Eternal Sunshine #137
By Douglas Kent - 911 Irene Drive, Mesquite, TX 75149
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Quote of The Month – “I wake up happy, feeling good... but then I get very depressed, because I'm living in reality.” (Bill in “Happiness”)
Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the only Dipzine that officially recognizes that the next time Adam Sandler does something funny will be the first time. And while I’m at it, Saturday Night Live stopped being funny in 1979, minus a few moments during the Eddie Murphy era (but even then, it was consistently bad). I had someone send me the “hilarious” Baldwin/Carrey Trump/Biden “debate” bit. It was unfunny. Carrey’s Biden sounded like Carrey doing a voice, not like Biden, and Baldwin’s Trump sounds terrible. Since the material isn’t funny, the impersonations are left as the only redeeming feature…and they failed miserably.
And I love humor. I love to laugh, and I love to make other people laugh (even if the “target audience” for my humor is myself…if I make myself laugh, I don’t care who else thinks what I said or did is funny). But I’ve slowly come to realize that most modern “humor” is simply not funny. It’s crap. It’s designed to either get a loud agreeable reaction from the audience (because, after all, being part of the show has replaced listening and laughing these days) or to belabor an obvious and tired point. Oh goody, here comes another Trump joke, let’s all yell “whooo, whooo, whooo” because the comedian said “Trump is stupid.” How about a little intelligence, or some actual wit, or something insightful? I know that’s too much to ask, and given the way the public reacts it would probably go right over the audience’s heads.
This month went pretty fast, despite nothing much actually happening. I’m still missing Toby terribly, but the worst moments are further apart than they were before. Sanka has been a bit of a contradiction since Toby died. On one hand, for the last couple of years the two of them rarely played together, so it isn’t as if Sanka misses playing with him. She was also kind of pissy about sharing affection with Toby; she didn’t want to come up and cuddle if Toby was already on my lap or next to me. So lately Sanka has been more affectionate, getting up on the couch and cuddling with me in the morning and the evening. And she still likes to lie down by my head when I go to sleep (although she doesn’t stay there all night long, the way Toby did between my legs).
At the same time, Sanka has taken to whining for me to play with her every fifteen or twenty minutes. She’ll usually play for five minutes or less, and then stop. Fifteen minutes later, she’s whining and scratching at my leg to do it again. It’s cute in its own way, but it is also irritating. I keep telling her “I can’t play with you every ten minutes all night long!” I suppose it’s better than her being lethargic. I try to accommodate her the best I can. Most mornings I find a toy or two in the bedroom or hallway that she must have carried in while I slept, whining for me to play some more (occasionally I have a vague recollection of being woken up by her “play cry.”). I don’t think it’s loneliness. Instead, I think she’s enjoying being able to play without having to “take turns” with Toby, and wants to take advantage of that before it somehow is no longer available. Little does she know; I’m not planning on getting another pet in the near future.
In zine news, Acquire gets underway this issue. I’ve decided to leave the Woolworth opening for one more issue; if nobody else signs up for it before the next deadline I will be dropping the opening. As always, I still have openings in Diplomacy. And the Kremlin game has room for one or two more. Andy York is back with his subzine, and despite still not getting more interest in his Railway Rivas opening, Peter Sullivan is going to give it a bit more time (after he confirmed with the people signed up that they don’t mind waiting).
That’s it from me for now. See you in November!
Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: Brad Wilson, Stan Johnson, needs five more.
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, Brad Wilson, needs three more.
Gunboat (No Press): Check out the opening in Andy York’s subzine. Only one spot left! Sign up through Andy York ONLY!
Railway Rivals: In Peter Sullivan’s subzine Octopus’s Garden. Sign up through Peter Sullivan ONLY!
By Popular Demand: Ongoing. Join in the fun! You can join at any time.
Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki?: Ongoing. Join in and play NOW!
Kremlin: House rules in ES #135. Would like four or five players. Signed up: John David Galt, Kevin Wilson, Heath Davis-Gardner, would like 2 more.
Also in Andy York’s Subzine – You can find his ongoing “Hangman, By Definition” and Facts in Five, plus an opening for Breaking Away.
Coming Soon: Open to suggestions.
Standby List: HELP! I need standby players! – Current standby list: Andy York, Andy Lischett, Paul Milewski, Harold Reynolds, Jack McHugh.
Meet Me in Montauk
The Eternal Sunshine Letter Column
Heath Davis-Gardner: So sorry to hear about Toby, Doug. When I lost the first pet I truly owned myself (i.e. got her when I was an adult, on my own) I was expecting it to be really hard, but it outdid those expectations. Like you, I also had to make a decision whether to spend a lot of money to extend her life by a short period of time, during which she'd be totally miserable, or to put her to sleep. I chose the latter and it was really one of the saddest days of my life, up there with losing my dad and close friends that have died, getting divorced, every shitty thing I've ever experienced. And it was such a hard decision, even though I kind of knew in the back of my head what the right thing to do was the whole time.
As an animal lover I appreciate what you did for Toby and I know you have really loved your cats a lot and given them excellent lives. I am glad you still have Sanka with you, though I know it's not the same. I just wanted to say I was moved by what you wrote and that I'm really sorry to hear about that. Everyone always says it's the tradeoff - like, you're going to have this amazing companion for X years, they're going to have a great life.. but then you pay the price in sadness - and that's a big reason why I have a tendency to like other people that have pets. It shows a person has a big heart.
Thanks for what you wrote, and again, my condolences...
[[Thanks Heath. I’m getting used to things, but every day or two it still hits me hard. There’s no two ways about it: I lost my best friend, and he’s gone forever.]]
The Dining Dead – Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews
Criminal: United Kingdom (Netflix) – A year or two ago I watched four shows on Netflix. They were all called Criminal, and each was four episodes long, but each was set in a different country: U.K., France, Germany, and Spain. The basic set-up was also identical: there’s an interrogation room, with camera and microphones, and the hour-long episodes are questioning a suspect or someone involved in a crime in some way. I liked the show; each nation had its slight peculiarities, and while the general build from episode to episode was similar, the cases were entirely different. Now, a second season of Criminal - United Kingdom has made its way to Netflix, and I was quick to sit down and watch the new episodes.
Not much has changed. There’s a continuity among the investigating staff from episode to episode (and season to season) but the cases are individually contained. You’re given insight into what the police think – and how that opinion changes as the episode progresses – but nothing from the other side of the table. That’s where the tension builds; id this person guilty or innocent? Do they have the information desired? Will they reveal it? Will justice be done in the end, one way or another?
The acting is good, and properly restrained. No CBS Crime Drama overacting here. It’s well-cast all around, and the scripts are precise. If you enjoy crime dramas in general, give the U.K. version a try first (simply because with no language barrier it’s easier to start with). But don’t quit after you watch both seasons; move on to the other nations as well. It isn’t brilliant television – there’s no Columbo comparison – but it’s very well done and worth watching.
Spiral (Shudder) – A same-sex couple (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and Ari Cohen) move into a quiet town to get away from the city and raise their 16-year-old daughter in a better environment. But one of them begins to believe things in this town are not what they seem, and that sinister forces may be moving against them. For most of this movie there was a decent amount of tension, combining a psychological thriller with suspense. There’s plenty of being where you don’t belong and worrying someone might discover you, stuff like that. And the way fantasy and reality are splitting apart for Bowyer-Chapman’s character is generally well done. The main flaw in the film is the payoff. It doesn’t come together very well, and the big plot reveal isn’t that big a surprise. After all that build-up I was hoping for either better idea, or if not that, a better plan to make it all happen. In a way it was as unsatisfying as when a villain reveals all the secrets at the end of a movie just before the hero is saved. I suppose I still enjoyed Spiral, or at least parts of it. But it wasn’t a thumbs-up. Also, minor word of warning: there are many films with this title.
Jagged Edge (DVD) – I haven’t watched Jagged Edge in about twenty years, so when I saw a DVD available for just a few bucks I decided to but it and enjoy the film again. It holds up pretty well, even though I remembered almost everything that happened. Glenn Close (pre-Fatal Attraction) is a lawyer hired to represent Jeff Bridges, a socialite and newspaper editor suspected of murdering his very wealthy wife. Robert Loggia was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Close’s foul-mouthed investigator. Peter Coyote (I haven’t seen him around much lately) plays an aspiring District Attorney looking to launch a campaign for the Senate on Briidges’ conviction, and is willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure that happens. In the modern Law & Order world the courtroom scenes feel a bit silly and dated, but the plot is well-crafted, with Close showing multiple sides to her character. She has to carry both vulnerability and the toughness of an attorney, and does pretty well. It’s worth revisiting if you happen to come across it.
Seniors: A Dogumentary (DVD) – Released to streaming services and on DVD September 29th, I acquired my copy a few days ago from Director Gorman Bechard, whose work I try to support however I can, even if my contributions are small and often insignificant. He was kind enough to give me Executive Producer credit on this film, even though I don’t deserve it.
The first thing I need to point out that Gorman also did the amazing documentary A Dog Named Gucci. If you’ve never seen that, you need to. But while that has some difficult topics surrounding it (animal abuse and the fight to toughen the laws across the country), Seniors: A Dogumentary has nothing of the kind. It’s a non-stop festival of smiling faces, wagging tales, happy barks, and a celebration of the love between senior dogs and their humans. If you find yourself with a lump in your throat or tears welling up, it will be because of happiness. Or, occasionally, at thoughts of confusion and anger over how people in this country so frequently treat their older dogs as disposable.
About half of the film details the amazing work that Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Tennessee does. It’s an amazing project, headed by Zina Goodin and her husband Michael. Over the years it has become a bit of a retirement home for senior dogs, rescuing them from shelters where they are almost certain to be euthanized. Instead, they enjoy their golden years surrounded by love, comfort, and safety…and tons of other doggie friends. OFSDS also has what they call “forever fosters,” where they place a senior dog in a home as a family pet, but cover the medical expenses for that dog for the rest of its life. With that added incentive, hundreds upon hundreds of senior dogs have rescued by OFSDS and placed in homes.
There are plenty of other stories along the way. There’s Chaser, the smartest dog in the world. A scientific marvel, yes, but in the end just a happy dog who wants to play and be loved. There’s Izzy, a dog who came to live at an Assisted Living facility with his human. When the man died a few weeks later, Izzy’s granddaughter said to take Izzy to the pound, but they knew he’d be euthanized. Instead, he became an official resident, and “everyone’s” dog. In some ways, the story of Izzy is a perfect illustration of the central point of the entire film. Izzy is loved and cared for, and in return he provides love, companionship, and purpose to elderly residents who desperately need all three in their lives. Seniors have so much left to give. They just need a chance to show it.
As many of you know, all three dogs I’ve adopted since I moved to this house have been seniors. And no, grief is not fun. You don’t get to enjoy ten or twelve years with these dogs if you adopt them as seniors. But I wouldn’t trade my time I had with them for anything in the world. Just like I wouldn’t have traded Toby’s last years to avoid the broken heart I still have over him. Pets are a commitment, and in a better world they would not be treated as disposable inconveniences when they get old and need some extra care. Whether you adopt a senior, or you have e furry family member grow old naturally and become a senior over time, they deserve to be treated with love and respect until the very end. Seniors: A Dogumentary, hopefully, will be an education for some, and a gentle reminder for others.
Plus, where else can you watch a twelve-year-old dog run around with a paper towel tube like he’s won the lottery? You can purchase a DVD from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Seniors-Dogumentary-Various/dp/B088GJGG8H/ ) or a signed copy from https://whatwerewethinkingfilmsonlinestore.bigcartel.com/ . Or look for it on Vimeo and other streaming services. (Hey, want to do something to help get Seniors: A Dogumentary on Netflix? Login to your Netflix account and then follow this link: https://help.netflix.com/en/titlerequest?ui_action=title-suggestion-quicklinks – or go to the Help Center and click on Suggest TV Shows or Movies).
Pizza, A Love Story (DVD) – The second Gorman Bechard documentary to be released on September 29th, this one is a celebration of pizza and the history of the “holy trinity” of pizza places in New Haven, CT: Pepe’s, Sally’s, and Modern. I was also a small part of helping finish this film, which Gorman had been working on for a decade. I know there are times he felt he’d never really finish it. But it’s done, it’s here, and come hungry.
New Haven style pizza is a flavor all its own, although over the years restaurants serving New Haven style have opened up all across the country. But this film is much more than just about pizza as a food. It’s the story of immigrant neighborhoods, and the peasant food which brought them together. Pizza (or apizza as the film is quick to teach you, pronounced sort of like “a-beets”) was a food developed out of necessity by the Italian women who had to make do with very few resources. And when thousands of Italians immigrated to New Haven to work at the large hardware factories and other industries, they brought their food with them, and soon began to open restaurants where those foods could be found. Through good times and bad, happiness and sadness, these places have held that community together.
Pepe’s was at one time the largest pizza place in the nation, and the basis of many of the stereotypes you find everywhere now. The pizza man with his hat and bow tie? That was Frank Pepe. The first pizza box? Made for Frank Pepe. Sally’s was opened by relatives of Frank. Modern, as the name suggests, is the “newcomer,” having only been around since the 1940’s.
There are food critics, historians, New Haven locals, and social media food tasters sprinkled throughout this film. And plenty of celebrities. Lyle Lovett offers some of the most insightful views on pizza, along with Henry Winkler, Michael Bolton, and many others. Pizza is a familial food, a shared experience. That, and its relative affordability, have helped maintain its popularity as the favorite food of the nation. So follow the lessons provided by the film and soon you’ll have overcome the earning curve necessary to truly appreciate New Haven pizza, the best in the world. You can get the DVD on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087CQ8QLJ/ . Signed copies, and the soundtrack CD, can be purchased from What Were We Thinking Film’s store at https://whatwerewethinkingfilmsonlinestore.bigcartel.com/ .
Sherlock (Netflix) – In the last month I pulled out a nicely-bound edition of the collected Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. I first read most of these as a teenager, and find myself revisiting the character every few years. Holmes is like an old friend. I know him, and remember most of the details of each story, but it’s an enjoyable, comfortable feeling sitting down and becoming absorbed into the recollections of Dr. Watson and his eccentric friend.
Last night I decided it had been long enough since when I originally watched the BBC’s modern retelling of Holmes and Watson. It was time to watch it again, or at least the first episode. “A Study in Pink” was the updated twist on the introduction of Sherlock Holmes in Doyle’s “A Study in Scarlet.” Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson, it’s set in 21st century London but in many ways remains true to the source material. Watson is an injured military doctor; he and Holmes are introduced through an acquaintance of both, each of them having expressed the need for a flatmate on the same day. I won’t go too far into the details of “A Study in Pink,” except to say it uses many of the same plot points or props as the original story, while creating a different sort of mystery. It’s actually quite cleverly done by writer Steven Moffat.
I can’t say for certain how far my revisit to this series will go. I do have some issues with later episodes (and one major issue with this one: the introduction of the name of Moriarty. Professor Moriarty had a much smaller part in the original books and stories than in television and film adaptations, so to lean on his name to foreshadow an “arch-enemy” is a bit too convenient and lazy to me). But if you’ve never watched this version of Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creation, you should give it a try and see how it grabs you.
I’ve continued doing some publicity for this game opening, and we do have at least some movement this time. So let’s see if we can get closer to filling:
Railway Rivals Map "B" (London and Liverpool): John David Galt, Mark Firth. Three more wanted. Map is at http://www.burdonvale.co.uk/octopus/rr-b.pdf
To get on the waiting list, e-mail me at email@example.com, and (if you aren't already) join the Eternal Sunshine mailing list at https://mailchi.mp/45376bbd05df/eternalsunshine
Out of the WAY #26
by W. Andrew York
(wandrew88 of gmail.com)
Well, we’re into the fall and we’ve already had the coolest temperature since last spring in Austin. However, Sunday we’re expected to reach 99 degrees for a record high. Crazy weather, with another named hurricane headed to the gulf coast for landfall this weekend. I’m wondering how this winter will turn out.
It’s been a relatively quiet month, with a number of new web- and podcasts being put out by folks I keep an eye on. I particularly did enjoy the eclectic mix of music at the HAAM day broadcasts that I mentioned last time. I don’t know if anyone else watched, but would be interested in hearing what you thought. And, I’ll plug another event that is this weekend – the annual two weekend Austin City Limits Festival is being presented as a three day, virtual, one that is FREE. It consists of a mix of sets from previous years and new performances! Unfortunately, it did start Friday so by the time you read this you’ve missed the likes of Willie Nelson, Spoon and Billie Eilish have already been. Coming up from 7p to about midnight tonight (Saturday) include RadioHead and Black Puma, Sunday again starts at 7 and goes until after midnight with Gary Clark, Jr., Phish and Paul McCartney. Go to aclfestival.com to see the line-ups and watch the show on the ACL Fest YouTube channel.
I finish up reviews of the core Sandman series this time. I’m now reading the two later graphic novels published in the aughts, also penned by Gaiman. The final Gaiman installment, “The Sandman: Overture”, was written this decade and relates what happened prior to the first issue of the series, setting up the conditions of his imprisonment. I likely will not reread that as it is still mostly fresh in my mind, plus I’d have to find the six individual issues in my comics archive.
To extend the Sandman universe, a couple of years ago Vertigo launched a shared environment called (unsurprisingly) “The Sandman Universe” inspired by Gaiman’s writings. Several different series have been created based on characters or locations in the Sandman comics such as The Dead Boy Detectives, House of Whispers and Lucifer. There was also a DC Comics spin-off of Gaiman’s Lucifer character that was the inspiration of the current TV show “Lucifer”. Amongst other nods in the TV show, it includes the Luz night club introduced by Gaiman.
And, before I close the intro, for those in the United States, a reminder to VOTE! Fortunately, Texas has early voting that the Governor extended by an additional six days. So, next week I’ll stop by and make my choices. I hope you also take the opportunity to cast your vote for the candidates of your choice.
Take care, be well and stay safe!
PS – the editor of the greater publication has a birthday on October 29. I’m sure he would HATE to have his mailbox filled with cards or his inbox with greetings.
I’ve started to do some clean-out and reduction in the amount of “stuff” I’ve accumulated over the years as I will have to move next September (the apartment needs to be completely renovated by the end of 2021). The last time I moved (about 4 years ago) I didn't do any and it wasn’t an easy transition. There’s still plenty in the apartment’s garage that is sitting where it landed and needs to be reorganized and culled. Also, I’m going to be downsizing the apartment as I definitely don’t need all the space I currently have (it’s a 2/2, but the person who was to share it had a family emergency and moved to the other end of the state with no timetable for returning).
In going through some of the items, I found an old stack of LPs that I haven’t listened to in decades (I last owned a record player before I joined the Air Force in the early 80s). Recently, I purchased one to play a few Eps and LPs I’ve picked up over the past few years from Andy Suzuki and the Method, Bandits on the Run, Ben Folds and Amanda Palmer.
Also, over the past few years, Ben Fold’s “Scotch and Vinyl” sessions he’s held with items from his EXTENSIVE record collection had wetted my appetite to listen more. So, it was time to play some while putting column this together.
So far, I’ve played Def Leppard, April Wine, The Roots of Dixieland Jazz, Greatest Hits of the ‘70s by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, Olivia Newton John, Burt Bacharach and Meyer Davis. Yes, I had an interest in Jazz when in high school, though I couldn’t play it on the trombone or piano to any useful extent.
I must say I do like listening to recorded music – the flaws from the physical medium add character to the music and makes it have a “more real’ sound rather than what is now mixed and processed to the nth degree digitally on computers. As I’ve learned more about the making of music, and what was done to accomplish things in the old 8 and 24 track tape machines (and even older 1 and 3!), it makes me appreciate the efforts of the musicians, and their producers, to create the quality music that lasts to today.
Most Americans, and many others, are well aware of the battle cry used by the small Texas army in their successful struggle against the Mexican government – “Remember the Alamo”. But, that’s only half of the story. First, a brief recap of the Battle of the Alamo.
The Battle of the Alamo (formally Mission San Antonio de Valero) was actually the second battle of the Revolution over San Antonio/Bexar County. The first occurred in December 1835 when the Mexican Army lost control of the area, after Texas militia ousted the small Mexican garrison and resulted in the establishment of the garrison in the abandoned Alamo Mission complex. There was some attempt to fortify the building and grounds, but some areas were protected by only wooden fences and one-story buildings.
In late February 1836, the roughly 200 Texans (a mix of militia, volunteers and army troops) holed up in the Mission compound against the estimated 1,800-6000 Mexican regulars. After a siege of 10 days, the compound was stormed resulting in the deaths of all the defenders after the five hour battle. It was reported some of the defenders were shot after surrendering, however it may be an embellishment. Some non-combatants survived, including a slave, some children and women. They were spared by the Mexicans and allowed to spread the story of the battle. The Mexicans burned the bodies of the dead before moving on after suffered over 600 casualties in taking the Mission.
Shortly thereafter, a separate Mexican column descended on Goliad (also known as Bahia). The Texas defenders, including volunteers, militia and army troops, retreated towards Victoria. Those forces were caught in open territory and surrendered under the condition that the men would be honorably treated (this is disputed, some say he surrendered “at discretion” or, in other words, unconditionally). They were marched into internment at Goliad. Injured Texans were taken to a building and treated by doctors. About 10 days later, the prisoners were separated into three columns, marched to open areas and lined up for firing squads. Between 340-390 were shot and soon buried common graves. Another 27-28 survived by running away, ruses or hiding. The wounded were killed in their beds (another says they were dragged into the streets before being shot).
Once word came to the army led by Sam Houston about the two defeats, and the actions of the Mexican army under their commanders, the Texan army rallied under a cry of “Remember the Alamo, Remember Goliad”. On April 16, at San Jacinto battlefield, the small army of 800-1000 ragtag Texans broke and decisively defeated the Mexican army numbering 1200-1500 in just 16 minutes at a cost of roughly 32 casualties (9 died in the battle, or shortly thereafter from wounds, with another 23 wounded who recovered). The Mexican lost virtually the entire army, about half dead with the rest wounded or captured.
After the battle, the Mexican army’s general, and president of Mexico, Santa Ana was captured. In subsequent negotiations, Texas became independent from Mexico as a Republic with the memory of the events at the Alamo and at Goliad. However, that independence was not assured with Mexico trying several times to reclaim the territory.
Sources: Family Encyclopedia of American History published by Reader’s Digest (1975); Texas: A Modern History by David G. McComb (1989); Lone Star by T. R. Ferhrenbach (1968/2000); History Channel website (www.history.com); personal visits to the Texas State History Museum, Goliad historical sites and the Alamo
(always welcome, send them in!)
(if something shouldn’t be included here, clearly mark it as a personal comment)
[Andy Lischett] – (side comment on his Hangman submittal) Speaking of trombonists…reminded me how old I am or how dumb young’uns are. Last summer I was at a block party talking to a neighbor who is about 20-years-old. I asked if he was still in school and he said he was in college studying music. I asked what instrument he plays and he said trombone. Oh, I said, like Glenn Miller? Who?
I was born six years after Glenn Miller died and I am non-musical yet still heard of him. Should a college kid studying the trombone heave heard of the most famous trombonist ever? Probably. [WAY] – I don’t know that they would immediately know of a trombonist from 50+ years before he was born. Most of the older musicians don’t get much play these days, so knowing of the individual from his own studies/listening probably wouldn’t happen. I would guess he’s probably heard the music as representative of a style or type of music. However, the performer would have at most been mentioned and likely quickly forgotten. Now, should he know of Miller? One would hope he would but I can see why he might not if he’s not learning the history of the instrument and the key practitioners while concentrating on improving his skills.
[Richard Smith] - More ramblings on numbers of players for games on your waiting lists. Choice can be run with any number of players, the most I’ve seen is the current 19-player monster in Dane’s Games. I guess it must be computer GMd with that many, I think I had 7 or 8 when I last GMd it (by hand). [WAY] – As I’ve never run the game before, and will be doing so by hand, hopefully the game will begin with a handful of players so I can get my sea legs before running a larger game (and, no, I doubt I’ll do a 19-player game). [RS] – As for Breaking Away, I have played it with 7 before and the track was a bit crowded but just about OK. I guess it might work with 5 but I’m pretty sure 4 is too few. This made me think of the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch scene from Monthly Python and the Holy Grail:
“And the Lord spoke, saying, “First shall thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy for, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.”
[Mark Nelson] – Issue 24 was a splendid issue in terms of promoting stream of consciousness thoughts... [WAY] – ahem, cough, thanks for the feedback. Now, if I only knew what I did to create that appearance. We’ll see if this one approaches that in tone…
[MN] – late observations on Out of the WAY 24 (if I can remember what I was going to say!) [WAY] – no worries, if you forgot something just comment next time. Thanks for the lengthy and thoughtful letter!
[MN] – On the whisky front. It's a common myth that whisky will oxidise over a small period of time, such as a couple of weeks. But I think you mentioned that you'd opened your bottle years before. Not sure of the chemistry here, but perhaps the taste could change over a significantly long time period. But I wonder if it's equally likely that your taste buds have changed over the time period in question? [WAY] – based on your thoughts in the last issue, I’m pretty sure that’s the case.
[MN] - Since I last emailed you I have finished my Bruichladdich and replaced it with a bottle of Bunnahabhain, which is one the milder Islay whiskies. (I prefer the more full on peaty Islay whiskeys, but I am working my way some of the ones I've avoided in the past). Now, this reminds me... the year is 1994 and I attend my very first conference: Fire Chemistry Discussion Group (10th Meeting) held at the University of Edinburgh (29th-30th March).
At the end of the first day there is a conference dinner and an after-dinner speaker. (Almost all math conferences do not bother with an after-dinner speaker, this turns out to be one of the handful of conferences I've attended which has one). The speaker is a representative of the Scottish Whisky industry and gives a talk on...the manufacture of Whisky!
Of course, the audience cannot really appreciate a dry discussion of how variations in the ingredients and the manufacturing process leads to variations in the taste. Luckily, the speaker has brought along with him a multitude of bottles. Every so often he will stop his presentation and says "I think to appreciate this point you really need to try the whisky". Luckily, he has also brought with him three bonny Scottish lassies whose job is to walk amongst the dining tables topping up. And not small thimble sized tasters. Full on amounts. At the end of the presentation the lassies leave, but they leave behind all the bottles. Afterwards we stagger to the nearest pub to partake of more whisky - since over the course of one speech we have all become connoisseurs.
As this was my first conference, I thought that all conferences would have such outstanding after-dinner speakers. Unfortunately, almost thirty years later, this remains, by a long way, the best ever post conference dinner speech. In fact, nothing comes near to it! [WAY] – That’s one way to make the conference memorable!
[MN] – One of the free-to-air TV stations started broadcasting Fear the Walking Dead a while ago. I watched the first episode, I'm always interested to see how such things start, but haven't followed it since - TV zombie series don't really hold my interest. [WAY] – I actually didn’t watch the early Walking Dead seasons as I thought they were just that – zombie shows, which holds no interest for me. However, though I don’t remember if it’s something I read or an interview I watched, I discovered that the zombies are the background for the actual story – how humanity reacts to the new reality, how they work to merge their pre-apocalyptic life with the new circumstances, how they move into the future and, most importantly, how they build community, relations between the members, and how those communities interact.
[MN] – When I lived in the UK I was used to measuring my weight in stones and lbs. But having lived in Australia for twenty years, weights need to be in kg for them to mean something. I can remember as an undergraduate still ordering at the deli section using ounces.
don't remember when I started reading Sandman, perhaps at about half-way
through the original run. It's one of the comics I had shipped out to be when I
decided I was staying in Australia for the rest of my natural life. Though of
course I've not reread it in the 17-or-so years it has been here. I wouldn't
mind reading it from the beginning, so perhaps I will track down the trade
paperback collections. Though I am trying to stay away from comics since I
remember how addictive they can become. Going to work in New Zealand for one
year (November 1997) proved to be the best way to kick the habit! I remember
buying Death: The High Cost of Living when it came out, and perhaps it was
buying this that led me into Sandman. I may have
been reluctant to start buying Sandman since I knew it was very highly regarded and probably had the impression that you really needed to read it from the beginning to understand it. (Evidently, that was not the case).
Interesting... I did not realise that Lucifer was a spin-off from Sandman - the first trade paperback of Lucifer is almost the only comic I've bought in the last 17 years. (I also bought one issue from an independent comic that was produced locally).
We don't eat many salads in our household, because the wife is not a fan of them! In particular, she does not like "strong tasting" leaves such as rocket. [WAY] – Arugula for Americans. [MN] – About the only time when a salad is considered de rigueur is if we have roast chicken, though the salad leaves would have to be something soft such as butter lettuce. The times when we have a salad, I would say that normally we buy a whole lettuce rather than a salad bag. (Though I will buy salad bags of baby spinach leaves or rocket, when I'm making a salad just for myself).
For dressing, I always make my own so it's usually a very basic olive oil-lemon vinaigrette with some seasoning. I don't usually put herbs into the vinaigrette, I'll just add them to the leaves before adding the vinaigrette. [WAY] - I’ve started making my own, and once I get one to my taste, I’ll likely put it in as a monthly recipe. Right now I’m fiddling with a Dijon mustard, shallot, vinaigrette.
[MN] – Missing from your list of salad ingredients is radish. Not that I use it myself, but I remember my mum commonly using it. For the kinds of salads that you are discussing, if we are eating them on a Saturday I like to have them with a pork pie - which is another relic of my childhood eating habits. (OK, I see that you listed radishes under "Other Veggies"). I also like to use up spring onions by adding them to salads, though spring onions fall into the category of ingredients that the wife is not found of due to their ‘strong' taste. [WAY] – I like spring onions, but they aren’t easy to find around here at that “age”, though the Green Onion (an earlier stage) are very plentiful and I keep them in my fridge for I want a bit of fresh crunch.
I don't ever use croutons, since I can't be bothered making them (even though it's not hard) and I'd feel guilty buying them (because they are not too hard to make!). [WAY] – I’ve made croutons, but find I don’t eat them often enough to use them up before they go bad (and freezing them ruins them in my opinion). Store bought are cheap and shelf stable!
[MN] – A while ago (it might have been when we moved), my wife's best friend bought her an air-fryer which we've sometimes used to toast `nicer' kinds of bread, such as sourdough. Hmm, perhaps I should think about doing that as a way of making croutons... I've never thought about that! [WAY] – that’s an excellent idea! Maybe I should look into it. [MN] - Here are my quick personal thoughts on your list of ingredients.
Shredded Red Cabbage: Not something I would put in a salad, just because it has not occurred to me.
Like them, but don't put them into salads.
Cucumbers. Yes, sometimes. If I've got them I'll use them.
Peppers. Not something I'll put into a "standard salad", but for some reason if I am going more Italian then I'm more
likely to use them.
Red onion. Yes, sometimes.
Tomato. I do really like a tomato salad. Nicely seasoned with some nice bread. That's good enough for a weekend light
lunch, with perhaps a glass of wine on the side!
Avocado. Popular in Australia for breakfast on toast. Not something I usually use, but can be nice!
Hard Boiled Egg. For an everyday salad I am too lazy to make them. But for a "special salad" can do, particularly as the
wife loves eggs. She likes eggs with her potato salad, me not so much so whether eggs go in the potato salad
depends upon who is making it. We both like potato salad. [WAY] – I always keep boiled eggs in the fridge,
that way if I want to make a quick egg salad sandwich, have an egg as a snack or put one on a salad. I generally
boil 7-9 at a time and keep them handy.
Shredded Cheese: Not something I would put in a salad. On the basis of ZERO evidence, I always think of adding
shredded cheese to salads as
being an Americanism. (Don't ask me either why I think this or to justify
Celery. Unlike you, I like it. So if I am making a basic salad and I have it to hand, then I will add it. We often do have it
to hand since onions-celery-carrots are a classic combination in a variety of dishes and cuisines.
Meat. Not something I will generally add, though I will use prosciutto in a more Italian salad. (Is it the use of prosciutto
that makes me think it is
Italian?). Though as you say, left-over roast chicken is a good addition!
Of your miscellaneous listing there are none that I normally use.
PS I've seen several articles over recent weeks that have suggested that Texas might be `in play' for the Democrats on November 3rd. Care to stick your neck out and make a prediction? [WAY] – no, it is too much of a toss-up right now and the election rules and practices seem to change frequently. For instance:
- due to C-19 the Governor (a Republican) extended the early voting by 6 days to space out use of the polling places, other Republican leaders sued to change it back – in a ruling about 10 days before it starts, the courts held he could do that.
- The Republican legislature last session eliminated straight party voting (instead of voting for each race, you choose a party and every one of those candidate receives your vote – something I do support). The Democrats sued to have it reinstated but the courts upheld the elimination.
- Green and Libertarian candidates weren’t added to the ballots because they didn’t pay the new the recently enacted fee for small party candidates. Both the Republicans and Democrats sued to have them included as Green Party candidates general pull Democratic votes and the Libertarians draw from the Republican side. Both are now on the ballot with the decision coming after some ballots were already being printed.
- The day after drop off locations for absentee ballots opened, the Governor ordered that each county may have only one after weeks of the counties’ advertising their, in some cases, multiple drop off locations. Now voters have to figure out which one is open and go there. If you remember a few issues back I mentioned that one Texas county is as large as two of our smaller states so it’s quite a drive there. In large population counties, you have the absentee percentage of voters lining up at one location. Six counties in Texas have populations over 1,000,000. With estimates of 25% folks voting absentee you can see how long the lines might become…Court cases are currently being litigated.
I had the fortune, due to my Alamo Film Society membership, to preview the first two episodes of the new limited series on Showtime about abolitionist John Brown. Ethan Hawke originated the effort and stars as John Brown. The central character is a fictional young (guessing 10-12 years old) Black boy who Brown mistakes for a girl. He provides the thread through the first two episodes and is the point of narration.
The first episode, titled “Meet the Lord”, starts in Kansas in the late 1850s. The theme of the first episodes is the conflict between the Free Staters and pro-slavery factions. Brown leads one such anti-slavery guerilla group in killing slaveholders and their allies, destroying their property and free slaves. The pro-slavery side is just as committed to their beliefs and are as brutal in promoting their viewpoint, but differ in that they want to return folks into slavery. During the episode the boy is entangled with Brown and attaches himself to the group.
In the second episode, “A Wicked Plot”, the boy and another freed slave are separated from the group and end up at a brothel, the boy to become a maid/housekeeper while the other slave is taken to the Slave Pen. Brown is absent from most of the episode, but they are reunited in the end. The representation of the lives of some non-plantation slaves are depicted along with the pro-slavery whites’ view of race relations.
The historicity of the story, settings and costuming seems well done. The language, idioms and plot also seem faithful to the time period, including in a bawdy bit between the boy and two horsemen as they met on the road (the boy doesn’t have any idea what he’s saying can be taken in an entirely different light by adults). For those that have only a vague idea about the pre-Civil War events in Kansas, this’ll give a good introduction.
Hawke’s portrayal of Brown seems to fit what little I know, and have read, about the person. Strongly Christian, very much anti-slavery/abolitionist, and committed to his cause – bordering on the fanatic. The rest of the cast well represent their roles and feeling of the times.
There is plenty of violence and some sexual innuendo. However, it is necessary and well handled. The on-screen violence is mostly gunshots, with most of the more violent scenes happening just off-screen (such as a beheading). There is little blood or gore shown. For the other, it is conveyed almost entire by dialogue and nothing untoward is shown in brothel episode. I’d say both were artfully handled.
I can’t say if the rest of the series continues, or improves, on the promise of these two examples. However, if they do, this will be a good way to learn something about the pre-Civil War time, attitudes and the struggle between the two polar opposite views of slavery. Also, the viewer will gain a better understanding of John Brown’s cause and how he ended up as a martyr for the abolitionist cause after his raid at Harper’s Ferry in 1859.
(finished since last issue)
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (1987; 264p).
The third Discworld novel is written much as the second, one long story with minimal breaks (being a couple of blank lines as breaks) and no chapters. However, it deviates quite a bit in the actual storyline presentation. This has an entirely new set of central characters (albeit some characters had minor appearances in the previous volumes). It also begins out in the hinterlands, at the birth of a child who has bestowed on them the legacy of a dying wizard. The problem – the baby is female and there never has been a female wizard and never will, at least that’s what the Lore says.
As the child grows, the magic (and the dead wizard’s staff) are involved in some interesting events, and soon the child is apprenticed to a witch (the proper role for a woman, but never a man, at least that’s what the Lore says). Eventually, the young girl, accompanied by the witch, seeks out the Unseen University where wizards are trained.
Light hearted, whimsical and written very much with Pratchett’s tongue in his cheek (some of the puns are hilarious). It was a pleasure to read and learn about yet another aspect of the Discworld. Highly recommended. [September 2020]
Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1864; 91p).
This is an early Dostoyevsky piece that is darkly brooding, somber and somewhat unsettling. Basically it is the ramblings of a low level government worker scraping out life in Petersburg over a few winter days. Low on funds, low on self-esteem, somewhat paranoid and constantly trying to make a positive impression on those around him. He goes from deep lows bordering on depression to (somewhat) highs as he’s planning his next attempt to make his mark and elevate his lot in life.
It is a study in humanity, morality and self-delusion, along with a sense in the reader to hope things go better for him while knowing he’ll somehow be source of the plan’s collapse. It definitely isn’t something to read as a “pick-me-up” book, but it does create a bit of soul-searching and introspection as you try to reconcile what you’re reading with your worldview.
Recommended for a long, lazy, afternoon that provides time to digest the book and ponder what it says. [September 2020]
Sharpe’s Honor by Bernard Cornwell (1985; 320p).
This volume of the Sharpe series revolves around the battles of the Vitoria campaign that resulted in France’s retreat from Spain across Pyrenees. However, Sharpe is mostly on a detached operation after an imbroglio involving a former lover and her husband. Unbeknown to him, he is working against an old French enemy’s plot to turn around France’s fate on the Iberian Peninsula.
As with the others, a joy to read. However, this likely isn’t the book to jump into the series. A number of plot lines from previous books are better enjoyed being fully aware of the backstory.
Highly recommended, especially if you’ve enjoyed the previous books. [September 2020]
Texas State Parks and the CCC (2013; 167p).
This is a beautiful coffee table book that lightly covers the early years of Texas parks, how the efforts of the CCC jump started the actual creation of a statewide park system and what has happened to that system in the years after with a focus on the CCC camps. The picture choices well represent the parks and the results of the CCC efforts, including how they’ve faired over the years. The text is a mix of overarching narrative of political actions and individual stories of the CCC workers with an emphasis on the incorporation of native materials and the blending of the structures into the landscape. Some of the issues with race are put into historical context, as is the funding issues that have left the parks scrambling to maintain their facilities.
At the end of the book there is an epilogue looking into the large fires in 2011 that threated the CCC parks near Bastrop, highlighting the dedication of the park staff and the pride they have in their jobs. The book ends with a profile of the state of each CCC parks that includes listing of the CCC construction projects and whether they still exist or have a different use, what companies worked there/when and a description of the park.
This is a niche book as it touches on the story of the CCC at a fairly high level, and the Texas parks system at an even higher level. The photos are pleasant to look through with the entire volume befitting the style and purpose of a coffee table book. For someone seeking a more in-depth look at either main theme will need to look elsewhere, though this could be an initial inquiry to see if you want to learn more about them. For me, I’m going to use the Park Profiles to find parks to visit and what CCC construction can be seen there, starting with the parks that could be a day trip from Austin.
Recommended only if you want a beautiful coffee table book or want a light introduction into the topics. [September 2020]
Sandman Graphic Novels:
The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman and others (1995; 350p).
This volume is the climax of the Sandman series (but not the last one, there are comics that provide a denouement to tie up threads). It is also the longest of the books, covering thirteen installments. As this series has been out for decades, I’m not too worried about spoilers but I’ll only hint at the climax event by saying the next volume is titled “The Wake”.
Many plot lines from earlier books are revisited or move into their next stage. It shows how Gaiman weaved and teased themes, characters and settings throughout the saga to reach this peak. It is a worthy book and a fine closing example of world building and stoarytelling
Highly recommended, but read the other volumes first. [September 2020]
The Wake by Neil Gaiman and others (1996; 196p).
The book opens with an introduction by Mikal Gilmore that neatly sums up the previous Sandman editions and provides a hint at what this volume includes. The first half of the book covers many previous characters gathering for the wake, what happened there and some revelations afterwards about the future of the Dreamscape.
The remainder of the books ties up some loose ends, including the Shakespeare plotline. It is a satisfying conclusion to the core books of the original run of the Sandman series.
Again, recommended but would leave this for the last one as you’ll enjoy what is presented that much more. [October 2020]
In “Walkabout” - Garibaldi: “Why is everything a long story? Why isn’t anything ever a short story? A paragraph?”
Source: But In Purple...I’m Stunning! by J. Michael Straczynski, edited by Sara “Samm” Barnes, copyright 2008.
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
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 a bell pepper. Optional items are used when I’m looking for a variation or making it for individuals
with specific preferences or allergies.
Beer Braised Cajun Sausage Bake
by W Andrew York
(last reviewed October 2020)
Ingredients from the last time I made this (serves 2-3)
1 ea 13oz Package of Pre-Cooked Sausage, cut into 1” pieces (I used Eckrich Polish Sausage)
1 ea Can of Beer (I used Shiner Bock Tallboy, if using smaller cans may need a second one to achieve a
sufficient level of liquid or, if desired, to cover the ingredients completely)
4-6 oz Whole, Mushrooms (I used a mix of White Button and Cremini from the Farmers Market)
2 med Red Potatoes, cut into quarters or eighths depending on size
2 med Sweet Onions, quartered
2 lrg Carrots, cut into sticks
1 head Garlic, peeled
2 ears Corn, broken into thirds
Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
1) Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
2) In an oven-proof pot with close fitting lid, pour in the beer
3) Add seasoning to your level of “heat” (I like it spicy, so I put quite a bit in remembering that more can be sprinkled
directly on the food, if desired, while eating)
4) Add remaining ingredients, stirring to distribute seasoning
5) Bake for 1-1½ hours, until everything is cooked through. Stir every 20-30 minutes if the beer doesn’t cover the
6) Divide and serve with Tony C’s and salt to add for taste
- Cooking time is variable as much depends on the size of the vegetable pieces
- Instead of putting the seasoning in the beer, you could season the ingredients directly before you place in the pot. In
my limited experience, it seems it ends up about the same with an additional dirty bowl. You should season
any ingredients that aren’t initially in the seasoned beer by dusting those items after they are placed in the pot.
- Fresh, uncooked, sausage could be used; however, depending on how it was made, it may have a tendency to break
up so instead of sausage pieces you may have ground sausage at the end. Also, be sure to bake until the
sausage is thoroughly cooked.
- This is another recipe that is very flexible, some of the time I make double or triple batches for groups of friends
(though not lately!). If you don’t have potatoes, try other root veggies such as parsnips or rutabagas or leave
out the carrots and add celery.
- I have not tried the beer after cooking in it, but I doubt you’d want to either.
When I have updates to previous items, or corrections outside the games, they’ll be here. If there are none, this section won’t appear.
GISH is doing a weekend Hunt over Halloween (from Oct 30-Nov 1) with Unicef as their charitable partner. If you’d like to join in or learn more about it, go to www.gish.com. I’m not sure if I’ll be in this one yet or not, deadline to sign up is October 23 (though they seem to routinely extend it by several days). If you do join in, let me know what you thought of the experience. Hmmm….just had a thought, if there’s enough folks (9-15) that want to join we could make an Eternal Sunshine team to enter “For The Fun Of It”.
Everyone Plays Games: Hangman, By Definition; Facts in Five
Game Openings: Breaking Away (Kent, Burgess, Smith; Firth, minimum 6 players needed)
No-Press Gunboat Diplomacy, sans preference lists (6 Players)
Standard Choice (Smith, minimum 4 players needed)
Possible Game Openings: Breaking Away Variants
Suggestions accepted for other games to offer.
Standbys: Breaking Away (x1); Gunboat Diplomacy (x1)
Rules for Breaking Away. Breaking Away Variants and Choice available on the Variable Pig website (variablepig.org)
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 Two, Turn 4:
Letter Votes: A-1; I-1; R-1; T-1; V-1; W-2 Revealed: W (surprisingly there are none)
Words Guessed: Chauvinist (Davis-Gardner); Salamander (Firth); Aficionado (Kent); Trombonist (Lischett);
Dictionary (Maslen); Worthiness (Smith); Headhunter (Wilson)
Word: __ __ __ __ __ __ N __ __ __ (10)
Definition: __ (1) __ __ __ __ __ (5) __ __ __ __ __ __ N __ __ N __ (11)
__ __ __ __ __ (5) __ __ __ __ __ (5) __ __ (2) __ (1) __ __ __ __ __ , (5)
__ __ __ __ (4) __ __ (2) __ __ __ (3) __ N __ __ __ N __ (7)
__ __ __ __ N __ (6) __ __ __ (3) __ __ __ __ __ N __ N __ (9)
__ __ (2) __ __ __ __ __ (5)
Never Revealed: E, S Already Revealed: N, P, W
Game Words Correctly Guessed: Infinitesimal (David-Gardner, Firth, Kent, Smith, Wilson)
Player Comments: None
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”, “St. Francis of Assisi” for “F” 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.
Bolded - Scores 2 points for matching another entry; Crossed Out - scores 0 points; otherwise scores 1 point.
Note(1): I had a typo last time regarding the League of Nations category, typing Legion. However, everyone caught it.
Note(2): With the game, sometimes the category will not have a valid answer for each letter (this time, specifically the Past US
President category for letters D and S). Other times there may be only one valid entry, such as M in the Member,
League of Nations category.
REMINDER - Last names are generally the key word, not first names.
Players A D M S * (Wildcard)
Member, League of Nations
Heath Davis-Gardner Argentina Denmark Mexico Sweden France
Mark Firth Australia Denmark Mexico South Africa King Serb, Croa, Slov
Doug Kent Argentina Denmark Mexico Spain Liberia
Andy Lischett Austria Denmark Mexico Spain
Kevin Wilson Australia Denmark Mexico Spain
Religious Orders or Denominations
Heath Davis-Gardner Anabaptist Disc of Christ Methodist Shia Baptist
Mark Firth Ang Christ Dvaita M Buddhism Shi’ite Islam Way Foll Christ Inst
Doug Kent Amish Druidism Mennonite Santeria Lutheran
Andy Lischett Albanian Ortx Dominican Methodist 7th Day Adv Greek Orthodox
Kevin Wilson Anglican Dominicans Methodist Sufi Roman Catholic
Heath Davis-Gardner Aniwa Dunk Island Maui Sakhalin Hawai’i
Mark Firth Adak Darwin Manono South Is NZ Efate, Vanuatu
Doug Kent Attu Daru Mindanao Sakhalin Lanai
Andy Lischett Adak Dawson Midway Saipan Hawaii
Asuncion Disappointment Mindanao Sulawesi Hawaii
Past US President
Heath Davis-Gardner Adams
The Donald Madison Harry S Truman Barak Obama
Mark Firth Adams, J.
Dubya Madison, J. Schoolmaster Washington, G
Doug Kent John Adams
FDR Madison US
Andy Lischett John Adams
Donna Madison Summer Coolidge
Kevin Wilson John Adams
Eisenhower James Monroe Ulysses S. Grant George Washington
Heath Davis-Gardner Auden Cecil Day-Lewis Marlowe Shakespeare Seamus Heaney
Mark Firth Auden, WH Duffy, Carol Ann Machaut Schiller, F Behan, B
Doug Kent Abercrombie Donne Mackay Shakespeare DH Lawrence
Andy Lischett Jean Arp John Donne C. Marlowe Stiller Tennyson
Kevin Wilson Dante Aligheri John Donne John Milton Shakespeare Homer
Note – for allowed and disallowed answers, please feel free to correct me!
Notes on Heath’s Answers: Disc of Christ is Disciples of Christ; using the stage name “The Donald” wouldn’t work for D for
two reasons, one if it was allowed it would be for the letter “T” as the nickname is “The Donald”, not “Donald”,
and for the second see notes in Mark’s section; using the “S in Harry S Truman as his stage name won’t fit as
if you reference “S” no one will know what you’re referencing much as your previous attempt wouldn’t be identifiable
with just “Donald” and, to my knowledge, no one called him “S”.
Notes on Mark’s Answers: King Serb, Croa, Slov is the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes [WAY] the original name of
Yugoslavia, which it became in 1929, nine years after joining the League; [MF] Ang Christ is Anglican Christianity,
Dvaita is Dvaita Vendanata Hinduism, M Buddhism is Mahayana Buddhism, Way Foll Christ Inst is Way Followers
Christian Institution (“You have your own religion?!”; [WAY] never heard of it, checked and it was founded a couple
decades before I was born, so not me…and it likely would have been WAY, not Way). [MF] Adak is Adak Island,
Aleutians, Darwin is Darwin Island, Galapagos, Manono is Manono Island, Samoa; Dubya is Dubya (Bush, George W).
Schoolmaster is Schoolmaster (Wilson, W); Machaut is Machaut (Guillaume de Machaut); Mark asks “Would Dante
have counted?” [WAY] yes, if a person is seriously referenced by a different name that is also acceptable, see examples
in the rules section. Nicknames, even if well known, aren’t allowed.
Notes on Andy’s Answers: England was disallowed as it joined as part of the United Kingdom
Notes on Kevin’s Answers: United States was disallowed as they never joined the League; Asuncion was disallowed as I could
not find and island by that name, and if it was a typo from Ascension, that’s in the Atlantic; Eisenhower is Dwight D.
Letters: E J L Q W
Categories: Military Figure in World War II; English Noun with 6-10 Letters; Board Game;
Living Celebrated Businessperson; Academy Award Winner
Scores by Category 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Now Previous Total
Kevin Wilson 8 8 6 5 7 34 + 193 = 227
Heath David-Gardner 8 6 7 5 6 32 + 188 = 220
Doug Kent 9 5 7 5 7 33 + 186 = 219
Andy Lischett 7 7 7 5 6 32 + 165 = 197
Mark Firth 8 6 6 6 5 31 + 160 = 191
Deadline for the Next Issue of Out of the WAY:
November 11, 2020 at noon – See You Then!
Game entries, letters of comment and other material can be sent to:
wandrew88 at gmail.com; or by post to: W. Andrew York; POB 201117; Austin TX 78720-1117
Eternal Sunshine Game Section
Wilson: Plays 10-E and forms Festival, receiving one free share. Buys 3 more shares for $300 each.
Galt: Plays 1-C and forms American, receiving one free share. Buys 3 more shares for $300 each.
Firth: Plays 5-I and forms Worldwide, receiving one free share. Buys 3 more shares for $300 each.
Lischett: Plays 5-E. Buys 3 American for $300 each.
Howell: Plays 3-I. Buys 3 American for $300 each.
Wilson: Plays 1-A. Buys one Worldwide for $300, one Festival for $300, and one American for $400.
Order for Turn Two:
Galt, Firth, Lischett, Howell, Wilson, Galt
Deadline for Turn 2 is November 13th, 2020 at 7pm My Time (12 hours earlier than the standard zine deadline)
Diplomacy, “Indestructible Machine”, 2020A, F 04
Austria: Rick Davis – firstname.lastname@example.org - A Budapest - Rumania (*Fails*),
A Galicia Supports A Budapest – Rumania, F Greece - Bulgaria(sc) (*Fails*),
A Serbia Supports F Greece - Bulgaria(sc), A Warsaw Supports A Galicia (*Cut*).
England: Mark Firth – email@example.com - F Belgium Supports F Helgoland Bight – Holland,
A Edinburgh – Liverpool, F Helgoland Bight - Holland (*Fails*).
France: John David Galt – firstname.lastname@example.org - A Burgundy – Paris, F English Channel - Brest (*Bounce*),
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles – Piedmont, A Marseilles – Piedmont, F Tunis - Tyrrhenian Sea.
Germany: Andy Lischett – email@example.com - Retreat A Belgium - Picardy..A Berlin Supports A Munich,
F Denmark Supports F North Sea, F Holland Supports F North Sea (*Cut*), A Kiel Supports F Holland,
A Munich Hold, A Picardy - Brest (*Bounce*).
Italy: Toby Harris – firstname.lastname@example.org - A Albania - Greece (*Bounce*), A Bohemia – Tyrolia,
F Ionian Sea - Greece (*Bounce*), A Piedmont – Tuscany, F Western Mediterranean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean.
Russia: Bob Durf – email@example.com - F Black Sea Supports A Rumania,
F Clyde Supports A Norway – Edinburgh, A Moscow - Warsaw (*Fails*),
F North Sea Convoys A Norway – Edinburgh, A Norway – Edinburgh, A Rumania Supports A Bulgaria (*Cut*).
Turkey: Jack McHugh - firstname.lastname@example.org – F Aegean Sea Supports A Bulgaria,
A Bulgaria Supports A Rumania (*Cut*), F Eastern Mediterranean Supports F Aegean Sea.
Supply Center Chart
Austria: Budapest, Greece, Serbia, Vienna, Warsaw=5 Even
England: Belgium, Liverpool, London=3 Even
France: Brest, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, Spain=5 Even
Germany: Berlin, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, Munich=5 Remove 1
Italy: Naples, Rome, Trieste, Tunis, Venice=5 Even
Russia: Edinburgh, Moscow, Norway, Rumania, Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Sweden=7 Build 1
Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Smyrna=4 Build 1
FROM: CZAR BOB DURF THE SORRY:
Deadline for W 04/S 05 is: November 14th, 2020 at 7am My Time
Diplomacy, “Wine Lips”, 2020B, Fall 1902
Austria: Harold Reynolds – email@example.com - A Bohemia Supports A Silesia – Munich,
F Greece - Bulgaria(sc), A Serbia Supports F Greece - Bulgaria(sc), A Tyrolia Supports A Silesia – Munich,
A Vienna Supports A Bohemia.
England: David Cohen – firstname.lastname@example.org - F Barents Sea Supports A Norway - St Petersburg,
A Belgium - Norway (*Bounce*), F North Sea Convoys A Belgium – Norway, A Norway - St Petersburg,
F Wales Hold.
France: David Burgess – email@example.com - F Brest - English Channel, A Burgundy – Picardy,
F Marseilles - Spain(sc), A Portugal Hold, F Spain(sc) - Mid-Atlantic Ocean.
Germany: Mark Firth – firstname.lastname@example.org - A Denmark Supports A Norway - Sweden (*Void*),
Holland - Belgium (*Fails*), F Kiel – Berlin,
A Munich Supports F Kiel -
Berlin (*Dislodged*, retreat to Kiel
or Burgundy or OTB), A Ruhr Supports A Munich.
Italy: George Atkins - GeorgeWrites@outlook.com - A Tunis doing archaeological survey (Holds),
F Ionian Sea - Greece (*Bounce*), F Naples - Tyrrhenian Sea, A Venice - Piedmont.
Russia: Heath Davis-Gardner – email@example.com - A Armenia – Ankara,
F Black Sea Supports A Armenia – Ankara, A Livonia - St Petersburg (*Fails*),
A Rumania Supports F Greece - Bulgaria(sc), A Silesia – Munich, F Sweden - Norway (*Bounce*).
Turkey: Paul Milewski – firstname.lastname@example.org – F Aegean Sea - Greece (*Bounce*),
A Ankara - Constantinople (*Dislodged*, retreat
to Smyrna or OTB), A Bulgaria - Constantinople (*Disbanded*),
F Smyrna - Eastern Mediterranean.
Supply Center Chart
Austria: Budapest, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Trieste, Vienna=6 Build 1
England: Belgium, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Norway, St Petersburg=6 Build 1
France: Brest, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, Spain=5 Even
Germany: Berlin, Denmark, Holland, Kiel=4 Even or Remove 1
Italy: Naples, Rome, Tunis, Venice=4 Even
Russia: Ankara, Moscow, Munich, Rumania, Sevastopol, Sweden, Warsaw=7 Build 1
Turkey: Constantinople, Smyrna=2 Even or Remove 1
Turkey press release: The situation is grim. This is largely, if not entirely, due to the skill and cunning of my immediate neighbors (AIR).
T to AIR: I meant that in the nicest way possible.
Anonymous: The President of France one fine day,
Had a board game his friends came to play.
When it came time for movin'
Loubet was found snoozin'
It looked like a trick, so they say.
Anonymous: Italians are wont to make hay,
over Roman wars of their Yesterday.
But when challenged to fight,
They say "Scuzi, not right!"
"It's just Bocce we came here to play!"
Anonymous: There once was a Sultan from Turkey,
Tried to sneak into Greece, very lurkey.
When a cop on the beat,
Forced his early retreat,
Said the Sultan "Next time I'll lurk early!"
A Roman Tale of Adventure and Intrigue, Book Two
Rome, Italy. In one of the palazzi in Rome, there is a large office of ornate, Rococo design. It was unusual to see French decorative style present in a typically masculine Italian Renaissance- palazzo, but the present occupant was a complex man. So they say.
Nevertheless, the room was large and airy, even opulent in its wedding-cake style plastered floral decorations framing the doors, the many windows with rich wall moldings that seemed to float over pale green walls. Silver and gold accents were everywhere, even on the polished marble floor. It looked like something from a Watteau painting.
On the other hand, the room was filled with an arbitrary clash of Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, and nondescript pieces of furniture. This clash of aesthetics and taste did not seem to bother the two people in the room.
In fact, this is the office of Italy's Prime Minister, Giovanni Gelato. He sat at his desk reading reports, while a uniformed officer in his late 40s, dressed in the ornate decorative style favored by senior military staff, stood at attention in front of the Minister's desk. The officer's face was a study in enigma. No sign of emotion or interest escaped his hard, but non-directed gaze.
The Prime Minsiter finally threw his reports up in the air and waved his hands around in the manner of all Italians. "Che cazzo! What is going on with our diplomats? Why are they getting nowhere!? Are we invading Austria? Germany? No! Not even Turkey? Why, even those French wogs haven't beaten anybody worthwhile since le petit caporal captured Europe a century ago. Minchia! By now, our troops could have been enjoying Camembert, Burgundy, and Parisian baldracche.
“Instead, Italy sits on its ancient ass, too old and too noble to do anything. YOU KNOW, General, our President’s political career was launched with the slogan 'MAKE ITALIA GREAT AGAIN!', but I see nothing great about this situation!
"Now, our troops languish. Our ships sail in circles. This is not great. Incazzato! Some military we have…we even got a beat-down from the Ethiopians a few years ago. THE EFFING ETHIOPIANS!! Not some major European Power, but troops in a backwater country. And now, Italy is the laughing stock of Europe. Well, after the Turks, anyway. But what can you say, Count Capezzoli? Can you explain Italy’s lack of progress? And is this going to be another long, pointless press release?"
Count Capezzoli, the new Italian military General Chief of Staff, looked into the nearly bald, but implacable face of frustration that was Prime Minister Giovanni Gelato. Gelato was hoping for any kind of victory to cement his popularity and, more importantly, keep his job. Capezzoli shrugged in the manner of his Sicilian origins. "Ministro Gelato, we have been hampered by bad foreign intelligence, poor supplies, a boring writer, and troops consisting mostly of...well, Italians. Sir, I'm thinking that we could hire those bastardi Ethiopians to fight for us. In fact, I sent an unofficial inquiry to my Ethiopian counterpart just last week." The Count looked down at the Prime Minister, searching for a sign of interest or, at least, a less angry expression.
"Ah, you did, did you? Well, what did he tell you, Capezzoli?" inquired Gelato, showing a slight smile that had all the warmth of a dead body. "Ministro Gelato, he said they couldn't be bothered, but he offered that we should do well against easy countries, like Tunis. Which we already occupy, of course."
Gelato bristled at the insults, but responded with amazement, "Che palle! They said that, did they? Well, I'm taking them off my Christmas Card List." He paused, got up, and walked in a circle a few times. "Still, that's not a bad idea, at that. But I am concerned that Italy will look weak."
"With respect, Primo Ministro, that gondola has already launched. Our greatest strength is that everybody already thinks we’re weak. They believe we are little more than a country of illiterate rabble, living off an illustrious history of great artists, musicians, and our Ancient Roman past."
"Well, is that not true?" muttered Gelato as he sat at his desk and eyed the bottle of Chianti Classico and Cannoli on his desk. "Of course, your excellency," replied Capezzoli. The Prime Minister took a single glass from the upper drawer of his desk and poured a healthy measure of wine into it. "But we don't admit that, Capezzoli. We sail back and forth and pretend we are still 'la suprema potenza navale nel Mediterraneo’, except in the Bay of Naples.
"Unlike this storyline, General, we have to make a point and do it quickly," continued Gelato. He stopped talking and thereupon consumed two fresh cannoli, followed up with more Chianti. General Capezzoli wanted to ignore this casual display of gluttony and kept his attention fixed on a fly crawling on the toupé of the Prime Minister. Maybe it would land in the Minister's wine and drown, he hoped.
“General, this is for your ears only. The Ufficio Diplomatico has been emasculated. Il Presidente’s son-in-law Gherardo Cuccioner replaced our professional foreign service staff with family members and political hacks. A worse collection of humbugs, grifters, robbers, and craven nincompoops would be difficult to find. They have no idea what the hell they are doing, other than pissing off our allies.”
“We have allies, Ministro?” asked the General with thinly-disguised mockery.
"What? Er, well, there is the Arch-Dupe, er, Arch-Duke, of course. The Austrians haven’t attacked us yet. And I think Malta is on the verge of signing a non-aggression pact with us. We’re still waiting to hear from Brazil...the United States said they'd get back to us....”
“But I am confused, Ministro Gelato. I thought our navy was prepared to transport my troops into Turkey. Has that been canceled? What does il Presidente plan?”
“Plan? General Capezzoli, our Presidente is an old, flabby, obnoxious bully with delusions of grandeur. All he cares about is parading around in fancy uniforms and tricked-out carriages, while issuing ridiculous and reckless orders. He couldn’t come up with a good plan if you gave one to him to read. And he can barely do that. I'm afraid that if we want to get out of this mess with our careers intact, we have to find somebody to blame”
“Esattamente, Ministro,” responded the General, still focused on a prior point, “My colleagues think that the President’s political slogan should be ‘The Lira stops here...in my pocket.’”
“Never mind that, General. Just order the Caribinieri to round up the usual suspects from the Opposition Parties. Go wake some friendly judges and we'll hold a proper kangaroo, er, Night Court. By tomorrow, the public will learn all about the evil machinations of traitorous politicians and how our country was saved at the last minute by YOUR usual military efficiency and MY instinctive political acumen."
“At your command, Ministro, and just in time, if I may add, for the upcoming presidential election!” The Prime Minister looked at the General in mock surprise and waved him out. But the General also noticed a slip of paper on the desk with French writing on it. Something was afoot.
Incoherent ramblings from Turkey: I was just reading William Shirer's "The Sinking of the Bismarck: The Deadly Hunt" and thinking about the Avalon Hill boardgame "Bismarck" that I was so fond of playing decades ago in the days when I was so much younger than I am now. It struck me how ridiculous the basic idea of the "Bismarck" boardgame was after I read about how individual captains disregarded instructions, acted on their own initiative, and sometimes guessed wrong, or had no knowledge of, or had incorrect information about, things of great significance to the final outcome. The idea of a two-player boardgame with each player in total control of what his own ships are doing and where they are going is profoundly unrealistic. Even more so an extremely oversimplified game like Diplomacy, which hardly begins to bear any resemblance to anything that could be described as a simulation. Still, it's a good way to pass the time.
Yorkshire is known for its Dales,
They say are more scenic than Wales.
The people of York
Are handy with forks,
And say that they're better than nails.
Glasgow is a city in Clyde,
Unloved by the world far and wide.
When picked up by cops,
And dumped at the docks,
They call it the Edinburgh Ride.
Deadline for W 02/S 03 is November 14th, 2020 at 7am My Time
Balkan Wars VI, “Bad Way to Go”, 2020Apb08, W 12/S 13
Albania: Mark Firth – email@example.com – Build F Montenegro, A Tirana..F Crete - Southern Mediterranean
Sea, F Malta - Gulf of Corfu, F Montenegro - South Adriatic Sea, A Tirana – Montenegro,
F Trieste Supports F Montenegro - South Adriatic Sea, A Valona - Epirus.
Bulgaria: Jack McHugh - firstname.lastname@example.org - A Arda - Constantinople (*Fails*),
A Athens Supports A Valona – Epirus,
F Constantinople -
A Salonika Supports A Valona – Epirus, F South Black Sea Supports F Constantinople – Varna,
A Thrace Supports A Arda - Constantinople.
Greece: Kevin Wilson – email@example.com – Retreat A Athens - Sparta..Remove F Gulf of Corfu, F Epirus..
A Sparta Hold.
Rumania: Brad Wilson - firstname.lastname@example.org - Retreat A Belgrade - Hercegovina..Remove
A Hercegovina..A Bithynia
- Izmit (*Fails*),
A Bucharest - Dubruja
(*Dislodged*, retreat to Transylvania or Sofia
or Constantsa or OTB), F North Black Sea - Dubruja (*Bounce*).
Serbia: Andy York – email@example.com - Build A Skopje..A Belgrade – Croatia, F Croatia – Bosnia,
A Galati Supports A Oltenia – Bucharest, A Nish – Belgrade, A Oltenia – Bucharest, A Skopje - Nish.
Turkey: Heath Davis-Gardner – firstname.lastname@example.org - Build A Izmit..F Aegean Sea Supports
F Varna – Constantinople, A Izmit Supports F Varna - Constantinople (*Cut*),
A Smyrna Supports F Varna – Constantinople, F Varna - Constantinople.
SOMEWHERE NEAR TREBIZOND: Another fine mess!
OUTSIDE OF PLOESTI: Up yours King Flap Jack! Down with the Bulgars!
Deadline for F 13 is November 14th 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.
Izumo no Okuni at the Grand Shrine of Izumo in Shimane Prefecture, Japan
Justin Welby in Atlanta, GA
Paul Ateriedes in Paris, France
John David Galt:
Hunter Biden in Nairobi, Kenya
Wayne LaPierre, Jr. in Lagos, Nigeria
Dub Taylor in Gibsland, Louisiana
Anna Von Hausswolff in Gothenburg, Sweden
Tedros Adhanom in Geneva, Switzerland
Scottie Pippen in Mexico City, Mexico
Barack Obama in Nairobi, Kenya
Cersei Lannister in Beni, DR Congo
Elton John in London, England
Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:
I died before you were born. Wrong nationality…but correct chromosome.
Henrik Ibsen in Edinburgh, Scotland
Ivanka Trump in Beijing, China
John David Galt:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Helsinki, Finland
Little Richard in Macon, GA
Chaka Zulu in Nagasaki, Japan
Christopher Columbus in Xining, Qinghai province, China
Bessie Smith in Oslo, Norway
Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, PA
Billy Graham in St Petersburg, Russia
Charlemagne in New Delhi, India
Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger at Catacamas, Honduras
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.
Albert Einstein in Sapporo, Japan
John David Galt:
Britney Spears in Nagasaki, Japan
Elon Musk in Dubai, UAE
Kate Bush in Mexico City, Mexico
U.S. Grant in Vicksburg, Mississippi
Marquis de Sade in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Al-Mansur Ali the first, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Pope Pius VII in Vatican City
John Ashe in Minneapolis, MN
Indira Gandhi in Moscow, Russia
Robert Peary at the North Pole
Walt Whitman in Riga, Latvia
Nicholas Aloysius Adamshock (a.k.a. Nick Adams) in Chernobyl, Ukraine
Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:
Our lifetimes overlapped for the most part. We both had work published, but on different subjects.
Voltaire in Timbuktu, Mali
James Watt in Niamey, Niger
John Wolcot at Nouackchott, Mauritania
Ernest Hemingway in Zurich, Switzerland
Marilyn Monroe in Monrovia, Liberia
Voltaire in Monrovia, Liberia
Mark Twain in Seoul, South Korea
John David Galt:
Queen Victoria in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Boris Pasternak in Warsaw, Poland
Walt Whitman in Anchorage, Alaska
Joseph Priestley in Marrakesh, Morocco
Thomas Paine in Accra, Ghana
Joseph Conrad in Warsaw, Poland
Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:
You’re the closest in distance, and I have been correctly identified…just not by you. We were born in the same country.
Joseph Priestley in Rabat, Morocco
Thomas Paine in Dakar, Senegal
Thomas Paine in St. Louis, Senegal
James Watt in Dakar, Senegal
Walt Whitman in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Thomas Paine in Rabat, Morocco
Joseph Priestly in Kano, Nigeria
James Watt in Dakar, Senegal
John David Galt:
Queen Victoria in Kinshasa, Congo
Joseph Priestley in Lome, Togo
Walt Whitman in Brest, France
Marquis de Sade in Bamako, Mali
Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:
I’ve been correctly identified, but not by you. We were born within 10 years of each other, and died within 10 years of each other as well.
Thomas Paine in Casablanca, Morocco
Walt Whitman in Monrovia, Liberia
John David Galt:
Queen Victoria in Monrovia, Liberia
Joseph Priestly in Richard Toll, Senegal
Thomas Paine in Las Palmas, Canary Islands
James Watt at Nouadhibou, Mauritania
James Watt in Kebemer, Senegal
Joseph Priestley in Dakar, Senegal
James Watt in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivory
Joseph Conrad in Freetown, Sierra Leone
Walt Whitman in Lagos, Nigeria
Marquis de Sade in Cotonou, Benin
Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:
I’ve been correctly identified, but not by you. We died in different countries.
Deadline for Turn 7 is November 14th 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 8 Categories:
(Don’t forget to specify a Joker category, or it will be applied to Category 1)
1. A city in Japan other than Tokyo.
2. A character in Peanuts.
3. A flavor of flavored water.
4. An adjective that begins with L.
5. A Henry Fonda film.
Joker category shown in BOLD. Most popular answer shown in italics (if I remember to do that part).
David Burgess and John David Galt each get the high score this round with 36 (out of a possible 40). Paul Milewski scores the bottom with 10. Every player who chose Charlie Brown used their joker on it. (Charlie Brown and On Golden Pond were each the most common answers this round).
Comments by Category:
A Japanese city other than Tokyo: Kevin Wilson – “I guess Nagasaki or Hiroshima may be popular as well but Kyoto seems the next most famous.” Richard Smith – “For #1 my first thought was Kyoto due to the Kyoto Protocol (we're all doomed!) and also because it's an anagram of Tokyo.” Mark Nelson - "We've been been to Japan twice and both times we stayed in Tokyo and Osako, using the latter as a base to visit Kyoto. (The accomodation in Kyoto being much more expensive, and the trains from Osako to Kyoto being both quick and plentiful. I think it's about 30 minutes on a normal train). So, on the grounds that Osako is not as famous as Kyoto I go for Kyoto. (If I'd never been to Japan I would have gone for Hiroshima. I'll also toss out that in any reasonable definition of `war-crimes' the dropping of the atomic bombs at the end of WW2 would constitute a war-crime as would much of the carpet bombing that was seen in WW2. The Nuremberg trials can only be considered as an example of the adage: to the victor's go the spoils)." Brad Wilson – “I'd rather say Kyoto or Osaka, but more people know Hiroshima.”
A character in Peanuts: Kevin Wilson – “Gotta be Charlie Brown for #2. Lucy may be popular too but surely CB is #1.” Mark Nelson - "Not something I've watched much, so I will go for Charlie Brown as the one that immediately springs to mind."
A flavor of flavored water: Andy Lischett – “I don't drink it but lemon seems reasonable, although my answer is cherry. Everything comes in cherry.” Mark Nelson - "Not something that we buy. Flavoured water. Sometimes, I might have a whisky on the rocks - that's the nearest I get to flavoured water. No, I just can't get my head around this question! I'm going to say Lemon because I like lemon!" [[I don’t buy flavored water either – except for occasionally flavored seltzer which I’ve used to substitute for any soda cravings - and I can’t remember why I thought of this as a category.]]
An adjective that begins with L: Andy Lischett – “Lucky, luscious, leaky, leafy, legitimate, lousy, libidinous, loony, loud, lowly, lazy, lackadaisical, little, large, light, long, lanky, lachrymose, lopsided, loose, lush, lusty, lovely, lonesome... I really like the word lush, but lucky was my first thought, "'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?" More Andy Lischett – “Some more L adjectives for my long list: Lugubrious, lax, licentious, lackluster, lollygagging, low-rent, low-maintenance, limber, lumbering, lily-livered, long-winded, loopy, lubricious, lively, lifeless...and some of them in a sentence: The lanky, low-life, lumbering landlubber was a lollygagging, lily-livered lug with a lithe, luscious and lusty low-rent lady-friend who liked lemon-flavored liqueurs. The lush.” Mark Nelson - "Lovely, though it has to be said with the right kind of accent. There was a famous Campari & Lemonade advert from the 1970... (The `Luton Airport' advert)." Mark Firth – “First choice was “laconic” but I think “lazy” more likely chosen.”
A Henry Fonda film: Kevin Wilson – “Again, many to choose from but I think OGP was toward the end of his career so may be more recent. And it was quite good.” Mark Nelson – “Mark Nelson - "I think I will pick "The Grapes of Wrath" for the reason that I bought it on DVD!" Brad Wilson – “I really, really wanted to say "Once Upon A Time in the West" for 5 where Fonda plays brilliantly against type as an amoral, ruthless killer, but it's too obscure, I think.”
General Comments: None.
Turn 9 Categories:
(Don’t forget to specify a Joker category, or it will be applied to Category 1)
1. A mean name kids call other kids.
2. A famous drummer.
3. Something found in or around an Egyptian pyramid.
4. A government department.
5. A Jack Nicholson movie.
Deadline for Turn 9 of By Popular Demand is: November 14th at 7am My Time
Deadline for the next issue of Eternal Sunshine is: November 14, 2020 at 7am My Time (U.S. central time) – some games and subzines earlier
See You Then!