Eternal Sunshine #150
By Douglas Kent - 911 Irene Drive, Mesquite, TX 75149
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/270968112943024/ or on the web at http://www.whiningkentpigs.com/DW/. Follow on Twitter at @EternalSunshDip. Also be sure to visit the official Diplomacy World website at http://www.diplomacyworld.net.
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Quote of The Month – “You can't ask government to be infallible, but you can ask it to be accountable.” - (Michael in “Arlington Road”)
Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the big one hundred and fiftieth issue. Aren’t you impressed? I’m not. So, to commemorate this massive occasion, I will…do nothing. Meh, 150 is simply a round number. I’m glad to know there have been people interested enough to hang around for that many issues, but at the same time I think about how many years this encompasses (including a break of a few years when my marriage was ending), and how many friends we’ve lost along the way, and it can be a bit depressing.
It’s been a very long, mostly slow month since the last issue, and very little has happened during that time. My vertigo issues are still around, but I seem to be slowly adapting to the point that I have fewer truly terrible days, and occasionally have a day with almost no issues. Storm fronts moving through still remain the biggest variable; when that happens, my vertigo gets a lot worse. But since I usually know they’re on the way, I can work at reducing the resultant anxiety. At least things are trending in the right direction.
November 7th would have been Mara’s birthday, so this year I decided to run a “free Kindle sale” of Helplessly Hoping around that time. The idea is basically this: nobody buys the book anyway (and the Kindle version is always available for free download for Prime members). So by making the Kindle version free to everyone for a few days, I hoped to get new readers who might do one or more of the following: enjoy the book, review the book (positively?), mention or recommend the book to others, and possibly buy It’s Their House; I’m Just a Guest at a later date. Based on past experience, I know that many of the people who download a free book never even bother to read it. And a likely review rate is less than one percent.
Still, I wanted to give this promotion a fair chance. So instead of just posting about it on Facebook and Twitter, I planned a bit ahead and spent a few bucks, getting the sale listed for one day each on two different “free ebook” websites and mailing lists. Bookbub is the most popular one out there, but to get a promotion mentioned on that list costs hundreds of dollars (they charge different amounts for different genres; I think the quote for a memoir was around $500). There was no way I was spending that kind of money. But I did find two smaller lists, and I figured what the hell, may as well give it a shot. One list would promote the sale on November 5th (the second day of the sale) and another on the 7th (the final day). And in the meantime, I would promote it myself all over Facebook, Twitter, and my nearly empty Instagram account.
The promotion started out very slowly, with only seven free downloads on the 4th. But I didn’t think that was a disaster, by any means. My goal was to get over 100 downloads by the end of the sale, with a ceiling of 250 downloads being a “success” in my eyes. Memoir remains the unwanted stepchild in the literary world, and especially memoirs written by someone who isn’t a celebrity. So, I wanted to keep my expectations low. Realistic, and hopeful, but low.
As November 5th moved along, I realized these paid promotions were going to work far beyond my expectations. By mid-morning I was at over 200 downloads, and had climbed to #19 on the Amazon “Best Selling Memoir” in the Free section. (They keep two lists; one for free books, and one for paid books). By early evening I’d gotten over 600 downloads, and amazingly had jumped up to #1 on that Amazon list. This was especially positive, because it meant there was a chance people who never saw the promotion might stumble across the book on that Best Selling list, and decide to download it as well.
By the time November 7th came to a close and the sale had ended, Helplessly Hoping had generated over 2,000 free downloads. Granted, there’s no telling how many of those people will bother to read it. And so far none of them have rated it or reviewed it on Amazon or Goodreads (not that they’d be finished reading it in only a week). But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this sale will generate some positive reviews. And in another positive, four copies of the ebook sold the day after the sale ended, meaning people who missed the sale wanted it badly enough to go ahead and spend $6. If that happens a few more times I will have covered the cost of the promotion entirely.
For independent authors, the three most important things to drive a book to success are positive reviews (on both the Amazon and Goodreads platforms), word-of-mouth (such as readers recommending the book to friends), and exposure (interviews or other publicity). That last category is nearly impossible to get, so I’ll keep focusing on the other two.
In the meantime, I am continuing work (slowly) on a semi-autobiographical novel. It’s been a bit of a struggle, and I am not convinced the concept itself is translating well from my head to the page. And my vertigo and other stressors have kept me from sticking to a daily minimum word count. Hopefully motivation will kick in and I’ll get back in gear. Unfortunately, I haven’t done any writing on what was supposed to be my next memoir (and the first one I’d planned, decades ago): the book about my family and my childhood. I have plenty of notes, but a major problem developed. As it happens, each of my siblings now has a story or two they don’t want shared with the rest of the world. These are family stories involving multiple kids, ones that we’ve told each other – and friends – for as long as I can remember. But for various reasons everybody has a couple they don’t want put into print and shared with strangers. And, as you might guess, those are usually the funniest or most interesting stories of all. With five siblings, that’s between ten and fifteen great stories that would need to be excluded if I want to keep the drama to a minimum. Without those, the book itself would probably be a shadow of what it was meant to be. If that’s the case…why bother at all? Perhaps I’ll open “negotiations” on these topics again in the near future, either when I give up on my current project or when I finish it and am ready to start the next one. I’m always open to advice or opinions from you folks?
In zine news, the next Diplomacy game finally filled, and the lineup can be found elsewhere in this issue. As I have in the past, I will continue to offer a perpetual Diplomacy opening as long I plan on continuing the zine. If it never fills, no matter. And if it fills slowly, that just means there’s no strong demand for more games. I’m just happy to have this one fill, especially with Balkan Wars and Acquire finished, and the first two Diplomacy games in the mid-game stages (or beyond). We also have both Andy York back, although Andy’s subzine is a bit abbreviated as he’s been swamped with his move and other things. Peter Sullivan was still chasing late orders at deadline time, and will have to skip this issue and hopes to be back next time. Such is life!
I guess that’s it from me for now. See you in December!
Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: None. Needs seven to start.
By Almost Popular Demand: Ongoing. Join in and play NOW!
Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki?: Ongoing. Join in and play NOW!
Also in Andy York’s Subzine – You can find his ongoing “Hangman, By Definition” and Facts in Five, plus an opening for Breaking Away.
Standby List: HELP! I need standby players! – Current standby list: Andy York, Andy Lischett, Paul Milewski, Harold Reynolds, Jack McHugh, Brad Wilson, Graham Wilson.
Meet Me in Montauk
The Eternal Sunshine Letter Column
Paul Milewski: I too suffer from acrophobia (irrational fear of heights). But the worst vertigo I've had was from spinal compression in my neck. I can happily say panic attacks for me abated years ago, and I suspect the cause of those attacks had something to do with my first wife. Your right about the dwindling number of participants on our old, outdated, anachronistic branch of the Diplomacy hobby. Still, I cling to it, as so many people my age (72) cling to the past. Also, I like the idea of the new twist to By Almost Popular Demand. Thanks for all you do.
[[Neck compression causing or worsening vertigo is not something I’ve heard about. As I’ve had upper back and neck issues forever (I’m told my top vertebrae is slanted slightly, probably from cracking a windshield with my head as a teenager), I need to keep that in mind and perhaps have that looked at as a possible contributing factor.]]
Andy Lischett: I don't get vertigo as you describe but I'm growing fearful of bridges and tall ramps and such. Several years ago Carol and I drove from Atlanta to Savanna, Georgia and as we approached from the northwest there was a tall bridge to our left that got closer and scarier and - having never been to Savanna before - I was getting nervous that I might have to cross it. I stupidly thought of putting up the convertible top, or asking Carol
to drive. It turned out that we got to Savanna before we reached the bridge.
I'm not afraid of bridges collapsing (driving under bridges or through tunnels doesn't bother me) but of falling off the edge. Even on short bridges I drive so far toward the center that I'm more likely to have a head-on collision than fall off. Probably a head-on collision is safer.
[[One of the many things non-sufferers don’t understand is that anxiety and intrusive thoughts do not need to be logical or sensical, and often they aren’t. They’re more often completely illogical. But that doesn’t make them less powerful. Even if you recognize the thoughts and fears are out of proportion or lack a sense of perspective, While it sometimes help to contradict those thoughts with calmer, more reasonable thoughts during the process of lowering the anxiety, in the actual moment there’s not a lot you can do.]]
Can you mention my Diplomacy openings in your next issue? I will mention yours.
[[Of course. Andy has been publishing his zine Cheesecake for…well it seems like forever, but I think it’s since 1979. He has a good mix of players, and in the games I’ve played there – believe it or not – there are actually diplomatic conversations and negotiations! If you’d like to sign up for one of his games or get an emailed copy of his zine, email Andy at firstname.lastname@example.org – he also mails printed copies, to keep your mailbox company!]]
I, too, am having trouble getting players for Cheesecake. I announced game openings about two weeks ago and have no takers yet. It's too soon to give up, as I enjoy publishing, but without any games the 'zine makes no sense. After Heath Davis-Gardner in Out of the WAY asked about maps I'm thinking of adding them to Cheesecake in hopes of attracting players who might be electronically focused. And I've thought about shortening the deadline from 5 to 4 weeks, but have no idea if that will attract anyone.
[[I think maps are a positive, if only because it means – assuming they’re accurate – a player doesn’t need to spend time setting a board up, or referring to prior adjudications.]]
I have no exposure to online Diplomacy games but I DuckDuckGo-ed Diplomacy Moderators after Bob Durf said that he is one, and discovered playdiplomacy.com. A quick scan says that it has 269 games currently running, and the longest deadline I saw was a week. That explains where all of the new players have gone and I don't know if they can be lured to a monthly 'zine. Then again, Bob Durf joined Indestructible Machine so maybe there's hope. I will take a closer look at playdiplomacy.com to see if I can solicit players there.
[[I can also recommend backstabbr.com, where you can find games with deadline from between an hour and a week or more. A lot of virtual tournaments have used backstabbr as the location where they play the tournament games.]]
Graham Wilson: I was reading ES#149, and really liked your new office pictures. You and I are different when it comes to heights. I *usually* have no problems (with heights), and actually enjoy it. Though not enough to go rock climbing.
[[I wish I had no such problems. I’m envious of those who enjoy heights, or at least are not bothered by them. I’ve often wondered how much of my fear stems from “falling” off the family bunkbeds as an infant and breaking both my legs. Of course, I have no memory of that. However, I never had vertigo when I was younger, only the fear. The combination is much worse than one or the other.]]
I hope you're doing well. The news from south of the border always leaves me worried about my American friends. We have crazies up here, but they are much fewer, and they are usually unarmed 😊
[[I’m hanging in there. Life does get rather lonely for me at times…my social life has been basically non-existent since 2016, minus a dozen or so first dates (which are much too rare). It seems like the world has decided I am no longer useful, and my presence is ultimately not desired. It’s been so quiet, I am left with little option but to determine that the problem is 100% with me. For whatever reason, I’m physically, socially, emotionally, or in some other way repulsive. Take your pick.]]
George Atkins: With regard to your vertigo, for which I sympathize greatly (and my wife fears heights), is it possible to erect baffles in front of the lower halves of the windows, which will allow you light, but hide the indication of height?
[[No, sadly. Aside from simply not being something I can do in a work setting, the full-length windows do not have much room for such a thing. There are shades I am able to pull down but those allow light through and only slightly obscure vision. However, remember the vertigo itself in this case doesn’t necessarily require me seeing outside anyway. My ear issues are more active the higher up I am. In terms of the anxiety tied to both, I actually have more problems with the creaking and popping of the façade and windows than the view. And heavy winds are doubly bad.]]
The Dining Dead – Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (Shudder) – A Korean found footage movie, mostly derivative of The Blair Witch Project and many of the found footage genre films that take place in abandoned asylums (and yes, if you’re not familiar with the genre, there are plenty of those). It’s competently assembled, and includes a few creepy scenes, as well as some ingenious shots by having POV and facial shots of the six explorers (because of the equipment they’re wearing). The basic premise is a horror web show decides to do a live broadcast at a haunted asylum, with two crew members and four volunteers, plus the “Captain” back at their base tent orchestrating the web broadcast. There’s a subplot about the crew and Captain and their desire to reach one million views of the live stream. We’re never really given much more to work with than what I just described to you, and there’s a lot of screaming and panting through much of the later parts of the film. It’s never boring though, even if it leaves plenty of meat on the bone. As it turns out, Gonjiam is a real abandoned asylum in Korea, and it was named one of “seven freakiest places on the planet” by CNN Travel. The filmmakers couldn’t get permission to shoot there so they made the movie in another abandoned building but tried to replicate the floorplan of the actual asylum. This film was one of the top five grossing horror films ever in South Korea, so you know it isn’t a complete waste of time. Just don’t expect anything that original or new.
There’s Someone Inside Your House (Netflix) – At someone recommendation I decided to give this horror film a try. It didn’t take a lot of arm twisting, since it’s directed by Patrick Brice who directed both Creep and Creep 2 (which he cowrote with Mark Duplass). And it starts out with a terrific opening, a bit mind-bending and very twisted. The cast dies a decent job, led by Sydni Park as Makani. It’s sort of your typical teen slasher film, 90’s-era style, but inserted into the modern High School setting. The main gang is a group of semi-outcasts in an Iowa farming area, cast in current disposable roles: the weird one, the non-binary or trans one, two African American girls, the gay football player, and the son of the most hated man in town. The two biggest problems are the plot and the script. Some of the characters are given no real fleshing out. And there’s basically no suspense. We all know there will be some kind of reveal in the end about who the killer is, but there are no clues to follow, no mystery. And the ending is a bit too over-the-top-woke for me, in terms of motivations and explanations. It’s not terrible, though. Mostly it’s very well shot. But it still feels like they had a beginning, a one-sentence plot, and let everything else get thrown together under the idea that “it’s a teen slasher movie…it doesn’t need to make sense, have characters do anything remotely intelligent, or challenge the audience in any way.” That’s both disappointing and a bit insulting. For some reason, while I was writing this, I Was reminded of the three-issue DC Comics miniseries “Black Orchid” which was one of Neil Gaiman’s earliest projects, before he started “The Sandman.” In the beginning of the first issue, Susan Lynden (the superhero Black Orchid, a generally unknown character introduced in the 1970’s) is discovered while she tries to infiltrate Lex Luthor’s organization as a secretary. Tied to a chair, it is explained to her that too many master criminals take the time to explain their plans to captured superheroes, while others place them in elaborate traps which they inevitably escape from. Instead, Lynden is quickly shot in the head. That was completely unexpected by the reading audience, and obviously 100% against the normal comic book stereotype. I wasn’t hoping for that level of creativity in There’s Someone Inside Your House, but they could have at least tried a few new ideas.
Cannibals and Carpet Fitters (DVD) – I backed this film on Kickstarter in 2017, and received a signed Blu-Ray about two years ago. But for whatever reason, I never got around to watching it until Halloween weekend when I wanted to watch something new. It was still in my stack of “things to watch.” The premise is rather simple: a group of carpet fitters go to do a job in a remote country house (in the UK) and quickly discover the family has designs on having them for dinner, literally. There is a bit of a Shaun of the Dead vibe to this, but mostly in terms of attitude. For a low budget (but not micro-budget) film, the performances are pretty good and the special effects well done; there are a few very nice kills sprinkled throughout. It’s nothing amazing, but the action starts early on and the film keeps a quick pace once it gets going. It’s generally fun and a good ride. I think you can stream it on Amazon if you’re interested.
The Murder Mansion (Mill Creek DVD) – A few times over the last five years I’ve been ordering something from Amazon and needed to spend an extra $5 or $7 to get free shipping. In three of those cases, I’ve added a cheap multi-DVD set of Mill Creek Entertainment classic films to the get to the necessary threshold (I think it used to be $35. Now at $25 I never have those issues). These are usually low budget or older black and white films, and are grouped in sets like Horror Classics or Chilling Classics. Often they’re films that are now in the public domain, including some silent films. And the quality of the prints in these budget sets is usually poor, which is to be expected when you spent $7 on 50 films crammed on to a dozen DVDs. Anyway, I’m starting to work through Chilling Classics so I’ll be including short reviews of films from there that are new to me, signifying them as Mill Creek DVD views. Ones I’d seen previously will be tossed in the Old Mover Watched section.
The Murder Mansion is an Italian/Spanish cooperative production from the early 70’s. Vinegar Syndrome recently did a restores scan of this film and included it in their “Forgotten Giallo” boxed set. After watching this lower quality print, I am glad I skipped that purchase. First of all, this is NOT a Giallo film. It’s just cheap Euro-horror. Some various couples and singles get lost in the fog and wind up at an old manor house. Then dumb stuff happens. I’ve heard it described as a bag Scooby Doo episode, which isn’t very accurate. But the attempts at “twists” are just stupid. They did actually TRY to create some characters and plot, so I don’t want to make it seem like this was a complete waste of time from the moment the project was conceived. At first it seems like there might actually be a few story lines worth exploring. But it collapses quickly into a pile of trash. Avoid it, and if this is what Vinegar Syndrome put in the “Forgotten Giallo” set, avoid that too. A beautiful new scan of the film would have improved a few scenes, but not the overall effect.
Death Rage (Mill Creek DVD) – Yul Brynner’s last film before he spent the rest of his career touring in a The King and I revival. He plays a NYC hit man who goes to Naples to avenge his brother’s death, and the murder of another New York-based Mafia bigwig. That’s pretty much the whole plot. The great Martin Balsam has a part as a police commissioner, although he has very little to do here. Italian pop singer Massimo Ranieri also appears, and Barbara Bouchet (Don’t Torture a Duckling) is the obligatory love interest for Brynner. It’s mostly boring scenes at a race track and of people taking, mixed with short and pointless gunfights. It seems like they were going for a Point Blank vibe (the taut Lee Marvin film), but it’s completely generic and bland. When I watch a film like this, I’m left to wonder how much money it took to attract the big-name talent, considering the low budget and mediocre script? Only look for this movie is you are a die-hard Brynner fan.
Medusa (Mill Creek DVD) – A vanity film (probably made for TV) starring George Hamilton as a drunken playboy who may or may not be involved in the murders of several people tied to his father’s will. Very pretty Greek scenery…that’s about the only good thing anyone can say about this thing. I’m still trying to figure out why the hell it’s called Medusa. Maybe they cut that part out in the editing room. There are a few gangster types, a very creepy relationship between Hamilton’s character and his sister (who speaks with an entirely different accent), and some clumsy subterfuge. And a loud, nearly-constant soundtrack of Greek music, used to pad the film and bore the viewer. Entirely forgettable (or worse), but I guess in 1973 you watched whatever the movie of the week was and dealt with it.
Older Movies Watched (that I’ve seen many times) – The Young Poisoner’s Handbook (FINALLY got a copy on DVD at a great price), Arlington Road, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Seven Dorms of Death, Smilla’s Sense of Snow (DVD would only play cleanly on an older DVD player, which may explain why a good copy is hard to find).
Out of the WAY #38
by W. Andrew York
(wandrew88 of gmail.com)
This is abbreviated column with the games and what I have time to add below.
First off a little gaming talk. Apologies again for not having any games ready for the last issue. It was unfortunate for the players that I set the early deadline in the hope that some games could move forward (and I’m glad I did as I would not have been able to put anything together during move week).
Secondly, Kevin topped the third game of Facts in Five. A new game starts this issue if you want to try it. In Hangman a helpful letter was voted on and the word should be much closer to a solution if you’d like to take a look.
Lastly, one set of orders for the Gunboat game had a slight confusion on submission. Fortunately, after being contacted, the player quickly sent in moves. However, until that happened I was a bit worried on whether I’d have to hold the game again – the sole Gunboat standby isn’t eligible to play in this game. So, anyone want to raise their hand to standby for Gunboat games – or other games that may need them in the future?
Turning to what’s been going on here. The move wasn’t as smooth as I’d hoped, and I’m thankful I didn’t go into Interior Decorating as a career as I’d unlikely be able to hold down a job. On the thankful side, the expected rain stayed away and it was an entirely dry week.
A stalwart in many previous moves after coming to Texas was unable to give a hand (he usually knows the best strategies in organizing a new place). However, another friend was able to come into town for the first couple of days, and along with a neighbor, were able to move the furniture and other heavy items. I spent the next week moving the rest of my things on my own, though the idea of putting items immediately away wasn’t possible. So things were (and, to some extent, still are) piled all over the floor and on the counters. The neighbor helped out the last move day as I was flagging quite a bit.
Currently trying to settle things in the best locations, I’m still putting items up then moving them elsewhere (especially in the kitchen). The downsizing has also been a real challenge, moving from a large 2/2 with 2 car garage to a medium sized 1/1 with 1 car garage is a challenge! My lack of skills in interior decorating are somewhat balanced by a skill in “Creative Packing” that has been joked about my whole life. The garage is PACKED, with just enough room for my car.
Also, I’ve had several time eaters that have taken away from settling. I’m hoping this coming month that I’ll be able to get over the hump and have time to read (only finished two books over the past two months, those reviews pushed to next month). Magazines are starting to pile up as well.
On the fun/plus side, I’ve seen several movies (mixed bag):
C’mon C’mon – couldn’t really relate (single man suddenly is taking care of his estranged sister’s 9 y/o son while she deals with her mentally disturbed ex). Still, better than average.
French Dispatch – probably the most “Wes Anderson” of his movies I’ve seen. Really liked it.
Red Rocket – the after show discussion with the director and some cast raised my impression of the movie to middle of the road, though a bit too much in the sex department and the Lolita overtones for me.
Australian Short Films Today 2021 – stellar, as it is usually.
Of the seven films, two were good, one I didn’t particularly like and four were stellar (I could see any of those ones in contention for Oscars).
The filmography pushed boundaries, such as “Idol” which is a single-take, 19 minute film, with the unmoving camera framed on the main character the entire time, another (“Ayaan”) spotlighting the immigrant crisis down under with the main character speaking only four words over 17 minutes (others speak much more) and an animated film (“Roborovski”) that melds three styles of animation depending on the scenes underlying theme. My favorite (“Skewwhiff”) was a look into aging, love, relationships and caring.
The other one I really liked was “Groundhog Night”, probably the most hilarious film I’ve seen in some time. “Elders”, along with “Ayaan”, were the ones I felt were good. The only one I didn’t like, “The Egg”, was the second favorite of the screening crowd.
Unfortunately, unless you catch it, or its parts, online you likely won’t be able to see it. The tour is limited to four stops in the US (Boston, New York, LA and Austin) and four in Europe (Paris, London, Berlin and St Tropez). Austin only had a single screening, with a superlative discussion afterwards with the curator of the film and writer/director Richard Linklater.
In other things, went out to lunch with friends multiple times and enjoyed ArmadilloCon (annual literary sci-fi convention). This year’s con was a bit scaled back, had extra challenges in the con suite and the guest of honor ended up attending remotely (don’t know why). Plenty of room to spread out (attendance was lower) and excellent discussions, live podcasts tapings, author readings and a science presentation from JPL. However, I’m skipping this weekend’s MillenniumCon (local, annual, gaming convention, tilted towards miniatures, but I usually run a couple of boardgames) – not quite ready to be in that close proximity indoors that comes from that type of Con.
I hope things are well with all of you. I expect by next month I’ll be moving back into a more usual schedule and can add back in some of the regular bits.
ANN RICHARDS QUOTE #8
“Sobriety has freed me to deal with failure and never give up/”
Sources: Banner on Congress Avenue, Austin TX
(always welcome, send them in!)
(if something shouldn’t be included here, clearly mark it as a personal comment)
None for this month
In “[not noted]” – Sinclair: “You forgot the first rules of the fanatic: When you become obsessed with the enemy…
You become the enemy.”
Source: But In Purple...I’m Stunning! by J. Michael Straczynski, edited by Sara “Samm” Barnes, copyright 2008.
Everyone Plays Games: Hangman, By Definition; Facts in Five
Game Openings: Breaking Away (Kent, Burgess, Smith; Firth, minimum 6 players needed)
Standard Choice (Smith, minimum 4 players needed)
Possible Game Openings: Breaking Away Variants, Grey-Press Gunboat (no preference lists)
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)
“Round Rock Express”
(No-Press Gunboat, Game #1)
Austria: F GRE s a ser-bul, A ser-BUL, A TRI s ita a ven-tyl (nso), A BUD-rum, A vie-GAL
England: F NTH c edi-bel, F BRE s a bel-pic, A bel-PIC, F lon-ENG, A EDI-bel
France: F mao-NAT, A por-SPA, A BUR-Bel
Germany: F den-SWE, A hol-RUH, A MUN s eng a bel-bur (nso), A ber-SIL, F KIE-bal
Italy: F ion-EME, A TUN hold, A VEN hold, F nap-ION
Russia: F BOT-bal, F sev-BLA, A UKR-rum, A sil-BOH
Turkey: A arm-SMY, F ank-CON, a bul s rus f sev-rum (nso) (ann), F smy-AEG
Supply Center Count
Austria: Bud, Tri, Vie, Ser, Gre = 5
England: Edi, Lpl, Lon, Bre, Bel = 5
France: Mar, Par, Por = 3
Germany: Ber, Kie, Mun, Den, Hol = 5
Italy: Nap, Rom, Ven, Tun = 4
Russia: Mos, StP, Sev, War = 4
Turkey: Ank, Con, Smy, Bul = 4
Neutral: Nwy, Rum, Spa, Swe
Next Due Fall 1902
Note – Split seasons are granted when 2 or more requests are received if 4+ players; 3 or less requires only 1.
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 Four, Turn 3:
Letter Votes: A – 5; D – 1 Revealed: A
Words Guessed: (Firth) Ayeaye; (Kent) Xeroma; (Lischett) Badger; (Maslen) <>; (O’Hara) <>;
(Smith) Sacred; (Wilson) Creamy
Word: __ __ __ __ __ __ (6)
Definition: A __ __ (3) LA __ __ __ (5), __ __ __ ALL __ (7)
__ __ __ T __ __ __ __ __ __ (10) __ __ __ __ __ __ T (7)
__ __ (2) A (1) __ __ __ __ A __ __ (7) __ __ (2) __ __ A __ __ (5);
A __ (2) A __ __ A (4)
Never Revealed: E, S Already Revealed: L, T, Z
Game Words Correctly Guessed: Infinitesimal (David-Gardner, Firth, Kent, Smith, Wilson);
Triclinium (Firth, Maslen, Smith, Wilson)
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. Please clearly identify which individual you are using as your answer if there are multiple potential people with a given name. For instance, if the category is American Presidents, answering Washington is fine as there is only one; however, if you decided to use Bush you need to indicate whether you are submitting the father or the son. Unclear answers will be matched to score the least points. Using the Bush example, if one person submitted “Bush” and three people submit “George W. Bush” the latter would score 2 points and the former 1.
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.
Game Three, Round Five
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 A F I L P
Religious Denomination or Order
Mark Firth Anabaptism Franciscan Ibadi Lutheranism Presbyterianism
John David Galt Amish Franciscan <> <> Puritans
Doug Kent Amish FChurch of Scot Irvingist Lutheran Presbyterian
Andy Lischett Anglican Franciscan <> Lutheran Presbyterian
Walt O’Hara Anglican Franciscans Islamic Brotherhood Lutheran Presbyterian
Kevin Wilson Anglican Franciscan Irvingist Lutheran Presbyterian
Children’s Book Author (include a book title)
Mark Firth Richard Adams Ian Fleming Washington Irving CS Lewis Philip Pullman
John David Galt Aesop John D Fitzgerald <> CS Lewis Beatrix Potter
Doug Kent Verna Aardema Walter Farley Eva Ibbotson CS Lewis Beatrix Potter
Andy Lischett LM Alcott Louise Fitzhugh Washington Irving Dennis Lee Ethel Pedley
Walt O’Hara Aesop Sid Fleischman Washington Irving CS Lewis Beatrix Potter
Kevin Wilson Aesop Don Freeman Munro Leaf Arnold Lobel Barbara Park
State in North America
Mark Firth Alaska Florida Iowa Louisiana Pennsylvania
John David Galt Alabama Florida Iowa Louisiana Pennsylvania
Doug Kent Alaska Florida Illinois Louisiana Prince Edward Island
Andy Lischett Alabama Florida Indiana Louisiana Pennsylvania
Walt O’Hara Alabama
Morazan Indiana Louisiana Pennsylvania
Kevin Wilson Alaska Florida Illinois Louisiana Pennsylvania
Famous American Industrialist
Mark Firth Robert Adams Henry Ford
James Irvine William
B Leeds Ralph Peo
John David Galt <> Henry Ford <> <> <>
Doug Kent JJ Astor James W Fuller Jr <> William Leeds William Plankinton
Andy Lischett <> Henry Ford <> William B Leeds James Ward Packard
Walt O’Hara Robert Adams Henry Ford Iman Daniel Littlefield Ralph Peo
Kevin Wilson Eberhard Anheuser Henry Ford Lee Iacocca Eli Lilly George Pullman
Mark Firth Akhil Wayne Fontana Sevastien Izamba <> Elvis Presley
John David Galt <> Mick Fleetwood <> <> Luciano Pavarotti
Doug Kent Paul Anka John Fogerty Billy Idol John Lennon Steve Perry
Andy Lischett Ed Ames Julio Franco Burl Ives John Lennon Elvis Presley
Walt O’Hara GG Allen Flava Flay Iggy Pop John Legend Luciano Pavarotti
Kevin Wilson Frankie Avalon Dan Fogelberg Enrique Iglesias John Lennon Prince
Note – for allowed and disallowed answers, please feel free to correct me!
Notes on Mark’s Answers: James Irvin is disallowed as I couldn’t find an American Industrialist with that name
Notes on Doug’s Answers: FChurch of Scot is Free Church of Scotland; JJ Astor is John Jacob Astor
Notes on Walt’s Answers: Francisco Morazan is disallowed as it is a “department” not a “state”
General Player Comments:
[Doug Kent] – I only used children’s books that I have read. [WAY] – Cool!
[Kevin Wilson] – For state in North America, I wasn’t sure if you meant “state” as in a nation or “state” as in one of the United
States. I decided to go with the later because it was easier but that could be totally off. [WAY] – it’s not how I
define the term, per se, but whether your answer matches the category…and more importantly, if you want to match the
other players, how they define it. As long as it fits the category, you’re good. As an example a few issues back the
category was Artificial Satellites and Plymouth Satellite (car model) was one given answer. It fit the category, but it
certainly didn’t match anyone else’s answer. [KW] – Besides, just looking I don’t see nations of N.A. for most of the
letters. Mexico calls its regions states so those would work too I guess. But since Canada calls them provinces, I
- Alabama because it’s football season
- Florida ditto
- Illinois because I live there
- Louisiana because I lived there
- Pennsylvania because it popped into my head first
I had to look up the difference between a denomination and order. Mainly seems one refers to Catholic denominations and
the other to everyone else. I did stick with Christian sub-groups rather than branch into other religions under the
assumption most readers of the zine are in the west so probably more knowledgeable of Christian sects.
Industrialists, other than Ford and Anheuser (from my St Louis days), was the hardest. No names easily leap to mind that
match the letters. Probably a fault of an English speaker bias. I may have stretched the definition of “American” a bit as
some weren’t born in the US but the US is where they made their fame.
Game Four, Round One
Letters: C D J N R
Categories: Current US Congressperson; Living Celebrated Architect; Title of a Craft Occupation;
Multinational Retailers; Name of a Mixed Alcoholic Drink
Scores by Category 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Now Previous Total
Kevin Wilson 10 6 10 6 6 200 + 38 = 238
Doug Kent 9 7 9 5 6 183 + 36 = 219
Andy Lischett 8 6 10 5 7 180 + 36 = 216
Mark Firth 8 7 10 8 5 177 + 38 = 215
Walt O’Hara 9 9 8 8 6 171 + 40 = 211
John David Galt 5 7 10 2 3 116 + 27 = 143
Deadline for the Next Issue of Out of the WAY:
December 8, 2021 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
Austria: Rick Davis – email@example.com - F Albania Supports A Serbia – Greece,
A Serbia - Greece
A Trieste - Serbia (*Dislodged*, retreat to Tyrolia or OTB).
France: John David Galt – firstname.lastname@example.org - F Naples Says “Ni!” (Holds),
A Venice - Trieste
(*Dislodged*, retreat to Apulia or Rome or Tuscany or OTB).
Germany: Andy Lischett – email@example.com – A Budapest Supports A Vienna – Trieste,
A Gascony Supports A Marseilles – Spain, F Helgoland Bight - North Sea, A Kiel – Denmark, F London – Wales,
A Marseilles – Spain, F North Atlantic Ocean Hold, A Piedmont Supports A Tyrolia – Venice, A Silesia – Bohemia,
A Tyrolia – Venice, A Vienna – Trieste, F Yorkshire Supports F Helgoland Bight - North Sea.
Italy: Toby Harris – firstname.lastname@example.org – No units.
Russia: Bob Durf – email@example.com – F Black Sea Supports A Rumania,
F Clyde - Liverpool (*Bounce*), A Edinburgh - Liverpool (*Bounce*), A Galicia Supports A Rumania,
A Norway Unordered, A Rumania Supports A Galicia, A Sevastopol Supports A Rumania,
F Spain(sc) Unordered (*Dislodged*, retreat to Mid-Atlantic
Ocean or Gulf of Lyon or Western Mediterranean
or Portugal or OTB), A St Petersburg – Moscow, A Warsaw Supports A Galicia.
Turkey: Jack McHugh - firstname.lastname@example.org – F Aegean Sea - Ionian Sea, A Bulgaria Supports F Greece,
F Greece Supports F Aegean Sea - Ionian Sea (*Cut*), F Ionian Sea - Tunis.
G/I/R Draw Fails
Now Proposed – A/G/R/T, G/R. Please vote. NVR=No
Supply Center Chart
Austria: Serbia=1 Remove 1 or 2
France: Naples, Rome=2 Even or 1 Short
Germany: Belgium, Berlin, Brest, Budapest, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, London,
Marseilles, Munich, Paris, Spain, Trieste, Venice, Vienna=15 Build 3
Italy: None=0 OUT!!
Russia: Edinburgh, Liverpool, Moscow, Norway, Portugal, Rumania,
Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Sweden, Warsaw=10 Even or Build 1
Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Smyrna, Tunis=6 Build 2
Turkey-Italy/England: Don't blame me for your terrible choices...I tried to warn you guys about France but did you listen? Noooooooooooooooooo....
Deadline for A/W 10 and S 11 is December 11th at 7am My Time
Austria: Harold Reynolds – email@example.com - A Belgium Supports A Holland, A Bohemia – Munich,
A Budapest Supports A Serbia, F Bulgaria(sc) Hold, A Holland Supports A Kiel,
A Kiel Supports A Munich - Berlin (*Cut*), A Munich – Berlin, A Ruhr Supports A Belgium,
A Serbia Supports F Bulgaria(sc).
England: David Cohen – firstname.lastname@example.org –
F North Sea Hold (*Dislodged*, retreat
to Helgoland Bight or Skagerrak or Norwegian Sea or OTB).
France: David Burgess – email@example.com – F Edinburgh - North Sea,
F London Supports F Edinburgh - North Sea, A Yorkshire Supports F London.
Germany: Mark Firth – firstname.lastname@example.org – F Baltic Sea - Kiel (*Fails*).
Italy: George Atkins - GeorgeWrites@outlook.com – F Apulia Hold, F Brest Hold,
F English Channel Convoys A Spain – Wales, A Gascony Hold, A Greece Hold, F Ionian Sea Supports A Greece,
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Convoys A Spain – Wales, A Piedmont Hold, A Spain - Wales.
Russia: Heath Davis-Gardner – email@example.com – F Denmark Supports A Kiel,
A Finland - St Petersburg, A Moscow – Sevastopol, F Norway Hold, A Paris Supports A Gascony - Brest (*Void*),
A Rumania Supports F Bulgaria(sc), A Sweden Supports F Denmark, A Ukraine Supports A Rumania,
A Warsaw Supports A Ukraine.
All Draw Proposals Fail
Now Proposed – DIAS, A/I/R. Please vote. NVR=No.
Supply Center Chart
Austria: Belgium, Berlin, Budapest, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Holland, Kiel,
Munich, Serbia, Trieste, Vienna=11 Build 2
England: None=0 OUT!!
France: Edinburgh, Liverpool, London=3 Even
Germany: None=0 OUT!!
Italy: Brest, Greece, Marseilles, Naples, Portugal, Rome, Smyrna, Spain,
Tunis, Venice=10 Build 1
Russia: Ankara, Denmark, Moscow, Norway, Paris, Rumania, Sevastopol,
St Petersburg, Sweden, Warsaw=10 Build 1
England: I will reserve my EOG statement for the actual end of the game. Anyway, Montrose said what needed to be said.
France to England: When the music’s over……Yeah.
Deadline for W 07/S 08 is December 11th at 7am My Time
Austria: Andy Lischett – firstname.lastname@example.org – Has A Budapest, A Vienna, F Trieste.
England: Paul Milewski – email@example.com – Has F London, A Liverpool, F Edinburgh.
France: Brad Wilson - firstname.lastname@example.org – Has F Brest, A Paris, A Marseilles.
Germany: Heath Davis-Gardner – email@example.com – Has A Berlin, F Kiel, A Munich.
Italy: John David Galt – firstname.lastname@example.org - Has A Venice, F Naples, A Rome.
Russia: Simon Langley-Evans - email@example.com - Has A Moscow, A Warsaw, F St. Petersburg (sc),
Turkey: Jack McHugh - firstname.lastname@example.org – Has F Ankara, A Smyrna, A Constantinople.
Austria to GM: Where did you get the name More Than Ever? Paul Milewski is right that it sounds like a James Bond movie.
GM – Austria: All the named games in Eternal Sunshine – since the restart a few years ago – are named after Lydia Loveless songs. There’s no specific reasoning behind it. I just named the first one Indestructible Machine and kept using names of her songs since then. More Than Ever is one of my favorite songs on her album Real (although I love basically every song on that album).
Austria – 007:
Deadline for S 01 is December 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.
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto on Midway Island
John David Galt:
Charlie Chaplin in Minsk, Belarus
John Fetterman in Braddock, Pennsylvania
Emily Dickinson in Melbourne, Australia
Jaco Pastorius in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Lyndon Johnson in Lima, Peru
Millie Helper in New Rochelle, New York
Imran Khan in Islamabad, Pakistan
John Wilkes Booth in Hanoi, Vietnam
Aage Bohr in Medellín, Colombia
Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:
You were born after I died. Wrong chromosome.
John David Galt:
Amelia Earhart in Las Vegas, Nevada
Billie Jean King in Quebec City, Canada
Bella Abzug in Paris, France
Charles Darwin in Port au Prince, Haiti
Carlota of Mexico (Charlotte of Belgium) in Guadalajara, Mexico
Betsy Ross in Paramaribo, Suriname
Olivia Newton-John in Venice, California
Golda Meir in Tel Aviv, Israel
U.S. General Richard Arnold in Arkhangelsk, Russia
Thomas Aquinas in Singapore
Martin Luther in Darwin, Australia
Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:
Correct chromosome. Wrong occupation. We died within a year of each other.
Gertrude Stein in Baltimore, Maryland
John David Galt:
Kamala Harris in San Antonio, Texas
Lizzie Borden in Brownsville, Texas
Emmeline Pankhurst in Brownsville, Texas
Mamie Eisenhower is in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Thérésa Tallien in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Willa Cather in Havana, Cuba
Martha Jefferson Randolph in Asunción, Paraguay
Jim Boeheim in Syracuse, New York
Emmeline Pankhurst in Houston, Texas
Richard Wagner in Havana, Cuba
Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:
We each entertained people, in our individual ways.
Bessie Smith in Miami, Florida
Isadora Duncan in Austin, Texas
Marie Bonfanti in Guatemala City, Guatemala
Sara Bernhardt is in Dover, Delaware
Isadora Duncan in Merida, Mexico
John David Galt:
Tina Turner in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Bessie Coleman in Kingston, Jamaica
Lillie Langtry in Sana’a, Yemen
Louisa Alice Baker in Belmopan, Belize
Isadora Duncan in Mexico City, Mexico
Mati Hari in El Paso, TX
Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:
I’ve been correctly identified, but not by you. Wrong occupation. We died within five years of each other.
Bessie Coleman in La Esperanza, Honduras
John David Galt:
Tina Turner in San Salvador, El Salvador
Isadora Duncan in Belize City, Belize
Tina Turner in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Isadora Duncan in Chihuahua City, Mexico
Isadora Duncan in Belize City, Belize
Sarah Bernhardt in Chihuahua, Mexico
Bessie Smith in Cancún, Mexico
Isadora Duncan El Paso, Texas
Isadora Duncan in Cancun, Mexico
Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:
You know who I am (and you’re not the only one) but not where I am.
Deadline for Turn 6 is December 11th at 7am My Time
By Almost Popular Demand
I’ve run this game (or By Popular Demand, of which this is a variant) a number of times in Eternal Sunshine. The rules are simple: I supply you with five categories. You send in an answer, trying to choose the answer which will match with other people’s but NOT be the most popular. Research IS permitted. You get one point for each person who submitted the answer you gave, including yourself. However, the most popular answer in every category scores ZERO. 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. 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 10 is worth double points.
Turn 1 Categories:
1. A Star Trek (The Original Series) character.
2. A common household pet.
3. A type of wine.
4. A compass direction.
5. Something associated with Christmas.
Joker category shown in BOLD. Most popular answer shown in
Mark Firth gets the high score of 9 this round (out of a possible 13). Carol Kay scores the low with 2 points. Obviously scores in BAPD are lower that BPD (plus we lost a couple of players).
Comments by Category:
A Star Trek (The Original Series) character: Kevin Wilson – “If playing BPD you’d guess #1 as either Kirk or Spock so I avoided both. Just means others will too probably and thus either could be safe and McCoy the problem. Ugh.” Walt O’Hara – “My reasoning being most popular is either Kirk or Spock by a country mile.”
A common household pet: Kevin Wilson – “Dogs and cats, avoid like Spock and Kirk. Next, who knows. We’ve only had 1 fish. It was one from a little carnival that we expected to survive maybe a couple of weeks. It made it almost 1 year!” Walt O’Hara – “You KNOW the most popular is going to be a Dog or a Cat. Most true geeks have cats, but dogs is so close I don't' want to call it.” Andy Lischett – “It may take me time to get used to the ALMOST part again. For a pet I thought that dog would be more popular than cat, but then remembered that everyone else will do the same and had no idea if dog or cat would be first or second. Maybe goldfish will place third, which is better than a 50/50 chance of being tossed out.” [[Note – “Fish” and “goldfish” are distinctly different answers in my opinion, and have been treated as such here, as are “Bird” and “Parakeet.”]]
A type of wine: Kevin Wilson – “I’m not a wine fan but I think Chardonnay is the most popular so avoided that. About the only I will occasionally sip (not drink) is a pinot noir.”
A compass direction: Kevin Wilson – “North has to be the direction on a compass we’d all choose in BPD so avoid that. West is the most fun.”
Something associated with Christmas: Kevin Wilson – “Too many things for Christmas so just pick one.” Walt O’Hara – “I'm gambling the MOST popular is "Tree". Wrapping paper is out as it applies to birthdays as well. Stockings seem a natural second best.”
General Comments: Kevin Wilson – “One little change, just one little change and the whole game becomes much harder. Usually the topics are easier to come up with answers and because of that, guessing which will be the most popular becomes harder! Oh well, we’ll see.” Richard Smith – “As I'm sure you know this is only one of many BPD variants, see https://variablepig.org/rules/bypop.html which also describes some more general alternative rules. Note that I have actually played in a game of P.E.N.A.L. and (somewhat surprisingly) it did work.” [[The original and this one are my two favorites. I’ve never tried P.E.N.A.L.]] Mark Firth – “This was mostly a case of picking option 3.”
Turn 2 Categories – Remember to Specify a Joker Category
1. One of the Great Lakes.
2. A gun caliber.
3. A televised sport.
4. A college or university in the UK.
5. A Tim Robbins movie.
Deadline for Turn 2 is December 11th at 7am My Time
Deadline for the next issue of Eternal Sunshine is: Saturday December 11, 2021 at 7am My Time (U.S. central time) – some games and subzines earlier