By Douglas Kent,
On the web at http://www.whiningkentpigs.com – or go directly to the Diplomacy section at http://www.whiningkentpigs.com/DW/. Also be sure to visit the Diplomacy World website at http://www.diplomacyworld.net. Check out http://www.helpfulkitty.com for official Toby the Helpful Kitty news, advice column, blog, and links to all his available merchandise! Links to all of the books and DVDs reviewed can be found by clicking on the Amazon Store button in the main menu of the Whining Kent Pigs website.
All Eternal Sunshine readers are encouraged to join the free Eternal Sunshine Yahoo group at http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/eternal_sunshine_diplomacy/ to stay up-to-date on any subzine news or errata.
Quote Of The Month – “I thought maybe you were a nut... but you were exciting.” (Joel in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”)
Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, and the big Halloween issue. Okay, there really isn’t anything here about Halloween, or our anniversary, or my birthday (the 29th)…and if there *is* anything worth mentioning about those dates, you’d have to wait until next issue to read about them. I mean, if I told you (for example) what little gifts I am giving Heather for our anniversary, that would spoil the surprise, because she’d read this subzone before then! So you’ll simply have to wait (if you care, which I doubt you do).
I don’t have that much to say this month. It feels like there hasn’t been much time in October to stop and take a breath. I’ve been working my butt off at the office, while Heather has been studying like a madwoman in the Veterinary Tech/Assistant classes. You really should see her go; her level of concentration is astounding. The two of us think in very different ways, which Heather attributes in part to the fact that she was an only child with a single parent for much of the time, while I have five siblings. So, for me, background noise or music can be helpful to focus my attention, or at least it doesn’t bother me. Heather, on the other hand, needs quiet to concentrate. So, despite how completely contrary it is to my nature, when she’s studying I try to be quiet: no talking, no singing to the cats, nothing. It must be paying off, because Heather has done extraordinarily well on her exams so far!
Other than that, there isn’t much going on. Schedules and lack of interesting options has kept us out of the movie theater for most of October, but we have watched a number of DVDs, including some old movies and television shows. And the cats always keep us occupied, which might surprise those of you who have no cats (and perhaps those who do, as well). Toby and Sanka both demand attention; sometimes it’s love they want, and sometimes it’s play. Since Toby will try to chew on your ankles (or climb up your leg) if you’re not playing with him when he’s in the mood, it is best not to ignore him! And Sanka learns a lot of tricks like that from her “big brother,” so she is not immune from some sort of seemingly innocent use of her tiny, razor-sharp claws. Sanka doesn’t bite when she plays though…you can tell she wants to, but she doesn’t feel comfortable with the idea.
Fortunately, they are now always play kitties…they are both very affectionate love bugs too. Sanka loves to curl up next to Heather on the sofa when Heather is reading, purring as loud as a motorboat…and she’s not above climbing on a pillow on my lap while I work at the computer, even if she does prefer to be a momma’s girl. And Toby…Toby wants to be picked up and held every time we come home, and when it’s time for bed he has to jump up and knead his paws on the blanket (“doing nummies” is the household term) before he leans up against me and goes to sleep. It is always a very comforting, peaceful thing when I wake up in the middle of the night with Heather on one side, and a warm Toby on the other. He also loves to join Heather for naps, during which he’s begun to display a tendency to climb under the covers with her. Sanka will come and go as she pleases, purring in our ears until we pet her (usually half-asleep), but Toby likes to stay in bed until it is finally time to get up.
And, of course, Toby and Sanka spend most of their time chasing each other around the apartment like crazy panthers or something, wrestling and rolling all over the place. As long as they aren’t getting too rough, we let them be, but every once in a while we have to apply a squirt of a spray-bottle to cool their jets.
Okay, enough of the cats. In zine news, we are proud to introduce our first sub-subzine, from the lovely and talented Andy York. Andy used to do a subzone for my original Diplomacy zine Maniac’s Paradise back in the 1990’s, and he even returned for a while in my rebirth Maniac’s Paradise Lost. And now he’s back! Be sure to check his column out, and sign up for his game!
Incidentally, Andy’s coming up to Dallas in December, when he, Heather, and I will go see the King Tut exhibit. I saw the original in New York City in my youth, but Heather was very keen to see this one, and as it turned out Andy’s plans fit in perfectly with ours. I’m sure there will be all kinds of wild stories about that visit. Andy is a bit of a party animal, and he’s been talking about getting to meet Toby and Sanka nonstop for weeks now! Actually, Andy holds the distinction of being one of only three hobby members that I have ever met face-to-face (and one of only two who met my first wife Mara). Hmm, you know, Mara used to have a column or two of her own back in the days of Maniac’s Paradise: there was “You’re The One,” where she’d describe life with a Whining Kent Pig such as myself, and later on she had “Oasis” where Mara ran a few games and said nasty things about Jack McHugh. I suppose that means there is historical precedent for Heather to do something more substantial then her short book reviews. You’d all like to see more of Heather in here, wouldn’t you? Send me an email proclaiming your desperate need for MORE HEATHER, and maybe we can harass her into contributing!
In other zine news, I still have my latest Diplomacy opening, as well as Woolworth. If nobody signs up for Woolworth by next issue I’ll drop it, and replace it with ANOTHER variant. I’ll keep sticking them in there until we get one filled. Diplomacy actually has three people signed up for it, so I expect that to fill in an issue or two. Don’t wait until the last minute…sign up now. How many chances to you get to play against Melinda Holley AND Stephen Agar in the same game? I don’t believe that’s been possible for over a decade!
Enjoy your Halloween, and don’t forget to send me lots of birthday presents (and – more importantly – send Heather lots of anniversary/condolence “sorry you’re married to the freak” presents). Even taking my cooperation when she needs to study, you have no idea what she has to put up with at home. I am quite a handful, and it is a rare and cherished moment when I am not pushing her buttons or, as she calls it, “deliberately misunderstanding” what she is saying. In Heather’s world, successful home life is very simple: “just shut up and do what I say, damn it!”
PS – If you want more of Toby and Sanka, visit www.helpfulkitty.com, or their Cafepress store at www.cafepress.com/helpfulkitty (which also includes a number of Diplomacy-related designs). Every item people buy earns us the big $1, but that helps pay for the cost of the store and website. Heather and I always get a thrill when we see someone has ordered a Toby or Sanka product (even though it happens only once a month or less). Great gifts for cat lovers and Diplomacy players!
Grab a Shovel – Part Three
I don’t want to give the impression that it snowed every single day during the winter. In fact, it probably only snowed about one out of every four days in total. The problem would ne when we’d get hit with these long, heavy “lake-effect” snowstorms. Those would dump as many as four inches of snow an hour during their most powerful periods, and could alternate between that and a few flakes, back and forth, until the storm finally ended. Sometimes that would mean three days or more in a row!
During those periods, the routine was the same. I’d wake up around 530am (as I always did on weekdays), and through the bathroom window I could see the flakes falling thick and fast. Wash my face, brush my teeth, get dressed (including my heavy coat and clown-style snow pants), and off to breakfast I go. This would be where I could see how terrible the snow really was, as the Landscape 3 crew would have been forced to wake up an hour or so earlier and – at the very least – clear a one-person-wide path from the housing units to the Admin building. If the snow wasn’t so bad, the sidewalk would be pretty clear and there would be lots of dirt thrown around…the “lazy man’s” approach which Landscape 2 and Landscape 3 specialized in. But if they were using actual shovels, and working, I knew we were in for a long day.
After breakfast, which at this point in my BOP career had been reduced to cold kids’ cereal and weak coffee (hot breakfasts having been eliminated months earlier for budget reasons), I’d have just enough time to go back to the housing unit, collect my work gloves, and make a bathroom stop. Then I hightailed it to behind the mess hall to wait for the van to come and pick up the offsite workforce (Garage, Power Plant, Warehouse, and of course Landscape). This was one of my least favorite times of day, because you had no choice but to stand around in the cold and snow, stomping your feet, trying to keep warm…and hoping that you’d be able to fit in the van when it arrived, instead of being forced to wait for the next round-trip. Fortunately, I often didn’t have to wait for the van at all, because I’d jump in the back of the Landscape truck when Krackle would pull up.
Krackle was sort of the head Landscape inmate. He wasn’t a boss to anybody, but he was given the responsibility of driving the truck and bringing inmates to and from the areas they needed to work at (regardless of the season), Burger could count on him to do as he was told, work hard, and take the job seriously. Like me, his days went faster when he was working. Krackle wasn’t generally in favor of ratting an inmate out to Burger if they weren’t doing their job; he wasn’t that kind of guy. But if somebody was screwing around or leaving his area to the point that Krackle could conceivably get blamed or in trouble himself, he would do what he needed to in order to be sure he wasn’t held responsible. So as long as you didn’t screw with Krackle or endanger his slightly-privileged position, he was fine with you. Burger would put the two of us together in specific work areas quite often, because he knew we’d get the job done by ourselves. In fact, he learned that jobs were completed faster and to a higher degree if he didn’t saddle us with any of the deadwood.
Anyway, back to the snow. My area was always the Front Circle, which was the circular driveway around the front of the main complex Admin building (the entrance to the Medium Security prison next door to us). It included the circle itself, the sidewalk all the way around the outside of the circle, the parking spaces along the circle (which often had cars in them), the flagpole area in the center of the circle, and – most importantly – the huge paved sidewalk area directly in front of the building entrance. The paved circle itself (the cul-de-sac) was handled by the snow plows when the snow was heaviest, but the sidewalk had to be kept clear at all times.
So we’d stop in at the Landscape shop, get checked in as present (always very important, because otherwise you were officially “out-of-bounds” and likely to be headed to the Hole), and immediately be sent out to our individual areas…in my case, as I said, the Front Circle. If I was lucky, most of the parking spots would still be empty and I would have a chance to clear the most important ones – those of the Warden and the Administrator – before they arrived. Otherwise, it was delicate work, trying to clear between cars with a cheap metal shovel, the snow wet and heavy, knowing that if you slipped up and scratched one of the cars you were going away for a while.
I actually found it rather peaceful out at the Front Circle, when the snow was falling and nobody else had showed up to work yet. Everything would be covered in a blanket of white, which swallowed up most of the sound as well. No fights, no farting, no snoring...just peace, solitude, the hypnotic pattern of the snow falling in the dark sky, and the bare branches of the forest reaching upward. For a minute, you could forget that you were in prison, and simply enjoy nature. But you couldn’t do that for too long; once other inmates showed up, you’d hear constant bitching and moaning…and regardless, you had to get to work because to stay still meant to freeze; the secret to being warm was to keep moving!
The snow was almost always of a heavy, wet variety, so initially clearing the sidewalks could be back-breaking work. It was impossible to do it by lifting and throwing the snow – there was too much area, and too much of the white stuff. So you had to use your warped, rusted shovel as a mini-plow, pushing the snow into piles on the far sides of the area, and then trying to scoop it up and throw it over the growing mound. Then you’d turn around, look behind you, and the area you had just shoveled would be completely white again. So you’d start all over again!
On occasion, even with all that snow, you wouldn’t have to shovel, because if the visibility became negligible they’d do a “snow recall” and order all inmates to return to their living area for an emergency standing count (a “fog recall” alert would happen 10 to 15 times a year as well). The bets news you could hope for was the “snow recall” at around 2pm. By the time they finished with the count, it would be too late to go back to work, which meant the Landscape 2 crew would get stuck for a change. But that wasn’t a likely occurrence.
During one “snow recall” I found myself fin a rather frightening situation. I had been dropped off at the Front Circle after lunch, and I started shoveling, trying to get ahead of all the snow which had accumulated during the meal. So I worked for 30 minutes or so, and suddenly realized that nobody else had been dropped off…and the snow was coming down a LOT faster. I couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of me. It dawned on me that we could very well be in the middle of a “snow recall” and that I might have been forgotten. That would not be a laughing matter, because that would make me guilty of “interfering with a standing count.” Despite my innocent intentions, being out of place during the count guaranteed that I’d be stewing in the hole for at least a few days, if not longer. I knocked on the front door of the Main Entry building, and called to the CO manning the desk. He confirmed my fears: a “snow recall” had been ordered. His only advice was to start running; if the van had already taken the last load of inmates back, the staff would not allow it to return to pick me up. I took off as quickly as I could, and when I was halfway back to my unit I saw a pair of headlights making its was along the road behind me. It was Krackle, racing back to the unit. I jumped in the back of the truck, and we made it back with about three minutes to spare. A close call. That’s what you get for showing up on time for work!
Last month, I posed the following: Would you rather have uncontrollable, loud flatulence for the rest of your life, or live shrimp for nipples? And why? Not much of a response, but here goes.
Melinda Holley: *sigh* I'd have to go for the flatulence since I have not only allergic reactions to seafood but a complete phobia about being close to sea creatures. You see, I'm the hysterical person who was rushed out of the movie theater that was showing Jaws. J
Tom Swider: I'll side with Heather ...saying "I'd definitely be interested" wouldn't be a good idea. You don't owe the waitstaff further explanation. Saying something like that could find its way back to your SO. For the new question, I guess I'd prefer live shrimp because it would give me a place to keep my keys, assuming they cooperate and hold onto things.
My answer is flatulence. How could you sleep with shrimp wriggling around on your chest? Besides, you can try to blame the farts on other people…or else there MUST be a few women in the world with fart fetishes. You just search around until you find one!
This month, a question submitted by Heather (and all of you can feel free to suggest future questions): You have an addiction (other than sex). You can freely indulge in your addiction forever without unwanted side effects; if it is food, you don’t gain weight. Alcohol or drugs? You can enjoy the effect you want, but not suffer physical repercussions or damage afterward. But, the trade off is, you can never again achieve an orgasm. Not during sex, not a nocturnal emission, and not during masturbation. Would you make that trade?
We didn’t make it to the movies at ALL this month. So no reviews…but here’s what we watched on DVD. (PS – Heather thinks it is “so sad” that we didn’t see any movies, but damn it, between schoolwork and that utter lack of movies we were interested in – plus I think one weekend of a bad headache – it just didn’t happen).
Seen on DVD – Soylent Green (C+, now a cinematic cliché but not really that bad). Oh God! (C, really rather boring after all these years). Hot Fuzz (A-, maybe 40 laugh-out loud moments, and another 100 good laughs. Still terrific, even though we’ve seen it before). Rollerball (C+, this original still carries weight from its realistic, barbaric violence – instead of fake sword fighting and CGI in movies like Gladiator – but the stiff acting of James Caan doesn’t’ age well). The House on Haunted Hill (C+, the Vincent Price classic is fun to watch, but it would have been better if they dropped a bit of the foolish drunken commentary from the house owner). Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (A-, watching this reminds you what a powerful actress Elizabeth Taylor was in her day. A true powerhouse performance). Absence of Malice (A-, still one of my favorite Paul Newman roles from 1980 on).
Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead – The long-awaited (by me, anyway) third book in the series. Definitely worth the wait. I loved it and I want the next one to hurry up and come out! There was an unexpected twist at the end which I NEVER saw coming. 5 pumpkins.
Vampire Diaries: The Fury and Dark Reunion by LJ Smith – I know this is Young Adult fiction but the stories are good, and suspenseful. This is a compilation of books 3 and 4 in the series. I’m only a little embarrassed to say I like it! 4 ½ pumpkins.
Sunlight, Moonlight by Amanda Ashley – Has two books in one. This was really good. Paranormal romance. The first story is about an alien, and the second about a vampire, each of them falling in love with mortal women. Nice little trashy reads, which are perfect when your brain is tired from studying too much. Yay. 4 pumpkins.
Everyone Else’s Girl by Megan Crane – Decent story about a girl who plays the martyr, always sacrificing herself for everybody else in her family. She is finally learning to think about what she wants from life and the world. 3 ½ pumpkins.
Savage Membrane by Steve Niles – His writing style is extraordinary. It’s edgy, to the point with its descriptions, and the action keeps on coming fast and furious. The protagonist is so likeable, but has such horrible qualities as well: foul mouthed drug addict psycho who fights monsters who you love anyway. You can definitely tell the author is a comic book writer, making the transition to a novel. 5 pumpkins.
You Are Here by Wesley Gibson – I finished this book hoping something would happen. Nothing did. It wasn’t terrible, just terribly boring. 2 ½ pumpkins.
The Greatest Albums You Never Bought – Special Halloween Edition
This isn’t so much a review of a great album you might have missed as it is a trip down memory lane. If you were a child in the 1960’s or early 1970’s, you might remember the long list of Disneyland LP records which came out. There would be one for just about every Disney movie, plus minor stories like Puss in Boots..or Chip and Dale going out on a tugboat…there was no end to the subjects. Most of them I never listened to, even though we had a lot of them. There was one, however, which I can still recite nearly by heart, and which has attained true cult status: The Haunted Mansion. Unlike most of the records Disney released, which were rehashes of the material from rides or movies, for the LP that celebrated the Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland, they decided to create an original story. This LP is the result of those efforts, and the words, music, and sounds from that album are forever chiseled in my mind. Ron Howard does the voice of Mike on the album, as he and his girlfriend seek refuge from a heavy rain in an abandoned (and haunted) house. If you’ve never heard the album, you’ll probably find it cheesy and dorky, but if you listen to it as a child, you’ll love the experience of going back and listening again. I also spent hours looking at the pages of drawings included with the album: ghosts, that black raven, coffins, tombstones, skeletons, spider webs, and every element of spookiness you can imagine. If you’d like to enjoy the LP again, there’s a site dedicated to it which also allows you to hear the LP through your web browser. You can even see the drawings as you listen. As a child the LP seemed like it was an hour long, but really it’s more like 20 minutes. If you want to travel back in time 30 or 40 years, check out http://www.doombuggies.com/media_audio2.php which is the appropirate page at the Doombuggies site. I haven’t downloaded it yet, but I see an ad there announcing that another Disney album I used to love, Chilling Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House, is available on Itunes!
The Greatest Movies You’ve Never Seen: “Miracle Mile”
At the tail-end of the “Brat Pack” era, most of the films which starred anyone even peripherally part of that scene were terrible. The dramas were trite, the comedies brainless, and the action films worse than B movies from a 1950’s drive-in. But every once in a while a film would completely slip through the cracks, either because of poor marketing, lack of advertising, or a less-than-desirable topic. In the case of “Miracle Mile” it was probably all three. Anthony Edwards was years ahead of his fame from “ER”, and was best known from his roles in “Top Gun” and “Revenge of the Nerds,” while Mare Winningham was a rather unknown quantity. Put the two of them as top billing in a film about impending nuclear holocaust, and you’re likely to be quickly forgotten. But this film deserves a much better fate.
Edwards plays Harry, a trombone player travelling with his band. In Los Angeles, he meets Julie Peters (Winningham), and they make a date for that evening. Through a series of innocent mishaps, Harry misses the date. Awakened in the middle of the night, he races to the site of their planned rendezvous, an all-night diner, in case she is still there. Finding her gone, he calls Julie from a payphone. When the payphone rings moments later, Harry answers, assuming it’s Julie. But it isn’t…it is apparently a wrong number, where a frantic man rambles in panic about a missile launch. According to the man on the phone, the U.S. has launched its missiles, and the Russian missiles fired in return should hit in mere hours. The question remains: is this truth, or fiction? Is it a tragic mistake, a terrible joke…or is Los Angeles about to vaporize? And either way, can Harry find Julie, make her believe the danger, and get her out of the city before it’s too late? And before his story – true or false - spreads throughout the rest of the sleeping city?
Portions of the script get a bit goofy or silly, but mostly it does a good job of illustrating the different ways people respond to panic or to a crisis, and the choices we make about what is most important to us. Above all, the film tries to show that even a potential tragedy is better shared with the people you care about the most.
“Miracle Mile” is currently in print on DVD, and can be purchased for around $10 if you look for around for it. Or you can easily get it from Netflix or any other on-line rental service. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Jack McHugh: By the way, I liked your piece on forgiveness in Issue #20...
You might want to watch the movie "Time Limit" with Richard Widmark and Richard Basehart, directed by Karl Malden...it’s about an officer that becomes a traitor while in a POW camp during the Korean War and his refusal to mitigate his behavior in anyway after the war...you might find it interesting. I had never seen the before movie (or even heard of it) and i stumbled on to it on AMC or one of the Encore channels a couple of months ago....very well done..the cast is very good with Martin Balsam and a very young Rip Torn...the movie just flew by, in a good way, as Malden keeps it moving forward...apparently Richard Widmark bankrolled the movies but it didn't too too well at the box office (although I believe the critics liked it) so it’s been kind of forgotten about...its much more realistic than The Manchurian Candidate that most movie buffs go gaga over...and I think Time Limit is a better movie...although I still like The Manchurian Candidate...
[[I’m going to have to look for it on VHS, as it seems not to be available on DVD, damn it!]]
Robert Lesco: Speaking of Spooky Tooth, didn't they release an album titled, "You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw"?
[[Yes they did, a classic title. And I always liked the cover to The Last Puff (but not the album particularly).]]
Andy York: Regarding books purchases, I almost always buy
them at a local store, BookPeople.
They provide excellent service, advice, book locating efforts and atmosphere.
Plus, all the events, author readings/signings, etc that they put on make them
a part of the community rather than just a place to get a book at a cheaper
The "extra" cost (actually the retail price) is worth what they give back to Austin.
[[The only local book stores in my area are chains like Borders or Barnes and Noble, and I don’t find myself enjoying them anymore. The smaller friendly stores seem to have disappeared. Well, aside from Half Price Books, where we spend far too much time and money.]]
For the Hypothetical, I'll opt for neither.
[[Oh what a cop out…you disappoint me. Tsk tsk and tsk.]]
In your looking through the old RW's while scanning them, I guess I'd better apologize for the torture that puts you through. Probably gives you nightmares as well.
[[I have plenty of other things to have nightmares about, don’t worry!]]
Dane Maslen: Just keep reading Dane's Games! The Tiscali saga runs and runs.
[[Speaking of which, fair audience, if you don’t read Dane’s Games, why not? Email Dane at dane.maslen “of” dane.me.uk and get on the mailing list!]]
Philip Murphy: Hope Heather's ankle will be recovered enough so she can wear those black boots!
[[It’s still questionable how often we’ll see the sexy boots, but the weather has only just now started to get cool enough…time will tell!]]
Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: Melinda Holley, Simon Gwilliam, Stephen Agar, need four more to fill.
Woolworth Diplomacy II-D (Black Press): Signed up: None. Need five to fill. Rules and map on request, although you can find them in Eternal Sunshine #21. Sign up now, or if nobody does, I’ll replace this with a different variant next issue!
There will be another game of By Popular Demand when this one ends, although I think I’ll include a Joker this time; that’s where you get to choose one category to double your score each turn. I may offer another Gunboat 7x7 soon, so keep your eyes open. If somebody wants to guest-GM a game of anything, just say the word. If you have game requests please let me know.
Out of the WAY #1
by W. Andrew York
So, you’re probably wondering where this new bit is coming from. Well, taking on Doug’s challenge from last issue, I’ve decided to (figuratively) pen another subzine. I do want to make this distinct from the other subzine I write, while complimenting the existing Eternal Sunshine vibe, so I’ve been spending the month coming up with a new atmosphere.
Inside you’ll find some throwbacks to features in Maniac’s Paradise and Rambling WAY such as “Recipe of the Month” and “Poll Question”. I’ll have a monthly quote, a “This Month in History” listing (hopefully with additional material) and a few other things still percolating. And, with Doug’s penchant to write about his past, I might just join on that bandwagon at some point.
On the games from, as Doug is focusing on Dip and Dip variants, I’ll start fielding the non-Dip games. I’ve started the “Facts in Five” as an everybody plays game - so join in. Almost anything else can be opened just by asking for a gamestart.
And, as this is the first shot at this new effort, it is definitely not set in stone. I plan to tinker with it for the next few issues at least. I fully expect the fonts to change, the layout to become a bit fancier (or at least more visually exciting) and to play with the content.
As always, your feedback, suggestions, LOCs and requests are welcome.
The Month in History
Sources include: The World Almanac Book of World War II, the current issue of Smithsonian, “X-Men: Magneto
Testament #2” and World War I by Shermer.
November 7, 1938 - Ernst vom Rath, a German attache in Paris, is murdered by Herschel Grynszpan, a Polish Jewish teenager deported from Germany.
November 9/10, 1938 - Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany. Led by the Brownshirts, in an
orchestrated response to the murder, Nazis attack and destroy Jewish
property, businesses and synagogues throughout the Reich.
November 10, 1938 - Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” is first played on Kate
Smith’s radio show.
November 11, 1918 - At 11:11am, the armistice ending World War One goes into
effect. The losses include over 8 million military dead in a total of 37 1/2
million casualties. At least 9 million civilians died as a result of the war, not
including those lost in the influenza pandemic. Germany’s Second Reich is
replaced with the Weimar Republic and loses their overseas empire.
Austria-Hungary is dismembered into a number of successor states. Turkey
loses control of the Middle East, which is divided by Western leaders at
Versailles into a number of artificial states. Poland is revived as a country.
Russia’s tsar is eventually replaced by a Communist government resulting in
the Soviet Union.
November 12, 1939 - The Nazi government levies a one billion mark fine against
Germany’s Jews to pay for the damage caused during Kristallnacht.
Recipe of the Month
Recipe Philosophy: Except for baking, recipes are only suggestions. I rarely precisely measure, eyeballing most everything. The listed measurements, for the most part, are estimates from the last time I made the recipe. Feel free to adjust to meet your personal tastes - and remember, it is easier to add “more” of something than to compensate when “too much” has been added.
For ingredients, if you don’t like raw onions, omit them or replace with celery to retain the crunchiness. If you like food with more spice, add an extra jalapeno or use habenaros instead. On the other hand, if you don’t like spicy food, replace the jalapeno with half a bell pepper. Optional items are used when I’m looking for a variation or making it for individuals with specific preferences.
Ham or Egg Salad
by W. Andrew York
6-8 Eggs (depending on size)
1/2 lb Ham (fat trimmed, if needed)
4-5 shots Worchester Sauce
1/2 Small Onion, minced (preferably red)
1-2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1-2 tsp Minced Pickles or Pickle Relish (optional, add in step 2)
Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, to smoothness
Tabasco Sauce (optional, add in step 4)
Salt & Pepper
Note(1) - Can add additional vegetables, such as diced celery, to the recipe.
Note(2) - Use as a sandwich spread or serve in a lettuce cup.
1 - Dice or mince ham or eggs (depending on how chunky it should be).
2 - Add mustard, worchester, onions and, if desired, minced pickles or pickle relish.
3 - Fold in mayonnaise or Miracle Whip to a smooth consistency.
4 - Add garlic powder, salt, pepper and, if desired, Tabasco sauce to taste.
Quote: “Dinosaur Wine: Petroleum” from Mother Jones (N/D 08, page 44). That had me chuckling for some time.
Each month a question will be posed to the readership. Your thoughts and commentary are solicited for the next issue. Also, any response to what folks have submitted for the previous question are very welcome.
For next issue: “To you, what was the single, most determining, decision/political position/statement from the losing candidate in the US presidential campaign?”
Facts in Five
Rules: There will be five rounds, the high score at the end of the fifth round will be the winner. Anyone may join anytime with a starting score matching the lowest 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 submits 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 names, the last name is the key word except in the case of commonly used stage names (in a category of female singers, ”Q” could be “Queen Latifa” and “Cher” for “C”). An entry may only be used once per round.
One point will be scored for each entry that unarguably meets the letter and category. An additional point will be added if anyone else also uses the same valid entry for the same category. Maximum possible score in a round is 50 with a lowest possible score of 25, presuming an individual submits a valid entry for each category and letter in that round.
Letters: * (Wildcard) D J S Y
Categories: Living Musician
Academy Award Winner
Living American Politician
Possible future game openings - Railway Rivals, Empire Builder, Liftoff!
Suggestions accepted for other games to offer.
Deadline For The Next Issue of Out of the WAY:
November 21st, 2008 at 7:00am – 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
Diplomacy “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” 2008A, Winter 1903
Seasons Separated by Player Request
Austria (Kevin Wilson - ckevinw1 “of” cox.net): Has Ionian Sea, F Aegean Sea, A Budapest, A Bulgaria,
A Serbia, A Vienna.
England (Jérémie LeFrançois - jeremie.lefrancois “of”gmail.com): Build A Edinburgh. Has A Edinburgh,
F Baltic Sea, F North Sea, A Sweden, F Norway, F Norwegian Sea.
France (Alexander Levinson - al “of” tolkin.nl): Retreats F Spain(sc) Off the Board. Has A Gascony,
A Belgium, A Marseilles, F Western Mediterranean, A Brest.
Germany (Graham Wilson – grahamaw “of” rogers.com): Has A Holland, A Ruhr.
Italy (Don Williams – dwilliam “of” fontana.org): Build F Naples. Has F Naples, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean,
F Gulf of Lyon, A Burgundy, A Piedmont, F Spain(sc).
Russia (Melinda Holley – genea5613 “of” aol.com): F Norway retreat Skagerrak, Remove F Armenia.
Has F Skagerrak, F Gulf of Bothnia, A Rumania, A Berlin, A Sevastopol, A Galicia.
Turkey (Brad Wilson - bwdolphin146 “of”yahoo.com): Has F Black Sea, A Constantinople, A Smyrna.
Remember, Press can be written by anyone in the game, or anyone else for that matter, from any dateline! All readers can free to submit something.
Spring 1904 Deadline is November 25th 2008 at 7:00am
Don – Jerry: I can’t get the time zone thing straight in my head. Consequently, that was me calling you last week at 2 in the morning.
Munich – Board: I hope you’re all happy. I warned you about England, and now you’re going to pay the price. At least Donnie Baseball has started to look at the map as one piece instead of just a collection of delicious nearby dots. I can’t say the same for the rest of you. It’s terrible play like this that makes me hate playing Diplomacy. I like the game, but when you get stuck between a bunch of morons who don’t have the slightest idea how to move from the start into mid-game strategy, it is beyond irritating. You all suck.
Rus - Ita: Corset? What makes you think I NEED a corset? As for 'cuffs, I already have leather, feathered, silk lined...
Brad – Kevin: Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?
Italy to France : Nice gamble. Good luck playing it out. Unless Austria gets crazy .. then you are about to grow very big, very fast.
Napoleon – Admiral Nelson: Want to trade some colonies?
Turkey – Italy: How bout dem Phils?
Flapjack – Bwad: These new body sprays like Axe are all the rage with the teenage generation. Cologne is out of vogue. Did you hear about the new one they just came out with, called Umpire? It’s for foul balls.
Italy to Germany : Huh? Go figure – I should have forecast death and destruction a turn or two earlier. Good luck with your resurgence, and thanks very much for the loan of MUN.
Moscow – London: Bite me, Frog.
DE to CA: How zen!
Somewhere West of the Hobby…Electors of Two Evils - “Wouldn’t it be nice if people realized there was great need in Darkness,” answered Webster, “and if not, there soon will be.”
“Perhaps people don’t know that…” said Miss Kitty, slowly and unsurely.
“My Webby will tell them,” said Edith. Her breasts inhaled in punctuation. Had it been a question mark they would have swayed.
“S’ym,” said Miss Kitty, “get me a soap box!”
The blue furred bartender shuffled about under the bar and came up with a box purported to bring the 99 and ¼ percent pure soap to market and carried it over to the small group in the center of the bar. She set it firmly on the floor and stepped back. Scratch, in his elegant suit and a fixed gaze upon his eyes stepped forcefully up onto it. He swept the boulder hat from his head and thrust his chin forward. He spoke:
“My fellow Americans,” he started strongly, and gazed down upon the crowd of patrons at the Heart of Darkness Saloon, “and saloon patrons…” The drinking and gambling inside the Heart of Darkness ground to a slow stop. Bruno at the piano quit playing, the boys from the Whining Pig spread looked up in the unusual silence, other patrons looked around in the absence of profane speech, and the dance hall girls paid attention because everyone had stopped pinching and grabbing them.
“It’s an honor to address you today, and through you, the entire community of Darkness. It’s time, once again, that the American Political mating ritual commences. I am offering myself up as a candidate because of the strength of my vision of what America is and how I see her…”
“You can see America from here,” asked Gabby, one of the dance hall girls. (The one in the purple velvet bra who was smarter than she looks)?
“I see America as the fabled land of milk and honey!” exclaimed Scratch from his impromptu stanchion of promulgation.
“What about sweet bread and pastries?” asked a shrill voice from the back of the saloon.
“I am a staunch supporter of both sweet bread and pastries,” averred Scratch firmly.
“What about Stabberous?”
“Stabberous are a deep and intricate matter,” stumbled Scratch, “one that we cannot with facile ease dismiss in this day and age. Yes, they are indeed the snack of choice amongst our pridefully gay community, and they totally lack any nutritional value; but how could I, coming amongst you as a man of choice, determine the validity of your opinions. Should I be elected I will convene a super special committee of evaluation to determine the proper course that this city should take on the “Stabberou Issue”.”
“Ooooh,” said Elana, one of the dance hall girls. (The one who cinched her corset two sizes too small to emphasize her big…lips) “That is much better than just a ‘special committee’!”
She cocked her head to one side and closed one eye, and then squinted to see the speaker. Anything other than putting on her glasses.
Gabby, who’d been around the block…a few times, cast a baleful eye on the candidate. “Are you trying to say that the way you see America is with equal treatment of women?”
“Most definitely. Too long have we in America harbored the traditional view that a womans’s rightful place was barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, or upstairs with her petticoat over her head and her ankles to the sky.”
“That’s how we met,” blushed Edith.
“I didn’t know you could cook,” said Miss Kitty.
“What are you talking about? I can’t cook,” replied Edith.
The candidate still in midstream and still atop his soap box continued, “My staff has compiled initiatives on ideas that I will present as a White Paper to a consultative committee whereby I will seek to improve the condition of women…”
Gabby took a forefinger and thumb and pinched at her waist above her petticoat and below her corset. She mumbled to herself, “what sort of condition does he think I’m in?”
“I call this program,” concluded Scratch, “ Shoes for Screws.”
Gabby looked at Elana, her head going to one side. “I think I’m offended, but I’m not sure.”
“What?” expounded Elana, with glee, “I love shoes!”
“Wull,” spat out Cookie from a table near the Bourse, “whut do ya’ think that we should do about risin’ unemployment? Out there, on the Whining Pig, there just don’t seem to be as many calfs this year. Just not enough to do!”
“Well, it’s like this,” said the city slicker. He jumped down from his soap box and strode over to the poker table that Cookie was at. The cards and chips were laying on the table, the hand complete, and Wandering Eye Wilson had just raked in a large pile of winnings to his side.
Scratch reached out and flipped over the cards in front of Cookie. “Y’see here, you bet on two threes and a ten.”
“A shining moment,” nodded Wandering Eye, with a smile on his face.
“And you,” Scratch reached and flipped the cards in front of Deadeye, “….had nothing.”
“Hey,” exclaimed Deadeye, grabbing for his cards.
“So now, Wandering Eye has won $800,” said Scratch, his eye quickly tallying the pot, as if it were a DipCon tally.
“I don’t want to put on Ayers,” said Wandering Eye, with a self satisfied grin, “but I am fairly sharp poker player.” He tilted the brim of his hat down and stuck one hand into the brocade vest pocket that held his pocket-watch, in an entirely happy and self-satisfied manner.
“Well, what we do,” said Scratch, reaching into Wandering Eye’s pile of coins, “is redistribute your winnings.” He pulled approximately 39% of Wandering Eye’s coins to his side of the table, and started to make three more piles from there. One for Deadeye Wilson, one for Tried and True Wilson, and one for Cookie.
“Hey,” said Wandering Eye Wilson, sitting up abruptly. “What the hell are you doing?”
“I kinda’ like this,” commented Deadeye.
“I am providing for the Need in Darkness,” said Scratch, in his deep and meaningful voice.
“But YOU’RE TAKING MY MONEY,” shouted Wandering Eye.
“To give to those that don’t have it,” intoned Scratch.
“They don’t have it because I WON IT FROM THEM,” exclaimed Wandering Eye.
“I shore could use a new pair of boots,” said Cookie. He licked his lips, looking at the pile of coins in front of him that Scratch added to.
“If you elect me, I will reduce the money taken from you,” replied Scratch, “and I will provide new boots to every cowpoke, new corsets to every dance hall girl, and I will use money so that you can all learn to read!”
Deadeye looked sideways to Cookie. “Whut fur would we want to learn to read?” Cookie took his gaze away from his new stack of coins long enough to look at Deadeye and shrug his shoulders.
“You just took more money from us than Miss Kitty ever took,” said Wandering Eye Wilson.
“Actually, I didn’t take more, because I was only reverting to formulas used back in the Gold Rush days. You remember, during the Soldiers of Fortune,” replied Scratch. “The amount I took from you is actually no increase at all, it is simply a repeal of the decrease. So the fact that you are paying more, actually doesn’t mean anything.”
Wandering Eye picked up his pile of chips and let them slide through his fingers to clink back down onto the table. Chink*chink*chink. He frowned. “It certainly feels like less than I had.”
“Well,” replied Scratch, “I’m only taking it from you because you’re rich.”
“Damn and Jehosephat!” exclaimed Deadeye, “you’re rich and you hain’t said nuthin’ all these years!”
Cookie’s eyebrows went up in appraisal. “Idda’ had no idea you was one of them rich slickers.” He suddenly didn’t feel any remorse at all for the chips that Scratch had slid his way.
“I ain’t rich,” retorted Wandering Eye, “ya’ seen me everyday out there at the Whining Pig, roping and branding, in the mud and the grit, same as the both of ya’s.”
“Ya never even asked us to one of your hoity-toity swa--rees,” said Tried and True Wilson, “I had no idea that you were ashamed of us.”
“I AM NOT RICH,” yelled Wandering Eye Wilson! At which time he became cognizant of a warm, large globular mass to the immediate left of his good eye. He used his peripheral vision to identify a tightly and ill-corseted mass of burgeoning white, smooth, satiny women-flesh astride his shoulder, the nipples practically poking him in the ear. A voice, somewhere above his head, said softly:
“I heard you were rich?”
Wandering Eye, his throat suddenly dried, swallowed and wet his lips, “you could say I had a some liquid funds.”
By Popular Demand
Credit goes to Ryk Downes, I believe, for inventing this. The goal is to pick something that fits the category and will be the "most popular" answer. You score points based on the number of entries that match yours. For example, if the category is "Cats" and the responses were 7 for Persian, 3 for Calico and 1 for Siamese, everyone who said Persian would get 7 points, Calico 3 and the lone Siamese would score 1 point. The cumulative total over 10 rounds will determine the overall winner. Anyone may enter at any point, starting with an equivalent point total of the lowest cumulative score from the previous round. If a person misses a round, they'll receive the minimum score from the round added to their cumulative total. And, if you want to submit some commentary with your answers, feel free to. The game will consist of 10 rounds. A prize will be awarded to the winner.
Round 9 Categories
1. A dead musician.
2. A type of soup.
3. Someone who lost a U.S. Presidential election.
4. Any insect.
5. A disease.
Some real action in the standings as we near the final round. Bill Brown takes the lead, and there are six players within five points of him. It’s anybody’s game! Who will be the big winner, and take home the prize? Stay tuned…
Selected Comments By Category:
Dead Musician – Brendan Whyte “I think John Lennon is too much of a wuss for this crowd.”
Philip Murphy “I'm a big Queen-head and it's one of my biggest regrets
that I was too young to see them live before his death.”
Soup – As far as I am concerned, Chicken and Chicken Noodle are not the same soup, folks. Kevin Wilson “The soup for me was a toss-up between chicken noodle and tomato.”
Lose in a Presidential Election – Dane Maslen “I would claim that my answer to #3 is technically incorrect.” [[Technically it is correct…you could claim that it shouldn’t be correct, but you cannot claim it isn’t correct because that was the end result.]] Philip Murphy: “I was tempted to say George W. Bush, just to be controversial.” Kevin Wilson “Since Gore’s loss was such a mess and is still “discussed” today, maybe it will do well.”
Insect – I accepted
Spider, because I don’t care if the answer is accurate or not. But, as I am sure many of you realize, a
spider is not an insect. It is an
arachnid. Philip Murphy “I remember as a kid reading Charlotte's Web and it's the first one that came to
Disease – Dane Maslen “I'm not entirely happy with 'Aids' as my answer to 5 as I'm not convinced that it's the sort of illness that people will think of in response to the word 'disease'.”
Round 10 Categories – Deadline is November 25th 2008 at 7:00am
1. A pointless holiday.
2. A unit of measure for length or distance.
3. A day of the week.
4. Something you borrow.
5. Something that expires.
Deadline For The Next Issue of Eternal Sunshine:
November 25th, 2008 at 7:00am – See You Then!