Eternal Sunshine #40

May 2010

By Douglas Kent, 11111 Woodmeadow Pkwy #2327, Dallas, TX 75228

Email: doug of or diplomacyworld of

On the web at – or go directly to the Diplomacy section at  Also be sure to visit the official Diplomacy World website which can be found at  Also remember to check out for official Toby the Helpful Kitty news, advice column, blog, and links to all his available merchandise!  Links to many 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 go to where women can learn all the secrets of how a man’s mind works, and why they act the way they do.

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Quote Of The Month“It's goddamn freezing on this beach. Montauk in February, brilliant, Joel. ” (Joel in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”)


Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the only Diplomacy zine which can honestly say it has both a mathematical discussion by Paul Milewski and an Adult’s Only version of By Popular Demand in the same issue.  Where else can you get entertainment like that, for FREE no less?  Well, you can always go to the local Target or Wal-Mart and “accidentally” bump into wandering kids with your cart; Mara loved that game.  But, while free, that involves leaving the house, so I still think Eternal Sunshine wins out overall.


It still remains up in the air how much writing I’m going to wind up doing for this issue.  It’s Saturday afternoon as I type this, and so far aside from one movie review I’ve done absolutely nothing.  There seem to be a few reasons for this.  One, I haven’t found the proper “mood” to continue the Fire and Rain series (although I still may).  I can’t write personal stuff like that without being focused and open to my thoughts and feelings.  There’s still hope, so I’ll see what I can do.  Hmm, it seems like I say this every month lately!


I also continue to work way too many hours, at home and at the office, which drains creativity from me.  I get up at 5:30 and start some work here on the couch, and then by the time I get home from the office it often is nearly 7pm.  Weekends lately have been taken up with a variety of important personal projects and errands, so overall time, energy, and focus are the three commodities I need more of…and the three that always seem to be so hard to come by.


I was also going to write a little piece on the music I’ve found myself listening to lately, but that hasn’t materialized either.  It’s not like I get many comments on ANYTHING I write in here, but I can only assume some of you read them anyway.  I might get around to doing that later today.  If not, it can always wait for next month.  It’s simply been on my mind lately.


Speaking of writing, this year’s Writers Digest contest is accepting entries, and I am still considering submitting a fictional short story I wrote for Heather while I was in prison.  She thinks it’s worth it, but as usual I think my work sucks.  Still, I’ve told her that if she types it from my handwritten version, I will commit to editing it and submitting it.  I’ve only submitted once before: two years ago when I submitted my essay on my Dad dying while I was in prison.  I didn’t make the Top 100 lost in the personal essay category, which kinda bummed me out, but at that point I was still happy that I’d found the willpower to submit it (or anything) at all.  Allowing people to read my terrible writing has always been, and remains, a struggle for me.  If I do submit the story, I’ll let you folks know, and will be certain to mention if it even makes the Top 100 in its category or not.  Unlikely, I’d say, but stranger things have happened.


The other BIG reason for a lack of time and focus over the past month or two has been our attempts to find a house.  After 10 years in this tiny 1-bedroom apartment, Heather has had about all she can take.  It’s a crappy neighborhood; ghetto-lite is the best way to describe it.  Gunshots are not unheard of, and there was a murder down the street this week on a drug deal gone bad.  Always fun to drive down the street towards our apartments and see the parade of drug dealers, ne’er-do-wells, and shifty-looking characters with their pants hanging down below their boxer shorts, one hand holding them up while their heads are in constant “lookout for the cops” swivel motion. 



Unfortunately, our feasible price range for a house is quite modest, and to find a house that fits and is in a nice neighborhood is not an easy task.  Heather must have looked at over 1,000 local houses on the internet, and visited quite a few in person, before settling on a small selection.  A few of those turned out to be too big for the two of us, or just out of our price range.  Finally she was able to narrow it down to two; one in Garland and one in Mesquite (both within 15 minutes of where we live now).  The Mesquite one had a larger yard, corner lot, a slightly nicer neighborhood, and a big sun porch in the back.  So despite a few issues we’ll need to repair (electrical and whatnot) We’re supposed to close on April 28th (the day I expect this issue to be released).  We won’t be moving right away, since our apartment lease doesn’t run out until the end of June, but I figure by the end of May or a week later we’ll have everything finished and be living in our new home.  This will be the first time (other than a 4-month period in 2001) when I lived in a house that was not a rental…my entire life every place I have lived has involved a landlord.  And honestly, I never thought I could buy one, even with the much more modest housing prices in parts of Texas compared to the ones I was used to in the northeast.  But Heather says she never doubted it…and now that dream will come true.  We’re hoping to add a dog or two to the family unit in the coming year, but we’re going to go slow.  One step at a time.


I’m sure we’ll share more photos later, when we’ve moved in.  It’s small: 2 BR/1 Bath, but how much room do you need with two people and two cats?  For us, it’s almost a perfect size, and when Heather is finished with it the house will truly become a home.  In fact, she thinks she’ll even be willing to allow people to visit someday…she almost NEVER let’s anyone in this apartment!  She simply wants to live somewhere she can be proud to display.  I think all the work she did searching, visiting, selecting, and driving by neighborhoods at multiple times of day or night has truly paid off.  We’ll be happy here.

Oh, before I forget, I am running two rounds of Diplomacy at Texicon ( which is a new gaming convention in Fort Worth.  I’ll be running a teaching round at 10am, and then later a competitive round (I think 4pm), both on Saturday May 22nd.  If you’re in the area, come on by!  I’d love to be able to fill more than one board!


In zine news, I’ve dropped both the African Diplomacy and Asian Diplomacy openings, since not a single person expressed interest in playing.  Instead, I’m going to offer a game Youngstown Iva (one of the more popular Youngstown versions, although I might be tempted to offer XII or XIII if anyone cares).  Rules and map can be found at  I’m also offering a game of Final Conflict III (rules and map elsewhere in this issue).  Anybody brave enough to take the entire world on?  That’s about all I have for you at the moment…by the time this comes out we’ll have gone to our closing on the house (which is why I’m not releasing this issue until Wednesday the 28th: Heather says I might jinx it if I release it before the closing since I included a photo).  Wish us luck, and I’ll see you next month!


The Month’s Playlist: Golden Apples of the Sun – Caroline Herring; Who Do You Think You Are? - Dala; Songs for Hurricane – Kris Delmhorst; Are You Passionate? – Neil Young; Get Wasted – Palmdale; Bartok – Concerto for Orchestra; The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer - Antje Duvekot.



Fire and Rain – Part Six


The Federal Government, if nothing else, is consistent in its ability to be ineffective.  I was given a date for my sentencing of September 11, 2006.  I found this very odd, as it had only been a few years since 9-11 and I was doubtful they’d want unnecessary activity going on in any Federal building.  My father was adamant that he wanted to come down for the sentencing hearing, and in order to afford to do so he was going to need to buy a non-refundable plane ticket.  So I checked with my Public Defender, just to make sure; was it really going to be September 11th?  He checked with the Prosecutor, who went so far as to confirm with the judge.  Yes, without a doubt, September 11th was the day.  There would be no delays or changes, unless somebody found themselves in the hospital with a serious illness.  So my father and stepmother bought their tickets, made their hotel reservation, and were ready to go.


As you’d imagine, a few days before September 11th, I got a call from my lawyer.  The hearing had been pushed back a week or two, as they wanted to keep the building nearly empty on September 11th for security reasons.  It was too late to cancel the trip, so they flew down and stayed overnight.  I had lunch with them myself one day (the day they were heading back), and Heather and I went to dinner with them the prior night. If nothing else, I treasure that dinner.  It was my father’s only chance to meet Heather before he died.  I’ll never know what he really thought or really said to Barbara about her, but I think he saw how happy we were together, and I like to believe he could feel the honesty and magic in our relationship.  Maybe when he died he was able to carry the knowledge that at long last I had found a wonderful, beautiful, loving, caring, giving, thoughtful, sensitive, and truly good person to spend the rest of my life with.  Barbara always said he liked her very much, but me being me, I still wonder what he might have said in private.  Either way, it means a lot to me that they met each other that one time.


Eventually I was given my sentencing hearing, and it was uneventful (except for how emotional I got).  My 46 month sentence was exactly what we expected; the sentencing guidelines were very explicit, and judges at that time were not varying from them except for specific circumstances (terrible crimes, or helping the government convict other criminals).  There had been hope that I might get a sentence as low as 24 months at one point, when my initial pre-sentencing report left off one of the potential “enhancements” which would have raised my “score” my 4 points.  But that was corrected at the insistence of the head regional prosecutor….in effect, I think it was an attempt by the prosecutor to cut me a break, since I hadn’t meant to cause harm, could not have personally profited from my crime, and because it seemed that so many worse cases wound up with  shorter sentences.  But 46 months it was.  I was once again released on my own recognizance and advised when I’d hear about what prison to report to.


Mara and I kept in touch by phone and email during this time, but I didn’t have much I could tell her.  I didn’t know where I was going, I didn’t know when I was going there, and I didn’t know what it would be like.  She was busy anyway, with her job and the somewhat long bus ride she had to take every workday.  I was rather proud that she was able to handle that on her own; it was the kind of thing she never would have attempted before.  But the work was uninteresting, the boss was mean, and it had been a long time since she’d had to deal with things like that.  The extra money was coming in handy, I guess, and she and her boyfriend were going to get married any day…that seemed surreal to me, but I tried to be positive and supportive however I could.  As hard as I tried, though, it sounded more like Mara was spinning her wheels than getting anywhere…these positive steps she was taking in her life weren’t being regarded that way by her.  I don’t know what her hopes and dreams were by then; maybe she didn’t have any left.  She never talked about the future, just the now.  Maybe things would work out…but I could never allow myself to actually HOPE so.


After more Federal delays (my intial “report date” came and went without any notification about WHERE I should report to), I finally learned that I needed to report to Allenwood Federal Prison in Montgomery, PA.  Through internet searches I was able to guess the mailing address, which I emailed and postally mailed to everyone I possibly could…I figured any letters from the outside world would be a blessing.  I also made sure Mara had Heather’s home phone number in case there was an emergency, or in case she just wanted to know how Tigger and Blackfoot (our two remaining cats) were doing.  Mara didn’t have any long distance service, and unless it was life or death she wouldn’t call collect, but with her parents living in Florida by now I figured she might call from there on occasion.  Heather had no issues about speaking to Mara or being friendly towards her, so I was not concerned about bad blood coming between them if they interacted.


I’ve detailed my trip to prison previously, so I won’t recount that journey here.  But I arrived, settled in, and within a week I started getting mail.  Over the coming three years I’d continue to be surprised that certain people never wrote me, while others who I’d never expected to hear from wrote me quite a bit (once a month or more).  A lot of Diplomacy folks were dependable pen-pals over this time, including Andy York and Paul Milewski who you see here in Eternal Sunshine.  Mara wrote as well, which I had hoped she would do (but wasn’t about to hold my breath over it).


The first letter arrived in mid November, only about two weeks after I’d reported.  She talked about work, about getting married in a civil courthouse ceremony (a DVD player with a copy of The Lords of the Rings was the big gift she and her husband were giddy over; they both loved the movie), and a bit about their cats.  More she just seemed worried about me, and what it was like in prison.  Mara also mentioned that she was going to see her parents on Thanksgiving for a few days; she wasn’t looking forward to it, as “family time” was to her a form of mental torture.  But she was going, all the same.


Heather would later mention to me that over the Thanksgiving weekend the home phone rang, and while she couldn’t be certain she thought it might have been a Florida number.  I can’t remember the specific details, but I think Heather spilled something all over herself and the floor on the way to the phone, grabbed it out of reflex, and told the female voice on the other end “Whoever this is, please, you’ll have to call back later” before hanging up.  Whoever it was never did, but the timing might have been right for Mara to call; maybe taking advantage of a free phone to check on the cats.  It isn’t important in the scheme of things, but I still wonder what Mara would have said if it had been her.


The next letter I received from Mara, during one of the first days of December, mentioned how unhappy she’d been with her parents, and all the fights they’d gotten into.  (It did not mention calling Heather, so I suspect it wasn’t her).  This was a very downbeat letter; Mara wasn’t happy with her job, but kept going.  She wrote of how tired she was of always not having enough money, and of living in a shitty neighborhood.  The theorized that if this was her lot in life, she may decide to attempt suicide again someday.  “Don’t worry,” she wrote, “I wouldn’t ever do something like that again without writing to you about it first.”


But then the letters stopped coming…



Hypothetical of the Month

Last month, we gave you these two hypotheticals: #1 – Your fiancé or fiancée discovers that he or she has a terminal illness that can drag on indefinitely.  Do you break the engagement?  #2 – Your best friend asks to borrow $2,000 for a year.  Do you charge interest?


Melinda Holley - #1 - No.  If I loved this person enough to be engaged to marry them (ask me sometime about my views on marriage as an institution *g*), then I'd love them enough to stick with them through a terminal illness.  (Do you know how much negative karma you'd receive if you just cut and run????)


#2 - If I had $2000, I'd be somewhere else J.  Seriously, no, I would not charge interest.  I would, however, have them sign a promissory note stating that if they defaulted on repayment, I got something of theirs that was worth as close to $2000 as possible.  The trick here is to make sure they have SOMETHING worth close to $2000.


Kevin Wilson - #1- Maybe the toughest one since I started participating.  It’s someone you love, you are engaged after all, but you’re not fully committed yet so some might back out.  I’d like to think I would stick around.  Maybe the wedding is postponed as that might not make sense.  On the other hand, maybe you accelerate the wedding so you can have some good time together before the illness makes life more difficult.  I guess I’d say yes I’d stay with it but I’m sure there would be a lot of doubt.


#2 - An easy one.  I’ve already been there.  It wasn’t $2,000, it was less but I did ask for interest.  I would expect to pay if the shoe were on the other foot too.


Phil Murphy - #1 - No. In fact I'd suggest we bring forward the wedding. In my own situation, I'd commit to the good and the bad. For me it would be a question of being true to my word. I would not propose unless I meant it and a terminal illness is not for me a reason to go back on my promise.

Of course if she did, it's out of my hands.

 #2 - If it were a smaller amount say up to $100 or $150, no. For $2,000, absolutely. For their protection and mine, I would also insist on an agreed repayment date and on being given a  postdated check for the full amount plus a reasonable interest rate. If he or she has the use of that much of my money, I feel I should get some return.

If it was for a family crisis, like a child being hospitalized or something like that, I'd waive the interest. But if it's just him looking to, say, improve the cash flow for his business, then I'd see it as a business deal. Friendship has to be put aside, if only to make sure that the loan didn't impact on the friendship.


Mark D Lew - #1 - Depends on the fiancée. In theory I have no problem with breaking the engagement. But with the one fiancée I actually ended up marrying I wouldn't have. I was completely smitten and couldn't extricate myself even if I wanted to. In fact, we've been split up for a year now and I'm still completely smitten.

#2 - No. I don't loan him the money at all unless I would be willing to just give it to him. A loan is either a real loan or it's not. If it's a real loan, I don't loan to my friends because I'd never force them to pay. If it's for the sake of helping a friend, then I'd just give the money anyway. We can call it a loan if it makes him feel better about it, but in my mind he doesn't owe me anything.


Andy York - #1 - Considering the level of commitment I would have to have achieved to be engaged, no. A terminal illness is potentially a part of sharing your life with someone, you take it as part of the package. If it really would make a difference, would you be truly engaged in the first place?


#2 - Yes I would, and no I wouldn't - and this isn't a hypothetical.


Don Williams - #1 - No, I don’t call off the engagement. 


#2 - Yes, I probably charge interest.  It’s a really bad idea in general to lend money to friends and family, but if you’re going to do it, make money on it for the risk.  Caveat:  If this is money borrowed for a non-discretionary reason (health, legal debt, family issue) I might not charge interest … it would, after all, depend … naw, I take it back; I charge ‘em.  Something reasonable … 23% like the credit card companies?


Heather Taylor - #1 – No.  If I’m going to get engaged to someone then they are going to be my true love, and I would want to spend however much time with them that I had left.  PS – Besides, what if they had money and would name me the beneficiary?


#2 – Probably not.  But then again I probably wouldn’t loan $2,000 to my best friend because it seems like when you loan that amount of money between friends they aren’t friends anymore.


For Next Month (For the time being, I am selecting questions from the game “A Question of Scruples” which was published in 1984 by High Games Enterprises).  Remember you can make your answers as detailed as you wish.:  #1. Your 12-year-old son asks you to buy him a copy of Playboy magazine.  Do you?  #2. A relative has left your child a fund in your trust.  You learn of a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity and have no other available money.  Do you use the trust fund?

The Dining Dead -
The Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews


The Art of the Steal – In all likelihood, if you haven’t seen The Art of the Steal yet, you’ll have to wait for DVD.  But it’s worth looking for, whether you are a lover of great art or not.  The art is a wonderful, breathtaking backdrop to the story, but the story itself could be about almost anything…anything that power-brokers and politicians want to get their hands on, that is.


This documentary (directed by Don Argott) tells the story of Dr. Albert C. Barnes.  Barnes was a physician and chemist who created a new chemical known as Argyrol to prevent the spread of venereal disease to newborns; in the early part of the 20th century this was a tremendous problem.  Barnes’ formula made him a wealthy man.


With his fortune, Barnes spent a good deal of time in Europe, where he developed a tremendous love for the impressionist and post-impressionist artists of the day.  Works by Renoir, Matisse, Cézannes, and many others became part of his growing collection.  He was far ahead of the curve in appreciation of these artists, and had a tremendous eye for the best pieces they produced.  After a few years Barnes decided to have a showing of these works, which took place in Philadelphia.


To his dismay, the showing was panned by the art community of Philadelphia, and in particular in the Philadelphia Enquirer.  The art was described as ugly, amateurish, and illegitimate.  The upper crust of Philadelphia society had, in effect, poked Barnes in the eye.  So, he took it upon himself to thumb his nose right back at them, and to do everything in his power to ensure that the city of Philadelphia and the artistic community there would never get their hands on his collection.


With that in mind, Barnes founded the Barnes Foundation, which designated its purpose as promoting the education and appreciation of fine arts.  In Marion, Pennsylvania – rather than in Philadelphia proper – Barnes built a large building for use as a school.  The entire collection was placed there, specifically displayed according to Barnes’ instructions (his unusual choices of how to group works from different cultures helps to show that art is universal).  And Barnes went a step further, using the best legal minds of the day to write an ironclad trust which would prevent the collection from ever leaving the walls of the building; they could not be sold, loaned, or disposed of in any way. Public access to the collection was permitted but was limited; the main purpose was for use in the classes taught at the Foundation.  When Barnes died in an automobile accident 1951, he felt he had left behind the Foundation in a state where those he despised – the Philadelphia Enquirer and the elite of Philadelphia – would forever be unable to acquire the collection they had so mercilessly criticized, but now so desperately wanted.


The rest of the film follows the legal and financial and political machinations of Philadelphia in their efforts to gain control of the collection, which (we are told early on) they eventually succeed at.  In many ways, the story seems a battle between personal property and freedom versus the “greater good,” and a collection which was initially regarded as worthless, and now is valued at over $25 billion dollars.  In the end, that seems to be the message: that when it comes right down to it, this isn’t about art, but about the control of a vast fortune.  Whichever side of the issue you might find yourself on, The Art of the Steal is a moving and powerful documentary.


Guest Review by Larry Cronin:


Fenestra Aeternitatis


James Kerwin's Yesterday Was a Lie is a love story for cerebral cineastes. It made sense after three glasses of wine, but upon more sober viewing, my analytic mind had trouble. Actually, this reflects the film’s purposeful plotting. Being a psychiatrist, let’s see what I can offer.


First off, the film exemplifies Godard’s maxim that all it takes to make a movie is a girl and a gun. In this case the lead female character(s) are two lovely blondes (Chase Masterson of Deep Space 9 fame and newcomer Kipleigh Brown). Each so cleverly resembles the other that one is reminded of Bunuel’s That Discreet Object of Desire, the surrealist flick where two separate actresses played one character.


But adding layers of complexity here, these twin-like actresses are also playing the left and right sides of the brain of the feminine aspect (anima) of one male character. Got that? They all meet at the Pigeon Hole lounge. The first character is the young Hoyle, a feminine Bogart/Sam Spade analytic detective – the left side brain. Like Sam she likes the gin and the story straight. The second is a sultry, un-named singer who has a familiarity with the poetics of T.S. Eliot – the brain’s right side. Her music is entrancing, her wit intuitive and non-linear. Together, these two provide the counterpoint of Jung’s anima to the male animus of the main character, John Dudas.


Whether Hoyle and her counterpart, The Singer, convince us they are our anima is irrelevant as we so want them to be part of us. These lovelies draw us ever so seductively into imagining the dark recesses of our own beautiful unconscious, despite whatever misgivings. All we’re here for is love, we are told. The shape of the universe is a relationship – functional or otherwise – whether the relationship with our inner parts or with our fellow beings. This makes for a strange little Jungian romp in luscious black and white footage ala Bogart and Bacall. This is David Lynch with an underlying premise. Somewhat like the film Pi, this low budget beauty was made at the cost of Pi (made at $60,000) times pi, about two hundred thousand dollars!


So, have you read Jung, had a few mysterious dreams, find yourself in need of some clues? First time director James Kerwin makes for a Jungian fortune teller taking us on a trip to disentangle or re-entangle our male and female halves. Kerwin is an urban shaman who shows us the conventional mind as a “surge suppressor”. Our conscious minds filter small broken bits of time in a lame attempt to tell a story. Does it matter whether they “add up”?   


Beginning with some obvious allegory, the locks are broken off the allegorical unconscious and our character, curiously named Hoyle bravely walks into a poetic film noir journey to confront the Self. (Hoyle seems named after transcendental astronomer/physicist Fred Hoyle who was deeply intrigued by the “Anthropic Principle” of nature.) We begin with a look at Dali’s surrealist masterpiece The Persistence of Memory in a hallway. They meet Schrödinger’s cat, the parable of which tells us there are opposite angles on everything and only by choosing do we arrives at any definitive perspective. Free Will is discussed. The film reveals a Jungian Fenestra Aeternitatus, a window to the eternal, that our characters need to navigate.


A variety of other cutting edge consciousness theories are peppered throughout the film to spice the intellectual interest of the knowledgeable viewer, including pondering Planck’s constant, a number describing the fundamental vibration at the Ground of Being. For those less informed, the film literally goes back to the psychiatrist to explain itself. Jung, we are told, said a man needs to project his animus onto the feminine anima in order to unlock the secrets of the universe. This is a film for men who are in need of seeing themselves and for women who want a deeper look into those men. What does a man see in himself as a woman?


Hoyle goes into a dream within a dream (hasn’t everyone had at least one of these?) to contact her animus, Dudas, who has a notebook of important thoughts or ideas. Meanwhile we are constantly asked, what if our theories, concepts of self, and common sense don’t add up? And what does that tell us about our relationships? And what is the nature and consequence of the loss of “relationship”? The right-sided feminine asks the questions. Left-sided Hoyle tries to read the tea leaves, the pattern in the chaos. Hoyle and her doppelganger meet another aspect of their animus, a scientist who explains the nature of time and who feels these two sexy blondes are “better” and “better”. They are also the choices that interface with reality. They will help us overcome our own guilt about our very existence and the broken promises to ourselves and to others.


A deep understanding of time is seen in this film’s Feynman diagram writ large in cinema. Physicist Feynman showed everything else might be one mind/particle bouncing backwards and forwards in time, appearing as each and all of us trying to make contact with every part of experience over eternity, the very fabric of time. This reach for the eternal is countered by the Shadow, the dark side, who delivers a bit of lead poisoning in the form of bullets. Death’s shadow is a terrifying/exhilarating lockdown on the many-sided reality of now, it haunts our Selves. It occurs when we bring our stories to a halt. We need to let go of our life-text and grab onto our fuller selves, leaving our memories to be what they are and move on to script ourselves anew.


This film is an ultimate romance with “The Other”, a mix of the cosmos and the chaos, the order and the disorder, the male and the female. In this cocktail lounge of our emotions, letting go of our primordial selfishness lets our unconscious sing its own songs, reconciling the Self to itself. And pay attention to that music in here. Chase Masterson sings beautifully the lounge songs of our longing. As T.S. Eliot is quoted:

       And the end of all our exploring

       Will be to arrive where we started

       And know the place for the first time

       Through the unknown, unremembered gate.


Happy film-going!


Seen on DVD –Gregory’s Girl (B+, still a great film, although I liked it more when I was a teenager.  Claire Grogan is still a dream).  Hooper (C-, this was a really fun film to watch when I was 12.  Not so much these days).  Simon Birch (B-, not a bad movie overall, but the last scene was as corny as a Lifetime movie).  The Frisco Kid (B, still good for some laughs, despite the overacting of Harrison Ford).  The Car (B-, not creepy like it was when I saw it as a kid, but still silly fun).


Meet Me In Montauk
The Eternal Sunshine Letter Column

Rick Desper: I The Lyon is, in fact, the second largest metropolitan area in France.  Nobody cares that less than 1/2 million people live in the city limits when a million more live in the metro area

See, for example,

I find it difficult to believe that Martin would be so pedantic as to look up city populations, but would miss this obvious point.  Being a pedant is annoying enough, but being an incorrect pedant is particularly galling.


So you have a list with 9 films that won the Oscar for Best Film, and 1 not on that list, and you're not giving credit for guessing that they all won Best Picture?  I hope you take this comment in the spirit intended.  Are you purposefully being a dick?  Did you intentionally take a quote from The Graduate just to fuck with people?


[[As already discussed between the two of us, TWO of the movies on the list did not win Best Picture, not just one.  So ha!  And, yes, I did just want to fuck with people!]]


Linear Regression as an Averaging Technique

by Paul Milewski


My trusty little Oxford Desk Dictionary defines average as the “amount obtained by adding two or more numbers and dividing by how many there are.”  Those guys have a knack with words.  Having started with a nice, clear, elegant definition like that, now I’ll complicate matters and confuse everybody by introducing some notation so that this can take the appearance of an article in a respectable scholarly journal.  The summation sign (“summation” because it symbolizes adding something up) is the upper case Greek letter sigma (∑), and I’ll use X to stand for what it is we are adding up.  We then introduce “n” to stand for how many values of X there are.  For our purposes, we’ll assume ΣX means adding up all the values of X that we have.  ΣX/n would then be the formula for the average.  Through a property of algebra, dividing each X by n and adding up the results gets you exactly the same answer as first summing or adding up all the X and then dividing that sum by n once.  So Σ(X/n) = Σ(X)/n.  In the equation I’ve just written to the left, one could say that on the left Σ is the function and X/n is the argument of that function and that Σ is the function and X is the argument on the right.


For my silly example, the average of 4.2, 6.4, and 5.0 is equal to 5.2 (of whatever it is we’re measuring).   One way of looking at an average is that if you’re guessing at the value of X and you don’t know which X it is, your best guess is the average.  In this example, you’ll never be right, as none of the three X’s has a value of 5.2, but if you’re pulling an X out of a hat and each X has an equal chance of being selected, you will minimize the expected error (XACTUAL – XPREDICTED) by always guessing the average.  To sound fancy, you say that using the average as your guess is an error minimization technique.  You can charge more if you use words with lots of syllables.  Let’s look at my silly example:



You cannot choose any predicted value other than the average that will result in a smaller error for repeated guesses (with replacement).  “With replacement” means, for instance, that if the three values of X were written on objects of identical size and shape and weight and you put the three objects in a hat, mixed them up, and picked one out without looking, compared it to your predicted value, and then put the object back in the hat and drew again, repeating this process over and over, you would minimize your total error by always predicting the X would be equal to the average even though you know none of the X’s is equal to the average.  


Linear regression is a way of testing whether the value of a dependent variable (the thing we’re trying to predict, “dependent” because its value is to some extent determined by the value of something else, and “variable” because its value isn’t the same every time) varies in some systematic way with the value of an independent value (the thing we’re trying to use to predict what it is we’re trying to predict).  “Simple” linear regression involves only one independent variable, usually symbolized as X, and the dependent value is usually symbolized as Y.  You can always generalize from the simplest case to a more complicated one.  It easier to talk about a line on a Cartesian plane than it is to talk about an n-1 dimensional hyperplane in n-dimensional Euclidean space.


The conventional approach is to draw the Y axis as a vertical line and X axis as a horizontal line and that these two axes intersect each other (cross) where the value of each is equal to zero (the “origin”).  For any English majors reading this, any point on the plane is defined by its coordinates (an ordered pair of numbers) on the two axes.  For example, (2,3) would be the point where a vertical line drawn through the X axis at 2 crosses a horizontal line drawn through the Y axis at 3.  We collect some data.  These will be pairs of X and Y consisting of the observed value of Y when we observed the value of X to be whatever it was.  These are often called observations.  We may be conducting experiments to make these observations or these may be events that occur without our intervention. 

In “simple” linear regression, the regression equation is sometimes written as Y = a + bX where “a” would be the Y intercept (that is, the value of Y when the value of X is equal to 0) and “b” would be the slope of the line (the amount by which the value of Y changes as the value of X changes.  The “a” and “b” are coefficients.  The “a” and “bX” are terms.  If you prefer, Y = aX0 + bX1 could be used, but inasmuch as anything raised to the power of zero is equal to one, we’ll ignore the X0 here.  If we were dealing with polynomials, it might be helpful, but we’re not.


If there is no correlation (whatever the value of X happens to be tells you nothing about what the value of Y will be) between the observed values of X and Y, we would conclude that our best guess of Y for any X would be the average Y.  In other words, the value of X doesn’t matter.  That is the same as saying that the value of “b” is zero and the regression line will be horizontal (slope = 0) and intercept the Y axis at the value ΣY/n or the average Y.  That is sometimes called the “null hypothesis” (“null” because there is no correlation between X and Y).


For any set of observations, even if there is no way that X can be said to cause Y to be what it is (or to “have a causal effect”), you may observe a change in Y as X changes.  Tossing a coin ten times in a row will not always produce 5 heads and 5 tails every time.  In fact, you can be safe in saying it won’t.  That is to say, the correlation between X and Y you thought you saw in your experimental data may be attributable to pure chance.  You use probabilities to test whether the change in Y with respect to changes in X could be simply a “random” effect, like getting 6 heads and 4 tails out of ten coin tosses in a row when you “expected” 5 heads and 5 tails.  The word “statistical” is interchangeable with “probabilistical” but a whole lot easier to say after a few beers, so you say you perform a “statistical” test, meaning that you calculate the odds that it could happen by chance (or “at random”).  You say you are testing the null hypothesis.  All this makes it sound more complicated and impresses people.  If the apparent correlation (the change in Y as X changes) could easily be attributable to pure chance if you were sampling out of two “populations” of Y’s and X’s that weren’t correlated at all, you say the observed or apparent correlation is not “statistically significant.”


The essence of simple linear regression is taking a set of points (paired values of X and Y) and finding the line “of best fit.”  Best fit means that error (XACTUAL – XPREDICTED) is minimized (it’s as small as it possibly can be).  All you have to work with is the data you’ve got and you have to assume that what holds true for your data will hold true for the larger “populations” of X and Y.  If that isn’t true, then you say there is “bias” in your data.  (The data you’ve gathered and that you’re working with is a “sample” out of the larger “population.”)


To calculate the regression coefficients “a” and “b” from your data, you are trying to minimize your error.  Your error is the sum of all the differences between the predicted Y and the actual Y for each X in your data.  The “error term” (YACTUAL – YPREDICTED) is the same as YACTUAL - (a + bX) and for all your data, which can be written as ∑Y - ∑(a – bX) and we want the sum of our error to equal 0, so we work with 0 = ∑Y - ∑(a – bX).  With a little algebra, we get from that to ∑Y = ∑a + ∑(bX).  Divide both sides of the equation with n (the number of pairs of observed X and Y) and you get ∑Y/n = ∑a/n + ∑(bX)/n.  First, ∑a/n represents the sum of n a’s (which would be written as “na”) divided by n, “a” is a constant (“constant” because its value doesn’t change) we’re trying to calculate, albeit an unknown one at this point, so just “a” can be substituted for ∑a/n.  ∑(bX)/n is the same as b∑(X)/n which can also be written b∑X/n if you prefer.  Remember, ∑Y/n is average Y and ∑X/n is average X.  This is another way of saying that if you do your math correctly, the regression line will pass through the point of the means (a fancy word for averages), which is the point on the plane with the coordinates (∑X/n,∑Y/n).  Using the data you’ve collected, your equation will give you average Y as the predicted Y when you plug in average X as the X in your regression equation Y = a + bX. 


To come up with the values of the coefficients “a” and “b” in your regression equation, the easy way is to use calculus to generate a system of simultaneous linear equations by differentiating with respect to each regression coefficient (technically, “partial” derivatives) and setting them equal to 0.  This always gives you the same number of equations as you have regression coefficients (you have two coefficients, “a” and “b” in this case, so you get two equations).  For simple linear regression, the system of simultaneous linear equations is:


∑Y  = na + (∑X)b

∑XY = (∑X)a + (∑X2)b


I’ve written them that way to emphasize that “a” and “b” are the unknowns, “a” and “b” are both “raised” to the power of 1, so these are first-order equations.  The ∑X2 are the sums of the observed values of X, each squared.  ∑X2 is a constant (it has one and only value and that value is based on data you’ve collected). 


Believe it or not, the simplest approach is to bypass the conventional formulas you find in elementary Statistics textbooks for the coefficients “a” and “b” and solve directly using matrix algebra.



You take the inverse of the matrix on the left, multiply both sides of the equation by that inverse matrix, and you end up on the right with a 2 x 1 matrix (two rows, one column) with the values of “a” and “b” relatively easily.  Microsoft Excel even can produce the inverse of a matrix for you without you having to go through the paces.  Zip, zap, click, hold down some keys.  What could be easier? 


With the values of “a” and “b” you’ve just calculated, a good way to check your work is to plug in average X in the expression (a + bX) and see if you get average Y.  We relied on calculus to minimize the error of your predicted Y (by taking partial derivatives and setting them equal to 0).  All the pairs of X and Y are considered and equally weighted.  The math forces the regression line to pass through the point of the means (averages). 


If you do it the hard way, depicting the system of simultaneous equations in matrix form as:



you use elementary row operation to end up with the answer in the form of:



(I’m using “a” and “b” above to represent the numerical values of “a” and “b” and the appropriate elementary row operations would produce.)  If you do it that way, it should be apparent that you are arriving at the solution by calculating averages along the way and taking differences from averages.  It all revolves around averages.  It’s just that conventional presentations don’t approach it that way.


Testing to see if the observed correlation between X and Y is statistically significant is beyond the scope of this article, of course.  “Beyond the scope of this article” is one of those cool expressions I always enjoy using, right up there with “this page intentionally left blank.”

Out of the WAY #17


by W. Andrew York

(wandrew88 of



                As Doug mentioned last time, I’ve been very busy in my personal life. I have a tendency to “overbook” myself with things to do, indulge in a wide variety of interests and try to experience different things. Unfortunately, at times, there just isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything I want to do!

                Take finishing this column today, it’s going to be a close run thing. I did my normal “Monday” errands and chores (laundry, grocery shopping, housekeeping, etc), finished up my daily tasks (newspaper, Bible reading, journaling etc) and tackled some of my routine goals (make new recipes, keep up with magazines, etc). Plus, it was time for an oil change to keep the car running. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much time left for this! I did make a killer Thai-style Beef Salad and a Shrimp Pasta dish for dinners during the week.

                On the other hand, I can’t think of the last time I was “bored” or was at a loss for something to do. And, I’ve tried some interesting foods, read some books I never would have, see art movies and enjoyed new experiences (Saturday, saw “Hubble 3D” at the IMAX followed by a presentation by three astronomers from UT Austin and the McDonald Observatory on their use of the telescope).

                I just need to make sure to squeeze in time for my columns during the month so the last day I’m polishing, not doing the writing.







I went to a special presentation at the local IMAX theater for a showing of “Hubble 3D” followed by a panel presentation with astronomers from the University of Texas, Austin and the McDonald Observatory talking about their use of the telescope. I hadn’t realized it, but it is the twenty year anniversary of its launch! Improved by three shuttle servicing missions, it still has many years ahead.

First off, “Hubble 3D” is an excellent presentation showing what the telescope is, what it does and the amazing things it has revealed. I just wish they had spent a little less time on the astronauts during the shuttle missions and more showing the amazing pictures of the universe. If you get the chance, take an hour to enjoy it.

The three scientists each talked about the data Hubble provided to them. The first investigates black holes and, he frankly said, without the Hubble he couldn’t have done his research. He did lament that about half way through his experiments, the instrument he was using died so he only had partial data - but it was better than none at all.

The second was looking into the limits and edges of the universe, star nurseries and colliding galaxies. Beautiful shots, but again she lamented that her studies were shortened when the instrument she was using failed. However, she did say that the latest servicing mission brought a new and improved camera.

The last looked into extra-solar planets and solar systems. More than once, he hinted that he and his colleagues had a major announcement coming up next month and that if he let it out, they’d kill him. So, expect something “earth” shaking coming out shortly on this topic. Interestingly, he commented that the instruments he used never broke down. In fact, at one point, it was the only functioning apparatus on the Hubble and his co-workers joked about the use of “his” telescope.

It is amazing what science keeps coming up with, especially using tools launched twenty years ago (which means they were built using thirty year old technology). What amazing things will be found with up-to-date equipment in the pipeline and the replacement for the Hubble which is being built right now.




Letter Column

(always welcome, send them in!)


[Doug] I’ve been listening to a lot of off-the-beaten-track music lately. Plenty of folk, electronica and some old blues standards. I stumbled

                across The Barkers CD “Burn Your Piano” for $1 at Half Price Books, and fell in love with a few songs (in particular Trains of

                October). Searching on the internet, I learned Alice Spencer is very well-regarded within the Austin music scene...I hunted around

                and got myself copies of her next project (Victrola’s “Live as You Like”) and the one after that (Alice Spencer and her Monkey

                Butlers). I like them both, bur prefer the latter. However, I can find no website or other current info on Alice. Have you seen her

                mentioned in any local Austin publication? Or maybe she has a website I can’t locate?

    [WAY] The name didn’t ring a bell, but with the very large local music scene that I don’t follow all that well, it isn’t surprising. What little

                I did find were references to older gigs and music polls. I really need to go down to Waterloo Records (an excellent local music store)

                and see what they have to say about her. Hopefully I can do that by next time - and I’ll keep an eye out in the local papers/arts listings

                to see if I catch her name.



Babylon 5 Quote


In The Exercise of Vital Powers:


William Edgars: “Nobody takes power. They’re given power by the rest of us, because we’re stupid or afraid or both.”


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



The Month in History


May 4, 1970 - Four students at Kent State are killed by National Guard troops while protesting the war in SE Asia.

May 8, 1940 - Though winning a vote in Parliament, the majority support behind Chamberlain’s government is weakened. He resigns, ushering

                in on May 10th, Churchill’s leadership of England as....

May 10, 1940 - Germany invades the low countries and France, turning the Sitzkrieg into a Blitzkrieg.

May 11, 1940 - The modern, linchpin, fortress of Eben Emael in Belgium falls to an airborne attack.

May 11, 1940 - French and British troops occupy Dutch territories in the Caribbean to protect oil installations.

May 13, 1940 - The Meuse River is crossed while the Dutch government and royal family are evacuated to England.

May 15, 1940 - Holland surrenders.

May 18, 1940 - The French government under Reynaud is reorganized and a new Cabinet appointed. Reynaud also takes the position of

                Minister of Defense with Marshall Petain as deputy prime minister.

May 18, 1980 - Mount St. Helens explodes, causing much less disruption to air travel than the recent Icelandic volcano.

May 20, 1940 - German troops seal off the BEF, the Belgian army and a large contingent of French after reaching the English Channel. Plans

                for evacuating the troops are discussed.

May 23, 1940 - Allied War Council decide to abandon their attempts to fight for Norway and evacuate the troops. However, an attack on

                Narvik is authorized.

May 24, 1940 - The Royal Navy evacuates troops from Calais and Boulogne after they are surrounded.

May 26, 1940 - Operation Dynamo, the evacuation from Dunkirk commences.

May 28, 1940 - Belgium surrenders.


Sources include: current issue of Smithsonian; The World Almanac Book of World War II edited by Peter Young





Poll Question


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: Now is the time to start thinking about summer trips, family get-togethers and vacations. Is

            there something you’re looking forward to in 2010?


[Paraic] My wife and I are planning a trip to Melbourne in April. While Perth - Melbourne is a relatively short hop (4 hour flight) this is the

                first time we have traveled with our 2 year old son Jack. Having traveled extensively myself, I’m terrified of being the parent who

                can’t control their annoying child and upsets everyone around us. So I have 3 choices. 1) I could drink myself stupid (not hard if you

                consider the start point). 2) I could sit separately from my wife and son and join the other passengers by uttering “I mean really” and

                “Tsk” at intervals during the flight. 3) I could suck it up and be a decent parent and try to enjoy the whole experience. I’m still torn

                between 1) and 3) but if my new portable DVD purchase works out (thanks to for the online review) then that should

                keep him busy so I can concentrate on my pinot.

     The funny thing is - this is all just a test run for the 24 hour trip back to Dublin. God help the drinks trolley on that one!!

    [WAY] I hope the test run went well and that everything is a go for the trip back to Ireland!

[Doug] As for trips, not so much doing the summer. I’d love to get to Jefferson Texas gain (Where we spent our honeymoon) around late

                October, and perhaps up to New York for Thanksgiving. I also need to bring Heather to New England for a real autumn. Will any of

                those happen this year? Unlikely...but who knows? I can’t even get myself to drive the 30 miles to my Palmer storage unit lately! But

                if I was going to go somewhere during the summer this year, it would be to visit Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

[WAY]  For me, again this year I’m going to the Mensa Annual Gathering. It is the 50th Anniversary of Mensa in North America and the US

                and Canada are doing a combined event in Detroit. So, as part of the trip, I’m going to visit family around Lansing and Grand Rapids

                the week prior to my going to the event. I’m hoping to take in a few minor league ballgames, spend time with my mother, father and

                brother and see the few folks I still keep in touch with that I grew up with.

    One thing different, I’m taking Amtrak up from Austin to Chicago (sleeper car), then taking a connecting train to East Lansing. It’s about a

                two day trip and I’m hoping it will be restful and relaxing.

Last issue: How much do you trust online rating and review websites? Which are the best, the worst?


[Paraic] An issue late, I know, but hey: [WAY] comments are always welcome, feel free to bring up an older topic or continue a dialogue!

    [Paraic] I disagree with you about the accuracy of online ratings. Yeah sure there are some reviews that are suspicious in their

                condemnation/commendation of a topic - but I think they are generally accurate. Online reviews are usually written by 2 kinds of

                people - sad loners with no friends who want an audience, any audience for their views; and nerds who love to show how much they

                know about a specific inconsequential topic. The fact that a lot of nerds are also sad loners only adds to their frequency. While you’re

                right that the reviews are generally polarized by good/bad experiences, if there are enough of them then you get the general idea.

    4 excellent online review websites I often use are,, and Tripadviser is

                extremely useful when looking for reviews of accommodation - mainly because the reviewers often include their own photos which

                show how a place ‘really’ looks so you don’t have to rely on the often misleading photos on an official website. Rottentomatoes has

                been a very good guide for me of what movies I want to see and which to avoid, epinions and whirlpool are full of advice from nerds

                about all sorts of inane stuff. The beauty of these sites if that you plan to buy a new gadget then there’s always some geek who has

                already bought it and is more than happy to detail its pros and cons.

    Of course this is all just my own biased sad loner nerdy opinion!

    [WAY] Thanks for your thoughts, I’ll have to take a look at those sites. I’m still not sold on these types of reviews, I’d rather ask friends

                who know me, my quirks and my interests, to recommend something rather than a complete stranger. However, I’ll keep an open

                mind next time I have a significant purchase to compare.


For next issue (suggested by Doug Kent): President Obama is coming over, alone, to watch a DVD at your

            place. You get to pick the film. What would it be?



Recipe of the Month


Recipe Philosophy: Except for baking, recipes are only suggestions. I rarely precisely measure, eyeballing most everything. The listed

                measurements, for the most part, are estimates from the last time I made the recipe. Feel free to adjust to meet your personal tastes –

                and remember, it is easier to add “more” of something than to compensate when “too much” has been added.


For ingredients, if you don’t like raw onions, omit them or replace with celery to retain the crunchiness. If you like food with more spice, add

                an extra jalapeno or use habenaros instead. On the other hand, if you don’t like spicy food, replace the jalapeno with half a bell

                pepper. Optional items are used when I’m looking for a variation or making it for individuals with specific preferences.



Comment: As part of a project to keep up my cooking skills and to try new recipes, especially since I’ve stopped volunteering at the local

                Cooking School (that danged time problem again!), I’ve set a goal to try one recipe from each of the cooking magazines that I receive

                in which I tag ten or more recipes. I tried this marinade a few months ago and VERY much enjoyed it. However, see notes at the end.


Whiskey Sirloin Steak

from Healthy Cooking (Feb/Mar 10; pg 52).




                1/4 cup    Whiskey or Apple Cider        

                1/4 cup    Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce

                1 Tbsp     Sugar

                1 clove     Garlic, thinly sliced

                1/2 tsp     Ground Ginger

                1 lb          Beef Top Sirloin Steak (1” thick)




1)       In a large, resealable plastic bag, combine the first five ingredients; add the beef. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 8

        hours or overnight.

                2) Drain and discard marinade. Place beef on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 4-6 in. from the heat for 7-8 minutes on

                                each side or until meat reaches desired doneness.




                - One airline-sized bottle of whiskey is the perfect amount, and you can choose quality for just a little extra price (if at all).

                - I used Mushroom Soy Sauce for a little extra flavor (well, that and a bit more salt).

                - This is a STRONG marinade, so don’t go much past “overnight”. I had two pieces, the one marinated about one day came out very

                                tasty. The piece I left in until the next night before cooking was almost overpowering (though a quick homemade

                                guacamole countered it quite well).


Game Section


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. The letters “E” and “S” can never be chosen as the letter to be revealed..


Game 2, Round One, Turn Four:


                Letter Votes: 1 - O, 1 - U                                    Revealed:  O


                Words Guessed:   Doug Kent - Lexicon;  Dane Maslow - <None>




                Word:                     __  __  __  __  O O __


Definition:             A     __  __  O   __  __;     __  __  __  T  __  __


                Never Revealed:  E, S                         Already Revealed:  A, O, P, T                           Missed Letter Count: 1 (P)


    Game Words Correctly Guessed: None, yet


Player Comments:




Possible future game openings - Railway Rivals (Galt), Empire Builder (Galt), Liftoff!, Pandemic (Westling)


Suggestions accepted for other games to offer - Agricola (Galt - I don’t have this one, and they were out at my gaming store when I last visited.

                I’ll look next time).






Deadline for the Next Issue of Out of the WAY:


May 21, 2010 at 7:00am – See You Then!


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


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





Brain Farts: The Only Subsubzine With It’s Own Fragrance

By Jack “Flapjack” McHugh –

(or just email Doug and he’ll send it to me)

Issue #18



Aside from the Phillies, nothing in my life is getting any better.  I need a JOB!  NOW!  This house is suffocating me in more ways than one.  At least I still force myself to go to the gym, so all is not lost.  But I think it is high time for a bit of good fortune.  Somebody send some my way.  So here’s By Popular Demand, some jokes or whatever, and that’s it…no enthusiasm to do anything else today.  Only six people submitted guesses to.  So you all bite.


Adult’s-Only By Popular Demand

The players so far: Heather Taylor (HT), Mark D Lew (MDL), Martin Burgdorf (MB), John David Galt (JDG), Kevin Wilson (KW), Paraic Reddington (PR), Michael Moulton (MM), Bill Brown (BB), Brendan Whyte (BW).

Round 5 Categories:

1.     A book which teaches or instructs on sex. Kama Sutra – HT, KW, MB, MDL; The Joy of Sex – MM, PR

2.     Another word for penis.  Dick – HT, KW, MB, MDL; Cock – MM, PR

3.     The worst insult to call a woman.  Cunt – HT, PR, MB, MDL; Whore – MM, KW

4.     A lie men tell to get women to have sex with them.  I Love You – HT, MM, KW, MB, MDL; Being Single - PR

5.     Something inserted in the anus during sexual play. Finger – HT, MM, KW, PR, MB, MDL


New Scores: Martin Burgdorf (MB) – 99, Mark D Lew (MDL) - 92, Heather Taylor (HT) - 88, Bill Brown (BB) - 86, Michael Moulton -(MM) - 83, Kevin Wilson (KW) - 83, Paraic Reddington (PR) - 79, The Secret Word is Penis, Brendan Whyte (BW) – 78, John David Galt (JDG) – 49.


Round 6 Categories:

1.     A man women fantasize about.

2.     An excuse men use for poor sexual performance.

3.     An excuse women use to avoid sex (other than headache)

4.     A sexy fabric. 

5.     A film with a rape scene some secretly find erotic.


Deadline will be the Friday before Doug’s deadline, which means this month it will be May 21st at midnight.



During a recent password audit, it was found that a blonde was using the following password:


When asked why she had such a long password, she said she was told that it had to be at least 8 characters long and include at least one capital.



Game Openings

Diplomacy (Black Press – Permanent Opening in ES): Signed up: Zachary Jarvie, needs six more to fill.

Gunboat Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: Two, need five more to fill.  Sign up now!

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, and are then given 1000 units of every currency still in circulation.  The rules to Bourse can be found in ES #24.

Youngstown IVa (Black Press): A classic, and quite popular, version of the variant.  Email me for rules and maps, or you can find them at:  Signed up: None, need ten more to fill.  Sign up now! 

Final Conflict III (Black Press): Tom Swider’s global nuclear variant.  Rules and map elsewhere in this issue.  Signed up: None, need seven more to fill.  Sign up now! 

By Popular Demand: Game currently underway, join any time. 

Adult’s Only By Popular Demand: Game in Jack’s sub-subzine “Brain Farts.” Game underway, join any time. 

Eternal Sunshine Movie Quote Quiz: 10 rounds, join any time.  You can find it at the end of the zine.

Standby List: HELP!  I need standby players! – Current standby list: Graham Wilson, Jim Burgess (Dip only), Jeremie Lefrancois (Dip only), Lance Anderson (Dip only), Martin Burgdorf, Paul Milewski (Dip only), Brad Wilson, and whoever I beg into it in an emergency.

I’m going to continue to go through my files and seeing what other variants I can offer, until I find one that gets enough interest to fill.  When I offer a variant I’ll give it an issue or two, but if nobody signs up I’ll drop the opening and replace it.  If somebody wants to guest-GM a game of anything, just get in touch.  If you have specific game requests please let me know.



Eternal Sunshine Game Section


Diplomacy “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” 2008A, Fall 1910


Austria (Kevin Wilson - ckevinw “of” A Galicia - Warsaw (*Fails*), F Greece - Ionian Sea,

 F Ionian Sea - Tyrrhenian Sea, A Serbia – Trieste, A Ukraine Supports A Warsaw – Moscow,

 A Vienna Supports A Venice – Tyrolia, A Warsaw - Moscow (*Fails*).

England (Jérémie LeFrançois - jeremie.lefrancois “of”

 F Baltic Sea Convoys A Denmark – Prussia, A Berlin Supports A Prussia – Silesia,

 A Burgundy Supports A Gascony - Marseilles (*Dislodged*, ret Munich, Ruhr, Belgium, Picardy, or OTB),

 A Denmark – Prussia, F English Channel - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, F Helgoland Bight – Holland,

 F Irish Sea Supports F English Channel - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, A Livonia Supports A Moscow,

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Spain(sc), A Moscow Supports A Sevastopol - Ukraine (*Void*),

 F North Sea - Norwegian Sea, F Portugal Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Spain(sc), A Prussia - Silesia.

France (William Wood – wxmanwill “of” A Gascony – Burgundy,

 A Paris Supports A Gascony - Burgundy.

Germany (Graham Wilson – grahamaw “of” A Bohemia - Tyrolia (*Fails*).

Italy (Don Williams – dwilliam “of” A Marseilles - Burgundy (*Fails*),

 F Spain(sc) Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea - Western Mediterranean (*Dislodged*, ret Gulf of Lyon or OTB),

 F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - North Africa, F Tyrrhenian Sea - Western Mediterranean,

 A Venice – Tyrolia, F Western Mediterranean - North Africa.

Turkey (Brad Wilson - bwdolphin146 “of” F Aegean Sea Hold,

 F Black Sea Supports A Rumania, A Bulgaria Supports A Rumania, A Rumania Hold,

 A Sevastopol Supports A Ukraine - Moscow (*Void*).



Now Proposed – England/Germany Draw

Autumn/Winter 1910/Spring 1911 Deadline is May 25th at 7:00am my time

If England retreats to Munich, Germany will be Eliminated


Supply Center Chart:

Austria:            Budapest, Greece, Serbia, Trieste, Vienna, Warsaw = 6, Remove 1

England:          Belgium, Berlin, Denmark, Edinburgh, Holland, Kiel, Liverpool, London, Moscow,

Norway, Portugal, Spain, St Petersburg, Sweden, Munich? = 14 or 15, Build 1 or 2

France:            Brest, Paris = 2, Even

Germany:         Munich? = 0 or 1, Even or Eliminated

Italy:                Marseilles, Naples, Rome, Tunis, Venice = 5, Even or Remove 1

Turkey:            Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Rumania, Sevastopol, Smyrna=6, Build 1




None.  You guys suck.


Diplomacy “Dulcinea” 2008C, W 06/S 07

Austria (Lance Anderson – lance_anderson “of” F Adriatic Sea Supports A Venice,

 A Bohemia Supports A Silesia, A Piedmont Supports A Tyrolia, A Silesia Supports A Bohemia,

 A Tyrolia Supports A Piedmont, A Venice Supports A Piedmont, A Vienna Supports A Tyrolia.

England (Philip Murphy trekkypj “of” F Brest - Mid-Atlantic Ocean,

 F English Channel Convoys A London – Brest, F Irish Sea - North Atlantic Ocean, A London – Brest,

 F North Africa Supports F Western Mediterranean, A Paris – Gascony,

 A St Petersburg Supports A Moscow (*Ordered to Move*), F Wales - Irish Sea.

France (Brad Wilson – bwdolphin146 ”of” F Portugal Supports F Spain(sc).

Germany (William Wood – wxmanwill “of” A Belgium – Holland, A Berlin Supports A Munich,

 A Burgundy Supports A Paris – Gascony, A Munich Supports A Burgundy, F Prussia Hold,

 A Ruhr Supports A Munich.

Italy (Melinda Holley – genea5613 “of” F Spain(sc) Supports F Brest - Mid-Atlantic Ocean,

 F Western Mediterranean Supports F Brest - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Cut*).

Turkey (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” F Aegean Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*),

 A Ankara – Sevastopol, F Black Sea Convoys A Ankara – Sevastopol,

 F Greece Supports F Aegean Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*), F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*),  

 A Moscow - St Petersburg (*Fails*), A Rome – Tuscany, F Tunis - Western Mediterranean (*Fails*),

 F Tuscany - Gulf of Lyon, F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Tunis - Western Mediterranean.


The England/Turkey Draw Fails to Pass

An England/Turkey Draw is Again Proposed – Please Vote With Your Next Orders

Fall 07 Deadline is May 25th at 7:00am my time



Prime Minister to all: There's something... reassuring about naval blocades, wouldn't you agree? ;)

Boob to the Game: We ain't votin' for no steenking draws!



“Dulcinea” Diplomacy Bourse



Billy Ray Valentine: In Holding Cell #2, on the 3rd Floor.


Duke of York: Sells 100 Crowns.  Buys 100 Pounds.


Smaug the Dragon: Sells 500 Marks.  Buys nothing.


Rothschild: Sells 500 Francs…Buys 197 Pounds.


Baron Wuffet: Inactive, by choice.


Wooden Nickel Enterprises: Sells 500 Crowns, 500 Francs, 500 Marks, and 500 Lire…Buy 519 Pounds and 520 Piastres.


VAIONT Enterprises: Sells 500 Pounds, 500 Marks.  Buys 963 Crowns.


Insider Trading LLC: No activity this month.  Fighting an SEC probe.


Bourse Master: Buys 248 Pounds.


Next Bourse Deadline is May 24th at 7:00pm my time




Rothschild to “The Magnificent”: You are right – everybody who has invested in Francs and Lire will soon be in trouble.


Smaug the Magnificent to Rothschild: You forget one thing... France may survive in Por against mere English military power, but none can stand against my mighy strength! All I have to do is fly on over there, pick up a few big heavy boulders, and drop them in the harbour to sink their puny vessels! *snorts flame*


Duke of York to Rothschild: Oh, I suppose you stay ahead of me, even as the French tank.... let's see if diversification into Pounds does anything for my ranking against you.


WNE to Smaug (and VAIONT): Thanks!


Diplomacy “Just a Taste” 2009C, Fall 04

Austria (William Wood – wxmanwill “of” F Albania Supports A Serbia – Trieste,

 F Bulgaria(sc) – Greece, A Galicia Hold, A Greece – Serbia, A Rumania – Bulgaria, A Serbia – Trieste,

 A Ukraine - Rumania.

England (Paul Milewskipaul.milewski “of” F Barents Sea Supports A Norway,

 A Livonia - Warsaw (*Bounce*), F London – Wales, A Moscow - Warsaw (*Bounce*), A Norway Hold.

France (Paraic Reddington - ): A Brest – Picardy,

 A Burgundy - Marseilles (*Bounce*), F Clyde – Edinburgh, F English Channel Supports F North Sea – London,

 F Ionian Sea Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea – Tunis, A Marseilles – Spain,

 A Rome Supports A Trieste - Venice (*Void*), F Tyrrhenian Sea - Tunis.

Germany (Philip Murphy trekkypj “of” F Baltic Sea - Gulf of Bothnia, F North Sea – London,

 A Prussia Supports A Warsaw, A Ruhr – Munich, F Skagerrak – Sweden,

 A Trieste - Serbia (*Dislodged*, ret Venice, Budapest, Vienna, Tyrolia, or OTB), A Warsaw Hold.

Italy (Ian Pringle - pringle.ian “of” A Piedmont - Marseilles (*Bounce*),

 F Tunis Hold (*Dislodged*, ret Western Mediterranean, North Africa, or OTB).

Turkey (Graham Wilson – grahamaw “of” F Black Sea – Constantinople,

 F Constantinople - Aegean Sea, A Sevastopol Supports A Moscow (*Ordered to Move*),

 F Smyrna - Eastern Mediterranean.


Paul Milewski has taken over for England

Autumn/Winter 04/Spring 05 deadline is May 25th at 7:00am my time


Supply Center chart


Austria:            Budapest?, Bulgaria, Greece, Rumania, Serbia, Trieste, Vienna? = 6 or 7, Even or Remove 1

England:          Moscow, Norway, St Petersburg = 3, Remove 2

France:            Belgium, Brest, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Marseilles, Naples, Paris, Portugal, Rome,

Spain, Tunis = 11, Build 3

Germany:         Berlin, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, London, Munich, Sweden, Warsaw, Vienna?,

Budapest?, Venice? = 8 or 9, Build 1 or 2

Italy:                Venice? = 0 or 1, Remove 1 or Even or Eliminated

Turkey:            Ankara, Constantinople, Sevastopol, Smyrna = 4, Even




Tur -> World: Assuming Austria turned around, it's looking like A/T/E vs F/G.  I've not seen that kind of alliance before...


Kaiser Wilhelm to Prime Minister - Hey, where did you go! I wasn't that bad was I? :(

A to T:  I agree.

Smaug the Magnificent to ALL: Sssssss ssssssss... I'm gonna go roast me a few English villages. No PM - no effective resistance. And lots of peasants to eat! *snorts flame*

White Press Diplomacy “Creepshow” 2009D, W 02/S 03

Austria (Brad Wilson - bwdolphin146 “of” Remove F Adriatic Sea..

 F Albania Supports F Greece, A Budapest - Galicia (*Dislodged*, ret Trieste or OTB),

 A Vienna Supports A Budapest - Galicia.

England (Chuy Cronin – chuykdc_92 “of” A London - Holland (*Fails*),

 F North Sea Convoys A London – Holland, F Norway Hold, F Norwegian Sea Supports F Norway.

France (Michael Cronin – mfmcronin “of” No Build Received, Plays 1 Short..

 F Belgium Supports A London - Holland (*Cut*), A Burgundy - Ruhr (*Fails*), A Marseilles – Piedmont,

 A Picardy Supports F Belgium, A Spain - Gascony.

Germany (Pat Vogelsang – godawgsgo33 “of” Build A Munich, F Kiel.. A Denmark Hold,

 F Holland Supports A Ruhr - Belgium (*Cut*), F Kiel - Helgoland Bight, A Munich Hold,

 A Ruhr - Belgium (*Fails*).

Italy (Graham Wilson – grahamaw “of” Build F Naples.. A Bohemia – Galicia,

 F Greece Supports F Ionian Sea - Aegean Sea, F Ionian Sea - Aegean Sea (*Dislodged*, ret Adriatic Sea, Apulia,

 Tyrrhenian Sea, Tunis, OTB), F Naples - Ionian Sea (*Fails*), A Venice - Tyrolia.

Russia (Kevin Wilson - ckevinw “of” A Galicia – Budapest,

 A Rumania Supports A Galicia – Budapest, F Sevastopol Supports A Rumania,

 F St Petersburg(nc) - Norway (*Fails*), F Sweden Supports F St Petersburg(nc) – Norway, A Warsaw - Silesia.

Turkey (Larry Cronin – lcroninmd “of” Retreat F Greece - Aegean Sea.. Build F Smyrna..

 F Aegean Sea Supports F Eastern Mediterranean - Ionian Sea, A Constantinople – Bulgaria,

 F Eastern Mediterranean - Ionian Sea, A Serbia Supports A Galicia – Budapest,

 F Smyrna Supports F Aegean Sea.


Fall 1903 Deadline is May 25th at 7:00am my time




Germany: This appears to be a family affair. Everyone beware.


Diplomacy “Bellicus” from Strange Meeting, Fall/Winter 1908

England (Smiley McKinnon – Boltar35 “of” A London Hold.

France (Pat Vogelsang – godawgsgo33 “of” A Brest Supports A Picardy,

 F Edinburgh - Norwegian Sea, A Liverpool – Edinburgh, A Paris Supports A Brest, A Picardy Supports A Brest,

 F Spain(sc) Supports F Western Mediterranean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Void*).

Italy (David Latimer – davidlatimeryork “of” A Vienna Hold (*Disbanded*).

Russia (Chris Babcock – cbabcock “of” A Belgium – Yorkshire,

 A Bohemia Supports A Galicia – Vienna, A Burgundy - Marseilles (*Fails*),

 F English Channel Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean, A Galicia – Vienna, F Holland – Belgium,

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Supports F Spain(sc) (*Cut*), A Moscow Supports A Ukraine,

 A Munich - Tyrolia (*Bounce*), F North Sea Convoys A Belgium – Yorkshire, A Silesia – Galicia,

 A Ukraine Supports A Silesia - Galicia.

Turkey (Phil Amos – p.v.a “of” A Armenia Supports A Sevastopol,

 F Black Sea Convoys A Constantinople – Rumania, F Bulgaria(ec) Supports A Constantinople – Rumania,

 A Constantinople – Rumania, F Gulf of Lyon Supports F Western Mediterranean,

 F Marseilles Supports F Piedmont (*Cut*), F North Africa - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Fails*),

 F Piedmont Supports F Marseilles, A Rumania – Budapest, A Serbia Supports A Rumania – Budapest,

 A Sevastopol Supports A Constantinople – Rumania, F Trieste Hold, A Venice - Tyrolia (*Bounce*),

 F Western Mediterranean Supports F North Africa - Mid-Atlantic Ocean.  Builds A Ankara.


Spring/Summer 1909 Deadline is May 25th at 7:00am my time


Supply Center Chart


England:          London=1, Even

France:            Brest, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Paris, Portugal, Spain=6, Even

Russia:             Belgium, Berlin, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, Moscow, Munich, Norway, St Petersburg, Sweden,

                        Vienna, Warsaw=12, Even

Turkey:            Ankara, Budapest, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Marseilles, Naples, Rome, Rumania,

Serbia,             Sevastopol, Smyrna, Trieste, Tunis, Venice=15, Build 1 (Builds A Ankara)




ITALY: Doomed, we're all doomed!





Deviant Dip II – “Black Licorice” – 2009Brc08 – Winter 1904

Drance (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” with Don Williams ordering units): A Ser retreats

 OTB..Has F StP(nc), A Ukr, F Cyp(1).

England (Russell Blau – russblau “of” Retreat A Par-OTB..Has F Ice, F Ech, A Lon, F Bla,

 A Smy(1), F Con(1), A Bul, F Cre.

Verminy (Hugh Polley - hapolley “of” No Build Received..Has F NAt, F NAf, A Lvn, A Bel.

Italy (John David Galt – jdg “of” F Ber retreats to Bal..Has F Nwy, A Den,

 F Kier, F Bal.

Austria (Jack Mchugh - jwmchughjr “of” Has A Rum(2).

Nussia (Mark D Lew – markdlew “of” Builds A Pie, A Tyr, A Bud..Has A Pie, A Tyr, A Bud,

 A Ber, A Pru, A Par, A Mar, F Lyo, F Iri, F Wes, A Mun, A Gal, A Ser, F Alb, A Ank.


Mun -Ruh-Bel-Nth- Yorkshire – Invalid, no unit in Yor.
Ber -Kie-Hel-Nth- Yorkshire - Invalid, no unit in Yor.
Pru -Bal-Den-Nth- Yorkshire – Invalid, no unit in Yor.
Gal -Rum-Bul-Con- Smyrna – Hits Smy, 5 style points.
Ser -Gre- Ionian - Miss
Alb -Ion- Tunis – Hits Ion
Par -Pic-Eng-Lon- Yorkshire – Invalid, no unit in Yor.
Mar -Gas- Brest - Miss
Lyo -Tyn- Ionian – Hits Tyn
Wes -Tyn- Ionian - Miss
Iri -Wal- Yorkshire – Invalid, no unit in Yor.
Ank -Con-Aeg- Ionian – Hits Con
Bud -Tri-Adr- Apulia – Hits Apu, 4 style point.


Total of 9 style points, receives 1 extra vote for the Spring turn.

Turkey (Jason Bergmann – jasonbergmann “of” Has Marlow’s Steamship, A Rom, A Apu(1),

 F Bre, A Lvp, F Tun(1), F Ion, F Tyn(1).


RP’s (Rule #21): Jack McHugh - 0; Russell Blau - 0; Jim Burgess - 0; Hugh Polley - 0; John David Galt - 14; Mark D Lew - 10; Jason Bergmann – 12.5.


Official Standby Players, as needed (both currently in the game): Jack McHugh (jwmchughjr “of”, Hugh Polley (hapolley “of”


Final Spring Training Results (Rule #71): Italy: Giants, no change.  Nussia: A’s, -4 RP.  Turkey: Angels, +3 RP.  All else: Nationals, no change.


By Rule #62, thanks to the trusty old 20-sided die, John David Galt loses 1 RP, and Jason Bergmann loses 2 RP.


Italy and Nussia each correctly identified the Secret Woid as Urban.  Austria guessed Crap, which was incorrect.


The five choices received for the Rogue Unit were F Upp, F Lyo, A Mar, F Stp(nc), and A Smy (each receiving one vote).  By random selection, F Stp(nc) is the Rogue Unit (Rule #62).


Nussia names Budapest his new home supply center (Rule #70).


Spring 1905 Deadline is May 22nd at 7:00pm my time

Note the deadline for this game is now SATURDAY NIGHT.


Build Centers (When Owned) Are As Follows:


Drance             Ankara, Belgium, Crete

England            Smyrna, Iceland, Trieste

Verminy           Vienna, London, Liverpool

Italy                 Serbia, Edinburgh, Denmark

Austria             Venice, Holland, Armenia

Nussia              Tyrolia, Piedmont, Livonia, Budapest

Turkey              Corsica, Prussia, Tunis, Sardinia


New Rule Proposals:


Rule #82 - Rogue Units Go Transsexual (Proposed by Jim Burgess): All units going rogue, if not removed from the board, change their sex from Fleet to Army or vice versa as well as holding.  Armies in the water drown.


Rule #83 - Re-Expansion of the River (Proposed by Jim Burgess): The Lower River is reinstated to its previous location and connections.  The horror, the horror.....


Rule #84 - Time Warp (Proposed by Russell Blau):  After Winter 1905, the next season is Spring 1902.  The map, including all unit positions and supply center ownership, reverts to where it was in Spring 1902.  Rules adopted since Spring 1902 remain in force, except that rules that changed the map are no longer effective.

Rule #85 - Everyone Knows Spring Training Doesn't Count (Proposed by Russell Blau):  Rule #71 is repealed, and all RP adjustments made because of that rule are reversed.

Rule #86 - Great Power Listing Repair! (Proposed by Hugh Polley): Starting in Spring 1905 Verminy will be Renamed ENGLAND, England will be renamed VINELAND.  The Great Powers will be listed by SC Suppy Centers, most owned by, To least owned by. This winter MOS will be recorded as ONE OF THE VERMINY PLAYER’S HOME SC.

Rule #87 - I Hate RP fix (Proposed by Hugh Polley): All rules pertaining to Rule Points are no longer in force. Any rule with the words Rule Point, or Rule Points, or initials RP, or RPs in the Rules text are no longer in force.  By Fall 05 all rules no longer in force will not be listed in ES.

Rule #88 - "Escape!" (Proposed by John David Galt): In any Winter turn, any player who has a unit in a space not adjacent to any other space passable to that unit (regardless of why) may teleport that unit to one of his build centers that is unoccupied – even if he does not currently own that build center.  This move does not change the ownership of the center (at least in that same Winter turn), but does prevent anyone else from building there that turn, unless "Make Room!" also passes.

Rule #89 - "Vogon Rescue" (Proposed by John David Galt): When a space ceases to exist for any reason, any unit located there is not destroyed.  Instead it is rescued by Vogons, and is dropped off at the end of that turn, in a space randomly selected from all spaces on the board which are empty and passable to that unit.

Rule #90 - "Make Room!" (Proposed by John David Galt): In any Winter season, a player entitled to build is never prevented from building for lack of an unoccupied build center.  (This rule does not otherwise increase the total number of units any player may build.)

Rule #91 – Schadenfreude (Proposed by Mark D Lew): For any unit in a space that is not adjacent to any other space, the GM must include on the map a little balloon with the words "The horror, the horror!" as if that unit is saying it.

Rule #92 - I, Glue (Proposed by Mark D Lew): If Russ Blau is playing a country that begins with the letter E he immediately disbands three fleets (chosen at random), but if he is playing a country that begins with the letter N he immediately gains 5 rule points.

If he owns at least one of his build centers, he may build any number of units there, regardless of whether the center is already occupied.  If he does not own any of his build centers, he may build any number of units in

If a space contains multiple units as a result of this rule, it is not any stronger against attack than if it contained only one unit, and none of the units may give support unless and until it is once again alone in a space.

If a space contains units of more than one player because this ability and/or the "Escape!" rule has been used, there is no immediate effect on the ownership of the space.  But if two or more players still have units there at the end of the *next* Fall turn, the space becomes unowned.

This rule does not make Switzerland passable except that units may be built there and then move out.  Fleets built in Switzerland may move to any adjacent coastal land space (rivers are assumed to exist for this purpose
only).  Switzerland is not a supply center and no one can own it.

Switzerland is immune to "Disappearing Spaces".


Rule #93 - Stop Voting for Your Own Rules, You Boob (Proposed by Mark D Lew): When a player casts YES votes for a rule he himself proposed, the number of those votes which count is limited to the number of players who voted (yes or no) on that rule. [Example 1: If I vote 10 YES votes on a rule I proposed, one other player votes yes on that rule, and two other players vote no on that rule, then only 4 of my 10 YES votes count.  Example 2: If I vote 10 YES votes on a rule I proposed, and nobody else votes on it at all, then only 1 of my 10 YES votes counts.]


Rule #94 - We don't need no stinkin' maps (Proposed by Jack McHugh): All rules about the maps are repealed. The map is returned to normal. All units are placed on the map by the GM. Unit total for each should match, as closely possible, their current on map center count as decided by the GM.


Rule #95 - Rules made simple (Proposed by Jack McHugh): Any rule that can't be explained in one line (using standard ES type face and page size) is either repealed or replaced by a new rule written by the GM using only one line. All future rules must be one line or less--GM will either toss out or edit all rules longer than one line.


Rule #96 - Apocalypse Now Proposed by Jason Bergmann):  (1) The game year is advanced to 1969, and we all love the smell of napalm in the morning.  The variant map for South East Asia 3 [] is now in play.  All supply centers on that map are unowned.  Upper River ceases to exist.  Marlow's Steamship is renamed Patrol Boat Riverine and is transported to Cambodia immediately.


(2) The following additional spaces are created with the listed ajacencies: India (a land space) is adjacent to Burma and Syria; the Western Indian Ocean (a sea space) is adjacent to the Eastern Med and the North Indian Ocean; the Trans-Siberian railway (a land space) is adjacent to Moscow, St Petersburg, and Sichuan; the Caribbean (a sea space) is adjacent to the Mid Atlantic Ocean and the Panama Canal, and the Panama Canal (a land space) is adjacent to the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean


(3) In the first winter after passage of this rule, each of the three players with the fewest supply centers will receive control of one the following centers, randomly chosen, (which will be home centers and which may be built in immediately): Cairns, Jakarta, and Cabu.


(4) In the first winter after passage of this rule, all other players may relinquish control of one controlled supply center on the regular map in exchange for control of one of the following centers, randomly chosen (which will be home centers and which may be built in immediately): Guangzhou, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Danang.


(5) In the first winter after passage of this rule, the GM receives control of Port Hedland as a home supply center, which he must build in immediately.  The GM may issue unit orders and cast votes as if he were a starting player.  The GM may not propose rules.  The GM' must prepare his unit orders and votes before he receives orders from any other player.  The GM may negotiate with other players, but all such negotiations must be copied to all players, including Don Williams.


(6) The weather is too warm on the South East Asia map for any unit there to throw a snowball.  Any unit in the Trans-Siberian railway during Winter suffers ten snowball hits.  Disappearing spaces cannot affect the South East Asia map or any of the additional spaces created by this rule until at least ten spaces have disappeared from the original map.


Rule #97 - Steam power (Proposed by Jason Bergmann):  Marlow's Steamship may move two spaces per turn, rather than one.  (Double moves adjudicated in same way as double moves by cavalry units in the Downfall variant.)   One time only, in lieu of a move, Marlow's Steamship may be recalled from anywhere on the Board to one of the owning player's home centers.  The unit retains the same powers even if it is Renamed.


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).  [[By rule #45 this rule is no longer in effect.]]


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.


Rule #14 - Duck Williams Heart of Darkness Rule (Proposed by Jim Burgess): While Don Williams may be "out of the game" one can never be OUT of this game. Two new Provinces in Africa are created by this rule, accessed from Belgium (for obvious reasons) and London.  Belgium now also is attached to the Upper River province, which in turn is attached to the Lower River Province, which in turn is attached to London.  Only Fleets may enter this "river pathway" between London and Belgium, convoys may be made through it if two fleets are in it.  The first fleet entering this pathway is forever afterward dubbed "Marlow's Steamship" (again for obvious reasons) and that player shall then document to the GM (via CC or other means) E-Mails, phone calls, text messages, Facebook/Twitter postings etc. to Don Williams where they say "The horror, the horror!"  Besides driving Don nuts, Marlow's Steamship shall never be able to be dislodged or removed in the game (regardless of whether it has a supporting supply center) as long as the GM (in his infinite wisdom of how to bug people) views that the owner of Marlow's Steamship has sufficiently bugged Don that month.  [[For the basis of this rule “fleet” now refers to  both “fleet” and “marine unit.”]]


Rule #15 - Habsburg Relocation Act (Proposed by Mark D. Lew): Besieged by enemies on all sides, the Habsburg emperor pleads to Heaven for delivierance! Heaven answers, and the core of the empire is removed from Europe and transplanted to a paradise island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The four spaces of Vie, Bud, Tri, and Ser are transplanted: They are no longer adjacent to Boh, Gal, Rum, Bul, Gre, Alb, Adr, Ven, or Tyo. They are each adjacent to Mid (and thus have a coast now). They retain their normal adjacency with respect to each other. Any units currently occupying those spaces are transplanted with them. The area where those spaces used to be is now a large impassable void.  [[By rule #45, this rule is no longer in effect.]]

Rule #16 - Drench the Vermin! (Proposed by Mark D. Lew): France, Russia and Germany are renamed Drance, Nussia, and Verminy. Whenever reporting game results, GM must list countries in the following order: Drance, England, Verminy, Italy, Austria, Nussia, Turkey.

Rule #17 - "Teleport Gates" (Proposed by John David Galt): The North Atlantic becomes adjacent to the Eastern Med.  The Gulf of Bothnia becomes adjacent to the Western Med.  Galicia becomes adjacent to Burgundy.  [[By rule #45, this rule is no longer in effect.]]

Rule #19 – “Marines” (Proposed by John Walker): All units are made into units called Marines.   Marines can move on Land, Water or by Air.  Marines have no movement restrictions if by air.  Air Movement takes 2 turns to complete, either a spring-fall or a fall-spring.  [[By this rule, there are no longer convoys.  Coasts are no longer necessary to specify, as the Marine units may move by land and sea.  Movements by air must be specified as “by air” or “via air.”  Destinations of air movements will not be revealed to the rest of the board until the 2nd turn, although the player MUST specify the destination with the original order; if you order Moscow – Paris via air, the first adjudication will merely state Moscow – Moscow Air.  The next adjudication will report Moscow Air – Paris.  If the landing fails due to a bounce or other interference, the unit returns to the original location the following movement season.  However, if unable to land at the location of origin because of a bounce or because it is occupied, the Marine which had attempted the air movement is destroyed, crashing due to lack of fuel.  Once a unit is in the air, the space it used to occupy can be immediately occupied.  In the above example, Moscow would be considered unoccupied immediately, so an uncontested move of Ukraine – Moscow would succeed even if ordered in the same season as Moscow – Moscow Air.]][[By rule #45, this rule is no longer in force.]]


Rule #21 - "It's All About the Rules" Rule (Proposed by Russell Blau):  Beginning with the season this rule goes into effect, each player (as defined in the More Deviant Rule) receives one Rule Point (RP) for each rule proposed by that player that goes into effect.  For every season in which voting takes place, each player receives one vote for each RP they hold, in addition to all votes provided for in other rules. Clause (9) of the Deviant Diplomacy II rules is repealed. The Victory Condition for this game is to control a majority of the awarded RPs, provided that no player can win the game until the total number of RPs awarded is greater than one-half the number of supply centers in existence.


Rule #22 - "Continent-Wide Web version 2.0" (Proposed by Russell Blau): Every passable space on the map is adjacent to the spaces immediately before and after it in alphabetical order. The list wraps around, so Yorkshire is adjacent to Adriatic Sea, and vice versa. All new coastlines created by this rule are considered to be contiguous to existing coastlines -- so, for example, a fleet that enters Yorkshire from the Adriatic can exist to the North Sea, and vice versa -- and new land boundaries created by this rule do not interrupt any existing coastlines. Each space's name is alphabetized based on how it is printed on the official map on the copy of The Game used by the GM. In addition, at the end of the Fall 1902 season, the GM will randomly select one land space for each power, from among all land spaces within that power's 1901 boundaries that is (a) not a supply center and (b) not occupied by any unit, which will immediately become a buildable home supply center for that power.  [[In effect, the new adjacencies are “worm hole” passages, because they do not change any other aspects of the board.  St. Petersburg is considered to be spelled out as Saint.  I haven’t found any, but if someone discovers before next turn that this rule contradicts Rule #15 by making Vie, Tri, Ser, or  Bud adjacent again to any of their original neighbors, then both rules are null and void by Rule #1 clause 7.  As I mentioned, I haven’t found that to be the case, but I could be wrong.  If no such contradiction is pointed out to me by the next deadline, both rules stand regardless.]]  [[By rule #45, the adjacency aspects of this rule are no longer in effect.  Also, by Scrambled Eggs, the extra centers are not necessarily build centers.]]


Rule #23 – “Island grabbing” (Proposed by Jason Bergmann): Effective immediately: Iceland is a German Home Center containing a German Fleet; Ireland is an English Home Center containing an English fleet; Corsica is an Austrian Home Center containing an Austrian Fleet; Sardinia is a French Home Center containing a French Fleet; Sicily is an Italian Home Center containing an Italian army; Crete is a Turkish Home Center Containing a Turkish Fleet; Cyprus is a Russian Home Center containing a Russian fleet.  All such spaces are now passable.  The Eternal Sunshine map shall be used to determine what other spaces to which they are adjacent.  In addition, Sicily and Naples are adjacent to each other, and Corsica and Sardinia are adjacent to each other.  [[By Scrambled Eggs, these are not necessarily build centers.]]


Rule #25 - The Boob Says Nay and Ducks (Proposed by Jim Burgess): Jim-Bob has NO interest in actually playing this game, so he gives control of all the units back to Don "The Duck" Williams.  So as to meet the criteria of the previously passed "unlucky" Rule 13, Don is NOT actually re-called into the game.  He just has to control all the units.  The Boob will retain all the voting and rule-proposing rights that are the only reason anyone would actually want to play this insane game and define who the actual players are.  If this rule passes, the Boob (aka Jim-Bob) can never push a piece, order a unit, or any other order writing construct that anyone cares to propose for any power for the rest of the game.  [[Don Williams will now be called on to submit movement orders for French units.]]


Rule #28 - Invisibility Spells (Proposed by John David Galt): Each Spring or Fall turn, each player may spend one of his rule votes to cause one of his units to become invisible.  The unit will act normally in all respects, but its location, and any orders to it, will be known only to its owner and the GM.  Invisibility takes effect immediately -- before the adjudication of orders on the same turn in which it is cast -- and only ends if the unit, at the end of any turn, is in a supply center which did not belong to the unit's owner at the beginning of that turn.  (On that turn its location is revealed but the order, if any, it received that turn is not.)  Neighboring units affected by the invisible unit will know whether their orders succeeded or not, but will not be told why.  [[This rule is no longer in force, except for one remaining invisible unit.]]


Rule #31 - Take over the Dulcinea (Proposed by Jim Burgess): As soon as this is passed (i.e. in the same issue), a "Dulcinae II" board is created with all the players and unit positions of the Dulcinae game.  All of the Dulcinae players control their units on the Dulcinae II board as well as the original board, but initially (until modified by future rules in this game) cannot issue orders any differently from in Dulcinae I, their submitted orders are also executed on Dulcinae II.  Every Fall turn, each player on the Black Licorice board randomly will have one of its units cloned onto the Dulcinae II board in the same location and it annihilates any existing Dulcinae II unit in that space.  If the randomly chosen unit is in a "new space", the entire rule creating that space will also be transferred to the Dulcinae II board -- otherwise all rules on the Dulcinae board are as in Standard Diplomacy (at least for now).  These units have one free game year, the unit does not have to be in a supply center to stay on the Dulcinae II board, but after that must support themselves by taking centers on the Dulcinae II board, centers are counted separately on each board.  [[This rule doesn’t actually take effect until ES #34, but since this rule does not do anything to the “Dulcinae II” game until the Fall turn (which I have decided to rule refers to the Fall turn in Black Licorice since Jim was not specific) it makes no difference whether it starts right now or not.]]  [[By Rule #45, this rule is no longer in effect.]]


Rule #32 - Take over Eternal Sunshine (Proposed by Jim Burgess): Rules proposed in Black Licorice can have real effects on other games in Eternal Sunshine.  If this rule passes and subsequent Black Licorice rules pass that affect other games, the GM/Publisher shall poll players in those games as to whether the Deviant rule shall take effect.  Any veto by any player in the "real" Eternal Sunshine game invalidates the Black Licorice rule for that game (rules proposed to affect multiple ES games can thus actually only affect a subset of those games).  These rules can be re-proposed, but can cause the GM to poll players in any given Eternal Sunshine game no more than once per Eternal Sunshine issue.  [[By Rule #45, this rule is no longer in effect.]]


Rule #34 - Snowball fighting! (Proposed by Mark D. Lew): During each winter season, each unit on the board may throw a snowball at any other unit on the board. When ordering throws, the player should specify a path of adjacent spaces, starting with the space occupied by the thrower and ending with the space of the target. (For snowball purposes, use adjacencies per the original map, ignoring any changes in game geography due to deviant rules. A snowball's path may include an impassable space such as Switzerland.) The path must be reasonably straight, as if drawing a straight line from somewhere in the one space to somewhere in the other, but will be judged generously if it seems close enough. If a path is clearly not straight, GM may either designate a new path with the same start and end space or else disqualify the throw as too preposterous.

Each snowball throw has a 1/N chance of hitting its target, where N is the length of the path including start and end spaces. It also has 1/N chance of hitting any unit in an intervening space along the path. Snowball throws are ordered with winter builds, but they are resolved after builds. Newly built units may neither throw nor be targeted, but they might be hit if they end up in an intervening path along a throw. Units about to be disbanded may throw or be targeted before they go, but they won't be around to get hit.

For each successful throw of length N=3 or more, the throwing player scores N style points. No style points are scored for hitting a unit other than the target, and no style points are scored for a throw of N=2. A player who scores eight or more style points in a turn gets one additional vote on rule proposals the following season. (Style points are not cumulative, and any number less than eight garners no voting benefit.)

Snowball hits taken by a unit are cumulative and tracked from year to year. During the winter season, any unit may, instead of throwing a snowball, be ordered to go inside and dry off. It takes no hits that winter and its cumulative total of hits is restored to zero. For each unit ordered to go inside and dry off, a player gets -5 style points that winter.

Any unit which suffers 20 snowball hits is considered pummeled and is treated as if in civil disorder for the rest of the game. It may not move or support during spring and fall turns. It also may not throw snowballs nor go inside during winter.  [[As the rule does not specify, a player MAY hit his own units with a snowball.  Also, once a snowball hits a unit, it stops its trajectory; so you can only hit one unit with each throw, and if you hit one along the path it never reaches the destination.  And to be clear, the chance for a hit is not variable; if you throw where N=5, the spaces along the way with units have a 1/5 chance of being hit, regardless of how far from the initial throwing space they are.]]

Rule #36 - In Democracy Flagrante (Reproposed by Russell Blau): After all other rules are resolved, the number of votes permitted by each player is doubled.


Rule #38 - Scrambled Eggs (Proposed by Jason Bergmann):  At the end of Winter 1902, after builds, all units will be redistributed randomly among all passable spaces.  Armies landing in water will become fleets.  Fleets landing in non-coastal land spaces will become armies.  In addition, supply centers will be redistributed among all players.  After such redistribution, each player will have the same number of supply centers, but such centers will be randomly chosen.  In Spring 1903, each player may designate three of his supply centers to be home centers.  (Russia may designate four) [[All units were Marines at the time, the changes from army to fleet and vice versa were ignored.]]


Rule #41 - Votes as Currency (Proposed by Jason Bergmann): During Spring and Fall turns, votes may be spent as follows:

(1) One vote to support a unit in place.
(2) Two votes to support any unit's move.
(3) Three votes to garrison a controlled supply center.  A garrisoned supply center has an intrinsic defensive strength of one if the area is unoccupied.  A garrison is destroyed if any other player's unit occupies the garrisoned space. 
(4) Five votes to buy one Rule Point.

These expenditures are in addition to those that are provided by other rules.

Rule #42 - Collapsing Wormholes (Proposed by Jason Bergmann): Each "wormhole" (i.e., adjacency between any two spaces that are not adjacent on the map published in Eternal Sunshine), immediately collapse after any unit successfully moves through it.  All other wormholes that touch either of those two spaces also immediately collapse.  No additional movement is allowed through a collapsed wormhole.  For each successful move that causes one or more wormholes to collapse, the moving player will receive 0.5 Rule Points.  (Fractional rule points do not round up.)  The adjacencies created by Rules 14, 17 and 22 are non-geographic adjacencies and qualify as wormholes.  The adjacencies created by Rules 15 and 23 are geographic adjacencies and do not qualify as wormholes.  With each game result, the GM shall publish an alphabetical list of all non-collapsed wormholes.  This rule does not apply retroactively.  [[This rule currently only applies to the adjacencies to the Upper and Lower River, as Rule #45 eliminated the rest.  The Upper River wormhole has collapsed, and the Lower River no longer exists due to Rule #55.]]


Rule #44 - It's 2 a.m., boys. Time to go home (Proposed by Mark D Lew): If at the end of the Fall 1910 turn no player has achieved victory, the game ends and Heather Taylor is declared the winner.

Rule #45 - Return to (Relative) Normalcy (Proposed by Mark D Lew): Now that we are completely scrambled, the board returns to normal and we try to regain our sanity:

Units, center ownership, and home centers remain as determined by the Egg Scrambling. Board adjacencies return to normal (reversing the effects of Continent-Wide Web, Habsburg Relocation, and Teleport Gates). The island spaces are still passable dots but with normal board adjacencies only (including Cor-Sar and Nap-Sic). Upper and Lower River still exist, treated as ordinary sea spaces adjacent to Belgium and London respectively and to each other.

Jim Burgess and Don Williams still control Drance's votes and moves as currently specified, but any other deviant business related to them is repealed, as are the rules extending Deviant influence to other games in the zeen (ie, #31 and #32).

All marines become armies or fleets (army if in a landlocked space, fleet if in a sea space, randomly chosen otherwise). Any marine currently in the air continues its flight as a marine but then reverts to army or fleet once it lands. No new marines may be built. Any barbarian horde currently existing continues as such until destroyed, but the rule is repealed with regard to new barbarians. Any unit currently invisible remains so until revealed, but the rule is repealed with regard to new invisibility. (That is, #8, #19, and #28 are no longer in effect once their current alterations expire.)

Other rules (ie, #1, #16, #21, #34) remain in effect.

In re-establishing normalcy, this rule does not override any new abnormalcies (eg, adjacencies) passed simultaneously.

#50 - "Say the Secret Woid and Win a Hundred Dollars" (Proposed by Russell Blau):  In every issue of Eternal Sunshine, the GM will publish a secret word, somewhere _outside_ the Black Licorice game report.  The secret word will be clearly identified; for example, the zine may say "The secret word is zucchini"; but the GM can vary the exact phrasing so that players cannot easily find the answer with a simple text search. Each player who correctly repeats the secret word in their orders the following season can cast extra votes equal to one-half their current vote total, dropping any fractions. In Winter, if there is no voting [if Rule #39 does not pass], players who correctly repeat the secret word can make an extra rule proposal. 


#53 - "Plunder" (Proposed by John David Galt): Any unit which is in a supply center during a spring or fall turn, and performs no other action in that turn except to hold, may plunder that supply center.  Barbarian Hordes may plunder.  Plundering fails only if the unit ordered to plunder is dislodged on that turn. A plundered space ceases to be a supply center for any purpose for two full game years beginning at the end of the turn in which it was plundered.  (Thus a space plundered in Spring 1904 would become a supply center again after Spring 1906.)

#55 – “Disappearing Spaces” (Proposed by Mark D Lew): Each spring or fall, after adjudication of moves, the least popular space will be removed from the game. GM will identify the unoccupied space which has gone unoccupied for the longest time. If there is a tie, GM will randomly choose from among them. This space will be annexed by one adjacent space, again chosen at random by the GM. Thenceforth, the disappearing space no longer exists, and the annexing space now occupies the entire area of the two spaces combined. The annexing space maintains all its original qualities, including name, land/sea, dot/non-dot, and occupying unit. For example, if the Tyrrhenian Sea is annexed by Tunis, then the new Tunis would become a large land space dot which now borders Lyo, Tus, Rom and Nap; it would have two coasts, and Rome would no longer have a coast. 

#58 - Junior Birdman (Proposed by Pete Gaughan): An air attack automatically defeats any unit or movement on the ground.  [[This rule will have no effect unless Marines or some other airborne unit is adopted.]]


Rule #60 - Heather Wins Regardless (Proposed by Jim Burgess): If some player achieves what appear to be victory conditions by current or any future rules prior to Fall 1910, then Heather Taylor still wins and the "winner" on the board gets a booby prize


Rule #61 – Blackjack (Proposed by Russell Blau): After each Fall season, the GM will shuffle a standard
52-card deck of playing cards and deal out one card to each supply center.  Each player's blackjack hand consists of the cards dealt to that player's owned centers.  As per normal blackjack rules, face cards are worth 10, and aces are either 1 or 11, whichever gives the player the better result.  The player with the best hand (highest value less than or equal to 21) wins, and gets an extra off-board supply center for the following game year.  [[The off-board supply center is not a build center and cannot be moved to.]]

Rule #62 - RP Decay (Proposed by Russell Blau):  Rule Points are radioactive.  Each game-year, there is a 1/20 probability that any given RP will decay (i.e., be permanently lost).  Decays will be calculated during the Winter adjustment phase.


Rule #67 - The Center Cannot Hold (Proposed by Jack McHugh): Every year, after winter builds but before spring orders, each player chooses one unit to go rogue (in the event of a tie the the GM will randomly chose a unit to go rogue.) The unit is considered in civil disorder and will hold in place but cannot be supported by anyone. The unit is removed if forced to retreat or if not on a center during any winter turn.


Rule #70 - Nasty Nussia Needs to be Neighborly (Proposed by Jason Bergmann): During this time of economic crisis, a populist backlash against Nussian executive bonuses has drastic consequences.  As a result, each non-Nussian starting player casting at least two votes for this proposal may name (along with such votes) one Nussian controlled supply center that will immediately become a home supply center controlled by such player, along with any unit located within.  In case of a conflict between two players who choose the same supply center, the player with the heaviest concentration of nearby units (as determined by the GM) will gain control.  For each supply center so lost, Nussia may convert one non-home supply center into a home supply center in the forthcoming winter and may throw one snowball from each new home center named during that winter.  [[Sardinia was the only center named by an eligible player – Turkey – so Sardinia is now a Turkish home and build center.]]

Rule #71 - Spring Training (Proposed by Jason Bergmann): Each starting player may name, along with their Spring 1904 orders, one major league baseball organization.  For each spring training win earned by that organization, the starting player will receive one RP.  For each spring training loss suffered by that organization, the starting player will lose one RP.  The same baseball organization may be chosen by multiple starting players.  Starting players failing to choose a baseball organization with their Spring 1904 orders will be assigned the Washington Nationals, which can barely be described as an organization and whose games can barely be described as baseball.  [[Italy takes the Giants, Nussia takes the A’s, and Turkey takes the Angels.  Everybody else gets the Nationals.  These RP will be added or subtracted each issue AFTER the turn, based on the record at that point.  So you can’t use the RP’s (or you don’t lose them) until you see the adjustment in an issue of ES.]]

#73 - Perpetual Movement Orders Not Allowed, No DUCKING! (Proposed by Jim Burgess): Since some ducklike guys in this game have been making perpetual orders to avoid NMRing and being eliminated from this monstrosity, this is antithetical to the point of the game, which is uhhh, well that's to make weird proposals, but anyway, the people supposed to be pushing the pieces need to push the pieces, so perpetual orders of any kind are not allowed, all players now are not allowed to issue HOLD orders to any more than one "regular" unit (defined as those on the printed playing map) in any Spring/Fall movement season.  Players failing to make such moves are judged to have NMRed and are replaced.


#74 - "I am rubber, you are glue" (Proposed by Russell Blau):  If a player (the "Proposer") proposes a rule that specifically singles out one or more player(s) or power(s) by name (the "Target") for special treatment, which in the GM's sole and unappealable judgment would be adverse to the Target, and that proposed rule is _not_ adopted, then the GM shall immediately apply that rule as if it had been adopted with the Target's name deleted and the Proposer's name (or power) substituted in its place.




Ig Lew to Russ Blau:  You know, you COULD have drafted your rule so that singling out someone by name was simply banned outright. But no, you had to leave it with an irresistible loophole. You can't blame me for taking the bait.


Black Press Gunboat, “Maple Sugar,” 2009Crb32, W 04/S 05

Austria: Build A Budapest.. A Budapest Supports A Trieste – Serbia, A Galicia - Ukraine (*Fails*),

 A Trieste – Serbia, A Venice - Trieste (*Bounce*), A Vienna - Trieste (*Bounce*).

England: F English Channel Supports F North Sea, F North Sea Supports F Norwegian Sea (*Cut*),

 F Norwegian Sea Supports F North Sea.

France: A Brest - Gascony (*Disbanded*), A Spain Supports A Brest - Gascony (*Cut*),

 F Tunis - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*).

Germany: Build F Kiel.. A Burgundy - Gascony (*Bounce*), F Denmark Supports F Norway - North Sea,

 F Holland – Belgium, F Kiel – Holland, A Munich - Burgundy (*Fails*), A Paris – Brest,

 A Picardy Supports A Paris - Brest.

Italy: Disband F Trieste, A Vienna..Build A Rome.. A Marseilles - Spain (*Fails*), A Rome - Venice (*Fails*),

 F Tyrrhenian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*).

Russia: Build F St Petersburg(nc).. F Black Sea – Sevastopol, A Finland - Norway (*Fails*), A Moscow – Ukraine,

 F Norway - North Sea (*Fails*), F Rumania Hold, A Serbia Hold (*Dislodged*, ret Albania, Greece, or OTB),

 F St Petersburg(nc) - Barents Sea, A Warsaw Supports A Moscow - Ukraine.

Turkey: F Aegean Sea - Ionian Sea, F Ankara - Black Sea, A Bulgaria Supports A Galicia - Rumania (*Void*),

 A Constantinople Supports A Bulgaria.


Fall 1905 Deadline is May 25th at 7:00am my time



THE FOUR CORNER REPORT: Italy's excellent position deteriorates as Austria takes Ven and France takes Tunis. Russia and Turkey continue to dance and England holds in place Russia's northern corner units.  The big winner this year is Germany in position to strike all along her West/North/South Front. Austria's position is very weak unless she somehow gains a unit, no threat to any corner power.


R-->I: I believe taking Serbia was called helping.
R-->T: Further more to ensure the truce my fleet has been moved to Sevastopol

F – E: Sorry not to have been more help. Well, any.

R-->A: So sorry
I-->World: Germany is now the largest threat.... Russia.... too far spread out... too many fronts for the ice queen.... but germany.... is deadly. (static fades out) END OF TRANSMISSION
A-F If by some good luck you are in Tyrr and I can Support F Tyrr to Rome, or if not Rome then Nap, it will happen.


T => R: All that smooth talkin' comes too fucking late. I shall support A into Rum no matter what.


Austria to World: The time to unite against Russia is now!  He will soon be unstoppable.


F-->World: So long and thanks for all the fish!
R-->World: Cookies

Germany – Russia: Nth Sea should succeed Fall 05!  Hope you built a StP Fleet.

R-->World: King Arthur and his knights are about to be royally pummeled by the knights of Ni who are now the nights of Ichi Ichi petutsang! Who are now the nights of St. Petersburg. Furthermore their search for the holy grail has been stopped completely because the French knights have already had a quest and have been royally eaten alive by the Germans. The Knights of Ankara are about to enjoy peace now that the knights of Sevastopol have sheathed there swords. The Knights of Berlin are growing in size by the day and the british round table can't fit all of them so they decided to get the French table too. The Knights of Budapest now stand fighting for their lives with bloody and broken swords and several injuries. The knights of Venice with permission from the Vatican have decided to go get a piece of French bread. This is Moscow Radio, have a good Spring.


T => E: You are right, the Emperors are causing nothing but trouble. First the one from A forgets to send orders to his troops, than the one from G gets obsessed by the Nth, and in the end the one from R will win this war!



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.  Research is permitted!


Round 7 Categories


1. A game played with dice in any capacity.

2. A mountain range.

3. A pastry.

4. A Disney film.

5. Something yellow.


Selected Comments By Category:


Dice Game – Paraic Reddington “I've never liked craps and never played it. It always sounds distasteful to be able to say "I beat my wife at craps this morning." In fact it sounds like an entry for Jack's BPD!”  Jim Burgess “It seems like Yahtzee and Craps are the most interesting choices.  I like Craps better, but let's choose Yahtzee.” [[Wrong choice.]]

Mountain Range – Jim BurgessAgain, seems like two choices, Rockies or Himalayas, I like the Rockies, but let's choose Himalayas.” [[Again, wrong choice.]]


Pastry – Dane Maslen “From rummaging on the internet I have a nasty suspicion that 'pastry' might have a subtly different meaning on your side of the Pond, so I might be failing to consider some things that Americans would consider and/or considering some things that they would not.”


Disney Film – Paraic Reddington “Gonna be hard to find matches here I reckon. I'll go a tad old school and go with Fantasia. Uh-oh, that's that tune in my head for the day!”


The Duck remains in the lead.  Congrats to Rick Desper for the high score this round!


Round 8 Categories – Deadline is May 25th at 7:00am my time

1. A brand of pen.

2. Something associated with Halloween.

3. A movie featuring Walter Matthau

4. A magician.

5. A cardinal number.


Eternal Sunshine Movie Quote Contest


There are ten rounds of movie quotes, and each round consists of ten quotes.  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. 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 – and it might be a very good prize!  Research is not permitted!  That means NO RESEARCH OF ANY KIND, not just no searches for the quotes themselves.  Try to avoid the temptation to Google the quotes.  I’m doing many of the quotes from memory anyway, so you won’t necessarily be able to find them by direct search…so don’t try!  Each round will also contain one bonus point, which is awarded if you can tell me what the ten movies being quoted have in common.


Round Five


#1. You have no idea how fortunate that makes you, liking people. Being liked, having that facility, that lightness, that charm. I don't have it; I never did.  Frost-Nixon, Correct – JB, PV, JM    Wild Things – RD; Gran Torino – PR; Lawrence of Arabia - AL


#2. You know, when I was a little kid, I always wanted a brother. I told that to mom once.  She said, "You have a brother" and I said, "Oh, so that's who the asshole in the other bed is". Diner, Correct – KW, JB   Mystic River – RD; Adaptation - PR; Lawrence of Arabia - AL


#3. The street is the only thing that matters. Court is for uptown people with suits, money, lawyers with three names. If you got cash you can buy court justice.  Sleepers, Correct – RD, KW, JB, PV.  A Time to Kill - PR; Lawrence of Arabia – AL; Get Rich or Die Tryin’ – JM.


#4. "I strenuously object?" Is that how it works? Hm? "Objection." "Overruled." "Oh, no, no, no. No, I strenuously object." "Oh. Well, if you strenuously object then I should take some time to reconsider."  A Few Good Men, Correct – RD, PR, KW, JB, PV, JM  My Cousin Vinnie - AL


#5. There's no way on earth we're going to get out of here tonight. We'd have more luck playing pickup sticks with our butt-cheeks than we will getting a flight out of here before daybreak.  Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Correct – RD, DM, PR, JB, PV, JM  The Warriors - KW; Lawrence of Arabia - AL


#6. Christ, seven years of college down the drain…might as well join the fucking Peace Corps.  Animal House, Correct – RD, KW, JB, AL, PV


#7. No, I'm drinkin' my rations, same as you... I think old Swigert gave me the clap. Been pissin' in my relief tube.  Apollo 13, Correct – RD, DM, PR, JB, PV  Lawrence of Arabia - AL


#8. I don't know you. I don't know your work. But I think you are a genius. And I am never wrong about that.  The Big Picture   Tremors - RD; Lawrence of Arabia - AL


#9. If you're gonna piss your life away writing some goddamn book that no one is ever gonna give a crap about, why did you have to involve my daughter?  She’s Having a Baby  Footloose – RD; The Shining - PR; Lawrence of Arabia – AL; World According to Garp – JM.


#10. Good thing I didn't flatline. My 350-pound babysitter would be chasing me for the half-eaten pastrami sandwich I stole from her.  Flatlines, Correct – RD, JB, PV  Lawrence of Arabia - AL


Bonus: What do all these films have in common? Kevin Bacon Appears in All of Them, Correct – RD, JB.  All Adapted From Books – PR.


Scores: BW – Brendan Whyte (0 + 2 = 2), DM – Dane Maslen (2 + 2 = 4), PV - Pat Vogelsang (7 + 33 = 40), RD – Rick Desper (7 + 8 = 15), PR – Paraic Reddington (3 + 10 = 13), AL – Andy Lischett (1 + 9 = 10), AY – Andy York (0 + 4 = 4), JB – Jim-Bob Burgess (9 + 32 = 41), JM – Jack McHugh (3 + 18 = 21), DW – Don Williams (0 + 6 = 6), KW – Kevin Wilson (4 + 0 = 4), MH – Melinda Holley (0 + 0 = 0).


Round Six


#1. A hundred and six astronauts in the whole fucking world and I'm one of them!


#2. Are either of you paleontologists? I'm in desperate need of a paleontologist.


#3. Englishmen, you're all so fucking pompous. None of you have got any balls.


#4. But, look, I figure it this way: better to be king for a night than schmuck for a lifetime.


#5. I'm sorry. It was a lousy thing to do. But I was just so humiliated I just had to kill myself.


#6. They're either married or gay. And if they're not gay, they've just broken up with the most wonderful woman in the world, or they've just broken up with a bitch who looks exactly like me.


#7. Don't goddamn me, Alex! Just don't goddamn me, sweetheart! And don't take my project! This is MY project!


#8. I don't trust happiness. I never did, I never will.


#9. When I listen to poetry and music, then I can live. You see, darling, the rest of the time it's just me. And that's not enough.


#10. Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!


Bonus: What do all these films have in common?


Deadline for your answers to Round 6: May 25th at 7:00am my time



General Deadline for the Next Issue of Eternal Sunshine:  May 25th, 2010 at 7:00am my time

See You Then!