Eternal Sunshine #172

September 2023

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


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Quote of The Month“Well, anything worth having is worth suffering for, isn't it?” - (Joe in “Days of Wine and Roses”)


Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, which had almost reached it’s final chapter.  Just got a few things left to wrap up, although I’ll stick around for however long that takes.


I guess that’s it from me for now.  See you in October! 

Game Openings

No game openings, as the zine will fold when the currently-running games are completed.


Standby List: Current standby list who are qualified to standby in More Than Ever: Harold Reynolds.


Meet Me in Montauk

The Eternal Sunshine Letter Column


Andy York –Saw "I'm No Angel" with Mae West and Cary Grant the other night. I'd never seen a West movie in its entirety and certainly not on the big screen. It was hilarious, fun and just plain enjoyable to watch. It was only one of two pre-Code films (the second) she made, which reportedly defanged some of her wit and humor. And, something I didn't know, she wrote the whole thing! I've got to look up her other pre-Code film, but likely will only be able to see it on the small screen.


[[A very funny film, and I believe some credit it’s popularity with the creation of the code itself.  But I believe she had two other non-code films, not just one – Night After Night and She Done Him Wrong (the latter also with Cary Grant).]]


The Dining Dead – Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews


Possessor (Hulu) – Having watched Infinity Pool recently, I decided to check out Brandon Cronenberg’s previous film, which I’d heard a few good things about.  It stars Andrea Riseborough as Tasya.  Tasya is an assassin who works for a company under her handler Girder (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who used to be an assassin as well until she got too old.  What’s different here is the method of assassination: using technology, Tasya consciousness is implanted in the brain of a host target, and that target is used to carry out the assassination of the intended victim.  Tasya’s consciousness is then pulled out an instant before the host commits suicide (if all goes well).  But Tasya is beginning to lose her grip on reality, seeing “bleed” of her out of body experiences intrude on her life, and having to practice acting like herself in order to interact with her husband and son.  When a huge new contract is taken on, Tasya has to delve back into a new host and try to maintain her own identity in the process.  While the idea of possessing someone else’s body (whether through science, witchcraft, or some other process) is not new, Cronenberg’s look at the various problems repeating the practice could cause is certainly interesting.  As with Infinity Pool, he creates a believable world which becomes easy to lose yourself in.  Granted, it may be a bit too complicated and esoteric for some viewers.  I enjoyed Possessor, and I look forward to watching his first film Antiviral sometime soon.


Endeavour (Amazon) – My oldest brother urged me to watch this Inspector Morse prequel, as he said he’d rally been enjoying it.  The show stars Shaun Evans as a young Inspector Morse, during his first years as a detective constable.  Roger Allum costars as his mentor, Detective Inspector Fred Thursday.  I’ve watched the first four seasons so far, and while some episodes are better than others, overall it is a very high-quality series.  Admittedly it has occasional shortcomings, and some small choices are far too formulaic.  But I’m definitely going to continue to the end, eventually.  The show makes a nice break from movies (or from screening submissions for the documentary film festival I help out with).  Oh, and just to be clear, you don’t have to have watched any episodes of the original Inspector Morse show to enjoy it.


Chernobyl (DVD) – I’ve been wanting to watch this five-part HBO miniseries from 2019 since it first came out.  But I’ve never had the opportunity, so when I saw in for a reasonable amount on DVD I snatched it up.  It is a mostly accurate account of the Chernobyl disaster, both the actual event and especially the aftermath.  It wasn’t until years later that it became someone common knowledge how close the world came to millions of deaths, and a large swash of eastern Europe potentially being uninhabitable for a century.  I’m well aware of the use of composite characters in a few instances, so that didn’t bother me.  And while there certainly were some convenient villains (who are pointed out), the truth seems to be that major design flaws, lack of documentation, and serious construction faults all had much or more to do with the disaster than human error and ignoring safety protocols.  Regardless, this is a powerful series.  If you have access to HBO I think it’s available to stream there.


The Menu (Hulu) – I’d been meaning to watch this for months, and finally got around to it.  Ralph Fiennes plays a celebrated chef, now charging $1,250 a seat in his restaurant on a private island, ready to serve the meal of a lifetime.  Anya Taylor-Joy (so excellent in The Witch and The Queen’s Gambit) is a diner who wasn’t supposed to be there.  I’ll be honest, this film started out a bit slow for me, as sort of a wannabe ensemble cast modern day Agatha Christie of sorts (the vibe, anyway).  Then it got much better as it put the pedal to the metal.  And then…well, there’s a point in the film where one of the kitchen staff explains that a meal needs an ending that brings the whole experience together.  That’s EXACTLY what this film lacks.  It never really had an idea of how to get out of the corner it painted itself into, and the ending we do get is as contrived and false as an off-brand Twinkie clone.  I suppose I still enjoyed it slightly, in part because of how it makes fun of the extent modern cuisine goes to be different and special.  But just don’t get your hopes up that there’s a final course worth waiting for.


Older Movies Watched (that I’ve seen before, sometimes many times) – In the Bedroom, Mute Witness, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, What’s the Matter With Helen?, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dirty Harry.

                     Out of the WAY #60

by W. Andrew York

(wandrew88 of




First off, the English player did not return in the Gunboat and no one eligible submitted standby orders. So, England will remain in CD (Civil Disorder) for the remainder of the game. In Hangman, Kevin has floated an idea to speed up the game a bit by playing an interim round between each monthly issue. See the game report for the specifics and, if you’re agreeable, submit an interim set of orders by the date specified. If anyone is not interested (and no explanation is needed), that’s perfectly fine and we’ll continue with the monthly turns until completed.

Next week is reportedly the first real break in the summer heat for the Austin area. It’s been another record breaker this year, and we just might break the record for total days over 100 degrees (we’ve broken the consecutive day record already). By the time you read this, we should be in an upper 80s count of 100 degree days with the record being 90. So, it’s certainly possible, but I don’t know anyone who’s hoping we’ll take over first place.

Additionally, drought is an issue. Both lakes that are Austin’s primary water sources are under 50% full, with one dropping 2 feet the other day. The drought map, as of Thursday, was the 2nd worst on record. We’ve had one wildfire already that’s spread into an apartment complex about 15-20 miles from me, destroying/damaging four buildings. But, with the expected cooler weather next week, we might actually get some substantive rain (though it’s not assured). However, it’s not expected to be enough to have much impact in drought mitigation.

Baseball is winding down. The Express are fighting desperately to keep their slim lead in the hopes of winning the PCL’s second half. It’ll be a rough two weeks coming up as we’re playing the two teams behind us by a game in the final two weeks. Should be a great finish to the year!

Not much else of note has happened this past month. Just my usual activities, a few movies at the Austin Film Society’s cinema, visiting with friends and such. I hope everyone is enjoying the segue into the Fall!

See ‘ya next month.





Letter Column

(always welcome, send them in!)

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


None received, send some in!





Mini-Book Reviews

(finished since last issue)


Casca: The Persian by Barry Sadler (1982; 216p).


                This volume takes up with what happened to Casca immediately after leaving China, so it is set before some of the previously reviewed books. Here, after travelling the vast unforgiving terrain between China and the western edges of the Asian continent, he enters the Persian realm led by the Shapur II. After presenting his credentials from the Emperor of China, he is accepted into the retinue of Shapur as a military leader, even though he is Roman by birth.

                As always, Casca has many adventures and interactions with the people and customs of the time. Unfortunately, the Brotherhood of the Lamb is present (his nemesis) and its adherents are closely watching, and scheming against, him. Eventually, as time passes, it is time for Casca to move on and the transition is aided by the Brotherhood, in an unexpected manner – with another plot twist at the end.

                As with the other books, only read this if it interests you. I would strongly suggest you read the previous volumes to understand the backstory to some encounters more fully and to enjoy the rich life that Casca lives as he travels throughout time. Also, a caution that the book can be a tad PG-13+ at times with descriptions.


The Christ of the American Road by E. Stanley Jones (1944; 255p).


                Per the inscription, this volume was given by my mother’s, mother to her mother-in-law in 1946. My great-grandmother certainly read through it, as noted by some pencil markings and page corner turndowns. It is also interesting that this was actually printed during WWII as there is an official notation that, to save paper, it is printed on light-weight pages with smaller margins to reduce the resources used to produce it.

                The book is written by an American missionary that spent over 20-years in India. Near the start of the Second World War, he travelled to the US for a conference and ended up staying stateside throughout the war. Thus, there are many references to the War, actions taken (such as the internment of Japanese-Americans) and commentary on the political systems being fought against.

                The bulk of the book deals with what he sees as the future of Christianity in America. Tracing the evolution of Christianity, and how historically in America it morphed, he felt that the Church had reached a crux point. In short, that it was time for the religion to take the next step in organization. His solution may sound familiar to those following today’s religious/political movements – especially in that he calls for a reintroduction of Christianity and faith into society, government and everyday life.

                However, his call is significantly in opposition to today’s White Nationalist implementation of this goal. Primarily, his thoughts are to first create a federal union of all the various American Christian churches under a guiding body in the “Church of Christ in America” (other countries would have a similar amalgamation). The goal of the body would be to promote a focus on the Kingdom, at a foundational level, not on the differences in the implementation and ceremony. Existing churches could keep their existing practices (being Branches of the larger group), as long as they accepted the foundational beliefs and acknowledge the other Branches as part of the union.  As an example, if one Branch requires full-body immersion for baptism that would be OK for their Branch, as would another Branches sprinkling of water for their adherents. The strongest belief that underpins everything, he feels, is Christ’s call to “Love your Neighbor as Yourself” – which tears down the differences, brings acceptance and unity to the faith.

                Another significant difference in viewpoints is an acceptance of Science, and what it presents, as valid and not in opposition to the Church. Also, in a lengthy discourse, he emphasizes that the US foundational documents refer to “All” persons and that Christ’s call doesn’t have an exclusionary clause. So, he includes all of mankind – regardless of sex, race, immigration status or other category – as an equal part of the whole community. Interestingly, he doesn’t say much about other belief systems (even after being in India for decades) under this proposal, though he says nothing negative about them and presumably their followers would be allowed their faith, but not under the Christian Church.

                Not for everyone, and not necessarily an easy read. However, I found it very thought-provoking with some potential ideas about how to transform Christianity in the US, and by extension, around the world. Only recommended for those looking for another viewpoint into Christianity in relation to the American society.


Maskerade by Terry Pratchett (1995; 360p).


                Playing off the “Phantom of the Opera”, this Discworld novel sends that musical’s backstory up in a typical Pratchett romp. Taking place mostly in Ankh-Morpork’s opera house, which is operating under new management, there are mysterious events, some unexplained deaths and rumors of a masked person that requires one of the boxes be reserved for him. Woven in are some of previously introduced characters, such as the witches trying to recruit a replacement member for their three person coven, who just joined the opera’s chorus.

                Enjoyable, humorous, twists and turns, memorable characters – just a pleasure to read and enjoy. I will say a passing familiarity with the Phantom certainly enhances the read, but isn’t needed. I do recommend that you read the previous books (especially those involving the witches) prior to diving into this one.





Babylon 5 Quote


In “Confessions and Lamentations” – Dr. Lazarenn: “Everything to you was a problem to be solved, a test to be passed. But

sometimes, Stephen, the test isn’t to find the answer…it’s to see how you react

when you realize there is no answer.”


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





Game Section


Everyone Plays Games: Hangman, By Definition


Game Openings: None currently


Standbys: Gunboat Diplomacy (x0)





 “Round Rock Express”

(No-Press Gunboat, Game #1)

MN: 2021Crb32


                                                                                                 DIAS Proposal Fails

ReProposed - DIAS (NVR = Yes)

New Proposal – Concession to Germany (NVR = No)


NOTE – the English player did not submit orders, and no new person stepped up with stand-by orders,

therefore (as identified last time) England is in Civil Disorder for the rest of the game


Fall 1909


Austria: F ALB s a ser-tri, A TRI-vie, A SER-tri, A BUD s a tri-vie, A RUM-gal

England (CD):  F BRE holds, F POR holds, F ENG holds, F EDI holds, F LON holds, A LPL holds

France: A spa s a mar (r-gas/otb), A MAR s a spa, A BUR-mun

Germany: F NTH s a bel, A HOL s a bel, A TYL-tri, A UKR-rum, F NWY s f nth, A MOS-sev, A GAL-bud, A VIE-bud,

A BEL s fre a bur (nso), A KIE s a mun, A MUN s fre a bur (nso)

Italy: F BLA s a sev, A SEV s aus a rum (nso), A VEN-tyl, F ank-ARM, F GOL c a tus-spa, A PIE-mar, F WME s a tus-spa,

A tus-SPA


Supply Center Count


Austria: Tri, Ser, Gre, Bul, Rum, Bud                                                                             =   6  (+1, no place to build)             

England: Edi, Lpl, Lon, Por, Bre, kie                                                                              =   5  (-1)

France: Mar, Par, spa                                                                                                         =   2  (even or -1, depending on retreat)

Germany: Ber, Mun, Den, Hol, Swe, War, Mos, Stp, Vie, Nwy, Bel, KIE              = 12  (+1)

Italy: Nap, Rom, Ven, Tun , Smy, Con, Ank, Sev, SPA                                               =   8  (+1)

Neutral: none


Next Due Proposals, Autumn/Winter 1909 and Spring 1910


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 greatest 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 up to three different letters 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 2, Round Four, Turn 2:


                Letter Votes: A – 2; C – 1; D – 1; F – 1; I  1; L – 1; N – 1; O – 2; P – 1; Q – 1; T – 1; U – 1; W – 1

Revealed: O (dice roll decision with d6)


                Words Guessed:   (Firth) Ragtime; (Kent) Rotunda; (Lischett) Rainbow; (Maslen) Raceway; (Wilson) Ravioli




                Word:     R  __  __  __  __  __  __ (7)              


Definition:             __  __  __ (3)  __  __  __  __  __  __  __ (7)  __  __  __ (3)  __  __  __  __  O  __  __  (7)


O  __ (2)  RO  __  __  __  __  __ (7),  __  __ (2)  __  __  __ (3)


__  RO  __  __ (5)  __  __  __ (3)  __  __  __  __  __  __  R (7)


                Never Revealed:  E, S                         Already Revealed: O, R


Words Previously Guessed in this Game: Coaster, Hangman, Laurels, Raisins, ZYZZYVA


Game Words Correctly Guessed: Metamorphosis (Firth, Maslen, Smith, Wilson); Chromatic (Firth, Maslen, Smith);

                                                Petroglyph (Maslen)


Player Comments:                


[Dane Maslen] – No idea whatsoever about the word, so a random guess. And some vowels would be useful, so…


[Kevin Wilson] – I’d be fine too if you wanted to try to squeeze in a turn between issues of ES. As there are only a handful of

us trying, if you get guesses from everyone, just send us an email with that interim turn and ask for another round before

the regular zine deadline. Would be a bit of practice should you take it to flyer to finish if Doug gets to stop. [WAY]

that could be doable, what do the rest of the players think? If you’re for this option, send your entry in by September 25 and I’ll get the interim report out in the next day or two with the next deadline being the normal October date. No reminders will be sent out this time, I’ll presume someone who doesn’t submit wishes to continue the monthly turns.





Deadline for the Next Issue of Out of the WAY:


October 11, 2023 at noon Central US Time Zone

See You Then!


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


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


Eternal Sunshine Game Section


Diplomacy, “More Than Ever”, 2021A, S 10


Austria: Andy  F Aegean Sea Convoys A Greece – Syria,

 A Bohemia - Silesia (*Fails*), A Budapest Supports A Rumania, A Bulgaria - Constantinople (*Fails*),

 F Eastern Mediterranean Convoys A Greece – Syria, F English Channel - North Sea, A Greece - Syria (*Bounce*),

 A Rumania Supports A Vienna - Galicia (*Cut*), A Serbia Supports A Rumania, A Tyrolia Supports A Munich,

 A Vienna - Galicia (*Fails*).

France: Brad Wilson - - A Belgium – Holland, A Burgundy Supports A Munich,

 F Clyde - Norwegian Sea, F Edinburgh Supports F English Channel - North Sea, A Marseilles – Gascony,

 A Munich Supports A Bohemia - Silesia (*Cut*), F North Sea - Helgoland Bight, A Paris - Picardy.

Germany: Andy York – - A Berlin - Munich (*Fails*), A Kiel Supports A Berlin – Munich,

 A Ruhr Supports A Kiel, A Silesia Supports A Berlin - Munich (*Cut*), F Sweden - Denmark.

Russia: Graham Wilson - grahamaw@rogers.comA Ankara - Smyrna (*Bounce*),

 F Constantinople - Smyrna (*Bounce*), A Galicia Supports A Sevastopol - Rumania (*Cut*),

 F Norway - North Sea (*Fails*), A Sevastopol - Rumania (*Fails*), A Smyrna - Syria (*Bounce*),

 F St Petersburg(nc) - Barents Sea, A Ukraine Supports A Sevastopol - Rumania.



Now Proposed – A/F, G/R, and A/F/G/R.  Please Vote.  NVR=No




PARIS: A Hapsburg admiral in ... Norway? Could be!


Austria to Anatolia: I am rolling a single die: 1 or 2 attacks Constantinople, 3 or 4 hits Smyrna, 5 or 6 for Syria. C'mon, baby, Papa needs a new pair of... Syria!


Russia -> Austria: One of these turns I'm gonna guess wrong and my southern flank will collapse under the weight of Austria armies...


Deadline for F 10 is October 14th at 7am My Time

Deadline for the next issue of Eternal Sunshine is: October 14, 2023 at 7am My Time (U.S. central time) –subzine deadline is earlier