Eternal Sunshine #152
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 – “It's not the despair, Laura. I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.” - (Brian Stimpson in “Clockwise”)
Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, which just won the 2021 poll for Favorite Monthly Diplomacy Zine Published in Mesquite, Texas. It may be a minor award, but it’s mine, and you’re all jealous whether you want to admit it or not.
I hope everybody had a good, safe, and healthy New Year, Christmas, Chanukah, Yule, or whatever you do or do not celebrate. As usual, I spent my holidays home alone with Sanka. I even got jipped out of a New Year’s day off, as it fell on a Saturday this time around. (When it falls on Sunday I get Monday off, but if it falls on a Saturday I do NOT get Friday off). In general I regard New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day as the most overrated of all major holidays, mostly thanks to TV and movies. In my life I’ve had two really good NYE experiences, some horrid ones, and the rest are basically forgettable. I suppose there’s still time to add another, but I appear to be stuck in a multi-year “this is your life, it’s over, just get used to it” rut of unimaginable dimensions.
Besides that…well, I can’t think of anything that happened over the last issue worth mentioning. I guess I should mention that the latest Diplomacy World was released, and it turned out to be a decent issue all things considered. If you haven’t read it, you can check it out at http://www.diplomacyworld.net. As well as every issue of Diplomacy World ever published, all available for download in pdf format, for free.
One of the things you’ll find in that issue are letters and comments showering praise on Conrad von Metzke, who announced recently the immediate fold of his zine and his cessation of GMing games. However, I am very pleased to announce that (with a slight prodding from me), Conrad has agreed to begin a new subzine in Eternal Sunshine. The title he’s chosen is “Not Tonight, Dear, I Have a Deadline.” You can find the first issue elsewhere in this issue of ES. Let’s give Conrad the usual welcome…nah, that’s rude. Be nice to him.
Anybody else want to jump in the shallow end of the pool?
I guess that’s it from me for now. See you in February!
Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: Kevin Wilson, Gavin Begbie, need five more 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: Wednesday morning my son Geoffrey and my daughter Ginger, both of whom live out of town, showed up at my front door unannounced to tell me that my eldest son, George, is dead. His body was discovered in his apartment (a neighbor noticed the smell and called the police). So far as we know, he died of COVID or from complications. In any event, natural causes. He lived alone and was reclusive by nature. Actually, that's putting it mildly. None of us knew where he lived and he didn't keep in touch with anyone. We've learned he had been sick for weeks and was on an extended medical leave from work at Amazon when he died. He would have been 52 years old today, his birthday (Dec. 11). There are some things in life that can't be described in words. Some are good and some are bad. This is bad. I am trying to cope but not doing a very good job of it, though my wife, Sandee, tells me she thinks I'm doing pretty well. My wife's oldest son, Jason, has moved in with us. He's 41, single, and if it's of any significance, gay, though that's unimportant to me. He's a nice guy, calm, thoughtful, honest, and not doing well. He was evicted from his apartment in Dayton, Ohio for nonpayment of rent. Jobless and with no prospects (probably due to a very spotty work history), he had nowhere else to go. His sister Sarah told us he tried to kill himself, but we don't know the details, but we're taking Sarah's word for it. Life goes on until it doesn't.
[[I hope you’re coping okay and working through the pain. In my experience, there’s a certain amount of pain and grief in everything, and the only way to lessen it is to actually work through it. If you don’t, if you try to avoid it, it will just wait for you. But, it is also important to recognize that there is no “right” way to grieve. It is different for every person, and different in every occasion for each person. I encourage you, and Jason for that matter, to seek both professional and non-professional help if you feel it might be necessary or helpful.
I’ve got a few specific friends who are seriously contemplating suicide. There’s nothing I can say or do to stop them or fix them or save them, which is someone I realized after my years with Mara. But I do tell them two things. First, they can feel free to express those sentiments and emotions with me. I will not attack them, I will listen without judgment. Second, if I feel they are an imminent danger to themselves, I WILL contact the authorities immediately. I don’t care if they choose to never talk to me again as “punishment” for doing so. It’s what I am going to do. I can’t save them, but I don’t have to be a party to irreversible decisions they make in the midst of misery and depression.]]
Mark Nelson: My computer still doesn't like your PDF...
I went to see Dune last night, only the second movie I've seen this year. But that equals last year's total and I'm hoping to see a couple more before the end of the year. But probably not over the Xmas period. Yesterday was the last day when masks were required, but I imagine that I will continue to wear one going into the future. I think we're at about 93% double vaccination in NSW. Let's call it 95%. That sounds very high. But if instead you say that one in twenty people are not double vaccinated, it now doesn't sound so good.
[[I feel like, at this stage, it might be more helpful for the powers that be to focus on testing and masks. Especially as this new variant appears to easily infect even those who are fully vaccinated and boosted (but those shots continue to offer reliable ability to greatly lessen the severity of ny illness in nearly all cases). I don’t want to get into a political debate about any of this. But the one thing that drives me nuts is people who wear masks but leave their noses uncovered. There is no point in wearing it if you won’t wear it properly (and yes, I know it provides only slight protection from getting sick, but it clearly does help prevent transmission at some level, and to me any level is worth it when it comes to me wearing a mask when I’m in a store or the post office or the elevator at work).]]
Hahaha. When I said I downloaded free PDFs of sheet music/music books I should have clarified that although they were free to download they weren't free because the authors had made them freely available. If you know what i mean. Still, most of the things that I download are no longer in print. And I do have a policy that if I download something for "free" that I end up using then if it's in print then I will buy a copy.
A long time ago I went into one of the wife's "shops" and was surprised to discover that they sold DVDs. Or rather they had sold DVDs because they had evidently decided to sell off their stock and get out of the DVD selling business. So for $1 I was able to buy the Clark Gable-Doris Day vehicle "Teacher's Pet". And that's AUD $1! I wasn't sure what to expect. But it was only AUD $1!
Despite having this video for a long time (maybe three years or so) we only got around to watching it at the end of last week. Before we watched it the misses asked if it was going to be in black and white, if it's in black and white she instantly has a poor opinion of it. I saw that it was made in 1957 and said no, so that was the first point of interest: it was in black and white. When did colour become standard?
[[Black and white movies continued to be made well into the 60’s, usually for monetary reasons but sometimes for atmosphere. I believe 1961 or 1962 was the first year more than half the films released were in color (just checked, it was 1961).]]
It wasn't a bad movie. I wasn't surprised to realize that the phenomenon of leading men being cast against much younger leading ladies (21 year gap between Gable and Day) was not of recent origin...Of course, the technology and staffing of newspapers is very different to how it's portrayed in the movie (which makes that interesting from a technological perspective). When I was in junior school we went on a class trip to visit one of the local newspapers (i suppose I was ten at the time, circa 1978/1979) and I remember being shown the typesetting of the newspaper and the plates used for printing photographic images. (For many years I had two of the photographic plates as souvenirs). And in the third decade of the 21st century the behaviour of Clark Gable's character might lead him to facing a charge of sexual assault. These are all considerations that made the movie more interesting to me. But considering the story, my wife did laugh out loud at several points so some of the humour is still funny just over sixty years after it's released. Going back to meta issues. The argument as to whether journalism can be learnt through tertiary education or only on the job has long been decided in favour of education. Though I wonder to what extent that's because making journalism a graduate level profession removes all the costs of training from the media companies... That's a point on which the Clark Gable character changes his mind during the movie.
[[The cable network TCM has to deal with this kind of thing a lot: placing films in context, including racism, blackface, sexual conduct, and physical violence against women. They’ve chosen the best approach, which is show the movie as intended, and then during the host intro/outro make a mention of the things which at the time were “normal” but now are clearly inappropriate. Films are windows into the past, and you can’t pretend those attitudes never existed.]]
Just looking through the games section. If I'd been playing By Almost Popular Demand I would have felt obliged to select Leeds as my UK university. Incidentally, we don't have the same equivalence between university and college as in the US. There are very few university equivalent institutions which do not have university in their title - Imperial College being the most well known.
[[For all I know there is a difference here in the U.S. too. As I never went to college/university, I have no clue. (I couldn’t afford it, loans were mostly based on your parents’ income and my Dad made too much money despite always being broke, and anyway I had to go get a job so I could get Mara away form her family before she killed herself. I often wish I’d gone, but I don’t know if any degree I might have earned would be relevant today.]]
However, that wasn't the purpose of this PS. No. A few days I was flicking through the channels and one of them was showing King Arthur (2004). I've seen the end of this, but never watched it from start to finish. I was wondering if you might ask iin "By Almost Popular Demand" which is the best movie based on King Arthur... My favourite is Excaliber (perhaps because of the portrayal of Merlin), which is on my list of movies to buy but I've not seen it anywhere. If you decide not to ask it, perhaps you could write something about your favourite King Arthur movies? Not sure that I have a second favourite.
[[Excaliber has always been my favorite, in part because it was the first Arthurian film I was introduced to that I paid attention to while watching. And yes, I love the depiction of Merlin. Sarcastic, snarky, and of course (in the end) fallible. There really aren’t that many other great Arthurian films. I enjoyed The Mists of Avalon, which focuses on the women in the stories, but that was because I read the book while in prison. I was never a huge fan of the musical Camelot. Merlin, starring Sam Neill, was worth watching. I recall I found the Connery/Gere film First Knight a bit silly. I suppose the second-best Arthurian film remains Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, even if the historian is brutally murdered.]]
Richard Smith: Most web hosting plans give you https at no extra cost these days.
Having said that I have quite an old deal on my hosting and the variablepig.org domain name, the latter will cost me a bit more that the current £8 a year I pay when it expires (not that there's much competition for it).
As for font sizes - we recently upped the font sizes used in the Pig but this was for the benefit of the printed version (which is done as an A5 booklet) and readers' ageing eyeballs. As you say PDFs and HTML pages can easily be zoomed on large screen devices, and HTML pages can use @media CSS or other techniques to be more usable on a smartphone.
[[I’m behind the curve in everything. It wasn’t until perhaps two years ago that I learned I could host multiple domains on one hosting account. Godaddy charges for https, and that’s who I have used for a long time. In an amazing coincidence, just after I typed that sentence my cell phone alerted me to a new charge from Godaddy on my credit card – autorenewal of one of my domains.]]
Andy York: Hope your Christmas and New Year's went quietly, as mine did. Living alone, just not a lot of reason to decorate or some of the other activities that really are spent with others. I did make a nice Christmas dinner for myself and a batch of Black-Eyed Peas on the 1st. Both turned out well and worth the time.
Regarding the commentary in the LOC Column, instead of writing an autobiography why not write it as fiction. Change the names, locations, etc. - enough to obscure which of your siblings was the source of the events described. It might not be doable, but it is a possibility.
[[Yeah, alone there’s not much point to a tree or anything like that. Although if I planned far enough in advance, I could almost see me doing it to feel a little festive. I also cooked on Christmas, making a tenderloin roast and hasselback potatoes. The roast was way bigger than I needed, but the only one available. Sanka loved it but couldn’t keep it down for whatever reason – poultry works much better for her – so she didn’t get to share aside from some butter. The neighborhood ferals got whatever leftovers I didn’t eat. Nom nom nom.
A novel might be an idea, although it does kind of take a lot of the fun out of it from the reader’s side. A lot of the stories are crazy enough to be amazing when you know they actually happened, but I am not sure it makes them as interesting if they’re figments of my imagination. Still, it’s a thought!]]
The Dining Dead – Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews
Honeydew (Shudder) – I was searching on the internet for obscure recent movies, and this one caught my attention. Okay, mostly it was just that the other movies mentioned weren’t available for streaming yet without a rental fee. This film is a tremendously slow burn, nearly all atmosphere and very little plot movement. A bickering couple out for a camping trip (Malin Barr and Sawyer Spielberg – son of Stephen Spielberg) develop car trouble and wander up to a farmhouse to ask to use the phone to call for help. From there it’s mostly weirdness for weirdness sake before you arrive at the not-as-original-as-it-thinks reveal. I suppose this is a bit more of a suspense movie than any kind of typical horror movie. All of the acting is tolerable or better, with Barbara Kingsley the standout as Karen, the matron of the farmhouse. There are certainly many, many worse movies out there, but aside from atmosphere there isn’t a lot in Honeydew to result in a recommendation. I watched until the end, mostly because I had nothing else to do and the film stayed on the good side of “is this good enough to at least not turn it off?” line.
Don’t Look Up (Netflix) – A fellow fan of SCTV (look it up if you don’t know) urged me to watch this movie, telling me it was full of SCTV-type humor. I watched the trailer; I didn’t laugh once. He told me I was being unfair to judge the movie by the trailer. Fine…I watched the first 30 minutes. I didn’t laugh once. Eventually I went back two more times until I’d fought through the whole two hours and twelve minutes. The last five minutes of the film were the best five minutes. This movie has drawn comparisons to Dr. Strangelove and Wag the Dog for its “brilliant satire of politics and the media.” I see potential, but there are two major issues. The first is casting. It’s filled to the brim with big stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, and even Ariana Grande. But none of them feel like good fits for the characters. In fact, I felt as if this was a SNL skit stretched into over two hours, in part because the actors do not lend any authenticity to their roles; Streep is Streep playing a role, not the character, and the same goes for the other big names. Just like when you watch SNL and see Belushi as Belushi playing a role. The short version of the plot is a graduate student and her professor (Lawrence and DiCaprio) discover a previously-unknown comet heading towards Earth. In six months, all life on the planet will be destroyed. Yet, when they present this information to the President and her Chief of Staff (Streep and Hill), they don’t seem to grasp the reality of the situation, and soon they’re thrown into the world of television news and social media. Aside from the casting, the direction is the major flaw. The situation is comical and dark, but the result is neither funny nor tragic. It takes itself far too seriously, and the jokes miss the target mainly by the way they’re executed. Granted, I thought both Anchorman movies (the films writer/director Adam McKay is best known for) were unfunny, so it could just be personal taste. It just seemed like either things in a comedy should actually be funny, or the whole thing should feel like a surreal nightmare. Or both. Take films like After Hours and Miracle Mile. Those work. This…doesn’t. But at the same time, I can see that the ideas for each joke had merit; they’re just not presented in the proper way. [[Minor spoiler alert: when Lawrence and DiCaprio go to see the President, a Marine General gives them some snacks and water but asks for cash to reimburse the cost. Later they discover the snacks were free. That kind of thing should have been right at home in After Hours, but here it’s neither funny nor surreal. They have a funny idea and think that’s enough. It isn’t. Not to mention in the real world they’d NEVER go see the President personally]]. I should add, some people are treating this film as an allegory to the lack of action on climate change, and because of that, some who watch (or claim to watch) are basing their opinions on the film solely on what side of that argument they fall on. This path didn’t even occur to me until I discussed the movie with someone on Facebook days later. Like it or hate it, please judge the film on its merits. As for me, my opinion: it has a lot of good ideas, and aims at a lot of worthy targets along the way. But it just…isn’t…funny.
Older Movies Watched (that I’ve seen many times) – Breaker Morant, Better Off Dead, March of the Wooden Soldiers. It’s a Wonderful Life, Scrooge, Silent Night Deadly Night, Silent Night Bloody Night, The Godfather.
NOT TONIGHT, DEAR,
I HAVE A DEADLINE
Whether you want it or not, this is it. A subzine by the oldest geezer still roaming the plains (or more often, the kitchen): Conrad Friesner von Metzke, that be I, one of the very last of the old warhorses in this hobby, coming back to the corral for another go-round with whoever’s bothering to read this. Messages can be sent via Doug or directly to email@example.com . Whether or not anybody has a message to send, well, now that’s another matter indeed.
There was once a faction of the postal Dip hobby unofficially called the Old Guard, or some equivalent, and as years went by, this group’s diminishing membership was obvious from every compilation, to the extent that I may well be the only one left on the list. That could simply mean I’m out of touch. Or perhaps I’m too old for my own good. Regardless, if there are any others out there who were in on this hobby from its outset, please raise your hands.
(He studies the crowd carefully.)
Well, golly gee whiz, I sure don’t see very many hands raised, do you? Maybe they’re mostly too old to travel? Or maybe they mostly finally grew up?
The reason for this subzine (or “guest column with individual title”) is that I’m lonely. I mean, sure, I have a wife and two sons and two dogs and about thirty fish, but what fun are they? Not a single one of them knows anything about convoying armies, or about laughing at people who try convoying but screw it up. So leave it to me to step in and straighten things out, all the while neglecting everything going on around me, like Peanut the pup trying to pee on my shoe….oh dear, I think maybe I should have looked sooner….
I have absolutely no formal idea what I’m going to do with this drivel, but I’m going to try and make it Fun. Fun for me to do, and fun for you to read. Not silly fun; I’ve done too much of that already in one lifetime. Fun in the sense that this postal gaming hobby really ought to be about something more than just playing and winning games, more than just cooking up a new maneuver designed to outfox even the best of the opposition currently in the hobby….
...because if all we do is write Army Budapest to Romania and then sit back and chuckle at our own brilliance (or gag at our own ineptitude when the enemy roars right back at you), then this isn’t a game any longer. Remember that little word FUN. It can be mixed in with lots of other words we come across a lot – Brilliant, Stunning, Stupid, Never Again in This Lifetime Will I Trust That Creep Again - but it seems to me that if it isn’t Fun, at least most of the time, then you need a different hobby.
My aim with this subzine, whether serious or silly, will be to focus on the fun – and WHY it can be fun, and HOW it can be fun, and the best ways to make sure it’s NOT fun for that poor sap you just ground into the dust….
Er. Well, we’ll work on it. ...
Issue One Hundred and Three
5th January 2022
Round 12 (RR 2473 B) — "Garrett Hobart" — Railway Rivals Map "B" (Lon&Lpl)
JGL black (John David Galt); AYUP yellow (Mark Firth); HJA red (Hank Alme); BASH sky-blue (Bob Blanchett).
Congratulations to John David and thanks to the rest of you for playing. Any end game statements to me, Peter Sullivan, at firstname.lastname@example.org by WEDNESDAY, 9th FEBRUARY 2022.
That was Octopus's Garden #103, Startling Press production number 399.
Out of the WAY #40
by W. Andrew York
(wandrew88 of gmail.com)
The Happiest of New Years to all of you for 2022. Let’s hope this year is an improvement over the last two. I’m eagerly waiting on the start of baseball season, presuming both sides are able to agree on a contract in the near future. I also hope to get out a bit more, do some visiting, watch more movies and such. Not that I can’t keep myself busy at home with reading, writing, cooking, going through boxes/bins (way too many of those) and such.
For the column, I’ve added a couple things back. You’ll find mini-book reviews from the past few months – I think I included all of them, but I’ve a nagging feeling I missed one. I didn’t complete as many as I’d hope for in that last quarter, mostly only keeping up on the “annual reads” and magazines (for the most part). I did end up with a count of 55 books for the year, likely my highest number ever!
Also, I’ve included two recipes, though they aren’t formal recipes. One is an altered recipe from a cookbook (source referenced) that I ended up using for my Christmas dinner. I thought I’d picked up a package of lamb chops only to discover on that day that they were lamb SHOULDER chops – the difference is that shoulder chops are tougher and need to be cooked differently (braising versus pan roasting). So, though I’d planned an easy/simple prep (boxed stuffing, using turkey stock in place of water, and wilted spinach with onions and mushrooms (see OOTW #23 for the basic recipe)), I had to add the braising. I found a good recipe for Lamb Chops with Red Wine and Pearl Onions and modified to what I had on hand (a dusty bottle of red wine, not sure it was truly dry, and diced onions for the pearl onions).
It actually didn’t add that much time, the active time in cooking was only 15 or so minutes versus 7-8 minutes for the pan roast. In the end, the braising made a much tastier dinner overall, well worth the extra time and effort. Plus, it looked like I’d spent a lot of time, instead of the 20ish minutes I actually did spend. I must confess, I did take a picture of the plate to share with a couple of friends. If you’d like to see it, drop me an email and I’ll send it to you.
The other is Scratch Black Eyed Peas (see OOTW #3 for a more formal recipe). I’d completely forgotten about them until a friend mentioned that he was soaking his peas for the next day. I zipped out and grabbed a carton of fresh peas so I wouldn’t have to soak them with such a short time remaining (costs much more, but saves time when you’re in a rush). The rest is mostly a dump of what I already had on hand – diced veggies (no green peppers), opened package of diced ham, what remained of a bag of spinach, the leftover turkey stock from Christmas, etc. So, that one is more of a framework than a recipe with precise measurements. It turned out quite well, enjoyed it for a few days.
Further down the column, the Hangman word was guessed. The ongoing commentary, previously redacted, shows some of the players’ thoughts and guesses at the definition. Some were pretty spot on in their conclusions! The Gunboat game has a split season and in Facts in Five, I believe, the first time a max 50 points was scored for a single category. A new Hangman will start next issue and you can always jump in the Facts in Five game. Any interest in a Black Press Gunboat game? I think I now have regained my GMing sea legs that I’m ready to add another Dip game to the mix. If not Black Press Gunboat, any other suggestions that you’re interested in trying?
In other news, a friend bought me a year’s membership to SABR (baseball aficionado/historical/statistical group). There is a local chapter and my first meeting is on the 8th. Due to Omicron, it’ll be on Zoom instead of the originally planned in-person event. Speakers include chapter members, Tal Smith (baseball executive with the Red, Yankees and Colt .45s) and Perry Barber (female baseball umpire including some MLB exhibition games), plus the Round Rock Express General Manager – Tim Jackson, and their Director of Broadcasting and radio voice - Mike Capps, that I both know. The group is also having mock Hall of Fame balloting. Looking forward to a few hours of baseball in the midst of winter.
Not much else new around here, though I did attend the local Mensa Christmas gathering one evening for dinner and conversation – my only real holiday event. I did see a few movies:
Vertigo – first time seeing it, pretty engaging though it shows its age in the “special” effects
Licorice Pizza – fun, humorous, light-hearted. Worth seeing
The Tender Bar – decent story, good acting
Don’t Look Up – much better than I expected, sharp parody with lots of laughs
Remember the Night – I’m a Stanwyck fan, but this was a confusing mess of a script. From what I understand, the
original script, by Preston Sturges – an excellent writer, was pared from 3 hours to about 1.5 hours which
resulted in this subpar movie. The acting was top-notch (including Fred MacMurray) but it couldn’t overcome
the script’s limitations.
It just came to mind that, alongside the Mini-Book Reviews, I could do Mini-Movie Reviews. I’d limit it to those I see in a theater as those on TV are often badly cut and, when I watch DVDs, I’m usually multi-tasking and not paying sufficient attention to it so a review beyond a simple thumbs up/down would be unfair. Any interest?
I, again, wish everyone an Amazing 2022! Keep warm this winter, be safe and well!
ANN RICHARDS QUOTE #10
“If you think taking care of yourself is selfish, change your mind. If you don’t, you’re simply ducking your
(always welcome, send them in!)
(if something shouldn’t be included here, clearly mark it as a personal comment)
[Andy Lischett] – Mark Nelson mentioned a home with a 10-car garage. My dream house! Between us Carol and I have six
cars and I’d probably fill the rest of the garage within a year. Then I’d have to build a shed for a lawnmower and other
[Mark Nelson] – Your Ann Richards quote reminded me (I don’t know why) of the following quote from Galaxy Quest: ‘Never
give up, never surrender”. I have sometimes used that quote when teaching engineering students with regard to the final
exam. (They should know how to do all the questions on the exam paper because they’ve seen them all before. So if
they see a question and don’t know how to do it…). [WAY] – back when I was finishing my BA is History, I had a
professor that had a similar philosophy – every question on the (multiple choice) final he’d already used and all
questions had been discussed after those tests (the class was a basic Western Civ for Freshmen). Even so, I recall him
lamenting at the end of a term that a question, used multiple times previously, still had about 25% of the students, on the
final, identifying a Phalanx as the Petrified Finger of Buddha.
[MN] - I have never ever mashed potatoes using anything other than a hand held masher. (The potato masher is
sometimes deployed for mashing other things such as stewed fruit). I’ve sometimes thought about buying a potato ricer
since many people say that’s how you get the best mashed potatoes. However, that’s another piece of cooking
equipment to store and I’m not sure how many times I would use it, so I live with the imperfection of mashing my
potatoes by hand. [WAY] – Ok, I was wrong last issue, I could also mash potatoes with a Ricer. I do have one, just in a
bin that hasn’t been unpacked so it didn’t come to mind. They are a bit unwieldly to store, but the silkiness of the
potatoes pressed through them is worth the effort for company. That said, since now I mostly cook only for myself, I
don’t really have a reason to put in the extra work just for the mouth-feel.
(finished since September)
Beacon Hunters by Deb Grant, Lisa Hoelscher and Travis Meier (2021; 108p).
This is a collection of poems, observations and musings by Deb Grant (she calls them Field Notes) and two of her protégés. Each selection is one to three pages and provides a quick break (reading one per day) to the day’s routine to stop, read and reflect on the given piece. I found them to give interesting perspectives, stir a memory or otherwise something to ponder about. Recommended. [September 2021]
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett (1989; 403p).
The next volume in the DiscWorld series turns back to Ankh-Morpork and looks into the City Guards – not as set pieces in a story about the rulers or itinerant adventurers but from their actual perspective. Here, this group is routinely put aside and is almost without a job due to a unique arrangement between the criminal class and the citizenry.
To that add a power hungry magician-wannabe with a newly arrived, back-country, teenager with visions of the City Guard the way it used to be and you end up with another enjoyable Pratchett tale. There are unexpected turns, the usual look at things from a 90-degree angle offset and a number of new (or more fleshed out) characters to follow. The opening bit has a hilarious bit larking secret societies and their penchant for code names, passwords and ritual.
I wouldn’t say this was my favorite of the series, so far. But, did find much of the circumstances and plot twists to keep my interest and attention. Recommended. [November 2021]
God’s Purpose by Charles F. Stanley (2020; 383p).
This is a collection of 365 daily devotions collected and produced by Stanley’s In Touch Ministries. The format follows the usual structure of a bible verse, a one-page discourse discussing the passage and a closing prayer. Most of the devotions were stand-alone, but several built on the previous days’ pages.
Worth reading if it is a topic of interest. [December 2021]
The Maxwell Leadership Bible notes and articles by John C. Maxwell (2002; 1616p).
This Bible uses the New King James translation for the biblical text. In addition there are copious footnotes pointing out differences in wording from other translations and texts.
The additional material draws observations and examples, both good and bad, of Leadership from the biblical personages. Those are compiled into an opening piece before each book that gives some historical context to the book, lists leadership examples, identify the leaders and bullet points the leadership lessons. Scattered throughout the book are short (up to one-page) discussions of the identified leadership lessons in both secular and religious contexts.
Overall, it provides a solid roadmap on being an effective leader, what to avoid, how to relate to others and strategies to improve your future. Well worth considering, if you are interested in leadership training in the biblical context. [December 2021]
The New Being by Paul Tillich (1955; 179p).
Paul Tillich was a German theologian that was “requested” to leave Germany early in the rise of Nazism. Ending up in New England, he published an initial book, The Shaking of the Foundations, (I have yet to read) and this is a collection of sermons he gave to answer questions he presented in his first book.
The 23 sermons are divided into three sections:
- The New Being as Love
- The New Being as Freedom
- The New Being as Fulfillment
Most of the sermons are 10-pages or less, many under 5. A few are longer. Most open with one or more biblical
passages followed by the sermon text. Each dives into an aspect of the section’s theme providing fresh perspectives and points to mull over, at least for me. Sometimes a sermon becomes a bit opaque, but usually by the end the purpose is clear. As a side note, several times his writing is obviously influenced by his experiences in Germany and the shadow of Fascism.
I read this at a pace of one sermon per week, giving me time to think and ponder what was presented. Overall, I learned some things, had my viewpoint expanded and enjoyed the presentations. Recommended. [November 2021]
wellspring simple by Deb Grant (2021; 93p).
Her latest collection of writings (called pocket essays in this volume) is drawn from two Email series she wrote in 2021 and distributed through her ELogos mailing list. The first series was written under the theme “Well of an August Spring” (aka WellSpring) as a 23-day exercise based on whatever had her attention that day. Some of the topics included musing on a travel memory, on scarcity in today’s world and on uncertainty in life.
The second series is based on the theme of Simple Gifts. As I recall, over the course of a couple months, she wrote fifteen pieces when she identified something that fit the theme. Titles included Hands, Indoor Plumbing and Acorn Day.
As with most of what she’s written, I approached the book with one pocket essay a day. Even though I’d read the source Emails some time ago, each seemed fresh and each sparked a smile, chuckle and/or a pointed thought. Highly recommended. [December 2021]
Annual Reads Previously Reviewed: Daily Guideposts 2021 (previous year’s editions reviewed) [December 2021]; The Father
Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien [December 2021]
In “Dust to Dust” – Lennier: “A darkness carried in the heart cannot be cured by moving the body from one place to another.”
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.
[[for background on these two recipes, see opening piece]]
Lamb Shoulder Chops with Onions and Red Wine
(based on Lamb Chops with Pearl Onions and Red Wine, page 460)
(in The Complete Meat Cookbook by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly)
2 Lamb Shoulder Chops (sauce below is measured for 2 lbs of lamb chops as in the original recipe)
1 tbsp Grapeseed Oil
½ c Dry Red Wine
½ c Turkey Stock
2 tbsps Balsamic Vinegar
¼ Large Sweet Onion, Diced
Salt and Pepper
1. Salt and pepper both sides of the chops
2. Heat oil in a high sided skillet over medium-high heat
3. Once hot, brown the chops for 2-3 minutes on each side, remove and set aside (no need to tent)
4. Pour off any grease from the pan, then add the wine, stock and vinegar
5. Bring to a boil scraping any bits that may have stuck to the pan while browning the chops
6. Add onion, stir in, then add chops back in
7. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover pan
8. Let cook until chops are tender, roughly 30-35 minutes shaking occasionally to stir the contents
9. Remove chops and tent
10. Skim off any grease (I didn’t have any noticeable amount) and reduce the liquid under high heat until syrupy
11. Taste for salt and pepper, then plate the chops pouring the sauce over each
Scratch Black-Eyed Peas
1 ctn Fresh Black-Eyed Peas (11oz container)
2 lugs Grapeseed Oil
¼ Large Sweet Onion, Diced
2 Large Jalapenos, Diced
½ Head of Garlic, peeled and rough chopped
Remainder of Fresh Spinach in the bag
2 Handfuls of Diced Ham
Remaining Turkey Stock in carton
Cholula Hot Sauce
1. Prepare black-eyed peas per the container (as I recall, simmer in water for 20 minutes, drain)
2. Heat oil in pan, add onions and jalapenos, cook until soft and beginning to brown
3. Add Garlic, cook briefly
4. Add spinach in batches until wilted
5. Add turkey stock and ham, heat through
6. Turn off heat, stir in beans
7. Serve with Cholula for extra heat
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)
Two requests for a season separation were received. Orders on file will be used for Spring 1903 unless amended.
France retreats a bur-BEL
Austria builds A Vie; has F GRE, A BUL, A TRI, A BUD, A GAL, A VIE
England has F NWY, F GAS, A PIC, F MAO, A LPL
France builds A Par, A Mar; has F NWG, A SPA, A BEL, A PAR, A MAR
Germany builds A Ber, A Kie; has F SWE, A BUR, A MUN, A WAR, F DEN, A BER, A KIE
Italy has F EME, A TUN, A VEN, F ION
Russia has F BAL, F RUM, A UKR, A BOH
Turkey has A SMY, F CON, F AEG
Supply Center Count
Austria: Bud, Tri, Vie, Ser, Gre, Bul = 6
England: Edi, Lpl, Lon, Bre, Nwy = 5
France: Mar, Par, Por, Spa, Bel = 5
Germany: Ber, Kie, Mun, Den, Hol, Swe, War = 7
Italy: Nap, Rom, Ven, Tun = 4
Russia: Mos, StP, Sev, Rum = 4
Turkey: Ank, Con, Smy = 3
Next Due Spring 1903
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 5:
Letter Votes: G – 1; N – 1; O – 1; P – 1; W - 1; Y – 1 Revealed: All
Words Guessed: (Firth) Region; (Kent) Region; (Lischett) Region; (Maslen) Region; (O’Hara) Racial;
(Smith) Region; (Wilson) Rimose
Word: Region (6)
Definition: Any (3) large (5), usually (7) continuous (10) segment (7) of (2) a (1) surface (7) or (2) space (5);
an (2) area (4)
Never Revealed: E, S Already Revealed: A, L, R, T, Z
Game Words Correctly Guessed: Infinitesimal (David-Gardner, Firth, Kent, Smith, Wilson);
Triclinium (Firth, Maslen, Smith, Wilson)
Region (Firth, Kent, Lischett, Maslen, Smith)
[Andy Lischett] – Is the gap <in last issue’s game report> between “LA” and the rest of the second word of the definition
intentional – like La Scala – or a computer glitch or something? [WAY] – I neglected to remove the space when
revealing the letters. The best way to delineate words is by using the letter counts at the end of each word. That should
remove any confusion about spacing.
In last issue it was shown as “…(3) LA R __ __ (5)…”. Showing the previous word was three letters and the next
word was five. If it was akin to La Scala, it would have been sown as “…(3) LA (2) R __ __ (3)”. Hope that clears up any ambiguity.
[AL] – Also, have you considered listing past guesses so that players don’t duplicate a word? I could write a list and add
to it each month, but it would get lost. [WAY] – excellent suggestion that I’ll add in the future (assuming I don’t
forget in the interim).
Redacted Comments from Previous Rounds -
[Kevin Wilson] – Still not near enough to narrow things down much except that 3rd word in the definition but still too much
there too so just another shot in the dark.
[Richard Smith] – Not a lot of letters visible but the clue could be something like “lives morally”.
[Kevin Wilson] – Forgot about nominating vowels! Thought about Y with that 3rd word in the definition probably ending
“LLY”. Maybe next time.
[Mark Firth] – Solution: Red lemur, usually containing product of a mollusk in brine; no hope.
[Mark Firth] – (Definition Guess)
ANY LARGE, USUALLY PROTRUDING SEGMENT
OF A RIBCAGE OR WHARF;
[Richard Smith] – I have a guess at “ISOGON” for the word. This is based on “equally” and “an area” possibly being in the
[Dane Maslen] – Currently I’m working on the assumption that the definition is along the lines: Any LA__, usuALLy
___T___ing ______T in/on A ____A__ __ __A__; An AreA
[Andy Lischett] – ANY laRGE, ---allY CONTIGUOUS -----t IN a ----a—OR –a--; aS aSIa. Wild guesses. May the last two
words are “an area.”
[Kevin Wilson] – I really thought I could figure out the word with the info available. 6-letters without ALTZ did limit the
universe and a few of the words in the definition seem clear but I still didn’t come to conclusion. I won’t be surprised if
someone gets it this time and I just missed it. And, at the risk of really being sad, my second choice was Roughy.
[Mark Firth] – Any large, usually […] segment of a surface or space; an area.
[Richard Smith] – This <word guess> is based on “any large equally” and “an area” possibly being in the clue.
[Andy Lischett] – “Any large, ---all- continuous segment of a ---r-a-- or place; an area.”
[Dane Maslen] – I suspect the definition is “Any LARge, usuALLy contiguous subunit of A surface oR shApe; An AReA”
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 Four, Round One
Bolded - Scores 2 points for matching another entry; Crossed Out - scores 0 points; otherwise scores 1 point.
REMINDER - Last names are generally the key word, not first names.
Players D H O S V
US National Park Name
Mark Firth Death Valley Hot Springs Olympic Shenandoah Virgin Islands
Doug Kent Death Valley Hot Springs Olympic Sequoia Voyageurs
Andy Lischett Denali Hot Springs Olympic Shenandoah Virgin Islands
Walt O’Hara Denali Hot Springs Olympic Shenandoah Virgin Islands
Kevin Wilson Death Valley Hot Springs Olympic Sequoia Voyageurs
Restaurant Chains (5+ storefronts across at least 2 cities)
Mark Firth Domino’s Pizza Hard Rock Café Outback Steakhouse Subway Veeno
Doug Kent Denny’s Hooters Olive Garden Starbucks Venezia
Andy Lischett Denny’s Howard Johnsons Outback Steakhouse Steak ‘n Shake Vapiano
Walt O’Hara Dairy Queen Hard Rock Café Olive Garden Sbarros Vocelli Pizza
Kevin Wilson Denny’s Hooters Outback Steakhouse Subway Village Inn
Famous Military Leader
Mark Firth Dayan, M Hannibal Osman I Sherman, WT Vespasian
Doug Kent King David Hannibal Osterhaus Spartacus Veatch
Andy Lischett DeGaulle Hannibal Otto I Bedell Smith Werner Voss
Walt O’Hara De Trobriand Hardee Ord Stuart Von Steinwehr
Kevin Wilson Sir Francis Drake Hannibal Osman I Spartacus Vo Nguyen Giap
Title of Poem by non-US Poet
Mark Firth Dover Beach Hadramauti Ode..Nightingale Sonnet 18:… Vitai Lampada
Doug Kent Do Not Go… Hombres… Ozymandius Should Lanterns…
Vengeance is Not
Andy Lischett Do Not Go… Hope Old Grey Squirrel Sick Rose Variations on the Word Love
Walt O’Hara Don’t Go Far… Hayeswater Obermann Once.. Saddest Poem Voice, The
Kevin Wilson Dover Beach Horatius… Ozymandius Second Coming Variations on the Word Love
Female BAFTA Award Winner
Mark Firth Faye Dunaway Audrey Hepburn Valli O’Reilly Barbra Streisand Lesley Vanderwalt
Doug Kent Judi Dench Audrey Hepburn Diana Ossana Maggie Smith <<>>
Andy Lischett Judy Davis A Hepburn <<>> Maggie Smith <<>>
Walt O’Hara Judy Davis Katherine Hepburn <<see below>> Emma Stone <<see below>>
Kevin Wilson Judi Dench Audrey Hepburn Valli O’Reilly Maggie Smith Lesley Vanderwalt
Note – for allowed and disallowed answers, please feel free to correct me!
Notes on Mark’s Answers: Dover Beach is by Arnold; Hadramauti is by Kipling; Ode..Nightingale is Ode to a Nightingale by
Keats; Sonnet 18:… is Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? By Shakespeare; Vitai Lampada is by
Newbolt; Valli O’Reilly was for Make-up in 2010; Lesley Vanderwalt was for Make-up in 2015
Notes on Doug’s Answers: Do Not Go… is Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night; Hombres… is Hombres necios que
acusais; Should Lanterns… is Should Lanterns Shine; Vengeance is Not Mine is disallowed as I couldn’t find a poem
by that name, please provide a reference.
Notes on Andy’s Answers: Howard Johnson’s is accepted as, though they don’t currently meet the requirements, they did at one time and the category did not specify “current”; Do Not Go… is Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night
Notes on Walt’s Answers: De Trobriand is Phillipe Regis De Trobriand (Union Army, ACW); Hardee is William Joseph Hardee (CSA Army, ACW); Ord is Edward Otho Ord (Union Army, ACW); Stuart is James Ewell Brown “Jeb” Stuart (CSA
Army, ACW); Von Steinwehr is Adolph Wilhelm Von Seinwehr (Union Army, ACW); Don’t Go Far… is Don’t Go
Far Off, Not Even for a Day - Pablo Neruda, Chile; Hayeswater is by Matthew Arnold, England; Obermann
Once.. is OBermann Once More by Matthew Arnold, England; Saddest Poem is by Pablo Neruda, Chile; Voice, The is
by Matthew Arnold, England; “O There IS no O, unless Olivia colman counts” [WAY] – Nope, sorry; [WO] - “V
There IS no V, unless Vivien Leigh or Virginia McKenna count” [WAY] – Nope, sorry
Notes on Kevin’s Answers: Dover Beach is by Matthew Arnold, English; Horatius… is Horatius at the Bridge by Thomas
Babington McAulay, English; Ozymandius is by Percy Bysshe Shelley, English; Second Coming is The Second
Coming by William Butler Yeats, Irish; Variations on the Word Love is by Margaret Atwood, Canadian
General Player Comments:
[Mark Firth] – At least I recognized most answers this time!
[Andy Lischett] – I could not find any female BAFTA winners for O or V, but confess to not scanning screen writers,
cinematographers, and the rest.
I apologize for submitting Dennis DeLap as a celebrated architect last time and wasting your time looking him up.
When Out of the WAY arrives I copy the letters and categories to paper rather than write on my computer screen, and
sometimes shorten the categories. I wrote only “Living architects.” [WAY] – No problem, honest error. On my end, it’s
all part of being a GM, as you well know. But, I can miss things and appreciate players when they take the opportunity
to educate me when they are more versed in their answers than I am (the poetry category this time is particularly
difficult for me as I’m not in any way a poetry aficionado).
[Kevin Wilson] – Well, at least the parks and restaurant chains were pretty easy. The rest, ugh.
I’m not sure why I gravitated toward historical military leaders. Hannibal and Drake immediately popped to mind so I
guess that set the trend.
Poetry and female BAFTA winners were tough. I’ve never been much into poetry and other than Maggie Smith and
Judi Dench, couldn’t name more than a handful of other possible winners. I would have thought the BAFTAs would
lean toward British actors and actresses but perusing the lists it’s as much American as British so hmm….
Game Four, Round Three
Letters: E G M S T
Categories: Human Body Organ; Noted South American Writer; Catholic Pope (not Anti-Pope);
Former Female Head of State; Non-Profit Organization
Scores by Category 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Now Previous Total
Kevin Wilson 10 9 8 8 10 45 + 41 = 86
Doug Kent 10 8 7 6 7 38 + 39 = 77
Mark Firth 10 8 7 6 8 39 + 35 = 74
Andy Lischett 10 7 6 7 6 36 + 32 = 68
Walt O’Hara 10 7 5 5 4 31 + 37 = 68
Deadline for the Next Issue of Out of the WAY:
February 9, 2022 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 - No units.
France: John David Galt – firstname.lastname@example.org - F Naples Supports A Rome, A Rome Supports F Naples.
Germany: Andy Lischett – email@example.com – F Baltic Sea Hold, A Bohemia - Vienna (*Bounce*),
A Budapest Hold, F Edinburgh Hold, F English Channel – Brest, A Gascony – Spain, A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*),
F North Atlantic Ocean Hold, F North Sea Supports F Edinburgh, A Portugal Orders the Champagne (Hold),
A Prussia - Berlin (*Bounce*), A Sweden Hold, A Trieste Supports A Budapest, A Tyrolia - Vienna (*Bounce*),
A Venice Hold.
Russia: Bob Durf – firstname.lastname@example.org – No Retreat Received, A Edinburgh Retreat OTB..
F Black Sea Unordered, F Clyde – Liverpool, A Galicia - Budapest (*Fails*),
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Portugal (*Fails*), A Moscow – Warsaw, A Norway Unordered,
A Rumania Supports A Galicia – Budapest, A Sevastopol – Moscow, A Silesia - Munich (*Fails*).
Turkey: Jack McHugh - email@example.com – A Bulgaria Hold, F Greece Supports A Bulgaria,
F Ionian Sea Supports F Tunis, F Tunis Supports F Ionian Sea.
Thanks to Harold Reynolds for the standby orders, which fortunately were not needed.
Supply Center Chart
France: Naples, Rome=2
Germany: Belgium, Berlin, Brest, Budapest, Denmark, Edinburgh, Holland, Kiel, London,
Marseilles, Munich, Paris, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Trieste, Venice, Vienna=18 WINS!!
Russia: Liverpool, Moscow, Norway, Rumania, Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Warsaw=7
Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Smyrna, Tunis=6
From: Czar Bob
capture Czar Bob Aimlessly wandering St Petes after
one ally stabs him for the win and the other NMRs
Deadline for Eng Game Statements is February 12th at 7am My Time
Austria (Harold Reynolds) - The Big Question for Austria is: How can I survive? My neighbours Italy and Russia can be either best buddies or mortal enemies. It is very difficult to establish a working alliance with Turkey in which the threat of a stab isn't always lurking in the shadows, so it's best to eliminate that threat as soon as possible. I was fortunate in that both Italy and Russia were interested in being allies, though Sid C. Czar was rather jittery and paranoid at times (not without reason, as paranoia is as part of the Russian psyche as it is for Austria).
The tricky part about the AIR alliance is making sure that Italy gets a share of the spoils because it has the least growth potential, but we managed to work things out and once Turkey had been subdued (which I genuinely regretted doing), we were able to charge to the north and west, aided by infighting and strategic NMRs from France and England. A respectful bow is directed Germany's way for his determined resistance to becoming a part of Greater Austria. Thank you, Heath and George, for putting up with me and making this infrequent alliance work.
The game also allowed me to complete what is probably a Diplomacy first, writing a limerick about each land space (and a couple of sea spaces). This feat will remain unsung, I am sure. If you believe this is evidence that I have no life, you are completely correct!
Thanks also to Doug, of course, without whom the game would not have been possible. I wish a Happy New Year to you who read this and those you care for.
Otto Weinlippen, Minister für alberne Spaziergänge
France (David Burgess) - Fun time gang! It was a weird one for sure. I usually look back and say I learn something from every DIP game. But, this time....I'm not so sure. I don't think I could have improved my outcome concerning the players on the board. I think I did the best that I could. Stay safe, wear a mask and don't get caught with your pants down.
Italy (George Atkins) - This EOG is based mostly on my usual ironclad memory, as I forgot where I put my summary notes.
As is normal, I sent envoys to all embassies, looking to broker deals of friendship and/or potential alliance. On the western side, I wanted the usual peace with France, but also probed for some interest in Germany. With England, I hoped for some ongoing communications or the possibility of a stronger relationship vis-à-vis France and/or Germany. This did not turn out to be the situation, as England played his hand too close to the vest for Italy to develop any meaningful campaign in that direction. OTOH, France was quite engaging (and I wasn't sure if the French president wanted to be engaged, as my French is très pauvre). We easily struck a deal that pretty much held its course.
Mark (Germany) is a nice guy, even for an Englander (!), and our discussions were amiable, though not, in the end, terribly fruitful. That may be my fault, I expect, as I eventually got consumed with the East, as often happens to Italy. Still, Mark maintained a nice droll sense of humor in our letters. But, he was concurrently in 3 or 4 games, which likely affected his play, as well. And my decisions in the East put him against the wall. Sorry for that, Mark.
Still, I think my play was, overall, disordinato, as we say in Rome; that is, something of a shambles and lacking in depth. I'll own up that a lot of it had to do with my inability to easily move back to a game of monthly deadlines, like the old postal games where I seem to recall them being 3 or 4 weeks. I've so gotten to email and online deadlines that I sometimes felt driftless. All my fault, of course. But, it showed.
My initial plan to work with Turkey against Austria fell apart early on. Differences in approach. But in the east, I always try to find somebody willing to kick in with Italy and make a go of it. As is usual, everybody punted that ball down the field. Russia was understandably concerned about his other three neighbors reacting if he looked too pro-Italian.
Finally, Turkey's negotiations went sideways with Russia and Austria, who both allied to carve the Sultan's carcass. Through my deft, if not, toadying diplomacy, I got in on the deal and worked out a truce with Austria. Russia and I had been discussing the Dual Monarchy for some time, but mostly to provide a defensive response if the other was attacked. That was because Russia was trying to work with Austria to go after Germany. That was my understanding, at least.
I think it was my idea to just be up front and formalize our Turkish campaign into a 3-way alliance against the west. Such things are difficult to arrange at the best of times; and we spent a number of years probing each other, militarily and diplomatically, trying to see if somebody was running a con. Let's face it: If there was a clear opening for one of us, I would have expected that person to take it. I sure would have, in spite of my overtly peaceful and cooperative dialog. The object is to win, not form a social club, right?
Still, the concept of a working 3-way was intriguing and I wanted it to work; so we all slowly removed our rear guards into visible, but non-threatening positions. I think Russia and I were most concerned with Austria's growth. If anybody was going to make a stab-and-run, it looked like him. Russia was still hemmed in by England in the North and Austria was filling in the German dots. But, some additional diplomatic efforts paved the way for Russia to start moving out.
France, bent on revenge for what he saw as England's perfidy, struck a deal with Italy so that it could move on England without interference. I was fine with that and worked out some deals with my partners; France would ignore encroachments at home as long as he retained enough troops to invest England. That's pretty much how it played it, too. I also got along very well with David (France). Not that it heavily influence my decisions, but it certainly helps to have someone with whom you can discuss things, even when you disagree. Would I have attacked France at some point? Sure, if it came to that and fit in with my own plans. If France had been a jerk, liar, or just a worse player than me, I would likely have adjusted my plans earlier on. In point of fact, I did more or less help myself to several of his centers, even when I was not exactly up front about it.
Otherwise, I'm sure I exasperated several players, for which I apologize. My game was off, as I noted. Not my best effort. But my wife will tell you I’m an exasperating person, anyway.
Harold and Heath were quite nice to work with, and we had the opportunity to get to know each other a bit more, which was also fun. In fact, as a local president, I am inducting Harold and Heath into the World Truckin' Association as dues-paying members ("When you are blue, do all you can to try and be a truckin' man"). Look out for those dues envelopes, boys.
Still, it was great working with those guys and they helped me through some diplomacy doldrums here and there. Harold and I had a difference of opinion about the cadence of one of his limericks, but in spite of the fact that I'm sure he was wrong, I respect the fact that it was his limerick, and it was perfectly fine by his standards. Yet he composed a goodly amount of clever limericks, did our Harold. :)
Naturalmente, graziea Douglas Kent for his almost single-handedly keeping the "PBM" spirit of Diplomacy alive in the Hobby for so long. I don't know where he gets the strength and endurance (given all the work and the publication of DW, as well), other than the love of the game. I'm way too much of a slacker (see, I admit it!) to even attempt that kind of thing. In fact, I'm normally good for one game at a time. Anyway, it's nice to see the game conclude at the end of the year; a nice synchronicity of events. My thanks to the other players for falling by the wayside in so timely a manner as to make this possible!
If I have any regrets, other than my mediocre playing, it is the lack of press by me as well as other players. Sure, we had some, but I was hoping to see a more active and aggressive showing, especially as the game supported black press. I'll fess up, as my limited press tended to be too obscure and self-indulgent. But even that did not merit any serious press in response. C'mon, lads! Public press is such a fun part of the game, and a great relief from all of the inner torment we go through in our private press. Thank you again, Doug!
Russia (Heath Davis-Gardner) - Well, well, well, we made it!
I have a feeling there will be some bitterness expressed here, probably by just one party, but maybe more... and a lot of smack-talk about carebears and all that jazz... I don't really want to get into a carebear v cutthroat argument, but I will say this: I have rarely played in a Dip game where I felt as forced into a diplomatic posture as I did here. Now, don't get me wrong, I was more than happy to work with Austria and Italy. They wrote to me more than anyone else, and over the years(!) that this (relatively short) game has been running, I have to say, I now consider both of them true friends (and also felt lucky to make other new friends during this game).
But that said, I would have liked to have been able to consider other options, particularly once I got up to 7-8 SC. But even before then. The game started with my asking Turkey to bounce in the Black Sea, followed by his telling me that was a declaration of war (the request for a bounce). He was aggressively telling me it was F Sev - Rum or no deal. Of course, I can't have Turkey aggressively tell me not to go to the Black Sea pre-S'01 and then fail to protect that space. So, in a weird way, the bounce was agreed to, but in a "take this bounce and shove it" sense. I went ahead and bounced him there, and he opened to Armenia as well (knowing his move to BLA would fail, which is still puzzling to me). So after that, Turkey and I started to talk through a potential accord. He would leave Armenia, and I would move F Sev - Rum in S'02. At the same time, Austria and Italy were inviting me to hit Turkey hard and eliminate him ASAP. I really did want to consider working with Turkey from here, but we'd lost so much tempo/momentum that it, from my judgment, it looked like working with T starting in S'02 would just result in a big ol' stalemate in the East. "Stabbing" Turkey (if I can even call it that) would only gain me 1 SC, but I would probably never have to worry about the Black Sea again.
So, even though Paul and I actually started to have a really nice correspondence, I decided the best option was to sign up for the A/I/Rhead. Paul was quite cool/friendly/a good sport about that. I ended up regretting that we started on the wrong foot. But that's how things went the way they did here.
Complicating matters was an annoying English presence. The English player was fairly condescending to me when I would write him messages proposing all sorts of means of cooperation. Like, in one example, he told me how much my message made him sweat with excitement, but then was just like "I'll respond later" and never did. I did get a lot of English messages saying "I'll write you a message later" and no messages came later. So when he took StP, it was not a big shock. He NMRed on a crucial season that turned the tide of our conflict. But later down the line he was offering me some help if I'd stab A/I, and I was just kind of smiling and nodding, but I almost assumed the guy had to know I couldn't trust him based on how our correspondence had gone. I thought it was interesting that he had so much juice for complaining about draws later in the game, but had never had the time to write me any sort of substantial message in a Diplomacy game (especially in its early stages).
It was fulfilling to see France take over all of England, because I think he'd been condescended to as well. But it's kind of a bummer when pettiness results in sort of a forced approach to a game. I wish that hadn't been the case here, it'd have been more fun, but I still had a good time and thanks to all the players Most folks did really participate a good deal in this game, even when the chips were down, and even ol' England deserves credit for that. I never had any doubt that he was going to do whatever he could to deny A/I/R the draw, and if he'd had a slightly more substantial position (e.g. if he hadn't NMRed when he did) I am quite sure he is a fully capable and good tactical player who could have maybe stopped us or forced one of us to do something rash, etc. Luckily, that wasn't the case in this one, and we were able to pretty easily carve up Europe.
Thanks to my allies for being true to their words all game, even if that inspires derision from others - we're the ones who got to have the most fun in this one, and that's all I really care about :) Good game to all
Sid C. Czar, aka Heath D-G
Austria: Andy Lischett – firstname.lastname@example.org – F Albania - Greece, A Serbia Supports F Albania – Greece,
A Trieste - Budapest.
England: Paul Milewski – email@example.com – F North Sea - English Channel, F Wales - Irish Sea,
A Yorkshire Hold.
France: Brad Wilson - firstname.lastname@example.org – A Burgundy – Belgium, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Spain(sc),
A Spain - Portugal.
Germany: Heath Davis-Gardner – email@example.com – F Denmark Hold, A Kiel – Holland,
A Ruhr - Munich.
Italy: John David Galt – firstname.lastname@example.org - F Ionian Sea Convoys A Naples – Tunis, A Naples – Tunis,
A Venice Hold.
Russia: Simon Langley-Evans - email@example.com - F Gulf of Bothnia – Sweden,
F Sevastopol – Rumania, A St Petersburg – Norway, A Ukraine Supports F Sevastopol - Rumania.
Turkey: Jack McHugh - firstname.lastname@example.org – F Ankara - Constantinople (*Fails*),
A Bulgaria - Greece (*Fails*), A Constantinople - Bulgaria (*Fails*).
Supply Center Chart
Austria: Budapest, Greece, Serbia, Trieste, Vienna=5 Build 2
England: Edinburgh, Liverpool, London=3 Even
France: Belgium, Brest, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, Spain=6 Build 3
Germany: Berlin, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, Munich=5 Build 2
Italy: Naples, Rome, Tunis, Venice=4 Build 1
Russia: Moscow, Norway, Rumania, Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Sweden, Warsaw=7 Build 3
Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Smyrna=4 Build 1
Paris to Vienna: You old fox, playing it cool, no one moves on you ... propose concession to Austria-Hungary!
Paris to frozen tundra: Bundle up boys!
Lyon: We love Italy. Especially their coffee.
Deadline for W 01/S 02 is February 12th at 7am My Time
Winter will be separated on two requests or more (I require two for 1901, or three for years other than 1901)
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.
John David Galt:
Isadora Duncan in Havana, Cuba
Isadora Duncan is in Coban, Guatemala
Isadora Duncan in Flores, Petén, Guatemala
Isadora Duncan in Tikal, Guatemala
Isadora Duncan in Flores, Petén, Guatemala
Isadora Duncan in Flores, Guatemala
Tina Turner in Panama City, Panama
Isadora Duncan in New Orleans, Louisiana
Isadora Duncan in George Town, Cayman Islands
Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:
You know who I am (and you’re not the only one) but not where I am. You’re getting colder.
Isadora Duncan in Chetumal, Mexico
Isadora Duncan in La Democracia, Belize
John David Galt:
Isadora Duncan in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Isadora Duncan in San Jose, Costa Rica
Isadora Duncan in Chetumal, Mexico
Isadora Duncan in Little Swan Island, Honduras
Isadora Duncan in Chetumal, Mexico
Isadora Duncan in Tabasco, Mexico
Isadora Duncan in Orange Walk Town, Belize
Isadora Duncan in Ecatepec de Morles, Mexico
Isadora Duncan in Valladolid, 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. You’re getting closer.
Deadline for Turn 8 is February 12th 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 3 Categories:
1. Something you need a new one of every year.
2. A streaming service.
3. A color of ball point pen ink.
4. Something you find in a lunch box.
5. A movie about the Vietnam War.
Joker category shown in BOLD. Most popular answer shown in
David Burgess gets the high score of 13 this round (out of a possible 15). Brad Wilson, after getting the high score last round, gets the low score this time with 1 point.
Comments by Category:
Something you need a new one of every year: Brad Wilson – “Well, my father would say "wife", but ..” Andy Lischett – “My Once-a-year answer should score 1 point, and any reasonable answer is too dangerous.” Mark Firth – “Seemed timely.”
A streaming service: Andy Lischett – “My Streaming answer may match someone if I'm lucky.” Kevin Wilson – “Avoid Netflix, Prime and Hulu.” Mark Firth – “Should take one risk.”
A color of ball point pen ink: Andy Lischett – “A green pen is my Joker, as black, blue and red are dangerous (which Carol proved after I'd made my choices).” David Burgess – “I flipped a coin on Blue or Black...Black won.” Kevin Wilson – “Blue is probably the most common and popular so avoiding that.” Mark Firth – “Not had one in a while.”
Something you find in a lunch box: Andy Lischett – “My first thought for Something in a lunch box was a rat, then I thought that disgusting and my next thought was a bomb, so I settled on a Twinkie.” Kevin Wilson – “Avoiding the obvious sandwich.” Mark Firth – “Always.” [[GM Note – For this category I chose to let answers be as specific as possible. PBJ is a sandwich, but it is a distinct kind of sandwich so those two answers do not match. Likewise, Potato Chips and Crisps in most cases are the same but not necessarily, so I’m not combining those either. Apple and fruit, same thing.]]
A movie about the Vietnam War: Brad Wilson – “Isn't Robert Duvall great in this? Near top of my "should have won an Oscar list" with Robert Preston for Victor! Victoria! and Jessica Tandy and Gene Saks for "Nobody's Fool." Andy Lischett – “I had no strategy for the Vietnam movie, but picked The Deer Hunter because I like Pennsylvania.” Kevin Wilson – “Risks being popular but I think something like Good Morning Vietnam might slide ahead.” Mark Firth – “Hopefully a big spread here.”
General Comments: Andy Lischett – “I just realized that nonsense answers ("Cat" for a ballpoint pen color) for all categories will score 6 points. Had I realized that before I could have had 12 instead of 11 heading into Turn 3.” David Burgess – “I came close to just saying the most off the wall answers to guarantee 1 point for each question. With the joker that would guarantee me 6 each round. But, that is the exact score I have gotten after 2 rounds...12. So, why not try??? Guess I will gamble with real answers.” [[Two people with the same thought. Playing it safe in BAPD will keep you from the bottom, but you’ll never win that way.]]
Turn 4 Categories – Remember to Specify a Joker Category
2. A brand of cigarettes.
3. A stock market index.
4. Something associated with Valentine’s Day.
5. A precious gem.
Deadline for Turn 4 is February 12th at 7am My Time
Deadline for the next issue of Eternal Sunshine is: Saturday February 12, 2022 at 7am My Time (U.S. central time) – some games and subzines earlier