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 – “Don't tell me this stuff! I don't wanna hear this shit!” (Stan in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”)
Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the only Diplomacy zine which has two beautiful back cats as official mascots and “helpers.” Toby and Sanka are always ready to give their time to any Diplomacy project, especially ones that involve computers, printers, scanners, or piles of papers which have been painstakingly organized. They each have their specialties: Sanka is in charge of the stacks of paper, while Toby is in charge of printer repairs. He also helps Heather with her homework whenever possible, now that she is taking classes over both summer semesters. Here is a photo I took a few days ago of Toby checking over some spreadsheet work…he is so helpful, which is why he’s the Helpful Kitty (www.cafepress.com/helpfulkitty for all the cat, Diplomacy, and Hater merchandise!)
This past month was generally quiet. Heather spent time adapting to her new school schedule, and is now also volunteering at a nearby pet orphanage. This particular location works out perfectly for her, because it is attached to a veterinarian’s office. This way, the pets always have their cages cleaned and food and water refreshed on a regular basis by employees of the vet. This not only allows the volunteers to devote all of their time to socializing the animals, but it also means that there are no set schedules the volunteers need to follow. So Heather can skip a day if she has too much homework or other obligations, and she can spontaneously decide to go over there for an hour or two and work with the cats and dogs. I am planning on getting approved for volunteer work there too, so I can spend some time with the animals. I think it would be good for them, and I know it is always good for me…although I have found myself feeling really tired lately, and I’m not entirely sure why. I think I haven’t been sleeping as deeply as normal, but that’s just a guess. I do get up at 5:30 each morning on workdays, but it doesn’t seem to be a lack of sleep; that schedule hasn’t changed. Oh well, I’ll figure it out, or continue to need extra naps here and there. Nothing wrong with naps, except I have so many other things I should be using that time for I often find myself feeling a bit guilty, even if they are just hobby projects.
And hobby projects have kept me busy, as usual, and have kept me from spending as much time on Eternal Sunshine as I’d like to (although, to be frank, I don’t know what I wanted to put in here that I didn’t have time to; maybe more personal writing). The next issue of Diplomacy World is due out early in July (and you can find the new issue upon release, as well as every previous issue, at http://www.diplomacyworld.net). In the last three weeks before each quarterly issue is finished, I find that takes up a lot of my hobby time. My editing skills still need work, but I am still rather proficient at whining and begging and pleading for material. Sometimes individual issues lack the balance we’re looking for, as they’re a bit too heavy on one topic or another, but overall I really think that Jim Burgess, myself, and the rest of the Diplomacy World staff have produced some terrific issues since my return as Lead Editor. And even though it can be hard work, and sometimes a beating, I am still finding enjoyment in putting each issue together and watching it take shape.
The other project which continues to take up hobby time is the ongoing saga of scanning and posting zines for the Postal Diplomacy Zine Archive (http://www.whiningkentpigs.com/DW/). I’ve still got boxes and boxes of material to scan, but I make some progress a little at a time. Once I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I’ll start planning the new publication I want to do: an occasional zine which talks about, and reprints material from, those archived zines. In the meantime, scan scan scan post post post…at least a little bit every week, when I find the free time. There’s no hurry to finish; I just want to know I am making progress on a regular (if limited) basis.
So, what else did June bring us? Tons of rain here in Dallas, which resulted in our apartment ceiling leaking water. It used to do that every time it rained hard, but whatever the issue was (and I think it was simply a poorly-sealed spotlight installation on the brick wall outside and above our apartment, allowing water to leak in), they eventually fixed it to the point that this only happens once or twice a year. On this occasion, the leak wasn’t bad at all, and it didn’t continue for very long. Considering we had about 8 inches of water flowing through portions of the parking lot, I don’t think we can complain too much!
Two notable deaths in the last few days: Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Farrah was an icon of the late 70’s, but to be honest she never did anything for me. I was a bit young, and blondes are not my type (appearance-wise anyway). As for Michael Jackson, in the music business he was probably in the top 3 in history, crossing over between age groups and audiences…but to say he had a screw loose is putting it mildly. Few photos are as disturbing as a close up of his butchered nose, and leaving out ALL the allegations of pedophilia and sexual misconduct (and the question of whether he actually fathered any of his children), the fact that he named “his” third child Blanket is all the evidence you need.
Father’s Day has come and gone again. I hope you fathers out there got to enjoy yours, and took the opportunity to spend some time (in person or on the phone) with your father if he is still with us. For me, Father’s Day is still very depressing. I did enjoy the presents that Heather and the cats gave me: a few shirts, DVDs, and CDs, plus the latest Get Fuzzy collection; I love Get Fuzzy. I know that for many people, having two cats doesn’t make me a father, but Heather likes to say that I am their daddy since I spoil them rotten and they are most certainly important parts of this family. But once the fun of opening presents cools off, I’m left to think about my father, and how much I miss him, and how I never got to say goodbye to him.
I still haven’t really gotten over that, although it doesn’t hit me as hard or as often as it did a year or two ago. For some reason I can’t think of my father without thinking of the Ron Howard film “Parenthood.” If we would have had a normal-type family, I know the Steve Martin character would be a fair representation of his fatherhood. He really tried to make the best of a terrible situation – his marriage to my mother – and provide positive guidance and support. But when they were still together, he also had to do what he could to survive mentally, which meant leaving early, coming home late, and killing some of the pain with alcohol when necessary.
I know that life was a real struggle for him. He busted his ass at work to support us, but there never seemed to be enough money. Bills would sometimes go unpaid, power would be cut off, we’d run out of heating oil, and at least on one occasion a car “disappeared” in the middle of the night. Still, the only true joy he seemed to experience was when his children were happy. Watching us in Little League, or some scouting event, or a school band concert…he could really recharge his mental batteries that way. But then we’d get home, and reality would always set in. I have old photographs, but it is very hard to see a time when he looked both happy and relaxed. I suppose those are two more ways he saw himself in me more than any other child. The same way Steve Martin saw himself in his oldest son (although I wasn’t the oldest). To me that would be the more horrifying part of being a parent: looking at my child and seeing things in him (or her) that reminded me of myself, but not in a positive way. Not “wow, he’s looking more like me every day” or “he’s a whiz at math like I was.” I mean more like “great, look at how he tries to be the peacemaker all the time between his mother and me,” or “these fits he throws when he gets frustrated – they’re worse than the ones I used to throw.” And as I got older….”this poor kid is getting himself in a marriage just as bad as mine was.” That must hurt a father terribly, to know that your child is making the SAME mistakes you did. I hope he didn’t feel guilt about that. Regret would be fine, but not guilt. Then again, I’d feel guilty about it…I feel guilty about everything. Little things I can never seem to erase from my mind. And despite the fact that I haven’t spoken to my mother in 11 years, and despite the fact that my first wife nearly drove me to suicide, and on more than one occasion planned to murder me, I am still so protective of them in parts of my mind. The peacemaker. Let’s just all be happy and try to get through life. No yelling, no crying. No boo-hoos, he used to say. I just want to think you kids are being taken care of.
I know I saw him happy many times in later years, before his health started making his life a living hell, and as he began to become that which he feared most: a burden to his wife Barbara. That was the last thing he ever wanted. I’m not sure which was worse for him: the deterioration of his body, and parts of his mind (although I still believe his mind was trapped in that human shell), or knowing that people were worried about him, and had to help him and take care of him. He always wanted to be the provider. I think that was how he judged his life: he was a success if he provided for his family, and if his children were happy. Otherwise, his life was a failure. Maybe in later years, those where I saw him less and less, he was able to take less of an all-or-none attitude. I hope he was. I feel like such a shitty person sometimes, a failed husband in my first marriage, and in a lot of ways a bad son for putting burdens on my father that I never meant to. My first wife is dead, from the suicide I always knew would take her; my mother is just some person who lives in North Carolina; one of my brothers has been a stranger to me for many years. I’m 40 now; I look a lot like my father, I act a lot like him, and I’ve been blessed to find someone I want to spend the rest of my life with (even if, like him, I didn’t find that until the second time around). But I am not proud of myself, and I don’t see how I’ve done much for him to be proud of.
You know what would have made him proud? Or will, if somehow he is still around somewhere (and I do believe he is…I still talk to him sometimes)? If I learned to give myself a break. To stop beating the shit out of myself for everything I wish I hadn’t done. If I could just relax and be happy. I do, sometimes, and maybe he could find some comfort in that. By comparison to the past, I’m doing pretty great. But I still drag these demons around inside, and I don’t know if I will ever be completely free of them. Writing does help, which is one of the main reasons I continue to work on my “three projects” – prison, Mara, and my childhood. Even if I don’t ever publish my work, I squeeze out a bit of the poison every time I put the pain on the page (or the screen, these days).
I wish I could give him one big hug again, like those few times I remember as a kid, feeling his ½-day growth on his face. I always wanted my mother to love me, which while she probably did it wasn’t something I ever felt. But my father…I just wanted him to be proud of me. Just once I wish I could have done something, been something, given him something he could tell people about with pride. Sitting here, at this moment, I can’t think of anything that fits that description.
Not one damn thing.
But I haven’t given up. I’ll keep living my life, keep trying to do the best I can. Maybe I’ll get published. Maybe I’ll write a successful screenplay. Or maybe I’ll keep finding small things to be thankful for, and enjoy life in ways I’ve never allowed myself to do. He’d be proud of that, in his own private way. Nothing he could tell a friend, or brag about, but at least he’d be able to feel good about it. That’s better than nothing. To not have to worry about me; I am sure he’d have considered that a valuable gift. I wish I found a way to give him that while he was still alive.
Happy Father’s Day, old man. I miss you. And I love you.
(PS – To those of you who read or skimmed that and think it was boring, whining, self-pitying bullshit: well, you’re probably right. But Eternal Sunshine is free, and you get what you pay for).
Some of you may remember that I’ve been threatening to serialize the play I wrote for Heather about how we met and our first date here in the zine. Surprisingly (or not, as the case may be) this has not resulted in a single person saying “Oh, I’d like to see that” just as it hasn’t caused any reader to proclaim “Please don’t waste space on that crap.” So I’d like to hear a couple of opinions so I can decide whether to do so or not. My “I Read Eternal Sunshine” email request didn’t generate much of a response, although it DID reveal a very small population of lurkers I didn’t know about. Maybe if each of you could introduce Eternal Sunshine to one new person on your own, we could get the readership level up to respectable levels. Of course, Jim Burgess has been VERY busy with work lately (and life, and family, and travel, not to mention hobby activities like Diplomacy World and face-to-face events), so I am not even sure if the “email me” request made it out to his postal subscribers. I still check the reader “of” whiningkentpigs.com email box every week or so to see if there are any new responses.
Only two more months, and I’ll have completed my three-year period of Federal supervision! If I’m good, I mean. I actually had to go down to the Federal Probation office this month and give some blood so I could be properly added to the Federal databases. A lot of Federal inmates who left prison around the same time I did somehow fell through the cracks, especially if their conviction was non-violent. So they’re trying to play catch-up. My PO actually was honest and told me I had the right to refuse on the particular day since they had not provided me the 30 days written notice, but what the hell do I care? Aside from the one in a billion chance that some guy in Idaho who masterminds a massive potato heist happens to have the same DNA as me, I don’t think investigators on Bones or CSI will be seeing my name pop up on their computer screens any time soon. Unless bad taste and an ability to irritate others become a crime, that is.
With all the work I’ve done in the past three months on the Postal Diplomacy Zine Archive, I find myself really longing for the days of the zine-filled mailbox. I know those times have gone for good, but I truly miss the mix of personalities, opinions, and the camaraderie. That is why I’ve decided that if I could change Eternal Sunshine in any way, it would be to get some former zine publishers to contribute occasional or monthly columns. In that regard, you’ll find Paul Milewski’s first contribution elsewhere in this issue. Paul used to publish a great zine called Yellow Pajamas, and was a regular name in my zine Maniac’s Paradise both as a player and a letter writer. Then we have another Paul, my brother Paul Kent, with a new (occasional) music column. Last but not least we see the appearance of former Carolina, Command, and Commentary publisher (and DixieCon bigwig) David Hood, with what I hope will be a monthly appearance. Heather hasn’t felt like contributing the last few issues, but when she has something she wants to say I am sure she’ll grace us with her presence again. Of course we already have Andy York (former publisher of Rambling WAY), and Jack McHugh…Jack never published his own zine, but he had two different subzines in MP, is a former Diplomacy World Lead Editor, and he also did our review zine Your Zine of Zines in a partnership with me. So now if we can just convince another dozen or so former publishers to contribute on a regular basis, Eternal Sunshine would be like the whole old postal hobby rolled into one zine! In the meantime, I’ll just try to shake off the feeling I get every couple of days that Eternal Sunshine SUCKS, and the main reason it sucks so much is that it has way too much of ME in it.
In zine game news, I’ve dropped the Intimate Round Robin tournament. We only had the two people sign up, and I didn’t just want to run a single game. Maybe I’ll try it again another time. I’ve replaced that game with an opening in the Fog of War variant. This is a variant which limits what you are able to see, and it used to be quite popular. I’m not sure where people play it these days. The rules are in the games section, so check them out; as a variant it is rather simple to play. The only bad thing about the variant is there isn’t anything for the zine-reading audience to follow except for the press, as everything else is hidden from those who don’t learn it during the game.
Oh, before I forget, allow me to plug three Diplomacy zines (two postal, and one a postal/internet combo). First we have Paul Bolduc’s wonder Boris the Spider. This is a great place to play multiplayer games. Right now he has openings in Colonial Dip, Dune, Enemy in Sight, History of the World, Magic Realm, Puerto Rico, and much more! I just signed up for his latest Kremlin and Enemy in Sight openings (I haven’t played Enemy in Sight much in years, but I used to run it in Maniac’s Paradise which was fun…damn, thinking of that makes me think of the late John Schultz and his great “produced from prison” zine Well, Martha, it Kinda Sorta Looks Like a Dip Rag, Don’t It?. That time period is the one I am REALLY light on in these Postal Diplomacy Zine Archives boxes…I’ve got none of the zines I used to enjoy myself, and my personal six box collection – including ALL my issues of Maniac’s Paradise issues – were destroyed in a small flood in my storage unit while I was enjoying my Federal vacation. Anybody have 1990’s-era zines around?) Oops, sorry for the digression. You can find the latest on-line issue at: http://members.cox.net/boris_spider/EB.html and he also sends out postal issues to those who subscribe for that.
Second, there is Andy Lischett’s Cheesecake. Approaching his 300th issue soon, Andy continues to run a reliable and simple postal zine. If you have never played a postal game you owe it to yourself to try one, and what better place that here? You can read Andy at 2402 Ridgeland Avenue, Berwyn, IL, 60402. Include a SASE or a couple of stamps to cover a sample issue.
Last but not least, we have Brendan Whyte’s zine of travelogues and games, Damn the Consequences. Brendan is currently living in Thailand, and aside from his entertaining travel and sightseeing stories, through his writing I have learned quite a bit about how Thailand government and society works…and why it often doesn’t. Brendan has openings in Sopwith, Diplomacy, Machiavelli, Britannia, and much more. There are always a few simple number games to play too. Contact Brendan at obiwonfive “of” hotmail.com for more information, and for subscription rates.
So if you’re looking to try out some new places to play, and you’re sick of the on-line “drop in the second turn when things go against me” attitude that you come across so often, I’ve given you three great choices. See you in August!
Playlist – Enigmatic Ocean – Jean Luc Ponty; Look What I Did – Joe Walsh; Galore – The Cure; Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 – Rachmaninoff; This is the Story – The Proclaimers.
Despite all the anxiety I was having about finding a job, nothing could dampen the enthusiasm I had for Heather’s first official visit on Sunday. We’d talked about it on the phone, and since there was really nothing to do in the Halfway House (and visits were confined to the community room, which consisted of a television, a pool table that was missing a few balls, and tables and chairs scattered throughout), Heather was going to bring a book of crossword puzzles that we could do together, along with some personal items and books for me to keep in my room. I couldn’t exactly “dress up” for the visit as my wardrobe was somewhat limited, but I did put on a nice long-sleeve shirt and khaki pants. While in theory cologne was forbidden, because of its high alcohol content, Heather had brought me some which they’d let through, so I put a dab of that on as well. Since she’d found her way there before to deliver clothes a few days after my arrival, I knew she could make it without getting lost (Heather has a sense of direction almost as poor as mine, and to her “north” is whichever way you’re facing at the time).
The plan was for me to eat the lunch provided at the Halfway House, and then Heather would arrive for her visit around 1pm. Dinner started at about 5pm, so that was the ideal time for her to leave and head back home. The drive itself wasn’t too bad; we live a block from the interstate, and except for the final five minutes the entire trip was on one highway or another. Door to door it should take 30 minutes, maybe 45 if there was traffic or construction (or which there shouldn’t be any on Sunday).
I wolfed down my lunch that Sunday, and headed back to my room to change. Sundays were usually pretty quiet around the Halfway House. First of all, a tremendous number of “clients” took advantage of the two-hour religious passes to go to church. Well, that’s what they SUPPOSEDLY did…most of them would swing by the church they put on the pass request, pick up a program to “prove” they’d been there, and then go off for who knows what activity (sex, shopping, drugs, or maybe just visit a restaurant). I didn’t have any interest in those types of shenanigans, especially my instinct I assumed that I’d be the one person who would get caught. Besides, Heather would never have approved of anything like that, and unless someone drove you to services the whole plan was a waste.
After returning from services, a large percentage of clients would then have a legitimate pass to go out with family for a meal, or shopping, or to their home. Unfortunately, I couldn’t apply for even a two-hour pass until I’d been in the Halfway House longer, found a job, and kept it for two weeks. So my only source of outside contact besides the phone (which I made regular use of whenever possible, despite the two quarters every call cost me) was Heather’s visit. A few friends asked about coming to visit, but the process was such a pain in the ass that I told them all it wasn’t worth the bother of even getting them approved.
Anyone who knows Heather knows that she has a tendency to be late for thing. Okay, that’s being overly polite; she is never on time. Ever. She was nearly half an hour late for our first date! So I can’t say that I expected her to arrive at 1pm as scheduled. That wouldn’t have been amazing, or a miracle; it would have been a sign of the apocalypse. But when 1pm turned into 2pm I began to get a bit concerned. At this time Heather did not own a cell phone, and never had…in fact, she hates the phone. I had spoken to Heather earlier in the day, and I didn’t want to harass her, so I tried not to call. After a while, though, I couldn’t help myself. So I called, got the answering machine, left a message expressing my nervousness, and continued to wait. Finally, a bit before 3pm, while I stood outside in the fenced-in smoking area (which also had a basketball hoop), I saw her little red Mitsubishi chugging down the road. At last! Not only did this mean no disaster had befallen her…more importantly, it meant I was finally going to get to spend an afternoon with the woman of my dreams, after all these months of waiting. Okay, not an afternoon – she was much too late arriving to call it that. But two hours was better than nothing!
The details of the visit itself might seem a bit anticlimactic. It was clear that Heather was a bit nervous seeing me again. I didn’t know if she felt especially self-conscious or something, but to me she looked more beautiful than ever. (Speaking on the phone to her later, it was really more fear that we wouldn’t find ourselves connecting in the same way we’d used to. Fortunately, those fears were unfounded, as we are closer today than ever, and the adjustment period wasn’t very difficult at all). For me the two hours went by like two minutes. We sat and worked on the crossword puzzles together…only being interrupted twice by the angry-looking staff member on duty; once because we were holding hands (I had no idea that wasn’t allowed, and I still can’t understand why it was), and once because we were “sitting too close to each other.” That second interruption came with the threat that if she had to talk to me one more time she’d end the visit. Considering I’d seen other clients kissing their visitors in the room before (and seen clients having sex with each other – standing up – behind the vending machine in the snack room) I found this strict adherence to the rules when it came to me to be both irritating and typical. It reminded me of how at my first prison I’d get patted down leaving the chow hall about four times a week, while other inmates would walk out with their pockets stuffed full of stolen food and be waved right through. I’d come to realize over time that most staff members only like to hassle the inmates (or in this case, clients) who won’t give them any resistance. I guess by bothering me, they were showing their superiors that they were doing their jobs. Besides, since I never bribed anybody at the Halfway House – a practice I’d heard was commonplace so cell phones and other contraband would continue to go undiscovered – I knew I should expect to be treated a bit worse.
Then it was time to say goodbye again. It hurt, but not as badly as I thought it would, because for once I knew I’d see Heather again in a week…and I knew that assuming I could find a job and proceed with the other tasks set in front of me, I’d be living at home again in a few months. I gave her a light kiss and a long, tight hug goodbye at the door to the Halfway House (that was allowed – one kiss and one hug upon arrival, and when the visit was over), and watched her climb in her car and drive away. I already knew this was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with…I just had to wait until the rest of my life was ready to start.
Last month, we gave you these two hypotheticals: 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?
Bill Brown – 1. I'd be honest and tell them it stinks. Art is only an opinion, what some people like others may not. I recently looked through the book "1001 Paintings you must see before you die" and I still don't get abstract. A basic black circle on a white background is considered art??? 2. Wouldn't change my attitude. Maybe she'll like me for being honest and not sucking up!!
Andy York - For Hypothetical #1, I'd be honest that I didn't like it, but soften
it with an equally honest "I don't like most paintings/abstract art/etc"
or "for my taste, I prefer landscapes". Then, toss in a "you seem
to have quite a coup (presuming it was) in getting this piece - I'm sure plenty
of folks wish they could have it on their walls." For Hypothetical #2,
wealth or familial connections have little to do with how I would treat
someone. Who they are (personality, how I relate to them, their attitudes) is
the most important thing in any relationship.
Melinda Holley - 1 - I tell the truth about the painting. I hate it. I think it's ugly. I wouldn't own it on a dare. But I'm not living with it either so enjoy. 2 - Been there. Done that. Didn't get the inheritance. Managed to survive just fine.
Chris Babcock - 1. Of course I do. I may or may not make the awful truth sound like a compliment, but the closer the friend the plainer and more painfully unvarnished my presentation will be. 2. Heck, no. With all the greedy buzzards in the family sucking up to her the only way to separate myself from the herd is to make her think that I am the only honest heir she's got. If I'm blunt and rude while everyone else is trying to lick her teeth by kneeling behind her, it will be interpreted as refreshing and honest.
Heather Taylor – 1. I would probably be honest, but try to be “nice honest” and say it is just not my taste. 2. I would like to think that I wouldn’t, but I’d probably start sending her more greeting cards and photos…just in case.
My Answers – 1. I’d be blunt and say “I don’t know a lot about art, but from my experience the uglier it is, the more valuable it is. So you must have sold a kidney to buy this thing.” 2. I’d mail her personal copies of every Eternal Sunshine, and bad mouth all my relatives (and hers) in it.
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) You come across your mate’s personal address book. Do you glance through it? 2) A former lover sends you a charming gift. You are involved with someone else. Do you accept the gift?
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?
Bill Brown - 1. Imagine by Lennon. 2. Satisfaction by the Stones. 3. Happy Birthday to You.
John Wilman - When it comes to
songs that should last for ever, I tend to think in terms of bands rather than
individual songs, so anything by the Kinks - maybe "Sunny Afternoon"? Memorable for darker reasons
- "I Don't Like Mondays" (Boomtown Rats). And finally
"Michelle" by the Beatles.
Hmm, no female artistes there, could easily find three more!
[[How about the rest of you? Let’s hear some more input! Anybody want to give their list?]]
Drag Me to Hell – Back in the dark ages, before Spider-Man, Sam Raimi was a struggling film director who created one of the scariest and creepiest films of the time: The Evil Dead. With only limited blood and violence (and a shoestring budget), he developed a terrifying atmosphere of demonic forces, a dark and evil forest, and inescapable horror (with the now recognizable drop of humor and cheese that Raimi greatly expanded in the two sequels). Now, he and his brother Ivan have returned to this format with Drag Me to Hell. In some ways this can be a considered a response to the stream of horror-porn-gore which has become so commonplace these days (in film series such as The Saw and Hostel). Drag Me to Hell is meant to prove you can frighten and entertain without stooping to those levels. And on that score it does succeed.
The plot is pretty simple, and follows the time-honored horror film tradition: don’t screw with a gypsy. Alison Lohman plays Christine, a young loan officer at a bank. A former farm girl, she wants to distance herself from the past, including trying to eliminate any country accent; she longs to be a successful, professional woman. She and a coworker are both up for a promotion to assistant manager, but her competition (Reggie Lee) has a reputation for being able to make the “tough choices” (which translates, in this case, into not giving the customers a break, but doing whatever possible to increase bank profits). When an old woman comes in to ask for a 3rd extension on her overdue mortgage, Christine’s boss tells her “It’s a tough decision. It’s your call.” Eager for the promotion, she denies the request, and the old woman will now be evicted. Even after she gets on her knees and begs, Christine does not change her mind. But this old woman is, of course, a gypsy…now an angry gypsy. “You have shamed me!” she tells Christine. Soon, after a violent garage confrontation, Christine is the recipient of a powerful curse. In four days, unless she can defeat the demon or convince it to take someone else, her soul will be taken to hell to suffer eternal agony.
What follows is a partially generic, but well done, horror story. Christine is tormented by the demon, and struggles to get her dopey and overly understanding fiancé (Justin Long) to believe her. While trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy (including a Raimi-style humorous visit to meet her future in-laws), Christine enlists the help of a local medium to guide her through this nightmare. Overall the frights work well, and Lohman plays the part very well. My only real problem with the film was a plot twist which I saw coming from miles away. However, I know I look at films in a very analytic fashion, and the audience reaction was such that maybe it was just me. So if you want a good scare, without sex and blood (there are plenty of gross moments, and a hilarious nosebleed, but no limbs chopped off), check it out. Drag Me to Hell is fun.
Away We Go – Reviews of Away We Go have been mixed, but I think that those who cannot find warmth, humor and honesty in the film simply don’t understand the generational yearning that baby boomers feel when they reach their mid-30’s. A product of broken families, “modern” child-rearing methods, and a desire for material over emotional, it becomes easy to find yourself utterly jaded.
This is why Verona and John (Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski) are such a breath of fresh air. I found it so easy to identify with their outlook on life; they just need each other, and a place to call home. Verona is six months pregnant, and the two of them live in a tiny “junky” home near John’s parents. Upon learning that his parents (a goofy Catherine O’Hara and Jeff Daniels) have decided to move to Belgium for two years, a month before the baby is due to be born, the couple realizes that they have nothing tying them down to their home. Both have jobs which allow them to work from basically anywhere, and with no family nearby, and no close friends (they have clearly build a Vonnegut “nation of two” between them), they are free to try and find a place where they want to raise their unborn child.
What follows is a series of visits to cities where relatives or friends have chosen to live. Admittedly some of the characters they interact with are more caricature then person; Maggie Gyllenhaal as an over-the-top new age college professor who wants to convert everyone to her own child-rearing philosophy is the best example of a joke carried to the extreme. But even then, Verona and John are able to act and respond in honest ways…they listen to her confusing line of crap for a while, until they can’t take it anymore, and then tell them what they really think.
Each city they visit explores another facet of modern families. Whether it’s the family of oddballs who can’t understand why they aren’t accepted into the social circles around them, or two college friends who have a home full of love and happiness (and adopted children) which can be overshadowed by the despair they feel about being unable to conceive their own child, there are lessons for Verona and John to learn about what makes a family, and what makes a home.
Parts of the film had very personal meanings to Heather and myself, and it is possible others without the connection we felt may not be as moved. But the humor is both broad and subtle, often unexpected, and the general good nature of Verona and John is contagious. It’s hard not to like two people who really just want to do the best they can for their child, despite their fears of personal shortcomings. Away We Go won’t be the same movie to everyone, but I highly recommend it anyway. At the very least your laugh and smile a lot, which can be hard to come by these days.
Seen on DVD – The Satanic Rites of Dracula (B-, a very late-era Hammer film with Cushing and Lee – 1973 I think. Goofy in its usual way, but I hold a strong affinity for the older horror movies). After Hours (B+, still funny after all these years, but not nearly as much as the last time I watched it.) Frozen River (B+, low budget and quiet but well acted film. This is one of those movies where the plot takes you just about where you’d expect, but the journey itself is worthwhile.) Pacific Heights (B, the movie that teaches you NEVER to be a landlord in California.) Bullitt (B, still some great chase scenes, and the late-60’s era has such a terrific look to it, especially the cars). Prince of the City (B-, watching this film now makes Treat Williams’ character seem like more of a whiner than ever, who wants it both ways.). 48 Hours (B, when I first saw this in the theater my brother Paul and I were the only white people there. We had to wait after every joke to make sure the rest of the audience laughed before we knew it was safe for us to join in). Christine (B+, John Carpenter’s direction gives the film a believable but creepy feel. This is one of the better, and underrated, King adaptations).
Andy York: Regarding finding a publisher for you writings, I agree
that breaking into the field via magazines is a good start. Depending on what
effort you want to put into getting into print. The biggest change you'd need
to do is form the story to meet the needs of the magazine. For instance, if you
want to be published in a magazine that
deals in hope or overcoming (such as Guideposts), your stories need to show how you took the disadvantages you had and turned them into a positive. What you need to do is look at your target market, get the writer's guidelines, and shape your story into something that fits the publication. Heck, given the right motivation and focus, your stories could be turned into a western, sci-fi or even a thriller.
[[All true. At this stage I am sometimes struggling just to find the motivation to keep going on the next chapter or story. Having the zine and its monthly deadline helps force me to produce something when I don’t feel up to it, or when I need to drive myself harder. Usually the work turns out to be about the same quality either way.
I am not totally convinced that periodical publication is the way to go, but I’m going to get the new marketplace guide and see what looks like it’s a fit, and go from there.
I do think I’ll take a break from this story in the next issue or two and tell something else, but I don’t know what that will be yet…if I can’t think of anything, the job search will continue in Part 7.]]
Hmmm, that’s it this month, eh? Oh well. Thus endeth the letter column.
Paul Kent’s Column of Music and Other Naughty Bits
Buoyed by the mention of music such as Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, Eno's Another Green World, and Grand Funk's Good Singin', Good Playin' (within the pages of Eternal Sunshine), I will add some of my own words on music to this fine publication (at times), with the caveat well expressed by Robert Fripp, "The reviewer always reviews himself."
My tastes continue to morph over the years and I often find myself returning to music I listened to decades ago, with new appreciation to a variety of elements. Lately I have been listening to the EQing of various instruments in a mix and the dynamics as well as the specific part that grabbed (or didn't) my attention years ago. With Fukiyama, we can say that history is over and everything is now, as iPod playlists can certainly attest to. Too, I have listened with keen interest to remastering and even remixing of "classic" recordings that I grew up on, so now includes even the evolution of existing recorded music. And, I have curiously noticed that my memories have added parts to music that were never there in the original, making simple melodies sometimes more florid in my imagination (particularly in music I once thought was complicated, whether Cream or John Coltrane). Finally, I am more informed of restraint in musicians, as my advancing years, greater economy, and lesser technique (after an injury) have shaped myself personally as my own musician (primarily guitarist). In other words, "less is more" means a lot more to me now than 20 years ago, whether in Mozart, or Miles Davis.
I look forward to discussing albums with y'all in the future and hope that you already have "Gone to Earth" by David Sylvian, so we can discuss the differences in the re-mastered version, for example. Remember, talking about music is like tasting architecture!!!
[[Paul has quite a bit of musical knowledge, and I don’t mean the massive amounts of trivial knowledge I carry in my head. So be prepared, and send in some letters (to me, preferably) for him to comment on! ]]
By David Hood
So, Doug wants something for the next issue of
Sunshine, and he is unwilling to dictate a subject, eh?
Sounds like the perfect time for a little musing about Hood's Latest Game Obsession - Here I Stand.
It's no secret that Diplomacy players sometimes grow quite tired of the 34-dot scramble being the focus of their gaming time. Even great fans of the game sometimes pine for something else to do. Indeed, the 2009 Dixiecon this past May was the first that featured more non-Dip players than Dip players. Many of these are the ex-Diplomacy players, the Bruce Reiffs or Kevin Browns of the world that used to be Diplomacy nuts but now would not voluntarily start a Spring 1901 negotiation phase even if their dots depended on it. Then there are plenty of folk who still play Dip occasionally but would rather do something else, particularly at Dixiecon, which would include the Steve Koehlers and David Hoods of the world.
Dixiecon, as well as other Diplomacy events, has always included side gaming of the official or unofficial variety. But Dip people are branching out even more into other games these days, which I am all in favor of. The real point of these gatherings is not the Dip itself, but the relationships between Dip-type people that are nurtured and deepened by face to face play. If people get tired of the Dip they might stop coming, so all the other games are a great way to keep those gaming relationships vibrant.
Dixiecon usually has a different non-Dip game every year that gets the attention and becomes the talk of the Con. In the early years it was things like Outpost or 18xx (both of which are still Dixiecon staples) and in more recent years we have seen Twilight Struggle, Manifest Destiny, Brass, and the cool Bruce Allen game Princes of the Renaissance.
This year it was Here I Stand, a card-driven six-player game that actually made its Dixie Debut in 2008 but clearly was the focus of much interest this year. If you have played the games starting with Hannibal and then going through We The People, Paths of Glory, Wilderness War, and especially Napoleonic Wars then you are familiar with the basic system. For those not familiar, it involves the sequential play of cards to either cause events to happen on the board, to move troops or other things around, and sometimes to do both things.
Here I Stand seeks to simulate the worlds of the Renaissance, Reformation and New World exploration at the same time, and in a mutually-dependent manner. In my opinion it achieves that goal splendidly. The six powers, shown with the usual-but-not-always rival, are England/France, Ottoman/Hapburgs and Papacy/Protestants. There is military competition on the board for objectives that lead to victory points, which occurs largely between EFOH, exploration competition for VPs in the New World between EFH, religious competition for VPs between the Pope and Protestants, with the English involved to some degree, and a number of other methods for gaining VPs that are unique to each power or otherwise special in some fashion. The Ottomans can score VPs from piracy, for example, while the Pope gets points for burning Protestant debaters at the stake whose only crime was to roll bad dice.
The numerous ways of getting victory points leads to greatly different games and outcomes from each replay, which is a real blessing. Also, the different objectives needed to accomplish very different goals from power to power leads to different styles of play that are fun on replay as well. The game is also a major success from a historical point of view, with a lot of people, events, and details in the card play that give you a satisfying sense of the period.
For Diplomacy players, who know that every mutliplayer boardgame is really a form of Diplomacy at its basic level, it should be noted that HIS is largely a diplomatic game. It is really well suited for the ex-Dipper or less-Dipper given the high amount of negotiation involved in making deals for territory, playing event cards needed by other players for a price, etc. The diplomatic possibilities are legion, and probably explain why so many Dippers are enjoying the game these days.
It's fun. Try it, you should like it. It can be played with six, or with three two-power combos that apparently works pretty well too.
A little teaser for next issue - I'll leave the world of boardgames and talk a little politics. Hood the Republican says good things about President Obama the Democrat. Stay tuned.
By Jack “Flapjack” McHugh – jwmchughjr “of” gmail.com
(or just email Doug and he’ll send it to me)
I have decided that I am no longer going to be known as Jack McHugh. I am now Jack McHugh, President and CEO of McHugh Motors. I design, produce, and sell automobiles, pick-up trucks, and SUV’s. I am the only major automobile manufacturer in the United States which has its headquarters outside of the desolate Detroit area.
Now, would Obama and Congress give me a few billion dollars? I could really use it, and I’d be glad to hand over a large ownership percentage in exchange. Otherwise I will be unable to continue producing vehicles…and after all, isn’t a strong, dependable automobile industry in the national interest?
If you couldn’t tell by now, I am still pissed off about our government’s decision to bail out our auto industry. I’ve haven’t seen a bigger waste of taxpayer money since the Gadsden Purchase. First we prop up companies which have proven themselves to be unable to make superior products, and who cannot possibly survive profitably. Then we decide that the way to save them is to let the U.S. Government own a big chunk? Aside from the obvious irony – that a government which cannot run itself thinks it is capable of running a business, there is the issue of fair competition. How do other automobile companies compete if the government somehow DOES make it work? Talk about deep pockets; all the government has to do is borrow more money or print more money. It’s like playing Monopoly and being allowed to own the bank…except in the case of the U.S. government they never bother buying the right properties to win…they’d rather own just one from every color.
Speaking of which, why would anybody in their right mind buy U.S. Treasury Bonds anymore? They’re basically worthless. With all the braying about protections for investors since the Madoff scandal (wow, Wall Street is filled with crooks? Really? Never would have guess that!), do you have any idea what kind of a warning they’d have to put on our bonds if the U.S government followed its own rules of disclaimers? John Galt’s book “Dreams Come Due” has a great example (I recommend the book to anyone, although its hard to find now). I’ve taken his and updated it for today (as it was written in 1986):
“THESE SECURITIES INVOLVE A HIGH DEGREE OF RISK, AS THEY ARE DENOMINATED IN A CURRENCY THAT HAS LOST OVER 92 PERCENT OF ITS PURCHASING POWER SINCE 1940 AND ARE BACKED BY A GOVERNMENT THAT HAS BALANCED ITS BUDGET THREE TIMES SINCE 1960. EVERY PRIOR INVESTOR IN THESE SECURITIES HAS SUFFERED REAL CAPITAL LOSSES, AND THE ISSUER HAS NO INTENT OF REPAYING ITS DEBTS, EXCEPT BY ISSUING MORE BONDS AND DEPRECIATING THE CURRENCY USED FOR REPAYMENT. THESE SECURITIES HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED BY THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION.”
If you don’t understand the legalese, “real capital losses” means that in 30-year period, if you bought a 30-year Treasury Bond and held it all 30 years to maturity, the money you get back (including the interest earned) has less buying power (due to inflation) than it did when you invested in it. It’s sort of like when those dopes on Antique Roadshow bring in some lamp they bought for $800 in 1954 and they get so excited when the expert tells them it’s worth $6000 now. Wow, granny, don’t have stroke: that means you earned less than 4% on your “investment” annually. In real money, it’s worth less now then when your late husband decided that lamp would look great in his den. I guarantee that if they started adjusting this stuff for inflation on-air, the show would disappear faster than the Pirates chances of winning their division every April.
Oh, and by the way, with all the printing and borrowing going on, you better get used to that “inflation” word. If you’ve got a stamp collection, go look at some of those German stamps from after World War I; the ones which say 5 Marks and then have “300 Marks” overprinted on them.
Okay, enough negativity. How about some sports? I’ve decided I’m glad the 76ers didn’t somehow make it to the finals and win. If they did, it would just mean more riots. Why is it that every time a basketball team wins, it is considered okay for so-called “fans” to riot? Los Angeles suffered through injured policemen, a looted shoe store, fires and…oh, never mind, that’s a typical Saturday night in LA anyway, isn’t it?
What I am amazed at is how the Phillies are still in first place. The only reason they’re anywhere near the top of the standings, let alone in the lead, is because the New York Mutts are such a bunch of jackasses. Did you see when they lost to the Yankees? Two men on base, two out, and A-Fraud hits a simple lazy pop-up…and the guy drops it, as the Yankers score two runs and win? Maybe they need Casey Stengel back to run the show?
Meanwhile, the Phillies can’t seem to keep anybody healthy. It’s as if they all belong to some underground fight club, where they face-off against Brad Pitt and his buddies every night. Limbs snapping, bones breaking, hips cracking…its worse than Twister night at the Raisin Ranch. If Nancy Reagan fell down the stairs she’d hit the ground with less injuries than the typical Philly. Maybe these guys are all going through menopause or something, and suffer from osteoporosis. Start buying those calcium chews, guys!
Did you see or hear about (I didn’t watch it) T.O. being the first person booted off some competition television show? He was the only real athlete on there, and his female model teammate kept ripping him a new one for screwing up and being unable to finish simple physical tasks. “He’s so cocky. For what? I need an athlete as a teammate, not this guy.” Enjoy him, Buffalo!
Okay, in closing, here is what I like to call:
The World's Shortest Fairy Tale:
Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl 'Will you marry me?'
The girl said, 'NO!'
And the guy lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles and went fishing and hunting and played golf a lot and drank beer and scotch and had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up and farted whenever he wanted.
by W. Andrew York
(wandrew88 of gmail.com)
Well, the usual is below. Thanks to those who contributed letters, but no one had any comments on the Poll Question. So, I’m going to go back to a personal opinion one for this time. Are there any suggestions for future PQs? If you have some, please send them my way.
The recipe is in honor of the southern staple – okra. It’s about the time I start getting a produce bag of them in my weekly veggie box from the farm. Until I started getting the box, I’d never cooked with raw okra; but, since I was getting so much, I had to find a recipe that I liked. This one is from the folks at Boggy Creek (a municipal organic farm here in Austin). I actually like it quite a bit and even leftovers can be reheated for the next night’s dinner (or keep the extra batter in the fridge, thin if necessary before frying). I’m always looking for tasty okra recipes, so if you have one, send it my way.
And, in a big surprise, the first round of the “Hangman by Definition” is over. One person, investing a bit of time and with some keen detective work, figured out the word. He sent along an interesting commentary on how he solved it along with some comments and feedback. Your thoughts on the game are welcome, as well as your letter and guess for round two.
Well, I’m in Pittsburgh, after a fairly uneventful flight. From Austin to Memphis went very smoothly, but a mechanical problem with the connecting flight had everyone going to the other side of the airport to board the replacement plane. Then, there were at least four infants scattered throughout the plane. Fortunately, once we got in the air and settled down, they were relatively quiet. And, the 80 degree weather is quite a bit better than the string of 100 degree days we’d been experiencing in Texas (can you say “back to back 105 degree days”?).
I’m in the Omni William Penn and it is a top-notch place to stay (as an added bonus, the Mensa Gathering committee managed excellent rates). If they continue the service as they started out, they’ll be in the running for one of the best hotels I’ve stayed in. The top ones currently are: The Worthington in Fort Worth, Austin Four Seasons, and Great Fosters outside London
The one problem, so far, is that Pittsburgh rolls up its streets on Sunday. Very little is open – a few convenience stores (Rite Aid, CVS Pharmacy), chain food choices (Arby’s, McDonalds – and, I saw more Subways than Starbucks!) and not much else. For dinner, after talking with the concierge, I was pointed in the direction of the Cultural District as the best chance to find something. I eventually found a small cluster of open local restaurants. I choose a Thai place, but wasn’t overwhelmed (small, tasty, fried spring roll; soggy house salad and decent tasting, but pricey, Scallop Panang. Service was poor, the one person covering the dining room wasn’t able to keep up with the half-a-dozen occupied tables.
Tomorrow, I’m thinking of taking the “DUKW” tour, the river tour, maybe a trolley tour; possibly see the Frick and/or the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Museums depending on timing. Tuesday is the trip to the two Frank Lloyd Wright houses and the convention starts on Wednesday (Pirates game that night!).
If anyone has any other thoughts on what I should do or see while I’m here, let me know soon!
(always welcome, send them in!)
Tom Swider: Pittsburgh’s a lot of fun. Good museums, and interesting nightlife downtown and on the south side. Would highly recommend a brewpub call Valhalla, but it cloesd a few years ago (pity).
If you’re going to Fallingwater, there’s another house by Wright not too much further away called Kentuck Knob. I think it’s worht setting the time aside to do both given the distance of the trip from Pittsburg. [WAY] I’m on a packaged tour that, in fact, does include Kentuck Knob. So, I’ll be seeing that one as well.
[TS] The apartment complex where I’m living has the same sort of problem. I did get to be on first name basis with one neighbor but generally it’s not as friendly as city life. [WAY] Unfortunately true, and this year I’ve not had the opportunity to get out to the pool and reconnect with the handful of folks I chatted with there. First, it was all the furniture being destroyed in that hail storm. It took some time to replace that; but, now haven’t had the time.
Dane Maslen: Like you, I don’t tend to get things just because they’re new (the Pocket PC purchase was very much an exception!), so for example, I’ve recently replaced a PC that was nearly 10 years old and it was only a few years ago that I finally replaced a TV that was 15-20 years old. [WAY] Well, to update things on my end, shortly after I finished the column, the agency I work for discontinued all pagers. So, I now carry around an agency issued cell phone (and I still haven’t quite figured out all its features). So, I’ll need to get a personal cell phone soon of one type or another. Any suggestions or opinions on what I should look into or to avoid?
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: 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?
<<No Submissions Received>>
[WAY] I’m sold on the Saturn brand – so I’m very glad that it appears the Penske Group is going to acquire the brand and continue the line. I don’t know much of the specifics (just what little’s been in the paper/magazines and a letter from Saturn), but it is encouraging. I think that Saturn divorced from the corporate politics within GM will blossom and grow to be much stronger, and competitive, brand. So, yes, there is a vibrant future for the US car industry – just in a different form that it current exists. That being said, if the Tesla brand becomes more affordable and meets the expectations for it, I would look at switching (presuming Saturn doesn’t have a similar offering).
For next issue: If you’re given the opportunity to pick a cuisine for a night out (and everyone in your party is open to anything), what would you choose? And, what would you look to order from the menu?
In Interludes and Examinations:
Morden: “Anything I can do to help?”
Vir: “Short of dying....no, I can’t think of anything.”
Source: But In Purple...I’m Stunning! by J. Michael Straczynski, edited by Sara “Samm” Barnes, copyright 2008.
July 14, 1789 - Storming of the Bastille: The spark that ignited the French Revolution and began the transition in Europe from the Age of
Monarchy to the Rise of the Nation-State. It also brought equality to all social levels in the country. Prior to this, only those of noble
rank could be beheaded, the rest were hung. Now, there was equal opportunity through guillotining.
July 20, 1969 - Man walks on the Moon: The US wins the space race, putting the first of a dozen men on non-Earth soil. The last left their
boot prints in December 1972. Humans were on the Moon for 3 ½ years and it has been 36 ½ years since….
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.
Hilton’s Okra Fritters
from Eating in Season - Recipes from Boggy Creek Farm by Carol Ann Sayle
Dry 6 tbl Cornmeal
2 tbl Flour
Salt/Pepper to taste
Wet 1 ea Egg (beaten)
1/2-1cup Milk or Buttermilk (enough to make a loose mixture when the dries are combined with the wets)
2 tbl Olive Oil (plus more for frying)
1 small Onion (chopped fine, 1/4” dice)
2 cloves Garlic (chopped very fine)
1 cup Okra (chopped in thin rounds - 1/4” thick)
Combine the dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix the Egg, Milk and Olive Oil together in a medium to large bowl. Add the Onion, Garlic and Okra. Stir to coat the veggies.
Add the dries to the wets. Combine to make a loose “pancake batter,” adding more milk if needed. Heat additional Olive Oil in a big skillet over medium heat. Drop by spoonfuls to make 4” sized circles, like pancakes. Brown the fritters on the bottom, then flip over to brown the top.
Hilton says it’s basically a runny cornbread mixture with the okra and other ingredients chopped fine enough to make a crunchy pancake/fritter.
Andy’s Optional Additions: For a bit of a bite, dice a jalapeno or two and add with the veggies. Or, add some Tabasco sauce to the wets.
To add some color, use diced green onion stems in place of some of the onion.
Editorial – this is a neat little cookbook designed from a Farmer’s Market perspective. It is available, in store, for purchase from BookPeople (www.bookpeople.com); however, it is not in their online database. If you’d like your own copy, Email the store’s online order staff and I’m sure they’ll be able to accommodate you. Or, get with me and I’ll go over to Boggy Creek and get one personally signed by the author for you.
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 Two:
Letter Votes: P - 1, L - 1, A - 1 Revealed: N/A
Words Guessed: Turnover - Brendan Whyte; Hardcover - Andy Lischett; Carabiner - Mark Lew;
Coriander - Dane Maslen
Word: C A R A B I N E R
Definition: An oblong metal ring with one spring-hinged side that is used especially in mountain climbing as a
connector and to hold a freely running rope.
Revealed: E, R, S
Round Two, Turn Zero:
Word: __ __ __ __ E __ __ __ S __
Definition: __ __ E __ __ __ __ __ __ __ S __ __ __ __ __ __
S __ __ __ __ __ __ S __ __ __ S __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ S __ S.
Revealed: E, S
Words Guessed: Mark D Lew - 1
Brendan Whyte: definition: ...is used especially to/by... greedy...rule
Mark Lew: It took me about an hour to puzzle it out. At first I was sue that S _ R _ _ - _ _ _ _ E _ was the key, but I was completely stumped by that, so I turned my attentio to _ R E E _ _ instead. That almost has to be “freely”. There are a few other words that fit, but none that makes sense in the context (i.e., after “a” and with only two words following). That makes R _ _ _ _ _ _ some sort of participle, and since there’s no E for a past participle it has to be a present participle. After some pondering I came up with “a freely running rope”, which is enough to Google for the answer. [WAY] That’s quite a good job of detective work, thanks for sharing your “work” with others and I look forward to seeing your efforts on future words!
[MDL] The answer is CARABINER, and reading the Merrian-Webster online definition I see why the hyphenated word stumped me: you left out a letter! [WAY] Oops!
[MDL] Next time I promise to refrain from Googling...for my own sake. I think I still could have solved it even without Google, but I’ll never know till I try. [WAY] Well, Googling may or may not help next time as I’m going back to my printed, hardcopy, dictionary for future words.
[MDL] For what it’s worth, I think the challenge would be more interesting if you *don’t* start with E and S. [WAY] Well, the idea behind that is in just about every game, those would be the first letters guessed (unless folks are throwing in ringers). So, to get past that (and give the players a little something to work with), I decided to “fast forward” through the first two rounds and start with the third. Thoughts on this from the other players?
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:
July 25, 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
The first topic I’ll deal with is debits and credits. This usually isn’t the very first topic covered, because people who teach accounting like to look down with disdain on debits and credits, believing in their hearts that their work is much more interesting than that, but understanding debits and credits first is very helpful to everything that follows.
Debits and credits are a clever system for recording a negative quantity of something. It’s clever because it is a system that was devised before there was any understanding in general of “negative numbers,” something we’re taught nowadays as young children. The idea is to rely on left and right instead of positive and negative. You add up the numbers on the left, you add up the numbers on the right, and if the total on the left is greater than the total on the right, the “balance” is the difference between the two sums or totals and its nature is that it is on the left. If the total on the right is greater than the total on the left, the nature of the balance is that it is on the right. Now, for everywhere I said “left” you substitute “debit” and for everywhere I said “right” you substitute “credit” and you’ve got it.
The terms “debit” and “credit” are old words that have been around a long time. “Debit” shares its derivation with the word “debt” (yes, I looked it up: “Latin debitum DEBT”). It’s like the word “exit” above a door: “exit” is a Latin word that years ago (when people knew some Latin) was understood to mean “he leaves” (Latin is wonderful for leaving out pronouns, but I’d better watch how far I go with this, because I am certainly not a scholar of Latin). In fact, when I used to read Shakespeare’s plays, if one person left the stage, it was “exit” and if more than one person left the stage at the same time, it was “exeunt” (third person plural). You could think of “debit” as meaning “he owes” [us] and the number being how much he owes us. We all should know the word “debtor”—someone who owes somebody something. Creditor is somebody owed something.
The idea is that a lot of isolated events cause you to either owe money (or something valued in money) to someone (or to be owed by someone). Accountants like to call these events “transactions.” (You can charge more for your services if you use polysyllabics.) The account is a summary of all the events that have caused you to owe money to, or be owed money by, someone in particular. If he owes you because of the event, you write the dollar amount on the left (debit). If the event caused you to owe him money, you write the amount on the right (credit). If you add up all the numbers on the left, all the numbers on the right, and the sum of the amounts on the left (the debits) are greater than the sum of the amounts on the right (the credits), on balance he owes you money. He is literally your debtor. We refer to this record of all the transactions between you and someone else as “an account.” If the guy owes you money, accountants call this an “account receivable.” In fact, a lot of accountants will simply say “receivable.” If the balance was on the right (a credit balance), you owe him money. He is your creditor. Accounts like to call this an “account payable.”
In a simple trading situation (a cool example is a someone in colonial times sending goods, maybe tobacco, back to London in the home country to someone who sends him stuff back he wants, like a piano). Every “transaction” is valued in money. If you keep running up a balance in his favor, every so often you may settle the account by somehow getting some money (as in coin of the realm) to the guy. If the two of you agree that the stuff you’ve sent him is worth about what the stuff he sent you is worth, you’re even, and no money needs to change hands. This type of relationship isn’t as common today as it was many, many years ago. But the idea is to think of the account as a person. Let’s say your name is Doug Kent. The guy in London keeps an account in your name—in those days, a sheet of paper (or a page in a book) with your name at the top, with a listing of all the transactions between the two of you, probably listed in the chronological order in which they occurred, with the dollar amounts recorded (on the left or the right, depending on the transaction), and at some point, or perhaps as he goes along, he keeps track of the balance in the account. If it is a page in a book, he numbers the pages (the same way you number the pages in any book, start with 1 and work your way up from there). The page number is your account number. This is called “keeping the books.” The activity is called “bookkeeping.” The person doing this is a “bookkeeper.” Everything written (“entered”) in an account is called an “entry.”
Now let’s jump headlong into “double entry.” (In the ridiculously simple example above, with the colonial guy with one account for keeping track of what he owes the guy in London, we’re describing “single entry” bookkeeping.)
All the accounts of your own that you keep, collected together, is called the “general ledger.” The word “ledger” is one of those arcane words that essentially means “book.” It’s “general” because it’s all your accounts in general. (A certain subgroup of your accounts, related to each other in some way, is called a “subsidiary” ledger—I apologize for some of the arcane terminology). If you think of the “general ledger” as the group of all of your accounts, a “subsidiary ledger” is any subgroup. It would be nice if all accountants just said “sub” instead of “subsidiary,” but old habits die hard.
In your general ledger, you keep accounts for more than just people you owe money or people who owe you money. You also keep accounts for inanimate objects. Let’s look a type of transaction that would call for an account like that. You have money in your pocket. You keep track of that using an account called “cash on hand.” You could think of it as your pocket owing you money. I know that sounds weird, but bear with me. If you have $5 in your pocket, your pocket owes you $5. It owes you, so in a seemingly twisted way of thinking, you write the $5 on the left (debit). This may sound like you’re having an out-of-body experience, but that $5 belongs to you, so you owe yourself $5 (it belongs to you, it’s yours, you own it, you’re entitled to it), in a sense you are your own creditor (this is probably giving you a headache at this point), so you write $5 on the right side (credit) of an account with your name written at the top (“Doug Kent”) to show that you owe yourself $5. (This thinking of yourself as someone else is the phenomenon called “the accounting entity”—otherwise, you only see the word “entity” in the title of scary science fiction movies.) The $5 dollar debit balance in the one account and the $5 credit balance in the other account mean that all your (two) accounts taken together have a zero balance. An accountant would say that “your general ledger is in balance.” Your complete set of accounts at this point consists of two accounts, cash on hand with a $5 debit balance and Doug Kent with a $5 credit balance. If you reach into your pocket and pull out $2 and exchange it with someone for a hamburger, you credit cash on hand for $2 (to reduce the $5 debit balance that indicates how much your pocket owes you) and debit hamburger $2. The hamburger “owes you” $2 worth of yummy eating. Until you actually eat the hamburger, the hamburger “owes you” $2 of value. If you had had $500,000 in your pocket and handed it to someone to buy a house, you’d credit cash on hand $500,000 and debit “house” or some appropriately titled account (in my case, maybe 7 Mallard Drive, Amelia, Ohio) $500,000. That would mean that the house owes you $500,000 worth of “housing services” or, in relatively simple English, shelter. Unlike the hamburger, you won’t consume the house quickly, so that account will be in your ledger as long as you own the house, although the balance may change.
I’m going to pander to the engineers and physicists now. Nobody dreaming up bookkeeping today would use left and right. Most computer-based systems (and most accounting systems are computer based today), use positive numbers for the debits and negative numbers for the credits. This is a conventional way of doing things that’s been around since around WWII, or about the first time anyone used a computer to keep an account electronically. The “general ledger” could be thought of as a vector, each element of which is one of the accounts, and the sum of all the elements is zero. Let’s use our example, after the hamburger is bought; for convenience, I’ll depict it horizontally, although a purist might prefer vertically (as a “column” vector):
(Cash on hand 3, hamburger 2, Doug Kent -5)
(3, 2, -5)
The general ledger (sometimes called “the accounting system”) is an artificial system. We define it so that the elements of the vector always sum to zero. This system behaves according to Newton’s Third Law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If I debit one of the accounts in the system $2, I have to credit one or more of the accounts in the system a total of $2. If I don’t, the system will be “out of balance.” It is an error state, by definition.
If there’s any frustrated statisticians in the audience, we can depict an account as “X” and use a subscript to denote the account number (Xi) where “i” is the account number. The general ledger being in balance could be stated as Σ(Xi) = 0. Sticking an algebraic expression in your paper is always a good idea if you hope to get it published in a scholarly journal. I think every article published in the Accounting Review has an algebraic expression in it somewhere, even if it serves no useful purpose.
Now that we’ve talked about ledgers, let’s talk about journals. If you were keeping a general ledger by hand (without a computer) and you had hundreds or thousands of accounts, it would be very cumbersome and error-prone to record each aspect of a complicated transaction by turning to page X to write a debit for $5, page Y to write a debit for $6, page Z to write a credit for $11. This is called “direct” entry in the ledger and is a big no-no in manual (kept by hand) systems. So you write the whole transaction down first in one place, check your work to make sure the debits (5 and 6) equal the credits (11), and then you write the entries, one by one, in the three ledger accounts. The “book” in which you record each transaction before entering it in the general ledger is called a “journal.” (The etymology has something to do with “jour” as in “soup du jour” or “soup of the day” and basically implies you are performing this activity at least daily.) You guessed it, you’ll always have a “general” journal. If you record certain types of transactions in other, special-purpose journals, those journals are called “special journals” (original, isn’t it?)—a common example would a payroll journal. In a manual system, you’d have columns in your payroll journal to make it easy to record the (similar) transactions for each employee each payday (for instance, each employee has state tax, city tax, all kinds of withholdings and deductions), so you could total those columns and just enter the column totals in the corresponding ledger account (an account for the tax you’ve withheld from your employees that you owe to the state, which would have a credit balance; one for city tax, etc.). Summarizing information in a special journal in this way reduces the number of entries in the general ledger (it doesn’t change their total effect on any account, it just makes bookkeeping more efficient). Recording in the ledger what was initially recorded in the journal is called “posting.” A journal is often called “a book of original entry.” Ironically enough, in a computer-based system, you usually end up entering directly in general ledger accounts, which can make bringing an account up on your screen absolutely scary, and somebody usually goes to a lot of trouble to make it look as if you have special journals, by designing printouts that look like what you’d have if you really did have special journals. The “book of original entry” or “journal entry” is usually a data entry form that may even look like an old-fashioned accounting journal in some respects, but the electronic accounting system usually is designed so that the entire accounting system is essentially nothing more (or less) than the general ledger itself.
Looking at a balance in an account (“7 Mallard Drive, Amelia, Ohio”) and wondering where the $500,000 debit balance came from, you’d expect to see a “posting reference”—basically something to tell you where the $500,000 entry came from. In a manual system, this would literally be a page in a journal. In an electronic system, this is probably letters or numbers identifying a data entry form (or “source document”). This ability to trace back to the original record of a transaction is called an “audit trail.” You would also be able to follow the trail starting from the source document and ending up in the general ledger account. This is one of the principal ways in which an auditor (an accountant who goes over the books to see if everything is on the up and up) looks for fraud. (An accountant who comes in from outside your organization as an independent outsider to do this is usually called an “outside auditor” or “independent auditor”; an accountant who is an employee of your organization who does this as his job is called an “internal auditor”—I don’t know why it isn’t “outside and inside” or “internal and external” except that old habits die hard.)
Now, for more terminology and further complications, there are different types of accounts depending on what it is they are keeping track of: if it is of money (or something valued in money) owed to you, it’s an “asset”; if it is something you owe somebody else, it’s a “liability”; if it’s that pesky old “Doug Kent” account, it’s “owner’s equity” or his “capital” account. (If you’re keeping the books for a corporation, the owners are the shareholders, so you say “shareholders’ equity.” If you’re keeping the books for a partnership, you keep an account for each partner, and you’d say “partner’s capital” account. I apologize again for all the arcane terminology.) These are sometimes called “real” or “permanent” accounts. Your pocket is always there (even if it’s empty for the moment), there’s always that pesky old house on 7 Mallard Drive, and there’s always that account called Doug Kent. There’s another type of account called a “nominal” or “temporary” account—actually, I’ve only heard them called that in textbooks and in classroom lectures, but every accountant suffers through that at some point. These are the “revenue” and “expense” accounts. In reality, these are accounts used to record changes in the owner’s equity account (usually due to business transactions). If Doug Kent’s business is selling apples for cash (probably on some street corner in Dallas), a sale is recorded by a debit to cash (probably cash on hand because he puts it in his pocket) and a credit to “Sales” (a typical title for a revenue account. These credits to sales are ultimately increases in the balance in the “Doug Kent” capital account, but the usual practice is to keep track of the sales in an account just for that purpose, and then every so often, usually at the end of each year, “closing” that account into “Doug Kent” (his capital account). To “close” an account is to make an entry to that account that brings its balance to zero and transfers the balance in that account to some other account—the account into which it “is closed.” If in the course of the year Doug has sales of $6,789 (that’s the credit balance in his Sales account), closing Sales into “Doug Kent” would be an entry debiting Sales $6,789 and crediting Doug Kent $6,789. Afterward, the balance in Sales is zero (“it has been closed”) and the $6,789 credit balance that used to be in Sales is now in the account called Doug Kent.
An expense account would be an account for recording a decrease in the owner’s equity. An example would be what Doug paid for the apples. Every time he bought apples to later resell, he would be debiting an account called something like “Apples.” (I’m trying to keep this simple.) If the cost of all the apples he bought comes to $4,321 for the year, he would close “Apples” into “Doug Kent” by crediting Apples $4,321 and debiting Doug Kent $4,321. Now the balance of Apples is zero and there’s a $4,321 debit in Doug Kent. What’s the balance in Doug Kent as a result of closing the books (meaning closing all the accounts that should be closed)? There was the $6,789 credit and now a $4,321 debit. That “nets out to” a 6789 – 4321 = $2,468 credit, which represents an increase in his equity in his business due to his selling apples for $2,468 more than he paid for them. Accountants like to say net. I think its etymology is related to origin of the word “neat”; sometimes you say he “cleared” $2,468. You might also say his “net” was $2,468 or use it as a verb, as in “he netted $2,468 selling apples.” The $6,789 that he sold them for would be “what he grossed.” “Gross” is before subtracting something from it. “Net” is after something has been subtracted from it. Particularly in a manual system, a bookkeeper would probably use one account just to close all the revenues and expenses before closing that account into the owner’s equity. Most accountants would call such an account “Income Summary.” You go to extra trouble in a manual system to help avoid careless mistakes and to make what is happening clearer, in case you’re hit by a bus on your way home from work and someone else has to figure things out with nothing more than what you recorded in the books.
The assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity accounts are usually presented in what’s called a “balance sheet.” The assets are usually on the left (no surprise there) and the liabilities and equity on the right. Clearly, if everything is as it should be, the dollar total of assets will equal the combined dollar total of the liabilities and owner’s equity, so the term “balance sheet” is not very imaginative. To explain the changes in the owner’s equity account from the end of one year to the end of the next (from one balance sheet date to the next), you’d expect to see an “income statement” showing the revenues first and then the expenses, the difference (or “bottom line”) at the bottom, called the “net income” or “net earnings.” If it’s a corporation, you’d expect to see “earnings per share,” too.
In the United States, the normal practice is to list assets on the balance sheet in the order in which they are closest to cash. Cash on hand (or in the bank) would be listed first, then stuff you can sell very easily and quickly or convert into cash (marketable securities, customers’ accounts you expect to collect, etc., somewhere farther down buildings and equipment you expect to keep for a long time and don’t expect to sell or convert into cash anytime soon). The liabilities are normally listed in order of how soon you’re supposed to pay them. The distinction is between your short-term debt and your long-term debt. It’s pretty simple and not very magical. If an asset will be sold or can be converted into cash within one year, you call it a “current” asset. If a liability has to be paid in one year or less, it’s a “current” liability. If the total of your current assets exceeds your current liability, you look solvent (meaning you’ll be “liquid” or able to pay your bills when they become due) for the immediate future, assuming the economy doesn’t tank the way it did recently. The ratio of current assets to current liabilities is called the “current ratio” and is a commonly used indicator of the solvency of a business. A banker will look at it before he lends your business money. The difference between current assets and current liabilities is called “working capital.” If you have $18 of current assets and $6 of current liabilities, your current ratio is 3 to 1 and your working capital is $12. Of course, everything I’ve written so far is a drastic oversimplification, but I’ve tried to give you a general idea of what’s going on, not turn you into an expert. The last thing I’d want to do is turn you into an accountant.
Paul Milewski is the former publisher of the much-missed Diplomacy zine Yellow Pajamas. He has also contributed a number of very interesting articles on statistics in my old zine Maniac’s Paradise.
Diplomacy (Black Press – Permanent Opening in ES): Signed up: Philip Murphy, Ian Pringle, William Wood, Rick Davis, Robert Jewett, need two more to fill. Get in on the fun now!
Gunboat Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: Two players, need five more to fill. If nobody else signs up by the next issue I will drop this opening.
Fog of War Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: None, need seven to fill. Rules can be found below. The only portion of the game which will run here in the zine would be the press, as the maps and the supply center information is all private. And, of course, the end-game statements and report would be run here. But the game would run under the usual ES schedule.
Colonial Diplomacy: Hugh Polley has volunteered to guest GM this, with a bond game alongside (a Bourse-type game). Signed up: Robert Jewett, need six more.
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.
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.
1) Unless stated otherwise, the 1976 Rules for Diplomacy are in effect.
2) Abstract: The basic idea of Fog of War Diplomacy is that a player sees neither every unit on the board, nor any player's orders, when a season is adjudicated and published. Seasons are adjudicated normally, but a player sees a foreign unit only if one of his own units could make a single legal move (without convoy) to the foreign unit's exact location. A player always sees his own units, too.
3) Seasons: The game is run using Winter/Spring and Fall seasons. This should not be any more of a problem than in Diplomacy. In fact, many times a player will be unaware of other players' adjustments, so there is little reason for separate Winter and Spring seasons.
4) Maps: The GM should provide each player with an individual map showing only those units he sees after a given season. Alternatively, the GM could provide an individual list of units which are seen by the player. Maps are preferred, however, since they will aid better the GM in providing correct information, as well as giving the player a valuable reference guide.
5) Retreats: For sighting purposes, if a dislodged unit is not disbanded automatically, then it is considered to be still in the space from which it was dislodged. The attacking player knows the foreign unit is in retreat, but not necessarily what the retreating unit will do. The retreating player knows the identity of the attacking unit, but not necessarily the space from which the attack came. A player is not given a list of possible retreat sites by the GM. Instead, a player is forced to make an educated guess.
6) Adjustments: After a Fall season has been adjudicated, the GM provides each player with information about which supply centers he controls and what adjustments he needs to make.
7) Conditional Orders: Conditional orders on a foreign unit's retreat are permitted, but a player can specify only those exact spaces where he could see the retreating unit if it retreated there. Conditional orders on a foreign power's adjustments are permitted under the same conditions.
8) Examples of Sightings:
· England has F Gas, France has A Par. England cannot see the French army (since F Gas‑Par is illegal), but France can see the English fleet (since A Par‑Gas is legal).
· England has F Mid, France has A Gas. England can see the French army, but France cannot see the English fleet.
· England has A Naf and F Mid, France has A Par. Neither power can see the other's unit(s).
· England has A Gas, France has F Spa(sc). England can see the French fleet (since A Gas‑Spa is legal, and an army is considered to be at all coasts of a space), but France cannot see the English army (since F Spa(sc)‑Gas is illegal).
· England has F Gas, France has A Spa. Each power can see the other's unit.
· England has F Gas, France has F Spa(sc). Neither power can see the other's unit.
Diplomacy “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” 2008A, Fall 1906
Austria (Kevin Wilson - ckevinw “of” yahoo.com): F Aegean Sea – Greece,
A Budapest Supports A Bulgaria – Serbia, A Bulgaria – Serbia,
F North Africa Supports F Western Mediterranean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Void*),
A Trieste Supports A Bulgaria – Serbia, A Warsaw Hold.
England (Jérémie LeFrançois - jeremie.lefrancois “of”gmail.com): F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel – Berlin,
F English Channel Supports F Irish Sea - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Fails*), F Irish Sea - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Fails*),
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Portugal (*Bounce*), A Moscow Supports A Ukraine – Sevastopol, F North Sea – Belgium,
F Norwegian Sea - North Atlantic Ocean, A Ukraine - Sevastopol.
France (William Wood – woodw “of” offutt.af.mil): A Gascony Supports A Paris – Brest, A Paris - Brest.
Germany (Graham Wilson – grahamaw “of” rogers.com): A Kiel – Berlin, A Munich Supports A Kiel - Berlin.
Italy (Don Williams
– dwilliam “of” fontana.org):
A Brest - Gascony
(*Dislodged* retreat Picardy, OTB),
F Gulf of Lyon Supports F Marseilles - Spain(sc) (*Fails*), F Marseilles - Spain(sc) (*Fails*),
A Piedmont - Marseilles (*Fails*), F Spain(nc) - Portugal (*Bounce*), A Tyrolia – Venice,
F Tyrrhenian Sea no move received, F Western Mediterranean S F Ionian Sea – Tunis (*Void),
F Ionian Sea – Tunis (No Such Unit).
Holley – genea5613 “of” aol.com):
Berlin, no move received (*Dislodged*
Prussia, OTB), A Rumania Supports F Black Sea - Bulgaria(ec) (*Void*),
Serbia Supports F Black Sea - Bulgaria(ec) (*Dislodged*, retreat Albania, OTB), A
Sevastopol Supports A Rumania (*Dislodged*,
retreat Armenia, OTB).
Turkey (Brad Wilson - bwdolphin146 “of”yahoo.com): F Black Sea Supports F Constantinople –
Bulgaria(ec), F Constantinople - Bulgaria(ec), A Smyrna - Constantinople.
Dislodged units in Berlin, Brest, Serbia, and Sevastopol are not shown on the map.
A Proposal for a Concession to England has been proposed. Please vote with your next set of orders!
Ownership of Supply Centers:
Austria: Budapest, Greece, Serbia, Trieste, Tunis, Vienna, Warsaw=7 Build 1
England: Belgium, Denmark, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Moscow, Norway,
Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Sweden=10 Build 2
France: Brest, Paris=2 Even
Germany: Berlin, Holland, Kiel, Munich=4 Build 2 (Room for 1)
Italy: Marseilles, Naples, Portugal, Rome, Spain, Venice=6 Remove 1 or 2
Russia: Rumania=1 Even to Remove 3
Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Smyrna=4 Build 1
Winter 1906/Spring 1907 Deadline is July 28th 2009 at 7:00am my time
GM – All: No press? Pphpht. You all suck.
Diplomacy “Dulcinea” 2008C, Winter 1902/Spring 1903
Austria (Stephen Agar – stephen “of” stephenagar.com): Build A Budapest..
A Budapest - Galicia (*Bounce*), A Rumania Supports A Budapest – Galicia, A Serbia – Trieste,
F Trieste - Adriatic Sea, A Vienna Supports A Serbia - Trieste.
England (Philip Murphy trekkypj “of” gmail.com): Build A Edinburgh.. F Barents Sea - St Petersburg(nc),
A Edinburgh – Norway, A London Hold, F North Sea Convoys A Edinburgh – Norway,
F Sweden Supports A Edinburgh - Norway.
France (Brad Wilson – bwdolphin146 ”of” yahoo.com): Retreat A Belgium - Picardy.. A Brest – Paris,
A Burgundy – Belgium, A Picardy Supports A Burgundy – Belgium, F Portugal - Mid-Atlantic Ocean,
F Spain(sc) Supports F Portugal - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Cut*).
Germany (William Wood – woodw “of” Offutt.af.mil): Build A Kiel..
A Belgium Supports A Ruhr - Holland
(*Dislodged*, retreat to Ruhr or OTB), F Denmark Hold,
A Kiel Supports A Munich, A Munich Hold, A Ruhr - Holland.
Italy (Melinda Holley – genea5613 “of” aol.com): F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Piedmont – Marseilles,
A Piedmont – Marseilles, A Tyrolia Hold, F Western Mediterranean - Spain(sc) (*Fails*).
Russia (Jack McHugh – jwmchughjr “of” gmail.com): Remove A Moscow..
F Sevastopol Hold (*Disbanded*), F Skagerrak - North Sea (*Fails*), A Ukraine
Supports A Warsaw – Galicia,
A Warsaw - Galicia (*Bounce*).
Turkey (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” gmail.com): Build F Smyrna.. A Armenia – Sevastopol,
F Black Sea Supports A Armenia – Sevastopol, F Bulgaria(ec) Supports A Serbia - Rumania (*Void*),
A Greece Supports F Bulgaria(ec), F Smyrna - Aegean Sea.
Fall 1903 Deadline is July 28th 2009 at 7:00am my time
Jim-Bob to Prime Minister: Pilgrims, pilgrims, my dear Witch. I'm very sorry to have to kill Dorothy before she can wash you down the drain
Diplomacy “Bellicus” from Strange Meeting, Spring/Summer 1904
(Terry Hayes – Telboy203 “of” aol.com):
A Vienna Hold (*Dislodged*,
England (Smiley McKinnon – Boltar35 “of” aol.com): F Edinburgh Supports F London - North Sea,
F London - North Sea, A Yorkshire - London.
France (Pat Vogelsang – godawgsgo33 “of” yahoo.com): A Belgium Hold, F Brest - English Channel,
A Burgundy Supports A Belgium, F English Channel - Irish Sea, A Gascony Supports A Burgundy,
A Picardy Supports A Belgium.
Germany (Beartla de Burca – beartlab “of” yahoo.ie): F Denmark Hold,
A Holland Supports F North Sea – Belgium, A Munich Supports A Silesia,
North Sea - Belgium (*Dislodged*, NRR, removed), A Silesia Supports A Munich.
Italy (David Latimer – davidlatimeryork “of” yacoo.co.uk): F Adriatic Sea Supports A Tyrolia – Trieste,
F Tunis Hold, A Tyrolia – Trieste, A Venice Supports A Tyrolia - Trieste.
Russia (Chris Babcock – cbabcock “of” asciiking.com): A Bohemia Supports A Trieste – Vienna,
A Moscow - St Petersburg, F Norway – Skagerrak, A Sevastopol – Ukraine, F Sweden - Denmark (*Fails*),
A Trieste – Vienna, A Warsaw - Galicia.
Turkey (Phil Amos – p.v.a “of” btinternet.com): F Albania Supports F Greece - Ionian Sea,
F Black Sea – Constantinople, A Bulgaria – Serbia, F Constantinople - Aegean Sea, F Greece - Ionian Sea,
F Rumania - Black Sea, A Serbia - Budapest.
Fall/Winter 1904 Deadline is July 28th 2009 at 7:00am my time
Italy – All: Just in case anyone missed it: Turkey ordered: A Serbia Supports A Budapest - Trieste.
To clarify: A Serbia Supports RUSSIAN A Budapest - Trieste.
RUSSIAN/TURKISH STEAMROLLER ON ITS WAY!
By the way I always thought you had to put other countries names in the order. Not that I'm bitter or anything J
GM – Italy: Just to clarify, in Eternal Sunshine you do not need to list the other unit’s nationality, and usually I do not do so in the adjudication either. Those who pay attention to how units get from point a to point b, as you clearly do, get a much better picture of the game!
Babcock – All: A little logic here to help us
handle alarmism with right thinking.
If the "STEAMROLLER" really was a threat to anyone beside Italy, there would have been a fleet build in St. Petersburg. The best thing that the western powers can do, and by western powers I mean France and
Germany, is grab a stalemate line and finish their business with that lousy island. Playing Russia and not Turkey, I would like to point France to a particularly fine group of lines running through Italy.
Germany, that means stop dragging your feat and pretending to mess up orders in order to sabotage your allies. If you convince France that you're incompetent handle the stalemate line then he'll feel compelled to eliminate you, I'll feel compelled to help and I might end up choosing France over Turkey in the end game and that would destroy the steamroller alliance.
That's the key, and I'm hoping that the players in this game are experienced enough to see it. If you try to bust an RT by building a huge counter alliance, all you get is a huge and messy draw. No, the way to break an RT is to disrupt the alliance by building ties with one party or the other, by feeding one party while starving the other or
otherwise unbalancing the alliance.
Remember, a week ago I was ready to give Italy 2 centers and help France into Munich because I stood to lose up to 3 centers to Germany and Turkey this year. The deal to take Trieste came about when I told Turkey that I planned to "petty and vindictive" if he took Sevastopol. If France and Italy had been quicker to accept a free lunch then the perfidious east would have played out entirely different.
The fear of a Russian and Turkish alliance is just fear but fear has a very simple power, the power to make you give life to the object of your fear so that you, yourself, make it a reality. The specter of the steamroller started with Austrian fear and grew with German fear, but there is nothing supernatural involved. Germany eventually handled his fear and let me into SWE. Consequently, there was no new Baltic fleet this year. There wasn't a steamroller last spring and there isn't one right now. The power to create one is in your hands.
That said, I did promise Austria a trip to Venice and I'm glad to be in a position to honor that.
Russia in Bellicus
PS - Doug, I hope you don't think we can be goaded into providing you with copy for your cheap rag.
PPS - Don't include Doug on the CC list of mail to all players unless you want him to publish your broadcast in the 'zine. J
Diplomacy “Chimaera” from Strange Meeting, Fall/Winter 1903
Austria (Tim Deacon – tim “of” wcava.org.uk): A Serbia Supports A Bulgaria,
Trieste Hold (*Dislodged*, retreats to Budapest), A Vienna Supports A Trieste (*Cut*).
England (Nigel Pepper – nepper “of” totalise.co.uk): A Belgium Supports A Picardy - Burgundy (*Void*),
F English Channel Supports F North Atlantic Ocean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, F Holland Supports A Belgium,
F Kiel Supports A Sweden – Berlin, F North Atlantic Ocean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, F North Sea Supports A Belgium,
A Yorkshire - Wales. Build F Liverpool.
France (Robert Jewett – Robert_Jewett “of” navyfederal.org and robertjewett “of” yahoo.com):
A Burgundy – Munich,
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold
(*Dislodged*, retreats to Portugal), A Paris – Brest,
A Picardy Supports A Paris – Brest, A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich. Build F Marseilles.
(John Wilman – jwilman “of” hotmail.com):
A Berlin Hold (*Dislodged*,
Italy (Jimmy Cowie – jcowie “of” madasafish.com): F Adriatic Sea Supports A Venice – Trieste,
F Albania Supports A Venice – Trieste, F Ionian Sea - Greece (*Fails*), A Tyrolia - Vienna (*Fails*),
A Venice - Trieste.
Russia (Mike Oliveri – oliverima “of” aol.com): F Armenia – Ankara,
F Baltic Sea Convoys A Sweden – Berlin, F Black Sea Supports F Armenia – Ankara,
A Bulgaria Supports A Serbia (*Cut*), A Silesia Supports A Berlin - Munich (*Void*), A Sweden - Berlin.
Build A Sevastopol, A Moscow, Build A Warsaw.
Turkey (Eric Knibb – eric_knibb “of” blueyonder.co.uk): F Aegean Sea S A Greece - Bulgaria,
A Ankara – Constantinople, A Greece - Bulgaria (*Fails*), F Smyrna S A Ankara - Constantinople.
NRR, GM Removes F Aegean Sea.
Ownership of Supply Centers:
Austria: Budapest, Serbia, Vienna = 3
England: Belgium, Denmark, Edinburgh, Holland, Kiel, Liverpool, London, Norway = 8
France: Brest, Marseilles, Munich, Paris, Portugal, Spain = 6
Italy: Naples, Rome, Trieste, Tunis, Venice = 5
Russia: Ankara, Berlin, Bulgaria, Moscow, Rumania, Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Sweden, Warsaw = 9
Turkey: Constantinople, Greece, Smyrna = 3
Spring/Summer 1904 Deadline is July 28th 2009 at 7:00am my time
Austria – Russia: Ordered as asked to! Hopefully your support will arrive in time, talk to you later.
Austria – Turkey: No communication means that you’re any enemy. This just leaves Russia as an ally, which means a slow death for you! Please talk next season.
Austria – Italy: Given that you have proved untrustworthy I am forced to announce a state of war between us. Whilst I can do nothing to stop your expansion, yet, I will do what I can to slow it down. Hopefully this will mean that Russia gets into a position to help me stop you. I, still, think that you should consider moves against France before the F/E combine gets too big.
Diplomacy “Albion” from Strange Meeting, Spring 1904
Remember to send orders to Stephen Agar, NOT me!!!
AUSTRIA-HUNGARY (Douglas Kent): F(ION) - TYS (FAILED, DISLODGED TO Tun); A(Tyr) s A(Bud) - Tri;
A(Bud) - Tri; A(Vie) - Boh (FAILED); A(Gal) - War; A(Rum) - Ser
ENGLAND (Jeremy Tullett): A(Yor) - Lpl; F(BAR) - NWG; F(NWG) - Edi
FRANCE (Mark Stretch): F(MAO) c A(Gas) - Wal; F(IRI) c A(Gas) - Wal; A(Mar) - Pie; A(Spa) - Gas;
A(Gas) - Wal
GERMANY (Toby Harris): A(Den) - Swe; F(SKA) c A(Bel) - Nwy; F(NTH) c A(Bel) - Nwy; A(Lon) - Yor;
A(Mun) - Boh (FAILED); A(Sil) - Gal; A(Bel) - Nwy (FAILED)
ITALY (Mog Firth): F(ADS) c A(Ven) - Alb; A(Rom) - Nap (FAILED); F(TYS) - Nap (FAILED); A(Ven) - Alb
RUSSIA (Robin ap Cynan): A(War) Stands (DISLODGED TO Lvn); F(Nwy) s A(Fin) - StP (CUT); A(Fin) - StP
TURKEY (Ian Pringle): F(EMS) - ION; F(AEG) s F(EMS) - ION; F(Smy) - EMS; A(Sev) - Ukr; A(Bul) Stands;
A(Mos) s AUSTRIAN A(Gal) - War
“Dulcinea” Diplomacy Bourse
Billy Ray Valentine: Plays Harlem Globetrotters with an expensive vase and beaks it.
Duke of York: Sends Percy and Neville to London.
Smaug the Dragon: Sells 500 Marks, 500 Rubles. Buys 1300 Crowns, 500 Pounds.
Rothschild: Sells 27 Rubles. Buys 4 Crowns, 4 Pounds, 4 Francs, 4 Marks, and 4 Piastres.
Baron Wuffet: Tries to buy the trademark for “The Red Baron.”
Sells 500 Rubles, 500 Marks, and 100 Piastres.
Buys 630 Crowns and 543 Lira.
VAIONT Enterprises: Sells 300 Crowns. Buys 100 Lira and 140 Marks.
Insider Trading LLC: Sells 500 Marks, 500 Piastres. Buys 1264 Crowns.
VAIONT Enterprises – BARON WUFFET: I finally got the wordplay allusion the Wall Street Wizard. Nicely done. Would you believe VAIONT is an anagram from AIG?
VAIONT Enterprises – GM: Do you sell little national flags of each of the countries so that we non-playing speculators can purchase and wave the appropriate flag in an ugly display of jingoistic cheerleading from the war-profiteering sector?
Smaug – Middle Earth: I know what’s been missing! Companionship! – let’s get Baron Wuffet and Rothschild in *for* dinner! *spouts flames.
VAIONT Enterprises – GM AGAIN: I note with a lack of amusement that it is not possible to buy the currency for the country of Holland. Given that Holland has done well so far and, given the cast of players in the game, could actually prevail and win this game, I think it a gross oversight on your part that we are unable to purchase that currency for the purposes of speculating and war-profiteering. Please rectify this error immediately or risk being reported to the SEC. Or is it the BNC? I’m not sure which.
VAIONT Enterprises to GM AGAIN AGAIN: We also think it high time you amend and modernize this game with a rule change. Effective immediately, all currency exchanges should be converted in euros, not dollars. Better yet, why not just let me work from euros rather than dollars. Given what conversion has done inflation-wise for the countries which have gone to the euro, I’ll make a killing on the exchange rate!
Next Bourse Deadline is July 27th 2009 at 7:00pm my time
Deviant Dip II – “Black Licorice” – 2009Brc08 - Fall 1901
Austria (John Walker - jwalker150 “of” hotmail.com): F Albania – Greece,
A Serbia Supports F Albania – Greece, A Vienna - Trieste.
England (Russell Blau – russblau “of” imapmail.org): F North Sea Convoys A Yorkshire – Belgium,
F Norwegian Sea – Norway, A Yorkshire - Belgium.
France (was Don Williams, now is Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” gmail.com by Rule #13):
A Burgundy – Munich (removed by Rule #9), A Marseilles – Spain, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Portugal.
Germany (Pete Gaughan – raptormage “of” astound.net): F Denmark Hold, A Kiel – Holland,
A Ruhr Supports A Kiel - Holland.
Italy (John David Galt – jdg “of” diogenes.sacramento.ca.us): F Ionian Sea Convoys A Naples – Tunis,
A Naples – Tunis, A Venice - Rome.
Russia (Mark D Lew – markdlew “of” earthlink.net): F Black Sea – Constantinople,
F Gulf of Bothnia – Sweden, A Ukraine – Rumania, A Warsaw - Galicia.
Turkey (Jason Bergmann – jasonbergmann “of” gmail.com): A Armenia – Sevastopol,
A Bulgaria Supports A Ukraine – Rumania, F Constantinople - Aegean Sea.
Official Standby Players, as needed: Jack McHugh (jwmchughjr “of” gmail.com), Hugh Polley (hapolley “of” yahoo.ca).
Votes by Nation:
Austria – 4 Yes votes for #13
England – 1 Yes for #11, 1 Yes for #12, 1 No for #11, 1 No for #9.
France – 4 Yes for #13.
Germany – 1 Yes for #8, 1 No for #9, 1 No for #12, 1 vote uncast.
Italy – 1 Yes on #11, 1 Yes on #8, 1 No on #7, 1 No on #10.
Russia – 1 Yes on #11, 1 Yes on #10, 1 Yes on #8, 1 No on #9, 1 No on #11.
Turkey – 1 Yes on #11, 2 No votes on #9, 1 No on #12.
Rule 9 now creates a Barbarian Horde Unit in Munich (identified as a B on the map). Munich is STILL a French center for purposes of builds, as the rule states “However, a newly built Barbarian Horde does not affect the ownership of its starting location in the Fall turn in which it is built.” The French A Munich is removed.
Rule 13 removes Don Williams as ruler of France. Jim Burgess, by rule, immediately replaces him.
Winter 1901 Deadline is July 27th at 7:00pm my time
Ownership of Supply Centers:
Austria: Budapest, Greece, Serbia, Trieste, Vienna=5 Build 2
England: Belgium, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Norway=5 Build 2
France: Brest, Marseilles, Munich, Paris, Portugal, Spain=6 Build 4 (room for 3)
Germany: Berlin, Denmark, Holland, Kiel=4 Build 1
Italy: Naples, Rome, Tunis, Venice=4 Build 1
Russia: Constantinople, Moscow, Rumania, St Petersburg, Sweden,
Warsaw=6 Build 2
Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Sevastopol, Smyrna=4 Build 1
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 votes 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.
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 #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.
the all powerful EFGIATR – Russia is really
wanting to become England. He told
me so. Turkey is really hoping to switch places with Jim Burgess because
it would be a lot easier to win from the benches.
France - Germany: Help me to attack Italy.
Germany to AT&T: Get off my line!
Turkey - Austria: I can now spell nuclear. Let’s drop bombs and see if they work.
Switzerland - Everyone: Can I help you today?
Randy Williams to World: Go ahead and draft me (takes deep toke) -- it
Norway to St. Pete: Help! I think I see the Flying Garbage Barge offshore!
The Board - Everyone: If everyone would lighten up and stop treating this like a real diplomacy game to be won or lost, we'll all have a much better time.
GERMANY to DUCKLAND: You're as perfidious as ever, even when you're not in Albion.
Turkey - Cyprus: Mine Mine Mine Mine Mine Mine!!!
Johnny Walker to Paris: No it was on a slow ship to Katmandu.
Anonymous: We all must be nuts to play in a game like this.
JOHNNY WALKER TO PARIS: Sorry, but you can't expect me to remember every drunk
chick I ever met in a bar. Hell, I can't even remember all the bars I've
Game to Germany: What wooden blocks? Are you playing with Lincoln Logs?
GERMANY - EUROPE: This is the real German press. Any press with this dateline is the authentic German press. Do not believe any of those other messages claiming to be from Germany.
(London) HM Government is pleased to announce that Parliament has approved the Barney theme song ("I love you, you love me," etc.) as the new National Anthem. All governments are advised that when the Hon. Prime Minister Ole F'tang-F'tang Biscuit-Barrel makes a state visit to your country, members of your Cabinet will be expected to assemble and sing the new anthem at the arrival ceremony.
(Berlin) Please take note that all German press from now on will use the "Berlin" dateline. Any other press claiming to be from Germany is a forgery. You have been warned!
GERMANY to RUSSIA: Greedy!
Kiel to Marseille: Swing your partner, do-si-do!
Kurdistan to Turkey: Your army in Armenia are now our prisoners! Reveal the secret of your overstuffed sofas or they are toast!
By Popular Demand
Credit goes to Ryk Downes, I believe, for inventing this. The goal is to pick something that fits the category and will be the "most popular" answer. You score points based on the number of entries that match yours. For example, if the category is "Cats" and the responses were 7 for Persian, 3 for Calico and 1 for Siamese, everyone who said Persian would get 7 points, Calico 3 and the lone Siamese would score 1 point. The cumulative total over 10 rounds will determine the overall winner. Anyone may enter at any point, starting with an equivalent point total of the lowest cumulative score from the previous round. If a person misses a round, they'll receive the minimum score from the round added to their cumulative total. 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 7 Categories
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.
Selected Comments By Category:
Sci-Fi – Brendan Whyte “Aren't we all in the star trek universe... they
blasted off from earth... so you want a universe that's outside the known
universe... wow.” Kevin Wilson “Hmm, a
lot to choose from here. I'm tempted to go with The
Prisoner knowing your enjoyment of the series (me too) but there are so
many others: Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Dr Who, Lost, Heroes, Space 1999,
Buffy, Angel, Stargate, Firefly, Farscape, not to mention the cheesey
comdedy stuff like Lost
in Space. There are far too many to choose from but I'll go with a
favorite of mine: Babylon 5.” Andy York “X-Files would be a distant second.” Michael Moulton “Not my
favorite but there's a lot of hype around it so I expect it'll be a popular
choice.” Phil Murphy “Let’s face it, Galactica in
terms of cool grittiness is possibly the best ship ever – and it has viper
Song – Kevin Wilson “Another hard one. I guess it depends on
how old your kids are. Mine are little and they both seem to like: Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
Melinda Holley “What do I know? I don't have kids. If I did,
they'd be singing Freebird.” Andy York “Stab in the dark, without trying to guess the current Jonas Brothers hit.”
Jim Burgess “ABCs", "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little
Star" and "Baa Baa Black Sheep" are all the same song, and as
such are THE choice for this category. So question Mr. Judge sir, do I have to choose only one and how do I match?
Is "song" = "tune" or "song = "words".” Phil Murphy “Thanks for making me recollect
my Barney nightmares, Doug! L”
John Candy – Brendan Whyte “John Candy... candy you suck in the john? or am I being too literal?
Sounds like what a blue eyed blonde 20 years old becomes when he
gets sent to Alcatraz...Cinnamon sticks are candy right? So would 'poo sticks' be 'john candy'? Oh, you mean John Candy the overbloated fat "act-or".” Andy York “For me, Vacation is the first I think about - though,
it probably won't even be one that someone else will choose.” Michael Moulton “This was a tough one, John
was in so many great movies.” Jim
Burgess “Only the Lonely is the best movie of John Candy being John Candy, but
it will probably lose to Planes, Trains, and
Automobiles.” Phil Murphy “I wanted to
say Spaceballs – Barf Barf
was my hero. Of course Doug is my hero
now but never mind…”
Magazine – Kevin
Wilson “A very hard one. I haven't a clue and I'm pretty much
out of the running so I'll just say The Farmer's Almanac.” Andy York “Omni was the first one that jumped into my mind; but
with gamers, maybe The General would be a better choice.”
Jewelry - Kevin Wilson “I'll go with the one almost everybody seems to have at least one of, a ring.”
Philip Murphy jumps into first place with the high score for the turn
Round 8 Categories – Deadline is July 28th, 2009 at 7:00am my time
1. Type of apple (not just the color).
2. A day of the week.
3. A color of lipstick other than red.
4. A punishment for a child.
5. A Greek letter.
General Deadline For The Next Issue of Eternal Sunshine:
July 28th 2009 at 7:00am my time – See You Then!