s Answers: Don’t L M Down is Don’t Let Me Down; Saturday Night is Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting; B J Daughtery is Billy Joe Daughtery; John Osteen is the father of Joel Osteen and founder of that church

WAY’s Notes on Andy’s Answers: the brand name drug Flagyl, does have an oral dosage option; Barabbas disallowed as, though a figure in the Bible, was a Jewish political leader that only had, at most, an incidental religious role; Schwartz is an older spelling of today’s schwarz.






Round Three


Letters:                  G             I              T             R             P             

Categories:            Tobacco Product Tradenames; Hand Tool; Nobel Science Prize Winner; Living American Fiction Writer;

                                                Bakery Products


Current Standings


Scores by Category             1st           2nd         3rd          4th          5th          Now                        Previous                 Total     

   Heath David-Gardner      5              6              8              10           7              36           +              37           =              73

   Doug Kent                         7              5              8                9           8              37           +              35           =              72

   Kevin Wilson                    7              5              9                9           5              35           +              37           =              72

   Mark Firth                          6              5              6                9           6              32           +              28           =              60

   Andy Lischett                   5              6              4              10           5              30           +              26           =              56


Player Comments:


 [Andy Lischett] – Oddly, I don’t speak German but that was the easiest category. Freeport was obvious except I didn’t think the Bahamas are considered part of the continent. So I cheated and looked it up, and it is. [WAY] Research is permitted, so you didn’t cheat.


[Heath Davis-Gardner] – You’ve really stepped up the difficulty of facts in five – which I think should be fun. [WAY] – not really *me* that’s doing it, it’s what’s on the five cards I draw for that round. Granted, most of the cards have several options that I narrow down. For instance, for the current round (and as memory serves), I drew the card that with a category “Religious Leaders/Figures” and had to pick a class from a list that included options such as: Past, Current, Foreign, Christian, Male, etc.

                [HDG] – <<next to Liquid Edible Products, he wrote>> the word ‘products’ throws me off – I’m basically listing a few soups and a supplement…does this have to be a brand name? can you let me know, or is that illegal? [WAY] – No, it doesn’t have to be a brand name, just something that is “liquid” and “edible” that is produced rather than natural. So, Water or Rain wouldn’t fit, but Fuji bottled water or just Bottled Water (keying on the product, “Bottled” not the “Water”). In general I try not to guide folks in their deliberations over answers, but that’s not to say I might respond off the cuff to something asked or that if someone seems way off (i.e. misread the category) or inadvertently repeated an answer, I might mention it (no guarantees, especially if you’re a last minute submitter). For the most part, take each at face value and, once done, review your submissions.

                [HDG] – <<next to Popular Music Title, he wrote>> by ‘music title’ I’m assuming you mean the name of the song or an album, tell me if not, if legal :) - I’m just making mine Beatles edition because I’ve gotten deeply into the Something About the Beatles podcast this week. [WAY] – Yep, the name (Title) of popular music. As album or song isn’t specified, it could be either as long as it is “Popular”.

                [HDG] – <<next to Past Religious Leader/Figure, he wrote>> can we go with folks that maybe haven’t been proven to have actually lived? [WAY] as long as they aren’t alive (aka current versus past) and a leader or figure in a generally recognized religious belief system (and by “figure” since the word religious precedes the term figure they must have a religious connotation; if it followed the word “figure”, such as “A Leader or Figure in a Religion” would open it up to non-religious individuals mentioned in the religion’s texts or history).

[HDG] – <<next his last answer above>> as in, it’s super freakinschwierig to find answers to this category when I had one year of German. [WAY] – I know what you mean, I have no affinity for foreign languages. I took four years of German in high school with mostly A’s and B’s. However, taking the placement exam when entering Michigan State University (back in 1979) I placed in first year, first term (i.e. start over from scratch). If I didn’t use military terms from my gaming/history background I probably would have been stumped if I tried to answer this one.




Deadline for the Next Issue of Out of the WAY:


July 8, 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


Diplomacy, “Indestructible Machine”, 2020A, A/W 02

Season Separation Granted By Player Request

Austria: Rick Davis – redavis914@aol.comBuild A Budapest.. Has A Budapest, A Bulgaria, F Greece,

 A Vienna.

England: Mark Firth – - Has F Denmark, F North Sea, F Skagerrak, A Yorkshire.

France: John David Galt – - Has F English Channel, A Marseilles, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean, A Paris,

 F Spain(sc).

Germany: Andy - Has F Baltic Sea, A Belgium, A Burgundy, F Holland, A Kiel.

Italy: Toby Harris – - Has F Ionian Sea, A Piedmont, A Trieste, F Tyrrhenian Sea,

 A Venice.

Russia: Bob Durf – playdiplomacymoderator@gmail.comPlays 1 short.. Has F Black Sea, A Finland,

 F Norway, A Rumania, F Sweden, A Tyrolia.

Turkey: Jack McHugh - - Retreat A Rumania – Serbia.. Has F Aegean Sea, F Ankara,

 A Constantinople, A Serbia.






Deadline for Spring 03 is: July 11th, 2020 at 7am My Time

Diplomacy, “Wine Lips”, 2020B, Spring 1901


Austria: Harold Reynolds –  - A Budapest – Serbia, F Trieste – Albania,

 A Vienna - Budapest.

England: David Cohen – - F Edinburgh - Norwegian Sea, A Liverpool – Yorkshire,

 F London - North Sea.

France: David Burgess –  - F Brest - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, A Marseilles – Spain,

 A Paris - Picardy.

Germany: Mark Firth – -   A Berlin – Kiel, F Kiel – Holland, A Munich - Ruhr.

Italy: George Atkins - -   F Naples - Ionian Sea, A Rome – Apulia, A Venice Hold.

Russia: Heath Davis-Gardner – - A Moscow - Sevastopol (*Fails*),

 F Sevastopol - Black Sea (*Bounce*), F St Petersburg(sc) - Gulf of Bothnia, A Warsaw - Ukraine.

Turkey: Paul -   F Ankara - Black Sea (*Bounce*),

 A Constantinople – Bulgaria, A Smyrna - Armenia.


Deadline for Fall 1901 is July 11th, 2020 at 7am My Time




France to all:  Oh boy, this is gonna be good...


The government of Austria-Hungary announced non-aggression pacts with France and England, effective until 1903 with options to extend. When pressed on the fact that there's no way there even could be conflict with these Powers in this time, Otto Weinlippen, Minister für alberne Spaziergänge, airily waved it off, saying "that makes it easier, doesn't it?"


Anonymous: If Guile be the Food of Dip,

Then England has got the equip'.

Best ignore his mendacity,

And take his capacity.

Then quick bud that Brit in the nip!


Anonymous: Der Kaiser is quick to express,

How his physique would look good in a dress.

Throw a wig on his hair,

With some makeup to spare,

As a femme fatale Herr ist sehr fesch!


Wine joke of the day - What did the grape say when the elephant stood on it?  Nothing, it just let out a little whine.


England: Music often runs through my mind throughout the day.  I had the song, Jewel in the Crown by Fairport Convention, on my mind as I sent in my Spring 1901 orders:


Turkey to everyone:  I have tried to come up with some urbane, sophisticated, witty press to no avail.  So far, all I can say is that my esteemed neighbors who have units that could move into the Balkans in spring 1901 seem to be under the impression that the game really doesn't begin in earnest until spring 1902.  Either that or they're taking me for a fool (a possibility I have by no means eliminated from consideration).  And I mean that in the nicest possible way.  It will be good to see what's going on elsewhere on the board, as I haven't heard a peep, even something intentionally misleading.



A Roman Tale of Adventure and Intrigue, Book One.



Signore Alberto Nessuno sat in a small, badly painted office with a single window that was nailed shut. The office was in a non-descript old building on a side street around the corner from the Piazza della Rotunda, where the ancient Roman Pantheon held court Not that he cared very much. Most Romans were rather indifferent to the ancient buildings, unless they were entertaining guests from out of town, of course.


Nessuno shared his confined office with 3 other men, all sitting in their creaky chairs with their plain, wooden tables pressed against the room's outer walls. Jackets hung from the backs of their creaky, four-legged chairs. Cigarette smoke hung low and dense. This sometimes made it increasingly harder to concentrate, read reports, or even to breath. People got irritable. They got up and went for a walk down the hallway, bedecked in hospital-green walls. They would came back, but just as irritable for their troubles.


However, Ludovico d'Annunzio, the capo ufficio---or Office Manager---was finally fed up with this claustrophobic, smoke-laden environment. One day he walked outside, approached the lone, nailed-down window and, using a brick he picked up on the sidewalk, threw it through one of the window panes. The mood in the office changed after that (aside from the fortunate chance that nobody was beaned), as they enjoyed some fresh air and some sounds of the street. This provided a reminder to these four occupants that they, too, were still human and part of the Real World. They were Romans, not rats. Everyone continued to smoke, of course.


Being the capo ufficio, Ludovico was responsible for the proper running and status of this office, so he dutifully included a notice of the "anonymous act of vandalism" in his weekly administrative report. His office mates knew he had to cover his ass and were not bothered.


In fact, they were not at all concerned, as the chance of the window getting repaired (with the resulting loss of fresh air and sounds) was about as likely as King Vitorrio Emmanuel III emulating Ariosto's Orlando Furioso by flying to the Moon on Elijah's flaming chariot (though there were numerous Romans who hoped it would happen). This indifference was because the maintenance department for the building was comprised of two people: A young slacker (Vinnie Abalone) who spent most of his days playing Scopa with his gambling buddies down in the boiler room, and that old man, Nico Il Vecchio, nearing retirement. Nico was not about to do anything that might jeopardize his pension or cause a personal injury.  These two personal work rules sometimes presented a conflict of interest for Nico. So, he would assign tasks that involved any skill or heavy lifting to Vinnie and fill out the duty chart, in case anybody in the Big Office bothered to check.


After all, Vinnie was young. If he got the chop, he could find another job. Probably. Well, he wasn't even married, for God's sake! Nico sometimes just shuffled over to the boiler room and complained to Vinnie about his laziness, about his slacker friends dirtying up the place, and how ashamed Vinnie's parents must be for his lack of ambition. But Nico never threatened to report him or fire him, because he didn't care enough and he didn't want to get beat up by Vinnie and his gambling friends. So Nico would just rant a bit, sit down at the table, pull a few lire out of his pocket, and ask for cards. Life could be worse.


Back upstairs, the four men in the small, dingy office managed to get by. But Alberto Nessuno ---the person who is the protagonist of this account---was not happy. He was the Fourth Assistant to the Secondary Undersecretary of International Enterprise and Economic Affairs in the Italian government of Vitorrio Emmanuel III, King of Italy. This was a job he had for the past five years. He was the Fourth Assistant, because the other three men in the office were the Third, Second, and First Assistants to the Secondary Undersecretary of International Enterprise and Economic Affairs. His desk was the farthest away from the window with the broken pane, but the thrown brick lay on the floor near his desk. Alberto's important-sounding title was an example of the usual Italian habit of embroidering even the lowliest office jobs. And Alberto believed the only ones lower were Vinnie and Nico.


He got his job through connections of his Uncle Gionvanni, but those people were no longer in seats of power. In fact, several were now in prison for corruption and for being in the wrong political party; offenses which were just two sides of the same coin and a way to get prosecuted for the same "crime" twice. With his usual fatalism, Alberto Nessuno sorted through the missives piled in his "In Box", looking for anything interesting to break the usual monotony of his morning. One document stood out, because it was hand-written on good paper. Alberto scanned it. His usually hunched-back posture sprang up to attention, as if he just got caught stealing cigarettes from the capo ufficio's desk. THIS WAS NEWS!


Alberto Nessuno looked around the room to see if anybody noticed the sudden change in his demeanor. No, they were still hunched over their desks, trying to look busy with their own stacks of meaningless reports and requests. Well, THIS WAS REALLY SOMETHING, he thought to himself. If he played his cards right, this document could get him promoted to Second or even First Assistant to the Secondary Undersecretary of International Enterprise and Economic Affairs! Why, this discovery could even lead to a change in Italy's foreign affairs and make Aberto Nessuno a household name throughout Italy. Hah! Forget this "Assistant to the Secondary Undersecretary" dead end job! Nessuno was now imagining a bigger prize:  A seat in the "Camera dei deputati del Regno d'Italia", the major legislative government body in all of Italy. Nessuno would have to plan his moves carefully, lest one of the other three boobs in the office take credit for his discovery.


As Nessuno stared at the wall, silently fantasizing meeting the King and getting his seat in the Hall of Deputies, he was rudely brought back to reality by a touch on his sweaty left shoulder. Jerking around, he saw Ludovico d'Annunzio looking down at him and wiping his hand on his trousers. "Sorry to interrupt you," Ludovico said in a low voice, "but I'm looking for a document that might have wound up on your desk by mistake. I'm embarrassed to admit that it is a small story I am writing for publication. Perhaps you saw it, a story about a fictional invasion of Italy during the Holy Week of Easter. It's just a draft, mind you, but I think it will make a really good story when I'm done. I'd just appreciate you not mentioning it to the other guys here in the office. They would kid me no end!"


Nessuno was stunned at this revelation. He tried to cover his shock by quickly looking down and picking up the pile of reports on his desk. He rummaged through them, pretending to discover d'Annunzio's story at the bottom of the stack. Alberto quickly leafed through the stapled pages and saw that Ludovico's name was typed at the bottom of the last page as the story's author. Dannazione! How could he have overlooked that!?


With a silent sigh, he looked up with a slight smile and handed the pages to d'Annunzio. The capo ufficio thanked him and returned to his desk. Alberto's dream of fame and fortune dribbled into the sewer of his disappointment as quickly as it had formed in his imagination. He feared that he would likely remain the Fourth Assistant to the Secondary Undersecretary of International Enterprise and Economic Affairs for a long time to come.  "Well," he thought to himself, "at least I haven't been drafted into the army."

Balkan Wars VI, “Bad Way to Go”, 2020Apb08, W 10/S 11


Albania: Mark Firth – mogcate@aol.comBuild F Tirana.. A Montenegro Supports A Croatia – Belgrade,

 F Tirana - South Adriatic Sea, F Trieste Supports F Tirana - South Adriatic Sea, F Valona - Gulf of Corfu (*Fails*).

Bulgaria: Jack McHugh - -  Build A Sofia.. A Plovdiv – Arda, A Salonika – Athens

 (*Fails*), A Sofia – Macedonia, A Thrace Supports F Varna – Constantinople, F Varna - Constantinople (*Fails*).

Greece: Kevin Wilson – ckevinw@gmail.comRetreat A Salonika – Athens, Remove A Epirus..

 A Athens - Epirus (*Bounce*), F Gulf of Corfu - Epirus (*Bounce*).

Rumania: Brad Wilson – - Build A Bucharest, F Constantsa..

 A Bucharest - Transylvania (*Bounce*), A Cluj - Transylvania (*Bounce*), F Constantsa - Dubruja (*Fails*),

 A Dubruja - Bithynia (*Bounce*), F North Black Sea Convoys A Dubruja - Bithynia.

Serbia: Andy York – - Build A Belgrade.. A Belgrade – Nish, A Bosnia – Croatia,

 A Croatia – Belgrade, A Skopje Supports A Belgrade - Nish.

Turkey: Heath Davis-Gardner – - Build A Smyrna..

 A Constantinople Supports A Dubruja - Varna (*Void*), F Izmit - Bithynia (*Bounce*), F Rhodes – Cyclades,

 A Smyrna Supports A Constantinople.





BLACK SEA to WORLD: Rid us of the Turkish Taffy menace!


Deadline for Fall 1911: July 11th at 7am My Time


Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki?


The Rules were in Eternal Sunshine #131, read them if you want a detailed explanation and examples.  Basically, this is a guessing game, trying to guess the mystery person and their location (both chosen by me before the game started).  Closest guess gets a public clue and notification they were the closest.  Everyone else sees the clue but has to figure out on their own who was the closest that turn.


Turn 1


Tom Howell:

Izumo no Okuni at the Grand Shrine of Izumo in Shimane Prefecture, Japan


Will Abbott:

Justin Welby in Atlanta, GA


Simon Langley-Evans:

Paul Ateriedes in Paris, France


John David Galt:

Hunter Biden in Nairobi, Kenya


Kevin Wilson:

Wayne LaPierre, Jr. in Lagos, Nigeria


Andy Lischett:

Dub Taylor in Gibsland, Louisiana


Richard Smith:

Anna Von Hausswolff in Gothenburg, Sweden


Dane Maslen:

Tedros Adhanom in Geneva, Switzerland


Heath Davis-Gardner:

Scottie Pippen in Mexico City, Mexico


Jack McHugh:

Barack Obama in Nairobi, Kenya


Mark Firth:

Cersei Lannister in Beni, DR Congo


David Burgess:

Elton John in London, England


Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:

I died before you were born.  Wrong nationality…but correct chromosome.


Turn 2


Will Abbott:

Henrik Ibsen in Edinburgh, Scotland


Simon Langley-Evans:

Ivanka Trump in Beijing, China


John David Galt:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Helsinki, Finland


Andy Lischett:

Little Richard in Macon, GA


Kevin Wilson:

Chaka Zulu in Nagasaki, Japan


Dane Maslen:

Christopher Columbus in Xining, Qinghai province, China


Heath Davis-Gardner:

Bessie Smith in Oslo, Norway


David Burgess:

Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, PA


Tom Howell:

Billy Graham in St Petersburg, Russia


Jack McHugh:

Charlemagne in New Delhi, India


Richard Smith:

Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger at Catacamas, Honduras


Mark Firth:

Bonnie Prince Charlie (Prince Charles Edward Stuart), in Benidorm, Spain


Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:

I was born less than twenty years after you.  Correct chromosome.  Doubtful we ever met.


Deadline for Round 3 is July 11th 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 4 Categories:

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


1. A type of drum

2. An island

3. A streaming service other than Netflix

4. A Clint Eastwood movie

5. A serial killer


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

Andy Lischett scores 29, a point off the highest possible score for the round.  Jack McHugh brings up the rear this time around with 11 points.


Comments by Category:


A Type of drum: Andy Lischett – “My first thought, brake drum, probably won't be popular. Maybe "bongo.”  Kevin Wilson “For the drum, who knows.  Could be anything: snare, timpani, kettle; but bass seemed safe.”  Mark Nelson – “Bass drum was the one that came to mind first. Though I think snare drum has more interesting musical possibilities.”  Mark Firth – “Oil just edged it over kettle.”


An island: Kevin Wilson – “For the island, lots come to mind but reflecting on the comments last round of the game being US-centric, maybe our Brit friends will tilt the choice that way.”  Richard Smith – “In contrast with my bottom score in ES 131, I was the top scorer in Dane's Games 193. This had a category of "US city with 6 characters", and I chose Boston just because I'd been there. On the same holiday we had a boat trip to Nantucket so that's my choice, I wasn't thinking of the rude limerick.”


A streaming service other than Netflix: Kevin Wilson – “For the streaming service, I choose that as my Joker as there are fewer choices so a better chance of matching.  I like Hulu, second to Netflix of course, but have found interesting stuff on all of them.  Where I have the option, I tend to subscribe for a short period, binge a show or two, then try something else.  I keep Netflix, Hulu and Amazon (Amazon mainly because it comes with Prime). The rest are on and off although the kids seem to like Disney+ with all the Marvel and Star Wars stuff.  Others I’ve sampled now and then are CBS All Access, AppleTV+ and lately I’ve seen Peacock but right now that’s included with our Xfinity service.  We’ll see if there are others from time to time.”  Andy York – “I don't subscribe to any of them.”  [[The only ones I have are Netflix and Shudder, and I often wonder why I don’t cancel one or both.  I suppose I convince myself they’re worth the $8 a month if I find a movie a week to watch.]]  Mark Nelson – “We don't have subscribe to any streaming service and I have no intention of so doing... Does YouTube count? It's not what I think of when I hear the phrase "streaming service" The wife would like me to get Disney for her... now my picking Disney as the answer to this question should in no way be taken as indicating that I will get it for. Luckily, she does not read Eternal Sunshine...”


A Clint Eastwood movie: Andy Lischett – “If The Bridges of Madison County wins I officially resign.”  Kevin Wilson – “For Eastwood, while perhaps not his best or most beloved role seems like one that everyone has heard of and is perhaps his breakout role.”  Mark Nelson – “Excellent category! So many good movies to pick from.  A Fistful of Dollars? The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?  For a Few Dollars More? I'll go for "A Few Dollars More", for no reason other than it was the last one I saw!”  [[I just bought a copy of “Play Misty for Me” as a gift for someone, I can’t remember the last time I saw it.]]


A serial killer: Kevin Wilson – “I thought about Jack the Ripper for the serial killer but thought “serial killer” is a more modern term so went with someone more recent.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if Jack gets the nod.”  Andy York – “One theory has (Jack the Ripper) being the person behind America's first serial killer - the unsolved Servent Girl Murders in Austin, covered by O Henry when he was a reported here.”  [[I tend to doubt it.]]  Mark Nelson –    As I went to the University of Leeds the Yorkshire ripper springs  to mind. though he was convicted five years before I went up to Leeds.  But I suspect that is a rather specialised answer.  Need one look further than Jack the Ripper?”


Turn 5 Categories:

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


The “non-U.S.” Turn


1. A past leader of France

2. A river in Asia

3. A military battle that took place in what is now Germany

4. An Australian province

5. A film where the spoken dialog is in a language other than English


Deadline for Turn 5 of By Popular Demand is: July 11th at 7am My Time

Deadline for the next issue of Eternal Sunshine is: July 11, 2020 at 7am My Time (U.S. central time)


See You Then!