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. Or http://www.guysexplained.com where women can learn all the secrets of how a man’s mind works, and why they act the way they do.
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 – “Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders.” (Mary in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”)
Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the only currently published Diplomacy zine/subzine who had its author mentioned in the article on Allan Calhamer in Chicago Magazine. (http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/May-2009/All-in-the-Game/) Yes, friends, I was interviewed on the phone for about 40 minutes months ago, and the result was a one-line quote and mention of Diplomacy World (although not the web address). Still it’s better than nothing. The article really focuses on his life as a whole, and why he chose to go in one direction versus another. Since I don’t know the man personally, I didn’t really merit any more space in the piece.
Speaking of fame and publishing, I did send a few of my prison story essays to a literary agent/publisher who a friend had mentioned to me, simply to get a bit of feedback. She told me that while she found some of the writing to be good, the stories themselves did not grab her. More importantly, she suggested that it is next to impossible to get material such as that published unless the author builds some sort of recognition or national base first, often by getting one or two published in periodicals before approaching book publishers. I could have taken those comments as positive, or as rejection, but honestly the hard part for me was simply sending the stories to a professional. She could have told me they were that they biggest pieces of crap she had ever read, and I would have been okay with that. Instead, I am now left with the question of what periodicals might be best suited for essays such as those I’ve published here on prison and my first marriage. Anybody have any suggestions? I’d love to hear them.
The “Who Is Reading This” experiment has been both successful and a failure. I did receive emails from some readers out there who I had no idea existed – a few with no connection to the Diplomacy hobby at all. On the other hand, I only got about 15 responses so far. If you haven’t sent me an email yet, please do so. To quote from issue #28:
With that in mind, I’d like to try and get an estimate. So I am asking you to do the following: send me an email, simply stating “I read Eternal Sunshine” and mentioning how often you read it (every issue, once in a while, rarely). You can give your name, or not. If you want to give me more information, such as what sections you read, what you like, what you hate, what you’d prefer to see more of, etc., that would be wonderful – but it is not required. I just want you to email me. I will NOT be building a mailing list off this project. I just want to try and get a general approximate headcount. It is possible that I might write back to you in response to something you put in the email, but that isn’t very likely. Even if you are sure that I KNOW you read this, send the email. I’m not adding the names of people who I think haven’t emailed…I would like *1 email* from each of you. Send the email to this special email box, which was set up ONLY for this project:
I appreciate your cooperation and your participation. I will probably summarize what I learn after a month or two, but it all depends on how thorough a response I get and how useful I think the results are. Just do me a personal favor and send the email.
Here at home, life has been pretty quiet, in large part due to Heather coming down with a very bad cold which knocked her off her feet for almost two weeks. We seem to get the same type of colds here all the time: they start in the head as congestion, then a combination of congestion, sinus infection, and post-nasal drip, and then the illness moves to our lungs. By the time we start to feel a lot better, the voice goes. So everybody tells you how terrible you sound just as you’re feeling better. More than any other reason, that illness kept us out of the movie theater most of the month. But there’s hope that we’ll see something this weekend (I am writing this on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend), and there are now three or four films we want to catch before they disappear. Who knows, a three-day weekend could possibly result in TWO movies!
Work has been busy, and it also has resulted in some animal-related stress. Poor old Snowpea, my boss’ cat, has suffered from heart, blood pressure, and thyroid problems for a few years, and slowly but surely the day came when he had to be put down. As you might expect, I wound up being the one to do that, which I didn’t mind. I wanted to make sure someone he trusted and loved was there with him in the room during his last minutes. Goodbye Snowpea, we’ll miss you.
Then, a week later, we found our office being used as a cat-sitting refuge for a one-year-old black and white ball of energy named Cory. One of my boss’ friends, who volunteers at the SPCA, wanted to adopt Cory, but she was going away for a week, and feared he’d be gone by the time she returned. So she adopted him, and we took care of him at work for a week until she came home. Cory was a real delight; he was incredibly friendly, loved to be held and cuddled, played constantly, and liked to sleep on my feet under my desk, his paws wrapped around my ankles. He’s moved into his new forever home now, and while he’s still adjusting to his new housemates, things seem to be going well. My coworker Marian and I weren’t thrilled with the name Cory though. Because he looks like he is wearing a tuxedo, and because for some reason Marian felt he looked Italian, she nicknamed him Don Gato, and that was the name we used for him all week. Ciao Don Gato, enjoy your life!
Switching gears for a moment, I updated some of the products in the ES Amazon.com store, adding books and movies we’ve reviewed recently. But if you are ever purchasing from Amazon, you can help defray the cost of this zine and of Diplomacy World (and their respective websites) simply by visiting one of them and clicking on the Amazon.com advertising link found on either web page. It doesn’t cost you anything, but the “referral” from my websites to Amazon earns us 2% or so of anything you purchase, whether or not it had anything to do with something we show in one of our Amazon stores. I know it can be easy to forget something like that, but if you remember, it can be a big help. It also helps pay for any Diplomacy-related Cafepress stuff I buy myself from our little-used Cafepress store (http://www.cafepress.com/helpfulkitty) which I then donate to various face-to-face events as prizes (I just sent a cool two-sided Diplomacy sweatshirt to DipCon). Every little bit helps. And if you get bored, visit the Cafepress store, if for no other reason than to read through the various slogans on the Diplomacy World “bloody globe” choices, to see if you can come up with any new ones! The more funds come in through channels like this, the more Heather lets me spend on hobby-related activities.
Now, on to zine news. Stephen Agar, long-time UK Diplomacy powerhouse who has risen from the ashes time and again, recently started a new Dipzine entitles Strange Meeting. It was meant to run some Diplomacy and other games, and to provide a place for Stephen to write about his work on the UK Postal Zine Archive. I blame myself a bit for that, as I was doing all this work on my own Postal Diplomacy Zine Archive and I think a bit of the enthusiasm rubbed off on him. Unfortunately, his job and personal life (not to mention some computer issues) have taken up almost all of his previously free time. In an effort to help out, I have taken on two of his three Strange Meeting Diplomacy games (“Bellicus” and “Chimaera”), which appear in this issue for the first time, continuing where they left off. The third game, “Albion,” we plan on running here as well with Stephen continuing as GM (as I’m a player in that game). If necessary, I will drop from that game and take over as GM, but we’re hopeful Stephen can run it, and then use Eternal Sunshine for a place to put any occasional column he wants to write about his archives, life, or any other topic which grabs him. Oh, incidentally, if you follow these transferred games, please note they are being run under predictive style “English” rules, which means you submit possible retreats, builds, and removals in ADVANCE (your Autumn retreats and Winter adjustments are submitted at the same time as your Fall moves). I’d consider running other games in this fashion, if the demand was there.
This issue of ES also contains the results of the first Eternal Sunshine 7x7 Gunboat Tournament. The games had been ending one at a time for a while now, but in the last one (“Old Age”) the wars continued until Summer 1916, when a draw was finally reached. I do plan on running another 7x7 sometime in the future, but not immediately. I’m more interested in running some other variants. Any suggestions? and any interest? I gave the 7x7 players the opportunity to write up any end-game statements they might like to have published, but as of this moment there haven’t been any takers. No matter. As promised, the winner of the 7x7 will receive a DVD, but you’ll have to look further in the zine to see who that winner was!
Other than that, the issue is the same as usual. Not sure if Heather will appear or not (at this moment I tend to doubt it; she’s got other things on her mind this weekend, not the least of which is trying to figure out how to get through a 3-day weekend without strangling me), but we do have Jack McHugh, Andy York, and all the usual games and features. Remember, if you’re interested in a one-shot, occasional, or monthly column of your own (with or without games) just get in touch with me. The Deviant Diplomacy II game shifts into high gear this issue; do yourself a favor and keep an eye on that variant, as you never know where it is going to take you. Enjoy the zine, and the month, and I’ll see you late in June!
Playlist: Poco - Gold; Gordon Lightfoot – If You Could Read My Mind; Cat Stevens – Tea For the Tillerman; Elton John – Tumbleweed Connection; Trainspotting – Soundtrack; Joe Jackson – At the BBC. Yeah, it’s been a strange month for the playlist.
My first day out looking for work, all in the same shopping center (four corners of a major mid-Dallas intersection) would also be my first day out on my own in semi-freedom. The long bus journey to Texas didn’t really count, because I was so shell-shocked and tired that there was very little I could do but try to make it from station to station. This, however, was my first day of what seemed like being a normal person (despite all the phone calls I would have to make). I knew I had to make the most of it, because the following day I’d be dealing with another nightmare: a trip to my therapist/counselor for the duration of my halfway house stay, followed by a trip BACK to the halfway house (because passes were only permitted for a certain number of house), and THEN back out to try and figure out how to get my Social Security card and driver’s license. What fun!
Because I was going to be out during lunch hours, I had been sure to sign up for the bag lunch the halfway house provided. Meals there were hit and miss. Breakfasts on weekdays were decent, but only served VERY early; get up or you’d be out of luck. Lunch was simple cafeteria food, and dinner could either be rather edible, or terrible, depending on what they had. Overall it was still better than prison food. On weekends, breakfast was a stale donut or some sugar cereal, and lunch and dinner (while no better than other days) were big events for those of us who didn’t have weekend passes. Meals were pretty much all you had to look forward to.
I’d also been smart enough to schedule my leaving on this job hunt for after 9:30am, so I didn’t have to fight for space in the van with all of the people who actually HAD jobs. If the van was full, you were out of luck, unless another driver was around to take the backup van and drive the leftovers. All they did was ferry us up to the train station, from where we began the public-transportation journey to wherever we were going. Dallas actually has a decent light rail and bus system, so you can get quite far within the “metroplex” – as far north as Plano, out to parts of Mesquite and Garland, and by tying in with the heavy-rail Trinity Rail Express, you could connect with the Fort Worth system too. As I may have mentioned previously, if you got a job where it was even remotely possible to get there and back by public transportation, you would not be permitted to drive a car. Only if you found work outside those areas could you apply for driving privileges. And since the only way to apply for those types of jobs in person was to have a family member drive you around, that plan was out of reach. While my family was planning on moving my late father’s old Hyundai Accent down to Texas for me to drive once I was ready to be on home confinement, in the meantime it was the bus and the train for me.
Part of the difficulty with applying for jobs when you live in the halfway house is you have to be completely honest when filling out the applications. There’s no sense lying about your conviction, because the employer is going to have to deal with the halfway house on a regular basis anyway. So when those questions about “have you been convicted of a felony within the last five years (or seven, or ten), you are instructed to mark yes and when it asks for details, to put “will explain in person.” The theory is that this gives you the opportunity to speak to the manager in person, and put the best possible face on what you did and how you’re been rehabilitated. In practice, it doesn’t work that way at all. I moved from store to store on my list (and even one or two which I hadn’t listed), filled out their form (or used their electronic kiosk for job applicants), and left. Nobody asked for more information, and if I wanted to speak to the manager I was always told they were not available. There simply wasn’t much hope for me to get any of these retail jobs. Aside from the fact that I was a convicted felon, with no mode of transportation other than public (which limited the hours I could work), my address was some odd-sounding place in Hutchins which to some might appear to be a homeless shelter of some sort. I was over 35 years old, with no retail experience since I had been 17. Plus, because I had been convicted of a type of fraud, my crime was of the “moral turpitude” category…in other words, I could not be trusted.
I think I filled out about 8 applications that day, and only received one bit of positive response. The deli manager at a grocery store asked me if I was truly interested in working, because she needed people. I said I absolutely was, would work any shift I could based on bus schedules, and was willing to work weekends as well. She seemed enthusiastic, and told me she’d go pull my application and be in touch the following day. As expected, I never heard from her. If she HAD called, I doubt the message ever would have gotten to me anyway, but I just assumed she brought it to her boss and he gave it the thumbs down. I was actually a bit surprised that there was less interest from retailers about menial jobs for felons, if only because of the $3,000 tax break they could apply for if you worked there for a full 90 days (I think, maybe it was 120 days). Still, my experience during my time at the halfway house showed that most of the people I was living with would think nothing of skipping work, or quitting with zero notice. So the prospect of actually finding someone who you wanted to keep for that long AND who was willing to show up for work for that long was probably a major long shot.
On the bus, heading back towards the pickup point to return to the halfway house, I dug through the bagged lunch I had been provided. Clearly these lunches would not be a preferred method of sustenance. There was a delicious dry bologna sandwich on white bread, a semi-edible apple, a pack of crackers, and a juice box. As my time at the halfway house went on in the coming months, I would find myself still requesting these bagged lunches, specifically to leave on bus stop benches for the homeless or others who might really need or want the food.
The following day I was ready for the daunting and enjoyable task of running back and forth between the halfway house and Dallas. First thing in the morning I had to make a trip to my mandatory drug/alcohol/psychiatric counseling intake interview. Then, instead of simply being allowed to go downtown, I had to pass THROUGH downtown and go BACK o the halfway house, wait half an hour, and THEN go back downtown to try and resolve this who Social Security/driver’s license mess. During the course of the time I’d been at the halfway house, family members had been calling the prison, asking if anybody had located the ones that had been sent for me there (and signed for). No luck…either they were lost, someone was lying, or (most likely) people were simply too lazy to go look for them.
The procedure to solve this problem was a bit convoluted. First I’d have to go to the Social Security office, present them with my birth certificate and a photo ID (which in this case would be an expired driver’s license that Heather brought me from home). Then the Social Security department would be willing to provide me with a letter stating that they verified that this was in fact my proper Social Security number. With that, I was told I should be able to get a copy of my current DL (which I’d renewed prior to incarceration, so it was NOT expired). Then, with the birth certificate and the CURRENT photo ID I could get a true Social Security card. The offices were within a few blocks of each other, so it wouldn’t be much travel time; just bureaucracy time. With luck I MIGHT be able to complete these errands in one afternoon. If not, I’d find myself wasting another precious day filling out forms instead of looking for a job.
First, however, it was off to meet Tom, my new counselor. He was a very easygoing, friendly sort. He asked a bunch of questions, went over my personal history with me, and informed me that as part of my after-prison program I would now be required to meet with him once a month personally, and to attend twice-weekly group therapy sessions. As I wasn’t working yet, the groups would be Tuesday and Thursday in the late afternoon. There was also a Saturday morning meeting, but that was usually reserved for people who couldn’t get off work during the week. The bus schedules I looked at made these appointments look like a hassle to get to and from, but otherwise it would simply be part of life. The only positive was it meant I would NOT have to take part of the counseling program they did within the halfway house, which I’d heard was a pain in the ass. My halfway house case manager Mr. Jonas (who was also a pretty easygoing guy) told me I did have to take a few life-skills classes, but the way he ran them if you couldn’t make it because of work he just wanted you to do the page of homework and turn it back in. More than anything else, it sounded like a formality which they were required to do in order to retain the contract with the Federal government.
After the complete beating or going ALL the way back to Hutchins, waiting 30 minutes for the next van, and leaving for Dallas again, I made my way to the Social Security office. Unfortunately, it was clear I would Not be able to complete this maze of lines and forms in one day, because the SS office closed earlier than I hoped. All I was able to do was get the initial letter from Social Security, and then go wait on line for 90 minutes to get my drivers license. Twice I had to ask someone to hold my place in line as I went to the payphone to call in and request “additional time” from my two hour pass to complete the task. Fortunately for me, Mr. Chekov (the head of the halfway house) was unavailable both times, and the woman who worked directly under him was much easier to deal with. She simply approved my extension and said to get back as soon as I was able.
The only eventful part of the driver’s license process (aside from the horrendously long line, filled with people who didn’t bother to fill out the forms properly or listen to instructions) were the two female County Constables. One walked up and down the line, asking to see paperwork so they could try and make sure you were where you were supposed to be, and had what you needed on hand to complete the task. This way you would waste the least amount of time when you made it up to the front desk. The Constable walking the line didn’t take crap from anybody. If you gave her any grief, she’d threaten to have you pulled from the line. A number of very grumpy people discovered they did not have what they needed to complete the task they wanted, and left muttering obscenities. When she reached me, she was going to do the same until she realized I wasn’t looking for a NEW license but a copy of a “lost” and unexpired one. So I’d passed the first test.
For an anxious mess like me, who had no faith in the criminal justice system to get things correct, the NEXT step was the scariest. See, when you’re almost ready to released from Federal prison, they do a thorough check with all state and local agencies to make sure that you don’t have any outstanding warrants or other legal complications. If you do, they try to help you work them out…otherwise, instead of being released to a halfway house, you are released into the custody of the state, county, or local jurisdiction. So, in 99.9% of the cases, once you’re released, you know you have no other criminal legal problems waiting for you. In my case, that was no surprise. I’d never had a problem before, except for two speeding tickets (one in Texas and one in New Jersey) which I had paid immediately. But I’m a worst case scenario kind of person, so as I got closer to the front of the line my anxiety grew.
I’d heard about this from people at the halfway house. Fellow “clients” had gone to get driver’s licenses or (if unable to do that) Texas state ID cards, and never come back. What happened was, when you got to the front of the line, they’d run a check on you in the computer system. If something came back, a “red flag” from a warrant to an unpaid ticket of some sort. That’s when the clerk calmly asks you to “stand to the side for a moment” until someone comes through the door behind the counter with your paperwork (supposedly your license, ID, or whatever you came there for). Instead, a huge African-American 7-foot Amazon-looking Constable comes through the door, asks you to follow her through the doorway…and you disappear.
Fortunately, that wasn’t the case with me. I made it to the line, and left with my copy of my unexpired driver’s license. While I still needed to get a true copy of my Social Security card, the confirmation letter I held would suffice temporarily. While it took the waste of an entire precious day to complete this mission, and the clock was ticking before my first “violation” for failure to find work, I could at least feel like I was headed in the right direction. That didn’t make me feel any less anxious, however…find a job was clearly going to be the hardest part of my halfway house existence.
And the best part? I would have thought that was obvious…I’d be able to see Heather face to face for two hours over the weekend. The fact that it would take place in the visiting room was only a minor bother; I’d waited so many months to see her with my own eyes, to gaze into her loving blue pools, to smell her skin and her perfume, and to touch her with my own hands – even if it was just to hold hers. These were the moments I had pictured during my worst nights in prison, and I didn’t want to let anything ruin them. Not even the prospect of being sent back to prison for “refusal to find employment” (there’s a joke if I ever heard one) could dampen my enthusiasm for seeing Heather again, and wrapping my arms around her in a big, tight, long hug.
Last month, we gave you this hypothetical: Your significant other rarely uses text messaging on their cell phone. One Sunday evening at about 8pm you are asked to see if you can figure out how to work some application on the phone. As you do so, a text message comes in, saying “Hey, what’s up?” You reply “Who is this?” and get a message back, “It’s (insert name here).” “You play honest and say “This isn’t my phone, it’s my spouse’s, I’m just fixing it.” To that you get a simple “Oh sorry, I thought this was my cousin Terry’s phone.” Since your spouse has had the same number for over four years, you are a bit suspicious. But you don’t mention it. The next day after work, you ask about it and are told it was his/her supervisor at work who had texted, and they’d left a voicemail on their work phone saying “I texted you last night, hope I didn’t get you in trouble.” How suspicious should you be, and what do you do if anything?
Melinda Holley - If my significant other had cheated on me before, he's used his last chance and he's out on his ass. If there'd been no previous cheating, I wouldn't think a thing about it.
Jérémie Lefrancois – Hmm... that sounds strange, does not it ? Could I use the word "fishy"? I would keep a close eye on the matter, and wait until I have proof or near proof and then ask for an explanation. Anyhow, calls from work at home are not welcome, all the more on Sunday evenings.
Tom Swider - I am used to getting wrong numbers and have been at the same number for 5 years, so I likely wouldn't be suspicious if this happened to me. In this case, there's a disconnect between the excuse given by the caller and by the S.O. Leaving a voicemail about a text message sounds shady. So it's just a matter of finding out if the supervisor has a cousin named Terry or not. Could do that during a company picnic. There's probably some sort of screen name you could get off of the phone. I'd try to approach the problem of a cheating S.O. through an open and honest discussion about the relationship (not bringing in outsiders but just about my S.O and I).
Heather Taylor – Since I am a jealous bitch I would be somewhat suspicious and I would thoroughly interrogate Doug to try and find out if there is any reason to worry further.
My Answer: I force Heather to quit her job, and lock her in the closet for a week to teach her a lesson. If that doesn’t work, I get out the shock collar.
For Next Month (For the time being, I plan on selecting questions from the game “A Question of Scruples” which was published in 1984 by High Games Enterprises. I highly recommend the game for when you get together with family, or friends you know pretty well. It doesn’t lend itself well as a game unless the people who are playing know each other better than just as casual acquaintances, because the game requires you to decide if the players are being honest with their answers. I found my copy this month in storage, still in perfect condition. If a few of you ask for more information, I’ll write up a review of the game for next issue. Anyway, these questions are much more straightforward and simple, so I am going to list two per issue. Remember you can make your answers as detailed as you wish.): 1. A good friend has just bought an expensive painting and asks if you like it. You think it is awful. Do you say so? 2. You have no fondness for a wealthy aunt. She is old and looking for heirs. Do you treat her more kindly?
This was just a little poll, which grew out of one of those “tell everybody about yourself” things you see on Facebook or on mass emails. But I thought about this one question, and I was interested in hearing everybody else’s response. The task was simple: give me three songs which never get old (in your opinion). Please include the artist if you know it, or if it’s a song with many versions…just choose the one version in particular which doesn’t get old for you. Here’s what I received so far. Anybody else want to offer their opinion?
Don Williams: Three sets of three…Bird On A Wire by Leonard Cohen; Let It Roll by BTO; Never Been to Spain by Three Dog Night. Baba O’Riley by The Who; One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer by George Thorogood and the Destroyers; Barracuda by Heart. Call Me by Blondie; Money For Nothing by Dire Straits; Smokin’ by Boston.
[[How about the rest of you? Let’s hear some more input!]]
Is Anybody There? – Given the right film, Michael Caine has always had the ability to carry himself as one of the great actors of the last 40 years, from Zulu to Alfie to The Italian Job and on through the ages. Occasionally a bit loose with his choices, in recent years he his presence has been a welcome, shining attraction in a number of very satisfying movies; his part in Children of Men, in particular, I found terribly moving. Now we are presented with Is Anybody There?, which despite its rather simple setting and what could have been twisted into a trite plot, the strength of Caine carries the film through from beginning to end (with some help from a young Bil Milner). Milner plays Edward, a child of about ten. He lives with his parents in their home in late-80’s England, an only child, surrounded only by the other occupants: old folks whom have come to live in the home, as his parents converted it into a rest home as an attempt to get a business off the ground. It is crowded, his parents are on edge with each other, and death is always around the corner. Edward has become fascinated with death, or more specifically with the idea of knowing what happens after death, and whether ghosts move about in our world, unseen. When a resident dies, his first instinct isn’t to report it but to try and record any signs of a ghostly presence with his audio cassette recorder.
Enter Clarence Parkinson (Michael Caine), who has been moved to the home by social services against his will. He arrives in a small van decorated with advertisements from his prior career: The Amazing Clarence, a magician. It is at this simple plot point that the entire film could have been derailed, but Caine and Director John Crowley allow Caine room to reveal a complex and honest character. Clarence is angry at being moved into a home filled with doddering old folks he is afraid of become like, bitter at being alone, frustrated at his complete lack of control, and sadly aware that physically and mentally he is deteriorating. His anger and frustration is not hidden; in one early scene he and Edward scream at each other after a minor incident with a soccer ball, and Caine walks away crying in misery.
Eventually, a bond is built between the two, but that bond is always strained by the bitter lessons Clarence wants to teach Edward: among them “Your life changes, and not always for the better” and “You collect regrets, and they stick to you like old bruises.” Clarence most succinctly expresses his frustration in one moving scene when he exclaims “It just hurts to get this far and realize that there is NOTHING!” Despite his rages, their bond grows, and Edward does his best to help Clarence resolve issues from his past.
There are messages in Is Anybody There?, but they are not crammed down your throat: the aged have things to teach us, and they are desperate for the slightest bit of comfort and understanding; death is not to be feared, but accepted; you make your choices in life, choose your path, and it is better not to waste your years wishing that choice had been different. Above all, the film tries to show that life changes for the better and for the worse, and that moments of happiness can be found if you look for them.
Is Anybody There? is quite good, and produced a good number of tears for Heather and myself. I highly recommend it.
Seen on DVD – The Producers (original) (B-, while this film at one time was an A, what was once hilarious and shocking has now become less profound then the normal things we see every day. Plus the whole “make it into a Broadway musical” thing makes me enjoy the film a bit less. Not every good movie ever made has to be remade, or reworked into a musical. I’m still trying to figure out why they tried to turn Carrie into one.) Mirrors (C, in general not a bad little horror/suspense film, but the way they wrap the story up, plus th every end, kinda ruin the whole effect.) Flawless (B-, most of the movie is well done and generally interesting, but the ending is – once again – so stupid, that it all falls apart). Mute Witness (A-, Heather had never seen this film before. Quite good suspense flick that didn’t get a lot of attention when it came out, and now it has been long forgotten. Find it and see it). Junebug (D, Amy Adams is real cute and clearly can play comedic roles as well, or even better, than serious ones; after all, she got her start in the hilarious Drop Dead Gorgeous. But she’s the only thing in this movie worth watching. Forget it.) The Laramie Project (B+, a rather powerful film, which leads more to discussion than answers – as most films of this type are likely to do. There are no real answers).
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – Based on the praise heaped on this book on the back, from people like Stephen King and both major Chicago newspapers, I think I may have been expecting more from this first novel than I actually received (it was also an Edgar Nominee for Best First Novel). A Suspense/thriller by the chief TV critic ant Entertainment Weekly (or at least she was when this came out 2006), it deals with a serious of gruesome child murders in a small Missouri town. Camille Preaker, the main character, returns to the town where she grew up, and the family she has never felt comfortable with, to investigate the crimes for the Chicago paper she works for. Along the way she is forced to deal with, in one way or another, many issues of her childhood. I can’t say whether this criticism of the novel is accurate or not, but this is how it read for me personally: this book is written by someone who has read quite a bit about mental illness and how it affects those around us, but not by someone who has much personal experience with it. Maybe that is unfair, but that’s what I was left with when I finished. It’s still a decent read, but so many avenues of how we affect each other, and how mental illness can be both inflicted and absorbed, were left untouched or glossed over. I suppose that could be because the subject matter is more personal to the author than I think, and therefore too painful, but that’s not the impression I get. Overall, an over-praised book, but not a bad one.
Jérémie Lefrancois: Ok, now
I have caught up with all the ES issues. I printed the ones I was late about,
and read them nicely in my sofa on my free time these last four days.
[[You’re still ahead of people who read ES only through the print version of The Abyssinian Prince!]]
I even discovered there was a joker entry for the "popular demand" game!
[[I’m still surprised how many people have not noticed that.]]
Of course, the prison part is what I prefer. I look almost as forward to reading it that the actual game part (for the game I am involved in).
[[I hope you’ll find some enjoyment or
interest in the other subject matter I’ve got in mind to write about in the future,
Something I will not read for sure are the cooking recipes - cooking is one of the things I do so little if never. My 11 year old daughter has probably now overtaken me in this field (she likes to cook sweets).
I was very moved by the list from Heather. It reminded me a bit of my sister, but my sister did not go through so much trouble. What comes to my mind is in these cases is the hen and egg issue: was Heather so uneasy in life because she did not get love from her mother, or did her mother did not like her because she displayed weakness all the time? Anyhow, I do not know her mum's age now, but there is probably not so much time left, so it is best to keep cool and concentrate on the next generation, the little ones. And besides, in France, or to my knowledge, Valentine’s is only for lovers to make presents, not family or friends.
[[Heather likes to find reasons to give presents for all holidays, and she truly spends a god deal of time looking for personal items which match the recipient perfectly, while still keeping economics in perspective. She gets a lot of enjoyment out of it, but it does hurt her quite a bit when the gifts aren’t at least acknowledged with a simple thank you.]]
Dane Maslen: I found this one of your most interesting articles. It's amazing that such an ill-conceived set of rules could be thrown together so as to make things almost impossible for anyone trying to follow them while simultaneously failing to catch anyone intent on breaking them!
[[That’s a very accurate description. In many ways, the only people caught up in the rules are the ones who are not thinking criminally…expect for the rare few who are so incredibly stupid that they flaunt their breaking of the rules over and over.]]
Tom Swider: Facebook seems
kind of interesting. Got back in touch with an old flame, and got a lot of junk
mail because of FlapJack and Cathy Ozog wanting to recruit members for their
[[I spend less time there than I did the first couple of weeks, but I am very happy with being able to re-establish some old relationships. It does make me melancholy though, as I start thinking about how closed-off I kept myself during those High School years, and what friendships and support I missed along the way.]]
Fully agree with Robert Lesco ... what was I thinking about Phil Collins?
[[Tom Swider admits he was wrong about something? WOW!]]
Only Tom Cruise movie I liked was Eyes Wide Shut. He actually came across as something greater than a 2D image. Nice performance by Sydney Pollack. Not as open ended as anything from Lynchland, but has that Kubrik trademark of a person being the source of their own downfalls. The end was also well done ... keeping one's eyes widely shut to the lies necessary to keep their marriage together.
[[Rain Man was decent, and I really like A Few Good Men for the
sake of the terrific dialogue. Otherwise
they generally suck or are adequate time-kills (like Minority Report) where
someone else could have done a much better job.]]
By Jack “Flapjack” McHugh – jwmchughjr “of” gmail.com
(or just email Doug and he’ll send it to me)
I am so depressed. I don’t know what it is that I’m doing wrong, but it just seems that my life never goes in the right direction. Maybe I should be like George on Seinfeld and just do the opposite. I try to do the right things. I watch the people on commercials, and they all seem to be having happy, fulfilled lives. So I buy the products they use, but I don’t get the same sort of results. Women don’t flock to me when I use body spray; I don’t have these wonderful get-togethers with friends in exotic locations, enjoying glasses of wine while the sun sets behind us. No…I get to struggle, trying to find a full-time job while homeless people bug me for spare change and the neighbor’s stupid dog barks all night long. Has television been lying to me all these years? I don’t want to believe that, but little by little I’m becoming convinced. I wish Captain Kirk was here. He’d tell me what to do. Or Dr. House.
The neighbor’s dog is a real problem, because I need my beauty sleep. After playing Mafia Wars on Facebook all night, I’ve got to get some sleep before I suffer through my journey to Dilbert-like Cubeville. I’m an animal lover, so there isn’t much I can do about the dog itself. I don’t want to shoot it or poison it or throw anything at it, or even get it sent to the pound. So I’ve developed smaller measures of revenge. Last week I stuck a rainbow sticker on my neighbor’s bumper. Yesterday I turned on his outside faucet (to a slow flow) before I left for work; by the time I got home his side yard was a mess. Maybe he’ll get foundation damage and the whole place will collapse, trapping him inside. At least the dog will be okay, since he never brings the damn thing in!
As long as I’m complaining, let me bitch for a few minutes about packrats. Dougie and I were chatting about this the other day, because his mother was a major packrat, and he’s had to fight the urge to become one for many years. I have a close friend who is a supreme packrat. I just don’t understand the mental illness that creates a modern packrat. But they are all the same.
First, they never want to throw anything away (obviously). The reasons given are one of four: this is an antique (or worth money); this WILL be worth money someday; this has sentimental value (“my great uncle gave me this issue of Newsweek five days before he moved to Canada); or “somebody might need this someday.” Aside from obvious trash (empty food containers, half-eaten food, dirty cat litter) just about anything can be fit into one of these four categories. In fact, even some empty food containers can fall into category number two – “an empty Wheaties box with Rusty Wallace on it? NASCAR fans will be searching for this in ten years.”
There’s also the fifth, most dangerous category for a packrat: “I’m not done with this yet.” Any book, magazine, game, puzzle, unfinished model, craft project, letter, article, or anything else can fit in here. If it isn’t something the packrat personally has created, it’s most likely a “bargain” they found somewhere (garage sales and thrift stores are like heroin to the packrat). “Check this out, I bought 150 opera boxed set LP’s for only $25. Some of these are rare, I’m sure of it. First I’ll catalogue them all, figure out their value, burn them onto CD’s so I can enjoy them myself, and then sell the really expensive ones on eBay. Huh? I know I don’t like opera, that’s why I bought them, so I can learn to like it, and plus this way I won’t feel like I need to hang on to them for no reason.”
The thing about the packrat which is so ironic is they seem to have a reverse relationship between the overall amount of storage space available to them, and the accumulation of worthless crap they want to save. So all these so-called “antiques” (anything over 10 years old) and “collectibles” (toys from McDonald’s happy meals) get crammed into boxes, put into piles, and stuffed into every imaginable corner, shelf, closet, garage, shed, and crawlspace you can imagine.
Want to have some fun? Try to steer a conversation with a packrat towards some vague area they’re likely to have been interested in at one time…old Matchbox cars, issues of National Geographic, old SPI war games, something like that. Feign interest (that means pretend you care about what you’re talking about, idiots), and watch the packrat spend the next two hours going crazy trying to figure out where he put some piece of junk he’s saving which relates to the topic. “Damn it, I know I put that Corgi ambulance in here somewhere. See, Corgis are worth a lot more than Matchbox cars. This one only has two wheels, but I think it still has one of the little medics. Hmmm…I know, it must be in the middle of the third pile in the garage. Wait here, I’ll go find it!” Use this opportunity to eat anything good in the fridge (or carry a few sixes of excellent local-brew beer to your car), steal all the quarters from his change pile, or just get up and leave. He won’t be back for two hours anyway, and by then he might not even remember you’d been there in the first place!
In baseball, now that we are nearing the end of the second month, let’s take a quick look at how my predictions are faring. In the AL East I had Toronto on top, and so far so good. Of course, in this division anything could happen. Baltimore in last place was a lock, and remains one. The suck like a Hoover. In the AL Central I was right about KC’s resurgence, but it’s too early to tell how things will work out. Detroit is doing better than I expected. And, as Dougie likes to remind me, my pick of Texas in first in the AL West is right on target. Great pitching, timely hitting, and even their fielding has improved.
In the National League, as expected Philly and the Mets are fighting it out. But damn, I though Washington would be playing better. They look like a AA team. The NL Central is a much stronger division than expected, so anyone can still win…well, anyone but my pick, Pittsburgh. I thought they’d be doing in the NL what Texas is doing in the AL. No such luck. So much for the “due” theory. The stupid steroid Dodgers have completely screwed up my NL West predictions. But I hope karma will help drag them back into the pack, and an August swoon might set the division the way it belongs. It’s a long season.
My Eagles had what I thought was a terrific draft this year. This was especially important because I want to make sure the Cowgirls suffer a terrible season in their new $46 trillion stadium. Nothing is more fun than watching the rubber, stretched face of crypt-keeper Jerry Jones cringe as his “most talented team in the NFL” sucks the wind out of ever fair weather Dallas fan. Well, at least this year they may still have the Rangers playing meaningful baseball when the football season starts. I know Dougie would get a huge laugh if the Cowgirls failed to sell out a few home games, blacking out the television broadcast in the local market.
See you next month. Send some letters in the meantime; I get so damn lonely.
by W. Andrew York
(wandrew88 of gmail.com)
Well, I’m back in Austin after the trip to Lubbock. Nice place to visit, but..... I did have a good visit, being able to spend time with my friend, eat some good food and just plain relaxing. I never did get to the glider museum, so hopefully next visit. And, speaking of a “next visit”, I’ll be traveling to Pittsburgh at the end of June. So, please be prompt in submitting anything for the next column. The deadline is the 27th and I fly out the morning of the 28th. So, I don’t know if I’ll be able to incorporate anything received after the deadline.
You may ask, why are you going to Pittsburgh? Well, it is where this year’s American Mensa’s Annual Gathering is being held. I hadn’t planned on attending, even after thoroughly enjoying last year’s event in Denver. I go as much for the non-Gathering opportunities as for the actual event, and I didn’t think there would be much to do. But, one of the arranged optional trips is to Fallingwater - and that was the tipping point as I’ve wanted to see that for some time. Plus, that trip includes a visit to another nearby Frank Lloyd Wright house, which is an added bonus. So, after looking at the options, I’m also going to take in a Pirates baseball game, visit some of the museums and, of course, enjoy the Gathering itself.
Summer is upon us, time for vacations and yardwork, projects to complete and events to attend, along with opportunities to enjoy the neighbors’ company. Summer and the accompanying good weather give each of us a chance to get out of the house, enjoy the outdoors and to just plain enjoy life. It also allows us to interact more with the community and improve relationships with others.
With the good weather, I try to schedule as many things outdoors as I can. When I read, I’ll set out on the apartment’s stoop (well, if it is in the shade). This gives me the chance to greet my neighbors, get to know them a bit and to help create a community. I also will go to the complex pool (once the hail destroyed furniture is replaced) to get a little sun, splash in the pool and interact with some of the other folks in the complex. This can be emulated in a neighborhood by doing activities on the front porch or lawn, rather than in the all-too-often fenced back yards.
I’ve lived in complexes where you don’t know or interact with the other tenants, and I’ve found I’ve lost a number of chances to help people, accept their help and to share with them. It also makes day-to-day living a bit on the lonely side. On the other hand, taking the opportunity to say ‘hi’, ask if you can help tote in groceries or just plain chit-chat brightens both your life and those you live near. And, who knows, they may in turn mention they are going to the store, asking if you need anything, or even pick up a refreshing sno-cone for you on a hot afternoon.
I encourage you to take the opportunities you have this summer to get out, enjoy summer and meet your neighbors - make a neighborhood out of the cluster of apartments or houses that you live in.
(always welcome, send them in!)
Doug Kent: I bet you’re looking forward to the new Trek film. Heather and I don’t plan on seeing it, at least not until it is on DVD. But speaking to the people I know who have seen it, it sounds like the franchise is in good hands. WAY: You are correct, I usually see new Star Trek films on the first morning, first showing (skipping any midnight shows). Unfortunately, once I had tickets, they announced that there were going to be some showings on Thursday night, so I didn’t quite follow my usual practice. Anyway, five of us showed up for a 10:10am screening that Friday morning and quite enjoyed it in a moderately filled theater. Three of us ended up seeing it again the following Tuesday at a sold-out IMAX showing. Very good movie which I’ll certainly pick up on DVD - and I’ve heard they are already planning the next film.
Dane Maslen: I found the report of the Apollo 8 reunion very interesting. I knew that Apollo 8 had been considered a risky mission at the time (NASA being somewhat stampeded into it by the probably incorrect belief that the Russians were getting close to trying something similar), but I am amazed by the probabilities quoted by Frank Borman. On the other hand it has to be admitted that of nine Apollo missions that involved leaving Earth orbit, one went so pear-shaped that the crew could very easily have been lost, so I guess that suggests that the risks on the first such mission must indeed have been considerable. WAY: Actually it was Anders who made the probability comment and, considering all the things that could have gone wrong, I think he was optimistic. Some of the hurdles mentioned were - the mission changing from an Earth orbital to a moon orbital a few months prior to launch, Lovell was a back-up astronaut brought in late in the schedule and that the Saturn booster hadn’t had a successful launch were brought up during the discussion. And, you are correct, this mission was very much influenced by the fear that the Soviets would send someone to the moon before the US could get there - as at this time, for the “big” space milestones, America had yet to achieve one before the USSR did.
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.
This issue: Are you tied to an electronic tether (Blackberry, cellphone, etc) or can you easily leave
those devices behind or turn them off?
Dane Maslen: Incidentally you asked about essential electronic gadgets. I suppose that I have become very heavily dependent on my Pocket PC. I originally bought it on a whim (I was buying a digital camera online and decided to buy the Pocket PC ‘in case it might be useful’).
For the next 4-5 months the Pocket PC sat around completely unused as I saw no compelling reason to use. Then I broke my right arm and one day found myself wanting to make notes while playing a game of Outpost but incapable of writing with my left hand. It occurred to me that I could manage the Pocket PC’s stylus left-handed without any great problems. Once I started using the Pocket PC for that purpose, I realized there were various other things that I could do more easily or reliably with it rather than paper (my shopping list was one of the first things to go electronic). It was the beginning of a slippery slope that has led to the Pocket PC taking over large chunks of my life.
Doug Kent: I am not tied to any such devices, in part because Heather REFUSES to allow my company to provide a blackberry to me. But I do generally leave my laptop on at home, and check email often. This is only partly due to work (but I do get quite a few requests for stuff during the evenings or weekends). It’s also because most of my friends are those who live nowhere near us, so on-line is the only way we communicate. Plus, I hate talking on the phone. My cell phone is for making and receiving calls only, I’ve disabled any texting features.
WAY: I’ve carried a pager since I was a police officer, but I have yet to get a cell phone, install a DSL/Cable modem or (shudder) get a smart phone/blackberry. That is going to have to change in the near future as I’m going to be part of an on-call rotation at work that will require carrying an agency issued cell phone for a week at a time (unless I have my own). Also, I’ll need regular Internet access from the apartment, so I’ll have to find the best deal I can get soon. Currently, if I want to go online, I go to the apartment’s business center or take my agency issued laptop to a nearby sandwich shop with a wireless connection - before that I did use a dial-up modem. Like Doug, I am not a phone person and use it rarely. But with the basic costs so high for a land-line, it is almost worth getting a cellphone for those very few times it would be convenient to make a call when I’m away from the apartment. Any suggestions on good/bad companies to look at or deals (I won’t publish these personal recommendations in the column unless specifically told they are for publication).
Yes, I’m known for my lack technological immersion - curious for a person who works in IT. Some of the folks I work with are heavily into the latest electronic gadgets, phones, computers and frequently upgrade to newer equipment. I, on the other hand, buy when there is a reason to buy, not because “something new is out”. For instance, the computer I use at home is about five and a half years old using an Office suite from the early ‘90s. For what I use the computer at home for, that is sufficient. Granted, there are some minor incompatibility issues (see Hangman comments for an example); but, it works well the vast majority of the time and there is no other compelling reason to invest the time and money to upgrade just to upgrade.
My reluctance to buy something just for a bell or whistle extends to other areas. In buying a car, m current Saturn only has power steering as there was no option to avoid it. A standing quip at work is how will I buy a new car when the time comes, seeing as I have no desire for power windows (cranks work just fine) or cruise control (unless I was in a position to routinely drive long distances) that are all but standard installations in cars these days. My view is, unless you have a need for them, that they are just something else that can break and end up costly to repair.
For next issue: Is there a vibrant future for the US car industry or should America depend on a globalized
market? That being said, if you bought a car today, what would it be?
Delenn in Voices of Authority: “Wars are won or lost before they are fought...through preparation, attitude, strategy, and the selection of proper allies.'"
Source: But In Purple...I’m Stunning! by J. Michael Straczynski, edited by Sara “Samm” Barnes, copyright 2008.
June 4, 1989 - Crackdown on protesters at Tiananmen Square reaches a peak, including the defiance of an unknown student against a column
of tanks. The picture of the standoff polarizes world opinion against the Chinese actions.
June 11, 1959 – The first operational hovercraft is demonstrated in England.
June 15, 1919 - The first non-stop flight across the Atlantic by two Brits who took off from Newfoundland and crash-landed in Ireland.
This flight is eight years ahead of Lindbergh’s solo flight to Paris.
Sources include: current issue of Smithsonian
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.
Scallop Pasta Salad
by W Andrew York
(last modified May 25, 2009)
1 pkg Rainbow-colored Spiral Pasta
1 lb Bay Scallops
3-4 Green Onions, diced (include soft part of green stem)
1 cn Cream of Mushroom Soup
8 oz Mushroom Pieces (canned is better than fresh)
1-2 tbl Minced Garlic
Olive Oil for sautéing
Parsley sprigs for garnish
1. Cook pasta according to directions, keep in warm bowl if serving immediately
2. Sauté garlic for 2-3 minutes in oil, then add scallops and cook until almost done
3. Add mushrooms, stir briefly and take off the heat
4. Add mushroom soup to pasta, stir to coat pasta, add scallop mixture
5. Add onion, stir and top with parsley just prior to serving
- This can be cooled, then served as a cold side salad/pasta dish with dinner or on buffet. Note - stir in onions just prior to service to keep their
- If served hot, it can be a main course or side dish.
- If to be a hot dish, but made ahead of time, undercook the scallops slightly. They’ll finish cooking when it is reheated for service. Note - in this case, the salad can be stored in a casserole dish and, when reheating, top with cheese.
- The is designed to have various textures (el dante pasta, crunch of the onions, creaminess of the soup, feel of canned mushrooms, etc) and to
colorful (rainbow pasta, green of onions and parsley, white sauce). For more color, minced red peppers (soften with cooking garlic)
or pimento can be stirred in.
- This can easily be doubled or tripled for large gatherings.
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. Both 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). [[Note – for the first round of this game, an online source was used]]
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 random 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 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.
All rounds start with the letters “E” and “S” already revealed.
Round One, Turn One:
Letter Votes: A-1; D-1; L-1; R-1 Revealed: R (eight letters found)
Words Guessed: ((None)) - Brendan Whyte and Dane Maslen; Backwater - Andy Lischett; Monitored - Doug Kent;
Round One, Turn Two:
Word: __ __ R __ __ __ __ E R
Definition: __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ E __ __ __ R __ __ __ __ __ __ __
__ __ E S __ R __ __ - __ __ __ __ E __ S __ __ E __ __ __ __ __ S __ S E __
E S __ E __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ S
__ __ __ __ __ E __ __ __ R __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ R E E __ __
R __ __ __ __ __ __ R __ __ E
Revealed: E, R, S
Brendan Whyte: I think there’s a ‘used’ in there... WAY: Well, there’s one place that could still be it.
Dane Maslen: I took a look at the Hangman game-start. In the definition is the presence of spaces between words supposed to be
obvious? Currently, spaces don’t seem to be showing up at all. WAY: Oops, I write this in an old version of Word (6.0)
in Rich Text Format. To get it to Doug, I convert it to a current version of Word (.doc format). Unfortunately, there isn’t
a perfect conversion between them. I generally have to add or subtract lines to get clean pages and, in this case, the
spaces in the definition lost their distinctiveness. I hope this is now corrected.
Possible future game openings - Railway Rivals, Empire Builder, Liftoff!, Pandemic
Suggestions accepted for other games to offer.
Deadline For The Next Issue of Out of the WAY:
June 27th, 2009 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 (Black Press): Signed up: Philip Murphy, Ian Pringle, William Wood, Rick Davis, need three more to fill. Get in on the fun now!
Gunboat Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: Two players, need five more to fill.
Diplomacy Bourse (Black Press): Buy and sell the currencies of the Diplomacy nations. This Bourse is using the new game “Dulcinea” as its basis. Players may join at any time (one just joined this issue), and are then given 1000 units of every currency still in circulation. The rules to Bourse can be found in ES #24.
Intimate Diplomacy Round Robin (Black Press): Signed up: Tom Swider, Peter McNamara, needs two more. Four players, each playing in 3 games at once (one game against each of the other three players). The rules to Intimate Diplomacy can be found in ES #26. I’ll give ONE MORE month to see if anybody wants to fill the spots before I drop it. It was suggested that I could simply run one game between the two of them, and I might decide to do that.
By Popular Demand: Game currently underway, join any time.
Standby List: HELP! I need standby players!
I may offer another Gunboat 7x7 soon, so keep your eyes open. I’m also considering variants like Cline 9-Man, Fog of War, Youngstown, or Woolworth. Does anybody have an interest in Kremlin? Or Stephen Agar’s Cannibalism? And now that Deviant Dip II is starting, if the rest of you realize what a fun variant it is, I may offer another game of THAT (despite how many times I have been warned not to)! If somebody wants to guest-GM a game of anything, just say the word. If you have specific game requests please let me know.
The first Eternal Sunshine 7x7 Gunboat Tournament has finally ended. The last game to finish was Old Age, which ended in an E/F/T draw in Summer 1916. Every other game ended in a solo victory. Below you will find the game reports on each of the seven games, and the final point tally from the tournament itself. Finally, you’ll see who the big winner was! It was remarkable how well Turkey did in this tournament – to me, anyway.
Congratulations to David Partridge, who edged out Marin Burgdorf for first place. And major thanks go to Andy and Arthur for taking over when we lost two players – one because of losing internet access for a month or more, and the other who seemed to disappear from the hobby suddenly (including ceasing publication of his terrific subzine and updating of his web site). David will be given the choice of a number of DVDs I have here in the “winners pile” (unlike the movie quote prizes, most of these are used, but free is free!) Watch your email for a list of your choices David!
Austria (Kevin Wilson - ckevinw “of” yahoo.com): F Aegean Sea - Constantinople (*Fails*),
A Bulgaria - Rumania (*Fails*), A Trieste Supports A Vienna – Budapest, F Tunis - North Africa,
A Vienna – Budapest, A Warsaw Hold.
England (Jérémie LeFrançois - jeremie.lefrancois “of”gmail.com): F Baltic Sea - Berlin (*Fails*),
F Barents Sea - Norwegian Sea, F English Channel - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Fails*), F Liverpool - Irish Sea,
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Portugal (*Bounce*), A Moscow – Ukraine, F Norwegian Sea - North Sea,
A St Petersburg - Moscow.
France (William Wood – woodw “of” offutt.af.mil): A Burgundy – Gascony,
A Paris Supports A Burgundy - Gascony (*Cut*).
Germany (Graham Wilson – grahamaw “of” rogers.com): A Kiel Supports A Ruhr – Munich,
A Ruhr - Munich.
Italy (Don Williams – dwilliam “of” fontana.org): A Brest - Paris (*Fails*),
F Gulf of Lyon Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea - Western Mediterranean, F Marseilles - Spain(sc) (*Fails*),
F Naples - Tyrrhenian Sea, A Piedmont - Marseilles (*Fails*), F Spain(nc) - Portugal (*Bounce*),
F Tyrrhenian Sea - Western Mediterranean, A Venice - Tyrolia.
Russia (Melinda Holley – genea5613 “of” aol.com): A Berlin Hold,
Budapest Supports A Rumania (*Dislodged*, ret Ser,
Gal, OTB), A Rumania Supports A Budapest (*Cut*),
A Sevastopol Supports A Rumania.
Turkey (Brad Wilson - bwdolphin146 “of”yahoo.com): F Black Sea - Bulgaria(ec) (*Fails*),
F Constantinople Supports F Black Sea - Bulgaria(ec) (*Cut*), A Smyrna Supports F Constantinople.
Fall 1906 Deadline is June 29th 2009 at 7:00am my time
Italy – England: You are a promise-breaker. Have you such a poor memory? Very well, I’m coming to get you…
Italy to France, Old and New: Sorry for the rather major and abiding incursion into your country but you know the old saying, “When in Rome, plot on how to kick the French out of France!”
ROME to LONDON: Or is it ”Kick Jeremie out of Great Britain?”
Austria to the Narrator: What happened to our story?
WILLIAMS to KENT: If you’re going through the trouble of calling standbys, couldn’t you at least get rid of one of these Wilson types? I’m so confused ….
GM – Williams: I’ve still got one or two other Wilsons I can bring in. So watch what you say!
ITALY to KENT: I’d like to propose a new rule or two here …
Kent – Italy: Bribes might help.
Germany -> Russia: (with tones of bitterness) I may not win, but I'll sure as heck out last you...
NAPLES to TUNIS: After you, sir, after you …
DUCKY to SUCCESSIONISTA: Can’t we all just get along …
ROME to BERLIN: OK, I’m sending a unit north this season to help you finally retake MUN. Good grief, we meant to borrow it for a year or two, not permanently colonize it. A whole cohort of German kindergarten children now speaks fluent Italian and would never think of conquering Europe for the greater glory of the Fatherland. I guess we’ll all just have to get over it.
Austria (Stephen Agar – stephen “of” stephenagar.com): A Galicia – Rumania, A Rumania – Serbia,
F Trieste Hold, A Vienna - Tyrolia (*Fails*).
England (Philip Murphy trekkypj “of” gmail.com): F English Channel - North Sea, A London Hold,
F Norway – Sweden, F Norwegian Sea - Barents Sea.
France (Brad Wilson
– bwdolphin146 ”of” yahoo.com):
A Belgium Supports A Paris - Burgundy (*Dislodged*, ret Pic, OTB), A Brest Hold, A Paris – Burgundy, F
Portugal - Spain(sc) (*Fails*),
F Spain(sc) - Marseilles (*Bounce*).
Germany (William Wood – woodw “of” Offutt.af.mil): F Denmark Supports F Norway – Sweden,
A Holland – Belgium, A Munich Hold, A Ruhr Supports A Holland - Belgium.
Italy (Melinda Holley – genea5613 “of” aol.com): A Piedmont - Marseilles (*Bounce*), A Tyrolia Hold,
F Tyrrhenian Sea - Gulf of Lyon, F Western Mediterranean Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea - Gulf of Lyon.
Russia (Jack McHugh – jwmchughjr “of” gmail.com): A Moscow Supports F Sevastopol, F Sevastopol Hold,
F Sweden – Skagerrak, A Ukraine Supports F Sevastopol, A Warsaw Supports A Ukraine.
Turkey (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” gmail.com): A Armenia - Sevastopol (*Fails*),
F Black Sea Supports A Armenia – Sevastopol, F Constantinople - Bulgaria(ec),
A Greece Supports F Constantinople - Bulgaria(ec).
Supply Center Chart:
Austria: Budapest, Rumania, Serbia, Trieste, Vienna=5 Build 1
England: Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Norway, Sweden=5 Build 1
France: Brest, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, Spain=5 Even or Build 1
Germany: Belgium, Berlin, Denmark, Kiel, Munich=5 Build 1
Italy: Naples, Rome, Tunis, Venice=4 Even
Russia: Moscow, Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Warsaw=4 Remove 1
Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Smyrna=5 Build 1
Winter 1902/Spring 1903 Deadline is June 29th 2009 at 7:00am my time
Great Britain – All: My fellow leaders,
Recent declarations made by prominent figures in the Houses of Parliament have urged a fundamental change in
our foreign policy. I have listened to the debate in recent days, urging my
government to initiate a more conciliatory approach on the continent.
As a direct consequence of Parliament's stated desire to establish better relations with our neighbours, I have taken the decision to withdraw all British armed forces from the emerging French zone of influence in Picardy. This unilateral decision was not done lightly - and Britain remains concerned that France has yet to open diplomatic relations with my government. Britain takes these steps to demontrate its good faith and willingness to pursue a peaceful co-existence with her neighbours.
I urge the French government to begin talks at once to formalise our relations at a time of great unrest in Europe. I also encourage all leaders to bring their influence to bear so that fruitful dialogue can take place.
Prime Minister of Great Britain
Jim-Bob – Prime Minister: Hello Sir,
I don't know who you really are, but you are trying desperately here to engage this pack of deadwood, no Mr. Wood not YOU, in some kind of Diplomacy game? This will not be successful. I'm so sorry, we're all enjoying our Gunboat game quietly, induced along to submit orders on a turbophreak basis by the redoubtable Mr. Kent.
Cheers, we are sorry for your impending demise, your fellow witch,
– Jim-Bob: Hello, cousin witch!
Hardly surprising you don't know me really as I hardly know who I am myself at times... and I'm a fairly recent arrival in the hobby. That should tell you two things - I'm green (Br. Racing Green preferably) and am not nearly cynical enough yet to take the hint *grin*.
In any case I like to amuse myself with the keyboard. Doug didn't tell me this was a Gunboat, the rascal. I wonder if he forgot to say anything? ;)
As for deadwood... you know what they say - find a set of secateurs and start cutting. ;) Spring and Autumn is best for pruning work- Autumn best of all.... just like in Diplomacy...
The other thing about gardening is that you have to kill the weeds by the roots or they'll come back and take over. I recommend Roundup. Doesn't work on English players though. Especially when they're of Irish extraction... :)
Wicked Witch of the West.
Jim-Bob – Prime Minister: I'm just saying that this group of deadwood is SOOO dead that your chances of waking them up are between slim and none and slim has already caught the stage out of town. If April Showers bring May Flowers, what do May flowers bring?
Wicked Witch of the East (Die, Dorothy, Die!! hehehe, I know who Dorothy is, and it's not the woman in the game....)
Austria (Terry Hayes – Telboy203 “of” aol.com): A Vienna Hold.
England (Smiley McKinnon – Boltar35 “of” aol.com): F London Supports F North Sea,
North Sea Supports F Norway (*Dislodged*, retreats to Edinburgh), F
Norway Supports F North Sea (*Disbanded*), A Yorkshire Supports F London.
France (Pat Vogelsang – godawgsgo33 “of” yahoo.com): A Belgium Hold,
F Brest Supports F English Channel, A Burgundy Supports A Belgium,
F English Channel Supports F Helgoland Bight - North Sea, A Gascony no move received,
A Picardy Supports A Belgium.
Germany (Beartla de Burca – beartlab “of” yahoo.ie): F Denmark Supports F Helgoland Bight - North Sea,
F Helgoland Bight - North Sea, A Holland Hold, A Munich Hold, A Silesia Supports A Munich.
Italy (David Latimer – davidlatimeryork “of” yacoo.co.uk): F Adriatic Sea Hold, F Ionian Sea – Tunis,
Naples - Tyrrhenian Sea,
A Trieste - Budapest (*Dislodged*, retreats to Venice),
A Tyrolia - Vienna (*Fails*).
Russia (Chris Babcock – cbabcock “of” asciiking.com): A Bohemia - Tyrolia (*Fails*), A Budapest – Trieste,
Galicia – Warsaw,
F Rumania - Black Sea (*Disbanded*), A Sevastopol -
F St Petersburg(nc) – Norway, F Sweden Supports F St Petersburg(nc) - Norway.
Turkey (Phil Amos – p.v.a “of” btinternet.com): F Aegean Sea – Greece, F Albania - Adriatic Sea (*Fails*),
F Armenia - Black Sea, F Black Sea – Rumania, A Bulgaria Supports F Black Sea – Rumania,
A Serbia Supports A Budapest - Trieste.
Supply Center Chart:
Austria: Vienna=1 Even
England: Edinburgh, Liverpool, London=3 Even
France: Belgium, Brest, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, Spain=6 Even
Germany: Berlin, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, Munich=5 Even
Italy: Naples, Rome, Tunis, Venice=4 Removes F Tyn (NRR)
Russia: Budapest, Moscow, Norway, Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Sweden,
Trieste, Warsaw=8 Build A Mos, Plays 1 short
Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Rumania,
Serbia, Smyrna=7 Build F Constantinople
Spring/Summer 1904 Deadline is June 29th 2009 at 7:00am my time
GM – All: No press? Pphpht!
(Tim Deacon – tim “of” wcava.org.uk):
F Albania - Greece
A Serbia Supports A Rumania – Bulgaria, A Trieste Supports A Serbia, A Vienna Supports A Trieste.
England (Nigel Pepper – nepper “of” totalise.co.uk): A Belgium Supports F Holland, F Denmark – Kiel,
A Edinburgh – Yorkshire, F Holland Supports F Denmark – Kiel, F London - English Channel,
F North Sea Supports A Belgium, F Norwegian Sea - North Atlantic Ocean.
France (Robert Jewett – Robert_Jewett “of” navyfederal.org and robertjewett “of” yahoo.com):
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*), F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold, A Paris - Burgundy (*Fails*),
A Picardy Supports A Paris - Burgundy (*Fails*), A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich.
Germany (John Wilman – jwilman “of” hotmail.com): A Berlin Supports A Kiel – Munich,
Kiel - Munich (*Disbanded*).
Italy (Jimmy Cowie – jcowie “of” madasafish.com): F Adriatic Sea Supports F Ionian Sea – Albania,
F Ionian Sea – Albania, A Munich – Tyrolia, F Naples - Ionian Sea, A Venice Supports A Munich - Tyrolia.
Russia (Mike Oliveri – oliverima “of” aol.com): F Baltic Sea Supports F Denmark – Kiel,
F Black Sea Supports A Rumania – Bulgaria, A Rumania – Bulgaria, F Sevastopol – Armenia, A Sweden Hold,
A Warsaw - Silesia.
Turkey (Eric Knibb – eric_knibb “of” blueyonder.co.uk): F Aegean Sea Supports A Bulgaria – Greece,
A Ankara Holds by jumping up and down whilst screaming abuse at the Russian, A Bulgaria – Greece,
F Constantinople - Smyrna.
Fall/Autumn/Winter 1903 Deadline is June 29th 2009 at 7:00am my time
Austria - All: Welcome back! Hopefully this game will continue with no further interruptions.
T-R....:- O.K. when you are ready to talk I am all ears!
GM – All: Come on people, let’s see some press! Have some fun, insult your neighbors, write a storyline…
Billy Ray Valentine: Is busy in the Orange Juice trading pit.
Duke of York: Sells 500 Francs. Buys 649 Lire.
Smaug the Dragon: Sells 500 Pounds, 500 Crowns, 500 Lire, and 500 Francs. Buys 1000 Marks and 1000 Rubles.
Rothschild: Sells 500 Rubles. Buys 120 Francs, 152 Marks, and 131 Piastres.
Baron Wuffet: Sits on his tuffet.
Whittles and whistles.
VAIONT Enterprises: Sells 200 Crowns. Buys 203 Marks.
Insider Trading LLC: Sells 500 Francs and 500 Rubles. Buys 1000 Marks, 1000 Lire, 500 Pounds, and 211 Crowns.
SMAUG TO MIDDLE-EARTH: *hic*... thish vodka ann wozzit.... peesh shnappps is the beezzz kneees *snorts flames * whoops.... sorrry boush your iiiiiiiiii eyebrowsh.....
VAIONT ENTERPRISES: Given the current economic downturn, subprime loans (generated primarily by Rothschild Real Estate Holdings no doubt), and the frozen solid credit markets, what’s an honest, legitimate, tradition-bound investment house to do? We don’t know about them, but we’re deeply into lottery tickets.
VAIONT to SMAUG the DRAGON: Let’s cease fighting each other, form a conglomerate, generate a bunch of grant applications for federal relief and pull down a sack load of Obama bucks.
VAIONT ENTERPRISES to TURKEY: Tell us your first born’s name isn’t Chrysler …
VAIONT ENTERPRISES to INSIDE TRADER: Hey, didn’t I see you on the recent Suze Orman special?
Duke of York to Smaug: You go right back to Guam and your Guams. We see through your machinations to manipulate the market. I choose to stand pat and let you keep adapting the prices in my favor.... wait, a goshdarn minute, I see what you're up to. Take this!
Next Bourse Deadline is June 28th 2009 at 7:00pm my time
Austria (John Walker - jwalker150 “of” hotmail.com): A Budapest – Serbia, F Trieste – Albania,
A Vienna - Galicia (*Bounce*).
England (Russell Blau – russblau “of” imapmail.org): F Edinburgh - Norwegian Sea, A Liverpool – Yorkshire,
F London - North Sea.
France (Don Williams – dwilliam “of” fontana.org): F Brest - Mid-Atlantic Ocean,
A Marseilles Supports A Paris – Burgundy, A Paris - Burgundy.
Germany (Pete Gaughan – raptormage “of” astound.net): A Berlin – Kiel, F Kiel – Denmark,
A Munich - Ruhr.
Italy (John David Galt – jdg “of” diogenes.sacramento.ca.us): F Naples - Ionian Sea, A Rome – Naples,
A Venice Hold.
Russia (Mark D Lew – markdlew “of” earthlink.net): A Moscow – Ukraine, F Sevastopol - Black Sea,
F St Petersburg(sc) - Gulf of Bothnia, A Warsaw - Galicia (*Bounce*).
Turkey (Jason Bergmann – jasonbergmann “of” gmail.com): F Ankara – Constantinople,
A Constantinople – Bulgaria, A Smyrna - Armenia.
Official Standby Players, as needed: Jim Burgess (jfburgess “of” gmail.com), Jack McHugh (jwmchughjr “of” gmail.com), Hugh Polley (hapolley “of” yahoo.ca).
A: 1 for #1, 1 for #2, 1 for #3.
E: 3 for #5.
F: 3 for #3.
G: 3 for #1.
I: 3 for #6.
R: 4 for #1.
T: 3 for #1.
#1 – 11
#2 – 1
#3 – 4
#4 – 0
#5 - 3
#6 – 3
#7 – 0
Voting Results: Rule #1, the “More Deviant Rule,” is now passed and in effect beginning next turn.
Remember that for the next turn you need to send in your Fall 1901 orders and your votes on the proposals (following the new guidelines for Yes and No votes in the More Deviant Rule). You do NOT send in new proposals until the Winter turn.
Fall 1901 Deadline is June 28th at 7:00pm my time
Fall 1901 Rule Proposals:
Rule #7 – Avian Flu (Reproposed by Pete Gaughan). Immediately following every Spring season (including any necessary retreats), avian flu strikes. The flu infects 1/10 of all armies and fleets, rounded up to the next whole unit; which units are infected is determined randomly by the GM. Infected units immediately become squadrons.
A squadron may move to any adjacent space, land or sea, that an army or fleet may move to, and squadrons may coexist with other units; movement of a squadron does not affect the movement of any other unit. Instead of moving, a squadron may support another unit's move. A squadron's location does not affect the ownership of any supply center.
Squadrons have a life span of three seasons (counting only Spring and Fall). At the end of a squadron's third season, it disbands.
Rule #8 - "Barbarian Hordes, or the Excess
Profits Tax." (Proposed by John David Galt). When any
power captures three or more supply centers (which he did not already own) in a
single fall season, neutral armies known as "Barbarian Hordes" are
immediately built in half of those centers (rounded down), selected at random
by the GM. This happens before the owner can build.
Once at least one Barbarian Horde exists on the board, player(s) may spend any or all of their rule votes to attempt to give an order to a Barbarian Horde. Each Horde follows the order to it that gets the most votes. If a Horde receives no orders, it is in disorder and holds.
If two or more orders to a Horde get the same number of votes, the tied orders are cancelled and Horde obeys the non-tied order with the most votes, even if that is a smaller number of votes than the tied orders got.
Barbarian Hordes are amphibious -- they can move to any land space as if they were armies, and to any water space as if they were fleets. They cannot convoy or be convoyed. They can support and be supported. They cannot retreat, and are destroyed if dislodged -- but that is the only way to destroy them, because they do not need supply.
If a Barbarian Horde occupies a supply center after a Fall turn, that center becomes unowned. However, a newly built Barbarian Horde does not affect the ownership of its starting location in the Fall turn in which it is built.
When a Barbarian Horde is built, the unit which captured that space is destroyed (thus allowing the owner to rebuild it normally in the Winter turn immediately afterward, if he holds enough centers).
Rule #9 – “The Rule Concerning Rules” (Proposed by John Walker). Part A: All rules that are not approved are no longer carried forward when no new rule is proposed, but must be proposed again for consideration.
Part B: No penalty shall be given if a player decides to not enter any proposed rules.
Part C: All rules require a 60% threshold to pass.
Part D: A players has as many votes as supply centers only. Real supply centers only. For clarification only those centers that a person controls with a black dot that designates it as a center such as LON or BER for example, which would be considered supply centers in a game of regular Diplomacy.
Rule #10 – “Rule 5
Draft” (Proposed by Mark D Lew). Along with their orders for any spring or
fall turn, each player may designate one of their own units as
"protected" and may select one unit belonging to another player as
their draft choice.
Any unprotected unit which is drafted comes under the control of the drafting player. Drafted units are just like normal units, they simply change color and belong to someone else now. In winter they must be supported by supply centers as usual. (So if you gain a unit but don't gain a dot to go with it, you'll disband; or if you lose a unit but don't lose a dot, you'll get a build.)
If an unprotected unit is drafted by more than one player in the same turn, it will go to whichever player comes first in the draft order [which this rule leaves undefined for now]. In case of a tie in draft order, priority goes to the player who was first to sign up for this game.
Drafted units change possession prior to adjudication of the spring or fall turn. However, orders may not be made conditional on the results of the draft. Players may submit orders for their own units as well as the unit they hope to draft. If as a result a player attempts to order a unit he does not control, the order will just be ignored in adjudication. All orders submitted will be printed in the game report.
Rule #11 – “Buying Your Vote” (Proposed by Jason Bergmann). All players casting at least one vote for this rule may immediately transform one non-supply-center space in their nation's starting boundaries (named along with the vote) into a home supply center. In addition, Cyprus immediately becomes a passable space (bounded entirely by the Eastern Med), which is a Turkish home supply center.
Rule #12 - "The Continent-Wide Web" (Proposed by Russell Blau): Every passable space on the map is adjacent to the spaces immediately before and after it in alphabetical order. The list wraps around, so Yorkshire is adjacent to Adriatic Sea, and vice versa. All new coastlines created by this rule are considered to be contiguous to existing seacoasts -- so, for example, a fleet that enters Yorkshire from the Adriatic can exit to the North Sea, and vice versa -- and new land boundaries created by this rule do not interrupt any existing coastlines. Each space's name is alphabetized based on how it is printed on the official map on the copy of The Game used by the GM. The Booming Economy Rule (#5) is enacted as part of this rule if it has not already been enacted.
Rule #13 – “The Duck Escapes Rule” (Proposed by Don Williams): Due to inept leadership, poor press writing, and insufficient cerebral bandwidth the French Republic under Don “Le Duc” Guillaume is swept away in a monstrously effective coup d’etat. A new government and extremely popular government – to be headed by the extraordinarily handsome, exceptionally erudite, and press-prolific James “Le Burgess du L’Isle du Rhodes” Burgess – is immediately installed. Tragically, as “Le Duc” is dragged straightforward to the guillotine for his just come-uppance, he is permanently unavailable to be re-called into this travesty of a dip game.
Passed Rule Proposals:
Rule #1 - More Deviant Rule (Proposed by Jason Bergmann). Paragraphs (5), (7), and (8) of the Deviant Diplomacy II variant rules are repealed and replaced with the following:
(1) Every Winter and Spring season, each starting player who controlled at least one supply center at the end of the previous Fall season may propose up to two rule changes. Such players may choose to submit fewer than two rule proposals without consequence.
(2) Every Winter and Spring season, each starting player who controlled no supply centers at the end of the previous Fall season may propose up to one rule change. Such players may choose to submit no rule proposals without consequence.
(3) Every Spring and Fall season, each starting player has a number of votes equal to one plus the number of supply centers the starting player controlled at the end of the previous Fall season.
(4) Players may vote yes or no. Players may cast all of their votes for or against any one rule proposal, or players can split yes and no votes among multiple rule proposals. Players' votes are published.
(5) A no vote on any rule proposal cancels a yes vote. The rule proposal receiving the most net yes votes goes into effect beginning the next season. If more than one rule proposal tie for the most net yes votes, then all tied rules go into effect beginning the next season. The rule proposal (or proposals) will go into effect even if the net yes votes are zero or negative.
(6) In addition to any rule proposals that go into effect under paragraph (5), additional rule proposals may also go into effect beginning the next season, if such proposals receive one or more net yes vote and if such proposals do not receive no votes from at least two different players.
(7) If two or more rule proposals would go into effect on the same turn but conflict explicitly or implicitly with each other, then both rules are null and void.
(8) The phrase "starting player" refers to the seven players who started this game, plus any standby player who succeeds the position of a starting player in this game. The word "player" includes all starting players and all other persons who enter the game as a result of the passage of additional rules.
(9) This rule may be amended or repealed only by any rule proposal going into effect under paragraph (5). Any rule proposal going into effect under paragraph (6) that amends or repeals this rule, or which conflicts explicitly or implicitly with the terms of this rule, will have no effect.
TO GM: I will get the hang of this, I promise. This is DIP like I have never played before. Its going to be interesting.
the all powerful EFGIATR - Some of you have been very bad.
Your lack of communications is noted. You can only survive by
Austria: My fellow leaders, I wish no harm upon any of you and only seek peace and prosperity with some minor expansion that is due us as the great Empire that we are. Let us all work together in all that we do to the betterment of all. The Austrian President
Petersburg: Though we don’t expect
passage of the Haiku Rule,
here’s press just in case.
Germany to Russia: We need a rule to keep the lawyers from writing rules two-legal-pads long every turn.
DUCK to RAPTORMAGE: See? I told you we didn’t get along any more.
EMPEROR NAPOLEON IV to EUROPE: Now you all just want to lie back and enjoy this. Josephine certainly does.
GIBRALTAR RULE to 1898: Good luck and all that.
Germany to England: Dude, haiku? Well, at least it's not requiring a novel -- Bergmann would win instantly.
Germany to France: Hey, does grabbing Denmark in Sp01 constitute "dotsnatching"? If so, could we retire that word then?
wants everyone to haiku.
Your rule will not pass.
Germany to Jim-Bob: How can I rig this thing so you get in but McHugh doesn't....?
PARIS to JOHNNY WALKER: Didn’t you and I meet in a bar some few years ago? Ah, those were the days!
Russia to Turkey: Sorry, Jason. I wasn't planning to attack you, but then I got an email from John David Galt recommending that I ally with you. I figure if Galt wants me to do it, it must be a bad idea, so I had to change my orders.
FRANCE to GERMANY: You weren’t a masochist for publishing a dipzine for so many years – heck, a lot of us did that. You were a masochist because you did it for so many years and nobody read it, or even understood the literary allusion. Just wanted to set the record straight.
BREST to RHODE ISLAND: And you don’t even want to get me started!
JIM-BOB-ITO to HONOLABUH LUSSEL BLAU AND EULOPE:
Your Rule Proposal
Like So Many Before It
Sucks Sucks Sucks Sucks Sucks
LE DUCK ORANGE to LORD KENT OF DOUGLAS: I love good poetry, don’t you?
Kent – Chinese Food: An amazing bird is the pelican…
THE SIDEWALK CAFÉ POET OF THE WEST BANK:
I sit on the floor, and pick my nose, and think of lurid things
Of the devious Hun who stabs for dots
And often drubs his ding.
Germany to Game: I'm so out of it, I actually had to get the wooden blocks and folding board out to remember which spaces are where.
(London) Vote for the Web rule; utter confusion is our government's firm policy and should be yours, too.
Con-Mos: Here's an idea for a rule -- make the Black Sea impassable. Then we can't possibly stab each other and we can juggernaut our way to victory!
Anon. to Turkey: More Deviant is good, if it didn't pass you should propose it again.
Germany to GM: Black press, right. But is there a rule reserving a country's dateline for its own guaranteed press?
GM – Germany: No such rule exists. You can propose it though!
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. In each round you may specify one of your answers as your Joker answer. Your score for this answer will be doubled. In other words, if you apply your Joker to category 3 on a given turn, and 4 other people give the same answer as you, you get 10 points instead of 5. Players who fail to submit a Joker for any specific turn will have their Joker automatically applied to the first category. 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 6 Categories
1. Something you find in a diner.
2. A magazine with content about movies.
3. A type of whale.
4. A character in The Wizard of Oz other than Dorothy.
5. A Christmas carol.
Selected Comments By Category:
Diner – Kevin Wilson “Wow, either I'm missing something very
obvious or this one is kind of tough. There are so many things in a
diner: food, tables, booths, counter, waiter/waitress, cook, apple pie, burgers, juke box, etc. I guess most of those are more
of the 50s idealized diner view but they would still apply. However, it
seems that a reasonable response might be the one thing a diner is supposed to
have, hot and ready, 24/7: coffee.” Phil Murphy “Also useful if you want to order a Pan-Galactic
Gargle-Blaster. Or a side dish of chips.” John Colledge
“Tempted to suggest cock roaches but that would be unbecoming of a
Magazine – Kevin Wilson “Another tough one. Since the kids came along we haven't been to too many movies. Even before, while we went to several a month, we read or do research, we just went to see what was currently popular. So, I have no idea. My wife reads People and I know that has movie news in it but not as a main theme. I see Entertainment Weekly in the airport a lot and I think that has a lot of movie news so I'll go with that.”
Whale – Dane Maslen “I put my Joker
on 3, even though Killer and Humpback are other
answers that seem fairly convincing to me.”
Wizard of Oz – Dane Maslen “I couldn't
decide between Tin Man and Scarecrow for 4, so I
went for the 'obvious' answer that no one else will go for.” Phil Murphy “A girl's best defense against
wicked witches, munchkins, tin men, scarecrows,
cowardly lions and confidence tricksters pretending to be wizards.”
Christmas Carol - Phil Murphy “Silent Night is the only one I remember all the words for. Wonder if my memory is going?”
Congrats to Tom Swider and Paul Bolduc, who each scored the highest total for the round (32 points). With the Joker properly placed, the highest possible score was 41.
Round 7 Categories – Deadline is June 29th, 2009 at 7:00am my time
1. A past or current science fiction television series that is NOT part of the Star Trek universe.
2. A song children sing.
3. A movie with John Candy.
4. A magazine no longer being published.
5. A piece of jewelry.
General Deadline For The Next Issue of Eternal Sunshine:
June 29th 2009 at 7:00am my time – See You Then!